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ISS Update: Interviews (Aug. 20-Aug. 24, 2012)
 
Interviews: International Space Station Update

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ISS Update: Powering the Space Exploration Vehicle -- 08.24.12
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In the Space Vehicle Mock-Up Facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston, NASA Public Affairs Officer Brandi Dean talks with Abbie Ryan, lead engineer for the fuel cell of the multi-mission Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV).

In the latest Research and Technology Studies (RATS) mission, crew members are living and working inside the SEV to simulate a mission to an asteroid as the RATS team evaluates the technology, human-robotic systems and extravehicular equipment for future human exploration missions in space. One important piece of technology being tested is the fuel cell that powers the SEV.

Fuel cells, which have been used aboard NASA spacecraft since the Gemini and Apollo days, combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce power and water. The newest generation of fuel cell being tested by RATS incorporates a lot of new technology, including regulators designed here at NASA. As Ryan points out, “Obviously, space shuttle was our last big fuel cell program, and that technology is about 40 years old by this point.”

Using this fuel cell, the RATS team also can predict the power requirements for future missions because they are able to collect accurate data on exactly how much power is being consumed on a daily basis during these tests.



ISS Update: Active Response Gravity Offload System -- 08.24.12
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NASA Public Affairs Officer Brandi Dean talks to the Active Response Gravity Offload System (ARGOS) Project Manager Larry Dungan in the Space Vehicle Mock-Up Facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The ARGOS is designed to simulate reduced gravity environments, such as Lunar, Martian, or microgravity, using an overhead gantry crane system. ARGOS supplies continuous offload of a portion of a subject’s weight during dynamic motions such as walking, running, and jumping, to simulate Lunar, Martian or microgravity.

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Dungan explains that the system can be helpful in a variety of training exercises and simulations, including simulating a Research And Technology Studies (RATS) spacewalk on an asteroid, which is demonstrated in the video.



ISS Update: Brent Jett Discusses the Commercial Crew Program – 08.23.12
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Brent Jett, Commercial Crew Program (CCP) Deputy Manager, talks about how NASA and its commercial partners are proceeding with vehicle development to launch astronauts to the International Space Station.

Jett transitioned from an astronaut to a management role at Johnson Space Center (JSC) as Director of Flight Crew Operations. He flew four shuttle missions, two as pilot (STS-72, STS-81) and two as commander (STS-97, STS-115). He joined CCP in 2011.

Though CCP is headquartered at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), its activities are spread among the four NASA centers that focus on human spaceflight – JSC, KSC, Stennis Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center.

The beginning of the video is an introduction to the Commercial Crew Program. The Commercial Crew Integrated Capability, or CCiCap, is an agreement with three companies to build the next generation of U.S. spacecraft for human spaceflight. Those three companies are Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corporation and SpaceX.



ISS Update: CCiCap and the SpaceX Dragon -- 08.22.12
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Commercial Crew Program (CCP) Partner Manager for SpaceX Derek Hassmann discusses the Dragon spacecraft and the CCP following the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability, or CCiCap, announcement earlier this month.

As the CCP Partner Manager, Hassmann's role is to act as the liaison between NASA and SpaceX.

Hassmann talks about the SpaceX Dragon, which was the first unpiloted commercial spacecraft to successfully rendezvous with the station on May 25, 2012.

CCiCap is an initiative of NASA's CCP and an administration priority. The objective of the CCP is to facilitate the development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low Earth orbit. After the capability is matured and expected to be available to the government and other customers, NASA could contract to purchase commercial services to meet its station crew transportation needs.



ISS Update: Dream Chaser Spacecraft -- 08.22.12
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NASA Public Affairs Officer Michael Curie talked with Cheryl McPhillips, the Commercial Crew Program Partner Manager for the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), about the development of the Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle.

As part of the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability, or CCiCap, NASA recently awarded $212.5 million to SNC to continue work and testing on the Dream Chaser. Resembling a small space shuttle, the Dream Chaser is based on NASA’s HL-20 lifting body design and will be launched on the Atlas V launch vehicle. The Dream Chaser combines years of NASA analysis and wind tunnel research with Sierra Nevada’s engineering into a fully-reusable spacecraft to transport humans to low Earth orbit and then return them to Earth with a runway landing.

As the Commercial Crew Program Partner Manager, McPhillip’s role is to act as the liaison between NASA and SNC. “I try to make sure that Sierra Nevada is successful,” McPhillips pointed out. “Anything that NASA has that they need, I try to advocate for them to get it.”

CCiCap is an initiative of NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) and an administration priority. The objective of the CCP is to facilitate the development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low Earth orbit. After the capability is matured and expected to be available to the government and other customers, NASA could contract to purchase commercial services to meet its station crew transportation needs.



ISS Update: CCiCap Meetings and the Boeing CST-100 -- 08.21.12
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Commercial Crew Program Partner Manager for Boeing Gennaro Caliendo discusses the Integrated Systems Review meetings held in Houston this week and the CST-100.

The meetings are a part of NASA’s CCiCap, or Commercial Crew Integrated Capability, milestones that have been set for its commercial partners. The meetings this week have been scheduled to review Boeing and the other commercial partners progress in their designs and to ensure that they meet system requirements.

Caliendo talks about Boeing’s CST-100, which is a capsule design that will fly into low-Earth orbit and rendezvous with the International Space Station and land back on Earth using parachutes. It is designed to land on the ground using air bags, which is different than most capsules that are designed to land in water.

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