Archives

NASA Hack Space: December 2011


Conrad Foundation 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge Semi-Finalists Announced

"We are thrilled to announce the 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge Semi-Finalists. This year, student teams exceeded our expectations in regards to innovation and creativity when applying STEM principles to their product concepts. These 80 teams will be competing to earn one of 15 spots to attend the annual Innovation Summit at NASA Ames Research Center in California from March 29-31, 2012."

The Virtual Observatory and its Benefits for Amateur Astronomers

"The contemporary astronomical instruments have been producing the unprecedented amount of data. The largest part of this "data avalanche" is being produced by deep all-sky surveys yielding terabytes of raw data per night. Such a great data volumes can hardly even been reduced by automatic pipelines running on supercomputer grids but it is impossible to exploit fully their content by a small group of professional astronomers in the interested research teams. New tools for collaborative work with heterogeneous data sets spread over distant servers are being developed in the framework of the Virtual Observatory (VO)."

Happy Holidays From Antarctica

"25 December: Astrobiologist Dale Andersen from the SETI Institute is currently on his way back to the U.s. via a stop over in Capetown, South Africa. Dale and his team spent a month or so at Lake Untersee in Antarctica. This photo was taken shortly before Christmas. Dale is shown holding a patch for the Challenger Center for Space Science Education."

NASA Selects Student Teams For Microgravity Research Flights

"NASA has selected 24 undergraduate student teams to test science experiments under microgravity conditions. The teams will fly during 2012 as part of the agency's Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program (RGEFP). The teams will design and build their experiments at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and conduct tests aboard an aircraft modified to mimic a reduced-gravity environment. The aircraft will fly approximately 30 parabolas with roller-coaster-like climbs and dips to produce periods of weightlessness and hyper-gravity ranging from 0 to 2g's."

Planet Earth in your pocket ... and on your tablet

"ESA has updated its application for iPhone and iPad. With the launch of the ESA App V2, users can see ESA's latest satellite imagery from Envisat in near-real time, complementing the latest news and discoveries in space exploration and Earth observation. Making full use of the iPhone and iPad touch features, ESA App V2 puts videos, images, facts and figures, ESA's Twitter feeds, YouTube links and other information in a convenient mobile package. The ten latest satellite images of our planet are also now at your fingertips. One of the newest features is the automatic update of satellite images from ESA's MIRAVI website, which generates acquisitions in near-real time from the world's largest Earth observation satellite, Envisat."

Johnson Space Center and Houston Technology Center Partner for Entrepreneurs

"NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the Houston Technology Center (HTC) have formed a strategic partnership to further expand HTC's mission of accelerating the growth of emerging technology companies in the Houston region and to further develop the insights required to support NASA's long-term goals of increasing private and public collaboration."

NASA Johnson Space Center Partners With Texas' Largest Tech Incubator and Accelerator

"The Houston Technology Center (HTC) and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) have formed a strategic partnership to further expand HTC's mission of accelerating the growth of emerging technology companies in the Houston region and to develop the insights required to support NASA's long-term goals of increasing private/public collaboration. NRG Energy - a strong supporter of Houston 's business community and diversified energy company - stepped up to support the effort with a $25,000 donation."

NASA Announcement: Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development

This publication announces the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Office of Chief Technologist's Game Changing Development (GCD) Program's plans to release the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 NASA Research Announcement (NRA) NNL12A3001N entitled, "Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development". Detailed requirements, including proposal due dates, will be stated in Appendices that address individual topic areas. Appendices will be posted as Amendments to the GCD NRA and will be published as requirements materialize throughout the year. The FY 2012 GCD NRA (NNL12A3001N) can be accessed from the NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integrated Review and Evaluation System (NSPIRES) website, (http://nspires.nasaprs.com ), by going first to "Solicitations", and then to "Open Solicitations". Once Amendments are available interested parties can access Open Solicitations, click on NRA "NNL12A3001N", and then click on "Amendments"

Coalition for Space Exploration contest winner's innovative video answers the question

"The Coalition for Space Exploration (Coalition) is pleased to announce that Caleb Ekeroth is the grand prize winner of its "What's Next?" in space exploration contest. Ekeroth's video titled, "Visit Mars Today," takes viewers through a timeline of human spaceflight history into the future with an in-flight commentary of the first tourist trip to the red planet. Ekeroth's video effectively demonstrates his idea that interplanetary travel is within our reach. The entry was selected as the winner for its thought-provoking message to build upon the successful history of the space program and explore beyond low-Earth orbit."

