The Federal Senate approved the Agreement on Technological Safeguards (AST) signed between Brazil and the United States. The AST, which had already been approved by the House of Representatives, ensures the protection of US technologies used in rocket and non-war satellite satellites to be launched from the Alcântara Space Center (CEA), enabling the Center to use it commercially.
With the approval of the AST, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC), through the Brazilian Space Agency and the Ministry of Defense, will move to the next phase of the project, which includes the preparation of the commercial operations plan of the CEA. Launches are expected to begin in 2021.
The technology safeguard agreement (TSA) opens the way for U.S. companies interested in launching, rockets, spacecrafts and satellites at a lower cost from the Alcantara space center run by the Brazilian Air Force on the South American country’s north coast. The Brazil Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Brazil U.S. Space Alliance are organizing in March 2020 the first U.S. Space mission aiming to assist U.S. space companies interested in doing business in Brazil.
Because of the Brazilian base’s location so close to the equator, launches burn 30% less fuel and rockets can carry larger payloads, according to Air Force officers. Alcantara base is considered the best location on earth to launch rockets.
With TSA, Brazil wants to get a piece of the $300 billion-a-year space launch business, a market which is expected to grow fast in the next few years.
Source: Reuters and Brazil Florida Chamber of Commerce - BFCC
For NASA, the moon is only a steppingstone on the way to Mars.
With plans to put astronauts on the Red Planet by the late 2030s, NASA has created the Lunar Gateway, a space station that will orbit the moon and help astronauts learn how to live in deep space.
“Why do we go back [to the moon]? We’re going to explore, we’re going to learn about our solar system,” said Marshall Smith, NASA’s director of human lunar exploration. “How we move around on Mars, we can do that on the moon, very similar.”
The gateway is intended to be a permanent docking area for astronauts on their way to the moon and eventually Mars, which will require at least a 1-year round trip.
NASA’s goal is to start sending humans to the moon by the end of 2024. Learning to use the moon’s resources and how to stay there is a part of the plan to travel deeper into space, Mr. Smith said.
“It allows us to have a testing ground that’s not years away or months away, but days,” he said. “If something goes wrong on Mars, you have to deal with it until you can come back. That could be up to a year and a half.”
Source: Emily Ketterer - The Washington Times
One of the questions most folks ask about Space Camps is "Has anyone from Space Camps became an astronaut?" The answer is definitively yes.
Space Camp in Huntsville for instance, anxiously awaited the recent announcement of the 2017 NASA Astronaut Class to discover two of the 12 new astronaut candidates are Space Camp alumni: Maj. Jasmin Moghbeli and Robert, "Bob" Hines. These amazing 12 individuals were chosen from a unprecedented 18,300 applicants.
Jasmin and Bob join the ranks of five other Space Camp alumni from Alabama who came as children and have gone on to the astronaut corps. The members of the 2017 class become full-fledged astronauts after completing two years of rigorous training.
Learn more about some of the astronauts who attended Space Camps and their accomplishments, beginning with the newest two extraordinary astronaut candidates:
1) Robert "Bob" Hines
Robert, "Bob" Hines received his commission from Air Force Officer Training School in 1999. He completed Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. Upon completion of pilot training, he remained at Columbus as a T-37 instructor pilot. At the time of his astronaut selection in June, 2017, Hines was a Research Pilot for the Aircraft Operations Division of the Flight Operations Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. He was also serving in the U.S. Air Force Reserves as the F-15E Program Test Director and Test Pilot the at the F-15 Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force, 84th Test & Evaluation Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Bob attended Space Camp at the age of 14 in 1989. In a recent Reddit “Ask Me Anything” with the new astronaut class, Bob said Space Camp “fanned the flame” and grew his interest in spaceflight.
2) Maj. Jasmin Moghbeli
Maj. Jasmin Moghbeli was born in Germany, but considers Baldwin, N.Y., her hometown. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering with Information Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. She is also a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School and has accumulated more than 1,600 hours of flight time and 150 combat missions.
At the time of her astronaut candidate section, she was testing H-1 helicopters and serving as the quality assurance and avionics officer for Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 of the U.S. Marine Corps in Yuma, Arizona.
Jasmin attended Advanced Space Academy in 1998 when she was 15 years old, and referenced her experience in a recent article in “The New Yorker".
