NASA News: NASA And Tech Partners Encourage Information Exchange

WASHINGTON -- NASA, Google, HP, Microsoft, The World Bank and Yahoo!
are inviting software developers, independent computer experts and
students to participate in the Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) event
on June 4 and 5 at several worldwide locations.

RHoK is a "hackathon" that brings together the best hackers from
around the world to use their skills to make the world a better place
by building a community of innovation. They volunteer their time to
develop new approaches to disaster relief challenges.

"NASA encourages RHoK developers to use open data sets to create
cutting edge applications that can help solve global challenges,"
said NASA's Chief Information Officer Linda Cureton. "We are excited
to support RHoK and explore new ways NASA data can help the world."

RHoK also is an opportunity to meet and work with top software
developers and experts, create new applications and win prizes.
Events are planned in Hartford, Conn., Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle
and Silicon Valley. International venues are in Berlin; Toronto;
Aarhus, Denmark; Basel, Switzerland; Bangalore, India; Buenos Aires;
Kampala, Uganda; Lusaka, Zambia; Melbourne, Australia; Nairobi,
Kenya; Trento, Italy; and Santiago, Chile.

During past events, participants worked on applications that are
already making an impact. "I'm OK," a service that lets people inform
their families about their status, was used during the earthquakes in
Haiti and Chile in 2010. The World Bank is piloting software for
visualizing landslide risk in the Caribbean. Other apps have received
support and interest from government and non-government organizations
around the world.

For more information about the RHoK, the event and registration, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


NASA Selects First Payloads For Upcoming Reduced-Gravity Flights

WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected 16 payloads for flights on the
commercial Zero-G parabolic aircraft and two suborbital reusable
launch vehicles as part of the agency's Flight Opportunities Program.
The flights provide opportunities for space technologies to be
demonstrated and validated in relevant environments. In addition,
these flights foster the development of the nation's commercial
reusable suborbital transportation industry.

The payloads and teams from ten states and the District of Columbia
were selected from applications received in response to a NASA call
issued last December. Of the payloads, 12 will ride on parabolic
aircraft flights; two on suborbital reusable launch vehicle test
flights; and two on both platforms.

"Through our Flight Opportunities Program, NASA is able to align
research and technology payloads with commercially-available flights
to mature technologies that will benefit America's future in space,"
said Bobby Braun, NASA chief technologist at NASA Headquarters in
Washington. "This program allows researchers, technologists and
innovators to help NASA meet our future mission needs while infusing
new knowledge and capabilities into our nation's universities,
laboratories and space industry."

The commercial Zero-G aircraft payloads will fly during a weeklong
campaign from Houston's Ellington Field in mid-July. The suborbital
reusable launch vehicle payloads will fly on the Xaero, developed by
Masten Space Systems of Mojave, Calif., and the Super Mod, developed
by Armadillo Aerospace of Heath, Texas. These selected payloads will
fly on test flights scheduled throughout 2011.
Selected payloads to fly on both platforms:

--"Investigation to Determine Rotational Stability of On-Orbit
Propellant Storage and Transfer Systems Undergoing Operational Fuel
Transfer Scenarios" from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,
Daytona Beach, Fla., NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and United
Launch Alliance, Centennial, Colo.; Sathya Gangadharan, project
manager (PM)
--"Printing the Space Future" from Made In Space Inc., Moffett Field,
Calif.; Jason Dunn, principal investigator (PI)
Selected suborbital reusable launch vehicle payloads:
--"Electromagnetic Field Measurements on Suborbital Launch Vehicles"
from Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Lab, Laurel, Md.;
Todd Smith and Lars Dyrud, co-PI
--"Precision Landing Exploration Technology (PLANET) Demonstration"
from Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Ma., and
NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston; Douglas Zimpfer, PM; Tye Brady,
Selected parabolic payloads:
--Crew-Autonomous Biological Telemetric experiment from the University
of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.; Robert Ferl and Anna-Lisa Paul, co-PIs

--Advanced, Two-Phase, Space Heat Exchangers Design Tools experiment
from the University of Maryland, College Park; Jungho Kim and Serguei
Dessiatoun, co-PIs
--Thermosyphon Array with Controlled Operation experiment from NASA's
Glenn Research Center, Cleveland. Donald Jawaorske, PI
--Radio Frequency Mass Gauge experiment from Glenn; Gregory Zimmerli,
--Grey Water Purification using Control Moment Gyroscopes from
Kennedy, Glenn and the ASRC Aerospace Corp., Greenbelt, Md.; Walt
Turner, PM
--Indexing Media Filtration experiment from Glenn, Aerfil LLC,
Filtration Group Inc, Joliet, Ill., and ASRC Aerospace; Gary Ruff, PM

