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9.05.2020

Final JPSS-2 Satellite Instrument Passes Readiness Test

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The Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument built to fly on the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-2 satellite is ready to ship to the spacecraft. CrIS has passed all of its readiness tests, completing its pre-ship review. Pre-ship review is the final step before instruments are shipped to and integrated onto the spacecraft. CrIS is the future satellite’s final instrument to be ready for spacecraft integration.

The CrIS instrument is an advanced operational sounder that provides more accurate, detailed atmospheric temperature and moisture observations for weather and climate applications.

CrIS is a key instrument currently flying on the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP and NOAA-20 (or JPSS-1) satellites, the first two in the Joint Polar Satellite System’s series of polar-orbiting satellites. CrIS represents a significant enhancement over NOAA's legacy infrared sounder—the High-Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS).

Data from the JPSS satellites feed daily weather models and tell us about atmospheric conditions needed to provide extreme weather forecasts several days in advance. CrIS will be among the instruments on the JPSS-2, -3 and -4 satellite missions.

The CrIS instrument was developed and built by L3Harris Technologies.

The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the nation's new generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its acquisition agent, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This interagency effort is the latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous environmental satellites.

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 17.08.2022

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JPSS-2 Satellite Gets its Solar Array Installed

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On July 26, in a clean room at the Northrop Grumman facility in Gilbert, Arizona, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) let out several loud pops as each of the five panels of its solar array detached from the body of the satellite and then unfolded, stretching out to its full 30-foot length. Under each panel, an engineer clad in a bunny suit flashed a thumbs up as latches clicked into place. 

 

The deployment of the solar array, which had been installed three days earlier, marked the last major testing milestone of the weather satellite. JPSS-2 has now been boxed up and will be shipped to the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California for its Nov. 1 launch. The next time the solar array deploys will be in space. 

 

“This is a culmination of seven years of work on this program,” said Scott Capehart, JPSS program director at Northrop Grumman Corporation, where the spacecraft is built and tested. “Its success establishes that we’re ready for launch.”

 

Once launched, the JPSS-2 satellite, like its predecessors Suomi-NPP and NOAA-20, will race around Earth from pole to pole, taking measurements and snapping images that help us plan for hurricanes, snowstorms, floods, and other severe weather. The satellite will feed critical data to global weather forecast models.  

While a crowd of team members looked on, a crew of engineers at a Northrop Grumman facility in Gilbert, Arizona, performed the solar array deployment, the final major test of the JPSS-2 spacecraft before its November launch.
Credits: NOAA, NASA

 

“During stressful times, like running into an issue at the end of a long overnight shift, I always come back to the impact that JPSS-2 will have,” said Adelina Nastasoiu, an instrument systems engineer at Northrop Grumman. “The weather models it’s going to affect, the lives it’s going to save, and that it shares data freely with the entire world.” 

 

JPSS-2 will also measure our oceans and atmosphere, map and monitor volcanoes and wildfires and tell us about the things that fill our air and lungs, like dust and smoke. Because of its wide swath, it will observe every spot on Earth at least twice a day. 

 

In the clean room in Gilbert, the satellite sat upright, mounted on a rack on wheels. Multi-layered insulation resembling gold tinfoil blanketed the body of the spacecraft. Covers with “Remove before flight” signs protected each of its four instruments. 

 

About 20 feet away, engineers checked connections and voltage on the spacecraft for JPSS-3, the next satellite in line to launch. And packed in boxes and stacked on wire shelves at the back of the clean room were the parts for JPSS-4, the final satellite in the JPSS series. Combined, the three satellites are expected to provide data into the 2030s.  

 

Together, NASA and NOAA oversee the development, launch, testing, and operation of all the satellites in the JPSS program. NOAA funds and manages the program, operations, and data products. On behalf of NOAA, NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft, and ground system, and launches the satellites, which NOAA operates.

