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    • By NASA
      Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams aboard, approaches the International Space Station for an autonomous docking as it orbited 257 miles above the South Pacific Ocean. Leadership from NASA and Boeing will participate in a media briefing at 12:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, July 10, to discuss the agency’s Crew Flight Test at the International Space Station.
      Audio of the media teleconference will stream live on the agency’s website:
      https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
      Participants include:
      Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Commercial Crew Program, Boeing Media interested in participating must contact the newsroom at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no later than one hour prior to the start of the call at ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov. A copy of NASA’s media accreditation policy is online.
      NASA and Boeing continue to evaluate Starliner’s propulsion system performance and five small helium leaks in the spacecraft’s service module, gathering as much data as possible while docked to the International Space Station. Once all the necessary ground testing and associated data analysis is complete, leaders from NASA and Boeing will conduct an agency-level review before returning from the orbiting complex.
      As part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams lifted off on June 5, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on an end-to-end test of the Starliner system. The crew docked to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module on June 6.
      Since their arrival on June 6, Wilmore and Williams have completed half of all hands-on research time conducted aboard the space station, allowing their crewmates to prepare for the departure of Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft. NASA also will hold an Earth to space news conference at 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 10, with the Crew Flight Test astronauts to discuss the mission.
      NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is delivering on its goal of safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station from the United States through a partnership with American private industry. This partnership is opening access to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, science, and commercial opportunities. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in space exploration, including future missions to the Moon under Artemis, and ultimately, to Mars.
      For NASA’s blog and more information about the mission, visit:
      https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew
      -end-
      Josh Finch / Jimi Russell
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1100
      joshua.a.finch@nasa.gov / james.j.russell@nasa.gov
      Steve Siceloff / Danielle Sempsrott / Stephanie Plucinsky
      Kennedy Space Center, Florida
      321-867-2468
      steven.p.siceloff@nasa.gov / danielle.c.sempsrott@nasa.gov / stephanie.n.plucinsky@nasa.gov
      Leah Cheshier / Sandra Jones
      Johnson Space Center, Houston
      281-483-5111
      leah.d.cheshier@nasa.gov / sandra.p.jones@nasa.gov
      View the full article
    • By European Space Agency
      Video: 00:05:13 Ariane 6 is the newest rocket in a series that has, for five decades, been launching Europe towards the stars. Building on all the knowledge, expertise and technology developed over the years, Ariane 6 will be versatile, modular, and European.
      Guaranteeing Europe’s access to space for the next years, Ariane 6 in two versions, with either two or four boosters attached depending on the ‘oomph’ the mission requires. Versatile, its upper stage can reignite multiple times during a single flight, placing any spacecraft into any orbit – including constellations – saving a final boost to return and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. Modular, it will be continuously adapted to the needs of the future space sector.
      Four organisations take care of the Ariane 6 programme: ESA at the head, ArianeGroup as the main contractor, CNES who designed and built the launchpad and ArianeSpace who sell the launches.
      13 countries contribute, thousands of Europeans have worked on it, and every one of us will benefit from the Earth observation, science, technologies and services it will make possible.
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    • By NASA
      Experienced spacewalkers, university students, flight controllers, and NASA team members at all stages of their career recently came together at Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) for an anniversary celebration that looked to the future as much as the past. The Office of STEM Engagement’s Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT) marked a decade of inspiring the next generation of space explorers with four days of exciting hands-on experiences and events commemorating those who have shaped the annual challenge.

      Students pose at NASA Johnson’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) before beginning test week with their projects that will benefit future Artemis missions. Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford
      From June 2-5, NASA welcomed 17 student teams from 13 U.S. colleges and universities to the NBL for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The 87 students spent months designing and building devices or tools that could support lunar surface spacewalks and future Artemis missions, earning a chance to test their unique prototypes at the NBL.

