NASA selects nine technologies for commercial flight testing


NASA has selected nine space technologies for flight testing to advance innovations that meet mission needs for both the agency and the commercial space industry.

Selected as part of a NASA competition TechFlights 2022 , these technologies will be used aboard commercial suborbital vehicles such as high-altitude balloons, aircraft following parabolic flight profiles, rocket-powered suborbital systems, and commercial payload platforms such as spacecraft. . By preparing these technologies in an environment similar to what they will experience in space, NASA, industry and universities can help reduce potential cost and risk before deploying the technologies on longer and more expensive missions in Earth orbit or to the Moon, Mars, and beyond .

“This $6.1 million investment in technology testing will help advance technologies for the agency’s goals, from space exploration to scientific discovery,” said Walt Engelund, deputy assistant program administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters. in Washington. “In doing so, we are also providing significant support to help the commercial space industry thrive.”

The technologies were selected by the STMD program Flight Opportunities , which rapidly demonstrates the technologies of space exploration, discovery and expansion of space commerce. For the first time, the TechFlights 2022 competition included access to test capabilities hosted on commercial platforms and spacecraft in orbit in cooperation with the agency’s program Small Spacecraft Technology.

“Flight Opportunities is pleased to support these efforts to address some of the most important challenges facing space exploration and Earth observation,” said Danielle McCulloch, acting director of the Flight Opportunities Program at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. . “By working this year with the Small Spacecraft Technologies program to offer capabilities for payloads placed aboard commercial orbital platforms, we can expand our reach to advance even more technologies from a variety of institutions and technical disciplines.”

Organizations developing the selected technologies will receive a grant or cooperative agreement that will allow them to purchase airline tickets from the US commercial airlines that best meet their needs. As in previous years, the 2022 competition included options for researchers to conduct automated technological experiments without supervision, or to allow one or more researchers to fly with their technological payload on parabolic flights or suborbital rockets.

The request included three subject areas that reflected NASA’s priorities for the future goals of space exploration and scientific discovery. These topics focus on supporting infrastructure and capabilities for a robust lunar economy, services and infrastructure ranging from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous Earth orbit, and Earth observation architectures and systems to monitor and address climate change.

Selected technologies:

Create in Hanover, New Hampshire, will test a device designed to support the transfer of liquid fuel from a supply tank to a receiving tank in microgravity as a potential solution for refueling satellites and spacecraft during long-duration missions. This technology is planned to be used in parabolic flights with Zero Gravity Corporation’s (ZERO-G) G-Force One aircraft.

Giner in Newton, Mass., will test a fuel cell energy storage system designed as a potential power source for future spacecraft or lunar surface operations to evaluate its gas-liquid phase separator in microgravity. This technology is planned to be used on ZERO-G’s G-Force One.

Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., will test an imaging and particle detector system aimed at improving autonomous assessment of wildfire structure and spread. The system uses instruments to measure aerosols that can be used on other planets. This technology is planned for flights on the Aerostar high-altitude balloon.

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., will evaluate technology developed to measure the variability of electrons present between a receiver on a suborbital spacecraft and GPS satellites in orbit for its potential to inform atmospheric models. This technology is planned to be used on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket system.

Paragon Space Development Corporation in Tucson, Arizona, will evaluate in microgravity a device to capture and separate liquid condensate from cabin air to maintain spacecraft temperature and humidity. This technology is planned to be used on ZERO-G’s G-Force One.

Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, will conduct an experiment analyzing heat transfer in cryogenic fuel storage for use in modeling and designing future fuel transfer and control systems. This technology is planned to be used on ZERO-G’s G-Force One.

Rhea Space Activity in Washington is testing guidance and navigation technology for small spacecraft to demonstrate its capabilities for autonomous orbit determination in outer space. This technology is planned to be used on the Spaceflight Sherpa orbital vehicle.

San Diego State University in San Diego, Calif., will test a system aimed at improving the spacecraft’s precision landing capabilities through adaptive navigation, allowing researchers to evaluate its performance on a rocket-powered lander. This technology is planned to be used on Astrobotic’s Xodiac vehicle.

University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, will improve the mechanisms of red blood cell rehydration in the space environment. Such technology can be used to provide transfusion therapy for astronauts on long-duration space missions. This technology is planned to be used on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo system.

Share post:


More like this

The number of tourists in Ukraine increased by a quarter in 2021

More than four million foreigners visited Ukraine last year....

Journalists and writers will receive a prize for journalistic works

The Ivan Franko Prize is awarded annually and amounts...

Zelensky changed the staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief

The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, introduced General Oleksandr...

Electricity consumption is increasing due to the cold weather – “Ukrenergo”

As of the morning of January 31, there were...