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Black Box
3.21.05
 
NASA and an industry partner recently agreed to develop the first 'black box' for spacecraft and hope to test a prototype as early as 2006. A joint program between NASA and the Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif., will develop a spacecraft black box, among many other low-cost miniature space systems, according to a NASA-Aerospace agreement.

Black boxes carried on aircraft record airplane data such as speed, altitude, other readings and crew conversations. This information can be recovered after an accident to help investigators learn the cause of a mishap. The black box often includes a beacon that helps investigators find the box.

Black Box Diagram
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Black Box Diagram
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G. Scott Hubbard, director of NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, and Dr. Bill Ballhaus, president and chief executive officer of the Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo,, Calif., are pictured signing an agreement to cooperate.
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G. Scott Hubbard, director of NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, and Dr. Bill Ballhaus, president and chief executive officer of the Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo,, Calif., are pictured shaking hands.
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black box Model of the Reentry Breakup Recorder (spacecraft 'black box') to scale. The addition of the heat shield is expected to bring its size closer to 1 foot (0.3 meters) in diameter.
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These images are cleared for news and public affairs use by the Aerospace Corporation. For any other uses, please contact Dave Jonta, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif. (Phone: 310/336-5041)