Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Monthly ISS Research Video Update for August 2016

Orion Backstage: Evaluating Radiation Protection Plans for Astronauts

Understanding NASA's Journey to Mars - what to expect and when

NASA'S Journey to Mars consists of three phases,and two of them have already begun.The first phase is the Earth Reliant.It runs from today to the mid-2020s,and is centered on the International Space Station,which operates through 2024.The ISS,NASA says,is a world-class test bed for the technologies and communications systems needed for human missions to deep space.The astronauts are ascertaining what it takes to live and work in space for extended periods.In particular,NASA wants to know how the body changes over time in the harsh environment of space and how to protect astronaut health.*
Besides this quest for knowledge,we are working with our commercial crew and cargo partners on providing access to Low Earth Orbit and eventually stimulate new economic activity,allowing NASA to continue using the station while preparing for deep space missions.*
The second phase,Proving Ground,runs from 2018-30.There will be regular crewed missions and spacewalks in cislunar space,or lunar orbit.Their goal is to verify deep space habitation.Three of these crewed cislunar missions have been mentioned so far.Before them,in November 2018,the uncrewed Exploration Mission-1 will go 40,000 miles beyond the Moon on an approximately three-week mission to test the new Space Launch System rocket and European Service Module for the Orion spacecraft.In the 2021-23 time frame,EM-1 will be basically replicated by the first crewed mission of the Orion programme,EM-2,which will set a new record for distance traveled from Earth on a human spaceflight.There will also be an Asteroid Redirect Mission culminating in the mid-2020s that will test deep spacewalking and sampling techniques;along with Solar Electric Propulsion,which will be used to deliver substantial cargo for human missions to Mars;and a planetary security manoeuvre,the gravity tractor experiment,that will test a technique which may be able to deflect an asteroid getting too close to Earth.Finally in the 2020s will be a year-long mission to validate readiness for the Mars mission.*
The third phase of the Journey to Mars plan is the Earth Independent,running from now to the early 2030s.Mars rovers are already studying potential Exploration Zones for compelling scientific research sites and resources our astronauts could possibly use.The next rover goes up in 2020;a round-trip robotic sample return mission is planned for the late 2020s.A mission to send humans into Low Mars Orbit is envisioned for the early 2030s.
This phase will test the entry,descent and landing techniques needed to get humans to the surface of the red planet and study what's needed for in-situ resource utilisation.NASA is confident we are well on the way to getting there,landing there,and living there.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

MAGTF Demo .. Miramar Airshow 2015 - Marine Air-Ground Task Force

F35B Lightning II .. Miramar Airshow 2015 - Marine Corps Air Station Miramar,California

White House, NASA Discuss Asteroid Redirect Mission - 14 September 2016 - Major General Charles Bolden,USMC Ret.,NASA Administrator

US Marines To Be First In with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - possible combat mission in the Middle East

The US Marine Corps is first to fight,according to their tradition.In the case of the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strik Fighter,they may well be first to fly the new aircraft in the Middle Eastern theatre of operations as well,according to Lieutenant General Robert Walsh,commander of US Marine Corps Combat Development Command and Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration.Speaking with reporters at a breakfast on 30 August 2016,LTGEN Walsh said that:
The Marine Corps has been out in fron with the F-35B.We're the first ones that are going to be deploying it.We are going to be deploying it on the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1).The interesting thing is,not only are we deploying it on the Wasp (in support of Asia-Pacific exercises);we're also going to deploy it on the USS Essex (LHD-2) during the same year in US CENTCOM (including the Middle East).So not only are we going to do one;we are going to do two.So that's quite the challenge,to get two squadrons aboard two ships and deploy them.*
Sixteen F-35Bs will be stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakumi,Japan.Then six of these will join the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and link up with Third Battalion,Fifth Marines,a regiment that is to be the experimental force of the US Marine Corps for two years.About eight months later,a Southern California MEU will deploy with F-35Bs on the USS Essex under CENTCOM.*
A lot of it's going to be the school of hard knocks.It's probably not the way we would have wanted it,but we want to exploit the fifth generation.That's what I think it is as we look at this airplane.We've been after this for a long time.We're replacing our F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets;our AV-8B Harriers;and our EA-6 Prowlers with that airplane,LTGEN Walsh noted.*
The second squadron of F-35Bs being stood up at Iwakumi makes the deployment into combat possible,Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller told the School of Strategic and International Studies in Washington in early August.The long delay in delivery of the F-35 has resulted in a shortfall of aviation readiness as the Corps scraped by,keeping the older aircraft flying longer than had been anticipated,GEN Neller explained.*
The US Marines will not only be leading the US military in deploying the F-35,but the Royal Navy as well.When the new British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth makes its initial deployment in 2021,guess who will be flying their F-35Bs off of it?It may be that the RN will not be ready to fully shoulder the responsibility at that time,so they invited the US Marines to deploy with them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

