March 21, 2014

The Incredible Critter That’s Tough Enough to Survive in Space (Source: WIRED)
The tardigrade, also known as the water bear (because it looks like an adorable little many-legged bear) is an exceedingly tiny critter with incredible resistance to just about everything. Go ahead and boil it, freeze it, irradiate it, and toss it into the vacuum of space — it won’t die. If it were big enough to eat a glass sandwich, it probably could survive that too.

The water bear’s trick is something called cryptobiosis, in which it brings its metabolic processes nearly to a halt. In this state it can dehydrate to 3 percent of its normal water content in what is called desiccation, becoming a husk of its former self. But just add water and the tardigrade roars back to life and continues trudging along, puncturing algae and other organisms with a mouthpart called a stylet and sucking out the nutrients. (3/21)

NASA Unveils Orion’s Powerful Delta IV Heavy Boosters for Dec. 2014 Blastoff (Source: Universe Today)
Production and assembly of virtually all of the key hardware elements for NASA’s eagerly anticipated Orion EFT-1 uncrewed test flight are either complete or nearing completion at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Two of the three first stage boosters comprising the mammoth Delta IV Heavy rocket that will propel Orion to high Earth orbit have arrived at the Spaceport and were unveiled this week by top NASA managers. (3/21)

Moon Camera for Sale (The Pictures are Free) (Source: Time)
The machines that made the Apollo program a success were, on the whole, huge. The Saturn V rocket rocket stood 363 ft. (111 m) tall. The scaffold-like gantry that serviced it measured nearly 400 ft. (122 m). The slow-motion crawler that took the rocket out to the launch pad weighed a tidy 6 million lbs. (2.7 million kg). But one of the most important machines that flew on any flight could fit in the astronauts’ hands, and weighed just 1.8 lbs. (0.8 kg)—even less in lunar gravity.

It was the purpose-built, Hasselblad 500 EL camera, only 14 which ever flew to the moon, and only one of which—used by the late Jim Irwin, lunar module pilot for the July 1971 Apollo 15 mission—is known to have made it home. Once the last film canister had been removed, the cameras were supposed to remain on the surface to help shave weight during lunar liftoff.

Irwin’s camera is now being auctioned off by an Italian collector of historical artifacts at the Westlicht Gallery in Vienna, which expects it to go for $200,000 to $270,000. That may be a lot to pay for a camera that will never take another picture, but it’s nothing at all considering the history this particular Hasselblad captured—and made. The lunar Hasselblad had only a few key differences from Earthly models. Its knobs had to be especially well-sealed against moon dust, which is finer than confectioner’s sugar and has a nasty habit of jamming unprotected gears. (3/21)

‘The Technology Is Out There,’ but Satellites Don’t Track Jets (Source: New York Times)
Airlines routinely use satellites to provide Wi-Fi for passengers. But for years they have failed to use a similar technology for a far more basic task: tracking planes and their black-box flight recorders. “The technology is out there, but it’s just a question of political will to recognize this is important,” said Mark Rosenker, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and a retired Air Force major general. “What hasn’t improved is that we still have to wait to recover those boxes to begin accident investigations. Precious days are wasted.” (3/21)

Space Adventures: Soyuz Seat to ISS for $52 Million (Source: NewSpace Journal)
A Space Adventures Soyuz seat goes for $52 million currently. It’s been widely known for some time that the approximate cost of flying to the International Space Station on a Soyuz spacecraft with Space Adventures is about $50 million—assuming that a seat is available, which today is rare since all the Soyuz seats are being used for ISS crew transfers. At Wednesday’s event, though, Space Adventures president Tom Shelley said on more than one occasion that the price is $52 million. That’s about $20 million less than NASA pays for Soyuz seats, the panelists noted, although the NASA contract includes additional services. (3/21)

Space Adventures Still Pursuing Circumlunar Mission (Source: NewSpace Journal)
Space Adventures is still pursuing a circumlunar commercial mission. The company has been quiet in recent years about plans to fly two people on a Soyuz spacecraft that would loop around the Moon, a mission with a current estimated ticket price of $150 million each. In early 2011, for example, Space Adventures said they had sold one seat and were “finalizing” a deal for the second seat. Tom Shelley said they planned to carry out the mission by 2017 or 2018. “We have a couple clients under contract and we hope to take that forward,” he said. (3/21)

The Amazing Anatomy of Webb Telescope Mirrors (Source: Space Daily)
When you think of a mirror, there really isn't that much needed to describe it, but when you look at a mirror that will fly aboard NASA's next-generation James Webb Space Telescope, there's a lot to the anatomy of a mirror. NASA's Webb telescope includes a primary, secondary and tertiary mirror. Although the relatively small secondary and tertiary mirrors are unique, it's the expansive primary mirror that has the most complicated anatomy with a number of components operating together to make the telescope work. Click here. (3/21)

New Hypothesis Explains Earth's Continued Habitability (Source: Space Daily)
Researchers from USC and Nanjing University in China have documented evidence suggesting that part of the reason that the Earth has become neither sweltering like Venus nor frigid like Mars lies with a built-in atmospheric carbon dioxide regulator - the geologic cycles that churn up the planet's rocky surface. Click here. (3/21)

The Future of Space Exploration With Bigelow Aerospace (Source: Space Digest)
Bigelow Aerospace is designing a habitat named Olympus (volume of 2,250 cubic meters), able to accommodate crew of 24. It could be launched on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), or perhaps SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. Due to the massive size, Olympus modules would not be built in Las Vegas – they would need to be built on a waterway, most likely close to the launch site where they would be launched from, for example, Wallops Island, which has less traffic comparing to Florida’s launch facilities, thus allowing more flexibility and frequency of launches.

The future of space exploration seems to indeed include expandable modules, and Robert Bigelow is likely to expand his hotel chain Budget Suites of America to some kind of “Budget Suites of Space”. Maybe someday you will be able to catch a ride aboard a Dragon, or Dream Chaser, or other spaceship and head to one of his habitats in outer space. Click here. (3/21)

How New Mexico Is Paying For Branson’s Space Tourism Fantasy (Source: BuzzFeed)
One of the poorest states in the nation has invested nearly a quarter of a billion dollars and 10 years in creating a hub for Richard Branson’s space tourism company, Virgin Galactic. Some see it as the crown jewel of a new space age while others call it a carnival for the 1 percent — but with persistent delays and mounting financial strain, Spaceport America is just trying to avoid becoming New Mexico’s costliest, most futuristic ghost town. Click here. (3/21)

Making a Moon Base: Why Now is the Time (Source: FOX News)
The United States has ended two World Wars, pioneered a computer revolution and embarked on the greatest adventure to date by having humans walk on the moon. I want to see us continue in this great leadership role. We as a nation and the world as a whole are better for it.

The next great challenge is a familiar one: The U.S. must lead the world in allowing humans to break the bonds that hold us to our Earth. If we don’t rise to this challenge, this century may be known as the Chinese Century rather than the second century of America. I have no problem with other countries being major contributors; I just want us to lead. (3/21)

Canberra Deep Space Center Nervous Over NASA Cuts (Source: Canberra Times)
At Canberra's Deep Space Communication Complex in Australia, staff is increasingly nervous about cuts NASA is making to the station, which is the only deep-space station in the southern hemisphere. This year, the station is operating with $20 million and 95 employees, down from $22 million and 112 workers in 2011. Added to the cuts is unrest among employees over a union pay agreement that's been stalled for some time. (3/21)

NASA ‘Game-Changing’ Propellant Tank Grounded For Now (Source: Universe Today)
A lighter and stronger “game-changing” tank that could have flown in space in a few years will be tested on the ground only, at least for now, according to the NASA budget and a few reports. Last year, the agency conducted ground tests on a composite propellant tank intended to be better than its heavier counterparts, saving on launch costs. At the time, NASA said it was aiming to test this on a demonstration flight in 2018, but the new budget request says testing will stay grounded. (3/20)

NASA Centers Team Up to Tackle Sonic Boom (Source: Space Daily)
Since the Concorde's final landing at London's Heathrow Airport nearly a decade ago, commercial supersonic air travel has been as elusive as a piece of lost luggage. However, this hasn't stopped NASA from continuing the quest to develop solutions that will help get supersonic passenger travel off the ground once more. And, while aerospace engineers have made significant progress in their understanding of supersonic flight, one significant challenge remains: the loud sonic boom.