3) Dottie Metcalf-Lindenbergur
Although a trip to Space Camp at the age of 14 opened up a world of possibilities for Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, it was a question from one of her eighth-grade astronomy students that really changed her life. The frequently asked question of “how do astronauts use the bathroom in space” led the young teacher to NASA’s website where the Educator Astronaut position had just been posted. Metcalf-Lindenburger had long been a science enthusiast and considers herself a sort of teacher for all people; the opportunity could not have been more perfect. So when she was selected as the youngest member of the 2004 Educator Astronaut Candidate Class, it was literally a dream come true. In February 2006, she completed Astronaut Candidate Training, which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training. Completion of this initial training qualified her for technical assignments within the Astronaut Office and future flight assignment. After completion of her astronaut training, Dottie was assigned to the STS-131 crew and flew to the International Space Station on the Space Shuttle Discovery in April 2010 – exactly 20 years to the month after graduating from Space Academy. Dottie is the first Space Camp graduate to reach space. She has logged more than 362 hours in space.
After her space flight, she worked as a Cape Crusader for the final three shuttle missions. She also supported the Astronaut Office Station Operation Branch as a lead for the provisions, manifests and stowage. In June 2012, Dottie commanded the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 16. In this underwater habitat, the international crew of four aquanauts and two habitat technicians carried out simulated spacewalks to investigate the techniques and tools that may be used at a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA).
4) Samantha Cristoforetti
Samantha is a 1995 alumna of Space Camp in Huntsville, a captain in the Italian Air Force and currently an astronaut with the European Space Agency. Samantha graduated from the Italian Air Force Academy in Pozzuoli, Italy, in 2005, and from 2005 to 2006, she was based at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. After completing the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, she became a fighter pilot and was assigned to the 132nd Squadron, 51st Bomber Wing, based in Istrana, Italy. From 2007 to 2008, she flew the MB-339 and served in the Plan and Operations Section for the 51st Bomber Wing in Istrana. In 2008, she joined the 101st Squadron, 32nd Bomber Wing, based at Foggia, Italy, where she completed operational conversion training for the AM-X ground attack fighter. Samantha has logged more than 500 hours flying six types of military aircraft: SF-260, T-37, T-38, MB-339A, MB-339CD and AM-X.
Samantha was selected as an European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut in May 2009, and completed basic astronaut training in November 2010. In July 2012, she was assigned to an Italian Space Agency ASI mission aboard the International Space Station - Expedition 42/43, which launched on a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in December 2014. This was the second long-duration ASI mission and the eighth long-duration mission for an ESA astronaut. In her 2016 mission, Samantha set the record for the longest single space flight by a woman and the longest uninterrupted spaceflight of a European astronaut. When not in training in the USA, Russia, Canada or Japan, Samantha is based at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.
5) Kate Rubins
Dr. Kate Rubins became the third Space Camp alumna to fly in space when she launched to the International Space Station in July 2016. Kate dreamed of becoming an astronaut as a child and did chores around the house to earn her trip to Space Camp in seventh grade. She left camp knowing she needed to take as many math and science courses as she could, and that focus paved the way to her study of viral diseases and, ultimately, the NASA astronaut corps. Kate received a bachelor's degree in molecular biology and a Ph.D. in cancer biology. Selected by "Popular Science" magazine as one of its "Brilliant 10" in 2009, Kate was a Fellow and Principal Investigator at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before becoming a member of the 20th NASA astronaut class.
On July 7, 2016, Kate launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station aboard the first test flight of the new Soyuz MS spacecraft. Together the international crew of Expeditions 48 and 49 conducted or participated in more than 275 different scientific experiments, including research in molecular and cellular biology, human physiology, fluid and combustion physics, Earth and space science and technology development. Kate was the first person to sequence DNA in space, eventually sequencing more than 2 billion base pairs of DNA during a series of experiments to analyze sequencing in microgravity. She also grew heart cells (cardiomyocytes) in cell culture, and performed quantitative, real-time PCR and microbiome experiments in orbit.