U.S. Naval Forces Europe Africa Week in Review: August 31, 2016 - Operation Odyssey Lightning:airstrikes on ISIL in Libya

August 2016 in NATO

NAVEUR Band Plays Tattoo Show in Antwerp

US Navy P-8s in Action During Exercise Northern Coasts 16

Big NATO Naval Drills Staged in Baltic

Standing NATO Maritime Group One and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One have been staging Exercise Northern Coasts 16 in the Baltic Sea.Led by Germany,it is a large exercise providing relevant training in an undisclosed fictitious yet realistic scenario,NATO said.As many as 38 naval units,including submarines,have traveled from 16 NATO and partner countries and are focusing on both surface and undersea warfare.
Rear Admiral Jose E. Delgado of the Spanish Navy says the naval forces will train as a single Task Group.By training together,NATO and partners strengthen their ability to effectively combine national assets in order to face any possible challenges in a maritime environment.This major exercise will prove NATO Standing Forces' capability to rapidly grow to a bigger multinational Task Group whenever and wherever it could be demanded,RADM Delgado said.The drills have been staged in the Baltic since 2007.*
Flagship for RADM Delgado is the frigate ESPS Mendez Nunez (F-104).Germany,Belgium and Portugal are also contributing frigates to the effort.The US Navy has sent Sailors from Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 8,as well as the P8-A Poseidon surveillance aircraft for undersea warfare drills.EODMU 8 began participating on 2 September,exercising mine countermeasures and counter-IED response capabilities,building interoperability and sharing best practices with the Allies and partners.*
Those participating in Exercise Northern Coasts 16 include Spain,Portugal,Germany,France,Belgium,the Netherlands,Estonia,Latvia,Lithuania,Canada,the US,Denmark,Norway and NATO partners Sweden and Finland.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Crew Flight Test Engine Hot Fired - NASA

ULA's Role in the Commercial Crew Program

The Right Stuff for The Next Giant Leap

Commercial Crew Progress, Summer 2016 - NASA

Commercial Crew Engine Passes Test - ready for crewed mission of Boeing Starliner

On 18 August 2016,an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL 10 engine successfully completed a test for launching humans on the first crewed flight test of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.The flight is scheduled for February 2018 following an uncrewed test in 2017.Viewing the test at Aerojet's facility in West Palm Beach,Florida were NASA Commercial Crew programme astronauts Captain Sunita "Suni" Williams,US Navy;Colonel Eric Boe,US Air Force Ret.,and Captain Barry "Butch" Wilmore,US Navy.Colonel Robert Behnken,US Air Force,is the fourth Commercial Crew astronaut.
All the astronauts present expressed confidence in the engine after meeting the Aerojet personnel and viewing the test.
When you go through the whole process seeing the engine and seeing the professionals out there building the engines,there was no doubt the test would be a success,CAPT Williams said.*
The RL 10 helped get the New Horizons spacecraft to Pluto.It will be one of two RL 10s that will power the Atlas V rocket's Centaur upper stage that will push the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft up to the ISS for docking during the February 2018 crewed test.After the test,the RL 10 will be shipped to United Launch Alliance's Decatur,Alabama facility and bolted next to its sister engine on the Centaur upper stage.Four RL 10s will also be used for the Orion programme's new Space Launch System rocket's Exploration Upper Stage on the crewed Exploration Mission 2.*
By enabling the transport of more ISS astronauts,NASA's Commercial Crew flights will nearly double the amount of research the astronauts can complete on the station,thus making for greater progress in support of the Orion deep space missions as well as other scientific goals.NASA is also committed to transporting international astronauts on its Commercial Crew spacecraft as well as Americans.*
Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD),Boeing (BA)