Monday, May 18, 2015

Fourth X-37B Spaceplane To Launch With An Advanced NASA Materials Science Experiment

The planned May 20 fourth launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V rocket with a Boeing/U.S. Air Force X-37B spaceplane comes as the Air Force is shifting to more military spaceplane payload development instead of X-37B flight testing of its own systems.

The upcoming flight is carrying a wide variety of military technology payloads including secret payload bay sensors like optics, but its manifest also includes an Air Force xenon thruster important to spacecraft longevity in geosynchronous orbit, along with three small U.S. Naval Academy satellites and two small Aerospace Corp. satellites demonstrating military technologies and several more secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) spacecraft.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Trip To The Huntsville Space and Rocket Center

On the way back from Southern Thunder I stopped of at the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center. Here are the pictures. Enjoy!

Monday, February 24, 2014

NASA-JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory Launch is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27

  • GPM Status Update
    Sun, 2014-02-23 15:35
    Preparations for the launch of the NASA-JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory continue on schedule at Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. Launch is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27 U.S. time / Friday, Feb. 28 Japan time.
    The Core Observatory is now encapsulated in the fairing and installed on the second stage of the H-IIA rocket in the Vehicle Assembly Building. On Feb. 19 and 20 (JST), the Core Observatory and the launch vehicle underwent the final functional test for two days. This test included power on/off operation of the launch vehicle and the spacecraft as well as checkout of the fairing and spacecraft separation mechanisms.
    The GPM mission is the first coordinated international satellite constellation to provide near real-time observations of rain and snowfall around the globe. The Core Observatory anchors this network by providing observations of all types of precipitation. The observatory's data acts as the measuring stick by which observations by partner satellites can be combined into a unified data set. The data will be used to study climate change, freshwater resources, and natural hazards such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes.