MDA US Systems, a division of MDA managed by SSL, has been recognized by Nasa’s Johnson Space Center for its “outstanding support” of a robotic upgrade to the International Space Station’s power system which took place in January.
The MDA team based in Houston played a critical role in planning and validating the robotic maneuvering both before and during the mission.
Nasa JSC ground controllers used the 15-degrees-of-freedom Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (Dextre) arm to install six new 430-pound lithium-ion batteries in two power channel integrated electronics assembly pallets.
Nasa is preparing to launch a solar-powered robotic spacecraft on the agency’s first mission to return a sample of an asteroid to Earth.
The mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth. It will also help establish the possible existence of alien life forms in outer space.
The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will travel to the near-Earth asteroid Bennu and bring a sample back to Earth for intensive study.
NanoRacks has been selected as a launch integration and deployment partner for the QB50 CubeSat Constellation Mission. The QB50 Mission is a European Union project, supported and funded by the European Commission, to demonstrate the research benefits of deploying a low-cost constellation of small satellites.
The QB50 Mission consists of dozens of universities located around the world, from Europe to Asia, from North America to Africa. Coordinated by the von Karmen Institute, QB50 is the second-ever cubesat constellation. The CubeSats will orbit in the lower thermosphere (200-380 kilometers) collecting scientific data, in what is considered by experts a relatively unexplored part of Earth’s atmosphere.
NanoRacks will be deploying a majority of the QB50 satellites from the International Space Station (ISS) utilizing the Company’s NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer. The selection of the ISS as the deployment platform for this program leverages the unique capabilities of the ISS to serve as a test-bed for numerous in-space technologies and research development. Continue reading NanoRacks to deploy QB50 Satellites from International Space Station
Space Systems Loral (SSL), a provider of commercial satellites, has received a contract from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to conduct first phase design studies for a spacecraft that can travel to an asteroid, remove a boulder, and redirect it into a lunar orbit to prepare it for a visit by astronauts in the 2020’s.
In keeping with NASA’s strategy to leverage commercially available capabilities, SSL’s spacecraft design for the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) will be based on its popular commercial geostationary (GEO) satellite, which combines power, propulsion and value. There are currently 80 SSL GEO spacecraft in orbit.
“SSL is pleased to have this opportunity to work with JPL on the Asteroid Redirect Mission,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “We look forward to applying our proven technologies, including our very successful experience delivering high power satellites with electric propulsion systems for our commercial GEO customers, to help JPL reduce risks and meet the cost target for this exciting mission.” Continue reading Asteroids hurtling towards Earth. Nasa readies SSL robots