Successful fit & function test

Successful fit & function test
Fresh snow on the ground and surrounding hills greeted us when we arrived.

UPDATE: A video of the fit & function test is available here

Written by Dougal Maclise, Flight Opportunities Payload Manager

 The Flight Opportunities – CRuSR team passed an important milestone early January (4-5-6 January) when we completed the fit and function test of the two payloads (ADS-B and SFEM) in the Masten Space Systems vehicle, Xaero.

 Bruce Webbon, the payload manager for the CRuSR developmental test flights, brought the ADS-B and SFEM payloads along with their development teams down to the Mojave Air and Space Port where the Masten facilities are located for testing with the Xaero vehicle prior to the first test flight.

 The big issues to be resolved during these fit and function tests were would everything fit in the payload canister of the Xaero vehicle and would any of the payloads interfere with the operation of the vehicle avionics. The main concern was electro-magnetic interference (EMI) between the ADS-B and the vehicle GPS system.

Karolyn Ronzano programming the Suborbital Flight Environment Monitor (SFEM) payload prior to the test.

 Karolyn Ronzano, from the small satellite group at Ames, leads a team that has developed the SFEM or ...Read More

Modification to the Announcement of Opportunity released

We've published an updated Announcement of Opportunity (AO) today. The following changes are made:
1) This is an update to the Announcement, and it extends the response cut-off date for the current flight opportunities to February 23, 2011. Responders who have turned in their proposals prior to this modification are encouraged to review this update, and may submit revisions as appropriate.
2) The due date for responses is extended.
Please find the revised AO at the same location as before: http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/sol.cgi?acqid=144805#Other%2001

NSRC-2011 Suborbital Meeting Will Be Jam Packed

From our colleagues at the NSRC-2011:

2011’s Next-Generation Suborbital Conference (NSRC-2011), to be held in Orlando, Florida 28 February through 2 March, is less than a month away!

NSRC-2011 promises to be a watershed gathering for researchers, educators, and industry/government. Over 120 presenters—a 50% increase over 2010—will discuss everything from flight test progress to planned experiments in 7 different research fields to training and roles for research and educator payload specialists. In total, the meeting will feature 20 sessions, 4 discussion panels, a press conference, presentations or booths by over 20 sponsors, and a public night.

Featured speakers you will have a chance to meet include:
- Dr. Bobby Braun, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Technology
- Mr. Jeff Greason, CEO of XCOR Aerospace
- Mr. David McBride, Center Director at NASA Dryden where the program is based
- Dr. Leland Melvin, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Education
- Dr. George Nield, FAA’s Associate Administrator for Space
- Dr. Pete Worden, Center Director at NASA Ames, where CRuSR’s payload effort is based.

Additionally, a public night presentation by George Whitesides, CEO and President of Virgin Galactic is planned. NSRC-2011 is the place to be to learn how to marry your ...Read More

NASA Dryden Hosts Flight Opportunities Industry Day

Michelle Murray of the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation office addresses representatives of aerospace firms during a Flight Opportunities Program Industry Day at NASA Dryden Jan. 25. (NASA photo / Tom Tschida)

Representatives of more than 20 aerospace firms both large and small met with officials of NASA's Flight Opportunities Program at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Jan. 25 during an Industry Day meeting for potential providers of sub-orbital reusable launch vehicle and payload integration services.

Discussions focused on NASA's interest in acquiring commercial flight and payload integration services for NASA-provided technology payloads on sub-orbital reusable space launch vehicles, as reflected in a recent NASA Request For Information submitted to potential commercial providers.

During the morning sessions, Steve Meier, director of the Cross-Cutting Demonstrations Division of NASA's Office of Chief Technologist, stressed the partnership approach that NASA is seeking with commercial launch vehicle firms, while Michelle Murray of the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation outlined the FAA's licensing and commercial launch approval process.

During the afternoon, representatives of sub-orbital space-access vehicle firms and those representing payload-integration providers discussed their respective relationships, followed by one-on-one private meetings with NASA Flight Opportunities Program officials ...Read More

Industry meeting for sRLV and payload integration service providers - Tuesday January 25th

The Flight Opportunities Program will hold an Industry Meeting at the Dryden Flight Research Center on January 25, 2011, to discuss the subject RFI for 'Flight and Payload Integration Services' and potential future solicitation for flight and payload integration services. There will be opportunity for participants to hold private, one-on-one discussions with the Program.

Goals of the Industry Meeting

The goals of this meeting are to:
(1) familiarize participants with Program’s interest in acquiring commercial flight and integration services to fly Program-provided technology payloads;
(2) promote understanding of prevailing market conditions in procuring those services;
(3) facilitate a discussion between potential providers and the Program on potential service delivery;
(4) to facilitate a discussion between the potential providers and the FAA on the commercial launch approval process.

Meeting Agenda

0700-0800: Check-In / Sign-up for One-on-One Session, if required
0800-0815: Opening Remarks—David McBride, DFRC Center Director
0815-0830: Remarks from OCT—Dr. Steve Meier, Director CCD Division
0830-0915: Flight Opportunities Overview & Acquisition Process
0915-0945: Summary of Payload Opportunities
0945-1000: Break
1000-1100: FAA AST Licensing Overview
1100-1200: Lunch
1200-1300: Flight Service Provider-to-Integrator Relationship (open discussion)
1300-1400: Open Q&A
1400-1700: One-on-one’s (as required)


Participants must register for the Industry Meeting ...Read More

Modification 02 to Requestion For Information posted online

We've posted an update to the RFI for 'Flight and Payload Integration Services' yesterday. This Modification 02 covers the following updates:
1) Due date for RFI responses is extended to January 21, 2011.
2) A first Question & Answers document following the publication of the RFI late December is posted (see the Q&As below).
3) Flight Opportunities industry meeting information and agenda is posted (see this separate blogpost).

Questions and Answers (Modification 02, Jan 19 2011)

Question 1. Will responses to this RFI be posted for public viewing on any NASA websites?
Answer 1. We do not intend to publish the responses to this particular RFI.

Question 2. I have two different vehicles I would like to submit information on. Can I send two separate submissions?
Answer 2. Please just submit one RFI response that includes a discussion on both vehicles.

Question 3. Will the program open up to new platforms in the future (other than parabolic aircraft and sRLV)?
Answer 3. Flight Opportunities Program is interested in various platforms that can offer unique environments for technology payloads. We encourage you to respond to our Request for Information.

NSRC2011 draft program available

The NSRC2011 draft program for the upcoming Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference has been published. The Flight Opportunities Program will host a CRuSR workshop on Tuesday March 1st from 7:00-10:00pm. More information will be shared here as we move closer to finalizing the workshop program.

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