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LIVE Intuitive Machines-1 Lunar Landing - NASA broadcast
From left, NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Barry “Butch” Wilmore, Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) pilot and commander, respectively, exit the Astronaut Crew Quarters at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida during a crew validation test on Oct. 18, 2022. The astronauts, with assistance from the Boeing team, successfully completed the validation test during which they suited up and tested out the pressurized crew module to ensure seat fit, suit functionality, cabin temperature, audio system, and day of launch operations.NASA/Kim Shiflett Digital content creators are invited to register to attend the launch of NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission to the International Space Station. The mission will be the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, carrying NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Suni Williams to the orbiting laboratory for a stay of about one to two weeks. Liftoff is targeted for mid-April 2024 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-41 in Florida.
If your passion is to communicate and engage the world online, then this is the event for you! Seize the opportunity to see and share the #Starliner mission launch.
A maximum of 50 social media users will be selected to attend this two-day event and will be given access similar to news media.
NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:
View a crewed launch of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and Starliner spacecraft. Tour NASA facilities at Kennedy Space Center. Meet and interact with CFT subject matter experts. Meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media. NASA Social registration for the CFT launch opens on Wednesday, Feb. 21, and the deadline to apply is at 3 p.m. EST Tuesday, Feb. 27. All social applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Do I need to have a social media account to register?
Yes. This event is designed for people who:
Actively use multiple social networking platforms and tools to disseminate information to a unique audience. Regularly produce new content that features multimedia elements. Have the potential to reach a large number of people using digital platforms, or reach a unique audience, separate and distinctive from traditional news media and/or NASA audiences. Must have an established history of posting content on social media platforms. Have previous postings that are highly visible, respected and widely recognized. Users on all social networks are encouraged to use the hashtag #NASASocial and #Starliner. Updates and information about the event will be shared on X via @NASASocial and @NASAKennedy, and via posts to Facebook and Instagram.
How do I register?
Registration for this event opens Wednesday, Feb. 21, and closes at 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Registration is for one person only (you) and is non-transferable. Each individual wishing to attend must register separately. Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Can I register if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Because of the security deadlines, registration is limited to U.S. citizens. If you have a valid permanent resident card, you will be processed as a U.S. citizen.
When will I know if I am selected?
After registrations have been received and processed, an email with confirmation information and additional instructions will be sent to those selected. We expect to send the acceptance notifications by March 1.
What are NASA Social credentials?
All social applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Those chosen must prove through the registration process they meet specific engagement criteria.
If you do not make the registration list for this NASA Social, you still can attend the launch offsite and participate in the conversation online. Find out about ways to experience a launch here.
What are the registration requirements?
Registration indicates your intent to travel to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and attend the two-day event in person. You are responsible for your own expenses for travel, accommodations, food, and other amenities.
Some events and participants scheduled to appear at the event are subject to change without notice. NASA is not responsible for loss or damage incurred as a result of attending. NASA, moreover, is not responsible for loss or damage incurred if the event is cancelled with limited or no notice. Please plan accordingly.
Kennedy is a government facility. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas.
IMPORTANT: To be admitted, you will need to provide two forms of unexpired government-issued identification; one must be a photo ID and match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted.
For a complete list of acceptable forms of ID, please visit: NASA Credentialing Identification Requirements.
All registrants must be at least 18 years old.
What if the launch date changes?
Many different factors can cause a scheduled launch date to change multiple times. If the launch date changes, NASA may adjust the date of the NASA Social accordingly to coincide with the new target launch date. NASA will notify registrants of any changes by email.
If the launch is postponed, attendees will be invited to attend a later launch date. NASA cannot accommodate attendees for delays beyond 72 hours.
NASA Social attendees are responsible for any additional costs they incur related to any launch delay. We strongly encourage participants to make travel arrangements that are refundable and/or flexible.
What if I cannot come to the Kennedy Space Center?
If you cannot come to the Kennedy Space Center and attend in person, you should not register for the NASA Social. You can follow the conversation online using #NASASocial.
You can watch the launch on NASA Television or www.nasa.gov/nasatv/. NASA will provide regular launch and mission updates on @NASA, @NASAKennedy, and @Commercial_Crew.
If you cannot make this NASA Social, don’t worry; NASA is planning many other Socials in the near future at various locations! Check back here for updates.
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3 min read
Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
A computer generated image of objects in Earth orbit that are currently being tracked. Credits: NASA ODPO NASA’s Office of Technology, Policy & Strategy is soliciting research and analysis related to the social, economic and policy aspects of space sustainability. This topic area is further refined into two separate elements: orbital space sustainability and lunar surface sustainability. OTPS will provide up to $300K (orbital) and $200K (lunar surface) for between 1-3 proposals in each element. Key questions are featured below.
