December 11, 2015

ORBITEC Wins NASA Contract for Aerospace Propulsion Systems (Source: SNC)
NASA has awarded Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) wholly-owned subsidiary Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) a competitive indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) task order contract to support the development, demonstration and verification of advanced propulsion system technologies under the Research and Technologies for Aerospace Propulsion Systems 2 (RTAPS2) for NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. (12/10)

Want to Build a Death Star? NASA Says Use an Asteroid (Source: WIRED)
Turns out, the Empire’s blueprints were crap. To make Death Stars they always built them—literally—out of thin air. What they should’ve done was use something that was already up there. The best way to build a Death Star is to construct one out of an already-existing asteroid, says Brian Muirhead, chief engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “It could provide the metals,” he says. “You have organic compounds, you have water—all the building blocks you would need to build your family Death Star.” (12/10)

Generation Orbit Completes 3rd Successful Flight of GO-FET Flight Testbed (Source: GO)
Generation Orbit Launch Services (GO) completed a third successful test flight of its GO Flight Experiments Testbed (GO-FET) in Cartersville, Georgia. The GO-FET provides a captive carry flight-test platform for maturing new small spacecraft and nanolauncher technologies including avionics, GN&C, thermal, ground and space communication, loads & vibrations, and exposure to high altitude atmospheric conditions.

Researchers and developers use the testbed to raise the technology readiness level of their hardware prior to actual spaceflight. Phoenix Air Group of Cartersville provided the carrier aircraft and GO engineers served as the flight test team. The primary payload on today’s flight was for an undisclosed customer. Several internal company experiments and secondary payloads were also onboard. (12/8)

NASA Selects SSL for On-Orbit Robotic Satellite Assembly Project (Source: SSL)
Space Systems Loral (SSL) has been selected by NASA for a multi-million dollar contract to develop on-orbit robotic satellite assembly technology.  The project is part of NASA’s Tipping Point initiative to work with industry to advance the goals for robotic and human exploration of the solar system through the development of critical space technologies. Backed by the robotics expertise and heritage of MDA, SSL will partner with NASA researchers to develop systems that will benefit both government and commercial spacecraft. (12/10)

UAH Propulsion Research Center Part of $50 Million NASA Contract (Source: UAH)
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is part of a team that has been awarded a five-year NASA research contract valued at up to $50 million to develop, demonstrate and verify an advanced propulsion system. The competitive indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract was awarded to Sierra Nevada Corp. subsidiary Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC).

The contract focuses on propulsion system design and trade studies, including liquid engine systems, propellant systems, electric propulsion, rocket-based combined-cycle propulsion systems and advanced propulsion systems. (12/10)

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