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http://www.nasa.gov/content/reporters-see-nasas-latest-high-tech-exploration-tool-before-testing/index.html

Reporters See NASA’s Latest High Tech Exploration Tool Before Testing

April 9, 2014

NASA workers at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wearing clean room “bunny suits,” prepare the LDSD test article for shipment later this month to Hawaii. LDSD will help land bigger space payloads on Mars or return them back to Earth.

Image Credit: 

NASA/JPL

On April 9 reporters got a chance to don “bunny suits” (protective apparel that sometimes makes people look like large rabbits) and enter a NASA clean room at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. In the room is NASA’s latest technology for landing large payloads on planets like Mars or Earth, being processed for shipping prior to testing next June.

NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project will be flying a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space this June from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii. The LDSD crosscutting demonstration mission will test breakthrough technologies that will enable large payloads to be safely landed on the surface of Mars, or other planetary bodies with atmospheres, including Earth. These new technologies will not only enable landing of larger payloads on Mars, but also allow access to much more of the planet’s surface by enabling landings at higher altitude sites.

The LDSD is one of several crosscutting technologies NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is developing to create the new knowledge and capabilities necessary to enable our future missions to an asteroid, Mars and beyond. The directorate is committed to developing the critical technologies required to enable future exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit.

NASA continues to solicit the help of the best and brightest minds in academia, industry, and government to drive innovation and enable solutions in a myriad of important technology thrust areas.

These planned investments are addressing high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep-space exploration. In fact, NASA’s space tech team will launch seven major technology demonstrations in next 24 months.

More information about the LDSD mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/ldsd/

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in future missions. NASA’s technology investments provide cutting-edge solutions for our nation’s future. For more information about the directorate, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/ldsd/

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/737628main_Final_LDSD_Fact_Sheet_3-26-13.pdf

http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/home/index.html#.U0XWEzhwsvw

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/04/30_efficient_multi-junction_solar_cell

http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/april/nasa-looks-to-go-beyond-batteries-for-space-exploration/

April 9, 2014

RELEASE 14-103

NASA Looks to Go Beyond Batteries for Space Exploration

Fly wheels, such as the NASA G2 flywheel module above, are one way to store rotational energy for use by spacecraft or machines on Earth. NASA’s looking for new energy storage systems to enable our future exploration missions.

Image Credit: 

NASA

NASA is seeking proposals for the development of new, more capable, energy storage technologies to replace the battery technology that has long powered America’s space program.

The core technologies solicited in the Wednesday call for proposals will advance energy storage solutions for the space program and other government agencies, such as the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) through ongoing collaboration with NASA and industry.

“NASA is focusing on creating new advanced technologies that could lead to entirely new approaches for the energy needs of the agency’s future Earth and space missions,” said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for space technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Over the next 18 months, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate will make significant new investments that address several high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep-space exploration. One of these challenges, advanced energy storage, offers new technology solutions that will address exploration and science needs while adding in an important and substantive way to America’s innovation economy.”

NASA’s solicitation has two category areas: “High Specific Energy System Level Concepts,” which will focus on cell chemistry and system level battery technologies, such as packaging and cell integration; and, “Very High Specific Energy Devices,” which will focus on energy storage technologies that can go beyond the current theoretical limits of Lithium batteries while maintaining the cycle life and safety characteristics demanded of energy storage systems used in space applications.

Proposals will be accepted from NASA centers and other government agencies, federally funded research and development centers, educational institutions, industry and nonprofit organizations. NASA expects to make approximately four awards for Phase I of the solicitation, ranging in value up to $250,000 each.

Through solicitations and grants, NASA’s investments in space technology provide the transformative capabilities to enable new missions, stimulate the economy, contribute to the nation’s global competitiveness, and inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers.

The Advanced Energy Storage Systems Appendix is managed by the Game Changing Development Program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), and is part of STMD’s NASA Research Announcement “Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion 2014” (SpaceTech-REDDI-2014) for research in high priority technology areas of interest to NASA.

The SpaceTech-REDDI-2014-14GCDC1 Advanced Energy Storage Systems Appendix is available through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System at:

http://go.nasa.gov/ru9LgH

NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., manages the Game Changing Development Program for STMD. STMD remains committed to developing the critical technologies required to enable future exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. The directorate continues to solicit the help of the best and brightest minds in academia, industry, and government to drive innovation and enable solutions in a myriad of important technology thrust areas. These planned investments are addressing high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep-space exploration.

http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech

-end-
David E. Steitz
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1730
david.steitz@nasa.gov

Chris Rink
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
757-864-6786
chris.rink@nasa.gov

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http://go.nasa.gov/ru9LgH

http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/solicitations.do?method=open&stack=push

http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={FD4D190D-430C-0088-8BAF-03E38D2DEFDE}&path=open

http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument/cmdocumentid=405914/solicitationId=%7BFD4D190D-430C-0088-8BAF-03E38D2DEFDE%7D/viewSolicitationDocument=1/Upcoming%20Europa%20Mission%20Announcements.pdf

http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/home/index.html#.U0XdcThwsvx

http://www.nasa.gov/content/space-technology-whats-next

Space Technology: What’s Next…

March 27, 2014

In a recent Space News piece, Dr. William Ballhaus, Jr. and retired Air Force General Lester Lyles made a compelling argument for future investments in space technology. They opined:

“If we are truly committed to exploring an asteroid, or returning to the moon, or someday landing humans on the surface of Mars, we need sustained and substantial investments in advanced space technology and capabilities.”

Since its inception, NASA’s Space Technology program has conducted nearly 50 external competitions, evaluated more than 9,000 proposals, selected more than 2,000 of these proposals for awards — investing over $900 million in industry and academia. While this represents a great start to solving the challenges that face the Nation, there remains much to accomplish to enable sustainable deep-space exploration.

