Space Shuttle Columbia Landing at WSSH, 1982
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established
WHITE SANDS TEST FACILITY
Since 1963, NASA operates the
White Sands Test
Facility. Its address is:
NASA-White Sands Test Facility, 12600
NASA Road, Las Cruces, NM 88012
WHITE SANDS TEST FACILITY IN 1979
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT THE WHITE SANDS TEST FACILITY?
Potentially hazardous materials, spacecraft materials, and rocket
propulsion systems are being tested and evaluated. These services are also
available to governmental and commercial customers.
If you're interested in working for NASA, check this
current job openings.
White sands space harbor
Sands Space Harbor (WSSH) is operated by the White Sands Test
Facility. The Space Harbor is located on the U.S. Army White Sands Missile
Here is the
map location of White
Sands Space Harbor.
White Sands Space Harbor
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT THE WHITE SANDS SPACE
WSSH is the training area for space shuttle pilots. Check out the
WSSH is also an optional
harbor for space shuttles.
This graphic below was featured by USA Today in December 2006.
After much suspense about the landing site, Discovery finally came down in
FINAL MISSION OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE -
LANDING OF ATLANTIS
Atlantis had lift-off at Kennedy Space Center on July 8, 2011 and
landed, for the final time, also at Kennedy
Space Center Florida, on July 21, 2011 at 5:57 a.m.
This is also the final
event for the log-book at White Sands Space Harbor.
What's going on?
After 30 years of spaceflight, NASA's
space shuttle fleet will retire, and WSSH will be decommissioned. Here
you can read
What's Next for NASA?
UP TO DATE WITH SPACE SHUTTLE
October 30, 2008 -
More than 60 members from Holloman Air Force Base, White Sands Missile
Range and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) came
together for a shuttle emergency landing exercise at the White Sands
This training, consisting of classroom
briefings and the actual exercise, is conducted on Holloman once a year.
White Sands Missile Range, N.M., is one
of many designated emergency shuttle landing areas across the world and
Holloman maintains a contingency response force to respond for the first
24 hours before more help can arrive.
The next space shuttle mission is
scheduled to start November 14, 2008, with the scheduled launch of
space shuttle Endeavor.
February 21, 2007 -
NASA officials signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday with a U.S.
company, Virgin Galactic, LLC, to explore the potential for collaborations
on the development of space suits, heat shields for spaceships, hybrid
rocket motors and hypersonic vehicles capable of traveling five or more
times the speed of sound.
Read press release.
More about Virgin Galactic's Spaceport at White
Centennial Challenges is NASA's program of prize contests to stimulate innovation and competition in solar system exploration and ongoing NASA mission areas.
And here's a
list of upcoming NASA competitions.
THE ORION PROJECT
NASA thinks the moon was a good idea
after all and their website announces that "America will send a new
generation of explorers to the moon aboard NASA's Orion crew exploration
And this is a picture of the Orion crew
ORION LUNAR VEHICLE
Part of the Orion Project
is the Orion launch abort system (LAS), an escape rocket designed to ensure the
safety of the crew in the event of a launch vehicle malfunction while on
the launch pad or during ascent to orbit.
The LAS will drag the command module away from a potential hazard just
like an ejection seat. If the crew needs to escape from a mishap of any
kind on the pad or during launch, all they do is hit a button and it
will take them about one mile away from whatever is going wrong.
In a pickle during launch and no time
to hit buttons? NASA got it all covered and proposes four different
aborts, which are labeled according to the different launch stages in
which they might occur (Mode I to IV aborts).
Lockheed Martin is NASA's prime contractor for the Orion Project, but a
gazillion other subcontractors and businesses are also involved.
NASA has planned a series of ground and flight tests for the launch abort
system over the next few years leading up to Orion's first crewed flight
to the International Space Station scheduled for the year 2015.
The exiting thing is that it will be tested at NASA's White Sands Test Facility.
UP TO DATE WITH THE ORION
June 16, 2009 - Lockheed Martin announces
today that two launch abort system motors are now in place at White
Sands Missile Range ready for Pad Abort 1.
March 3, 2009 - A full-scale mock-up of
NASA's Orion launch abort system began a week-long flatbed trailer ride
across the country Tuesday, en route to White Sands Missile Range in New
Mexico. Once at White Sands, the rocket-like structure will help NASA
prepare for this year's abort system test, called Pad Abort 1.
The launch abort system pathfinder hit the road on Tuesday from NASA
Langley in Hampton, Va., and is on its way to White Sands Missile Range
in New Mexico.
During its journey, the LAS pathfinder
visited museums along the way. It visited
New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, N.M., on Monday, March
NASA quoted, "The first of five planned
abort tests is scheduled from the new pad on Sept. 23, 2008. Two of the
tests will evaluate the performance of the launch abort system at ground
level. Three more tests will evaluate its performance at different
November 14, 2007 - The Orion Project
is on its way. Today was the ground-breaking ceremony for the launch pad
at White Sands Missile Range.
To the best of our knowledge all information is current. If you should discover any errors, however, please
let us know via mail[at]white-sands-new-mexico.com. Thanks!