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March 2012 Top Stories


»» Witnesses Highlight Unique Cybersecurity Challenges at NASA

Witnesses Highlight Unique Cybersecurity Challenges at NASA [Thursday, March 1, 2012] The Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight today held a hearing to examine the state of information security at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).



»» Final Report: Audit of NASA's Process for Transferring Technology to the Government and Private Sector

Final Report: Audit of NASA's Process for Transferring Technology to the Government and Private Sector [Thursday, March 1, 2012] NASA Inspector General Paul Martin today released a report that assesses NASA's efforts to identify and plan for the transfer and commercialization of Agency-developed technology.



»» Olson, Colleagues Urge White House to Correct Safety Glitch (NASA Commercial Crew)

Olson, Colleagues Urge White House to Correct Safety Glitch (NASA Commercial Crew) [Thursday, March 1, 2012] Under proposed agreements between NASA and commercial crew entities, NASA would not have the necessary authority to oversee and approve the safety measures needed to keep our astronauts safe.



»» GAO: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale NASA Projects

GAO: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale NASA Projects [Thursday, March 1, 2012] NASA's largest science project--the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)--however, has experienced development cost growth of $3.6 billion--or 140 percent--and a schedule delay of over 4 years.



»» NASA Continues Orion Parachute Testing for Orbital Test Flight (with photos)

NASA Continues Orion Parachute Testing for Orbital Test Flight (with photos) [Friday, March 2, 2012] On Feb. 29, NASA successfully conducted another drop test of the Orion crew vehicle's entry, descent and landing parachutes high above the Arizona desert in preparation for the vehicle's orbital flight test in 2014.



»» ATV launch delayed

ATV launch delayed [Friday, March 2, 2012] A routine inspection has concluded that additional measures are required to ensure the maximum readiness of the third Automated Transfer Vehicle for launch. It has therefore been decided to postpone the launch previously scheduled for 9 March.



»» NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Spring Symposium

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Spring Symposium [Saturday, March 3, 2012] The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program is proud to announce its first annual Spring Symposium at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena, California on March 27-29, 2012.



»» Resignation Letter from CASIS Executive Director Jeanne L. Becker

Resignation Letter from CASIS Executive Director Jeanne L. Becker [Sunday, March 4, 2012] As a result of undue and onerous political pressures exerted over the almost six months of existence of CASIS, business operations have been difficult in standing up this brand new organization.



»» ProOrbis Statement re: CASIS Director Resignation

ProOrbis Statement re: CASIS Director Resignation [Sunday, March 4, 2012] ProOrbis has been informed of the resignation of Dr. Becker. As one of the key participants in the CASIS proposal, we remain committed to the vitally important mission of CASIS to serve the interests of the nation.



»» Space Station Utilization Headache for NASA: CASIS Director Resigns - Accusations Start To Fly

Space Station Utilization Headache for NASA: CASIS Director Resigns - Accusations Start To Fly [Monday, March 5, 2012] "As a result of undue and onerous political pressures exerted over the almost six months of existence of CASIS, business operations have been difficult in standing up this brand new organization"



»» 2012 Legislative Blitz: Broad Bi-Partisan Support for US Space Program on Capitol Hill

2012 Legislative Blitz: Broad Bi-Partisan Support for US Space Program on Capitol Hill [Monday, March 5, 2012] NSS is pleased to announce that this year's Legislative Blitz was very successful, as we called on Congress to work with the Administration and NASA to reach consensus on a unified and comprehensive human and robotic spaceflight program.



»» Jim Royston Named Interim Director of CASIS Dr. Jeanne Becker Steps Down From Leadership Role

Jim Royston Named Interim Director of CASIS Dr. Jeanne Becker Steps Down From Leadership Role [Monday, March 5, 2012] The Board received Dr. Becker's resignation last week and accepted it as a result of ongoing disputes in relation to the pace and direction of the implementation of CASIS' mission.



»» CASIS Names Bobby Block Director of Communications

CASIS Names Bobby Block Director of Communications [Tuesday, March 6, 2012] Today, Robert "Bobby" Block was named director of communications for CASIS - the non-profit entity selected in 2011 by NASA to maximize utilization of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.



»» OIG: Review of NASA's Lessons Learned Information System

OIG: Review of NASA's Lessons Learned Information System [Tuesday, March 6, 2012] Specifically, other than the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, no NASA Center consistently contributed information to LLIS from 2005 through 2010.



»» NASA Ames RFI: Compact Technology to Detect Health-related Biomarkers or Analytes in Space

NASA Ames RFI: Compact Technology to Detect Health-related Biomarkers or Analytes in Space [Wednesday, March 7, 2012] NASA Ames Research Center is exploring the state-of-the-art in technologies to detect health-related biomarkers/analytes in space.