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate remains committed to developing the critical technologies required to enable future exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit. The directorate continues to solicit the help of the best and brightest minds in academia, industry, and government to drive innovation and enable solutions in a myriad of important technology thrust areas. These planned investments are addressing high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep-space exploration.

“Over the next 18 months, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate will make significant new investments that address several high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep-space exploration,” said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for Space Technology in Washington. “These focused technology thrust areas are tightly aligned with NASA’s Space Technology Roadmaps, the Space Technology Investment Plan, and National Research Council’s recommendations.”

The Space Technology Mission Directorate’s focused thrust technology areas include the development of high-powered solar electric propulsion with development in high-power, low-volume solar arrays, and advanced electric propulsion systems. Investment in generation and storage of power in-space continues with a focus on high-efficiency and affordable power generation.  Advanced life support and resource utilization including high-performance resource production and recycling of water and air remains a priority. Investment in entry, descent and landing continues with interest in advanced computational modeling and analytical simulation tools as well as inflatable systems.

Likewise, investments in space robotics and avionics are focused on outer planetary exploration with an interest in high-reliability and low-mass, deep ice penetration systems. Multiple applications for space optical communication systems result in a focus in deep-space small spacecraft communication systems, high-efficiency lasers and deep-space optical terminals. Materials remain a strong focus of the program with interest in lightweight structures including ultralight, ultrastrong nanomaterials as well as large composite structures. Finally, development of space observatory systems is an area of interest with a focus on advanced optical coating materials.

Space Technology investments over the next three years will enable Discovery-class missions to provide frequent access to compelling planetary science targets that include the moons – Enceladus, Europa, Titan – as well as the planets Jupiter and Saturn. These investments are broadly applicable to Agency science and robotic precursor missions to the Moon, asteroids and Mars.

These new investments in space technology provide the transformative capabilities to enable new missions, stimulate the economy, contribute to the nation’s global competitiveness, and inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers.

Investments in space technology are investments in our lives here on Earth, today. NASA innovation in advanced manufacturing and robotics benefits American businesses and ensure a strong foundation for the nation as we develop the new technologies needed for space exploration in the 21st century.

With the Space Launch System and Orion coming online soon, the next great leaps in space exploration are within our grasp, but these leaps require investments in space technology beginning now.

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate looks forward to working with the broad aerospace community as we tackle many of these important technology areas as we prepare humankind for its next great adventure.

 

http://www.govsupport.us/nasaldsdea/

WELCOME TO THE WEBSITE FOR THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION (NASA) LOW DENSITY SUPERSONIC DECELERATOR (LDSD) TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION MISSION LOCATED AT THE PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY (PMRF)

This website has been established to provide you with a source for information about the preparation of the Environmental Assessment (EA).

The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2451(d) (1) (5)) establishes a mandate to conduct activities in space that contribute substantially to “[t]he expansion of human knowledge of the Earth and of phenomena in the atmosphere and space,” and “[t]he preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere.” In response to this mandate, NASA, in coordination with the National Academy of Sciences, has developed a prioritized set of science objectives to be met through a long-range program of spacecraft missions.

As part of a prioritized set of science programs, NASA is currently undertaking a long term Mars Exploration Program (MEP). The MEP is fundamentally a science-driven program that focuses on understanding and characterizing Mars as a dynamic system and ultimately addressing whether life is, or was, a part of that system through a strategy referred to as “follow the water.” The MEP is also responsible for the development and demonstration of the technologies required to attain these goals. For more information, visit the NASA Project site at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/ldsd/.

The NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is responsible for direct management of NASA’s space technology programs and for coordination and tracking of all technology investments across the agency. NASA’s Space Technology Initiative, managed by the STMD, develops and demonstrates advanced space systems concepts and technologies enabling new approaches to achieving NASA’s current and future missions. The STMD and the Space Technology Initiative complement the technology development activities within NASA’s Mission Directorates, and deliver forward-reaching technology solutions for future NASA science and exploration missions and significant national needs.

The Proposed Action presented in this EA is a Supersonic Flight Dynamics Test (SFDT) campaign to be conducted at PMRF as a part of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory LDSD project. This proposed test campaign would consist of launch, operation, and recovery of up to four missions from a designated location on PMRF. The purpose of the SFDT campaign is to demonstrate and evaluate development of new supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (SIAD) and SSRS parachute technologies. These tests would allow the SIAD and SSRS parachute to fly in the Earth’s stratosphere at supersonic speed to simulate operation in the thin atmosphere of Mars. The Test Vehicle with a small solid rocket motor would be launched on a high altitude balloon from PMRF.

 

The Environmental Assessment:

The Final Environmental Assessment and the signed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are available on this project website. Public comments on the Draft EA were accepted through April 19, 2013. Questions regarding these documents or request for additional copies should be addressed to: Jonathan Stabb, LDSD Project NEPA lead, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Attention: Jonathan Stabb, 4800 Oak Grove Drive – M/S 301-370, Pasadena, CA 91109, by email jonathan.stabb@jpl.nasa.gov,or by calling 818-393-4691

The Final EA and signed FONSI are also available at the following locations:

  • Hawaii State Library
    Hawaii and Pacific Section Document Unit
    478 South King Street
    Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96813-2994
  • Lihue Public Library
    4344 Hardy Street
    Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766
  • Waimea Public Library
    9750 Kaumualii Highway
    Waimea, Kauai, HI 96796

 

 

http://www.govsupport.us/nasaldsdea/Docs/FEA.pdf

http://www.govsupport.us/nasaldsdea/Docs/FONSI.pdf

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