Northrop Grumman’s NG-14 Cygnus Spacecraft Completes Primary Mission to the International Space Station

Northrop Grumman completed the first phase of its 14th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Mission (CRS-2) contract. Cygnus was released by the station’s robotic arm, carrying more than 4,000 pounds of disposable cargo, and will remain in orbit for approximately two weeks for the secondary phase of its mission. Cygnus’ secondary mission includes conducting NASA’s Spacecraft Fire Safety Experiment V (Saffire-V) experiment, which helps researchers understand how fire behaves in microgravity, and hosting the SharkSat payload. SharkSat is a Northrop Grumman-developed prototype payload mounted to the Cygnus spacecraft that will provide data about the performance of key technologies in a space environment for future missions. SharkSat is driving rapid innovation in technology development and growing Northrop Grumman’s next generation of technical leaders.

BAE Systems Receives Rapid Response Contract from U.S. Navy

BAE Systems received a $4 million contract from the U.S. Navy to conduct a quick-turnaround demonstration of a new radio frequency countermeasure (RFCM) system for the P-8A Poseidon. The pod-mounted RFCM system is a leading-edge, lightweight, high-power system that will add a new self-protection capability to this next-generation U.S. Navy aircraft. The rapid response is the result of collaboration among small focus teams who developed an innovative approach to the design and fabrication of the system’s mechanical parts. As a result, BAE Systems will design, build, integrate, and ship the RFCM system in approximately five months, followed by two months of flight testing on the P-8A Poseidon platform. Testing will begin early in 2021.

NASA Rover About to Land on Mars

With about 50 million miles (80 million kilometers) left to go in its 293-million-mile (471-million-kilometer) journey, NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover (Perseverance) is nearing its new planetary home. The spacecraft has begun its approach to the Red Planet and in 43 days, on Feb. 18, 2021, Perseverance will blaze through Mars’ atmosphere at about 12,100 mph (19,500 kph), touching down gently on the surface about seven minutes later. Built and managed by JPL for NASA, Perseverance will be joining another rover and lander currently at work on Mars, with several orbiters in the skies above.

Ball Announces New Aluminum End Manufacturing Facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Production Scheduled to Begin in Early 2022

Ball Corporation plans to build a new aluminum end manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The facility is scheduled to begin production in early 2022 and expand over multiple years to create approximately 200 manufacturing jobs. The facility will supply infinitely recyclable, lightweight aluminum ends to regional and national customers for growing beverage categories and brands. Ball plans to expand the facility over multiple years through the installation of additional end modules. Ball chose Bowling Green for its new facility to supply robust Midwestern aluminum beverage packaging growth because of the city’s proximity to main distribution routes and existing supply chain partners, the regional labor base, and the cooperation of state, regional, and local officials. Infinitely recyclable and economically valuable, Ball’s aluminum ends, cans, bottles, and cups enable a truly circular economy in which materials can be and actually are used again and again. In fact, 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today.

Peer Intel 

Marie R. Sylla-Dixon joined Raytheon Technologies as the chief diversity officer (CDO). Sylla-Dixon will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Gregory Hayes and serve as a member of the company’s executive leadership team. As CDO, Sylla-Dixon will be responsible for leading Raytheon Technologies’ diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. The role will integrate initiatives across the four pillars of talent management, community engagement, public policy, and supplier diversity, and shape externally how the company shows up in its communities.

Featured Image: The S.S. Kalpana Chawla begins the second phase of its mission after leaving the International Space Station. | Photo Credit: NASA/ Northrop Grumman

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