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NASA Commits to Future Artemis Moon Rocket Production

NASA has finalized its contract with Boeing of Huntsville, Alabama, for approximately $3.2 billion to continue manufacturing core and upper stages for future Space Launch System (SLS) rockets for Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond.

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NASA and Space Launch System stages prime contractor Boeing are in various states of production on core stages for future Artemis missions. Together with its twin solid rocket boosters, the Space Launch System core stage will produce 8.8 million pounds of thrust to send NASA’s Orion spacecraft, astronauts, and supplies beyond Earth’s orbit to the Moon. A powerful upper stage will be incorporated into the rocket beginning with Artemis IV. NASA joined the Space Launch System rocket’s core stage forward assembly, seen here, with the 130-foot liquid hydrogen tank in March 2022.
Credits: NASA/Eric Bordelon

NASA has finalized its contract with Boeing of Huntsville, Alabama, for approximately $3.2 billion to continue manufacturing core and upper stages for future Space Launch System (SLS) rockets for Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond.

Under the SLS Stages Production and Evolution Contract action, Boeing will produce SLS core stages for Artemis III and IV, procure critical and long-lead material for the core stages for Artemis V and VI, provide the exploration upper stages (EUS) for Artemis V and VI, as well as tooling and related support and engineering services.

In October 2019, NASA provided initial funding and authorization for Artemis III core stage work and targeted long-lead materials and cost-efficient bulk purchases. The finalization of this contract extends production activities and preparations for future work through July 2028. As part of the contract NASA may order up to 10 core stages and eight exploration upper stages total to support future deep space exploration missions.

“NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is the only rocket capable of sending large cargos and soon, astronauts to the Moon,” said John Honeycutt, SLS Program manager. “The SLS core stage is the backbone of NASA’s Moon rocket, producing more than 2 million pounds of thrust at launch, and the addition of the exploration upper stage will enable NASA to support missions to deep space through the 2030s.”

The SLS rocket delivers propulsion in stages and is designed to evolve to more advanced configurations to power NASA’s deep space missions. Each SLS rocket configuration uses the same 212-foot-tall core stage to produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust to help propel the mega rocket off the launch pad.

For the first three Artemis missions, SLS uses an interim cryogenic propulsion stage with one RL10 engine to send NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the Moon. Beginning with Artemis IV, the SLS Block 1B rocket configuration will be propelled by the more powerful EUS with larger fuel tanks and four RL10 engines to send a crewed Orion and large cargos to the Moon. All the structures for the rocket’s core stage and EUS are manufactured at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. 

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The contract comes as NASA optimizes manufacturing capabilities as Boeing will use Kennedy Space Center in Florida to perform some core stage assembly and outfitting activities beginning with the Artemis III rocket. In tandem, teams will continue all core stage manufacturing activities at Michoud.

Teams continue to make progress assembling and manufacturing core stages for Artemis II, III, and IV. The Artemis II stage is scheduled to be completed and delivered to Kennedy in 2023. The engine section for Artemis III was recently loaded onto NASA’s Pegasus barge for delivery to Kennedy, where it will be outfitted and later integrated with the rest of the rocket.

With Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the lunar surface and establish long-term exploration at the Moon in preparation for human missions to Mars. SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft, along with the commercial human landing system and the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, are NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration.

For more information about the Space Launch System, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/sls

Source: NASA

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A greener internet of things with no wires attached

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Credit: 2022 KAUST; Heno Hwang
Wirelessly powered electronics developed by KAUST researchers could help to make internet of things technology more environmentally friendly.
« A greener internet of things with no wires attached

Newswise — Emerging forms of thin-film device technologies that rely on alternative semiconductor materials, such as printable organics, nanocarbon allotropes and metal oxides, could contribute to a more economically and environmentally sustainable internet of things (IoT), a KAUST-led international team suggests.

The IoT is set to have a major impact on daily life and many industries. It connects and facilitates data exchange between a multitude of smart objects of various shape and size — such as remote-controlled home security systems, self-driving cars equipped with sensors that detect obstacles on the road, and temperature-controlled factory equipment — over the internet and other sensing and communications networks.

This burgeoning hypernetwork is projected to reach trillions of devices by next decade, boosting the number of sensor nodes deployed in its platforms.

Current approaches used to power sensor nodes rely on battery technology, but batteries need regular replacement, which is costly and environmentally harmful over time. Also, the current global production of lithium for battery materials may not keep up with the increasing energy demand from the swelling number of sensors.

Wirelessly powered sensor nodes could help achieve a sustainable IoT by drawing energy from the environment using so-called energy harvesters, such as photovoltaic cells and radio-frequency (RF) energy harvesters, among other technologies. Large-area electronics could be key in enabling these power sources.

KAUST alumni Kalaivanan Loganathan, with Thomas Anthopoulos and coworkers, assessed the viability of various large-area electronic technologies and their potential to deliver ecofriendly, wirelessly powered IoT sensors.

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Large-area electronics have recently emerged as an appealing alternative to conventional silicon-based technologies thanks to significant progress in solution-based processing, which has made devices and circuits easier to print on flexible, large-area substrates. They can be produced at low temperatures and on biodegradable substrates such as paper, which makes them more ecofriendly than their silicon-based counterparts.

