June 14, 2016

NASA Challenge Aims to Grow Human Tissue to Aid in Deep Space Exploration (Source: SpaceRef)
NASA, in partnership with the nonprofit Methuselah Foundation’s New Organ Alliance, is seeking ways to advance the field of bioengineering through a new prize competition. The Vascular Tissue Challenge offers a $500,000 prize to be divided among the first three teams that successfully create thick, metabolically-functional human vascularized organ tissue in a controlled laboratory environment. Click here. (6/13)

Gamers Tackle Virtual OSIRIS-REx Mission (Source: Colorado Space News)
OSIRIS-REx Project Scientist Jason Dworkin challenged players of the popular online game Kerbal Space Program to replicate NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. Gamers will use the virtual tools and supplies provided by the game to construct their own OSIRIS-REx spacecraft (also known as the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer), collect an asteroid sample, and return it safely to the home planet. Click here. (6/13)

Goldman Sachs: Space Is Once Again the New Frontier (Source: Goldman Sachs)
Noah Poponak, aerospace and defense senior equity research analyst in Goldman Sachs Research, explains why dissolving barriers to entry – combined with geopolitical tensions – have ignited a new space race, with implications for scientific research, defense, communications and travel. Click here. (6/13)

Orlando and the Bad Timing of the NASA-UAE Space Agency Deal (Source: Space News)
NASA's Charles Bolden was in Abu Dhabi finalizing an agreement with the United Arab Emirates. The deal is also significant in that on the same day in which hatred and bigotry led to senseless death inside an LGBTQ Orlando nightclub, the leaders of NASA (with deep ties to the state of Florida) essentially said that in the desire to explore space, it is A-OK to overlook archaic laws regarding homosexuality and LGBTQ rights.

One has to wonder, in light of Sunday’s events in Orlando, is this a deal non-administration staff at NASA are happy with? How can we correct the public discourse on LGBTQ issues while acquiescing to nations who deplore their advancement?

To bring you up to speed on LGBTQ rights in the UAE… well there are none really, and there isn’t a ton of information on the LGBTQ community in the UAE. What we do know, according to both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International is that homosexuality, along with non-marital sex is considered a ‘zina’ offence. So-called ‘zina’ offences carry sentences ranging between a year in prison and death. (6/13)

IG Finds Lapses in NASA’s Oversight of Research Accords (Source: Aviation Week)
NASA’s inspector general has found lingering lapses in the agency’s oversight of long-running ties to dozens of institutes paid to provide expertise on topics ranging from Earth and planetary science to advances in composite materials and astronaut health. (6/13)

New Planet Is Largest Discovered That Orbits Two Suns (Source: NASA)
If you cast your eyes toward the constellation Cygnus, you’ll be looking in the direction of the largest planet yet discovered around a double-star system. It’s too faint to see with the naked eye, but a team led by astronomers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and San Diego State University (SDSU) in California, used NASA's Kepler Space Telescope to identify the new planet, Kepler-1647b. (6/13)

Could the United Arab Emirates Help NASA Reach Mars? (Source: CSM)
In its efforts to reach Mars by the 2030s, NASA has enlisted the help of one of the world’s newest space agencies, signing an agreement with the United Arab Emirates to collaborate on space exploration. The agreement the US space agency signed Sunday in Abu Dhabi has made "the exploration of Mars" its first priority. The two countries have also agreed to share research, scientific instruments, and possibly spacecraft. (6/13)

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