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NASA Hack Space: February 2013


"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of Education, in cooperation with NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD), Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD), and Science Mission Directorates (SMD), the Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT), and NASA's ten Centers, solicits proposals for the NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Each funded NASA EPSCoR proposal is expected to establish research activities that will make significant contributions to the strategic research and technology development priorities of one or more of the Mission Directorates or the OCT and contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, higher education, and economic development of the jurisdiction. If submitted, Notices of Intent are due on March 18, 2013 and proposals are due on April 19, 2013." More

"I am pleased to invite Ames resident staff to drop in on the "Dark Side of the Jam" gathering in Building 3 on March 8-10, 2013. The Dark Side of the Jam is bringing together top game designers for a "satellite game jam" with the goal of developing space and science games. Dark Side of the Jam challenges gamers to not only to demonstrate their coding prowess, but help capture the public's interest in the science and technology advancements being made in aerospace exploration. Dark Side of the Jam opens with registration at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 8, and runs until 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, in the Building 3 Ballroom. The center director will welcome the participants, and then NASA speakers will share knowledge about NASA aeronautics, small spacecraft, robotics, and planetary exploration to ignite ideas. NASA also will provide feedback on Saturday to the game developers. The event kicks off on Friday evening at about 7:30 p.m. NASA also will provide displays and models for inspiration." More

"This article describes a citizen-science project conducted by the Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO) to improve the orbits of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) using data from astronomical archives. The list of NEAs maintained at the Minor Planet Center (MPC) is checked daily to identify new objects or changes in the orbital parameters of already catalogued objects. Using NEODyS we compute the position and magnitude of these objects at the observing epochs of the 938 046 images comprising the Eigth Data Release of the Sloan Digitised Sky Survey (SDSS). If the object lies within the image boundaries and the magnitude is brighter than the limiting magnitude, then the associated image is visually inspected by the project's collaborators (the citizens) to confirm or discard the presence of the NEA. If confirmed, accurate coordinates and, sometimes, magnitudes are submitted to the MPC." More

"As part of the Obama Administration's recognition of the critical role that space technology and innovation will play in enabling both future space missions and bettering life here on Earth, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has announced the creation of the Space Technology Mission Directorate. The directorate will be a catalyst for the creation of technologies and innovation needed to maintain NASA leadership in space while also benefiting America's economy. The Space Technology Mission Directorate will develop the cross-cutting, advanced and pioneering new technologies needed for NASA's current and future missions, many of which also benefit America's aerospace industries, other government agencies, and address national needs. NASA will focus leadership responsibility for the existing Space Technology Program in the mission directorate, improving communication, management and accountability of critical technology investment activities across the agency." More

"University faculty and students interested in learning how to build scientific experiments for spaceflight are invited to join RockOn 2013 from June 15-20 at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. RockOn 2013 is an annual workshop held in partnership with the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortia. Registration is open through May. "Now in its sixth year, this program provides the basics on building, testing and flying a science payload on a suborbital rocket," said Phil Eberspeaker, chief of the sounding rocket program office at Wallops. "This is an exciting first step for participants to gain hands-on experience in building more complex space experiments. The program provides students with a solid foundation on which to build a future aerospace career." During the program, participants will work together to build experiment payloads to fly on a NASA sounding rocket predicted to reach an altitude of 73 miles. The flight will take place June 20, the last day of the workshop, weather permitting." More

"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a requirement to launch pico-, nano-, and/or micro-satellites (CubeSats) into earth orbit. A CubeSat is a type of miniaturized space research satellite that typically uses commercial, off-the-shelf electronic components. NASA/ John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for CubeSat deployer hardware and integration services. The requirement includes engineering development support, deployer carrier hardware, CubeSat to deployer and deployer to launch vehicle (LV) integration, and system testing." More

"NASA/GSFC intends to purchase the training from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) NOLS is currently the only known source with the ability to meet NASA's unique expedition requirements combining leadership training customized specifically for scientist and engineering teams and simulationg the field campaign environment. NOLS offers leadership and team training in a challenging outdoor environment and has the desired level of knowledge, expertise, and experience to conduct expedition and outdoor leadership training. NOLS offers the combination of remoteness and focused leadership skill development that provides distinct synergistic learning opportunities for teams managing risk in the implementation of complex scientific missions and the conduct of scientific field campaigns in remote, stressful, and harsh environments." More

"NASA Headquarters has a requirement for support services, algorithm development, hardware development and integration, and the execution of specific Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-requested technology development and science experimentation based on the unique SPHRERES facility onboard the International Space Station (ISS). NASA Headquarters intends to purchase these services from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sole source. MIT Space Systems Laboratory is uniquely qualified to perform these supporting services, algorithm development, hardware development and integration, and to enable the execution of specific DARPA-requested technology development and science experimentation because they created the SPHERES facility and hold proprietary ownership of the date. MIT has proprietary rights to the software components of the SPHERES facility and is uniquely qualified to integrate the Universal Docking Ports (UDPs) and Robotic Arms, and to expand the software components to enable this hardware to be used both by DARPA researchers and Zero Robotics Competition." More