Orbital Space Sustainability: Economic, Social and Policy Research and Analyses
Proposals should be responsive to one of the following questions:
What are current policy, regulatory or legal gaps to improve space sustainability in various orbital regimes (LEO, MEO, GEO, Cislunar, and/or Lunar) and what specific measures should be taken to address them? Proposers may address one or several orbital regimes. Considering various scenarios for the space environment in the 2040 timeframe, what policies, regulations or other support are forecasted to be needed? Research should take into consideration that potential policies for space sustainability may be incentivized or rendered unnecessary by advancements in technological capabilities and differing assumptions about the future operational environment; therefore, the research should assess the robustness of various policy proposals under realistic assumptions. What are the costs to spacecraft operators from interacting with debris in GEO and Cislunar space? What are the benefits of potential risk-reducing actions? How effective are various policy tools and mechanisms (for example, performance bonds, incentives to improve PMD compliance/fees for bad behavior, global minimum tax, and environmental liability insurance)? How might such interventions impact the business of satellite owners and operators or government owners and operators? Lunar Surface Sustainability: Economic, Social and Policy Research and Analyses
The sustainable development of the lunar surface acknowledges that current operations may impact our ability to conduct future operations (indeed current operations may also impact other current operations. Whether we seek to protect critical areas for scientific investigation (e.g., Permanently Shadowed Regions), preserve lunar heritage areas (e.g., Apollo sites) or incorporate other technical, economic, or cultural considerations may all factor into our mission planning, policy and potential regulatory approaches. Analyses may help disentangle and characterize the goals of sustainability, develop frameworks for evaluating the sustainability of operations, or compare and contrast the different definitions of sustainability. Proposals should consider both human and robotic missions.
All proposals must be submitted to one of the ROSES calls (F.21 or F.17) by May 17, 2024. Proposers can submit different proposals to each element. However, duplicate proposals submitted to both elements will only be considered for a single element (NASA will make most appropriate determination).
To submit proposals, visit:
Lunar Surface Sustainability
Last Updated Feb 15, 2024 EditorBill Keeter Related Terms
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4 min read
Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center technologists Les Johnson and Leslie McNutt at Redwire Space on Jan. 30, 2024, following a successful solar sail deployment test. NASA cleared a key technology milestone at Redwire’s new facility in Longmont, Colorado, with the successful deployment of one of four identical solar sail quadrants. Redwire Space By Wayne Smith
In his youth, NASA technologist Les Johnson was riveted by the 1974 novel “The Mote in God’s Eye,” by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven, in which an alien spacecraft propelled by solar sails visits humanity. Today, Johnson and a NASA team are preparing to test a similar technology.
NASA continues to unfurl plans for solar sail technology as a promising method of deep space transportation. The agency cleared a key technology milestone in January with the successful deployment of one of four identical solar sail quadrants. The deployment was showcased Jan. 30 at Redwire Corp.’s new facility in Longmont, Colorado. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, leads the solar sail team, comprised of prime contractor Redwire, which developed the deployment mechanisms and the nearly 100-foot-long booms, and subcontractor NeXolve, of Huntsville, which provided the sail membrane. In addition to leading the project, Marshall developed the algorithms needed to control and navigate with the sail when it flies in space.
NASA and industry partners used two 100-foot lightweight composite booms to stretch out a 4,445-square-footsquare-foot (400-square-meter) prototype solar sail quadrant for the first time Jan. 30, 2024. While just one quarter of the sail was unfurled in the deployment at Redwire, the complete sail will measure 17,780 square feet when fully deployed, with the thickness less than a human hair at 2 and a half microns. The sail is made of a polymer material coated with aluminum. (Redwire Space) The sail is a propulsion system powered by sunlight reflecting from the sail, much like a sailboat reflects the wind. While just one quarter of the sail was unfurled in the deployment at Redwire, the complete sail will measure 17,780 square feet when fully deployed, with the thickness less than a human hair at 2 and a half microns. The sail is made of a polymer material coated with aluminum.
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate recently funded the solar sail technology to reach a new technology readiness level, or TRL 6, which means it’s ready for proposals to be flown on science missions.
“This was a major last step on the ground before it’s ready to be proposed for space missions,” Johnson, who has been involved with sail technology at Marshall for about 25 years, said. “What’s next is for scientists to propose the use of solar sails in their missions. We’ve met our goal and demonstrated that we’re ready to be flown.”
A solar sail traveling through deep space provides many potential benefits to missions using the technology because it doesn’t require any fuel, allowing very high propulsive performance with very little mass. This in-space propulsion system is well suited for low-mass missions in novel orbits.
“Once you get away from Earth’s gravity and into space, what is important is efficiency and enough thrust to travel from one position to another,” Johnson said.
A solar sail achieves that by reflecting sunlight – the greater the size of the sail, the greater thrust it can provide.
Some of the missions of interest using solar sail technology include studying space weather and its effects on the Earth, or for advanced studies of the north and south poles of the Sun. The latter has been limited because the propulsion required to get a spacecraft into a polar orbit around the sun is very high and simply not feasible using most of the propulsion systems available today. Solar sail propulsion is also possible for enhancing future missions to Venus or Mercury, given their closeness to the Sun and the enhanced thrust a solar sail would achieve in the more intense sunlight there.
Moreover, it’s the ultimate green propulsion system, Johnson said – as long as the Sun is shining, the sail will have propulsion. Where the sunlight is less, he envisions a future where lasers could be used to accelerate the solar sails to high speeds, pushing them outside the solar system and beyond, perhaps even to another star. “In the future, we might place big lasers in space that shine their beams on the sails as they depart the solar system, accelerating them to higher and higher speeds, until eventually they are going fast enough to reach another star in a reasonable amount of time.”
To learn more about solar sails and other NASA advanced space technology, visit:
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
Last Updated Feb 12, 2024 Related Terms
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