August 18, 2016

Want to Live Underwater Like the Astronauts Train? (Source: FIU)
For the first time, Florida International University now offering "Introduction to Saturation Diving". This course starts off by giving you in-depth discussion on the theory of saturation diving and finishes off with practical application of your skills in an overnight stay at Aquarius, the world's only undersea saturation diving facility. Click here. (8/17)

Space Security: Protecting Our Final Frontier (Source: ASP)
Although space is not new territory, the culture of space security is shifting with the potential of a terrestrial conflict extending into space, as suggested by Secretary James. Currently, there are five United Nations treaties on outer space that date back to the 1970s and 1980s, which establish the foundation of international space law. While the principles and objectives of the treaties remain relevant in present day, advancements in technology have developed new space threats that are not addressed in existing accords. Click here. (8/16)

AIA Briefs Informal Hillary-For-America Advisors (Source: AIA)
The Aerospace Industries Association participated in a meeting today with informal Hillary For America advisors on issues of importance to our industry. As the Voice of American Aerospace and Defense, AIA’s role is to educate our elected leaders, candidates for office and the general public on the importance of our industry to our economy and national security. AIA previously briefed Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Early in the campaign season last year, AIA developed a series of position papers that we distributed to every Congressional and Presidential campaign. Those papers can be viewed here: We continue to pursue the opportunity to brief any active campaign on our priorities. (8/17)

DOD Eases Small Biz Subcontract Reporting Requirement (Source: Law360)
The U.S. Department of Defense has issued a new deviation from federal acquisition rules, easing the requirement for defense contractors to issue small business subcontracting reports, among other tweaks to subcontract reporting requirements.

The class deviation from the Federal Acquisition Regulation and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, issued by the DOD’s Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy unit on Monday, will allow contractors to submit their summary subcontract reports, or SSRs, annually, instead of the current biannual requirement. (8/17)

Satellite Contract Protest Doesn't Need 2nd Look, GAO Says (Source: Law360)
The onetime winner of a U.S. Navy contract for commercial satellite services was unable to convince the U.S. Government Accountability Office to reconsider its decision upholding a rival bidder's protest, with the watchdog ruling in a decision released Tuesday that the request merely expressed disagreement with its findings. Segovia Inc. had challenged the GAO's earlier decision, publicly released in February, which found that the Defense Information Systems Agency didn’t stick to the bid requirements when it chose the company. (8/17)

NASA $1M Contest Intent on Sending Robots to Mars (Source: ComputerWorld)
NASA engineers want humanoid robots to help astronauts living and working on Mars to help build habitats, grow food and make potable water. The space agency on Tuesday opened registration for teams to compete for a $1 million prize purse in what it’s calling the Space Robotics Challenge. The contest is intended to encourage development of robots that are capable of working in the harsh environment of Mars and that have enough strength, precision and autonomy to be useful to human teammates. (8/17)

NASA Rocket Loses Payload After Carrying Student Experiments From Virginia Spaceport (Source: WHSV)
NASA says it lost the payload of a suborbital rocket carrying student experiments into the atmosphere. The agency said in a statement that the rocket launched Wednesday morning from the Wallops spaceport carried instruments, including high definition cameras, about 95 miles above the earth. Data was received from most of the experiments but the instruments were lost on the return to the Atlantic Ocean, where they were supposed to be recovered. The payload containing the equipment is a 20-foot long tube that sat atop the rocket. (8/17)

Space-Based Missile Tracking a "Must" for US Military (Source: Space News)
The head of the Missile Defense Agency said Wednesday that space-based missile tracking sensors are a "must" for him. U.S. Navy Vice Adm. James Syring, speaking at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium, said it's vital that the MDA develop an "operational space layer" to track missiles. MDA had a previous effort to develop such a system, called the Precision Tracking Space System, but that was cancelled in 2013. (8/17)

How To Catch The Biggest Wave In The Universe (Source: NPR)
When it comes to waves, it doesn't get much bigger than the gravitational variety. Einstein predicted that huge events — like black holes merging — create gravitational waves. Unlike most waves we experience, these are distortions in space and time. They roll across the entire universe virtually unimpeded. Because gravitational waves warp space, they literally change how long things are. LIGO is basically the world's most complicated tape measure. Click here. (8/17)

Report Cites “Urgent” Need for New National Security Space Policies (Source: Space News)
The National Academies said there is an “urgent need” for the U.S. government to write new policies that shape how the Defense Department should respond to threats to American satellites. The report, which was released Aug. 16, came in response to a request from Congress in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act to study the protection of national security satellites.

“There is an urgent need to create relevant national policies to guide the creation of responses to these threats; this includes educating the public so that it can understand and participate in potential solutions in whatever capacity makes sense,” the report said. (8/17)

Europa Mission Planning for Possible Budget Cuts in 2017 (Source: Space News)
While NASA says its support for a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa is now aligned with Congress, project officials are preparing for a possible “squeeze” on mission funding in the next fiscal year. In presentations at an Aug. 11 meeting of NASA’s Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) in Flagstaff, Arizona, officials involved with what’s widely known as the Europa Clipper mission said they are looking for ways to cut costs in 2017 while keeping the mission on track for a 2022 launch. (8/17)

Space May Be the Best Place to Grow Bone Formation Protein Crystals (Source:
The scientists behind the new study designed microgravity experiments to grow crystals of a protein known as inorganic pyrophosphatase (IPPase) in space. This protein is an enzyme found in most living organisms that plays an important role in bone formation, DNA synthesis, and the making and breaking down of fats, the researchers said.

The protein crystallization system the scientists developed for the experiments uses tiny tubes to control the flow of a solution containing dissolved proteins. The geometry of the tubes forces the proteins to concentrate in part of the solution, causing it to become supersaturated, meaning there are too many proteins to stay comfortably dissolved. The proteins then emerge from the solution to form a crystal. (8/17)

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