Banner image: The JPSS-2 satellite deploys its solar array for the final time before launch at the Northrop Grumman facility in Gilbert, Arizona. Credit: NOAA, NASA

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 3.09.2022

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NASA, NOAA Invite Media to Polar Orbiting Weather Satellite Launch

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NASA is accepting media requests for launch coverage of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite. This is the third satellite in the JPSS series, which will capture data to improve weather forecasts, helping scientists predict and prepare for extreme weather events and climate change.

 

NASA and NOAA are targeting Nov. 1 for the JPSS-2 launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

 

Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA Television and the NASA app. Watch live on the agency’s website at:

 

https://www.nasa.gov/live

 

U.S. and international media interested in attending this launch must apply no later than 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 15. Media accreditation requests should be submitted at:

 

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

 

A copy of NASA’s media accreditation policy is available online. For questions about accreditation, please email: ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov. For other mission questions, please contact Kennedy’s newsroom: 321-867-2468.

 

Para obtener información sobre cobertura en español en el Centro Espacial Kennedy o si desea solicitar entrevistas en español, comuníquese con Antonia Jaramillo at: antonia.jaramillobotero@nasa.gov or 321-501-8425.

 

JPSS-2, which will be renamed NOAA-21 after reaching orbit, will join a constellation of JPSS satellites that orbit from the North to the South pole, circling Earth 14 times a day and providing a full view of the entire globe twice daily. The NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, and NOAA-20, previously known as JPSS-1, are both already in orbit. Each satellite carries at least four advanced instruments to measure weather and climate conditions on Earth.

 

Data from JPSS satellites feed numerical weather forecasting models and observe weather events including rainfall, snow, hurricanes, and environmental hazards such as forest fires and volcanic activity. These observations, which are critical to long-term forecasts, help people plan for extreme weather events, such as severe storms. JPSS satellites also monitor our oceans, measuring sea surface temperature and tracking sea ice and harmful algal blooms. They also provide important climate data on ozone and atmospheric temperature.

 

Launching with JPSS-2 is a secondary payload, the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID). LOFTID is a partnership between NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate and ULA. It will demonstrate inflatable heat shield technology that uses aerodynamic drag to slow down spacecraft in the most mass-efficient way. This technology could enable a variety of proposed NASA missions to destinations such as Mars, Venus, and Titan, as well as returning heavier payloads from low-Earth orbit. The Centaur – the second stage of the Atlas V rocket – will deliver JPSS-2 to orbit, perform a deorbit burn, and put the LOFTID re-entry vehicle on a spin-stabilized trajectory to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. LOFTID will then inflate and separate from the Centaur, where the re-entry vehicle is targeted for landing and recovery in the Pacific Ocean.

 

Together, NASA and NOAA partner in the development, launch, testing, and operation of all the satellites in the JPSS program. NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy manages launch. NOAA funds and manages the program, operations, and data products. On behalf of NOAA, NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft, and ground system and launches the satellites, which NOAA operates. With this reliable national asset in place to provide critical data, NOAA and NASA can innovate the next generation of Earth-observing satellites, including NOAA’s next low-Earth Orbit operational satellite constellation.

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 22.09.2022

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JPSS-2 Begins Launch Processing

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Preparations are looking up for the launch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite. On behalf of NOAA, NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft, and ground system, and launches the satellites, which NOAA operates. Technicians recently lifted the satellite to a stand inside the Astrotech Space Operations facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. On board are four advanced instruments that will measure weather and climate conditions on Earth. Launch is targeted for Nov. 1 atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-3.

Launching with JPSS-2 is a secondary payload, known as Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, or LOFTID. LOFTID will demonstrate inflatable heat shield technology for atmospheric entry and re-entry. This technology could enable a variety of proposed NASA missions to destinations such as Mars, Venus, and Titan, as well as returning heavier payloads from low-Earth orbit.   

