Back to the Future: KSC Swamp Works

Back to the Future: KSC Swamp Works

By Kerry Ellis   After the retirement of the Space Shuttle and completion of the International Space Station, NASA has been looking toward what’s next in human space exploration.

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Hard Lessons and Lean Engineering

Hard Lessons and Lean Engineering

By Kerry Ellis Future human space exploration will mean getting beyond low-Earth orbit—and returning safely. Several projects across NASA are working on the challenges that goal presents, among them propulsion alternatives and guidance, navigation, and control. Three years ago, Project Morpheus and the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology project, or ALHAT, began collaborating on advances in these areas.

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Interview with Don Pettit

Interview with Don Pettit

By Kerry Ellis Astronaut Don Pettit began his career with NASA seventeen years ago and has since flown on three spaceflight missions.

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What I’ve Learned from NASA

What I’ve Learned from NASA

By Kerry Ellis   Seven years ago, I was hired as an editor for NASA’s ASK Magazine. Being a rare English major math minor hybrid and a generally curious sort who liked taking things apart to see how they worked, I was thrilled for the opportunity to get an inside look at NASA.

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Radiation-Ready with a Little Rock ‘n’ Roll

Radiation-Ready with a Little Rock ‘n’ Roll

By Kerry Ellis   Radiation is one of many hazards in space exploration. It causes electronics to fail, degrades sensitive instrumentation, and affects astronaut safety—just a few of the things NASA protects against when launching missions to space.

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Kepler: The Long Road to Other Worlds

Kepler: The Long Road to Other Worlds

By Kerry Ellis Navigating to alien planets similar to our own is a universal theme of science fiction. But how do our space heroes know where to find those planets?

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WIRE: Learning from Failure

WIRE: Learning from Failure

By Bryan Fafaul and Kerry Ellis   In 1999, the Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WIRE) lost its primary mission thirty-six hours after launch. Those who worked on WIRE, which was the fifth of the Explorer Program’s Small Explorer-class missions, thought they had done what they needed to achieve success.

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International Life Support

International Life Support

By Kerry Ellis   Supplying oxygen is only one of many life-support necessities for human spaceflight, but it’s obviously one of the most vital.

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