Since the maximum acceptable loudness of a sonic boom is not specifically defined under the current FAA regulation, NASA and its aviation partners have been researching ways to identify a loudness level that is acceptable to both the FAA and the public, and to reduce the noise created by supersonic aircraft. Using cutting-edge testing that builds on previous supersonic research, NASA has been exploring "low-boom" aircraft designs, and other strategies that show promise for reducing sonic boom levels. (3/18)

Top 10 Cosmological Discoveries (Source: Science News)
If the BICEP2 results hold up, the understanding of the universe will have taken a bigger leap for humankind than hopping around on the moon. And the BICEP2 result will join an illustrious list of Page One–worthy discoveries that have advanced modern science’s knowledge about the cosmos. Click here for my top 10 (P.S. Theories, for example general relativity or heliocentrism, do not count as discoveries). (3/21)

Intelsat Touts Epic’s High Revenue Throughput Potential (Source: Space News)
Intelsat on March 19 said its Intelsat 29e satellite is likely to be able to generate $200 million per year in revenue for the bulk of its 15-plus years in orbit, a figure that is set against the satellite’s cost of some $400 million. (3/21)

AsiaSat’s Appetite for Acquisitions Stimulated by a No-Growth 2013 (Source: Space News)
AsiaSat of Hong Kong on March 20 reported flat revenue for 2013 after one-off expenses and said that in addition to launching three new satellites in 2014, the company is hunting for acquisition targets. “Acquiring new business in 2014 will remain a top priority,” AsiaSat Chairman Sherwood P. Dodge said in a statement. (3/21)

China, Uzbekistan Step Up Efforts in Astronomical Observation (Source: Xinhua)
China's national astronomical observatories and Ulugh Beg Astronomical Institute from Uzbekistan agreed to step up cooperation. Cooperation will be carried out in equipment upgrades, frontier research and historical study in astronomical observation and staff training, said Yan Jun, director of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, here at the signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding. (3/21)

Extraterrestrial Life Isn’t All That Crazy (Source: Pipe Dream)
Some people believe in The Secret. Others believe the Earth was created 6,000 years ago. I believe in aliens. Those who express a belief in extraterrestrial intelligence are often cast aside as nut jobs, while religious zealots are deemed culturally acceptable. Given the vastness of our universe and the recent discovery of an infinite multiverse, the prospect of alien life should be taken seriously and accepted into mainstream cultural discourse. (3/21)

SpaceX Still Buying Land Around Proposed Texas Spaceport (Source: Morning Valley Star)
SpaceX’s investments in Cameron County continued this month with the purchase of more tracts of land, bringing the total number of lots it now owns to 90, the Valley Morning Star found. The total land area that Elon Musk’s SpaceX now owns through Dogleg Park LLC is roughly 37 acres, public records show. This is in addition to 56.5 acres that SpaceX has under lease. (3/20)

A Win-Win Sanction (Source: National Review)
Crimea has been annexed, and the Kremlin isn’t impressed by meager American Anschluss sanctions. More sanctions are evidently coming, and they present an opportunity. With the Space Shuttle retired, the United States is forced to pay Russia to ferry our astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Under the current contract, the U.S. buys seats aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft for $65 million a pop.

A new contract debuts in 2016, and includes a price hike: Over 18 months, the U.S. will shell out $424 million to buy rides for just six astronauts. Now, $424 million is getting to real money; a real sanction would be taking all of it and spending it domestically. Losing half a billion dollars won’t exactly cripple the Russian economy, but it’s enough to make a strong gesture.

That $424 million, divided among whichever Commercial Crew companies agree to meet a new deadline, could push that up a year. Doubling or tripling that amount wouldn’t be a bad idea. Think what the investment gets us: Putin suffers a real rebuke for occupying part of a friendly democracy. Hundreds of millions of dollars stay in our economy instead of wandering off to Russia. The U.S. phases out ferry rides from the guys we beat in the space race. And best of all, America heads back to the final frontier, with a diversified spaceship portfolio designed for competition-driven pricing and quality. (3/21)

Reputation Management in Space (Source: Space Safety)
It only takes a brief “apprenticeship” in the spaceflight industry to learn a hard truth. Most of the projects and ventures that are proposed in spaceflight never leave the ground. Of these, many will never become any more realistic than spiffy computer graphics. Proposals for new missions, private or government, commercial or scientific, crewed or robotic, big or small, appear on an almost weekly basis somewhere.