      Teams chose from four design challenge options – create an anchoring device for a lunar flagpole, design a lunar mapbook, develop a lunar tool carrier, or create a target recognition system camera for post-landing search and rescue operations – and submitted technical proposals for Micro-g NExT staff to review in October 2023. The selected student teams were announced in November and introduced to their mentors in December. Those mentors provided continuous support and expertise as teams manufactured their prototypes, submitted their preliminary design review, and completed initial tests prior to traveling to Houston. Mentors represented Johnson organizations including the Flight Operations Directorate, Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program, Engineering, and the Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate.

      Another familiar face at Johnson was involved in the challenge, as well: former NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, who was the Boise State University team’s faculty advisor. Swanson is a three-time spaceflight veteran who completed four spacewalks and logged and a total of 195 days in space, which enabled him to provide the students with valuable design insights.

      Former NASA astronaut Steve Swanson with members of the Boise State University Micro-g NExT team at the NBL. NASA/David DeHoyos
      Once they arrived at the NBL, students received a pre-test briefing from Flight Director Rebecca Wingfield about best practices for communication from a mission control perspective. She also debriefed with teams to provide students with feedback that enhanced their learning experience and gave them a deeper understanding of their projects’ impact on the Artemis campaign.

      NASA Flight Director Rebecca Wingfield conducts a pre-test briefing for Micro-g NExT teams. Credit: NASA/James Blair
      NASA astronaut Nicole Mann supported students in the test control room as they underwent testing and were in direct communication with the diver using their prototype in the pool. Mann also conducted a series of post-test debriefs with several teams to give them insight on how their designs were helpful and how they can improve.

      NASA astronaut Nicole Mann in the NBL control room with Micro-g NExT participants.NASA/James Blair Students also had the opportunity to participate in a poster session at Johnson’s Teague Auditorium to showcase their products and the process from proposal to completion of testing. Artemis Student Challenge Awards were presented to top teams in three categories – Innovation, Pay it Forward (for community engagement and outreach), and Artemis Educator (for a team’s faculty advisor).

      Micro-g NExT poster session in the lobby of Johnson Space Center’s Teague Auditorium. NASA/David DeHoyos

      The whirlwind week kicked off with a reception for Micro-g NExT alumni who were recognized for their past efforts and dedication to space exploration. Certificates of appreciation were given to the program’s ‘pioneers’ – the NASA employees, contractors, and interns who helped to create Micro-g NExT 10 years ago. 

      Several tools made by student teams during prior challenges were on display, including a zip-tie cutter designed by the Lone Star College-Cy Fair team in spring 2019 that was used aboard the International Space Station by European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano. Members of that team shared their Micro-g NExT experience with reception attendees. “It gives students the best real-world experience and learning opportunity I have seen,” said James Philippi.
      Students and staff also heard from several Micro-g NExT alumni during a Q&A panel. Panelists included Harriet Hunt, CRONUS flight controller trainee; Aaron Simpson, xEMU Portable Life Support System engineer intern; Alexis Vance, environmental systems flight controller; Kim Wright, electrical, mechanical, and external thermal systems engineer; and Sam Whitlock, spaceflight systems engineering intern at Axiom Space. Each shared how Micro-g NExT impacted them personally and professionally, underscoring the long-term value of participating in the challenge and the program’s ability to attract next-generation talent to the agency.

      Micro-g NExT alumni during a Q&A session with this year’s challenge participants and NASA team members. NASA/James Blair Adding to this legacy, two of the 2024 Micro-g NExT participants ended their challenge experience by starting work with NASA. Alana Falter from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign returned to NASA as a Pathways Intern, and Adrian Garcia from the University of Houston-Clear Lake returned as a contractor with Barrios Technology.

      Another nod to the challenge’s impact was a special 10-year patch and logo designed by Justin Robert from the Michoud Assembly Facility through the NASA Spark challenge to commemorate the Micro-g NExT milestone.

      10-year anniversary of Micro-g NExT logos.Credit: NASA “Student design challenges have been a critical pipeline for both NASA internship participants and preparing students to be successful in STEM careers,” said Jamie Semple, NASA activity manager for Micro-g NExT. “By participating in these activities, students have the opportunity to create a product that could be part of spaceflight history, all while building essential skills for the next step in their career.” Semple added, “We also see the challenge’s impact with former participants now becoming our Micro-g NExT challenge owners. These people are now leading the program into the future and continuing the legacy of creating leaders in the STEM workforce and for the NASA community.”

