SANDUSKY, Ohio – Home of the Wright Brothers, Ohio is known as the “Birthplace of Aviation.” But the state also has some good intentions in spaceflight, as we mentioned during Thursday’s (February 1) event.
That day, NASA and Colorado-based Sierra Space gave reporters a close-up look Dream catchera private space plane scheduled to fly its first ever mission into space International Space Station (ISS) later this year.
This event occurred at NASA Neil Armstrong testing facility Here in Sandusky. The Dream Chaser robots and their cargo module — vehicles named “Tenacity” and “Shooting Star,” respectively — are stacked vertically, as they will be during launch. The duo was 55 feet (16.8 meters) tall – almost the length of a school bus!
Related: Dream Chaser is entering final testing before its first spaceflight in 2024
“In order to turn bold dreams into bold action, it takes a tremendous amount of perseverance, perseverance, confidence, determination and passion. And so we name our products after these emotional properties that help you get through tough times,” said former NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, who is now chief Sierra Space medics during Thursday’s event.
“Building perseverance has been difficult,” he added. “There were a lot of things we discovered collectively that didn’t always work out right the first time. We learned a lot that Tenacity had helped us over the last six years, so there was no other name.”
The highly anticipated debut of the Tenacity spacecraft will transport cargo to the International Space Station for NASA. This experimental unmanned mission will help advance science in space and continue to stimulate the thriving economy in low Earth orbit.
But before the inaugural flight can begin, Tenacity and Shooting Star must complete a variety of tests. That’s what’s happening here in Sandusky: The spacecraft is put through its paces at NASA’s Mechanical Vibration Facility. These experiments expose the vehicles to the various extreme environments they will encounter during the mission, such as the jostling they will experience during launch, which will occur atop the United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket.
“All the testing we’ve done over the last six years, plus the developmental testing, all the autonomy and aerodynamics — the remaining testing is the environmental testing of what the vehicle will actually see on the launch pad during the Vulcan flight,” Aerospace CEO Tom Weiss said Thursday. “The testing is related to simulating the space environment, the vacuum of space, and this will be done in a thermal vacuum chamber.”
Space Sierra Obtained Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS2).) Multi-year CExcerpt from NASA In 2016, to provide at least six missions to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. according to The latest release from NASAThis is part of an ongoing effort to increase commercial resupply options in low Earth orbit.
NASA continues to cooperate with American private industry when it comes to transporting cargo and astronauts to the station. For example, the agency signed commercial crew deals with Boeing and SpaceX in 2014. Elon Musk’s company has already launched seven operational crewed missions to the International Space Station and is now under construction. Get ready for number eight. (Boeing, on the other hand, aims to launch the first crewed test flight of its Starliner capsule this spring.)
NASA officials and exploration advocates say the increased involvement of private players in resupplying the International Space Station could significantly boost scientific revenues in the future.
“They continue the lifeblood of the weightless research that the ISS is doing now and that we hope to do in the future, and we’re talking about new materials,” Marshburn said.
“A lot of people don’t realize that the cytoskeletal structure of both human cells and bacteria actually changes in weightlessness and the way they interact changes,” he added. “NASA has been able to develop new vaccines, grow crystals, all kinds of things you can do in weightlessness. And I think we’re just on the first few steps into a whole new world with what we’ll be able to do once we start flying.”
While Shooting Star will remain true to its name and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere after its only mission is completed, Tenacity will land and be ready for another liftoff. In fact, the space plane was designed to Fly up to 15 missions.
Tenacity will carry more than 7,800 pounds (3,540 kg) of cargo on its maiden flight, though it could carry up to 11,500 pounds (5,215 kg) on future missions. The spaceplane is designed to carry more than 3,500 pounds (1,590 kg) of cargo and experimental samples, while more than 8,700 pounds (3,950 kg) of trash can be disposed of in the cargo module upon return.
Related: Meet ‘Perseverance’: Dream Chaser’s first spaceplane to get a name
The builders of the Dream Chaser aimed to create something reusable and highly reliable.
“If we’re a company that wants to benefit life on Earth, we want to understand the impact on it,” Weiss said. “So we designed this vehicle to use a very special fuel, which is hydrogen peroxide and refined kerosene, so that we’re not really using hazardous materials. And so it’s very unique – we think that being able to fly multiple times on one plane allows us to have a smaller footprint every time we travel.” In which.”
The Tenacity and Shooting Star rockets are currently scheduled to launch in the first half of this year, from Space Launch Complex 41 in Cape Canaveral Space Force Station In Florida. After liftoff, teams from Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser Mission Control Center in Louisville, Colorado, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and NASA’s Johnson Space Center The Houston astronauts will work together to monitor the flight, control the spacecraft and provide in-orbit demonstrations to help certify the system for future missions.
“The research conducted on the space station is tremendous, but even more broadly, the learning of this massive community increases our ability to travel to and from space and learn from it,” said Phil Dempsey, director of transportation integration for NASA’s International Space Station program. He said during Thursday’s event.
“There are people sitting at home, and you ask them the question – why should I go do this, why should our tax dollars go to this? It’s not down to one individual reason, it’s down to the learning that we have as an industry and industry. Humanity is due to travel to Space and the difficulty of space travel.” “It contributes to what we can do as a general group of people here on Earth as we look to do things beyond Earth, or advance work on Earth or research that benefits us.”