NASA

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HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - NASA says it's simulating a splashdown of its Orion spacecraft, this time with crash test dummies, as it prepares to eventually send humans to Mars. 

A pendulum will swing a test capsule into a pool of water at NASA's Langley facility on Thursday. Inside will be dummies in spacesuits that represent a 105-pound woman and a 220-pound man. 

The agency will evaluate the effects of landing at different velocities and in various conditions. For instance, one of its parachutes could fail as it returns from space or it could hit rough seas. 

nasa.gov

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - NASA says the commercial space company Orbital ATK will send a resupply rocket to the International Space Station around Aug. 22. The launch will be the firm's first from Virginia since a 2014 mishap that destroyed a NASA payload and damaged Virginia's state-owned launch pad.

NASA announced the tentative launch date Thursday, saying the unmanned spacecraft will carry supplies and vehicle hardware to the space station's crew.

Wallops Flight Facility

A NASA rocket was successfully launched this morning at 6:06 a.m. from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket  carried student experiments.

On hand to watch the launch were more than 200 middle school, high school, community college and university students as part of Rocket Week at the flight facility.  

The rocket rose some 74 miles above the earth before coming down with a parachute in the Atlantic Ocean.

The next suborbital sounding rocket flight is set for mid-August.

creative commons freefoto.com

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) - Authorities say a NASA research scientist who worked at the Wallops Flight Facility has been found dead a day after her family reported her missing.
 
Police said the body of 48-year-old Tiffany Moisan of Princess Anne was found Sunday in a wooded area behind a Food Lion store. Moisan's family reported her missing Saturday to Maryland State Police.
 

official photos

Senator Barbara Mikulski marked a final chapter in her political career yesterday by a visit to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility for which the Maryland Democrat has gotten more than $160 million in federal funds during the Obama years.  

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that she ended her address with a flourish similar to that of President Obama at last weekend’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

Urging that the force be with them Maryland’s senior senator dropped the microphone and put two fingers to her lips to say good-bye.

nasa.gov

Two post-World War II bombs were uncovered during construction on a runway at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that they were still intact.

Dover Air Force Base sent an ordnance disposal team who exploded the bombs last night.

Keith Kohler, a spokesman for the flight facility, said that the north end of the runway had been used by the Navy during the 1940’s and early 1950’s.

The paper reports that the new runway will be used for unmanned aerial vehicles. 

Orbital

The NASA has given its Sounding Rocket Operations Contract to Orbital ATK in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the contract is worth nearly $200 million and could stretch over five years.

The paper says that Orbital will take on responsibility for service and supplies for the Sounding Rocket Program.

Among the number of sites that will participate in the Sounding Rocket Program is Wallops Flight facility.

 

creative commons

The Obama administration has decided against offshore drilling along southeast coastal areas.

And the announcement was hailed by environmentalists as a major victory.

The Assateague Coastal Trust issued a statement in which they said this was the result of a major effort by the coastal communities to speak out against oil and natural gas development.

The Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that the decision would protect the sensitive areas while safely developing the nation’s energy resources.

nasa.gov

The launch of a sounding rocket from Wallops Flight facility has been postponed until next Monday Feb. 29th.           

The rocket carrying the Multiple User Suborbital Instrument Carrier had been expected to lift off on Monday of this week.

But due to inclement weather it was postponed again.

Originally, it was set to be launched last December but due to weather problems and vessels underneath the launch path it was delayed until this year.

nasa.gov

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA is adding a third company to its short list of space station suppliers.

On Thursday, NASA announced Sierra Nevada Corp. will join SpaceX and Orbital ATK in launching cargo to the International Space Station. These flights, yet to be finalized, will  run through 2024.

Sierra Nevada competed for NASA's commercial crew contract, but lost out in 2014 to SpaceX and Boeing. This marks a second chance for the Nevada-based company, which is developing a mini shuttle. The other companies use standard-shaped capsules.

nasa flickr

There are new NASA photos of the Antares rocket explosion at the Wallops Flight Facility last October.

They posted them on their Flickr account but there is no word on why they have been posted a year after the explosion.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the images were unveiled just shortly after the results of an investigation into the explosion which did not find a single cause.

nasa.tv

NASA officials say they have not determined exactly why a rocket exploded a year ago at the Wallops Flight Facility.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the possibilities range from the bearings in a pump not being able to take the pressure and a defect in the turbine housing to foreign debris in the pump itself.

The Antares rocket was loaded with thousands of pounds of food and supplies bound for the International Space Station before it exploded 15 seconds after it was launched.

wikipedia

Delaware State University will be picking up $5 million in a grant from NASA for its optics program.

One of the four projects will help the Mars Rover determine if there is life on the red planet.

The University lab examines the characteristics of live cells, dead cells and atomic signatures among other things.

WBOC reports that the NASA grant is the first major grant for the optics program since the construction of a new building last month.

Wallops Flight Facility website

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - NASA says preliminary indications show that a modified motor performed as planned during a test flight.

The space agency launched a NASA Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket at 7:07 p.m. Wednesday from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia to test the modified Black Brant motor. A launch vehicle, spacecraft systems and sub-payload technologies also were tested.

