This Week at NASA | Asteroid Capture Test; 3D Printer Installed in Space; more
NASA invited social media members Nov. 18 and 19 to the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center for a two-day event highlighting the ways NASA is with you when you fly. The NASA social gave participants an exclusive look at the latest tools and technologies being developed to improve the efficiency, safety and adaptability of air transportation. Also, Next ISS crew trains, 3D printer installed in space, Asteroid capture technology test, Journey to Mars media day and more.
NASA invited social media members Nov. 18 and 19 to the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center for a two-day event highlighting the ways NASA is with you when you fly. The NASA social gave participants an exclusive look at the latest tools and technologies being developed to improve the efficiency, safety and adaptability of air transportation.
The next crew bound for the International Space Station continued final training in Kazakhstan in preparation for a Nov. 23, Eastern Standard Time launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. NASA’s Terry Virts and crewmates Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency are scheduled for a five-and-a-half month mission onboard the ISS.
Meanwhile, space station Commander Barry Wilmore of NASA worked on Nov. 17 to install and calibrate the first 3-D printer in space. The device is part of the 3-D Printing In Zero-G Technology Demonstration to investigate establishing an on-demand machine shop in space, to enable astronauts on long-duration missions to manufacture their own spare parts and hardware.
Engineers at Langley Research Center recently tested a robotic Contact and Restraint System that could be used to capture a boulder off an asteroid – one of two options being considered by NASA for its Asteroid Redirect Mission, which will move an asteroid mass to a stable orbit around the moon for study by astronauts in the 2020s. The demonstration used air bearing devices – enabling the hardware to hover above the flat floor to simulate microgravity.
A Nov. 19 media day at Johnson Space Center about NASA’s Journey to Mars, provided details on the Orion spacecraft and its flight test in early December, the Asteroid Redirect Mission, advanced technology development activities and other topics. The event was one of several planned at NASA centers around the country in support of the agency’s Journey to Mars activities.
A huge robotic arm capable of transforming epoxy and carbon fibers into aerospace structures and parts was recently delivered to Langley Research Center. The robot, called ISAAC – for, Integrated Structural Assembly of Advanced Composites, will be used initially for research on more timely and cost-effective development of advanced composites. ISAAC will then be part of a NASA effort to design, build, test and address flight certification of a large composite shell suitable for the second stage of the agency’s new Space Launch System rocket.
And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.
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