Kate conducted two spacewalks totaling 12 hours, 46 minutes. During her first spacewalk, Kate and astronaut Jeff Williams installed the first International Docking Adapter, a new docking port for U.S. commercial crew spacecraft. During the second, they performed maintenance of the station external thermal control system and installed high-definition cameras, enabling never-before seen images of the planet and space station. They also successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply spacecraft and then returned science experiment samples to earth.
6) Christina Hammock Koch
Christina M. Hammock Koch was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 2013. She completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015, and is currently assigned to the International Space Station Crew Operations Branch. In this position, she is involved in crew conferences and IT-related issues onboard the station. Koch, a native of Michigan, graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering.
Koch graduated from the NASA Academy program at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in 2001. She worked as an Electrical Engineer in the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics at GSFC from 2002 to 2004. Koch was selected in June 2013, as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class. Her Astronaut Candidate Training included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, spacewalks, robotics, physiological training, T‐38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training. She completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015, and is currently aboard the International Space Station, serving as a Flight Engineer on Expedition 59, 60, and 61.
7) Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor
Dr. Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor began working with NASA as a Flight Surgeon in 2006. In 2009, she was selected as a NASA astronaut. During her NASA career, Serena supported medical operations for International Space Station crew members. She also served as Deputy Crew Surgeon for STS-127 and spent 2 months in Antarctica from 2010 to 2011 searching for meteorites as part of the ANSMET expedition. Most of that time was spent living on the ice 200 nautical miles from the South Pole. In June 2012, Serena operated the Deep Worker submersible as part of the NEEMO 16 mission. She subsequently served as an Aquanaut aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory during the NEEMO 20 undersea exploration mission. Board certified in both Internal and Aerospace Medicine, Serena currently handles medical issues for both the Commercial Crew and International Space Station Operations branch.
She graduated in November 2011, from Astronaut Candidate Training, which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in space station systems, spacewalks, robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training. Currently, Serena spends most of her time handling medical issues for both the International Space Station Operations branch and Commercial Crew Branch. She is also certified as an International Space Station CAPCOM and served as the lead Capcom for the SpaceX-4 and SpaceX-8 cargo resupply missions.
8) Sandy Magnus
Dr. Sandra Magnus was selected by NASA in April 1996, and reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996. She completed two years of training and evaluation and became qualified for flight assignment as a Mission Specialist. In August 2000, she served as a Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) for the International Space Station. In October 2002, she flew aboard STS-112, making her the first official Space Camp Astronaut to fly in space.
In July 2005, Dr. Magnus was assigned to the station expedition corps and began training for a future station long-duration mission. She flew to the station with the crew of STS-126, launching on November 14 and arriving at the station on Nov. 16, 2008, where she joined Expedition 18. Following her station mission, Dr. Magnus served six months at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., working in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. In July 2011, Dr. Magnus flew as a mission specialist on the crew of STS 135/ULF7, an ISS cargo delivery mission that carried the Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), “Raffaello.” She became Deputy Chief of the Astronaut Office, in September 2012. Dr. Magnus left the agency in October 2012, after being appointed Executive Director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
Dr. Magnus has a different story than the majority of our astronaut alumni. She did not attend camp as a child. She attended a weekend Adult Space Academy in 1991, while a student at Georgia Tech.
America’s Best Space Camps
Camp Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Space Coast is across the river from Cape Canaveral, the site of many exciting rocket launches. The Kennedy Space Center weeklong day camps immerse campers in STEM-based activities as they problem-solve for mission planning. Kids may tour the interactive Kennedy Space Center, participate in astronaut training and spend a virtual day on Mars. Sessions open in early June and run through July. Programs are available for second through eleventh-grade students. Tuition includes lunch and snacks.
Virginia Space Flight Academy
Virginia Space Flight Academy is designed for middle school students aged 11 – 15. This residential camp holds weeklong sessions that end with graduation from the Space Flight Academy. Campers learn rocketry by building their own rocket using CAD design and 3D printers. In the Robotics program, kids are challenged to design robots using Lego Mindstorm kits.
Camp activities include field trips to the nearby NASA Wallops Flight Facility, the NOAA weather facility and the Navy’s Surface Combat System Center. In the evening, a variety of activities ensures campers don’t miss out on traditional summertime fun such as miniature golf, go-cart racing and trips to the ice cream stand.