NASA says in a news release that the technology experiments are undergoing a preliminary data analysis.

nasa.gov

NASA has put off the launch of a sounding rocket at Wallops Flight Facility from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The facilities officials blamed the delay on the recent storm that swept through the area from Hurricane Joaquin.

The mission is aimed at testing new equipment that would make the missions less risky and cheaper.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the flight was to test the Black Branch motor with two stages.

In addition, the paper says the mission will be testing a new fabricating method for the payload.

nasa.tv

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority says major repairs to a launch pad that was damaged when a rocket exploded shortly after liftoff last fall have been completed.

An unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded moments after liftoff from Wallops Island on Oct. 28.

The rocket explosion caused about $15 million in damage to the launch pad, which sits on a NASA facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

nasa.gov

The Salisbury-based Harkins Contracting Incorporated has been tapped to build a new Mission Launch Command Center at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

It will spread out over 14-thousand square feet becoming the central location for rocket control, their payloads and other support systems.

wallops flight facility website

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - NASA's Wallops Flight Facility is holding an open house for the public to celebrate its 70th anniversary.

The event will be held on Saturday. Wallops launched its first rocket on June 27, 1945.

Wallops director Bill Wrobel says in a news release that the facility wants to give the public a first-hand look at its diverse missions.

The scientific balloon lab and the sounding rocket payload facility are among the facilities that will be open.

nasa

The Wallops Flight Facility will be carrying out a test of some newly formulated technology that could help in the exploration of space.

Delmarva Public Radio’s Rachel Taylor prepared this report.

nasa.gov

The Wallops Flight facility is looking at the possibility of landing reusable booster rockets and manned spacecraft.

An environmental study is now underway that could lead to manned space flights coming to Accomack County.

Bruce Underwood, Wallops’ deputy director, told the Salisbury Daily Times that there are no plans at present to land spacecraft at the facility.

But he adds there have been several government agencies and private space companies that have expressed interest.

NASA tv

The environmental impact report on the explosion of the Antares rocket at Wallops Flight Facility is in.

And, it found that some of the most serious occurred inside the 50 foot crater that saw ground water seep into the hole created by the rocket as it exploded 15 seconds after liftoff.

Around the site there was contamination from perchlorate which is used to make the rocket fuel.

That could pose a risk to the workers.

There were two recommendations.    

Joh Grant / NASA

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - NASA has scheduled a weekend launch of a rocket from its Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia.

NASA says the Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket will carry experiments developed by undergraduate students at Virginia Tech, the University of Colorado, Northwest Nazarene University, the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Nebraska.

The launch is scheduled for Saturday between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.

NASA had planned to launch the rocket in March but postponed the launch because of weather.

NASA

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - A rocket carrying student experiments is scheduled to be launched this week from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

NASA says the experiments were developed by undergraduate students at Virginia Tech, the University of Colorado, Northwest Nazarene University, the University of Puerto Rico and the University of Nebraska.

The NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket is scheduled to be launched on Friday between 6:45 a.m. and 10 a.m.

nasa.gov

It takes millions of dollars to keep the sea level rise at bay for NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

That’s what Caroline Massey, the Flight Facility assistant director of management operations told the Accomack County Board of Supervisors this week.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that an estimated $9 million has been sunk into protecting key structures against sea level rise.

Some estimates put that rise at 6 feet or higher.

Massey noted that the facility suffered $3.8 million in damage after Hurricane Irene.

nasa.gov

ATLANTIC, Va. (AP) - Three suborbital rockets were launched from NASA's facility on Wallops Island as part of a ballistic missile defense test.
 
The Missile Defense Agency says Tuesday's successful flight test was the first to assess the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system's ability to simulate engagements of raids consisting of three short-range, separating ballistic missile targets.
 

Wallops Flight Facility website

The launch of three Terrier-Oreole suborbital rockets that had been scheduled for today from NASA’s flight facility on Wallops Island has been postponed.

The new launch day is tomorrow February 24th between 12.30 and 4:30 a.m.

If that does not work out the next launch dates would be February 25th and February 27th.

There will be no real-time launch status available and not public viewing at the request of the Defense Department.

The Visitors’ Center will also be closed for the launch.

nasa.gov

There’s been a name change for a group supporting the development of the Wallops Flight Facility.

The business group is now called the Wallops Island Regional Alliances.

That’s a shift from the Eastern Shore Defense Alliance.

Chairman of the organization Peter Bale told the Salisbury Daily Times that the group wanted to move away from the emphasis on the military applications.

The flight facility has placed more emphasis on private commercial rocket launches.

nasa.tv

The last minute spending bill approved by the House of Representatives last night included $20 million in funding to help in the repair of the NASA Wallops Flight Facility that was damaged during the explosion of an Antares rocket just after liftoff this year.

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kane announced that the money is contained in the bill that will now be considered by the Senate.

The two Virginia Democrats calls the Wallops Facility a key asset to the state that they expect will continue to play a role in NASA and space exploration.

nasa.tv

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority says repairs to its launch pad on Wallops Island will likely take a year.

nasa.tv

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials plan to re-examine a spaceport deal with Orbital Sciences Corp. following a rocket explosion that damaged a state-owned launch pad.

Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne Jr. tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration may seek to renegotiate the deal.

McAuliffe also has asked U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine to look for federal funds to help pay for repairs.

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