Innovations Success Stories

Aerospace Named Point of Contact for Transition from Shuttle to Constellation Workforce Issues

Background: NASA has been preparing for space shuttle retirement since 2004, including ongoing activities to facilitate transition of both key NASA civil service employees and contractor employees to other programs. NASA created the Space Shuttle Transition Liaison Office to better facilitate and coordinate these efforts. The proposed changes to the human spaceflight program have had […]  More »

Technology Roadmap Support to the National Research Council (NRC)

Background: NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) has drafted a set of 14 Space Technology Area Roadmaps as an initial point of departure for mapping NASA’s future investments in new technologies for space missions. These roadmaps include various areas such as launch propulsion systems, robotics and autonomy, nanotechnology, as well as entry, descent, and […]  More »

Aerospace Provides Independent Assessment to NASA Kennedy Space Center Safety and Mission Assurance for all NASA Launch Services Contracted Launch Vehicles

Background: Aerospace provides weekly reports to NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) that include notes and assessments for contractor reviews (engineering review boards, anomaly review boards, and mission milestone reviews), as well as developments in ongoing failure analyses, production, design, and qualification. NASA launch services (NLS) contracted launches use a variety of launch […]  More »

Aerospace Performs Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Certification for Flight Readiness (CoFR)

Background: The MSL is the next-generation Mars rover. The spacecraft was launched Nov. 26, 2011, and is scheduled to arrive at Mars in August 2012. Researchers will use the rover’s 10 science instruments during the following two years to investigate whether the landing area has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. NASA’s Jet […]  More »

Aerospace Provides Improvement in Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Minotaur IV Launch Vehicle Trajectory

Background The SMAP observatory employs a dedicated spacecraft with an instrument suite that will be launched on the ICBM-derived Minotaur IV vehicle into a 680-km near-polar, sun-synchronous orbit. SMAP instrument includes a radiometer and a synthetic aperture radar operating at L-band with the ability to sense the soil conditions through moderate vegetation cover. The instrument […]  More »

Aerospace Evaluates International Space Station (ISS) De-orbit Alternatives

Background: At some point in the near future, the ISS will have to be decommissioned, de-orbited, and returned to Earth. The end-of-life disposal of the ISS must be carefully planned to meet the strict safety standards required to minimize third-party damage and avoid casualties (less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of a casualty). Value […]  More »

Aerospace Conducts Radar Observations in Support of Mission Assurance for Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Spacecraft

Background: JPL conducted interferometric radar observations of the south polar region of the moon in September and December 2006 using the Goldstone Lake Bed transmitting and receiving system in the Mojave Desert of California. The Goldstone Solar System Radar observations are formed by transmission of a 16.4 ms 500 kW pulse coded waveform and center […]  More »

Aerospace Prepares Human Rated Delta IV Heavy Study Report for Human Spaceflight Committee

Background: The Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee (also known as the Augustine Committee) was a group reviewing the human spaceflight plans of the United States. Their goal was to ensure the nation is on “a vigorous and sustainable path to achieving its boldest aspirations in space.” The review was announced by […]  More »

Support to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat 5 Battery Anomaly Analysis

Background: On Oct. 6, 2007, during the 24th year of its three-year expected lifetime, Landsat 5 autonomously halted imaging operations due to a large spike in the temperature of its battery no. 2. The spacecraft continued to function on its one remaining battery (no. 3) long enough for ground engineers to reduce the spacecraft electrical […]  More »

Aerospace Provides Independent Review of Aquarius Microwave Radiometer

Background: Aquarius is a microwave radiometer/radar combination developed under NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) program to map the surface salinity field of the oceans from space. The Aquarius/SAC-D mission is a partnership between the U.S. (NASA) and Argentina (CONAE). The main instrument onboard is an L-band radiometer developed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center […]  More »

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