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 »

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 »

Aerospace Performs James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Environmental Testing

Background Several internal areas (radiant barrier panels in the inner dome section and the sun shield surfaces) of JWST Chamber A were cleaned using procedures recommended by Aerospace. The recommended procedure for rusted areas was to thoroughly clean the areas and apply a rust inhibitor, followed by primer and paint. Aerospace reviewed and approved the […]  More »

Aerospace Helps NASA Prepare for Decision on the Future of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

Background: In response to the JWST cost (> 15%) and schedule (> six-month slip) breach, NASA prepared for a future decision on the JWST by seeking an analysis of alternatives (AoA) to the JWST baseline and a preliminary risk assessment. NASA Headquarters tasked Aerospace to perform both the AoA and PRA. Value Added: In performing […]  More »

Aerospace Provides Independent Assessment of NASA Launch Vehicles (Pegasus XL, Taurus XL, Delta II, Delta IV, and Atlas V)

Background: For the past nine years, Aerospace has provided independent assessment of NASA launch vehicles. Aerospace provides weekly reports to NASA KSC Safety and Mission Assurance (S&MA) that include notes and assessments for contractor reviews (e.g., engineering review boards, anomaly review boards, and mission milestone reviews), as well as developments in ongoing failure analyses, production, […]  More »

Aerospace Performs Iridium Block 1 Spacecraft Collision and Hazard Assessment

Background: The Feb. 10, 2009, collision of the operational Iridium 33 satellite with the retired Russian Cosmos 2251 resulted in a decades-long pollution of a widely used orbit, and raised questions about whether Iridium, whose satellite was destroyed, had done all it could to avoid the event. The collision rendered the Iridium orbit a more […]  More »

Aerospace Completes Installation of Third-Generation Multi-Constellation User Terminal at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellite Operations Facility

Background: The National Oceanic and Atmosphereic Administration (NOAA) Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF), located in Suitland, Maryland, is the primary command and control center for the many environmental satellites under the purview of the NOAA National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS). The primary environmental satellites supported from the NSOF include GOES, POES, DMSP, and Jason. […]  More »

Aerospace Develops Monte Carlo Tool for Predicting Damage to Shuttle from Foam Debris

Background The space shuttle Columbia accident occurred in part because the foam fell off the tank about 82 seconds after liftoff, when the air was much thicker and slowed the foam so that the climbing orbiter struck it with great force. The Columbia and its crew were lost because a 1.67-pound piece of insulating foam […]  More »

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