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“pods, bots, and drones”

In-Space Manufacturing and Assembly

  • Maxar Technologies of Palo Alto, California, will work with Langley to build a breadboard – a base for prototyping electronics – for a deployable, semi-rigid radio antenna. In-orbit assembly of large structures like antennae will enhance the performance of assets in space. Such capabilities could enable entirely new exploration missions that are currently size-constrained and reduce launch costs due to improved packaging.

HEAT SHIELD DEPLOYMENT

Entry, Descent and Landing

  • Anasphere of Bozeman, Montana, will partner with Marshall to test a compact hydrogen generator for inflating heat shields, which could help deliver larger payloads to Mars.
  • Bally Ribbon Mills of Bally, Pennsylvania, will perform thermal testing in the Arc Jet Complex at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. The facility will be used to test a new seamless weave for a mechanically deployable carbon fabric heat shield.
  • Blue Origin of Kent, Washington, will collaborate with NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and Goddard to mature a navigation and guidance system for safe and precise landing at a range of locations on the Moon.
  • Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nevada, will work with NASA on two entry, descent and landing projects. The company will partner with Langley to capture infrared images of their Dream Chaser spacecraft as it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere traveling faster than the speed of sound.
  • For the second collaboration, Sierra Nevada Corporation and Langley will mature a method to recover the upper stage of a rocket using a deployable decelerator.
  • SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, will work with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to advance their technology to vertically land large rockets on the Moon. This includes advancing models to assess engine plume interaction with lunar regolith.

advanced materials research

Advanced Materials

  • Aerogel Technologies of Boston will work with NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland to improve properties of flexible aerogels for rocket fairings and other aerospace applications. The material can result in 25% weight savings over soundproofing materials currently used in rocket fairings.
  • Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colorado, will work with NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, to test materials made from metal powders using solid-state processing to improve the design of spacecraft that operate in high-temperature environments.
  • Spirit AeroSystem Inc. of Wichita, Kansas, will partner with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to improve the durability of low-cost reusable rockets manufactured using friction stir welding. This welding method, already being used for NASA’s Space Launch System, results in a stronger, more defect-free seal compared to traditional methods of joining materials with welding torches.

NASA’S deep space network

Advanced Communications, Navigation and Avionics

  • Advanced Space of Boulder, Colorado, will partner with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to advance lunar navigation technologies. The collaboration will help mature a navigation system between Earth and the Moon that could supplement NASA’s Deep Space Network and support future exploration missions.
  • Vulcan Wireless of Carlsbad, California, also will partner with Goddard to test a CubeSat radio transponder and its compatibility with NASA’s Space Network.

GJ 357 – 3 Exoplanets

The new worlds orbit a star named GJ 357, an M-type dwarf about one-third the Sun’s mass and size and about 40% cooler that our star. The system is located 31 light-years away in the constellation Hydra. In February, TESS cameras caught the star dimming slightly every 3.9 days, revealing the presence of a transiting exoplanet — a world beyond our solar system — that passes across the face of its star during every orbit and briefly dims the star’s light.

 

To date, GJ 357 b is the second nearest (d = 9.44 pc) transiting planet to the Sun after HD 219134 b (Motalebi et al. 2015, d = 6.53 pc), and the closest around an M dwarf. Besides, it is amenable to future detailed atmospheric characterization, opening the door to new studies for atmospheric characterization of Earth-like planet atmospheres (Pallé et al. 2009).

https://www.aanda.org/component/authenticate/?task=help

 

Radial velocities discovered two more planets in the system at 9.12 (GJ 357 c) and 55.6 days (GJ 357 d), with minimum masses of 3.59+/-0.50 and 6.1+/-1 Earth masses, and an irradiation of 4.4 and 0.38 Earths irradiation, respectively. GJ 357 d receives slightly less stellar irradiation than Mars does in our own Solar System, which puts it in the Habitable Zone for its host star. GJ 357 d could not have been detected with TESS and whether it transits remains an open question.

http://astrobiology.com/2019/07/the-habitability-of-gj-357-d-possible-climates-and-observability.html

 

 

 

 

Direct Image of TOI – 270

TOI 270, also known as TIC 259377017, 2MASS J04333970-5157222 and L 231-32, is approximately 73 light-years away from Earth.

image_7010_2-TOI-270

http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/toi-270-super-earth-sub-neptunes-red-dwarf-07010.html

“The TOI-270 system shows great potential for accurate characterization and formation studies of small planets near the habitable zone,” the astronomers said.

“It will be a prime target for future studies since: (i) its near-resonance allows the detection of transit timing variations for precise mass measurements and detailed dynamical studies; (ii) its brightness enables independent radial velocity mass measurements; (iii) the outer planets are ideal for atmospheric characterization via transmission spectroscopy with the future James Webb Space Telescope (JWST); and (iv) the quiet host star is well suited for future searches of terrestrial planets within the habitable zone.”