. 24/7 Space News .
NASA releases autonomous flight termination unit software to industry
by Jeremy Eggers for Wallops News
Wallops Island VA (SPX) Jan 06, 2022

A NASA Autonomous Flight Termination Unit.

NASA has provided an advance release of its NASA Autonomous Flight Termination Unit (NAFTU) software code to the launch industry, a critical milestone toward the final certification of NAFTU, which is on-track for February 2022.

NAFTU is a game-changing command and control system available to launch vehicle providers for use at all U.S. launch ranges in ensuring public safety during launch operations. Among the companies that are working with the NAFTU software is Rocket Lab, which has a launch pad at Virginia Space's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility.

"This is a major milestone that enables Rocket Lab and other U.S. launch companies to integrate the software now with their launch vehicle's hardware and run performance simulations," said David L. Pierce, Wallops Flight Facility director. "This is a key achievement toward enabling Rocket Lab launches from Wallops, in parallel with the NASA teams' final safety certification steps, which are currently underway. Rocket Lab's use of the NASA software will enable a high degree of confidence moving forward toward launch."

NASA enlisted corporate partners ASRC Federal, Axient/MEI and KBR to assist the agency in the development of the software's test procedures and also to support certification testing.

To ensure the ultimate success of the final safety certification of the software, NASA conducted formal software dress rehearsals, or "official timed dry runs," of the test procedures in late December. These dry runs at NASA Wallops and at Axient facilities in Melbourne, Florida, went well and show the software test procedures and the software are performing as designed, said Pierce.

"I am very proud of the entire NAFTU team for reaching these critical milestones of releasing the software to industry, as well as completing the test procedure official dry runs," said Pierce. "With these dry runs completed, we have greater than 99% confidence that the official 'run for record' witness testing of the software and procedures in January will be successful. This, in turn, will lead to the flight safety certification of the software by the end February 2022."

NASA Wallops, in collaboration with NASA Headquarters, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration, began development of the NASA Autonomous Flight Termination System in 2020, when the program became fully funded. The NAFTU system is more complicated than other, proprietary automated flight safety systems (AFSS) in that it's designed to be customizable and support a wide array of launch vehicles at any launch range.

"While more challenging, the effort overall will provide the single largest impact and the greatest economic benefit by allowing commercial launch providers a common, certified system for flight termination," said retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Ted Mercer, CEO and Executive Director, Virginia Space.

Virginia Space owns and manages three orbital launch pads at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, which includes Rocket Lab's LC-2.

Autonomous Flight Termination Systems like NAFTU are a key component of the launch range of the future and a mandatory requirement for Department of Defense (DOD) launches beginning in 2025. The system provides a number of benefits, such as wider launch windows, smaller downrange safety corridors that enhance area clearance operations, and reduced need/expense of ground-based systems. AFSS will be a game changer for enabling launches from Wallops and decreasing cost for access to space in the future, and NAFTU will be the system that leads this effort for many years to come.

"Automated flight safety systems are a game changer for enabling launches from Virginia's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops and decreasing cost for access to space in the future," said Mercer. "NAFTU will be the system that leads this effort for many years to come."

Related Links
NASA's Technology Transfer Program
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

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

PLD Space closes a Series B investment round of $28 million
Elche, Spain (SPX) Dec 28, 2021
PLD Space, the Spanish company that leads the space launch business for small satellites in Europe, has just closed a Series B funding round of $28 million. The operation, led by Arcano Partners, Aciturri and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) through the co-investment initiative of Innvierte program, has had the accompaniment of previous company shareholders, who have been able to strengthen their participation, and the entry of new strategic financial partners. Arcano ... 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

Japan space tourist eyes Mariana Trench trip after ISS

CES show highlights: Robo-dogs, self-sailing boat, brain tech

CES tech fair opens under pandemic shadow

Nibbling cats and Covid masks: First look at CES tech show

Rogozin says Baikonur security strengthened amid Kazakhstan protests

NASA releases autonomous flight termination unit software to industry

Astra Space faces critics, skeptics as it plans Florida launch

Bezos' Blue Origin teams up with U.S. military 'rocket cargo' program

Flight 19 - New Year, Same Ingenuity

Chinese Mars mission sends photos of the Red Planet

Experiments show algae can survive in Mars-like environment

Perseverance Samples in Review: 2021

China to complete building of space station in 2022

CASC plans more than 40 space launches for China in 2022

China's astronauts mark New Year with livestream from space

China heads launch list of space rockets

Space business: The final (profitable) frontier

Euroconsult predicts highest government space budgets in decades despite Covid

Loft Orbital extends production agreement with LeoStella

US Govt orders Polyakov to sell entire Firefly Aerospace stake

Debris from failed Russian rocket falls into sea near French Polynesia

Windows that outsmart the elements

Metaverse gets touch of reality at CES

Take-Two to buy 'Farmville' creator Zynga for $12.7 bn

Billions of starless planets haunt dark cloud cradles

Astronomers Detect Signature of Magnetic Field on an Exoplanet

ESO telescopes help uncover largest group of rogue planets yet

Lost in space: Rocky planets formed from missing solar system material

Looking Back, Looking Forward To New Horizons

Testing radar to peer into Jupiter's moons

NASA's Juno Spacecraft 'Hears' Jupiter's Moon

Deep Mantle Krypton Reveals Earth's Outer Solar System Ancestry

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.