--Autonomous Robotic Capture from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Md.; West Virginia University, Morgantown; the U.S. Naval
Research Laboratory, Washington and Yasakawa America Inc., Waukegan,
Ill.; Thomas Evans, PM
--Validation of Atomization Mechanism and Droplet Transport for a
Portable Fire Extinguisher from Glenn, ADA Technologies Inc,
Littleton, Colo., and the Colorado School of Mines, Golden; Jim Butz,
--Cryocooler Vibrational Characterization from Ad Astra Rocket Co.
Webster, Texas; Benjamin Longmier, PI
--Monitoring Radiation-Induced DNA Degradation from Kennedy; Howard
Levine, PI
--EHD-Pumped Two-Phase Loops experiment from the Air Force Research
Laboratory and Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.; Greg Busch, Sam
Sinnamon and Andrew Williams, co-PIs
--Electric Field Effects on Pool Boiling Heat Transfer experiments
from the University of Maryland and University of Pisa, Italy; Jungho
Kim and Paolo DiMarco, co-PIs

NASA will continue to accept Flight Opportunities Program proposals
until Dec. 31, 2014. NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist directs
the Flight Opportunities Program, which is managed at NASA's Dryden
Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif. NASA's Ames Research Center
at Moffett Field, Calif., manages the payload activities for the
program. For more information on the Flight Opportunities program, visit:


NASA Spacecraft's Data Reveal Magma Ocean Under Jupiter Moon

WASHINGTON -- New data analysis from NASA's Galileo spacecraft reveals
a subsurface ocean of molten or partially molten magma beneath the
surface of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io.

The finding heralds the first direct confirmation of this kind of
magma layer at Io and explains why the moon is the most volcanic
object known in the solar system. The research was conducted by
scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, the
University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of Michigan.
The study is published this week in the journal Science.

"Scientists are excited we finally understand where Io's magma is
coming from and have an explanation for some of the mysterious
signatures we saw in some of the Galileo's magnetic field data," said
Krishan Khurana, lead author of the study and former co-investigator
on Galileo's magnetometer team at UCLA. "It turns out Io was
continually giving off a 'sounding signal' in Jupiter's rotating
magnetic field that matched what would be expected from molten or
partially molten rocks deep beneath the surface."

Io produces about 100 times more lava each year than all the volcanoes
on Earth. While Earth's volcanoes occur in localized hotspots like
the "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Ocean, Io's volcanoes are
distributed all over its surface. A global magma ocean about 20 to 30
miles (30 to 50 kilometers) beneath Io's crust helps explain the moon's activity.

"It has been suggested that both the Earth and its moon may have had
similar magma oceans billions of years ago at the time of their
formation, but they have long since cooled," said Torrence Johnson, a
former Galileo project scientist based at NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. He was not directly involved in
the study. "Io's volcanism informs us how volcanoes work and provides
a window in time to styles of volcanic activity that may have
occurred on the Earth and moon during their earliest history."

NASA's Voyager spacecraft discovered Io's volcanoes in 1979, making
that moon the only body in the solar system other than Earth known to
have active magma volcanoes. The energy for the volcanic activity
comes from the squeezing and stretching of the moon by Jupiter's
gravity as Io orbits the largest planet in the solar system.

Galileo was launched in 1989 and began orbiting Jupiter in 1995.
Unexplained signatures appeared in magnetic field data from Galileo
flybys of Io in October 1999 and February 2000. After a successful
mission, the spacecraft intentionally was sent into Jupiter's atmosphere in 2003.

"During the final phase of the Galileo mission, models of the
interaction between Io and Jupiter's immense magnetic field, which
bathes the moon in charged particles, were not yet sophisticated
enough for us to understand what was going on in Io's interior," said
Xianzhe Jia, a co-author of the study at the University of Michigan.

Recent work in mineral physics showed that a group of rocks known as
"ultramafic" rocks become capable of carrying substantial electrical
current when melted. Ultramafic rocks are igneous in origin, or form
through the cooling of magma. On Earth, they are believed to
originate from the mantle. The finding led Khurana and colleagues to
test the hypothesis that the strange signature was produced by
current flowing in a molten or partially molten layer of this kind of rock.

Tests showed that the signatures detected by Galileo were consistent
with a rock such as lherzolite, an igneous rock rich in silicates of
magnesium and iron found in Spitzbergen, Sweden. The magma ocean
layer on Io appears to be more than 30 miles (50 kilometers) thick,
making up at least 10 percent of the moon's mantle by volume. The
blistering temperature of the magma ocean probably exceeds 2,200
degrees Fahrenheit (1,200 degrees Celsius).

The Galileo mission was managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission
Directorate in Washington. For more information about the Galileo
mission and its discoveries, visit:





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