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Space missions used to be one-off projects. Everything was built and run in-house. And that took a lot of time, resources, and investment.
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May 1, 2015
Evening Launch Captures Earth Limb

Last Sunday we participated with Far Horizons in a high altitude balloon launch.  We set up at our usual airfield, Koerner Aviation.  Launch time was set for 7:15pm, about half an hour before local sunset.  Our goal was to get some good video of the Earth limb and the terminator shadow moving across the ground. […]

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April 15, 2015
New Space Flight Technology Acceleration

Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Eric Stallmer reflected on President Obama's Speech at NASA's Kennedy Space Center five years ago today. "President Obama spoke of accelerating innovation in the private sector, and five years later, we see the results of that commitment to the commercial spaceflight industry. Our industry is more robust and competitive than ever before, […]

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March 6, 2015
Adler Planetarium IR Satellite

The Adler Planetarium is collaborating with Orbital Transports to build, launch, and operate a 3U CubeSat to demonstrate the ability to obtain Earth observation imagery in mid-infrared spectrum from low Earth orbit.  The primary science mission will map the global temperature of the Earth's surface at a sufficient resolution to provide valuable data.  We plan […]

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January 14, 2015
New Buoyant Spacecraft Concept

For the purposes of analyzing the characteristics of buoyant spacecraft, we will develop a conceptual mission profile for a lighter-than-air vehicle designed to launch 10,000 kg of payload to low Earth orbit.  It will dock with a space station or release satellites and then return to Earth. This payload mass was chosen as a representative […]

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December 15, 2014
MarsDrop flies again!

After the difficulties we had with the MarsDrop parawing guided descent experiment earlier this spring, we conducted some low altitude testing to learn the best way to pack the parawing for deployment.  Following these drop tests, we managed to fly the parawing several times to successful recoveries. Most recently, we flew the MarsDrop payload in […]

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September 8, 2014
Rocket Innovations: Buoyant Spacecraft

The fundamental kinematic characteristic of orbiting spacecraft is high-velocity ballistic trajectory, which can only be achieved at very high altitude where drag forces drop to near zero. Thus, the problem of launch to orbit can be decomposed into two separate issues: altitude and velocity. Rockets solve this problem all at once, using reaction force to […]

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September 3, 2014
Adler CubeSat Specifications Selected

At the end of August, we participated in a Technical Merit Review to evaluate and prioritize the competing cubesat proposals.  The IR imaging mission (ADLIRSAT) proposal passed with flying colors and was selected to go forward.

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August 12, 2014
CubeSat Missions Adler Planetarium Proposals

The Adler CubeSat initiative has been moving forward.  Two mission concepts have been selected for further development.  Our primary mission is to fly a cryocooled mid-infrared imager.  As a backup, we're also considering an active radar to detect orbital debris. The objective of the IR mission (or ADLIRSAT) is to obtain full coverage of Earth's […]

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May 17, 2014
MarsDrop Microprobe Flies Again!

MarsDrop is an initiative to develop an inexpensive space probe that will land on Mars using a parawing. The parawing will allow the probe to fly significant distances through the Martian atmosphere under controlled guidance. The only way this can be tested on Earth is to drop the probe and parawing from a high-altitude balloon […]

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February 1, 2014
CubeSat Adler Planetarium Proposal

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