This Week at NASA | Space Seeds; CubeSats Launch; Dining on Mars; more
On Monday, October 5th, NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden planted “Outredgeous” Red Romaine Lettuce seeds in USDA’s People’s Garden, sister seeds of those grown and harvested on the International Space Station. During the event in Washington, D.C., they also signed an a new interagency agreement expanding USDA and NASA’s commitment to promoting careers in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math to young people. Also, CubeSats launched to test new technology, New Orion crew egress test, NASA living of Land in Space? NASA lends a helping hand for Start Ups, Meet the New Inductees to the Glenn Hall of Fame, and it’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so Stop, Think & Connect.
During an Oct. 5 event at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “People’s Garden” in Washington, NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman and USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden signed an Annex to an interagency agreement the two signed in June. The Annex encourages collaborative efforts by the agencies to engage youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or (STEM) activities, including agriculture literacy and food science. Following the signing, they and NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, helped students plant lettuce seeds, similar to the variety recently harvested and eaten by the crew aboard the International Space Station.
Four NASA-sponsored CubeSats and a NASA-funded CubeSat, sponsored by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), were among thirteen small satellites launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base on Oct. 8, as part of an auxiliary payload aboard the NROL-55 mission. The NASA-funded device will test how accurately a CubeSat can be pointed during high speed data transfer by laser. The NASA-sponsored CubeSats will test new small satellite control and communications systems, Earth observations, amateur radio communications and an X-Band radio science transponder.
NASA recently conducted the first series of tests to develop a safe and efficient procedure to get astronauts out of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, following splashdown landings in the Pacific Ocean. During the testing at Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) support personnel worked through various exit strategies for the crew. Lessons learned from the exercises will also help evaluate the layout of equipment inside the spacecraft that could affect the recovery process.
Just as pioneers had to do when setting out for the New World, NASA is trying to figure out how astronauts can live off the land as part of the journey to Mars. The goal is to use resources from the planet instead of having to bring everything with them.
NASA kicked off the In Situ Resource Utilization Challenge Oct. 7 – asking the public for ideas on how surface-based materials, such as regolith or crushed basalt, could be used for off-Earth construction. The challenge is open until Dec. 3 and can be found at www.nasa.gov/solve.
NASA is unveiling a new opportunity for start-up companies to license patented NASA technology with no up-front payment. The Startup NASA Initiative aims to encourage the growth of high-tech businesses and advance American innovation by addressing two common obstacles start-ups face: raising capital and securing intellectual property rights.
Six individuals and a group of researchers recently were inducted into the newly established Hall of Fame at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The ceremony featured remarks from Center Director Jim Free and NASA’s Chief Historian, Bill Barry. The inductees included three directors, a computer programmer, four researchers and the designer of NASA’s insignia.
Stop, Think, Connect
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Employees across the agency are encouraged to remember the importance of online security in protecting NASA and personal assets. Please STOP and THINK before you CONNECT to go online.
And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.
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