U.S. Space Camp
Space Camp is surrounded by one of the nation’s largest research parks. Its alumni include NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers. The program is open to fourth grade through high school students. The residential camp offers immersive experiences in space, aviation, robotics and cyber technologies. Space Camp activities include rocket construction, simulated launches to the International Space Station and design and construction of a Mars colony. Special programs are offered for hearing, visually impaired and other special need campers.
How would you feel about drinking your own urine? To most, it is a measure that would only be taken in the direst of circumstances. However, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have been drinking recycled urine every day for the past decade. In 2008, the ISS installed the Water Recovery System, a wastewater recycling device which converts urine, sweat, and atmospheric moisture into drinking water. This device has allowed the ISS to be much more self-sufficient and devices like it could serve to more sustainable produce clean water on Earth.
Water is used for a variety of tasks on the International Space Station. Activities such as scientific experiments, food rehydration, and astronaut hygiene all require that the ISS has an ample supply of water available for its passengers. Therefore, in order to meet all of the ISS’s demands, engineers developed the Water Recovery System. In a video explaining how the Water Recovery System works, astronaut Chris Hadfield explains that the system uses “filters and a keg-sized distiller that spins to create artificial gravity as well as move the waste water along” (VideoFromSpace, 2013).
Initially, contaminants are removed from the wastewater in a rotating distillation unit. After the distillation phase, the water enters the station’s water processor assembly where it is treated and filtered before it can be reused by the inhabitants of the ISS (NASA Johnson, 2014). Hadfield also claims that even though astronauts are drinking recycled urine, “the water that we end up with [on the ISS] is purer than most of the water that you drink [on Earth] on a daily basis” (NASA Johnson, 2014).
Thanks to the Water Recovery System, the ISS produces up to 6000 liters of water each year and has been able to successfully reclaim about 93% of its water (VideoFromSpace, 2013). These numbers are only expected to improve as wastewater recycling technologies are further developed. In fact, new wastewater recovery systems have been developed by NASA and the University of Puerto Rico which are not only capable of converting urine into drinking water but also producing electrical energy (Nicolau, 2014). This is an important step for humankind’s ability to sustain itself for long periods of time away from the planet.
On Earth, wastewater recovery systems similar to the Water Recovery System are relevant to realizing multiple of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Wastewater recovery systems are able to improve access to potable water in remote or undeveloped locations on Earth. However, these systems can also be used in more developed regions in order to diversify water resources and reduce the environmental impact that cities have on their surrounding environments. In fact, Singapore has already implemented a nationwide wastewater recovery system. Singapore’s NEWater system collects the country’s sewage water and converts it into potable water. The majority of NEWater water that is produced is used for industrial consumption and not for drinking. However, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, claims that it is “well within the WHO and USEPA’s requirements for drinking water" (Pub, 2018). One day soon, clean water may not originate in lakes and rivers, but instead may come from your own toilet.
SourcesNicolau, Eduardo, José J. Fonseca, José A. Rodríguez-Martínez, Tra-My Justine Richardson,
Michael Flynn, Kai Griebenow, and Carlos R. Cabrera. 2014. "Evaluation of a Urea
Bioelectrochemical System for Wastewater Treatment Processes." ACS Sustainable
Chemistry & Engineering 2, no. 4 (2014): 749-54. doi:10.1021/sc400342x
Johnson, NASA. 2014."Recycling Water on Space Station." YouTube. Uploaded March 21, 2014.
Pub. 2018. "NEWater." PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency. November 26, 2018.
SgPUB. 2016."NEWater: A Singapore Success Story." YouTube. Uploaded August 01, 2016.
VideoFromSpace. 2013. "Astronauts Drink Urine and Other Waste Water | Video." YouTube. Uploaded April 29, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ2T9OJY1lg.
Amazon is officially joining the race to create a network of satellites in low Earth orbit that will provide high-speed terrestrial internet services.
The company has filed its first papers with the U.S. government for approval to launch a network of 3,236 satellites through a subsidiary called Kuiper Systems LLC, according to a report in GeekWire.
“Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world,” Amazon confirmed in a statement. “This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision.”
As private companies look to commercialize space, high-speed internet is among the prospects that offer the highest profits in the short term, while providing necessary services to get online the remaining 3.8 billion people who don’t have access to the internet.