      Reflecting on their experience, Smith Juback from Clemson University said working cooperatively with teammates was their favorite part of this design challenge. “We all had different ideas and ways to solve different problems and being able to incorporate everyone’s ideas together made us all smarter in the end,” he said. “I think we all learned so much individually about how to make and design a product, and we grew as people, students, and designers.”

      Students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln team said, “Working with astronauts in a professional environment like the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory is about precision since time is so valuable and you have to make the most of it. Back at home, we have several hours to test our project and if it breaks it breaks. But in the NBL, we have 12 minutes to run through seven tests. This experience is something you can only get here at Micro-g NExT.”

      A Micro-g NExT participant directs testing from the NBL control room. Credit: NASA After four days of learning, testing, and networking, Micro-g NExT has reached a decade of providing greater knowledge and inspiration to youth across the country. As one of NASA’s Artemis student challenges, Micro-g NExT will continue to offer undergraduate students the opportunity to design and create mission-ready hardware to benefit the future of deep space exploration. Learn more about Micro-g NExT and other Artemis student challenges at https://stem.nasa.gov/artemis/.

      Students in the control room at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory test their projects underwater with a diver in the pool. Credit: NASA/James Blair A student team works on their project before testing at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.Credit: NASA/James Blair NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and a diver from NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory brief with two students about their lunar flagpole before testing underwater. Credit: NASA/James Blair A student team being awarded a ‘Pay It Forward’ award at Micro-g NExT at Johnson Space Center. Credit: NASA/David DeHoyos A student team from Boise State University poses with an ‘Innovation Award’ they received at Micro-g NExT at Johnson Space center. Credit: NASA/David DeHoyos Students, mentors, and NASA personnel pose with two awards, the ‘Artemis Educator Award’ and the ‘Pay It Forward Award’, at Johnson Space Center in Houston.Credit: NASA/David DeHoyos View the full article
    • By Amazing Space
      NASA GOES U SATELLITE LAUNCH / Falcon Heavy
    • By NASA
      4 Min Read Next Generation NASA Technologies Tested in Flight
      Erin Rezich, Ian Haskin, QuynhGiao Nguyen, Jason Hill (Zero-G staff), and George Butt experience Lunar gravity while running test operations on the UBER payload. Credits: Zero-G Teams of NASA researchers put their next-generation technologies to the microgravity test in a series of parabolic flights that aim to advance innovations supporting the agency’s space exploration goals.
      These parabolic flights provide a gateway to weightlessness, allowing research teams to interact with their hardware in reduced gravity conditions for intervals of approximately 22 seconds. The flights, which ran from February to April, took place aboard Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-FORCE ONE aircraft and helped to advance several promising space technologies.

      Under the Fundamental Regolith Properties, Handling, and Water Capture (FLEET) project, researchers tested an ultrasonic blade technology in a regolith simulant at lunar and Martian gravities. On Earth, vibratory tools reduce the forces between the tool and the soil, which also lowers the reaction forces experienced by the system. Such reductions indicate the potential for mass savings for tool systems used in space. 
      This flight test aims to establish the magnitude of force reduction achieved by an ultrasonic tool on the Moon and Mars. Regolith interaction, including excavation, will be important to NASA’s resources to support long-duration lunar and Martian missions.
      This experiment represents the success of an international effort three years in the making between NASA and Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.
      Erin Rezich
      Project Principal Investigator
      “This experiment represents the success of an international effort three years in the making between NASA and Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. It was a NASA bucket list item for me to conduct a parabolic flight experiment, and it was even more special to do it for my doctoral thesis work. I’m very proud of my team and everyone’s effort to make this a reality,” said Erin Rezich, project principal investigator at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. 
      The FLEET project also has a separate payload planned for a future flight test on a suborbital rocket. The Vibratory Lunar Regolith Conveyor will demonstrate a granular material (regolith) transport system to study the vertical transport of lunar regolith simulants (soil) in a vacuum under a reduced gravity environment.
      These two FLEET payloads increase the understanding of excavation behavior and how the excavated soil will be transported in a reduced gravity environment.
      QuynhGiao Nguyen takes experiment notes while Pierre-Lucas Aubin-Fournier and George Butt oversee experiment operations during a soil reset period between parabolas.Zero-G 3D Printed Technologies Take on Microgravity 

