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James Webb Space Telescope cryogenic testing time lapse

With its nine-month stay in Texas coming to an end, this time-lapse shows activity in the NASA Johnson Space Center's Chamber A cleanroom from the arrival of the Webb Telescope's optical and instrument segment through to its roll out from the chamber after completing its cryogenic testing.

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17 January, 2018



Boeing tests large cargo drone

In less than three months, a team of engineers designed and built the unmanned cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype. The innovative vehicle will be used to test and evolve Boeing’s autonomous technology for future aerospace vehicles.

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17 January, 2018

 

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The Atlas V Launcher and CST-100 Starliner's is on track to return the USA's capability to put humans into space without the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, possibly by the end of 2018. But, with the benefit of hindsight, do you think the Space Shuttle program, which ran from 1981 to 2011, was a misstep in the US-space program?

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Launcher that will return US independence for human spaceflight passes key testing milestone

Engineers at the Lockheed Martin and Boeing joint venture United Launch Alliance have completed the Design Certification Review of the Atlas V Launch Segment, which will carry astronauts aboard the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station.

The testing milestone has been widely heralded because when the Atlas V and Starliner combination is operational, which is planned to be before May 2019, it will mark the return of the USA’s capability to transport humans into space from its own soil. The USA has been reliant on using Russian Soyuz spacecraft to transport crews to the International Space Station since the Atlantis space shuttle landed in July 2011.

Barb Egan, the manager of United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Commercial Crew program, said, “Design Certification Review is a significant milestone that completes the design phase of the program, paving the way to operations.

“Hardware and software final qualification tests are underway, as well as a major integrated test series, including structural loads. Future tests will involve launch vehicle hardware, such as jettison tests, acoustic tests, and, finally, a pad abort test in White Sands, New Mexico.”

Production of the launch vehicle is currently on track and an uncrewed orbital flight test (OFT) is planned for August. The OFT booster for this uncrewed flight is in final assembly at the factory in Decatur, Alabama, and the OFT’s upper stage has completed pressure testing.

Other hardware such as the launch vehicle adapter and aeroskirt production are on schedule to support the test program and flight, said ULA.

Gary Wentz, ULA’s human and commercial systems vice president, said, “We are progressing into the operational phase to launch the orbital flight test and crew Flight Test in 2018, and we are pleased with the progress we’re making toward a successful launch of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner on the Atlas V.

“We cannot overstate the importance of all the steps that go into this process as there is more than just a mission or hardware at stake, but the lives of our brave astronauts.”

The Boeing Company selected ULA’s Atlas V rocket for human-rated spaceflight to the ISS in August 2011. ULA’s Atlas V has launched more than 70 times with a 100% mission success rate.

January 10, 2018

Written by Ben Sampson


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