Monthly Archives: April 2014

Exploration Forum Today on NASA TV

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ccpgraphic-humanspacepathNASA TV will feature the NASA Exploration Forum this afternoon beginning at 12:30 p.m. The event will lay out the space agency’s building block approach leading to the human exploration of Mars. Phil McAlister, director of NASA’s Commercial Spaceflight Division, will discuss where private industry advancements fit with the agency’s overall goal. The event runs until 3:05 p.m. You can watch it on NASA TV and streaming at nasa.gov/ntv.

Here’s today’s agenda:

12:30 p.m.- Moderator welcome and opening with video

12:35 – Opening Remarks: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on agency exploration goals

12:45- Current and future robotic exploration of Mars: John Grunsfeld, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate

1 p.m. – NASA’s Human Path to Mars: William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate

1:15 – Human Exploration Panel: current status and future work on the Path to Mars (10-min. presentations each)

·      The International Space Station: Sam Scimemi, director, International Space Station Division

·      Commercial Space in Low-Earth Orbit: Phil McAlister, director, Commercial Spaceflight Division

·      Orion and SLS: Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator, Exploration Systems Development

·      The Asteroid Redirect Mission: Michele Gates, senior technical advisor, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate

·      An Evolvable Mars Campaign: Jason Crusan, director, Advanced Exploration Systems Division

2:05 – Break for Q&A with audience, social media questions

2:20 – Current and future Technology work: Randy Lillard, program executive for Technology Demonstration Missions, Space Technology Mission Directorate

2:35 – Benefits to Science and Tech communities from these endeavors: David Miller, NASA chief technologist, and Ellen Stofan, NASA chief scientist

2:50 – Closing remarks: Robert Lightfoot, NASA associate administrator

Kathy Lueders Named CCP Program Manager

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NASA has selected Kathy Lueders as program manager for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Lueders has served as acting program manager since October 2013. She will help keep the nation’s space program on course to launch astronauts from American soil by 2017 aboard spacecraft built by American companies.

“This is a particularly critical time for NASA’s human spaceflight endeavors as the Commercial Crew Program enters into contract implementation,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Kathy’s experience and leadership skills developed during the ISS commercial resupply contract activity will be critical to safely and effectively leading commercial crew transportation activities for NASA.” 

Read details here.

SpaceX: Forward Innovations

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Space Exploration Technologies, better known as SpaceX, is one of four NASA partners working with the agency’s Commercial Crew Program to develop new capabilities to transport people to low-Earth orbit. Ultimately, NASA intends to certify and use commercial systems to fly astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station and back. Click here for a printable version of this poster.CCP_SpaceX

Sierra Nevada Corporation: Forward Innovations

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Sierra Nevada Corporation is one of four NASA partners working with the agency’s Commercial Crew Program to develop new capabilities to transport people to low-Earth orbit. Ultimately, NASA intends to certify and use commercial systems to fly astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station and back. Click here for a printable version of this poster.CCP_SNC

The Boeing Company: Forward Innovations

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The Boeing Company is one of four NASA partners working with the agency’s Commercial Crew Program to develop new capabilities to transport people to low-Earth orbit. Ultimately, NASA intends to certify and use commercial systems to fly astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station and back. Click here for a printable version of this poster.

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Blue Origin: Forward Innovations

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Blue Origin is one of four NASA partners working with the agency’s Commercial Crew Program to develop new capabilities to transport people to low-Earth orbit. Ultimately, NASA intends to certify and use commercial systems to fly astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station and back. Click here for a printable version of this poster.

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Partners Thrive on Innovations

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Improved manufacturing techniques, simplified control systems and cutting edge computers are some of the advancements industry partners of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program plan to employ to make their missions successful. This week, we’ll show you some of the notable innovations that each of the CCP partners have included in their designs up to this point in their own efforts to make spaceflight safe, reliable and cost-effective. NASA’s role in this is to offer expert advice drawn from 50 years of experience.

 

Live From Space

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Astronauts today routinely conduct live interviews with Earthbound students and reporters from orbit aboard the International Space Station, but that was not always the case. NASA astronauts did not broadcast anything live from space for the Mercury or Gemini programs. The first Apollo mission changed that, however, and the Apollo 7 crew of Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham showed the way to conduct a live show in a tradition that eventually included showing the first landing and steps onto the moon and then daily life aboard NASA’s first space station, Skylab. Shuttle astronauts spent considerable time on the flight deck in front of a camera to detail for viewers and chroniclers what it meant to work in space on some of the most sophisticated missions undertaken. Future audiences will see astronauts emerge from Commercial Crew vehicles into the space station. Check out the giant leap that broadcast quality has seen from Apollo 7’s October 1968 transmission to those seen today from the space station.

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