David W. Miller has been named chief technologist of NASA, Washington, D.C.
Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sacramento, Calif., has been awarded a contract from the Flight Opportunities Program Office at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Test Center to develop propulsion technology for miniature satellites that could possibly lower cost and accelerate mission schedules. Under the first phase of the contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will develop and perform hot-fire tests on its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. If selected for a flight demonstration in a second phase, the MPS-120 would be the first chemical propulsion system ever used on a CubeSat.
NASA has exercised the fourth option year under its existing contract with Computer Sciences Corporation, Falls Church, Va. This is a one-year option period for the continuation of financial management, human resources, procurement and information technology support services for the agency. The option increases the existing NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) support contract by more than $44 million and provides services through Sept. 30, 2014.
Ellen Stofan has been named the chief scientist for NASA, Washington, D.C.
NASA has exercised a contract option with Lockheed Martin Corp. of Gaithersburg, Md., to provide continued mission control systems services, development, maintenance and operations support as part of the Facilities Development and Operations Contract. The extension has a total estimated value of $166.8 million and extends the period of performance through Sept. 30, 2014. The total contract value has been increased to $1 billion. Lockheed Martin will provide support for the hardware, software, data and displays systems used to train for and execute all human spaceflight missions supported by the Mission Operations Directorate at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory are asking industry for solutions to meet future high-performance space computing needs in the coming decades.
NASA has selected three companies to provide engineering solutions and products to Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The companies are Radiance Technologies Inc. and Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc., Huntsville, Ala., and Wyle Laboratories Inc., Houston, Texas. The performance-based, cost-reimbursement fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts have a potential value of $350 million. The contracts have a five-year performance period with a minimum order quantity value of $1 million.
NASA has selected Barrios Technology Limited, Houston, Texas, to provide mission and program integration services for the International Space Station Program at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The contract includes three two-year options valued at approximately $84 million and a provision for additional work not to exceed $50 million. The total potential value of the contract is $384.7 million.
NASA has selected Analytical Services Incorporated (ASI), Huntsville, Alabama, to provide strategic research and analysis and communications support services at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. Including options, the contract is potentially valued at $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.
NASA has elected to exercise the first option of the Technology, Engineering and Aerospace Mission Support contract (TEAMS 2) that was awarded to Analytical Mechanics Associates Incorporated, Hampton, Virginia, the company recently announced. The contracted work will be performed at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton. The option is valued at almost $42.2 million. The total value of this cost-plus award-fee with indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract is approximately $328 million. The TEAMS 2 contract provides engineering services to support research and technology development to meet evolving NASA mission objectives.
NASA has selected Digital Management Incorporated, Bethesda, Maryland, to support its Headquarters Operations, Information Technology and Communications Division, Washington, DC, under the Headquarters Information Technology Support Services (HITSS) contract. This is a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract, with the ability to issue indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity task orders on a cost-plus-incentive fee or cost-plus-fixed fee basis. The maximum total value of the contract, including options, is approximately $177 million. Under this contract, Digital Management will provide information technology support services to NASA Headquarters.
NASA has awarded a contract extension to United Space Alliance, Houston, Texas, to provide mission and flight crew operations support for the International Space Station and future human space exploration. The $17.4 million extension of the Integrated Mission Operations Contract covers ground-based human spaceflight operations capability development and execution. This contract includes support for mission planning and preparation, crew and flight controller training, and real-time mission execution. There is a $17.8 million option to extend the contract for another year. The total potential value of the cost-plus-award-fee contract would be $35 million, if the option is exercised.
Keep tabs on astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) at all times with the free ISSLive! app for iOS and Android. The program, developed by NASA, provides live streaming data on station position, internal environment, altitude, crew activities and more. In addition, the app includes a virtual Mission Control Center modeled after the facility in Houston, Texas. It also features educational lessons for students or science enthusiasts to interact with the live streaming data along with links to the five international partner space agencies' mission information. The app is part of the larger ISSLive!
Got a good idea for a small satellite? NASA has issued a broad agency announcement seeking low-cost flight demonstration proposals for small satellites, which generally weigh less than 400 pounds and are usually launched as secondary payloads. The NASA Edison SmallSat Demonstration Program says this solicitation will focus on the communications capabilities of these small spacecraft. Executive summaries of these proposals are due no later than March 4, 2012. For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov/oct.
Students age 14 to 18 can compete to have astronauts in space carry out their experiments if they win the Space Lab challenge. Budding scientists must upload a video outlining their idea, but they don't have to carry out the experiments themselves. A public vote and international panel of experts will judge the finalists from each age group (14 to 16, and 17 to 18) and each region-the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. The two global winning experiments will be performed on the International Space Station and beamed live via YouTube. The winners also receive additional prizes.
A new strategy for certifying commercial launch vehicles aims to expand the number of companies qualified for space launch missions. The entrant launch vehicle certification strategy is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office and NASA. The three agencies outlined the joint strategy for certifying new entrants to encourage competition and provide a level playing field for all competitors.
No matter how vast it seems, even space gets a little crowded. Hundreds of active satellites and thousands of pieces of space junk clutter the area surrounding Earth-from lost astronaut tools to pieces of rockets. With the potential to travel at 17,500 miles per hour, even the smallest objects pose a big risk to spacecraft. To help track and identify the debris, the U.S. Air Force is replacing its aging and outdated Air Force Space Surveillance System, which has been in service for 50 years.
Col. Terrence W. Wilcutt, USMC (Ret.), has been appointed NASA's chief of
safety and mission assurance, Washington, D.C.