Status Report

NASA GSFC Commercial Suborbital Vehicles Workshop

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2011
Filed under , ,
NASA GSFC Commercial Suborbital Vehicles Workshop

Dear Colleagues,

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Innovative Partnership Program (IPP) and Earth Science Division will be hosting a Commercial Suborbital Vehicles Workshop at the GSFC on September 7, 2011.

The purpose of the proposed workshop is to provide information for Earth and Space scientists about these vehicles capabilities, and to examine and discuss science topics that might be conducted from these platforms.

Suborbital reusable launch vehicles could enable researchers to directly access the mesosphere, lower thermosphere (MLT) region of the atmosphere (50-140 km altitude), repeatedly, many times per day, at low-cost, and at very low velocities in many different environmental locations around the planet (no hypersonic shock).

The key opportunities enabled by the unique capabilities of the commercial suborbital vehicles is that they would provide frequent and low cost access to the mesosphere, lower thermosphere (MLT) region of the atmosphere (50-140 km altitude). This region is very difficult to study and especially sample as it is too high for balloons and too low for satellite observations. There are numerous unresolved scientific issues related to the MLT that we simply cannot currently address because of inadequate observational sampling. Atmospheric observations from commercial suborbital vehicles would provide a new window on the MLT.

The design for all of the vehicles has not been completely finalized. This workshop will allow for an open discussion of platform capabilities vs. measurement needs, allowing for any potential design requests to be easily accommodated sooner rather than later.

Agenda will include:

1.) Welcome & Introductions

2.) Plenary session by emerging commercial vehicle providers

3.) NASA/HQ COTS Program Executive on lessons learned from HSF commercial program

4.) Wallops Flight Facility suborbital and other launch capabilities

5.) Plenary session by GSFC researchers describing current instruments and applicable research

6.) Discussion of SMD proposal processes: How to propose and win science missions using emerging commercial capabilities

7.) Open discussion, splinter sessions, networking

Please contact Kris Romig of the IPP office at 301-286-6009 or or Bob Connerton of the Earth Science Division at 301- 614-5562 or for additional details or to help answer any questions you may have.

Kindly respond to the following email address if you would like to participate in this activity.

Space is limited. . Best regards,

Nona Cheeks, Chief
Nona K. Minnifield Cheeks, Chief
Innovative Partnerships Program Office
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Mail Code 504
Greenbelt, MD 20771
301-286-5810 V/301-286-0301 F

SpaceRef staff editor.