Wednesday, February 5, 2020

NASA selects SpaceX to launch ocean research satellite

NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, Calif., to provide launch services for the agency’s PACE mission. PACE stands for Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem.

The PACE mission represents the nation’s next great investment in understanding and protecting our home planet. The mission will provide global ocean color, cloud, and aerosol data that will provide unprecedented insights into oceanographic and atmospheric responses to Earth’s changing climate. PACE will help scientists investigate the diversity of organisms fueling marine food webs and the U.S. economy, and deliver advanced data products to reduce uncertainties in global climate models and improve our interdisciplinary understanding of the Earth system.

The total cost for NASA to launch PACE is approximately $80.4 million, which includes the launch service and other mission related costs. The PACE mission currently is targeted to launch in December 2022 on a Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The PACE mission is managed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Temporary flight restriction planned for rocket launch from Virginia

Drone operators are being urged to exercise caution if using their aircraft to view the Antares rocket launch and avoid flying over the public and NASA Wallops Flight Facility property in Virginia on Sunday.

Drones, also called unmanned aerial systems, should stay clear of Wallops Flight Facility, the marsh areas between Wallops Island and the mainland and the Atlantic Ocean east of Wallops Island. A Temporary Flight Restriction and other Special Use Airspace will be activated by the Federal Aviation Administration.  Fines and penalties are applicable and will be enforced, NASA said in a notice posted on their website.

“There will be several thousand people in the area viewing the launch,” the agency said. “Public safety is paramount and drones should not be flown over crowds. The Wallops Range is committed to making sure that the viewing public is safe and that drones do not pose a threat to the success and safety of launch operations.”

The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket will launch at 5:39 p.m. EST from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The launch may be visible, weather permitting, to residents throughout the mid-Atlantic region and possibly the East Coast of the United States.

This will be Northrop Grumman’s 13th commercial resupply services mission to deliver NASA science investigations, supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Most popular posts January 2020

1.) Boeing plans 737 MAX aircraft return to service in mid-2020 - The Boeing Company informed customers and suppliers last month that they are currently estimating the ungrounding of the 737 MAX will begin during mid-2020. [Full story

2.) Airbus 330-200, newest addition to National Airlines aircraft fleet - Florida-based National Airlines announced in January they have added an Airbus 330-200 as its newest addition to its fleet, joining Boeing 747-400 Freighter and Boeing 757-200 aircraft. [Full story

3.) United Airlines starts DC/NYC shuttle service with Bombardier CRJ-550 jets - United Airlines has started a new hourly shuttle service between Washington's Reagan National Airport and New York/Newark Liberty International Airport. [Full story

4.) FBI Gulfstream jet up for sale - The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intends to sell a military C-37A, acquired and converted by the FBI in 2001 to an N registered aircraft, according to contract documents released in January. [Full story]

5.) Yates Electrospace ready to unveil wide-body GD-2000 cargo delivery drone - Yates Electrospace Corp. (YEC) announced last month they have completed the design and specifications of a wide-body version of its successful GD-2000 cargo delivery drone. [Full story]