. 24/7 Space News .
NASA perseveres through pandemic, looks ahead in 2020, 2021
by Cheryl Warner for NASA News
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 24, 2020

A busy manifest

With 2020 more than half way through, NASA is gearing up for a busy rest of the year and 2021.

Following the recent successful launch of a Mars rover and safely bringing home astronauts from low-Earth orbit aboard a new commercial spacecraft, NASA is looking forward to more exploration firsts now through 2021. The agency is sending the first woman and next man to the Moon in 2024, establishing sustainable exploration by the end of the decade as part of the Artemis program while getting ready for human exploration of Mars.

"By putting the health and safety of the NASA team first, we've been able to safely navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and keep our missions moving forward as much as possible," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

"We will hit several key milestones for Artemis this year, including conducting a major test of our Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. We also plan to grab an asteroid sample and launch an ocean studying satellite to name a few missions ahead. These stunning NASA achievements have been made possible thanks to strong commitments from the President and Congress to fund and support NASA budgets and ushered in a new era of exploration for America's space agency."

2020 Perseveres
Among the activities the agency has for the rest of 2020, NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission is targeted for launch from the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station this fall, following certification of the system by NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The mission will be the first in a series of regular, rotational flights with astronauts to the orbital laboratory as it marks 20 years of continuous human presence aboard the station Nov. 2.

Flying four crew members on Crew-1 will expand the station's crew to seven, effectively doubling the amount of time for crew members to support research investigations that advance scientific knowledge and prepare for human exploration farther into space. Boeing also is on deck to conduct a second uncrewed flight test for the Commercial Crew Program, before flying a crewed flight test in 2021 to meet program certification requirements. This is an important step in ensuring multiple providers are providing access to the space station from American soil.

In the America's first asteroid sample return mission, NASA's OSIRIS-REx will do a touch, grab, and go move on Bennu in October to collect a small sample to return to Earth.

NASA also continues to make significant progress toward the first uncrewed flight test of SLS and the Orion spacecraft and plans to conduct a hot fire test by November. This critical milestone known as the Green Run, includes firing up the rocket's massive core stage and four RS-25 engines in a test stand.

Stacking operations will begin with the solid rocket boosters on the mobile launcher in the late fall after the hot fire and will continue into 2021 when the core stage arrives. Engineers are putting finishing touches on Orion so it will be ready for attachment, making us one step closer to sending astronauts to walk on the Moon.

NASA also will test a suite of lander technologies aboard a commercial spaceflight mission. As the main experiment of the rocket, the technologies tested will support safer and more accurate future landings on the Moon.

Finally, the agency is also expected to launch the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite in November, which will collect the most accurate data yet on sea levels.

2021 to Bring More Firsts
Next year is shaping up to be one of NASA's busiest yet.

Following an initial design phase, NASA is expected to announce whether Blue Origin, Dynetics and/or SpaceX are moving forward with their human landing systems, one of which will be the first private company to safely land American astronauts on the Moon in 2024.

When NASA's Perseverance rover lands on Mars in February, the robot astrobiologist / geologist will search for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples. As part of the mission, NASA will deploy the Ingenuity helicopter from the rover in the first demonstration of rotorcraft on another planet. The agency also will attempt to produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere - a critical step for future human exploration of the Red Planet.

In late July, NASA will launch the first test for planetary defense. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test, about the size of a small car, will deliberately crash into an asteroid moon in fall 2022 to change its motion.?This is just a test, as the asteroid Didymos nor its targeted moon Dimorphos, pose any threat to our planet.

NASA will ship the SLS core stage to Kennedy early in the year for integration with the Orion spacecraft. Artemis I, the first uncrewed flight test of SLS and Orion, is on track to launch on its month-long mission around the Moon by fall. The Orion crew module for Artemis III will be delivered to Kennedy, where the crew module for Artemis II is already undergoing preparations for its mission.

Astrobotic and Intuitive Machines will each launch their first Commercial Lunar Payload Services flights to the Moon in the fall, delivering a suite of payloads to the lunar surface ahead of future Artemis missions with crew. This will be the first American robotic missions to land on the Moon in 50 years.

In October, NASA will launch Lucy as the first mission to study the Trojan asteroids - remnants of ancient material that formed the outer planets, now orbiting the Sun at the distance of Jupiter. By the end of that month NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope, the flagship astrophysics mission exploring distant worlds and studying the first generation of galaxies formed at the beginning of the universe.

In 2021, NASA aeronautics teams will complete construction and prepare for the first flight of the X-59 QueSST, our low-boom supersonic X plane that will provide data that could lead to faster long-distance travel throughout the world. The X-57 Maxwell, the agency's first all-electric experimental aircraft, will also conduct its first flight next year.

The agency's aero researchers also will launch an effort to advance electric propulsion for large commercial transports with an electric powertrain flight demonstration, helping to develop a fuel- and cost-efficient alternative to traditional jet-engine-powered aircraft.

Also next year, NASA will announce a new class of astronaut candidates, launch a new laser communications demonstration, and send a microwave oven-sized CubeSat to a unique, elliptical lunar orbit where the agency plans to send the Artemis' Gateway outpost.

"With our rover landing on Mars, an asteroid protection space test, the Webb telescope launch, and the Artemis I mission among other activities on the horizon, we have another big, big year ahead for America's space agency," said Bridenstine.

Related Links
Moon to Mars at NASA
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

NASA invests $51M in innovative ideas from US Small Businesses
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 01, 2020
NASA has selected 409 technology proposals for the first phase of funding from the agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. The contracts will provide approximately $51 million to 312 small businesses in 44 states and Washington, D.C. "NASA depends on America's small businesses for innovative technology development that helps us achieve our wide variety of missions," said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technolog ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Russian cosmonaut sheds light on how ISS crew deals with suspected air leak

ISS crew moved to Russian segment for 3 days to search for air leak

NASA perseveres through pandemic, looks ahead in 2020, 2021

Moonstruck 'aroma sculptor' builds scent from space

Safety of SpaceX suits an 'open question' says Russian designer

Ball Aerospace completes small satellite, Green Fuel Mission

NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission nears completion

Skyrora's Skylark Micro rocket launches from Iceland

Follow Perseverance in real time on its way to Mars

Sustained planetwide storms may have filled lakes, rivers on ancient mars

Deep learning will help future Mars rovers go farther, faster, and do more science

NASA establishes Board to initially review Mars sample return plans

China's Mars probe over 8m km away from Earth

China seeks payload ideas for mission to moon, asteroid

China marching to Mars for humanity's better shared future

From the Moon to Mars: China's long march in space

Ban on import of communication satellites opens up opportunity says ISRO chief

Africa is investing more in space and satellite industry

SES picks SpaceX to launch four additional O3b mPower satellites

Satellite constellations could hinder astronomical research, scientists warn

US to spend $625 mn on super-computing research centers

NASA engineers checking InSight's weather sensors

New ground station brings laser communications closer to reality

Nellis AFB, Nev., opens pilots' virtual training center

Bacteria could survive travel between Earth and Mars when forming aggregates

Fifty new planets confirmed in machine learning first

Tracing the cosmic origin of complex organic molecules with their radiofrequency footprint

Bacteria could survive the trip to Mars in the form of thick aggregates

Large shift on Europa was last event to fracture its surface

Technology ready to explore subsurface oceans on Ganymede

The Sun May Have Started Its Life with a Binary Companion

Ganymede covered by giant crater

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.