»» New Report Expands on Vital Role of Aerospace and Defense Industry to U.S. Economy

New Report Expands on Vital Role of Aerospace and Defense Industry to U.S. Economy [Wednesday, March 7, 2012] A new report commissioned by AIA demonstrates the irreplaceable impact the aerospace and defense (A/D) industry has on America's economic and national security.



»» Making the Case for Human Missions to Asteroids

Making the Case for Human Missions to Asteroids [Wednesday, March 7, 2012] The following article is a free sample from the current issue of Space Quarterly Magazine. It is our hope that if you enjoy this article you will consider subscribing to the magazine.



»» Commercial Crew Companies Review Safety Standards in Letter to Congress

Commercial Crew Companies Review Safety Standards in Letter to Congress [Wednesday, March 7, 2012] We read with interest your February 29, 2012 letter to Dr. John Holdren regarding NASA's Commercial Crew program to procure services to fly astronauts to the International Space Station on commercial vehicles.



»» Autonomous Space Capture Challenge Opens Algorithmic Crowdsourcing to General Public

Autonomous Space Capture Challenge Opens Algorithmic Crowdsourcing to General Public [Wednesday, March 7, 2012] TopCoder today announced registration has opened for the Autonomous Space Capture Challenge, an algorithm competition which seeks computationally efficient code solutions which models autonomous docking or satellite servicing procedures.



»» Military Satellites - Current Status and Future Prospects

Military Satellites - Current Status and Future Prospects [Thursday, March 8, 2012] The following article is a free sample from the current issue of Space Quarterly Magazine. It is our hope that if you enjoy this article you will consider subscribing to the magazine.



»» Lockheed Martin Space Fence Radar Prototype Tracking Orbiting Objects

Lockheed Martin Space Fence Radar Prototype Tracking Orbiting Objects [Friday, March 9, 2012] A prototype of a new radar system developed by a Lockheed Martin-led team is now tracking orbiting space objects, bringing the U.S. Air Force's Space Fence program one step closer to revolutionizing our nation's space situational awareness.



»» NASA Launches International Competition to Develop Space Apps

NASA Launches International Competition to Develop Space Apps [Friday, March 9, 2012] NASA, governments around the world and civil society organizations will co-host the International Space Apps Challenge on April 21-22 with events across seven continents and in space.



»» Building Vega meant testing materials to their limits

Building Vega meant testing materials to their limits [Monday, March 12, 2012] When the first of Europe's Vega rockets thundered skywards on 13 February, it was a new design based on some novel materials. Such novelty called for rigorous technical risk management by ESA's materials specialists.



»» Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria Named President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria Named President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation [Monday, March 12, 2012] CSF is pleased to announce that former NASA astronaut, International Space Station (ISS) commander, Naval Aviator, and test pilot Michael E. Lopez-Alegria (Capt., U.S. Navy, Ret.) has been named as President, effective March 19, 2012.



»» Conrad Foundation: Cast Your Vote for Prestigious Student Award

Conrad Foundation: Cast Your Vote for Prestigious Student Award [Monday, March 12, 2012] It is the power of the people that will select the 2012 winner of the People's Choice Award which is bestowed on the student team with the most innovative new product in the Conrad Foundation's annual Spirit of Innovation Challenge (Conrad Challenge).



»» 3D-Printer with Nano-Precision (with video)

3D-Printer with Nano-Precision (with video) [Tuesday, March 13, 2012] Printing three dimensional objects with incredibly fine details is now possible using "two-photon lithography". With this technology, tiny structures on a nanometer scale can be fabricated.



»» SpaceX Signs Launch Agreements with Asia Broadcast Satellite and Satmex

SpaceX Signs Launch Agreements with Asia Broadcast Satellite and Satmex [Tuesday, March 13, 2012] Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has signed contracts with Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) and Satelites Mexicanos (Satmex) for two launches aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket.



»» The Spaceship Company receives nearly $300,000 incentive for energy-efficient facility

The Spaceship Company receives nearly $300,000 incentive for energy-efficient facility [Tuesday, March 13, 2012] TSC today received a $290,206 incentive check for completing the Savings By Design energy efficiency program with the design of its Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hangar, or FAITH, at the Mojave Air and Space Port.



