NASA Wallops announces new flight tech, designed to make launches more accesible to smaller flight companies
WALLOPS ISLAND, VA- A new flight technology is promising to increase the volume of flight of launches for NASA Wallops Flight Facility.
The new tech, known as called NAFTU, short for Nasa Autonomous Flight Termination Unit will allow rockets to shed their flight gear using pre-programmed software using AI, without an entire team operating each and every move.
They say decreasing the need for a dedicated termination unit removes barriers for smaller flight companies, who can come to wallops and begin to follow the path of Rocket Lab.
They say it’ll give them opportunities to run missions they wouldn’t have been able to before out of Nasa Wallops.
“These small launch providers haven’t launched yet but they are ready to go they are very close and they don’t have a place to go so we are giving them the technology and the location here at wallops so that is a big growth,” said Deputy Director at Wallops Flight Facility Robert Jameson.
Jameson says, right now the base has 3 missions a year but with this tech, in 5 years they could be seeing as many as 40.
He tells us the first launch to use this software is scheduled a week from today at 6 pm.