Inevitably, media releases for these proposals are picked up by the aerospace media and printed. Within months, most are forgotten. The media, and their readers, are so used to this cycle that they mostly don’t worry about adding yet another shattered dream to the pile.

To be fair, we cannot expect most spaceflight proposals to be built. There isn’t enough money to go around. In general commerce, most new ventures fail. Why should we expect better results in commercial spaceflight, when everything is more complex? This situation won’t improve in the near future. In fact, it’s likely to get worse. (3/21)

NASA Research Could Lead to Way of Predicting Sinkholes (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
Radar images taken from planes or satellites could someday be used to predict where sinkholes might form — a potential boon for Florida, the nation's sinkhole capital. The possibility of an early-warning system stems from new NASA research into a monstrous sinkhole that opened in Louisiana in 2012, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents.

Two NASA researchers examined radar images of the sinkhole area near Bayou Corne, La. Cathleen Jones and Ron Blom discovered that the ground near Bayou Corne began shifting at least a month before the sinkhole formed — as much as 10 inches toward where the sinkhole started. Since its formation, the sinkhole has expanded to 25 acres and is still growing.

The NASA findings raise the possibility that engineers eventually could develop a way to predict the location of sinkholes. It would require the constant collection and monitoring of the Earth's surface with radar data collected from planes or satellites. (3/21)

Aussie Shots Of Possible Flight 370 Wreckage Taken By DigitalGlobe (Source: Breaking Defense)
Australia used both black and white and multispectral satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe satellites shot on March 16 to search for the purported wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. A source familiar with the issues said DigitalGlobe supplied several types of imagery other than the black and white satellite photos. The Australians used multispectral but not hyperspectral imagery. Hyperspectral imagery might allow analysts to identify the material comprising the floating materials. (3/20)

NASA T-38 Coming to Aviation Heritage Park (Source: Bowling Green Daily News)
A NASA T-38 Talon airplane is on its way from Arizona to Bowling Green, where it is expected to arrive Saturday as the latest acquisition for the Aviation Heritage Park. “We are incredibly excited that we’re getting this aircraft,” said Bob Pitchford, vice president of the park. (3/20)

KSC Visitor Complex Offers Public Viewing of Atlas Launch (Source: KSCVC)
Kennedy Space Center's Visitor Complex guests can experience the breathtaking sights and sounds of the launch of an Atlas V rocket as it lifts off onMarch 25. Visitors may enjoy a front row seat to view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area, and from viewing areas at the Visitor Complex. Launch viewing is included in daily admission. The rocket will blast off from Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport with the launch scheduled for 2:48 p.m. EST. (3/20)

'Shrapnel' Risk to Future Moon Surface Missions (Source: BBC)
The "shrapnel" generated by small space rocks that periodically hit the Moon may pose a larger risk to lunar missions than was previously believed. A number of countries and private consortia have stated their plans to send robotic and crewed missions to the lunar surface in the coming decades. A relatively small impact on the Moon last year hurled hundreds of pieces of rocky debris out of the crater.

Many were travelling at the speed of a shotgun blast. The meteoroid strike sprayed small rocks up to 30km from the initial impact site, said Professor Mark Robinson. Prof Robinson and his team found a fresh 18m-wide crater, punched by a 0.3-1.3m-wide space rock. The crater is surrounded by typical "ejecta" deposits - the continuous blanket of rock and soil heaved out when the meteoroid thumped into the lunar surface.

However, they also saw 248 small "splotches" extending up to 30km from the primary crater. This was further than the typical extent for continuous ejecta deposits from a lunar crater. Prof Robinson interprets these surface splotches as relatively low velocity, secondary impacts into the lunar soil by material flung out in different directions by the primary impact. (3/20)

Worries Over Russia Spur Calls for Faster Action on Commercial Crew (Source: Examiner)
Some lawmakers are urging accelerated funding for NASA's commercial crew program, worried that the Russia-Ukraine crisis might mean the U.S. needs to break dependence on Russia's Soyuz taxi service faster. "We've got to properly fund and support commercial space flight so we can keep our space program alive and well, no matter happens with Russia," said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL., who, along with some other members of Congress, wants additional funding for the NASA program. (3/18)

Japanese Bacteria To Go on Science Mission to Space (Source: Wall Street Journal)
Yakult Honsha Co.2267.TO -2.73%, which makes a yogurt-like food from fermented milk, said Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency under which pots of Yakult are set to boldly go where no Yakult has gone before–the International Space Station.

