Community > Forum > Other US Government Space Activities > Air Force and DARPA doing part of NASA's work...

Air Force and DARPA doing part of NASA's work...

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Thu May 03, 2007 8:52 am
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 8 posts ] 
Air Force and DARPA doing part of NASA's work... 
Author Message
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post Air Force and DARPA doing part of NASA's work...   Posted on: Thu May 03, 2007 8:52 am
According to the article "Prototype Satellites Demonstrate In-Orbit Refueling" ( www.space.com/missionlaunches/070404_or ... eling.html ) the two prototype-satellites ASTRO and NextSat in transferring fuel from ASTRO to NextSat - which in principle is the first and major step of refueling.

The same article mentions that the two satellites are part of an Air Force-mission and -project.

I remember well that there is a Centennial Challenges by NASA for orbital depots for fuel etc. These depots would need technologies like those tested by ASTRO and NextSat.

I am not sure at this moment if the Centennial Challenge about depots really has been started - but if not it looks as if it might not been needed any longer. A team of private companies already is working on it - funded by the Air Force.

So it seems that the Air Force is doing what NASA should be interested in and do themselves - and on the other hand it seems to be an example of suboptimal coordination and cooperation.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:39 am
According to the article "U.S. Air Force to End Orbital Express Mission" ( http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/07 ... press.html ) the experimental mission was successful. And it involved the removal and later retrun of a computer if I understand correct.

So in-space refuelling seems to be working - which not only supports some NASA ideas but also elements of concepts I am using myself. ...



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:32 am
There is a chance that the experiment will be continued according to the article "Another Demo Planned for Orbital Express Satellites" ( http://www.space.com/spacenews/070711_o ... onweb.html ).



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:32 am
According to the article "Pentagon Pulls Plug on Satellite Refueling Prototypes" ( www.space.com/missionlaunches/070725_da ... s_end.html ) the short prolongation was successfull.

It has been tested if a servicing satellite having lost track of its target can close in again if it gets informations about the target's location from ground.

This starts to remind me to terrestrial operations on the oceans.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:09 pm
Posts: 268
Location: Orlando, FL
Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:17 pm
In reality, its just the Air Force doing what they did before NASA came along. They used to be the main US authority on aero and astronautics. I'm sure they're enjoying the opportunity to get back into it, I know I would.

_________________
University of Central Florida
Industrial Engineering Dept.
Class of 2010

UCF-LM CWEP Intern
Lockheed Martin Orlando
Missiles & Fire Control


Back to top
Profile YIM WWW
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:55 pm
Posts: 506
Location: Germany
Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:50 am
Well, in-space refuelling is nothing really new.. Progress freighters do this since the Salyut space stations.

_________________
"The hardest hurdle to space isn't the technicalities and money. But rather, the courage and the will to do it." - Burt Rutan.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Moderator
Moderator
avatar
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:23 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:44 pm
Hello, Klaus,

in my eyes there is the difference that Salyut, MIR and ISS are manned and the refuelling is controlled or supervised by astronauts while the tests done didn't involve no humans.

The main reason to start a talk about it was that I remember issues at this board that this refuelling is risky or so and that in-flight refuelling of airplanes is viewed to be risky also.

In-space refuelling could reduce the costs of flights to the Moon or to other planets and there is significant interest in it because it could prolong the lifetime of satellites.

In between there is another project DARPA does which usually or normally would have been viewed as NASA's task - the technology-project for keeping satellites in their proper orbits using heat got by the sun reported by the article "DARPA Readies Demonstration of Radically New In-Space Propulsion" ( www.space.com/businesstechnology/071029 ... darpa.html ).

It seems that DARPA at least might be a proper partner of NASA - there may be unused synergies.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2004 12:55 pm
Posts: 506
Location: Germany
Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:50 pm
The supervising and controlling is pratically completely done by the ground control team.

Actually the first Salyut stations equipped with a refueling system had often to do the refueling when the cosmonauts were sleeping because the pumps drew a lot of power and the solar arrays didn't provide much energy, so this could only be done when the most power was available for the pumps.

This was during sleep periods, when life support system were switched to minimum levels and no manual experiments were done.

Talking about lifetime of satellites. One should never forget one of the main problems. The degradation of the solar arrays (paired with practical problems like new technologies not available when the sat was launched, for example imaging equipment).

_________________
"The hardest hurdle to space isn't the technicalities and money. But rather, the courage and the will to do it." - Burt Rutan.


Back to top
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


cron
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use