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Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812

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The Marshall Star is published online every Wednesday by the Public and Employee Communications Office at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Submissions should be written legibly and include the originator's name.

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Marshall Star, August 8, 2012 Edition
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In This Week's Star (Click to Expand)

Marshall to Recognize Outstanding Team Members at Annual Honor Awards Ceremonies Aug. 16

NASA logo The Marshall Space Flight Center will honor more than 300 employees and contractors during its Annual Honor Awards ceremonies in Morris Auditorium on Aug. 16. Marshall team members are invited to attend.

Awards presentations will be made during two ceremonies -- agency-level honor awards at 10 a.m. and center-level honor awards at 2 p.m. The morning ceremony will recognize those who have made significant achievements to NASA's mission at an agency level. The afternoon ceremony will recognize those who have made outstanding mission contributions to the center.

NASA Acting Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot will be the keynote speaker and award presenter at both ceremonies.

Announcing the agency-level awards will be Tereasa H. Washington, director of the Office of Human Capital; Todd May, manager of the Space Launch System Program; and Stephen Doering, director of the Office of Center Operations.

The center-level awards will be announced by Kim Whitson, director of the Office of Procurement; Audrey Robinson, chief counsel in the Office of the Chief Counsel; and Paul Gilbert, deputy manager of the Flight Programs & Partnerships Office.

Acting Marshall Director Robin Henderson will host the events, and Nelson Parker, deputy director of the Chief Engineers Office in the Engineering Directorate, will emcee.

For a list of the NASA Honor Awards, click here.

For a list of the Marshall Honor Awards, click here.

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NASA Announces Next Steps In Effort To Launch Americans From U.S. Soil
From NASA news release

The logo of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which is partnering with the commercial industry to develop America's next human space transportation system to low-Earth orbit. NASA announced new agreements Aug. 3 with three American commercial companies to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years. Advances made by these companies under newly signed Space Act Agreements through the agency's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability, or CCiCap, initiative are intended to ultimately lead to the availability of commercial human spaceflight services for government and commercial customers.

Image left: The logo of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which is partnering with the commercial industry to develop America's next human space transportation system to low-Earth orbit. (NASA)

CCiCap partners are: -- Sierra Nevada Corporation, Louisville, Colo., $212.5 million
-- Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, Hawthorne, Calif., $440 million
-- The Boeing Company, Houston, $460 million

"Today [Aug. 3], we are announcing another critical step toward launching our astronauts from U.S. soil on space systems built by American companies," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said at the agency's Kennedy Space Center. "We have selected three companies that will help keep us on track to end the outsourcing of human spaceflight and create high-paying jobs in Florida and elsewhere across the country."

CCiCap is an initiative of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, or CCP, and an administration priority. The objective of the CCP is to facilitate the development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit. After the capability is matured and expected to be available to the government and other customers, NASA could contract to purchase commercial services to meet its station crew transportation needs.

The new CCiCAP agreements follow two previous initiatives by NASA to spur the development of transportation subsystems, and represent the next phase of U.S. commercial human space transportation, in which industry partners develop crew transportation capabilities as fully integrated systems. Between now and May 31, 2014, NASA's partners will perform tests and mature integrated designs. This would then set the stage for a future activity that will launch crewed orbital demonstration missions to low-Earth orbit by the middle of the decade.

"For 50 years American industry has helped NASA push boundaries, enabling us to live, work and learn in the unique environment of microgravity and low-Earth orbit," said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. "The benefits to humanity from these endeavors are incalculable. We're counting on the creativity of industry to provide the next generation of transportation to low-Earth orbit and expand human presence, making space accessible and open for business."

While NASA works with U.S. industry partners to develop commercial spaceflight capabilities to low-Earth orbit, the agency also is developing the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, or MPCV, and the Space Launch System, or SLS, a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration. Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS and Orion MPCV will expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system.

For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit

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NASA, Louisiana Officials Renew Partnership in National Center for Advanced Manufacturing
NASA news release

The Michoud Assembly Facility is an 832-acre site managed by the Marshall Center. It includes one of the world's largest manufacturing plants with 43 acres under one roof and a port with deep-water access -- a capability providing for transportation of large space systems and hardware. NASA and Louisiana leaders Aug. 2 committed to a five-year extension of their partnership in the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing, or NCAM. NCAM is a principal NASA resource in Louisiana that supports aerospace manufacturing research, development and innovation critical to the goals of the nation's space program.