The Tokyo-based company said its goal was to study the effects of so-called probiotic foods in the near gravity-free environment of the space station. In the six-year study, Japanese astronauts will be asked to consume Yakult daily for a month at a time. Stool, saliva and blood samples will be tested to determine the effects on the astronauts’ constitutions. (3/20)

Successful Knight’s Arrow Bybrid Engine Test (Source: Parabolic Arc)
On March 6th 2014, the Autodiverse team conducted the first live test firing of its new ‘Knights Arrow Bybrid © ‘ rocket engine. The test was conducted in the ‘J1′ test bay, at Westcott UK, under the direction and with the assistance of ‘Airborne Engineering’, whose facility it is.

This is an entirely novel bi-propellant engine with an extremely simple but very efficient propellant injection and cooling methodology. It is the next engine in the development sequence that was begun with the Knights Arrow kerosene wick engine, which gave excellent performance but waslimited in its possible applications, as it lacked significant duration and required rebuilding between firings. (3/20)

Houston Airport System Eyes Space as Destination in Near Future (Source: Examiner)
Houstonians are able fly farther than ever, and the list of destinations could include the near reaches of space in the not-so-distant future, the city’s aviation director told business and community leaders last week. In his 2014 State of the Airports address, Mario Diaz, director of the Houston Airport System, said the city will submit its FAA application late this year in hopes of becoming the nation’s ninth licensed commercial spaceport.

That means Houston could be home to the assembly of aircraft/spacecraft, launching of micro satellites, zero-gravity experimentation, astronaut training and even space tourism,” Diaz told a sold-out crowd of about 430 persons at the Greater Houston Partnership luncheon. If all goes as planned, Diaz expects the city to have its commercial spaceport license by June 2015. In the meantime, it is seeking private partners to help build the facility at Ellington Airport and make it operational by 2016-2017, he said. (3/20)

Orbital Delays to May 6 Next Cygnus Mission to the ISS From Virginia (Source:
The next launch of Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft has been targeted for a No Earlier Than (NET) launch target of May 6. The CRS-2/ORB-2 mission will be launched by the company’s Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops in Virginia – the fourth launch of Orbital’s new medium class rocket, providing the ride uphill for Cygnus’ third trip to the orbital outpost. (3/20)

Sewing Machine Potentially Caused CRS-3 Dragon Contamination (Source:
A sewing machine, used to stitch the cloth shields that are used to protect payloads in Dragon’s trunk, is understood to be the root cause of the “oil lubricate contamination” that resulted in a postponement to the CRS-3/SpX-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The oil is believed to have found its way on to the cloth’s threads, which holds the potential of outgassing in a vacuum – a threat to the optics on two of Dragon’s payloads. (3/20)

Mysterious New Gully Spotted on Mars (Source: WIRED)
A new gully has appeared on a sloped crater wall on Mars. The channel, which was absent from images in November 2010 but showed up in a May 2013 photo, does not appear to have been formed by water. Exactly what caused this Red Planet rivulet remains a mystery. The winding gully seems to have poured out from an existing ribbon channel in a crater in Mars’ Terra Sirenum region.

The leading hypothesis on how the gully formed is that debris flowed downslope from an alcove and eroded a new channel. Though it looks water-carved, the gully is much more likely to have been formed when carbon dioxide frost accumulated on the slope and grew heavy enough to avalanche down. Click here. (3/20)

Where Are The shuttles Now? (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
In 2011, NASA chose three public locations for its retiring shuttles (the Enterprise, retired since 1985, was moved from the Smithsonian outside Virginia to the Intrepid Museum in New York City). Here's where the shuttles are now: Atlantis, which flew from 1985-2011, is at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida; Discovery, which flew from 1984-2011, is at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia; Endeavour, which flew from 1992 to 2011, is at the California Science Center in Los Angeles; and Enterprise, built in 1976 but never launched into space, is at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. (3/20)

Dayton's Air Force Museum Creates Compelling Shuttle Exhibit (Sans Shuttle) (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
This is not a place for the claustrophobic. You think of the space shuttle as a mammoth, high-flying hauling machine. And, at 122 feet long by 57 feet high, it is. But peering into the flight deck of the new space shuttle exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, you see the living area for its human inhabitants — onboard for as many as 16 days — is a tiny part of the vehicle.

