(Source SpaceX)– The United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center has awarded SpaceX two Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-class missions: DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory) and STP-2 (Space Test Program 2). To be launched on SpaceX’s Falcon launch vehicles in 2014 and 2015 respectively, the awards mark the first EELV-class missions awarded to the company to date. “SpaceX deeply appreciates and is honored by the vote of confidence shown by the Air Force in our Falcon launch vehicles,” said Elon Musk, CEO and chief designer, SpaceX. “We look forward to providing high reliability access to space with lift capability to orbit that is substantially greater than any other launch vehicle in the world.” The DSCOVR mission will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 and is currently slated for late 2014, while STP-2 will be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy and is targeted for mid-2015. Both are expected to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Both missions fall under Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 (OSP-3), an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the [...]
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Being old enough and lucky enough to have seen two Saturn 5 rockets leave Earth for the moon in my youth, I was wondering would the youth of today ever see the U.S. or even mankind put man on the Moon again. In looking at that question and taking into account that the average age in the U.S. is 36.8 years old will the majority of people alive today live to see man in the moon again? The reality is that, even with the anemic funding for NASA, the United States is still the closest to putting a man on the moon. China, Japan all have goals but the reality is they are still a long way away having just barely put men in Earth orbit. That being said where is the U.S. now and is the moon even a goal. A this time there is no actual manned mission to the moon on the books. The Space Launch System or SLS is currently in development as the heavy lift vehicle which in theory could [...]
WASHINGTON — The Space Launch System, better known as SLS continues with steps forward in development. NASA has selected 26 proposals from academia and industry for advanced development activities for the nation’s next heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). Proposals selected under this NASA Research Announcement (NRA) seek innovative and affordable solutions to evolve the launch vehicle from its initial configuration to its full lift capacity capable of sending humans farther into deep space than ever before. NASA sought proposals in a variety of areas, including concept development, trades and analyses, propulsion, structures, materials, manufacturing, avionics and software. “Engaging with academia and industry gives us the opportunity to take advantage of the ingenuity and expertise beyond NASA,” said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “It will help us optimize affordability while integrating mature technical upgrades into future vehicles.” Individual awards will vary with a total government investment of as much as $48 million. Initial fiscal year 2012 awards are worth as much [...]