Before launch, technicians will stack the JPSS-2 satellite onto a payload adapter canister containing the LOFTID reentry vehicle. Once complete, the assembly will be encapsulated in a protective payload fairing. After encapsulation, the team will transport the encapsulated spacecraft to Space Launch Complex-3 where a crane will hoist it up for attachment to the second stage of the Atlas V 401 rocket.

JPSS-2 is the third satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System series. JPSS-2, which will be renamed NOAA-21 after reaching orbit, will join a constellation of JPSS satellites that orbit from the North to the South pole, circling Earth 14 times a day and providing a full view of the entire globe twice daily. The NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite, and NOAA-20, previously known as JPSS-1, are both already in orbit.

NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is managing the launch service. Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and agency’s website.

Photo credit: USSF 30th Space Wing/Steven Gerl

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 7.10.2022

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Next NOAA weather satellite launching just in time

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SAN FRANCISCO – The launch of the next U.S. weather satellite is coming just in time to ensure the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has two healthy spacecraft making observations from polar orbit.

NOAA is preparing to launch the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 on Nov. 1 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The satellite, built and integrated by Northrop Grumman, will travel to low-Earth orbit on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 401 rocket.

Although the new satellite is called JPSS-2, it is the third satellite in the JPSS constellation. The first was Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership satellite launched in October 2011. Suomi NPP was designed as a precursor for the joint NASA, NOAA, Defense Department National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). Since NPOESS was cancelled, NPP was pressed into operational service.

After nearly 11 years, Suomi NPP is running low on fuel. It was launched with enough propellant to maintain its orbit for at least 10.5 years plus enough extra fuel to deorbit over the Pacific Ocean.

“We’re getting towards the end of that lifetime,” Tim Walsh, NOAA JPSS program director, said during an Oct. 4 press briefing. “We have to think of innovative ways to keep it in its desired orbit.”

Because the Suomi NPP instruments continue to function well, NOAA is considering options to extend its life, like allowing the satellite to drift in orbit.

First though, the agency wants to ensure that JPSS-2 and its instruments built by Ball Aerospace, L3Harris Technologies, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Technologies are functioning well. The JPSS-2 satellite, which will be renamed NOAA-21 in orbit, will gather observations in tandem with NOAA-20, which was known prior to reaching orbit as JPSS-1.

The benefit of having two satellites making observations in low-Earth orbit was demonstrated during Hurricane Ian.

NOAA 20 imagery showed two sides of the Category 4 Atlantic hurricane. In contrast, Suomi NPP captured an image “right down the center of the storm,” said Jordan Gerth, NOAA National Weather Service meteorologist. “It’s critical for our meteorologists to have the best view of the various storm systems.”

NASA has completed environmental testing of the JPSS-2 satellite and is integrating it with LOFTID, the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator. LOFTID is flying as a secondary payload on the JPSS-2 launch to demonstrate the reentry technology.

“I’m happy to report that we have an observatory that’s well checked out and ready to be integrated on top of the launch vehicle,” said André Dress, JPSS flight project manager at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

After launch, NASA will oversee the 90-day commissioning phase before handing over the satellite operations to NOAA.

Once commissioning is completed, NOAA-21 will circle the globe every 90 minutes, providing data for numerical weather models, observing storms, detecting fires and other environmental hazards, monitoring sea surface temperatures, spotting harmful algal blooms and measuring atmospheric ozone. The observations come from Ball Aerospace’s Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite, the L3Harris Cross-track Infrared Sounder, Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder and Raytheon’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite.

JPSS-2 is equipped with many of the same instruments as NOAA-20. However, JPSS-2 does not include NASA’s Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System to provide information on Earth’s energy cycle.

JPSS also carries a different ozone-mapping instrument than NOAA-20. The ozone-mapping instrument on JPSS-2 is similar to the one on Suomi NPP.

The JPSS-2 launch will be United Launch Alliance’s final Atlas 5 flight from the West Coast. After takeoff, ULA will begin converting the Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-3, for the Vulcan Centaur rocket.

Quelle: SN

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Update: 16.10.2022

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JPSS-2 Stacked Atop LOFTID Spacecraft

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Preparations continue for the launch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite. On Tuesday, Oct. 4, JPSS-2 was attached to its payload adapter inside the Astrotech Space Operations facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. On Wednesday, Oct. 5, technicians and engineers completed the mate process using a crane to lift JPSS-2 and attach it to the top of the stack containing the re-entry vehicle for the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, or LOFTID, technology demonstration.

To prepare LOFTID for stacking, technicians mated the re-entry vehicle payload adapter interface ring to LOFTID inside Building 836 at Vandenberg. Then the team mated the payload adapter separation system inside the re-entry vehicle payload adapter canister. Finally, technicians lifted the payload adapter canister over the re-entry vehicle to complete the stack. The LOFTID stack was moved to Astrotech to complete mating operations with JPSS-2.
Next up, the assembly will be encapsulated in a protective payload fairing. After encapsulation, the team will transport the encapsulated spacecraft to Space Launch Complex-3 where a crane will hoist it up for attachment to the second stage of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket.

JPSS-2 and LOFTID together measure approximately 27 feet tall. Launch is targeted for Nov.1 from Vandenberg. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is managing the launch.

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 26.10.2022

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NASA Coverage Set for NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Launch

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The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is a new generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system. JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. JPSS-2 is NOAA’s next-generation operational Earth observation program that acquires and distributes global environmental data primarily from multiple polar-orbiting satellites.
Credits: NOAA/NASA

NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) mission. JPSS-2 is the third satellite in the polar satellite series and is expected to capture data to improve weather forecasts, helping scientists predict and prepare for extreme weather events and climate change.

 

JPSS-2 is scheduled to launch at 5:25 a.m. EDT (2:25 a.m. PDT) Tuesday, Nov. 1, on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

 

Live launch coverage will begin at 4:45 a.m. EDT (1:45 a.m. PDT) on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, with prelaunch and science briefings beginning Friday, Oct. 28. Watch coverage on the agency’s website at:

 

https://www.nasa.gov/live

 

JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring. These data are critical to the timeliness and accuracy of forecasts three to seven days in advance of a severe weather event. It will scan Earth as it orbits from the North Pole to the South Pole, crossing the equator 14 times a day to provide full global coverage twice a day.

NASA and NOAA partner in the development, launch, testing, and operation of all satellites in the JPSS series.

 

Launching with JPSS-2 is NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) technology demonstration. After JPSS-2 safely reaches orbit, LOFTID will follow a re-entry trajectory from low-Earth orbit to demonstrate the inflatable heat shield’s ability to slow down and survive re-entry. LOFTID is a partnership with ULA and is dedicated to the memory of Bernard Kutter, one of the company’s engineers who played a key role in developing the technology. LOFTID will demonstrate how the inflatable aeroshell, or heat shield, can slow down and survive re-entry in conditions relevant to many potential applications, whether landing humans on Mars, new missions to Venus and Titan, or returning heavier payloads and samples from low-Earth orbit.

 

Full mission coverage is as follows:

 

Friday, Oct. 28

 

6 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. PDT) – JPSS-2 Prelaunch News Conference on NASA TV with the following participants:

 

  • Tim Walsh, director, NOAA’s JPSS Program Office, NOAA
  • John Gagosian, director, NASA’s Joint Agency Satellite Division
  • Irene Parker, deputy assistant administrator, NOAA Systems, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Services
  • Omar Baez, launch director, NASA’s Launch Services Program
  • Gary Wentz, vice president, Government and Commercial Programs, ULA
  • Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate
  • Capt. Zack Zounes, launch weather officer, U.S. Space Force

 

Accredited news media planning to attend the briefing should confirm their participation with Tech Sgt. Patrick Harrower, 30th Space Wing public affairs officer, at: patrick.harrower@us.af.mil no later than 9 a.m. PDT Friday, Oct. 28.

