NASA News: Space Agencies Meet To Discuss A Global Exploration Roadmap

WASHINGTON -- Senior managers representing 10 space agencies from
around the world met in Kyoto, Japan today to advance the Global
Exploration Roadmap for coordinated space exploration.

During the past year, the International Space Exploration Coordination
Group (ISECG) has developed a long-range human exploration strategy.
It begins with the International Space Station and expands human
presence throughout the solar system, leading ultimately to human
missions to explore the surface of Mars. The roadmap flows from this
strategy and identifies two potential pathways: "Asteroid Next" and
"Moon Next."

Each pathway represents a mission scenario over a 25-year period
describing a logical sequence of robotic and human missions. Both
pathways were deemed practical approaches addressing common
high-level exploration goals developed by the participating agencies,
recognizing that individual preferences among participating space
agencies may vary regarding these pathways.

The first iteration of the roadmap will inform and focus the planning
currently underway in each of the partner agencies in the areas of
planetary robotic exploration, advanced technology development and
use of the space station in preparation for exploration. It was
agreed that during the next few weeks, this initial version of the
Global Exploration Roadmap would be finalized and released to the public.

Yoshiyuki Hasagawa of Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency, in his
capacity as chairman of the International Space Exploration
Coordination Group said, "We are very happy with the progress of the
Global Exploration Roadmap to technically coordinate both near and
long term space exploration planning, with world space agencies."

During the meeting, the senior agency managers also reaffirmed the
role of the ISECG to facilitate the ability of space agencies to take
concrete steps toward partnerships that reflect a globally
coordinated exploration effort.

"NASA is confident that the release of this product, and subsequent
refinements as circumstances within each space agency evolve, will
facilitate the ability of space agencies to form the partnerships
that will ensure robust and sustainable human exploration," said
NASA's Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations
and outgoing ISECG chair William Gerstenmaier.

The ISECG was established as a voluntary, non-binding international
coordination forum, where the partner agencies that contributed to
the Global Exploration Strategy (GES) can exchange information
regarding interests, plans, and activities in space exploration.

The GES set forth a shared vision for concerted human and robotic
space exploration missions focused on solar system destinations where
humans may one day live and work. Another stated goal is to encourage
the partners to work together on strengthening both individual
exploration programs and collective efforts.

The development of the Global Exploration Roadmap is the second step
toward achieving this goal, following the development of the ISECG
Reference Architecture for Human Lunar Exploration.

The countries participating in the meeting included in alphabetical
order: Canada, Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Republic of
Korea, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States.

For more information about NASA and human exploration visit:



NASA Chief Technologist Bobby Braun Statement About NRC Interim Report On NASA's Draft Space Technology Roadmaps

WASHINGTON -- NASA Chief Technologist Bobby Braun issued the following
statement about the National Research Council's (NRC) Interim Report
on NASA's Draft Space Technology Roadmaps:

"NASA commends and thanks the NRC and its Committee members on their
Interim Report on NASA's Draft Space Technology Roadmaps. It is a
comprehensive interim report with important observations and
analyses. A few of the report's broad observations are particularly

-- Success in executing future NASA space missions will depend on
advanced technology developments that should already be underway.
-- NASA's technology base is largely depleted.
-- Currently, available technology is insufficient to accomplish many
intended space missions in Earth orbit and to the moon, Mars, and
-- Future U.S. leadership in space requires a foundation of sustained
technology advances.

While we are still reviewing the details of the interim report, NASA
generally agrees with its observations and awaits the final report,
expected in January 2012. NASA appreciates the completion of the
interim report and is pleased that the committee will conclude its
work in time for NASA to use the NRC findings as guidance for its FY
2012 space technology investment decisions."

To review a copy of the report, visit:



NASA Announces Media Teleconference About Opportunity Rover

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA will host a media teleconference on Thursday,
Sept. 1, at 12:30 p.m. PDT to discuss progress of NASA's Mars
Exploration Rover Opportunity. Opportunity reached the Martian
Endeavour crater earlier this month after years of driving.