Image right: The Michoud Assembly Facility is an 832-acre site managed by the Marshall Center. It includes one of the world’s largest manufacturing plants with 43 acres under one roof and a port with deep-water access -- a capability providing for transportation of large space systems and hardware. (NASA)

NCAM was formed in 1999 and includes NASA, NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, the state of Louisiana and the University of New Orleans. This new agreement will expand the NCAM partnership to include Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, which has engineering and research capabilities that can assist NCAM in fulfilling the nation's aerospace technology needs.

About 400 of the 2,600 employees at the multi-use, multi-tenant Michoud facility are associated with and benefit from NCAM. The partners strive to improve U.S. competitiveness in aerospace and commercial markets, and enable transfer of technology to industry partners and educational institutions within the partnership and across the nation. NCAM also has a strong education role, sponsoring a consortium of Louisiana research universities developing advanced materials and manufacturing technologies key to the production of aerospace hardware and structures.

"Advanced manufacturing is a matter of fundamental importance to the economic strength and national security of the United States," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "The President's manufacturing initiative is helping us forge partnerships like this that are closing the gap between research and development activities and the deployment of technological innovations in domestic production of goods. And at NASA, whether we're developing needed technologies for space exploration or advancing the nation's aeronautics capabilities, great ideas are benefiting our nation, creating jobs and making life better here on Earth."

NASA and the state of Louisiana enhanced the NCAM partnership beginning in 2004 with a joint investment of more than $62 million to date. Their key goals are to promote growth of Louisiana's trained aerospace workforce and sustain world-class manufacturing capabilities, such as those at Michoud, where work is under way on elements of NASA's Space Launch System, the heavy-lift vehicle that will usher in a new era of exploration and discovery beyond Earth orbit.

"This renewed agreement reflects and amplifies NASA's long commitment to sustaining a strong, technologically trained work force in New Orleans and across Louisiana," said Marshall Center Acting Director Robin Henderson. "The National Center for Advanced Manufacturing has proven itself vital to NASA's work at Michoud and to the agency's overall mission of exploration and discovery."

Under the newly restructured NCAM agreement, NASA and its academic and industry partners will continue to work jointly on research, development and test activities to meet future space systems needs.

New goals for NCAM are intensive new education outreach across the greater New Orleans region through a partnership with the University of New Orleans and expansion of NCAM research and development activities on a national scale.

For more information about NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, visit

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Team Redstone to Host Women's Equality Day Observance Program on Aug. 14

Jackie Kallen Team Redstone -- which includes the Marshall Space Flight Center and U.S. Army organizations on Redstone Arsenal -- will observe Women's Equality Day with a special program at 10 a.m. Aug. 14. The event will be held in Bob Jones Auditorium at the Sparkman Center, Building 5304.

Image left: Jackie Kallen (Special to the Star)

The theme is "Celebrating Women's Right to Vote." The speaker will be Jackie Kallen, a motivational speaker and author who’s known as the "First Lady of Boxing." Kallen was a publicist and manager in the boxing profession for 34 years. Read more about Kallen's career here.

For more information, contact Abbie Johnson in Marshall's Office of Diversity & Equal Opportunity.

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NASA Selects Strategic Analysis and Communications Support Services Contract
NASA news release

NASA has selected Analytical Services Inc., or ASI, of Huntsville to provide strategic research and analysis and communications support services at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

The firm-fixed-price contract begins Oct. 1, 2012, with a one-year base period, followed by four, one-year options and one, six-month option that may be exercised at NASA's discretion. The performance period, including all options, has a maximum contract value of $51.6 million, which includes a maximum potential indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity value of $19.25 million.

Under the contract, ASI will be responsible for providing strategic research and analysis, communication planning, and communications services and product development and delivery.

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Save the Date: Marshall to Host Innovation and Technology Day on Sept. 12

Mark your calendars for the Marshall Space Flight Center's first Innovation and Technology Day, to be held Sept. 12.

The interactive event will feature keynote speakers, a lively panel discussion with center and workforce leaders, and hands-on exhibits showcasing technologies from across the center. Also scheduled are demonstrations of available software tools for idea capture and collaboration, and a workshop on Marshall-sponsored programs designed to mature ideas and technology.

Details will be forthcoming for team members on ExplorNet.