#NASA; ESA; #Covid19PandemicImpact
Washington, Jun 19 (Canadian-Media): NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) will unveil a dashboard of satellite data showing impacts on the environment and socioeconomic activity caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during a media teleconference at 9 a.m. EDT Thursday, June 25, NASA reports said.
A unique collection of data from Earth-observing spacecraft managed by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will track the environmental and socioeconomic impacts caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Image credit: NASA
The COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard is a tri-agency collaboration that brings together current and historical satellite observations with analytical tools to create a user-friendly information resource for the public and researchers. The dashboard tracks key indicators of changes in air and water quality, climate, economic activity, and agriculture.
The teleconference participants are:
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington
To participate in the teleconference, media must email their name and affiliation to Grey Hautaluoma at: email@example.com no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 24. Members of the media and the public can also submit questions before and during the briefing via social media with the hashtag #AskNASA.
#NASA; #OrbitalScienceCorporation; #PPE; #HALO
Washington, June 5 (Canadian-Media): NASA has finalized the contract for the initial crew module of the agency’s Gateway lunar orbiting outpost, NASA reports said.
Artist's concept of the Gateway power and propulsion and Habitation and Logistics Outpost, or HALO, in orbit around the Moon. Image credit: NASA
Orbital Science Corporation of Dulles, Virginia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Space, has been awarded $187 million to design the habitation and logistics outpost (HALO) for the Gateway, which is part of NASA’s Artemis program and will help the agency build a sustainable presence at the Moon. This award funds HALO’s design through its preliminary design review, expected by the end of 2020.
“This contract award is another significant milestone in our plan to build robust and sustainable lunar operations,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The Gateway is a key component of NASA’s long-term Artemis architecture and the HALO capability furthers our plans for human exploration at the Moon in preparation for future human missions to Mars.”
The HALO will be the pressurized living quarters where astronauts will spend their time while visiting the Gateway. About the size of a small studio apartment, it will provide augmented life support in tandem with NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
The preliminary design review is one of a series of checkpoints in the design life cycle of a complex engineering project before hardware manufacturing can begin. As the review process progresses, details of the vehicle’s design are assessed to ensure the overall system is safe and reliable for flight and meets all NASA mission requirements.
This cost plus incentive fee contract allows Northrop Grumman to finalize the design of all systems and subsystems. It also provides for the company to award initial subcontracts for long-lead hardware elements. A second contract action is expected to be definitized by the end of the year for Northrop Grumman to fabricate and assemble HALO for integration with the Gateway’s power and propulsion element (PPE) by the end of 2023.
These first two elements of the Gateway – HALO and PPE – will launch together in 2023. This is a recent update to the agency’s plans to build a sustainable presence at the Moon as part of the Artemis program. The decision to integrate the elements on the ground prior to launch – an outcome of the agency’s program status assessment – reduces both cost and technical risks while enhancing the likelihood of mission success by eliminating the need for the two elements to dock in the orbit around the Moon where the Gateway will operate.
“We’re making significant progress on these first two elements, including incorporation of components from ESA (European Space Agency), the Canadian Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and payloads from our research communities,” said Dan Hartman, Gateway program manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The new plan to integrate the two elements of Gateway demonstrates the capabilities of the agency and our partners to be flexible and reassess plans as needed. By launching the elements together, we’re able to significantly reduce Gateway’s risk profile and increase cost effectiveness.”
The PPE, being designed and built by Maxar Technologies, is equipped with high-power, 60-kilowatt solar electric propulsion. In addition to providing power and communications, its substantial maneuvering capabilities will allow the Gateway to change orbits and enable crews to reach any part of the Moon’s surface.
Northrop Grumman’s habitation module, developed through NASA’s NextSTEP initiative, is based on its Cygnus spacecraft currently being used to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. The company’s existing production capability and manufacturing assets allow it to build the HALO with limited schedule risk. NASA’s Launch Services Program will select a launch provider for PPE and HALO by late fall 2020.
Charged with returning to the Moon in the next four years, NASA’s Artemis program will reveal new knowledge about the Moon, Earth, and our origins in the solar system. The Gateway is a vital part of NASA’s deep space exploration plans, along with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, Orion spacecraft, and the human landing system that will carry astronauts to the surface of the Moon in preparation for NASA to sending humans on a historic first journey to Mars.
#NASA; #SpaceLaunchSystemProgram; #MarshallOperations; #Awards
Washington, Jun 4 (Canadian-Media): NASA has awarded the Marshall Operations, Systems, Services and Integration (MOSSI) contract to SGT LLC of Greenbelt, Maryland, NASA reports said.
The company will provide the necessary management, personnel, equipment and supplies to ensure mission operations and ground systems development services for NASA programs, project offices, payload developers, educational institutions, international partner space agencies, and commercial partners at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The cost-plus-award fee mission services contract, with an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity component, has a base period of one year, which begins on Oct. 1, followed by one two-year option and five one-year option periods, which may be exercised at NASA’s discretion. The contract has a potential mission services value of $570.3 million, including options.