In February, OneWeb, another company that’s expecting to create a network of satellites to provide high-speed internet access, successfully launched its first satellites. The company has raised at least $3 billion, according to Crunchbase, from investors, including Virgin, Coca-Cola and the Bharti Group — and they’re not the only company to raise several billion dollars to develop these services.
SpaceX also has designs on creating a global satellite network — in addition to its leading position as a launch services provider for companies looking to access outer space.
Finally, the social networking giant Facebook has been working on satellite capabilities of its own. In a May report, the IEEE Spectrum laid out how Facebook had set up a small subsidiary called PointView Tech, which was developing a new satellite called “Athena” that could deliver data 10 times faster than SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.
Amazon’s Kuiper satellite service complements the work that another Jeff Bezos company, Blue Origin, is conducting on the design, development and production of launch vehicles to take payloads into orbit.
Blue Origin has already signed contracts for a multi-launch agreement with Telesat — another company that’s developing a low Earth orbit constellation of satellites that will deliver fiber-like broadband services across the globe.
Source: Amazon joins SpaceX, OneWeb, and Facebook in the race to create space-based internet services
An international agreement between U.S. and Brazil for commercial use of a rocket launch site in Alcantara is advancing and will take center stage during Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Brasilia this week.
Brazil's defense minister recently said that Boeing, Lockheed Martin and other U.S. aerospace companies have expressed interest in launching rockets from its Alcantara military base.
Alcantara's location makes it attractive because one-fifth less fuel is used to launch satellites into orbit along the equator compared with sites farther north or south. Both sides have made concessions and things are moving ahead in a very positive way, says Jefferson Michaelis head of the BFCC/KSCIA International Space-STEM Partnerships.
Alcantara's proximity to the equator which is only 2 degrees south of the equator makes it cheaper to launch rockets. The base could generate revenue of up to $1.5 billion per year, according to the Brazilian defense ministry.
Launches from Brazil take advantage of the increased rotational velocity of the earth for an "extra push" into equatorial orbits, translating to about a 30 percent increase in the amount of payload a rocket can lift as compared to Cape Canaveral. This would be a major efficiency gain for U.S. launch companies.
Brazil's geographic and economic characteristics are such that there is a great potential to employ space technology to meet national needs, therefore a huge market for U.S. companies to compete for potential large contracts in the domestic space market. The Brazilian Air Force plans to spend approximately $2.4 billion over the next 10 years on its strategic space systems program, including on four or five fleets of satellites, investment in the Alcântara infrastructure, laboratories and research. Brazil's satellite program plans to spend $380 million over the same period.
The Brazilian commercial market is also very attractive. There is huge demand for satellite services (broadband connectivity, rural communications, etc.) that satellite service providers could help to address, including a Brazilian national broadband plan designed to providing broadband to millions of Brazilians who currently don't have Internet access. Brazil is already one of the largest smartphone market by volume in the world.
According to 321Go.Space sources, a cooperation on a space partnership between the U.S. and Brazil will be an important part of the upcoming trip and a topic of a working lunch Vice President Mike Pence will have with President Michel Temer. Pence heads the National Space Council and is seeking to expand the council's work with international space partnerships.
Visit: http://www.BrazilFlorida.org for more details
The educational CubeSat missions were selected through the CubeSat Launch Initiative as part of the 14th installment of NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) missions. The ELaNa XIV mission was an auxiliary payload on the Nov. 18, 2017, launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 satellite (now NOAA-20), a collaborative effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA.
One CubeSat launched from the JPSS-1 rocket, RadFxSat, is a partnership between students at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, and AMSAT, a worldwide group of amateur radio operators. The Vanderbilt team built the science payload while AMSAT did the integration onto their own CubeSat platform. Their experiment is designed to obtain early on-orbit data in support of modeling radiation effects in a commercial memory, currently used for consumer electronics.
So far the project is successfully sending back data. “Because we partnered with the company donating the memory, there were engineering challenges to make sure we could communicate with the memory properly. I learned about power allocation and making sure the memories were within their power budget. I didn’t realize how important power was for a spacecraft until I had to do it myself,” said Rebekah Austin, a graduating Ph.D. student in electrical engineering at Vanderbilt. Austin is also a returning engineering summer intern at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
A small group of students recently got to experience a rare, spaceflight thrill: seeing if the tiny satellite, called a CubeSat, they designed and built not only survived a rocket launch to space but also successfully gathered and transmitted data once on orbit.