 

Media may request the dial-in number and passcode by contacting the newsroom at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no later than 2 p.m. PDT Friday, Oct. 28, at: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov. Media and the public also may ask questions during the event using #JPSS2 and #LOFTID.

 

Saturday, Oct. 29

 

4 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. PDT) – JPSS-2 Science Briefing on NASA TV with the following participants:

 

  • Jordan Gerth, meteorologist and satellite scientist, NOAA’s National Weather Service
  • Jim Gleason, senior project scientist, NASA JPSS, NASA
  • Satya Kalluri, program scientist, NOAA JPSS Program
  • Heather Kilcoyne, ground project manager, NOAA JPSS
  • Joe Del Corso, LOFTID project manager, NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia

 

Accredited news media planning to attend the briefing should confirm their participation with Tech Sgt. Patrick Harrower, 30th Space Wing public affairs officer, at: patrick.harrower@us.af.mil no later than 9 a.m. PDT Oct. 28.

 

Media may request the dial-in number and passcode by contacting the Kennedy newsroom no later than 2 p.m. PDT Friday, Oct. 28, at: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov. Media and the public also may ask questions during the event using #JPSS2 and #LOFTID.

 

Tuesday, Nov. 1

 

12 a.m. EDT (9 p.m. PDT Monday, Oct. 31) – NASA Edge will host the JPSS-2 Tower Rollback Show that will air live on NASA TV and YouTube.

 

NASA TV Launch Coverage

 

NASA TV live coverage will begin at 4:45 a.m. EDT (1:45 a.m. PDT) Tuesday, Nov. 1. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules, and links to streaming video, visit:

 

http://www.nasa.gov/live

 

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, or 7135. On launch day, "mission audio," countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135. A “tech feed” of the launch without NASA TV commentary will be carried on the NASA TV media channel.

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 31.10.2022

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He didn't live to see NASA's futuristic mission, but his ashes will join it in space

A rocket engineer saved the inflatable heat shield project.
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A ground crew at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California lifts a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket into a vertical position to prepare for its launch. Credit: U.S. Space Force / Steve Gerlich

When a commercial rocket blew up seconds after lifting off the Virginia coast in 2014, no one got hurt, and NASA replaced the necessary supplies bound for the space station.

Few people realized then, though, the cascading fallout of that explosion. The future of human-led Mars exploration hung in the balance: Without that rocket, NASA's Langley Research Center no longer had a ride for testing its $93 million inflatable heat shield in space — the hardware under development for landing astronauts on Mars in the 2030s, Joe Del Corso, the project manager at Langley, told Mashable.

"We got shut down," he said.

But someone outside of the U.S. space agency had been paying attention. Bernard Kutter, then-chief technologist for rocket builder United Launch Alliance, offered a solution to keep the experiment afloat. Now the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator — LOFTID for short — is expected to launch on a ULA Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base at 2:25 a.m. PT on Nov. 1. Though it's not the only reason for this launch — a new weather observatory for tracking storms worldwide is also onboard — NASA will be able to use the flight to perform a crucial demonstration for the Martian landing hardware.

"This only happened because he approached us right after Orb-3 [exploded] and said, 'I got an idea. We can use this. If we give you a ride, can you show it works?'" Del Corso said. "We said, 'We'll do it.'"

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NASA will test its $93 million inflatable heat shield project, hardware that could help land astronauts on Mars in the 2030s. Credit: NASA / Greg Swanson
Kutter, an engineer who many in aerospace technology have described as a visionary, died on Aug.12, 2020, before he could see through the mission. His family never got clear answers on why his heart suddenly stopped that morning. He was 55.

Little-known to the public, the NASA inflatable heat shield test that will soon travel around Earth over the North and South poles will also fly some of Kutter's cremated remains, fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams to travel in space. The Latin words ad astra, meaning "to the stars," are written on the capsule holding his ashes.