Under the contract, SGT LLC will be responsible for providing support and products for the development and execution of spaceflight operations that are the responsibility of the Human Exploration Development and Operations (HEDO) Office at Marshall.
These services include multi-program facilities, systems, and services, both local and remote, which support various spacecraft, payload, satellite, and propulsion systems operations. This support also includes the Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC), which enables all mission phases including planning, testing, simulations, pre-launch, launch, post-flight, and all aspects of flight operations.
The HEDO Office also provides engineering, operations and maintenance, and system development services and tools to program/project requirements. Primary program customers include the International Space Station Program, led by NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and the Space Launch System Program, led by Marshall.
#NASA; #PilotEntrepreneursChallenge; #SMD; #AdvanceMissions
Washington, Jun 4 (Canadian-Media): NASA has opened a pilot Entrepreneurs Challenge to invite fresh ideas and new participants in supporting development of new instruments and technologies to advance the agency’s science exploration goals, NASA reports said.
The agency’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is seeking novel ideas reflective of those currently trending in the commercial sector – particularly in areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics and advanced sensors. The Entrepreneurs Challenge aligns with NASA’s goal to foster innovation and develop new technologies at lower costs.
“There’s a lot of energy and fresh thinking as a result of the entrepreneurial spirit that has emerged in our field over the past few years,” said Michael Seablom, NASA’s chief technologist for science. “We want to be sure we’re not leaving good ideas on the table or missing the contributions some of these potential partners could make to the exciting science missions coming up.”
To increase participation of entrepreneurs in areas relevant to its technology portfolio, SMD will award as much as $100,000 in prize funding in a three-stage process to each selected participant. All awardees will be given the opportunity to take part in follow-on activities provided by the agency’s Small Business Innovative Research program to learn about additional ways to work with NASA. Successful participants will contribute ideas that advance the state of the art in three broadly defined science technology focus areas, which also address the science questions posed in the National Academies’ Decadal Surveys.
For the inaugural Entrepreneurs Challenge, the areas of focus will be:
Advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence for autonomous spacecraft and surface rovers, as well as for Earth observation and disaster management
Advanced mass spectrometry for life detection and other science applications, using instrumentation that is beyond state-of-the-art in being low-power and low-mass, and utilizing innovations in sampling technology and processes that include cutting-edge materials or components
Quantum sensors that support high precision assessments of gravity, magnetic fields, dark energy, and other measurements to support NASA science
The prize competition will take place in three rounds. In round one, participants will submit white papers that broadly describe the capability being offered, its relevance to a specific technology area and science question, and whether the idea represents an existing product or concept to be matured over time. A judging panel will select the best 15-20 ideas to advance to the next round of the competition.
Round two is the live challenge event, where selectees will be brought together in a forum to make oral presentations about their ideas to a judging panel of NASA program managers. The event judges will select as many as 10 participants for prize awards of $20,000 each. The participants are expected develop their technologies and flesh out their concepts into detailed proposals. Venture capital firms that have an interest in the topic areas will be invited to attend the challenge event.
In the fall, those 10 participants will then submit full descriptions of their technology ideas for as much as $80,000 in additional prize funding to SMD for evaluation in round three. Winners will be announced at the Innovation and Opportunity Conference planned for later this year.
White paper submissions are due Friday, June 26, with the challenge event to be held July 29. To learn more about the Entrepreneurs Challenge and to apply, go to:
For more information about NASA’s science technology activities, visit:
#NASA; #Mars2020PerseveranceRover; #Launch
Washington, Jun 4 (Canadian-Media): Media accreditation is open for the launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, designed to better understand the geology of Mars and seek signs of ancient life on the Red Planet, NASA reports said.
Illustration of NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover studying a Mars rock outcrop (not to scale). Mars 2020 is targeted for launch in July/August 2020 aboard an Atlas V-541 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The mission will use the robotic scientist, which weighs just under 2,300 pounds and is the size of a small car, to collect and store a set of rock and soil samples that could be returned to Earth by future Mars Sample Return missions. It also will test new technology to benefit future robotic and human exploration of Mars.
Perseverance will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch of Perseverance is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. EDT July 17 and is managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program. Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA TV and the agency’s website.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, NASA will be credentialing a limited number of media to cover the Mars 2020 launch from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions at Kennedy and quarantine requirements, international media who would be coming from overseas will not be able to register for this launch. International media already based in the U.S. may apply.
Media accreditation deadlines are as follows:
U.S. media must apply by 4 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 28
International media already in the U.S. must apply by 4 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 9
All media accreditation requests should be submitted online at:
NASA is proactively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation as it evolves. The agency will continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the agency’s chief health and medical officer and communicate any updates that may impact mission planning or media access, as they become available.
For questions about accreditation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For other questions, contact Kennedy’s newsroom at 321-867-2468.
Reporters with special logistics requests for Kennedy, such as space for satellite trucks, trailers, tents, electrical connections, or work spaces, must contact Tiffany Fairley at email@example.com by Sunday, June 28.
The Perseverance rover was built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA’s larger Moon to Mars exploration approach that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. Charged with landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, NASA will establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA's Artemis program. Learn more at: