Innovations Success Stories

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 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 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 »

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 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-Developed Independent Liftoff Acoustic Environments for Ares I

Background: NASA developed two liftoff acoustic environments for the Ares 1 vehicle using Saturn V and space shuttle SRB measured data. The second prediction in 2008 yielded substantially higher acoustic levels than the initial prediction of 2007. Value Added: NASA requested that Aerospace provide an independent prediction for comparison. Using flight data from the Atlas […]  More »

Aerospace’s Characterization of the External Tank Foam Debris Risk Analyses Critical to Shuttle Return-to-Flight

Background: Space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003. Seven astronauts died, and the nation’s human spaceflight program was halted. Subsequent investigations revealed that the liberation of foam from the shuttle external tank had damaged the leading edge of the Columbia wing during ascent. NASA needed science-based analyses of this foam liberation to […]  More »

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