Orbital ATK Dedicates Cygnus Spacecraft to John Glenn

A supply spacecraft set to carry thousands of pounds of experiments and equipment to the International Space Station will also carry the name John Glenn, Orbital ATK said Thursday during a ceremony dedicating the mission to the first American to orbit the Earth.

“John Glenn was probably responsible for more students studying math and science and being interested in space than anyone,” said former astronaut Brian Duffy, Orbital ATK’s vice president of Exploration Systems. “When he flew into space in 1962, there was not a child then who didn’t know his name. He’s the one that opened up space for all of us.”

Glenn, who passed away in December at age 95, was one of NASA’s original seven astronauts. After making his landmark orbital mission in February 1962, he served as a U.S. senator from Ohio. After retiring from politics, Glenn made his second spaceflight in 1998 as part of the STS-95 crew flying space shuttle Discovery.

The spacecraft will carry 7,600 pounds of cargo to the station and will be lifted into space atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Read the full story at http://go.nasa.gov/2moxJnq
hoto credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett


First Integrated Flight Hardware for NASA’s Space Launch System Arrives in Florida

The ICPS for NASA's Space Launch System arrives in Florida.The first integrated piece of flight hardware for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, or ICPS, arrived March 8 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The ICPS was shipped from the United Launch Alliance (ULA) facility in Decatur, Alabama aboard the Mariner barge.

The ICPS was offloaded and transported to the ULA Horizontal Integration Facility where it will be removed from its flight case to begin processing for launch at the ULA Delta Operations Center.

The ICPS is the in-space stage that is located toward the top of the rocket, between the Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter and the Orion Spacecraft Adapter, and will provide some of the in-space propulsion. Its single RL-10 engine, powered by liquid hydrogen and oxygen, will generate 24,750 pounds of thrust to propel the Orion spacecraft out of Earth’s orbit during Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1).

The initial configuration of the SLS rocket with the ICPS will stand 322 feet tall, which is higher than the Statue of Liberty. The rocket will weigh 5.75 million pounds fueled and produce 8.8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

The first integrated launch of SLS and Orion will send the spacecraft to a stable orbit beyond the moon. Orion will return to Earth and be recovered from the Pacific Ocean. The mission will demonstrate the integrated performance of the SLS rocket, Orion and ground support teams.

Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky