October 2015 Archives

NASA Solicitation: Cubesat-scale Solar Sail for Space Propulsion

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/solarsail1.jpg "A cubesat-scale solar sail propulsion system is being developed at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to provide propulsion for a 6U interplanetary cubesat to be used for the Near Earth Asteroid Scout (NEAS) project. NEA Scout will fly on the Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) mission scheduled for launch in 2018 and is being developed in collaboration with NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2009/balloon19.jpg "NASA is accepting applications from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly their science and technology experiments to the edge of space on a scientific balloon mission. NASA is planning for a fall 2016 launch for the next High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) mission, a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium (LaSPACE) in Baton Rouge. "It's incredibly rewarding to support the students flying these experiments, many of whom are getting their first real taste of hands-on engineering and science," said Debbie Fairbrother, chief of NASA's Balloon Program Office. "Programs like HASP are key to educating, training, and inspiring the next generation."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/morgan.jpg "A fleet of cubesats intent on advancing technology development, scientific research, and educational outreach recently hitched a ride into low Earth orbit (LEO). Through the Government Rideshare Advanced Concepts Experiment (GRACE), the National Reconnaissance Office's (NRO) L-55 mission included an auxiliary payload of 13 small research satellites, four of which were sponsored by NASA and nine by the NRO. The four NASA cubesats were selected through the agency's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) and were part of the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/msr.jpg "Autonomous robot rovers will seek out samples and return them to a designated point in a set time period. Samples will be randomly placed throughout the roving area. They may be placed close to obstacles, both movable and immovable. Robots will be required to navigate over unknown terrain, around obstacles, and in varied lighting conditions to identify, retrieve, and return these samples. Winners will be determined based on the number of samples returned to the designated collection point as well as the value assigned to the samples."

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NASA Offers Licenses of Patented Technologies to Start-Up Companies

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/15-194.s.jpg "NASA is unveiling a new opportunity for start-up companies to license patented NASA technology with no up-front payment. The Startup NASA initiative addresses two common problems start-ups face: raising capital and securing intellectual property rights. Aimed at encouraging the growth of high-tech businesses and advancing American innovation, NASA's Technology Transfer Program within the Office of the Chief Technologist designed this initiative to allow start-up companies to choose from a diverse portfolio of more than 1,200 patented NASA technologies that range from materials and coatings to sensors, aeronautics technologies, instrumentation and more. "The Startup NASA initiative leverages the results of our cutting-edge research and development so entrepreneurs can take that research -- and some risks -- to create new products and new services," said David Miller, NASA's chief technologist."

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Launch of Earth Observation Open Science 2.0

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/Sentinel-1A_mosaic_of_Eur.jpg "How can Earth observation research explore the new challenges and opportunities created by the rapid advances in information and communications technologies? The world of Earth observation data is swiftly changing, driven by the availability of open data and by the rapid advances in digital technologies, which can be used for their exploitation. The first Earth Observation Open Science 2.0 conference, organised by ESA, explored and discussed the emerging challenges and opportunities faced by the Earth observation scientific community, with the objective of gathering feedback on new trends and practices by next-generation scientists. Open tools and software, data-intensive science, virtual research environment, citizen science, advanced visualisation, e-learning and education of the new generation of data scientists were covered at this Community Consultation Meeting at ESA's centre in Frascati, Italy on 12-14 October."

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NASA Announces Winners for 3-D Printed Container Contest

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/futureengineers.jpg "A workshop where tools floated around would be difficult to work in. So, NASA has chosen two winning designs from K-12 students for a 3-D printed container to help astronauts on the International Space Station keep things in order. The agency, in partnership with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation, which managed the competition, announced the winners of the Future Engineers 3-D Space Container Challenge Thursday. The winning designs focused on making life in space a little more comfortable for astronauts."The simplest tasks on Earth can be quite challenging, and even dangerous, in space," said Niki Werkheiser, NASA's In-Space Manufacturing project manager. "Being able to 3-D print technical parts, as well as the lifestyle items that we use every day will not only help enable deep space travel, but can make the trip more pleasant for astronauts."