      Under the agency’s On-Demand Manufacturing of Electronics (ODME) project, researchers tested 3D printing technologies to ease the use of electronics and tools aboard the International Space Station.

      Flying its first microgravity environment test, the ODME Advanced Toolplate team evaluated a new set of substantially smaller 3D printed tools that provide more capabilities and reduce tool changeouts. The toolplate offers eight swappable toolheads so that new technologies can be integrated after it is sent up to the space station. The 3D printer component enables in-space manufacturing of electronics and sensors for structural and crew-monitoring systems and multi-material 3D printing of metals.
      “The development of these critical 3D printing technologies for microelectronics and semiconductors will advance the technology readiness of these processes and reduce the risk for planned future orbital demonstrations on the International Space Station.
      curtis hill
      ODME Project Principal Investigator
      Left to Right: Pengyu Zhang, Rayne Wolfe, and Jacob Kocemba (University of Wisconsin at Madison) control the Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) ink jet printer testing manufacturing processes that are relevant to semiconductors for the NASA On Demand Manufacturing of Electronics (ODME) project.Zero-G NASA researchers tested another 3D printing technology developed under the agency’s ODME project for manufacturing flexible electronics in space. The Space Enabled Advanced Devices and Semiconductors team is developing electrohydrodynamic inkjet printer technology for semiconductor device manufacturing aboard the space station. The printer will allow for printing electronics and semiconductors with a single development cartridge, which could be updated in the future for various materials systems.
      (Left to right) Paul Deffenbaugh (Sciperio), Cadré Francis (NASA MSFC), Christopher Roberts (NASA MSFC), Connor Whitley (Sciperio), and Tanner Corby (Redwire Space Technologies) operate the On Demand Manufacturing of Electronics (ODME) Advanced Toolplate printer in zero gravity to demonstrate the potential capability of electronics manufacturing in space.Zero-G The On Demand Manufacturing of Electronics (ODME) Advanced Toolplate printer mills a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printed plastic substrate surface smooth in preparation for the further printing of electronic traces. Conducting this study in zero gravity allowed for analysis of Foreign Object Debris (FOD) capture created during milling.Zero-G Left to Right: Rayne Wolfe and Jacob Kocemba (University of Wisconsin at Madison) control the Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) ink jet printer testing manufacturing processes that are relevant to semiconductors for the NASA On Demand Manufacturing of Electronics (ODME) project.Zero-G Left to Right: Pengyu Zhang, Rayne Wolfe, and Jacob Kocemba (University of Wisconsin at Madison) control the Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) ink jet printer testing manufacturing processes that are relevant to semiconductors for the NASA On Demand Manufacturing of Electronics (ODME) project.Zero-G NASA’s Flight Opportunities program supported testing various technologies in a series of parabolic flights earlier this year. These technologies are managed under NASA’s Game Changing Development program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Space Enabled Advanced Devices and Semiconductors technology collaborators included Intel Corp., Tokyo Electron America, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Arizona State University, and Iowa State University. The Space Operations Mission Directorate’s In-Space Production Applications also supports this technology. Advanced Toolplate Technology collaborated with Redwire and Sciperio. The Ultrasonic Blade technology is a partnership with NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, through an International Space Act Agreement.

      For more information about the Game Changing Development program, visit: nasa.gov/stmd-game-changing-development/

      For more information about the Flight Opportunities program, visit: nasa.gov/stmd-flight-opportunities/ 
      Testing In-Space Manufacturing Techs and More in Flight Facebook logo @NASATechnology @NASA_Technology Share
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      Last Updated Jun 20, 2024 EditorIvry Artis Related Terms
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