NASA Flight Opportunities Program launches science payloads

December 2, 2013
Members of the UP Aerospace ground grew roll back the moveable garage and payload integration facility to expose the launcher with the SL-8 sounding rocket mounted underneath. Credit: NASA / Paul De Leon

An enthusiastic group of suborbital space researchers arrived at Spaceport America in New Mexico in early November to prepare and load their experiments on an UP Aerospace rocket that would place their technologies in a space-like environment where they will eventually operate.

All of the payloads carried on the Nov. 12th launch of UP's SpaceLoft-8 were NASA-funded research technologies chosen by NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, which is part of the agency's Space Technology Mission Directorate.

The reached an altitude of approximately 73 miles – roughly 385,000 feet—and provided the technologies with nearly four minutes of microgravity. All payload teams indicated they were satisfied with the flight, and a couple of researchers were excited with the preliminary data received.

"The SL-8 launch was a complete success," said NASA campaign manager Paul De Leon at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "The UP Aerospace team provided an outstanding service, and the vehicle performed exceptionally well, just as planned. All of the payload teams were extremely happy with the flight and anxious to get their payloads back and analyze their data."

UP Aerospace technicians prepare the firm's SL-8 sounding rocket mounted on its launch rail for a 73-mile-high flight into sub-orbital space. Credit: NASA / Paul De Leon

The Flight Opportunities Program, which is managed at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif., released another Announcement of Flight Opportunities (AFO) Nov. 21 for proposals to test crosscutting technologies in space-like environments, using NASA contracted commercial suborbital companies. NASA will fund those proposals selected by paying the commercial vendor for the cost of the flight.

Explore further: NASA launches suborbital rocket from Va. facility

More information: For more information about the announcement, visit: go.usa.gov/WdJY and click on Announcement of Flight Opportunities (AFO) - #8.

Related Stories

JPL, Masten testing new precision landing software

August 13, 2013

(Phys.org) —A year after NASA's Mars rover Curiosity's landed on Mars, engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., are testing a sophisticated flight-control algorithm that could allow for even more ...

Sounding rocket to calibrate NASA's SDO instrument

October 21, 2013

NASA will conduct a sounding rocket launch at 2 p.m. EDT, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico carrying an experiment to support the calibration of the EUV Variability Experiment, or EVE, ...

Recommended for you

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.