»» Eutelsat and Es'hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company select Arianespace to launch the EUTELSAT 25B / Es'hail 1 satellite

Eutelsat and Es'hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company select Arianespace to launch the EUTELSAT 25B / Es'hail 1 satellite [Tuesday, March 13, 2012] Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) and Es'hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company, have selected Arianespace to launch their EUTELSAT 25B1 / Es'hail 1 satellite in the second quarter of 2013 on board an Ariane 5 launcher.



»» Boeing to Build 4 Satellites for Asia Broadcast Satellite/Satmex Team

Boeing to Build 4 Satellites for Asia Broadcast Satellite/Satmex Team [Tuesday, March 13, 2012] The Boeing Company has been awarded a four-satellite contract, with options for four additional satellites, through a joint procurement by Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) and Satelites Mexicanos (Satmex).



»» Boeing Completes Preliminary Design Review of Commercial Crew Space Transportation Vehicle CST-100

Boeing Completes Preliminary Design Review of Commercial Crew Space Transportation Vehicle CST-100 [Tuesday, March 13, 2012] Boeing successfully completed a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the company's integrated Commercial Crew Space Transportation system, which includes the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft, on March 12.



»» GM, NASA Jointly Developing Robotic Gloves for Human Use (with video)

GM, NASA Jointly Developing Robotic Gloves for Human Use (with video) [Tuesday, March 13, 2012] General Motors and NASA are jointly developing a robotic glove that auto workers and astronauts can wear to help do their respective jobs better while potentially reducing the risk of repetitive stress injuries.



»» Video: Morpheus Tether Test #8

Video: Morpheus Tether Test #8 [Wednesday, March 14, 2012] The Morpheus team successfully performed another Tether Test. This was the longest run of the vehicle to date



»» NASA GSFC Solicitation: High Power Uplink (Near Earth Objects Characterization)

NASA GSFC Solicitation: High Power Uplink (Near Earth Objects Characterization) [Wednesday, March 14, 2012] NASA/HQ has a requirement to provide high resolution, high power uplink capability at Ka-band for the use in characterizing Near Earth Objects (NEOs), orbital debris, and to fill knowledge gaps in space situational awareness.



»» Capture10, A Unique Technology and Aerospace Business Development Firm to Open in District

Capture10, A Unique Technology and Aerospace Business Development Firm to Open in District [Wednesday, March 14, 2012] The firm will be led by Lawrence Williams, who most recently served as Vice President for Strategic Relations at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and as an advisor for Tesla Motors, companies founded and run by entrepreneur Elon Musk.



»» NASA's Astrobiology Research Sparks 'GreenTech' Revolution

NASA's Astrobiology Research Sparks 'GreenTech' Revolution [Wednesday, March 14, 2012] NASA's astrobiologists study microbial life to understand how it transformed a rocky Earth into the thriving, diverse, life-sustaining planet we inhabit today.



»» Ecliptic RocketCams Capture Action on ISS During Initial Phase of Robotic Refueling Mission Demo

Ecliptic RocketCams Capture Action on ISS During Initial Phase of Robotic Refueling Mission Demo [Friday, March 16, 2012] Six rugged RocketCam(TM) color video cameras captured close-up views of the first phase of NASA's teleoperated Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) demonstration, conducted March 7-9 on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS).



»» On-Demand Satellite Imagery Envisioned for Frontline Warfighters

On-Demand Satellite Imagery Envisioned for Frontline Warfighters [Friday, March 16, 2012] DARPA seeks expertise from mobile phone, medical pneumatics, industrial machinery, optics and automobile racing communities to build inexpensive, "disposable" satellites for timely overhead imagery



»» Launch of NASA's NuSTAR Mission Postponed Due to Launch Vehicle Software Issues

Launch of NASA's NuSTAR Mission Postponed Due to Launch Vehicle Software Issues [Friday, March 16, 2012] The planned launch of NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission has been postponed after a March 15 launch status meeting.



»» Enter the Dragon, Please take your Seats - SpaceX Completes Important Commercial Crew Milestone

Enter the Dragon, Please take your Seats - SpaceX Completes Important Commercial Crew Milestone [Saturday, March 17, 2012] SpaceX continues to prepare for our upcoming test flight in which we will attempt to send the Dragon spacecraft to the ISS. At the same time we continue making rapid progress in our efforts to prepare the Dragon spacecraft to carry astronauts.



»» Video: Morpheus Tether Test Number 9

Video: Morpheus Tether Test Number 9 [Saturday, March 17, 2012] Morpheus flying in its ninth Tether Test. Overall a good stable flight, however the vehicle went beyond the built in altitude limit causing a soft abort. This is one of the many safety systems put in place to control the vehicle's motion.