Kutter will be among the few people whose ashes have traveled in space, sometimes referred to as a "space burial." Sixteen years ago, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft lifted off on the first journey to Pluto with the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the man credited with discovering it a century ago.

"'If we give you a ride, can you show it works?'"

Space 'burials'

But as the commercial space economy expands with more companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, space memorials could become a lot more common, particularly if the cost of spaceflight continues to drop, said Charles Chafer, CEO of Celestis, a private company that has conducted 18 such missions since 1997. Celestis has provided these services for about 1,500 deceased individuals, including the late Star Trekcreator Gene Roddenberry, and expects that number to rise to 2,000 by the end of this year.

The ashes hitch rides on rockets as secondary payloads, meaning they aren't the main reason the mission is flying. Celestis used to average one flight every 1.5 years. Now it has five flights scheduled in the coming 14 months. Chafer attributes the surge in demand to the increased ease in accessing space and the steady growth in cremation as a burial alternative.

The company serves people who usually fall into at least one of three groups: They love space, they have a spiritual desire to become one with the cosmos, or their families want to give them a gigantic send-off.

"What I tell people is you'll never see as much cheering and high-fiving at a funeral as you do at our services," Chafer told Mashable.

"What I tell people is you'll never see as much cheering and high-fiving at a funeral as you do at our services."

A suborbital flight that would bring the ashes back to surviving family members starts at $2,500, and a flight into Earth's orbit, which would end with the contents eventually vaporizing upon re-entering the atmosphere, starts at $5,000. A mission into deep space would run upward of $12,500, according to the company's website.

Celestis has never "released" ashes into space the way sailors scatter them at sea, nor does it want to.

"We are space-sustainability freaks here, if you will," said Chafer, emphasizing their aversion to introducing more debris in space. "Once you start releasing stuff in orbit, it's all going 17,000 miles an hour, so it can do a lot of damage."

For Kayla Kutter, NASA and ULA's tribute to her father will mean attending her first rocket launch. Despite his career in rockets, she and many of her family members have never been to one before. Kayla, her husband, brother, mother, uncle, and grandmother plan to be in California for the event to see off the mission that also has been formally named after Kutter.

When her dad was three, he watched the television broadcast of the first Apollo moon landing with his mother. Not understanding the unprecedented significance of the moment, he asked her if she had ever been there before. Of course, she told him she hadn't. From then on, he had his heart and mind set.

"His dream was to take his mom to space," she said.

Why an inflatable heat shield

Inflating a heat shield
The inflatable heat shield is composed of a stack of inner-tube-like rings strapped together. Its synthetic material is 15 times stronger than steel and able to withstand temperatures over 2,900 degrees Fahrenheit. Credit: NASA / Greg Swanson

Before Kutter died, his work concentrated on finding new ways to make space travel more affordable. From afar, he watched what NASA's Langley was doing with the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator, or HIAD project, knowing it could be a valuable technology for ULA.

Since the first uncrewed Viking mission to Mars over 50 years ago, engineers have used the same rigid heat shield to land spacecraft on the Red Planet. Even NASA's Curiosity and Perseverance rovers, which landed in 2012 and 2021, used a hard shell for their heat shields, a design limited in size by the rocket's nose cone.

But the bigger the heat shield, the more drag it can pull out of the Martian atmosphere to land heavier loads of cargo — and, one day, astronauts — on the surface. That same technology could help ULA achieve its goals of bringing back heavy cargo from low-Earth orbit and salvaging some of its most expensive hardware.

If an inflatable heat shield could allow the company to reuse rocket engines, Kutter knew that would be a gamechanger. He had already started penciling in where an inflatable heat shield would go on the new Vulcan engines the company was using, Del Corso said.

As Kutter mulled how to lead the company into the future cislunar economy, the evolving marketplace between Earth and the moon, he rarely talked about such things with his family. At home, he was more focused on how to support his children and their interests.

