TO THE MOON, MARS, AND BEYOND

Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Drone and Planes Live-Track NASA's Orion Capsule Launch

I am still watching ORION Test Launch and debriefing replays. Nice!

One of the items mentioned was that there were two Navy NP-3D Orion aircraft and the NASA Predator UAV, Ikhana, would be on hand to observe the entry and splashdown.
This gave a lot of information about the heat of the shield and great pictures of the chute deployment.  Our eyes in the sky. :-)
- LRK -

----------------------------------------------
Drones and Planes Will Live-Track NASA's Orion Capsule Launch
by Elizabeth Palermo, Staff Writer   |   December 03, 2014 09:33am ET

NASA will launch its Orion spaceship — the agency's deep-space capsule built to carry humans on future missions to an asteroid and Mars — on an unmanned test flight tomorrow (Dec. 4), but as the spacecraft rockets thousands of miles away from Earth, it won't be alone. A NASA drone, two U.S. Navy planes and several helicopters will join the capsule for at least part of its journey.
..
(Note: launch slipped to Dec 5, 2014 as weather hampered Dec. 4 proposed launch.  P3s and Ikhana did participate. - LRK -)
----------------------------------------------

Look at the quality of pictures today as opposed to what we saw 40 years ago
- LRK -

----------------------------------------------
You can thank this Predator drone for capturing NASA’s incredible Orion splashdown
By Brian Fung December 5 at 1:13 PM

That's partly due to improved camera technology, of course. We now get crisper images and better frame rates. But think about what else had to go into NASA's coverage of the Orion splashdown. Countless people tuned in to watch America's next manned spacecraft return to Earth — live, in real-time, over the Internet! — and from an incredible bird's-eye angle.

All of that was made possible by NASA's Predator drone. Yes, since 2006 NASA has had its own unmanned aircraft, modified to do things like monitor wildfires and take measurements of the atmosphere. It doesn't shoot Hellfire missiles, but the drone, named "Ikhana," can fly as high as an airliner at cruising altitude and can carry more than 2,400 pounds of science gear on its wings and in its internal bay.
...
----------------------------------------------

NASA Armstrong Ikhana Fact Sheet.
- LRK -

----------------------------------------------
NASA Armstrong Fact Sheet: Ikhana/Predator B Unmanned Science and Research Aircraft System
February 28, 2014

A General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Predator B unmanned aircraft system (UAS) was acquired by NASA in November 2006 to support Earth science missions and advanced aeronautical technology development. The aircraft, named Ikhana, also acts as a test bed to develop capabilities and technologies to improve the utility of unmanned aircraft systems.

Ikhana is a Native American Choctaw word meaning intelligent, conscious or aware. The name is descriptive of the research goals NASA has established for the aircraft and its related systems.
...
NASA's Ikhana Predator B received an avionics upgrade, wingtip winglets, and a new paint scheme in 2013.
NASA's Ikhana Predator B received an avionics upgrade, wingtip winglets, and a new paint scheme in 2013.
Image Credit: 
GA-SAI Photo
----------------------------------------------

More information about NASA's Ikhana
- LRK -

----------------------------------------------
Aero-TV: NASA's Ikhana UAV - Predator B Expands Scientific missions
Uploaded on Mar 15, 2010

A Predator By Any Other Name...

NASA's Ikhana unmanned science and technology development aircraft is a Predator B unmanned aerial system. It was acquired by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center to support Earth science missions and advanced aeronautical technology development. The aircraft, named Ikhana, acts as a testbed to develop capabilities and technologies to improve the utility of unmanned aerial systems. NASA obtained the aircraft from the manufacturer, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, in November 2006. Ikhana is a Native American Choctaw word meaning intelligence, conscious or aware. The name is descriptive of the research goals NASA has established for the aircraft and its related systems.

The aircraft, designed for long-endurance, high-altitude flight, has been modified and instrumented for use in multiple civil research roles.
...
----------------------------------------------

The Navy NP-3D Orion aircraft had a challenging job to image the heat shield on the ORION capsule.
This article was written for the expected December 4, 2014 launch which in fact took place on December 5, 2014 and was successful in getting data.
- LRK -

----------------------------------------------
NASA to Take Images of Orion Flight Test Splashdown
November 28, 2014

A number of teams will have eyes, cameras and telescopes trained on the skies for the splashdown of the first flight of NASA's Orion capsule — with the help of Navy and NASA aircraft.

The SCIFLI (Scientifically Calibrated In-Flight Imagery) team, based at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, is preparing to capture thermal snapshots of the super hot re-entry of Orion into Earth's atmosphere following its first test flight. The uncrewed capsule is scheduled to launch no earlier than Dec. 4 at 7:05 a.m. ET atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 37 in Florida. Orion will travel to an altitude of 3,600 miles — 15 times higher than the International Space Station — orbit Earth twice, then splash down in the Pacific Ocean four and a half hours later and be recovered.
...

Two Navy aircraft equipped with optical "Cast Glance" imaging systems will record the reentry and parachute deployment of the Orion capsule after its first flight.

...
The team will use a U.S. Navy NP-3D aircraft, also called Orion, to capture the imagery. It is equipped with a long-range infrared optical system called "Cast Glance." The NP-3D Orion is one of five operated by the NAVAIR Weapons Division's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron-30 (VX-30), Pt. Mugu, California. The research effort is sponsored by the NASA Engineering and Safety Center.
...
----------------------------------------------
Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -
The NASA IKHANA Unmanned Aircraft
Uploaded on Apr 4, 2007
NASA has acquired a Predator B unmanned aircraft system to conduct Earth science and technology development missions. Named "Ikhana" a Native American Choctaw word meaning intelligent, the aircraft will fly long-endurance, high-altitude flights from its base at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif. Atmospheric and remote sensing instruments will be installed in the aircraft or in external pods to collect data on flights lasting up to 30 hours.
==============================================================
ORION Quick Facts

Orion is America’s next generation spacecraft that will take astronauts
to exciting destinations never explored by humans. It will serve as the
exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to distant planetary bodies,
provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space
travel, and provide safe reentry from deep space.
....
==============================================================

WHAT THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE, AND BELIEVE, IT WILL ACHIEVE - LRK -

==============================================================

Moon and Mars - Videos

Loading...
Loading...