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Cubes In Space Program

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/cubes.jpg "idoodlelearning inc., a global education company that prepares students to become 21st century learners, workers, and citizens by bridging the gap between traditional and digital learning, announced today a partnership with Colombia based Ideatech, for the addition of a high altitude balloon component to the 2016 Cubes in Spaceā„¢ STE[A]M design competition for students. A STE[A]M-based global education program open to students ages 11-18, Cubes in Space provides students a no-cost opportunity to design and compete to launch an experiment into space. Utilizing formal or informal learning environments, students and educators are exposed to engaging content and activities in preparation for the design and development of an experimental payload to be integrated into a small cube (Cube). These Cubes will be launched on a high altitude balloon by Ideatech from a facility in Medellin, Colombia in May 2016. Another flight opportunity will be launched into space via sounding rocket from NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VA in late June 2016."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nasa.07.jpg "Today, global innovation firm NineSigma announced two Innovation Challenges they will run for NASA Tournament Lab; the Space Suit Textile Testing Challenge in collaboration with the Advanced Space Suit Project team and the In-Situ Materials Challenge in collaboration with the Kennedy Space Center and Swamp Works. The challenges leverage open innovation, advancing visionary aspirations for life in space, and interplanetary travel."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/mars.2.jpg "Living off the land is different when the land is 140 million miles away, so NASA is looking for innovative ideas to use in situ (in place) Martian resources to help establish a human presence on the Red Planet. The In Situ Resource Utilization Challenge offers the public an opportunity to submit designs for structures on Mars that would use existing material. The agency plans to award $10,000 to the first-place winner, with $2,500 each for two second-place submissions. NASA's Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan announced the challenge at an event Wednesday honoring the five-year anniversary of the government-wide platform Challenge.gov."

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National Space Biomedical Research Institute Awards Fellowships

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nsbri.jpg"Nine young scientists have received First Award Fellowships from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). Through this program, they will conduct one year research projects with the eventual aim of protecting astronaut health during long-duration spaceflight. In addition to receiving mentorship from a faculty member at their home institution, the new First Award Fellows will become members of one of NSBRI's seven science and technology teams. This will allow them to interact with some of the nation's leading researchers in their respective fields and participate in scientific meetings organized by NSBRI, as well as by NASA's Human Research Program (HRP)."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/15-198.jpg"NASA selected 55 student teams from across the nation to participate in the 2015-2016 NASA Student Launch challenge, to be held April 13-17 near NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Student Launch is a research-based, experiential exploration activity, requiring an eight-month commitment to design, construct, test, launch and successfully recover a reusable rocket and its scientific or engineering payload. Teams were chosen based on a comprehensive review of their proposal, which outlines their vehicle, its recovery system, payload, safety and educational engagement plans."

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NASA Google+ Hangout Focuses on College Interns Rocket Experiments

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/quick-look-launch-BR.jpg "NASA's Digital Learning Network will host a Google+ Hangout on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 1:15 p.m. EDT to discuss NASA's flight test of a modified sounding rocket motor, launch vehicle and spacecraft systems with the student interns who worked on the payload experiments. The flight test of the modified Black Brant sounding rocket motor and other technologies is scheduled for a suborbital mission on Wednesday, Oct. 7 between 7 and 9 p.m. EDT, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The student Rocket and Payload Integration Development (RaPID) team supported two experiments in the payload stack from NASA's Game Changing Development (GCD) Program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD): the Advanced Near Net Shape experiment and the Orbital ATK LEO-1 CubeSat experiment."

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NASA Prepares for CubeSat Launch

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/m15-146_lunar_orbiter.jpg "Thirteen NASA and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)-sponsored CubeSats are scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket Thursday, Oct. 8, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Prelaunch media briefings and launch commentary coverage will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency's website. Four of the CubeSats are NASA-sponsored and nine are NRO-sponsored, one of which was developed with NASA funding. All will be flown on the NRO's Government Rideshare Advanced Concepts Experiment (GRACE), which is an auxiliary payload aboard the NROL-55 mission."

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