Wednesday, November 20, 2013
NASA completed the first tests with an F/A-18 research jet to evaluate the autonomous flight control system for the Space Launch System rocket. Called the Adaptive Augmenting Controller, the system will allow SLS to respond to vehicle and environmental variations such as winds or vehicle flexibility after it leaves the launch pad. It’s the first time a flight control system for a NASA rocket is being designed to adjust autonomously to unexpected conditions during actual flight rather than pre-flight predictions. Tests were Nov. 14-15 out of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. More than 40 tests were conducted using SLS-like trajectories. (Source: PRNewswire, 11/19/13) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, both are involved in NASA's SLS program, designed to take astronauts deeper in space than ever before.