Meanwhile, another CubeSat project, called EagleSat-1, is working through post-launch challenges. “It turns out we are not getting data back. There is still learning occurring, which is our main reason for doing the program. The students are learning the process of failure analysis and understanding the spacecraft a little bit better as a result of trying to figure out what could have gone wrong and try to figure out if there is anything we can do while it is on orbit,” said Dr. Gary Yale, associate professor of aerospace engineering and faculty mentor for EagleSat-1, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.
One possibility under consideration by the team of undergraduate researchers is that their antenna did not deploy after launch. The EagleSat-1 team hopes that if that is the problem, eventually the fishing line holding the antenna down will decay due to ultraviolet radiation in the space environment, causing the line to break and deploy the antenna, which was the backup plan for that eventuality.
For additional information about NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative program, visit:
For additional information on JPSS: http://www.jpss.noaa.gov/
For additional information on RadFxSat: http://www.isde.vanderbilt.edu/wp/radfxsat1/
For additional information on EagleSat: http://prescott.erau.edu/about/labs/axfab-eaglesat/
NASA has selected 304 proposals from U.S. small businesses to advance research and technology in Phase I of its 2018 SmallBusinessInnovationResearch (SBIR) program and 44 proposals for the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, totaling $43.5 million in awards. These selections support NASA's future space exploration missions, while also benefiting the U.S. economy.
"This round of Phase I ideas look very promising and creative, and will enhance innovation throughout the Agency,” said Jim Reuter, acting associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). “Many of the businesses that go through the SBIR program end up working with NASA on the research and technologies needed to advance our space exploration goals.”
Proposals were selected according to their technical merit and feasibility, in addition to the experience, qualifications and facilities of the submitting organization. Additional criteria included effectiveness of the work plan and commercial potential.
The selected proposals will support the development of technologies in the areas of aeronautics, human space exploration and operations, science, and space technology. Awards cover a breadth of research and development needs, including:
Phase I work and results provide a sound basis for the continued development, demonstration and delivery of the proposed innovation in Phase II and follow-on efforts. Phase III is the commercialization of innovative technologies, products and services resulting from either a Phase I or Phase II contract.
The SBIR and STTR programs encourage small businesses and research institutions to develop innovative ideas that meet the specific research and development needs of the federal government. The programs are intended to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector, increase the commercial application of research results, and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged persons and women-owned small businesses. Since the 1970s, small businesses have created approximately 55 percent of all jobs in the United States.
The SBIR and STTR programs are managed for STMD by NASA's Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. STMD is responsible for developing the cross-cutting, pioneering new technologies and capabilities needed by the agency to achieve its current and future missions.
For more information about the SBIR/STTR program, including the selection list, visit:
For more information about NASA's investment in space technology, visit:
Israel’s Space Agency (ISA) and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced on Tuesday that they were joining forces to protect astronauts in space from radiation exposure, tapping into technology developed by Israeli company StemRad for a radiation protection vest it created, the AstroRad, set to be tested in deep space.
NASA is set to launch the AstroRad into space as part of the last test flight of its Orion spacecraft, with dummies on deck, before manned missions begin. The launch is planned for 2019 and the spacecraft will spend about three weeks in space, including in retrograde orbit around the moon. The trial will involve testing the new protective suit against cosmic gamma rays as part of a feasability study for any future mission to Mars.
The AstroRad suit protects mainly bone marrow, the lungs, chest, stomach, colon, and the ovaries among women, organs which are particularly sensitive to the formation of malignant tumors as a result of exposure to radiation. The suit itself is made out of hydrogen-rich materials and worn like a vest.
The suit was developed following the success of the company’s first product – a special belt that protects the bone marrow in the pelvis – which is commonly worn by “first responders” to radiation accidents around the world. StemRad is collaborating with Lockheed Martin to adapt the suit’s technology to space use.
The agreement with NASA follows an agreement signed a year ago between the ISA and the German Space Agency to test the suitability of the suit to the effects of radiation in deep space and the extent of its absorption by the human body.
Source: NoCamels and The Jerusalem Post