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NASA Image Of The Day

Testing Composite Cryotank Technology For Future Deep Space Missions
NASA Image Of The Day
NASA has completed a complex series of tests on one of the largest composite cryogenic fuel tanks ever manufactured, bringing the aerospace industry much closer to designing, building, and flying lightweight, composite tanks on rockets. At NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the tank was lowered into a structural test stand where it was tested with cryogenic hydrogen and structural loads to simulate stresses the tank would experience during launch. The project is part of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA's future missions. Cryogenic propellants are gasses chilled to subfreezing temperatures and condensed to form highly combustible liquids, providing high-energy propulsion solutions critical to future, long-term human exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit. In the past, propellant tanks have been fabricated out of metals. Switching from metallic to composite construction holds the potential to dramatically increase the performance capabilities of future space systems through a dramatic reduction in weight. > NASA Completes Successful Battery of Tests on Composite Cryotank Image Credit: NASA/David Olive...
27 Aug 2014
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ESA Top News
ESA Top News

  • Update on Galileo launch injection anomaly

    Operations continue smoothly for Galileo Sat 5-6.



  • Integral catches dead star exploding in a blaze of glory

    Astronomers using ESA’s Integral gamma-ray observatory have demonstrated beyond doubt that dead stars known as white dwarfs can reignite and explode as supernovae. The finding came after the unique signature of gamma rays from the radioactive elements created in one of these explosions was captured for the first time. 



  • Galileo status

    Updates on the Galileo Soyuz launch injection anomaly

  • Update on Galileo launch injection anomaly

    Work at ESA’s ESOC control centre continues relentlessly on the two Galileo satellites.



  • Sentinel-1 poised to monitor motion

    Although it was only launched a few months ago and is still being commissioned, the new Sentinel-1A radar satellite has already shown that it can be used to generate 3D models of Earth’s surface and will be able to closely monitor land and ice surface deformation.



  • Light of life

    Technology image of the week: A fluorescent microscopic view of cells under study for a future trip to deep space, to assess their resistance to radiation

  • Where will Philae land?

    Five locations have been identified as candidate sites on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to set down Rosetta's lander Philae in November

  • Ready for descent

    Human spaceflight and operations image of the week: Training underground to prepare for space

  • Rosetta: Landing site search narrows

    Using detailed information collected by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft during its first two weeks at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, five locations have been identified as candidate sites to set down the Philae lander in November – the first time a landing on a comet has ever been attempted.



  • Shelter from the Sun

    Space Science Image of the Week: Protective parasol will keep JWST cool

  • Week In Images

    Our week through the lens:
    18-22 August 2014

  • Soyuz Galileo launch: injection anomaly

    Following the announcement made by Arianespace on the anomalies of the orbit injection of the Galileo satellites, the teams of industries and agencies involved in the early operations of the satellites are investigating the potential implications on the mission.



  • In-flight call replay

    Watch the replay of the #CallAlex SocialSpace in-flight with Alexander Gerst

  • Ice sheet highs, lows and loss

    Measurements from ESA’s CryoSat mission have been used to map the height of the huge ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica and show how they are changing. New results reveal combined ice volume loss at an unprecedented rate of 500 cubic kilometres a year.



  • Twin Galileos meet, ready for Thursday’s launch

    Final functional testing of Europe’s twin Galileo navigation satellites has been completed at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, on track for launch this Thursday.



  • Bull's eye docking

    Watch highlight replay of NASA TV coverage of ATV Georges Lemaître's perfect docking with ISS on 12 August 2014

  • ATV completes final automated docking

    In a flawless demonstration of technology and skill, ESA’s fifth and final ATV, Georges Lemaître, docked with the International Space Station today, fixing itself firmly for a six-month resupply and reboost mission.



  • Introducing this year’s underground astronauts

    Each year, ESA sends up to six astronauts down into the caves of Sardinia, Italy, for two weeks on a simulated space mission.



  • ESA’s cargo vessel ready for space delivery

    ESA’s latest Automated Transfer Vehicle is set to dock with the International Space Station on Tuesday, delivering more than six tonnes of crucial supplies and scientific experiments to the orbiting research base.



  • Gerst drives car-sized rover from space

    Looking down from orbit, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst steered ESA’s Eurobot rover through a series of intricate manoeuvres on the ground yesterday, demonstrating a new space network that could connect astronauts to vehicles on alien worlds.



  • Rosetta arrives

    Video highlights from the event at ESA's mission control centre during Rosetta's arrival at comet 67P/C-G on 6 August 2014

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