Recently in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Category


More than 10,000 asteroids and comets that can pass near Earth have now been discovered. The 10,000th near-Earth object, asteroid 2013 MZ5, was first detected on the night of June 18, 2013, by the Pan-STARRS-1 telescope, located on the 10,000-foot (convert) summit of the Haleakala crater on Maui. Managed by the University of Hawaii, the PanSTARRS survey receives NASA funding.

NASA CTO Peck Visits Pasadena's Honeybee Robotics Wednesday

"NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck will visit Honeybee Robotics in Pasadena, Calif., on Wednesday, March 14. Peck's visit will highlight how government can partner with small business to help create the jobs of the future through investment in science and technology. Honeybee Robotics has been a technology supplier to the last three Mars missions. It has received multiple NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards to develop mechanisms that could be used on future NASA missions, many of which also have potential in the commercial marketplace. These include excavation and drilling tools for potential use in harsh environments on Earth and other planets."

Citizen Scientists Reveal a Bubbly Milky Way

"A team of volunteers has pored over observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and discovered more than 5,000 "bubbles" in the disk of our Milky Way galaxy. Young, hot stars blow these bubbles into surrounding gas and dust, indicating areas of brand new star formation. Upwards of 35,000 "citizen scientists" sifted through the Spitzer infrared data as part of the online Milky Way Project to find these telltale bubbles. The volunteers have turned up 10 times as many bubbles as previous surveys so far."

Community College Scholars Selected to Design Robotic Rovers

"Community college students will have the chance to design robotic rovers in cooperation with NASA. Ninety-two students from schools in 24 states have been selected to travel to a NASA center to develop rovers through the National Community College Aerospace Scholars program. The initiative provides hands-on opportunities to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Students will visit either NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., from May 1-3, or NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston from May 9-11. The teams will establish fictional companies pursuing Mars exploration. Each team will develop, design and build a prototype rover, then use their prototypes to navigate a course, collect rocks and water and return to a home base."

2012 NASA planetary Science Summer School, Planetary Science NewsLetter

"NASA is accepting applications from science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students for its 24th Annual Planetary Science Summer School, which will hold two separate sessions this summer (18-22 June and 16-20 July) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. During the program and pre-session webinars, student teams will carry out the equivalent of an early mission concept study, prepare a proposal authorization review presentation, present it to a review board, and receive feedback."

Game-Changing Technologies at NASA

NASA Develops New Game-Changing Technology

"Two NASA California centers have been selected to develop new space-aged technologies that could be game-changers in the way we look at planets from above and how we safely transport robots or humans through space and bring them safely back to Earth. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will use advanced compound semiconductor materials to develop new technologies for the High Operating Temperature Infrared Sensor Demonstration. Seeking to radically change the way heat shields protect spacecraft during atmospheric entry, NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., is developing the Woven Thermal Protection System."

Eighty students from community colleges in 28 states and Puerto Rico have been selected to travel to a NASA center to develop robotic rovers. The National Community College Aerospace Scholars program encourages students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

AO Number (Required in subject line of email application): 823. Desired Number of Participants: 1 Background Information: The Deep Space Network (DSN) is composed of three spacecraft tracking centers in California, Spain and Australia. Each center tracks spacecraft up to the far reaches of space 24 hours/7-days/week and is manned by human operations. Some of the protocols and operations concepts are shared by other space agencies. The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) promotes the use of shared approaches and protocols to enable spacecraft operations support across agencies from multiple countries.

AO Number (Required in subject line of email application): 799. Desired Number of Participants: 1 Background Information: The Deep Space Network tracks over forty spacecraft from three geographically separate sites in Goldstone California, Canberra, Australia and Madrid, Spain.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Summer High School Internship Program (JPL SpaceSHIP) is an 8-week internship designed for high school students, age 16 or older, who have demonstrated a strong interest in and aptitude for science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM). One of JPL SpaceSHIP's objectives is to encourage pre-college students who have been traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields to consider such fields for their careers.

Less than three years after obtaining college degrees, a group of early-career employees at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., can now add "rocket launch" to their resumes. Recent graduates who work for JPL launched a sounding rocket 120 kilometers (75 miles) above Earth's surface on Monday, Dec. 6. The rocket flew from the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, with four cameras on board. The cameras recorded real-time ground imagery throughout the flight, both after launch as the rocket climbed beyond the atmosphere, and during its descent back to White Sands. Those data will be compared with existing maps to develop terrain-modeling algorithms. This project will improve precision landing for future missions to Mars and other locations.