"He was always very present with us," Kayla said. "Whatever role he had at ULA or his job or stressors, he didn't bring that to us."

Quelle: Mashable

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NASA Announces Launch Delay For Weather Mission, Tech Demonstration

NASA and United Launch Alliance have delayed the launch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) and NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) due to the need to replace a battery on board the Centaur upper stage of the launch vehicle. Launch is now planned for no earlier than Wednesday, Nov. 9, pending range availability. The science and technology briefing scheduled to air on NASA TV at 4 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. PDT) today, Oct. 29, has also been delayed. Follow the blog for more information.

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 7.11.2022

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Launch status update
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(Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., Nov. 3, 2022) – The launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket carrying the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-2 civilian polar-orbiting weather satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA's Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) is planned for Thursday, Nov. 10 at 1:25 a.m. PST. 

Quelle: ULA

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Update: 9.11.2022

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NASA Updates Coverage of JPSS-2 Weather Satellite, LOFTID Tech Demo

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The United Launch Alliance Atlas V payload fairing containing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) is readied for its move to the vertical integration facility at Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
Credits: USSF 30th Space Wing/Carlos Vela

NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) mission and NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) technology demonstration.

Liftoff is scheduled at 1:25 a.m. PST (4:25 a.m. EST) Thursday, Nov. 10, on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The Joint Polar Satellite System is the latest generation of NOAA’s polar-orbiting environmental satellites. JPSS will capture data to inform weather forecasts, helping scientists predict and prepare for extreme weather events.

After JPSS-2 safely reaches orbit, LOFTID will follow a re-entry trajectory from low-Earth orbit to demonstrate the inflatable heat shield’s ability to slow down and survive re-entry. The technology could be further developed to support crewed and large robotic missions to destinations such as Mars, Venus, and Titan, as well as returning heavier payloads to Earth.

Live launch coverage will begin at 3:45 a.m. EST (12:45 a.m. PST) on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, with additional events beginning Tuesday, Nov. 8. Watch coverage on the agency’s website at:

 

https://www.nasa.gov/live

Full mission coverage is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 8

5:30 p.m. EST (2:30 p.m. PST) – NASA will hold a science briefing to discuss the JPSS-2 and LOFTID missions. The agency will livestream audio of the media teleconference on its website.

Participants include:

  • Jordan Gerth, meteorologist and satellite scientist, NOAA’s National Weather Service
  • Jim Gleason, senior project scientist, NASA JPSS, NASA
  • Satya Kalluri, program scientist, NOAA JPSS Program
  • Heather Kilcoyne, ground project manager, NOAA JPSS
  • Joe Del Corso, LOFTID project manager, NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia

Media may request the dial-in number and passcode by contacting the Kennedy newsroom no later than 2:30 p.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 8, at: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov. To ask questions during the teleconference, media must RSVP. NASA’s media accreditation policy is available online.

Media and the public also may ask questions during the event using #JPSS2 and #LOFTID.

Wednesday, Nov. 9

11 p.m. EST (8 p.m. PST) – NASA Edge will host the JPSS-2 and LOFTID Tower Rollback Show that will air live on NASA TV and YouTube.

NASA TV Launch Coverage

NASA TV live coverage will begin at 3:45 a.m. EST (12:45 a.m. PST) Thursday, Nov. 10. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules, and links to streaming video, visit: 

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, or 7135. On launch day, "mission audio," countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135. A “tech feed” of the launch without NASA TV commentary will be carried on the NASA TV media channel.

Public Participation

Members of the public still have time to register to attend the JPSS-2 and LOFTID launch virtually. The virtual guest program for this mission includes curated launch resources, notifications about related opportunities or changes, and a stamp for the virtual guest passport following a successful launch.

Quelle: NASA

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Update: 10.11.2022

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Quelle: NASA TV

 

 
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