Over the years, Anthopoulos’ team has developed a range of RF electronic components, including metal-oxide and organic polymer-based semiconductor devices known as Schottky diodes. “These devices are crucial components in wireless energy harvesters and ultimately dictate the performance and cost of the sensor nodes,” Loganathan says.

Key contributions from the KAUST team include scalable methods for manufacturing RF diodes to harvest energy reaching the 5G/6G frequency range. “Such technologies provide the needed building blocks toward a more sustainable way to power the billions of sensor nodes in the near future,” Anthopoulos says.

The team is investigating the monolithic integration of these low-power devices with antenna and sensors to showcase their true potential, Loganathan adds.

Journal Link: Nature Electronics

Source: King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

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Luxury Travel Advisors, Partners Applaud the Success of Inaugural Internova PLUS Event in San Diego

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Part strategic meeting, part celebration, Internova Travel Group’s three-day program focused on collaboration, imagination and connection

NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — Top luxury travel advisors, travel agencies and providers have new opportunities to work together as a result of Internova Travel Group’s inaugural Internova PLUS event, held Jan. 17-20 in San Diego, California.

Internova, one of the world’s largest travel services companies, handpicked 125 luxury travel advisors from across each of its brands, including ALTOUR, Global Travel Collection, Nexion Travel Group and Travel Leaders Network.

At Internova PLUS in San Diego, Calif. (l-r): Jonas Schneider, Assistant Director of Sales, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz; Albert Herrera, Executive Vice President, Partner Relations, Internova Travel Group; Lauren Beall, Luxury Travel Advisor, Protravel International, Global Travel Collection; Sven Flory, Director of Sales, The Bürgenstock Collection; and J.D. O’Hara, Chief Executive Officer, Internova Travel Group

Participants were selected based on a range of criteria, including advisors who are in the top 20 percent of luxury bookers, with average annual sales exceeding $2.5 million; contribute to elevating the industry through collaboration and sharing knowledge; take an innovative approach to their business development; and are rising stars who have been in the industry for less than five years.

The 85 supplier partners represented an airline, cruise lines and hotel brands, as well as tour operators from destinations around the world.

The event won raves from travel advisors.

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“Internova PLUS is a big deal,” said Leah Iudice, a luxury travel advisor with Nexion Travel Group. “It was an honor to be part of this select group of travel advisors. I learned an incredible amount and I’m returning home with fresh ideas for my business. I’m so excited to offer my clients even more high-end travel options in partnership with Internova.”

“The vibe at Internova PLUS was so relaxed, and that was incredibly conducive to building new relationships,” said Jeffrey Brothers, a luxury travel advisor with Global Travel Collection.

“Anyone can talk about how much they appreciate their travel advisors but at Internova, they show it,” said luxury travel advisor Caryl Halpin from Global Travel Collection. “Internova PLUS is a perfect example of the high level of personal attention and tremendous support that Internova provides its travel advisors. Everything about this event was carefully curated to help us grow our businesses and strengthen our relationships with some of the most important brands in luxury travel.”

Diane Frisch, a luxury travel advisor with Nexion Travel Group, noted that Internova PLUS is the latest in a series of company events that are geared toward supporting luxury travel advisors. “Internova has made a commitment to the luxury category unlike any I have ever seen,” said Frisch. “This event proves that if you’re a luxury travel advisor, you need to be affiliated with Internova. It’s not only the most valuable conference I have ever been to, it’s my favorite.”

Likewise, travel suppliers were also impressed with the event.

“Internova PLUS proved that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Tristan Dowell, Global Vice President, Luxury, Lifestyle and Leisure for Hyatt Hotels. “Not only did we have important conversations with travel advisors, we were also able to connect with friendly competitors in an impactful way.”

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“The size, the professionalism and variety of the advisors, as well the quality of the content, were all incredible,” said Ludovic Cayacy, Director of Sales at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, in Paris. “Internova PLUS ticked all the boxes.”

“I received an inquiry from every appointment I had,” said Rebecca Slater, owner of Rebecca Recommends, one of the leading luxury travel representation companies in the United States. “I can’t remember that ever happening at a meeting before.”

Internova PLUS, held at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, was designed to push the boundaries of traditional event programming by bringing together participants through an intimate, innovative approach. Attendees tackled critical industry topics in “Think Tank” sessions, met one-on-one, enjoyed small group dinners and engaged in structured networking that fostered creativity and collaboration. There were opportunities to bond informally through activities like hiking, bocce, pickleball, beer and wine tasting and a sustainability tour.

“We are proud of what we put together for our partners and advisors,” said Albert Herrera, Executive Vice President, Partner Relations at Internova. “The discussions that happened at Internova PLUS will shape the next year of luxury travel.” 

Herrera announced that the next Internova PLUS event will take place Jan. 16-19, 2024, at the soon-to-be-opened Pendry Newport Beach, in Orange County, California.

To learn more about Internova and its portfolio of travel agency brands, please visit https://internova.com.

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About Internova Travel Group 
Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 100,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.

SOURCE Internova Travel Group

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NASA to Test Nuclear Engine Soon for Future Mars Missions

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NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or “DARPA,” announced Tuesday a collaboration to demonstrate a nuclear thermal rocket engine in space, an enabling capability for NASA crewed missions to Mars.

https://stmdailynews.com/nasa-darpa-will-test-nuclear-engine-for-future-mars-missions/

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