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Fri Oct 4, 2019, 10:13 PM

NASA is Going to Test 25 New Technologies in Upcoming Aircraft,Balloon and Sub-Orbital Rocket Flight


NASA’s Flight Opportunities program has selected 25 space technologies for further testing. They’re testing the technologies on aircraft, balloons, and sub-orbital rocket flights. NASA hopes to learn a lot about each of the technologies with this rigorous testing, without the expense of sending them all into orbital space.

This testing will subject each of the technologies—which includes everything from navigation technologies to astronaut health-monitoring—to the demands and rigor of space travel, without actually sending them into space. It’s an important step in the the development of these technologies before they’re included in any actual missions.

In January 2018, a Blue Origin New Shepard sub-orbital rocket carried nine Flight Opportunities technologies into sub-orbital space for testing. Image Credit: Blue Origin

“With vibrant and growing interest in exploration and commercial space across the country, our goal with these selections is to support innovators from industry and academia who are using rapid and affordable commercial opportunities to test their technologies in space,” said Christopher Baker, program executive for Flight Opportunities at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “These suborbital flights enable researchers to quickly and iteratively test technologies with the opportunity to make adjustments between flights. The ultimate goal is to change the pace of technology development and drastically shorten the time it takes to bring an idea from the lab to orbit or to the Moon.”

NASA call this program a bridge between laboratory testing and testing in Earth orbit and beyond. The technologies being tested fall under two fairly broad categorizations:


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