Safety panel concerned about quality control on Boeing crew capsule

Members of NASA’s independent panel of aerospace safety advisors raised concerns last week about quality control problems that “seemingly have plagued” Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule program, while urging NASA to closely monitor SpaceX’s plans to reuse Crew Dragon spaceships on astronaut flights to the International Space Station.

An unpiloted test flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in December ended prematurely after a programming error in the capsule’s mission elapsed timer caused the ship to burn too much fuel shortly after separating from its Atlas 5 rocket.


NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson on going to the moon, Mars and leading the next generation

Earlier this year (before the COVID-19 pandemic) met up with NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson, a veteran of three spaceflights who has logged more than 42 days in space, at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Long Island, New York.

Wilson, who is one of 17 NASA astronauts eligible to become the first woman to step foot on the moon in 2024 as part of NASA’s Artemis program, shared her thoughts on the future of space exploration and her advice for new explorers dreaming of joining the Artemis generation.


X-37B Space Plane Returns as USAF Collects Data for Possible Replacement

The Air Force?s secretive X-37B space plane landed at NASA?s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida on Oct. 27, after spending a record-breaking 780 days on orbit. The Orbital Test Vehicle, a reusable and unmanned spacecraft, was completing its fifth mission.

?Each successive mission advances our nation?s space capabilities,? Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said in an Oct. 27 press release. 


She Flew Helicopters In Iraq. Now She?s The Army?s Woman On The International Space Station

Anne McClain will be closer to her mother in Spokane, Washington, for the holidays than she?s been for most years since high school ? depending on where in orbit the International Space Station (ISS) is.

The astronaut has spent most of her time since graduating from Gonzaga Preparatory School in 1997 thousands of miles away from home. To be exact, McClain was 2,600 miles from Spokane when she was studying mechanical and aeronautical engineering at West Point Military Academy and 7,000 miles away when she flew Army helicopters in Iraq.

On the ISS, where her crew docked earlier this month, she?s only a?little more than 200 miles?above Earth.

Big projects helped Wright-Patt become a national hub for innovation

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base further cemented its status as a hub for aerospace innovation for the U.S. Air Force and beyond this week through a partnership with NASA.

Nine NASA astronauts and one Boeing astronaut are visiting Wright-Patt on Thursday and today for medical evaluations and fittings. They became the first people to use the new centrifuge for training in NASA?s Commercial Crew Program, according to the base.

The centrifuge ? which cost $34.4 million and was dedicated in August after five years of delays ? is the world?s most advanced of its kind. It is the latest project on base to boost Wright-Patt?s status as a center of aerospace advancement.

Army astronaut prepares for December launch

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. ? One Soldier is proving childhood dreams can come true as she prepares to launch into space for her first time.

Army astronaut Lt. Col. Anne C. McClain, and her crewmates, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, are scheduled to launch Dec. 20 aboard the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a six-month rotation on the International Space Station.

?When you look over the history of human space flight during the past 50 years, it is a relatively short time,? McClain said. ?Every vehicle that has been built and every flight that has been taken is an accomplishment in and of itself. We have been flying to the space station for about 18 years and the thing we are always doing at all of our agencies is (asking), ?What?s next? What is the next step we can take where mankind has never been before?? For us, that is deep space.

What does it mean to be a NASA astronaut in the celebrity space age of Elon Musk and Richard Branson?

The journey to outer space for American astronauts for the past seven years has begun at a Soviet-era launch site in Kazakhstan, deep in Central Asia. There, they pay homage to Russian cosmonauts and graciously participate in the rituals of their hosts, even the tradition of urinating on the right rear tire of the bus that ferries them to the rocket.

The landscape is barren and desiccated, resembling the moon or some distant celestial body, a reminder that the astronauts are a long way from Cape Canaveral.

NASA Puts Its F/A-18s and F-15s To Work To Help Solve Pilot Oxygen Deprivation Mystery

As the U.S. Air Force and Navy struggle to find the sources of persistent reports of pilots not getting enough oxygen and?suffering ?hypoxia-like? symptoms when flying a variety of different aircraft, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has recently kicked off a new program to help out. NASA pilots will fly various aircraft, including ex-U.S. military F/A-18A/B Hornet and F-15D Eagle jets, to gather important baseline information on how the human body responds to various flight conditions, especially when it comes to breathing.

The flight tests at the Armstrong Flight Research Center, situated within the Air Force?s Edwards Air Force Base in California, began on Aug. 3, 2018. The NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) at the Langley Research Center in Virginia is managing the program. Five NASA pilots will fly a total of 160 hours performing various maneuvers, from routine flight through ?benign environments? to complex and strenuous high-altitude aerobatics and combat-style maneuvering.