ATLANTA, GA, June 3, 2017 – US Astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson have successfully activated and installed Terminal Velocity Aerospace’s (TVA) three RED-Data2 flight units into the S.S. John Glenn Cygnus spacecraft in preparation for their reentry research mission. Operations aboard the International Space Station began at approximately 3:30 AM EDT and were supported by TVA’s ground operations team in Atlanta. The three units are currently in a power saving standby mode aboard the OA-7 Cygnus cargo vessel in advance of un-berth operations on Sunday, June 4, 2017.
TVA’s mission to collect valuable thermal protection system (TPS) flight research data for NASA will begin roughly 5 – 10 days after the Cygnus leaves the Space Station. Cygnus has several remaining on-orbit tasks to complete before it is commanded to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. TVA’s three RED-Data2 spacecraft are designed to experience free flight and survive the extreme heat rates of reentry after disintegration of Cygnus. Research data will be telemetered from the spacecraft before they are expended into the ocean. Each of the three units is testing a different heat shield material for NASA.