NASA considering flying uncrewed mission around moon on commercial rocket

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As construction of NASA’s heavy-lift rocket continues to fall behind schedule, Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Wednesday the agency is considering sending the Orion spacecraft around the moon on the back of a commercial vehicle.

The first launch of Orion ‘ the spacecraft being built to take humans back to the moon for the first time since 1972 ‘ on the Space Launch System rocket most recently was scheduled to launch by June 2020. But the agency this month acknowledged that schedule won’t be met, signaling yet another delay for the problematic rocket.

“I think we, as an agency, need to stick to our commitments,” Bridenstine testified at a Wednesday hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “If we tell you and others that we’re going to launch in June 2020 around the moon, I think we should, and I think we can get it done.”

  • Publisher: HoustonChronicle.com
  • Date: 2019-03-13T14:30:53+00:00
  • Author: Alex Stuckey
  • Twitter: @houstonchron
  • Citation: Web link (Read More)

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NASA might send uncrewed Orion mission around moon on commercial rocket

Wednesday was the first time this idea has been publicly floated. Bridenstine admitted he is unsure what commercial rocket would be used for this endeavor ‘ or how much it would cost.

“I tasked the agency with figuring out how to make that an objective,” he said. Cost “is another discussion, but we might need to request help from the Congress.”

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Bridenstine’s announcement Wednesday was the second setback in three days for the SLS rocket, a brainchild of President Barack Obama’s administration that initially was supposed to launch in 2017.

In the budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 released Monday by the White House, President Donald Trump suggested postponing an upgrade to increase the rocket’s performance. Under the Trump proposal, NASA would continue with the initial version instead, while the agency would remove from the rocket’s manifest a mission to study Jupiter’s moon, Europa.

  • Publisher: Houston Chronicle
  • Date: 2019-03-13T14:30:53Z
  • Author: Alex Stuckey Houston Chronicle
  • Twitter: @houstonchron
  • Citation: Web link (Read More)

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SpaceX just successfully launched the first commercial spaceship made for NASA astronauts

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida. ‘ Under the cover of night and the glow of nine car-size rocket engines, a new era for US spaceflight has lifted off from Kennedy Space Center.

At 2:49 a.m. ET on Saturday, SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, rocketed its Crew Dragon spaceship into orbit for the first time.

The maiden flight of Crew Dragon marks the first time ever that a commercial spaceship designed for humans has left Earth. More importantly, it’s the first time in eight years that any American spaceship made for people has been launched into orbit.

  • Publisher: Business Insider
  • Author: Dave Mosher
  • Twitter: @SciInsider
  • Citation: Web link (Read More)

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SpaceX, NASA Launch Crew Dragon on Crucial Test Flight to Space Station

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule successfully blasted off Saturday on its first uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the capsule lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 2:49 a.m. ET, generating 1.7 million pounds of thrust and thundering into space from launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

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There was no human crew on board, but the capsule was carrying’a mannequin‘(named Ripley) so SpaceX can see if the capsule is safe enough for astronaut transport.’The Crew Dragon capsule is expected to arrive at the space station on Sunday (March 3) at around 6:05 a.m. ET.

Launch of SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule shows NASA’s new way of doing business

Until 2011, NASA relied on a single, versatile design to both ferry astronauts to space and transport enormous scientific instruments. It was known as the space shuttle, but in operation, it was more like a space pickup truck.

Late Friday night, Pacific time, a new generation of astronaut transporters will lift off with a far more specialized purpose.

When SpaceX launches its Crew Dragon capsule ‘ without humans ‘ for its first test mission, it will signify a major shift in the way NASA does business. The launch again sets NASA on a path toward craft designed not to be a jack of all trades but a master of one. And it marks the beginning of new partnerships with commercial firms that will design, build and own the vessels that take the agency’s astronauts to space.

  • Publisher: Daily Republic
  • Date: 2019-03-01T13:23:11-08:00
  • Author: Tribune Content Agency
  • Twitter: @alldailyrepnews
  • Citation: Web link (Read More)

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