Total Lunar Eclipse brings SkySafari to Android

"The iOS versions of SkySafari have been downloaded more than 900,000 times from the iTunes Store. SkySafari has won multiple awards, including a MacWorld 2010 Best-of-Show, Sky & Telescope Magazine's Hot Product award for 2012, and an endorsement by Astronomers Without Borders. SkySafari is the only mobile astronomy app which can correctly reproduce this December's total lunar eclipse, or any other. SkySafari's Plus and Pro versions have the largest database of any mobile astronomy app, and are the only ones which can control backyard telescopes."

NASA Announces Robotics Student Competition 2012 Grant Awards

"NASA is continuing its strong support for the annual FIRST Robotics Competition, which inspires student interest in science, technology, and mathematics through a challenge to design and build a robot. The agency is awarding grants totaling $1,386,500 for student teams in 37 states to participate in FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

The DAME/VO-Neural Infrastructure: an Integrated Data Mining System Support for the Science Community

"The DAME/VONeural project, run jointly by the University Federico II, INAF (National Institute of Astrophysics) Astronomical Observatories of Napoli and the California Institute of Technology, aims at creating a single, sustainable, distributed e-infrastructure for data mining and exploration in massive data sets, to be offered to the astronomical (but not only) community as a web application. The framework makes use of distributed computing environments (e.g. S.Co.P.E.) and matches the international IVOA standards and requirements."

DAME: A Distributed Data Mining & Exploration Framework within the Virtual Observatory

"Originally designed to deal with astrophysical use cases, where first scientific application examples have demonstrated its effectiveness, the DAME Suite results as a multi-disciplinary platform-independent tool perfectly compliant with modern KDD (Knowledge Discovery in Databases) requirements and Information & Communication Technology trends."

NASA Opens Registration for Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

"NASA is challenging student inventors to gear up for the agency's 19th annual Great Moonbuggy Race. Registration is open for the engineering design and racing contest set to culminate in a two-day event in Huntsville, Ala., on April 13-14, 2012. The race is organized annually by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and held at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, both in Huntsville. Since 1994, NASA has challenged student teams to build and race human-powered rovers of their own design. These fast, lightweight moonbuggies address many of the same engineering challenges overcome by Apollo-era lunar rover developers at Marshall in the late 1960s."

Armadillo Aerospace Launches Successfully from Spaceport America

"New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced today a successful launch over the weekend of an advanced sounding rocket designed and built by Armadillo Aerospace. The launch took place from Spaceport America's vertical launch complex on Sun., Dec. 4. The test flight was a non-public, unpublished event at the request of Armadillo Aerospace, as the company is testing proprietary advanced launch technologies."

The Collaboration Project, Astronaut Ron Garan via open.nasa.gov

"For thousands of years of human history, the vast majority of people in the world believed that it was impossible to fly to the Moon - simply because it had never been done before. Up until about 50 years ago people would have thought you were crazy to suggest we could go to the Moon, but human ingenuity and the determination of the human spirit proved that it was possible. Today, many people believe that it is impossible to solve the problems of the world. It is widely believed that is impossible to lift the poor out of poverty. 'There have always been poor in the world and there always will be,' they say. If we can land on the Moon and return to Earth safely, if nations can join together and build an enormous research facility in orbit, we can, by working together, solve many of the challenges facing our planet including the alleviation of poverty. Nothing is impossible."

Flight Assembled Architecture/Architectures volantes from FRAC Centre on Vimeo.

Flying Machine Enabled Construction, ETH

Keith's note: One would think that the software developed by this team could be adapted to robots operating in space to assemble large structures such as solar power satellites or on the surface of the Moon to construct a lunar base. Indeed, you could take 3D printing software and scale it up such that you use remotely operated droids to "print out" a base on the moon using local materials.

RHoK-ing it out with NASA Data, open.nasa.gov

"This weekend, 34 cities across the globe will play host to Random Hacks of Kindness #4. Random Hacks of Kindness is a community of innovation that brings together subject matter experts with volunteer technologists to develop open technology solutions to the global challenges. NASA has a long history with RHoK - we were one of the founding core team members and have been involved ever since!"

Space Station Astronaut Will Answer Video Questions From Public

"NASA has announced a unique opportunity to ask the commander of the International Space Station a question about his role on the orbiting outpost. Commander Dan Burbank will answer videotaped questions from the public during a live event tentatively set for Friday, Jan. 20 on NASA Television. The video questions must be less than 30 seconds. Submitters should introduce themselves and mention their location. Questions must be posted as responses to a video Burbank recorded on YouTube at: http://go.nasa.gov/sDYpzP"

Thousands to Gather at NASA in Silicon Valley for Technology Festival, Creating Projects for a Better World

"Campus Party announces the first edition of its Silicon Valley Technology Festival, to be held from August 6-12, 2012, at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. This will be the first event in the United States organized by Campus Party, the world's Starting today, a website with information on the festival is posted at www.campus-party.org .Tickets for the event will be available in February. Several thousand participants from around the world are expected."