NASA News: NASA Administrator Discusses Agency's Future Endeavors

WASHINGTON -- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden delivered a speech
Friday about the agency's future. Below are excerpts from his speech
at the National Press Club in Washington.

"Some say that our final shuttle mission will mark the end of
America's 50 years of dominance in human spaceflight; as a former
astronaut and the current NASA administrator, I'm here to tell you
that American leadership in space will continue for at least the next
half-century because we have laid the foundation for success - and
failure is not an option."

"President Obama has given us a Mission with a capital "M" -- to focus
again on the big picture of exploration and the crucial research and
development that will be required for us to move beyond low Earth
orbit. He's charged us with carrying out the inspiring missions only
NASA can do that will take us farther than we've ever been. To orbit
Mars and eventually land on it. He's asked us to start planning a
mission to an asteroid."

"The president is asking us to harness that American spirit of
innovation, the drive to solve problems and create capabilities that
is so embedded in our story and has led us to the moon, to great
observatories, and to humans living and working in space, possibly
indefinitely. That American ingenuity is alive and well, and it will
fire up our economy and help us create and win the future now."

"So when I hear people say -- or listen to media reports -- that the
final Shuttle flight marks the end of U.S. human spaceflight, I have
to say . . . these folks must be living on another planet."

"We are not ending human space flight, we are recommitting ourselves
to it and taking the necessary -- and difficult -- steps today to
ensure America's pre-eminence in human spaceflight for years to come."

"We have to get out of the business of owning and operating low-Earth
orbit transportation systems and hand that off to the private sector,
with sufficient oversight to ensure the safety of our astronauts.
American companies and their spacecraft should send our astronauts to
the ISS, rather than continuing to outsource this work to foreign governments."

"Our destinations for humans beyond Earth remain ambitious. They
include: the moon, asteroids, and Mars. The debate is not if we will
explore, but how we'll do it."

"The International Space Station is the centerpiece of our human space
flight for the coming decade. Every research investigation and all of
the systems that keep the ISS operational help us figure out how to
explore farther from our planet and improve life here."

"I made a decision to base the new multi-purpose crew vehicle, or MPCV
- our deep space crew module -- on the original work we've done on
the Orion capsule. We're nearing a decision on the heavy lift rocket,
the Space Launch System, or SLS, and will announce that soon."

"Our partners in the Commercial Orbital Transportation Service
program, SpaceX and Orbital, continue to meet milestones. The new
participants in the second round of our Commercial Crew Development
Program have just met their first set of milestones required by NASA."

"In addition to this space flight progress, we have a huge number of
amazing science missions coming up. We'll advance aeronautics
research to create a safer, more environmentally friendly and
efficient air travel network."

"NASA is moving the ball down the field, because the status quo is no
longer what we need. President Obama has outlined an urgent national
need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our competitors and
create new capabilities that will take us farther into the solar
system and help us learn even more about our place in it. NASA is
ready for this grand challenge."

Administrator Bolden's entire speech is available at:


For more information about NASA's future endeavors, visit:



NASA Invites Public To Tedxnasa@Siliconvalley 2011

WASHINGTON -- NASA is inviting reporters and the public to join agency
leaders, technologists and innovators from a variety of fields at
TEDxNASA@SiliconValley 2011 on Aug. 17. The event will be held at the
Marriott Marquis hotel in San Francisco from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. PDT.
The event is in the spirit of the TED (Technology, Entertainment and
Design) conferences that bring together leading thinkers to create a
dialogue about important global challenges.

Speakers include an aeronautics researcher developing a silent,
carbonless airplane; a tree geneticist cloning the world's largest
trees; a fish-loving researcher creating the next biofuel from a
salt-loving succulent; a computer that beats Jeopardy! Champions; and
a Tony-winning street theater company. Each presentation on the theme
"Extreme Green" will last 18 minutes or less.

"NASA is synonymous with taking big dreams and making them happen,"
said Pete Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett
Field, Calif. "TEDxNASA allows us to further explore the power of
ideas and the potential to change life here on Earth."

The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is
required. Registration opens Friday, July 1, and seating is limited.
Reporters interested in attending should contact Jessica Culler at
jessica.culler@nasa.gov by Aug. 12. If unable to attend in person,
the conference will be streamed live on the TEDxNASA website. For the
stream and to register, visit.


Esther Dyson, chair of the NASA Advisory Council's Technology and
Innovation Committee, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the
event. "I'm excited to be part of this fertile combination of NASA
and TEDx format," Dyson said. "Both are dedicated to far-out,
long-term thinking, and both understand the promise of hybrid vigor."

NASA's four research centers, Ames; Dryden Flight Research Center in
Edwards, Calif.; Glenn Research Center in Cleveland; Langley Research
Center and the National Institute of Aerospace, both in Hampton Va.,
are co-hosts of the event.

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people
together to share an experience. These events are branded TEDx, where
"x" means an independently organized TED event. TED is a non-profit
organization founded in 1984. TED presentations are available for free at:


For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



University Of Wisconsin Students Win Space Habitat Competition

HOUSTON -- University of Wisconsin students topped two other
university teams to win the 2011 NASA eXploration Habitat (X-Hab)
Academic Innovation Challenge, a competition to design and build a
space habitat. The team will now take its inflatable space loft to
NASA's annual Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS)
field test in Arizona in September. It will be tested as part of a
simulated astronaut mission to an asteroid.

"University students are helping NASA develop potential habitats for
future space missions," said Kriss Kennedy, habitat demonstration
unit project manager at Johnson. "The teams collaborated to
demonstrate how technology we might use in the future could actually
be developed."

The tree teams totaling 135 students each spent a week this month at
NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston setting up and deploying their
inflatable lofts for judging. Teams from Oklahoma State University,
Stillwater, and the University of Maryland, College Park also competed.

"This is a great example of how NASA can obtain innovative system
concepts from universities," said Doug Craig, strategic analysis
manager for analog systems at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "These
technology concepts are a valuable part of our human space
exploration planning activities."

According to the judges, the 14-member University of Wisconsin team's
design held promise for habitability and application to the Desert
RATS mission simulation and was ready for field use because it had
little leakage in the inflatable systems. The loft will be part of
the home for a crew of four during the field test.

In June 2010, NASA invited university teams to submit inflatable loft
concepts for the X-Hab Challenge. The three competing universities
received $48,000 of seed funding to assist with their projects. The
winning university will receive $10,000 to offset costs associated
with the desert field test.

Next year's competition, X-Hab 2012, will look at volume, geometry and
habitability of a deep space habitat and technologies for plant
growth and geo-science sample handling. The competition is designed
to engage and retain students in the science, technology, engineering
and math disciplines, which in turn will help develop the next
generation of innovators and explorers. It also tests concepts and
solutions for potential future NASA missions.

X-Hab is sponsored by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate
and the Innovative Partnerships Office in the Office of the Chief
Technologist at NASA headquarters in Washington. For more information
about the X-Hab competition and updates about each team's designs, visit:



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