The teleconference participants are:

-- Dave Lavery, program executive, Mars Exploration Rovers, NASA
Headquarters, Washington
-- Steve Squyres, principal investigator, Mars Exploration Rovers,
Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
-- Ray Arvidson, deputy principal investigator, Mars Exploration
Rovers, Washington University in St. Louis.
-- John Callas, project manager, Mars Exploration Rovers, Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif.

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact the JPL
Media Relations Office at 818-354-5011 not later than 11 a.m. on
Thursday for the call-in number and passcode.

Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, completed their three-month prime
missions on Mars in April 2004. They continued to work for years in
bonus mission extensions. Spirit finished communicating in 2010,
after six years of operation.

Opportunity, still very active, reached the rim of Endeavour crater on
Aug. 9. The arrival gives the rover access to geology different from
any it explored during its first 90 months on Mars.

For live audio streaming of the teleconference, visit:


More information about the twin rovers, visit:



NASA Names Astrophysics Fellowship For Iconic Woman Astronomer

WASHINGTON -- NASA has established an astrophysics technology
fellowship named for the woman many credit as one of the key
contributors in the creation of the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics is
designed to foster technologies that advance scientific
investigations in the origin and physics of the universe and future
exoplanet exploration. The fellowship will help early career
researchers develop innovative technologies to enable scientific
breakthroughs, while creating the skills necessary to lead
astrophysics projects and future investigations.

It also will foster and support early-career instrument builders on
the path to long-term positions.

"The Roman fellowship is an important opportunity to infuse new ideas
and technologies into frontier research areas as diverse as dark
energy, black holes and life elsewhere in the universe," said Jon
Morse, astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters in
Washington. "This will be the most substantial fellowship at five
years, compared to others that typically run two to three years."

Beginning Nov. 18, early-career researchers may submit proposals for
one-year concept studies for the development of new astrophysics
technologies. Following a NASA review of the proposals, three to six
applicants will be chosen for one-year fellowships to develop their
concepts. Based on peer-review of the reports from the one-year
studies, NASA will then select the fellows to implement the proposed
technologies for up to four additional years.

The first selection of fellows will be announced during February 2012.
Finalists selected in early 2013 to execute their projects over four
years will receive up to $1 million in funding.

The fellowship's namesake is a distinguished American astronomer. Her
celebrated career included multiple scientific and technical
achievements at NASA and her important contributions to the design of
the Hubble Space Telescope.

"The exciting results from the Hubble, other satellites and probes
would not have been possible without innovative solutions to many
technical problems, Roman said."Just as the lunar landings inspired
many young people to consider careers in space and related fields,
the solution of the challenging instrumentation problems presented in
space science can inspire young people to push beyond the current
state of the art."

Born in Nashville, Tenn. in 1925, Roman studied science and earned her
doctorate in astronomy from the University of Chicago in 1949. She
became NASA's first chief of astronomy in 1959. As part of her new
job, Roman travelled around the country, trying to understand what
astronomers really wanted.

Roman set up a committee of astronomers and NASA engineers that
eventually led to a detailed design for the Hubble. The telescope was
launched April 24, 1990, aboard space shuttle's Discovery's STS-31
mission. Hubble's subsequent discoveries revolutionized nearly all
areas of astronomical research from planetary science to cosmology.

Since retiring from NASA in 1979, Roman spends much of her time
consulting, teaching and lecturing across the country in addition to
being a passionate advocate for science.

The new technologies enabled by the fellowship will complement the
innovative science at the core of NASA's other three astrophysics
fellowships: the Sagan Fellowship created in 2009, focusing on
exoplanet exploration; the Hubble Fellowship created in 1990,
supporting research into cosmic origins; and the Einstein Fellowship
created in 2009, enabling investigations on the physics of the cosmos.

NASA's Astrophysics Division mission seeks to understand the universe
and our place in it. Missions investigate the very moment of creation
of the universe; learn the full history of stars and galaxies;
discover how planetary systems form and how environments hospitable
for life develop; and search for the signature of life on other worlds.

For information about applying to the fellowship, visit:


For more information about NASA's astrophysics fellowships, visit:


For more information about NASA astrophysics programs, visit:



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