NASA Stennis launches first-ever in-space mission | Space


HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) – When SpaceX launched the Transporter 10 mission on Monday, it took the hopes of a team of computer scientists and engineers at Stennis Space Center.

“We watched the launch here as a team and the emotions were really awesome to see — everybody who invested years of work into that and culminating successfully to leave the Earth’s surface and go into orbit,” Christopher Carmichael said.

Carmichael is the Chief of the Autonomous Systems Branch.

“To see a SpaceX launch is a little different. To know we actually had something fly into space is super exciting,” Travis Martin, manager of the autonomous systems lab infrastructure said.

The Transporter 10 mission acts as a rideshare for other satellites- in simple terms, a space Uber.

Piggybacking off of a partnership with Sidus Space, Stennis was able to have a payload on the LizzieSat (LS-1), called ASTRA, which stands for Autonomous Satellite Technology for Resilient Applications.

“For the autonomous systems we’ve developed to be able to control parts of the spacecraft or landing craft, be able to detect faults and manage the health of the overall spacecraft, that’s particularly what we developed to launch is going to do,” Carmichael said.

This launch is a test to see how the autonomous system developed at Stennis will perform.

The idea, Carmichael says, is that the systems will eliminate human workload for efficiency.

Christopher Carmichael says the work is critical for deep space missions.

“Giving control of things like the system health, detecting levels of things- if there’s a leak or something- then coming up with a strategy of how to mitigate that and resolve those problems,” Carmichael says.

Stennis will gradually gain control of the satellite from Sidus.

“Sidus will allow us to send commands to the satellite- to maybe reorient or move the solar panels or keep the spacecraft pointing nadir, bottom to the Earth,” Martin said.

Travis Martin says he hopes this is the…

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