Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is on a 30-day transit to the moon. The spacecraft blasted off from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA on Friday, Sep 6 at 11:27 pm EDT.
The unmanned probe that LADEE shot into space is on a mission to orbit the moon and gather detailed information about its thin exosphere and lunar dust environment. Information gained will not only help scientists answer long-standing wonders about the moon, but also help understand other planetary bodies with exospheres, like Mercury and some of Jupiter’s bigger moons.
VACCO proudly supplied the following hardware to SS Loral, who built the propulsion for the LADEE spacecraft:
Liftoff for the next Atlas 5 rocket is scheduled for September 25, 2013 at 2:36:a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral, marking United Launch Alliance’s 75th mission. The rocket will carry the Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite No. 3 into a supersynchronous transfer orbit.
This AEHF satellite is the third in a series of six built by Lockheed Martin, and provides ultra-secure US communications between the president, military commanders and troops. VACCO proudly supplies the following hardware:
To read more about ULA’s 75th mission and the AEHF satellite series, click here.
On August 4, 2013 at 4:48 a.m. Japan Standard Time, the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 successfully soared into space with HTV-4 (a cargo transporter) onboard. Its destination is the International Space Station where it will be berthed. VACCO Industries proudly supplied a significant amount of hardware on the payload including:
Click here to watch the successful launch of the H-IIB!
On May 1, 2013, the Boeing X-51A WaveRider Scramjet set a record. The unmanned hypersonic vehicle flew 230 miles in six minutes—the most successful and longest test flight of the engine. For three and half of those minutes, the scramjet engine produced a steady acceleration to reach a hypersonic speed of Mach 5.1+. VACCO proudly supplied Boeing’s X-51A WaveRider Scramjet with specially prepared tank isolation fuel valves, filters, and manual service valves. Watch footage of the amazing flight:
The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) made its way into space on Monday, February 11, 2013, carried by NASA’s Atlas V rocket. The rocket, which launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, has VACCO metal mesh filters onboard.
LDCM is the new earth observation satellite that continues a 40-year legacy. With improved sensing and data capture capabilities from its predecessor, LDCM will provide critical and freely accessible information to people who work in agriculture, geology, forestry, regional planning, education, mapping and global change research. Read more about LDCM.
The Delta II launch vehicle lifted spacecraft GRAIL-A (Ebb) and GRAIL-B (Flow) toward the moon on Sept 10, 2011. Ebb and Flow used high-quality gravity field mapping of the moon to achieve their mission goal, which was to determine the moon's interior structure.
VACCO Industries proudly supported the GRAIL mission with filters on the Delta II launch vehicle, as well as HP latch valves, propellant and pressurant filters, and miniature fill & drain valves on the twin GRAIL spacecrafts.
The end of Ebb and Flow’s successful mission was marked by honoring Sally Ride, the first American woman in space. She died of cancer last summer. Read more here.
VACCO’s vent relief valves (VRVs)—one of many products VACCO is designing and building for the Space Launch System (SLS)—are featured in the November 2012 issue of NASA’s SLS Highlights newsletter. VACCO is a proud industry partner helping create the largest rocket built in the history of space exploration. Click here to read the full newsletter and article.
The MESSENGER spacecraft, for which VACCO provided latch valves, filters, and fill & drain valves, discovered evidence to confirm that ice exists on Mercury. This discovery may be surprising considering that it is the closest planet to the sun. Read more about the findings.
Tony Antonelli, a NASA astronaut, stopped by VACCO Industries for a tour and special visit with employees Tuesday, October 23, 2012. Read all about it.
On Saturday, October 27, 2012, the Navy christened the future USS Minnesota in Newport News, VA. The Minnesota, which is expected to be commissioned during the summer of 2013, is the tenth boat of the fast-attack Virginia Class submarines and has VACCO valves and manifolds onboard. Click here to read more about the Navy’s newest submarine.