Fly Cheap, Fly Often, Fly Safe

Kim Ennico of NASA Ames Research Center will give a presentation at the SETI Institute Wednesday June 15th 12:00-01:00 PM PDT on commercial suborbital science:

Fly Cheap, Fly Often, Fly Safe — Science research & education opportunities on commercial suborbital vehicles
Wednesday, 06/15/11
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Access to suborbital space, the realm above 100 km altitude, by vehicles not traveling fast enough to go into orbit about the planet, has a long history, from the 1950's early unmanned scientific sounding rockets for meteorological and upper atmosphere studies, to Alan Shepard's historic Freedom 7 flight 50 years ago, continuing today with multi-science disciplined sounding rocket programs launched from spaceports around the globe. These vehicles follow a parabolic-arc trajectory that also provides many minutes of low gravity enabling "microgravity" experiments. Access to suborbital space is soon to be revolutionized by a series of frequent flights by new providers from the commercial space sector.
Dr. Ennico's talk will highlight these companies, their vehicles and their current timetables. She will showcase some examples of scientific research and education that were presented at the 2011 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC), held earlier this year in Orlando, Florida ...Read More

Video of Xaero fit and function tests back in January

Early 2011 we headed down to Mojave to perform a fit and function test of our 2 payloads SFEM and ADS-B with the Masten Xaero vehicle. Flight Opportunities Payload Manager Dougal Maclise wrote a good blogpost about the successful tests. While at Masten, we also captured some handheld video which we recently edited into a short impression of the tests. The resulting video is embedded below.

Update your feed

As part of our switch from CRuSR to Flight Opportunities, we will be retiring our CRuSR feedburner feed tomorrow (Tuesday June 6). If you are subscribed to our blog through feedburner (recognizable in the url), please update your feed to https://flightopportunities.nasa.gov/blog/feed/ .

Supermod testing by Armadillo Aerospace

Over the weekend, two videos emerged of tests conducted with the Mod vehicle by Armadillo Aerospace. The Mod vehicle is the one that will fly two payloads provided by NASA as part of the initial developmental flights of CRuSR, or Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research, a program now part of Flight Opportunities.

Caption with above video:

A full throttle hold down test of the Armadillo Aerospace Mod rocket, nicknamed "Dalek", on 2011.05.26. This is approximately the burn time that the vehicle will have in free flight.

This represents around 180,000 lb*s of total impulse, near the upper end of what the FAA defines as a Class 3 Amateur Rocket. In the letter scale used in small rockets, it would be a 'T'.

The engine runs on liquid oxygen and denatured ethanol. This rocket will be flying payloads for the Nasa Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research program, aka CRuSR.

Caption with above video:

A hover test of the Armadillo Aerospace Supermod rocket, shot in fantastic 3D. The test was on June 4 2011 at the Armadillo shop in Caddo Mills, TX.

Why is the engine pulsing? It's a very large engine for the weight of the vehicle, and ...Read More

RFP for Flight and Integration Services released

Update: Q&A on the draft RFP and Responses to Questions (RTQ) to the final RFP are now available.

We've released the RFP for Flight and Payload Integration Services today. The proposal due date is June 24, 2011. See our Press Release and read about the details in the Modification 02 released today. The original synopsis with links to the modifications and solicitation document is available here.

Update to AFO

Today we have posted an update to the continuously open Announcement of Flight Opportunities (AFO) for payloads to fly on parabolic and suborbital reusable launch vehicles. The new flight opportunities are listed in the AFO update and under Open Opportunities. Cut off date for proposal evaluation is June 28, 2011.

Use the revised Announcement of Flight Opportunities (Feb 9, 2011) in combination with today's update to prepare your proposal.

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