Posted on September 15, 2014 · Posted in Aviation News

November 25: 3-D Printer Creates First Object in Space on International Space Station

Niki Werkheiser, NASA’s 3-D Printing Project Manager, talks with Marshall Space Flight Center’s Bill Hubscher about today’s on-orbit set-up and first test run of the International Space Station’s 3-D Printer, a technology demonstration that is the first step toward establishing an on-demand machine shop in space to manufacture spare parts, a critical technology to enable future exploration of deep space. Click here for more info.

November 23: Jennifer Huber describes the NASA Social experience leading up to the SpaceX CRS-4 launch

October 25: SpaceX Dragon CRS-4’s mission ends with successful undocking and splashdown

Dragon lands in the Pacific Ocean at approximately 12:38pm PDT, carrying 3,276 lbs of cargo & science samples. The mission lasted 34 days, 13 hours and 49 minutes from blastoff to splashdown, the longest Dragon flight to date.

October 17: Thermal Video of CRS4 Falcon 9 First Stage Reentry

NASA successfully captured thermal images of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its descent after it launched in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The data from these thermal images may provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars.

October 7: RapidScat Experiment Installed & Working

Tropical Storm Simon as seen by the International Space Station-RapidScat scatterometer as the storm approached Mexico's Baja California peninsula at 0210 UTC Time Oct. 4 (7:10 p.m. PDT Oct. 3). Image Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech

Tropical Storm Simon as seen by the International Space Station-RapidScat scatterometer as the storm approached Mexico’s Baja California peninsula at 0210 UTC Time Oct. 4 (7:10 p.m. PDT Oct. 3). Image Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech

NASA’s RapidScat “wind watcher” was unpacked from the Dragon capsule and installed on the International Space Station last week by the station’s robotic arm. This video shows time-lapse of the installation followed by the team’s reaction when the instrument was activated for the first time.

RapidScat will boost global monitoring of ocean winds for improved weather and marine forecasting, including hurricane monitoring, as well as climate studies. From the unique vantage point of the space station, this space-based scatterometer instrument will use radar pulses reflected from the ocean’s surface from different angles to calculate ocean surface wind speeds and directions.

Learn more at NASA

October 3: Dragon CRS-4 thruster firings

September 26: Dragon docked with the Space Station

September 23: Rendezvous & Grapple Of The SpaceX CRS-4 Dragon Capsule

Video compliments of Matthew Travis from NASA footage.

September 23: Photos of Dragon CRS-4 from the ISS

September 23: Dragon arrives & docks at the Space Station

September 22: NASA Social participants

Here are links to what other NASA Social participants heard, saw, and felt about the experience of being at the Kennedy Space Center and the launch of the SpaceX CRS-4 mission to the International Space Station:

September 21: Some thoughts about participating in this launch…

The main takeaway I received from participating in the NASA Social event for this SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station is that NASA is EXTREMELY ACTIVE and VITAL in producing MANY wide-ranging and useful Aeronautics and Space Exploration projects that expand our knowledge and benefit everyone here on Earth… for LESS than HALF of a penny per Federal tax dollar.

Think of what they could do with just another half of a penny, or more!

“Right now, NASA’s annual budget is half a penny on your tax dollar. For twice that—a penny on a dollar—we can transform the country from a sullen, dispirited nation, weary of economic struggle, to one where it has reclaimed its 20th century birthright to dream of tomorrow.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

As I am typing this, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) is entering orbit around Mars to explore its upper atmosphere to find out where all of its water went to. Amazing stuff!

To keep up with all of these exciting programs, be sure to subscribe to these NASA news resources on social media to learn more about all of the great things they are doing right now and in the future:

NASA on Facebook | NASA on Twitter | NASA on Google+

September 21: Post-Launch News Conference

September 21: SpaceX CRS-4 Launch & Orbit Insertion Video

September 21: NASA Social for SpaceX Crew Resupply Mission 4

September 19-21: Pre-Launch Photos by AirWingMedia

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SpaceX4-Mission-PatchMission Background

SpaceX CRS-4 is a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station, contracted to NASA. It will be the sixth flight for SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft, and the fourth SpaceX operational mission contracted to NASA under a Commercial Resupply Services contract.

  • Launch Time (Updated): 21 September 2014, 1:52 a.m. EDT
  • Inclination: 51.6 degrees
  • Launch Site: Cape Canaveral SLC-40
  • Launch Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1
  • CRS-4 Mission Press Kit (PDF)

Primary Payloads

  • More than 5,000 pounds of supplies, experiments, provisions and other gear.
  • ISS-RapidScat will be launched as an external payload to be attached on the end of the station’s Columbus laboratory.
  • SSIKLOPS – Space Station Integrated Kinetic Launcher for Orbital Payload Systems.
  • TechShot Bone Densitometer – Measures bone mineral density (and lean and fat tissue) in mice using Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA).

Secondary Payloads

  • 3D Printing in Zero-G Experiment.
  • Arkyd 3 is a 3U CubeSat technology demonstrator from private company Planetary Resources.
  • SPINSAT is a 56-centimeter (22 in)-diameter sphere built by the US government Naval Research Lab (NRL) to study atmospheric density.
  • Cobra Puma Golf Materials Testing in Microgravity
  • Drug Development & Human Biology
  • Optimization of Protein Crystal Growth for Determinations of Enzyme Mechanisms Through Advanced Diffraction Techniques
  • Rodent Research

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