NASA News

 
09.30.09
 
NOTE TO EDITORS : 09-079
 
 
NASA Langley Forecast
 
 

MODELING AND SIMULATION EASES DECISIONS

Emerging modeling and simulation technology can be applied to solve organizational problems and improve decision making whether the issue be national security or video gaming now popular for education and training. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) will host the Virginia Summit on Modeling and Simulation from 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Keynote speaker is President Obama's Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra. The Summit will kick off MODSIM World 2009, a conference and expo focused on 21st century decision making, Oct. 14-16, also at the Virginia Beach Conference Center. Media with credentials are admitted free to both events. For more information, go to http://www.modsimworld2009.com/ or contact Marny Skora at 864-6121 or marny.skora@nasa.gov.

NASA LANGLEY CELEBRATES EARTHFEST 2009

EarthFest, a celebration of our home planet, will take place at Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. Free and open to the public, EarthFest will include fun, games and prizes for the whole family. There will be hay rides, art projects, NASA exhibits and activities, as well as exhibits and activities from NOAA, the Virginia Aquarium, the Virginia Zoo, the Virginia Peninsula Astronomy/Stargazers, Virginia Natural Gas and more. Entertainment by local music groups. For information, contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786 or christopher.p.rink@nasa.gov.

NASA PREPARES FOR FIRST TEST LAUNCH OF NEW SPACECRAFT

NASA Langley is playing a central role in the test of the rocket being developed to carry crew and cargo to space after the Space Shuttle retires. Ares I-X, the precursor to NASA's Ares I, will demonstrate performance of the rocket's first stage and other key technologies in a launch scheduled for no earlier than Oct. 27 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The unpiloted rocket will climb 25 miles in a two-minute powered flight in an arc over the Atlantic. The launch will tell engineers what they got right and what needs more work in the design and analysis phase. NASA Langley designed, fabricated and assembled key parts of the rocket. The center also managed the integration of vehicle parts into a complete rocket to make sure they work together as a system to meet test objectives. For more information, contact Keith Henry at 757-864-6120 or h.k.henry@nasa.gov.

NASA INVITES VIRGINIA STUDENTS TO BECOME 2010 AEROSPACE SCHOLARS

Are you looking for an experience that is out of this world? Planning a mission to Mars and gaining college credit are just two perks high school juniors in Virginia can experience through the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) program. The program, in its third year at NASA Langley, is accepting applications for its interactive on-line science, technology, engineering and math program. The semester-long curriculum teaches students about aerospace exploration through simulations, weekly reading assignments, online games, video segments and online quizzes. Apply by Nov. 6. For information, contact Amy Johnson at 757-864-7022 or amy.johnson@nasa.gov or visit http://www.vasts.spacegrant.org.

APOLLO 40TH CELEBRATIONS

NASA Langley's Digital Learning Network will kick off a weeklong celebration of the Apollo 40th anniversary Nov. 16 featuring the work of aerospace pioneer John Houbolt. Each day that week a different NASA center will connect to U.S. and international schools via videoconferencing to highlight its contributions to Apollo. Contact Amy Johnson at 757-864-7022 or amy.johnson@nasa.gov.

NASA Langley and the Virginia Air & Space Center will mark the 40th anniversary, Nov. 19, of the second landing on the moon. The capsule that carried astronauts Dick Gordon, Pete Conrad and Alan Bean into lunar orbit is a centerpiece at the museum in downtown Hampton. A number of activities are planned. For more information: Kathy Barnstorff at 757-864-9886 or kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov.

SPACE TRAVELER COMES HOME TO LANGLEY

Researchers at NASA Langley plan to open a couple of "suitcases" in October that spent the last year and a half in space attached to the outside of the International Space Station. They are the Materials International Space Station Experiment - 6A and 6B (MISSE-6A and 6B). MISSE tests how the harsh environment of space affects small samples of new materials. Results will help researchers design future spacecraft. For more information, contact Amy Johnson at 757-864-7022 or amy.johnson@nasa.gov, or contact Kathy Barnstorff at 757-864-9886 or kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov.

NASA EXAMINES RADIATION EXPOSURE FOR PASSENGERS, FLIGHT CREWS

NASA Langley researchers have found that passengers and crew members on airline flights at polar latitudes could be exposed to significant levels of radiation, particularly during solar storms. Using a new computer model, researchers found that people onboard a typical polar flight from the U.S. to Asia received up to 70 percent of the radiation exposure limit recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. The model is being developed to measure, predict and archive levels of biologically damaging radiation. The goal is to refine the model so that pilots and air traffic controllers can react to steer flights to lower, more protected altitudes when facing the risk of high radiation exposure. Contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786 or christopher.p.rink@nasa.gov.

TV PROGRAM SHOWS HOW NASA AFFECTS PEOPLE'S LIVES

"NASA 360," an Emmy-award winning half-hour television show produced by NASA's Langley and the National Institute of Aerospace, is wrapping up its thirteenth show. "NASA 360" shows how technologies developed by or for NASA are being used in everything from space exploration to everyday consumer products. The program appears on TV outlets around the world and is a popular vodcast (more than 1.2 million downloads) on nasa.gov and iTunes. Contact Kathy Barnstorff at 757-864-9886 or kathy.barnstorff@nasa.gov.

LANGLEY'S SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE

As the social media revolution grows, Langley has developed a presence on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social media sites for the past year, and now has several thousand 'friends' and 'followers' both internally and around the globe. For information contact Michael Finneran, 757-864-6110 or at michael.p.finneran@nasa.gov.

SPEAKER SERIES

Daytime presentations to employees at NASA Langley are held on the first Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center. Media are invited to interview speakers at a news conference at 1:15 p.m. prior to the talk. The public is invited to similar free presentations at 7:30 p.m. at Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton. Contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786 or christopher.p.rink@nasa.gov.

Oct. 6 -- 'THE 'HURRICANE OF INDEPENDENCE'

Historian and author Tony Williams will discuss his book, "Hurricane of Independence: The Untold Story of the Deadly Storm at the Deciding Moment of the American Revolution." The book recalls one of history's deadliest hurricanes, which struck in 1775 and had a dramatic impact on the start of the American Revolution. Williams, a Williamsburg resident, taught history for ten years in Ohio and Virginia and was recently named a Fellow at Colonial Williamsburg Rockefeller Library.

Nov. 3 -- JELLYFISH INSPIRED ENGINEERING

Dr. John Dabiri will discuss "Unsteady Hydrodynamics in Bio-inspired Propulsion." Dabiri will describe how a biology-inspired approach to engineering has placed jellyfish at the center of efforts to build next-generation underwater vehicles. Lab experiments have demonstrated improvements in hydrodynamic efficiency of up to 50 percent. Dabiri is an assistant professor in the Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories and the Option of Bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. In 2008, Popular Science magazine named Dabiri one of its "Brilliant 10" scientists.

 

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