Shut out of the shuttle sweepstakes was Dayton's Air Force museum. But as a consolation prize, it received a crew compartment trainer, where hundreds of astronauts over three decades drilled before strapping into the real thing. Inside, they simulated take-offs, practiced using controls, even learned how to use the escape hatch in case of an emergency. (3/20)

Orbital Drops Antitrust Lawsuit Against ULA (Source: Space News)
Orbital Sciences Corp. is dropping an antitrust lawsuit filed in June against United Launch Alliance alleging that the Denver-based rocket maker illegally prevented Orbital from buying the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engine, according to a statement filed March 20 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“The parties will now undertake to negotiate a business resolution for Orbital’s access to the RD-180 rocket engine, subject to all necessary approvals from the U.S. and Russian governments,” Orbital said in the filing. “If a mutually agreeable resolution is not reached, Orbital will have the option to refile its lawsuit.” (3/20)

Scuba Diving Trumps Surfing on Saturn's Titan Moon (Source:
There was a lot of hubbub this week among space geeks about the first spotting of waves on the freaky methane lakes that cover much of Titan, perhaps the most Earth-like spot outside of the real deal in our solar system. The images taken by Cassini between 2012 and 2013 showed something abnormal on the surface of Punga Mare that could be waves, or more accurately, ripples, given that the disturbances were calculated to be no more than a few centimeters high. (3/20)

Move Over Heavy Metal, There's A New Tank Coming To Town (Source: NASA)
For more than 50 years, metal tanks have carried fuel to launch rockets and propel them into space, but one of the largest composite tanks ever manufactured may change all that. This spring, that tank--known as the composite cryotank--is set to undergo a series of tests at extreme pressures and temperatures similar to those experienced during spaceflight.

The 18-foot-diameter (5.5 meter) composite tank just completed final assembly at the Boeing Developmental Center in Tukwila, Wash. Soon it will be loaded onto NASA's Super Guppy, a large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft, that will carry it on a two-day journey to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., where it will be filled with extremely cold, or cryogenic, hydrogen propellant and undergo a series of tests throughout the summer. (3/20)

Brilliant Fireball Over Canada Sparks Meteorite Hunt (Source:
Scientists are rushing to the site of a possible meteorite impact in Canada's southwestern Ontario after a bright fireball lit up the skies over that region Tuesday. The basketball-sized fireball was spotted at 10:24 p.m. local time in seven all-sky cameras operated by Western University's Southern Ontario Meteor Network. Two other camera systems in Ohio and Pennsylvania operated jointly with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office also spotted the fireball. (3/20)

NASA Statement on Sustainability Study (Source: NASA)
The following is a statement from NASA regarding erroneous media reports crediting the agency with an academic paper on population and societal impacts. "A soon-to-be published research paper 'Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies' by University of Maryland researchers Safa Motesharrei and Eugenia Kalnay, and University of Minnesota’s Jorge Rivas was not solicited, directed or reviewed by NASA."

"It is an independent study by the university researchers utilizing research tools developed for a separate NASA activity. As is the case with all independent research, the views and conclusions in the paper are those of the authors alone. NASA does not endorse the paper or its conclusions." (3/20)

Eilieen Collins: Privately Funded Scientific Research - Can You Get Involved? (Source: LinkedIn)
Of course, traditional government research will go on. But it is troubling to me that our government chooses to decrease public funding of scientific research, while at the same time manages an annual budget that increases every year, and feeds a national debt of almost $17 trillion. I don’t see a long-term plan to solve this problem.

Meanwhile, in my area of experience: spaceflight, there are opportunities for researchers to partner with NASA. In my opinion, partnerships of public and private money are certainly going to be available in the future, and may even increase. The Space Act Agreement (SAA) is NASA’s method of partnering with private organizations to further technical goals of both (with some regulatory relief). On average, NASA engages in SAAs with approximately 125 private organizations each year.

According to NASA: “These initiatives constitute a grassroots open invitation to individuals and entities of all types to contribute their creative ideas for technologies that can be used in NASA missions.” If you are a creative entrepreneur, and your goals are in line with NASA’s mission of space exploration, you may be a candidate for this joint partnership with NASA. (3/20)

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