This Week at NASA | Orbital Makes First Contracted Delivery to Space Station; more
Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft has made the company’s first contracted resupply flight to the International Space Station, delivering more than 2,700 pounds of cargo including dozens of new science experiments. Orbital Sciences becomes NASA’s second commercial ISS resupply partner. Also, Bolden visits Michoud, SLS sees first light, Propulsion technology tour, TDRS-L Update and Remembering MLK.
Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft has made the company’s first contracted resupply flight to the International Space Station – delivering more than 27-hundred pounds of cargo – including dozens of new science experiments. Orbital Sciences becomes NASA’s second commercial ISS resupply partner.
Charlie Bolden, NASA Administrator:
Administrator Charlie Bolden made his congratulatory call to the NASA and Orbital teams while visiting Michoud Assembly Facility with Senator David Vitter of Louisiana. The pair was updated on construction of the manufacturing facility that will produce the massive core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System and progress on launching the heavy-lift rocket on its first flight test in 2017.
At Marshall Space Flight Center, the flight software and avionics hardware for the SLS were integrated and powered for testing, as part of a milestone known as first light. The milestone enables early testing to help ensure the units communicate with each other as designed. Avionics tell the rocket where it should fly and how to stay on course. The SLS avionics and the flight computer will be housed in the completed rocket’s core stage.
Charlie Bolden visited Glenn Research Center where Director Jim Free showed the Administrator some of the latest advanced space propulsion technologies the center is developing. Included on the tour was Glenn’s Electric Propulsion Laboratory, which is being enhanced for future testing of solar electric propulsion technologies, including those supporting NASA’s proposed asteroid initiative, which involves identifying, capturing and relocating an asteroid for astronauts to explore.
NASA’s TDRS-L, the second of three next-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, was encapsulated into its payload fairing at the Astrotech processing facility near Kennedy Space Center in Florida and later moved to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in preparation for its January 23 launch. TDRS-L and its predecessors provide tracking, telemetry, command and high bandwidth data return services for NASA science and human exploration missions orbiting Earth.
Administrator Bolden participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Remembrance at NASA Headquarters. The annual event, sponsored by the headquarters Chapter of Blacks in Government, featured several speakers and celebrated the continuing impact of Dr. King’s work and philosophy.
And that’s what’s up … This Week at NASA.
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