»» Repurposing Express-AM4: Mission Possible: Recycling Space Junk into Antarctic Science Treasure

Repurposing Express-AM4: Mission Possible: Recycling Space Junk into Antarctic Science Treasure [Monday, March 19, 2012] Our team at Polar Broadband Ltd brings much to the table for the potential salvage and repurposing of Express-AM4 .



»» Subcommittee Examines FY13 FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation Budget Proposal

Subcommittee Examines FY13 FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation Budget Proposal [Tuesday, March 20, 2012] Today the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics held a hearing to review the fiscal year 2013 budget request submitted by the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation and to examine the office's expanded roles and responsibilities.



»» NASA Seeks Space Launch System Advanced Development Solutions

NASA Seeks Space Launch System Advanced Development Solutions [Wednesday, March 21, 2012] NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has issued a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) for advanced development proposals to support the nation's next heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).



»» ATV Edoardo Amaldi set for liftoff

ATV Edoardo Amaldi set for liftoff [Wednesday, March 21, 2012] The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is the largest cargo vessel supplying the International Space Station with food, water supplies and propellants.



»» Hearing Notes: Charles Bolden Testifies on NASA's FY 2013 Budget

Hearing Notes: Charles Bolden Testifies on NASA's FY 2013 Budget [Wednesday, March 21, 2012] NASA Administrator Bolden testified before the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related AGencies today on the NASA FY 2013 budget. Here are some nots from that hearing.



»» Experimental Payloads Selected by NASA For Commercial Suborbital Flights

Experimental Payloads Selected  by NASA For Commercial Suborbital Flights [Wednesday, March 21, 2012] NASA's Flight Opportunities Program has selected 24 cutting-edge space technology payloads for flights on commercial reusable launch vehicles, balloons and a commercial parabolic aircraft.



»» DOD Faces Challenges in Fully Realizing Benefits of Satellite Acquisition Improvements

DOD Faces Challenges in Fully Realizing Benefits of Satellite Acquisition Improvements [Wednesday, March 21, 2012] Last year, GAO testified that though acquisition problems still existed in many space programs, the DOD was beginning to launch satellites that had long been lagging behind schedule.



»» State of Florida Announces 200 Jobs Tied to Embraer Expansion

State of Florida Announces 200 Jobs Tied to Embraer Expansion [Wednesday, March 21, 2012] Today Governor Rick Scott announced that Embraer, a Brazil-based aircraft manufacturer focused on commercial, defense, and executive aviation, is expanding its operations at Melbourne International Airport.



»» CASIS Reviews NASA Experiments for Commercialization Potential

CASIS Reviews NASA Experiments for Commercialization Potential [Thursday, March 22, 2012] CASIS, the nonprofit organization managing research on the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, has organized a group of world-class scientists to review experiments flown in space by NASA over the last 10 years.



»» NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Symposium March 27-29

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Symposium March 27-29 [Thursday, March 22, 2012] NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Symposium will be held March 27-29. The NIAC examines early stage concepts that may lead to advanced and innovative space technologies critical for NASA to enable missions 10 to 100 years from today.



»» Ecliptic "MoonKAM" Systems Begin Operations in Lunar Orbit

Ecliptic [Thursday, March 22, 2012] Two four-camera color video systems supplied by Ecliptic Enterprises Corporation to NASA's dual-spacecraft GRAIL project have been turned on and are generating stunning video views of the Moon's surface from a vantage point in low lunar orbit.



»» ICAP Ocean Tomo Auctions NASA Software Patent Portfolios March 29

ICAP Ocean Tomo Auctions NASA Software Patent Portfolios March 29 [Wednesday, March 28, 2012] The Innovative Partnership Program Office of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will hold a March 29 auction with ICAP Ocean Tomo LLC of Chicago to sell three NASA-developed technology lots totaling 12 patents.



»» SpaceX Announces Independent Safety Advisory Panel for Commercial Crew

SpaceX Announces Independent Safety Advisory Panel for Commercial Crew [Thursday, March 29, 2012] Today, SpaceX announced it has assembled a team of outside experts to help the company create the world's safest human spaceflight system.



»» Live Webcast: Conrad Spirit of Innovation Summit at NASA Ames

Live Webcast: Conrad Spirit of Innovation Summit at NASA Ames [Thursday, March 29, 2012] This year, we are giving everyone the chance to attend the Innovation Summit - virtually. We'll stream live footage of the Summit's opening remarks, daily fireside chats, interactive student workshops, and opening and closing ceremonies.



»» Astronaut meets Dragon

Astronaut meets Dragon [Friday, March 30, 2012] In preparation for the upcoming SpaceX demonstration flight, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur performed a crew equipment interface test March 28 in Florida.




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