Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Michael Cole

Michael Cole is a life-long space flight enthusiast and author of some 36 educational books on space flight and astronomy for Enslow Publishers. He lives in Findlay, Ohio, not far from Neil Armstrong’s birthplace of Wapakoneta. His interest in space, and his background in journalism and public relations suit him for his focus on research and development activities at NASA Glenn Research Center, and its Plum Brook Station testing facility, both in northeastern Ohio. Cole reached out to SpaceFlight Insider and asked to join SFI as the first member of the organization’s “Team Glenn.”

Articles By Michael Cole

  • X3 Hall thruster sets records at NASA Glenn

    November 10th, 2017

    GLENN RESEARCH CENTER,  Ohio — Researchers at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, and the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, have completed a round of important tests on a new ion thruster system that may one day provide propulsion for materials and crews on future missions to Mars.

  • NASA Glenn tests solar electric propulsion thruster for journey to metal world

    October 9th, 2017

    NASA is preparing to travel to a world unlike any other it has visited before. The agency has sent spacecraft to terrestrial planets, gaseous planets, icy moons, and rocky asteroids. Now, following its approval as a Discovery mission in February of this year, a spacecraft set for launch in 2022 will visit the main-belt asteroid Psyche, a metal world that scientists think is made almost entirely of nickel and iron.

  • NASA Glenn experiments shedding new light on Venus’ shrouded surface

    September 4th, 2017

    CLEVELAND, Ohio — A special NASA test chamber apparatus is helping scientists explore the mysteries of Venus right here on Earth. The chamber is located at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. It is hoped that this new vessel will help prepare the space agency for missions to extreme worlds. 

  • Newly developed Nanotube Technology could revolutionize spaceflight

    July 26th, 2017

    A cold-gas thruster system, partially made from carbon nanotube material, was recently tested aboard a Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket. Part of the thruster system was a Composite Overwrapped Pressure Vessel (COPV).

  • NASA Glenn researchers develop electronics for longer Venus surface missions

    February 15th, 2017

    GLENN RESEARCH CENTER, Ohio — Venus is our closest planetary neighbor. However, its mean surface temperature is at a horrendous 863 °F (462 °C) with a crushing atmospheric pressure 90 times that of Earth; consequently, the operating lifespan of any spacecraft visiting its surface has been very short. The work of a group of scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, may change all that.

  • Orion service module completes testing at NASA’s Plum Brook Station

    January 23rd, 2017

    SANDUSKY, Ohio — The European-built Orion service module is progressing successfully through its campaign of testing in preparation for EM-1, scheduled for late 2018. Engineers and technicians at NASA's Plum Brook Station testing facility in Sandusky, Ohio, carried out an exhaustive series of tests on the service module test article throughout 2016.

  • NASA Glenn developing new instruments to search for life on Mars

    December 11th, 2016

    A new suite of instruments is currently under development through a joint effort between the NASA Glenn Research Center and the University of Michigan. It is called MAHRS; as its name suggests, the instruments are designed to investigate areas where water is present – in this case, the wet brine environments in the shallow subsurface of Mars.

  • Orion service module passes major shake test at NASA’s Plum Brook Station

    October 9th, 2016

    SANDUSKY, Ohio — Testing on the European-built Orion service module is continuing at NASA's Plum Brook Station facility in Sandusky, Ohio. The service module test article, provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) and built by Airbus Defence and Space, arrived at Plum Brook Station late last fall and began its battery of tests in the spring.

  • NASA Glenn to oversee construction of Universal Stage Adapter for SLS

    August 28th, 2016

    CLEVELAND, Ohio — Officials at NASA's Glenn Research Center announced last week their plan to oversee the construction of the Universal Stage Adapter (USA), an important component of the Space Launch System (SLS). The USA's primary function will be to connect the Orion crewed spacecraft to the SLS launch vehicle.

  • NASA Plum Brook Station gearing up B-2 facility for future upper stage, lander rocket tests

    August 20th, 2016

    NASA's Plum Brook Station test facility in Sandusky, Ohio, is continuing a series of upgrades that may gain Plum Brook the reputation as the premier spacecraft testing facility in the world.

  • Orion Service Module getting world’s hardest shake-up at NASA’s Plum Brook Station

    July 21st, 2016

    SANDUSKY, Ohio — NASA's Orion service module is getting a serious shake-up, thanks to the engineers and technicians at NASA's Plum Brook Station testing facility in Sandusky, Ohio. The service module is currently undergoing a series of vibration tests atop the facility's new vibration table.

  • NASA awards grant to Arkansas company to develop silicon-carbide circuit technology

    July 9th, 2016

    GLENN RESEARCH CENTER, Ohio — NASA awarded a grant to Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc. for the fabrication process of special circuits that could survive for thousands of hours in extremely high-temperature conditions, such as those that exist on the surface of Venus.

  • NASA Glenn researchers study results of Saffire-I experiment

    July 1st, 2016

    Researchers at NASA's Glenn Research Center are evaluating the results of the largest fire ever purposely set in space. The experiment called Saffire-I, which is a word-merger name for Spacecraft Fire Experiment, was conducted on June 14 inside a specially designed module aboard an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft.

  • Suni Williams details Commercial Crew Program progress during visit to NASA’s Plum Brook Station

    June 20th, 2016

    NASA Commercial Crew Astronaut Suni Williams was the special guest speaker last week at an Open House Event held at NASA's Plum Brook Station testing facility in Sandusky, Ohio. Plum Brook Station is the sister facility of the NASA Glenn Research Center in nearby Cleveland. During her visit, Williams provided an update on NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

  • NASA officials, astronauts outline NASA’s crewed Mars efforts at NASA Glenn event

    May 30th, 2016

    CLEVELAND, Ohio — Visitors from large and small technology-based businesses and organizations were treated to a first-hand update on NASA's effort to put humans on Mars during NASA Glenn Technology Day at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, last Tuesday.