SPACE

Stratolaunch completes second test flight

All-composite carrier aircraft successfully flew for three hours and reached an altitude of 14,000 feet in preparation for supporting the upcoming hypersonic testbed vehicle, Talon-A.

Ingenuity helicopter begins new demonstration phase

Proving its mettle at controlled, powered flight on Mars, Ingenuity’s transition to an operations demonstration phase will bring a new flight envelope, and perform aerial observations for future missions.

Carbon Fibers

AeroVironment celebrates composite-intensive Ingenuity Helicopter flight on Mars

The AeroVironment team played a key role in developing the helicopter’s carbon fiber airframe and major subsystems.

NASA selects SpaceX to head human lander development for Artemis moon mission

HLS to act as final mode of transportation to take astronauts to the lunar surface for the Artemis program, with potential future travel to Mars and other destinations.

Core

NASA Ingenuity helicopter succeeds in historic first flight on Mars

Ingenuity’s two 4-foot-wide carbon fiber and foam core rotor blades successfully interacted with Mars’ gravity and atmosphere, logging a total of 39.1 seconds of flight. 

NASA invites public to join the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter first powered, controlled flight

A livestream confirming Ingenuity’s first flight is targeted for April 12, with a pre- and postflight briefing, live shots and remote live interviews and a series of informal talks as additional media opportunities.

Virgin Galactic SpaceShip III unveiling to deliver commercial space travel

Manufacturing ramp-up and ground testing for VSS Imagine spaceship within the Virgin Galactic fleet, with glide flights commenced for summer 2021.

Design/Simulation

NASA provides $45 million boost to U.S. small businesses

Three-hundred and sixty five small business proposals were selected for SBIR and STTR programs based on technical merit and commercial potential, including six composite companies.

NASA Ingenuity Mars helicopter prepares for first flight

The composites-intensive helicopter is to make the first attempt at powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet, with the goal of hovering 3 meters above the Martian surface.

Airbus PERIOD project to pioneer satellite factory in space

PERIOD consortium to prepare concept for in-orbit demonstrator for satellite assembly and manufacturing in space, with potential for composite materials. 

Carbon Fibers

ÉireComposites to develop Ireland's first carbon fiber satellite optical instrument

Development and manufacture of three composite stray light baffles for the ESA’s ALTIUS satellite will assist in climate change research.    

Defense

NSMSS and CRASTE 2021 event explores advanced materials and technologies for commercial space

The National Space & Missile Materials Symposium (NSMMS) and Commercial and Government Responsive Access to Space Technology Exchange (CRASTE) are two space-focused forums occurring June 21-24, 2021.

Carbon Fibers

AnalySwift and University of Central Florida work with NASA to develop thin-ply composites

Materials will be characterized and performance modeled for wide array of aircraft and space applications.

Perseverance rover landing previews touchdown footage

NASA’s Perseverance rover relays a high-resolution still shot of its descent to the surface of Mars. Rover indicates positive health reports.

Carbon Fibers

Perseverance rover takes one step for composites on Mars

The rover’s successful landing on Feb. 18 begins a two-year science investigation of Mars’ Jezero Crater for ancient microbial life. 

Aerospace

NASA selects Firefly Aerospace for Artemis commercial moon delivery in 2023

Part of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, Firefly’s Blue Ghost lander will deliver 10 technology payloads to the moon.

Aerospace

Northrop Grumman completes rocket motor validation test for Vulcan Centaur

The 63-inch-diameter graphite epoxy motor (GEM 63XL) was developed in partnership with United Launch Alliance to provide the rocket with additional lift capability.

Aerospace

Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket reaches space

Air-launched, liquid-fueled rocket makes historical debut with successfully targeted orbit and 10 NASA NSP payloads deployed.

Design/Simulation

Orbex secures $24 million funding round for U.K. space launch

New funding secures roadmap to first launch of composites-intensive Orbex Prime rocket from Sutherland spaceport in Scotland. 

Carbon Fibers

Airbus qualifies Europe's first 5-meter deployable reflector for radar satellites

The unfurlable, parabolic, composite reflector offers significant advantages in satellite deployment and marks Airbus’s entry into the market for cost-effective and small radar missions and constellations. 

Aerospace

HX5 thermoplastic nanocomposite demonstrates electromagnetic shielding properties

Certified for use from rockets and satellites to amphibious transport vehicles, EMI testing indicates exceptional attenuation when bare or plated for shielding effectiveness.

Environmental testing completed for NASA James Webb telescope

Successful acoustic and sine-vibration testing ensures the composites-intensive space telescope will survive all of the harsh conditions associated with a rocket launch to space.

Additive Manufacturing

NASA looks to advance 3D printing construction systems for the Moon and Mars

Off-world construction is taken to a new level with NASA’s MMPACT project, which will test lunar soil simulant with various processing and printing technologies to determine 3D printing feasibility in space.

Defense

Airbus concludes Zephyr HAPS flight test campaign

The composites-intensive Zephyr HAPS satellite is a stratospheric unmanned aerial system, which, with this recently successful flight test, is one step closer to providing local satellite-like services.

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