This Week at NASA…
2013 ASTRONAUT CLASS – JSC
During a Google+ Hangout NASA announced its newest class of astronaut trainees. The eight candidates selected to the 2013 astronaut class were chosen from a pool of 63-hundred applications -- the second largest NASA has ever received.…
Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator:
“This new class of four women and four men comes from diverse backgrounds. But they share the qualities our astronauts have always had; a desire to excel and reach new frontiers and to keep America the world’s leader in space exploration.”
In August, the group will begin a wide array of technical training at Johnson Space Center, other NASA centers and space agencies around the world. For more details on the 2013 NASA Astronaut Candidates visit http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/2013astroclass.html.
SCIENCE DAY ON THE HILL – HQ
The NASA Science Day on Capitol Hill provided an opportunity to showcase for members of Congress and the public, the work and accomplishments of the agency’s Science programs. Associate Administrator for Science John Grunsfeld was among NASA officials at the event, which included exhibits and presentations, on the agency’s work with asteroids and other Near Earth Objects …
“We want to know their size, we want to know their shape, we want to know how they spin. We want to know what they’re made of.”
Space observatories like the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes …
“Our ambition is to see as far back as you could see. To see the very first objects that formed after the early universe.”
And also discussed were planetary missions, space weather and a host of other Science programs conducted by NASA for the benefit of all humankind.
TECHNOLOGY DAY – DFRC (CP) Sam Smith Reporting
NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center recently conducted a Technology Day, giving center employees an opportunity to learn about the diverse range of technologies being developed by their colleagues, including air traffic control innovations, fiber optic sensors and a virtual desktop. These projects not only have real-world applications to aviation, but also potential in the consumer market.
DRY ICE MOVEMENT ON MARS – JPL
NASA research indicates that hunks of frozen carbon dioxide, or dry ice may be responsible for gullies seen on Martian sand dunes in images taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Researchers believe the gullies are created when the chunks of dry ice glide down the sand dunes on cushions of gas, like mini-hovercraft. Scientists came to this conclusion by examining the images taken by MRO and performing experiments on sand dunes in Utah and California.
SAMPLE RETURN ROBOT CHALLENGE – MSFC
Eleven robotics teams from the US, Canada and Estonia competed for a possible $1.5 million in prize money during the second NASA Centennial Challenges Sample Return Robot Challenge at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. “Team Survey” of Los Angeles, the winning squad was awarded $5,000 for successfully completing Level 1 of the competition The two-day challenge, designed to encourage innovations in autonomous navigation and robotics technologies is part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.
ENGINEERING LEADERS GRADUATE – HQ
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden handed out certificates and congratulations to graduates of the agency’s Systems Engineering Leadership Development Program during a recent ceremony at NASA Headquarters.
Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator:
“One of the things that is so good about this and many of the other leadership training programs we do is that it brings people together from diverse backgrounds.”
The year-long program includes mentoring, coaching, technical training and developmental assignments to help develop knowledge, skills, and experience needed to meet the challenges of systems engineering leadership at NASA.
I’M AN ENGINEER! - HQ
Also at NASA headquarters, Associate Administrator for Education, Leland Melvin welcomed a group of students from Washington’s Amidon-Bowen Elementary School for the culmination of the six week I’m an Engineer! program, which engages students in Engineering Science and Technology with activities such as build and testing their own space vehicles.
Leland Melvin, NASA Associate Administrator for Education:
“So all these people together, like your teachers, your parents, the people here working, are all a team to help you get to Mars one day, right?”
Part of NASA’s Beginning Engineering Science and Technology, or BEST activity guides, the I’m and Engineer! program is jointly sponsored by the agency’s Office of Education and the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.
SUMMER INTERNS ARRIVE – GSFC
Goddard Space Flight Center recently welcomed nearly 300 college students to an orientation for the Center’s 12-week summer internship program. The interns will get work experience in areas ranging from the robotics lab to the Office of Communications and have an opportunity at the conclusion of the program to showcase their accomplishments. Programs like this help NASA engage students in the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, as well as communications and other areas vital to business.
NASA ANNIVERSARY: June 18, 1983 - Sally Ride’s First Spaceflight, STS-7- HQ
Thirty years ago on June 18, 1983 the late Sally Ride began her first spaceflight …
“And liftoff, liftoff of STS-7 and America’s first woman astronaut.”
Becoming the first American woman to travel to space, as she and her four crewmates launched from Kennedy Space Center aboard space shuttle Challenger, on STS-7.
Dr. Sally Ride:
“The fact that I was going to be the first American woman to go into space carried huge expectations along with it. I tried to block out pretty much everything that was going on around me because it would have been way too easy to just be lost in the moment.”
A long time advocate of education, Ride later founded Sally Ride Science to educate, engage, and inspire students in STEM education. NASA recently honored Ride by creating a new agency internship program in her name and renaming the EarthKAM science instrument aboard the International Space Station, the Sally Ride EarthKAM. Ride passed away in July 2012.
And that’s This Week @NASA.
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Page Editor: Gary Daines