"Help to bring Earth observation services to the everyday user with your ideas for mobile phone applications. Following the success of last year's first ever App Camp organised by ESA, 20 app developers from all over Europe will be invited once again to ESA's ESRIN centre in Frascati, Italy, on 3-10 June. They will have the opportunity to spend the week creating mobile applications using satellite Earth observation data. Eligible applicants will need to have experience in app development on Android or iOS platforms that can be verified with links to published apps and other references. The 20 lucky developers will be selected by an expert committee involving ESRIN staff. ESA will provide Internet and access to satellite data for developing mobile applications in five defined categories. The goal is to develop mobile apps using Earth-monitoring data on smartphones, building on the possibilities offered by Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme." More

"NASA is inviting potential partners to help the agency achieve its strategic goals for education. Using its unique missions, discoveries, and assets, NASA supports education inside and outside the formal classroom to inspire and motivate educators and learners of all ages in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The agency is seeking unfunded partnerships with organizations to engage new or broader audiences across a national scale. NASA recognizes the benefit of leveraging those unique resources and abilities that partners can provide in order to improve efficiency and maximize impact of its STEM efforts. This announcement requests information from organizations interested in working with NASA to improve STEM education in America." More

"TopCoder(R), Inc., the world's largest open innovation platform and competitive community of digital creators, today launched the first two of a series of open innovation challenges to create a new dietary tracking application for use by astronauts in an International Space Station (ISS) -type environment. The ISS FIT (Food Intake Tracker) iPad App Conceptualization and Voice Command Idea Generation and other competitions are now open on the ISS FIT Challenge home page (TopCoder and TopCoder Studio registration required). These are the first two of multiple phases of the challenge which will build a fully functioning iPad application from concept to deployment using TopCoder's open innovation Community and process. The complete challenge series is sponsored by NASA through its NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), an online virtual facility that harnesses the capabilities of the TopCoder Community to create innovative, efficient solutions for specific, real-world challenges being faced by the space agency." More

"The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization promoting and managing research on board the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today announced it will provide up to $100,000 in grant funding for qualified research projects as part of its partnership with the "MassChallenge Startup Accelerator." MassChallenge is the largest-ever startup accelerator, and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs without taking any equity. Its four-month program offers world-class mentorship, free office space, $1 million in cash awards, and up to $10 million through in-kind support. To date, MassChallenge alumni have collectively raised over $360 million in outside funding, generated nearly $100 million in revenue, and created nearly 3,000 jobs since 2010. As per the agreement with MassChallenge, CASIS will commit up to $100,000 to any winning proposal that is deemed flight-ready for research on board the ISS. CASIS funds for qualified research proposals on Station are not part of the original MassChallenge award, but are offered on top of any other grants received through the contest." More

NASA Releases Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan<br />
NASA Releases Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan, SpaceRef Business

"NASA today released its strategic space technology investment plan. The plan, outlined in a 92 page document, is meant to be a comprehensive strategic plan prioritizing technologies for NASA to achieve its mission."

"Technology enables discovery and advancement," NASA Chief Technologist Mason Peck said. "We look forward to working with our stakeholders to grow our technological base and take the journey to expand scientific understanding, explore the universe, and make a positive impact on the lives of all."

"SpaceGAMBIT is pleased to announce the first round of funding activity with an Open Call For Projects. We are looking for community-space built, open-source projects in line with our mission to receive $5000-$20,000USD for a 3-4 month development. Our overall mission is to promote humanity's long term survivability and expansion into space. Themes for this round of projects are Education, Habitats and Near-Space Economy. Submissions will be accepted from the date of announcment (2013/02/06) through April 19, 2013." More

"The First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, took a close-up view of Scotland's first satellite today. Clyde Space, which designed and built the UKube-1 nanosatellite, is running final tests at the company's headquarters in the West of Scotland Science Park ahead of its deployment next month to Kazakhstan, where it will be launched in a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket later this year. Employing more than 20 highly-skilled full-time staff, Clyde Space is a leading producer of small satellite, nanosatellite and 'CubeSat' systems - fully-functional satellites that 'piggy-back' on other launches to minimise costs and boost the commercial availability of space research. The company develops and delivers products to commercial aerospace, defence companies and academic teams around the world and now plans to open a base next year in the United States - which already accounts for almost a third of its current orders." More

"A UK mission, jointly developed by the University of Surrey's Surrey Space Centre (SSC) and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), to send the world's first smartphone satellite into orbit, is due to launch on 25th February. The unique and innovative satellite, called STRaND-1 (the Surrey Training, Research and Nanosatellite Demonstrator), is a 30cm CubeSat weighing 4.3kg. It will launch into a 785km sun-synchronous orbit on ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota, India. STRaND-1 will also be the first UK CubeSat to be launched and has been developed by talented space engineers and researchers at Surrey with the majority of the design and developmental work being carried out in their spare time. The build and test phase of the project has been completed in just three months." More

"ESA invites European student teams who are building CubeSats with mainly educational objectives to propose their satellite for the new 'Fly Your Satellite!' programme. 'Fly Your Satellite!' is an exciting new initiative from the ESA Education and Knowledge Management Office. It is focused on CubeSat projects run by university students and builds on the successful 'CubeSats for the Vega Maiden Flight' pilot programme, which culminated in 2012 with the launch of seven university student-built CubeSats on board the Vega Maiden Flight. In the future, this new initiative is intended to cover the complete development process of a satellite from concept to launch. However, the 2013 edition will be dedicated to teams whose satellite is already at an advanced stage of development and able to complete the Flight Model assembly by June 2013. One, two or three-unit CubeSats are eligible." More