NASA seeks proposals for technology flight demonstrations and information about surborbital flight services

Last week NASA issued both an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for 'Opportunities for Payloads Requiring a Near-zero or Reduced Gravity Environment' and a Request for Information (RFI) for 'Flight and Payload Integration Services'. More information about these two announcements is available in the NASA Press Release:

WASHINGTON -- NASA is seeking proposals from researchers interested in testing new technologies during suborbital flights. The agency also is requesting information from commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicle providers and commercial payload integrators about carrying the technology payloads.

The selected payloads will fly on aircraft that provide parabolic flight trajectories and on suborbital reusable launch vehicles capable of flying to altitudes above 62 miles. The flights will expose the payloads to reduced gravity and near-zero gravity environments.

"During these flights, researchers will be able to test their technologies in a range of microgravity environments and share their data with NASA -- data NASA can use when planning future missions," said Bobby Braun, NASA chief technologist at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

The solicitation is being made by NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, which is designed to foster development of a commercial reusable suborbital transportation industry while developing new technologies and improving microgravity research. When available ...Read More

Successful CRuSR Payload Readiness Review (PRR)

On November 23rd we held our first successful Payload Readiness Review (PRR) for payloads flying on the first CRuSR development flights with Masten's Xaero vehicle. The two payloads under review were the Suborbital Flight Environment Monitor (SFEM) developed in-house at NASA Ames Research Center, and the FAA-provided ADS-B transponder (see the payloads section for more information). The purpose of the PRR was to review the payload status and surface any remaining issues from the payload point of view in order to safely pass the flight readiness review scheduled for late December.

Both payloads are mounted together in a payload rack developed at NASA Ames Research Center. The payload rack is designed to acommodate payloads on both Xaero and Super Mod. It abstracts away the different vehicles similar to how food containers are used on airplanes. It is able to hold several payloads and provides for easy mounting and exchange of payloads between flights. More information about the payload rack will be made available in the coming weeks.

Web Accessibility and Privacy Notices Curator: Alexander van Dijk Responsible NASA Official: Douglas Maclise Last Update: March 31, 2014