NASA News: NASA Engages Public With New Custom Internet Radio Station


WASHINGTON -- NASA's mission of discovery and exploration will be
showcased in a custom-produced Internet music radio station that is
crafted specifically to speak the language of tech-savvy young adults.

Third Rock - America's Space Station is set to launch with a New
Rock/Indie/Alternative format on Monday, Dec. 12. The station is
being developed and operated at no cost to the government through a
Space Act Agreement. Third Rock can be reached from NASA's home page,
www.nasa.gov, and will soon be available through NASA iPhone and
Droid mobile applications.

"NASA constantly is looking for new and innovative ways to engage the
public and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers,"
said David Weaver, associate administrator for the Office of
Communications at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We have led the
way in innovative uses of new media and this is another example of
how the agency is taking advantage of these important communication tools."

NASA is collaborating with Houston-based RFC Media to launch the station.

"Today's 4G audience craves new music and enjoys finding it," said Pat
Fant, RFC Media co-founder and chief operating officer. "We've pulled
out the best songs and the deepest tracks from a full spectrum of
rock artists across many styles and decades. NASA features and news
items are embedded throughout the programming alongside greetings by
celebrity artists."

Third Rock also will help partner companies fill high-tech job
openings in the engineering, science and IT fields. In addition to
the NASA Web Portal, the station will be available online in the
future at the radio tab of Apple's iTunes and other sites.

"No one knows more about discovering new rock than NASA," said Cruze,
RFC Media co-founder and president. "Exciting new music is being
discovered online through specialty sites like Third Rock-America's
Space Station, where listeners will hear about great new artists way
before their friends hear of them."

To listen to Third Rock, visit:


For more information, visit:



NASA Announces Launch Date and Milestones for Spacex Flight


WASHINGTON -- NASA has announced the launch target for Space
Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) second Commercial Orbital
Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration flight will be Feb. 7,
2012. Pending completion of final safety reviews, testing and
verification, NASA also has agreed to allow SpaceX to send its Dragon
spacecraft to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS)
in a single flight.

"SpaceX has made incredible progress over the last several months
preparing Dragon for its mission to the space station," said William
Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for the Human
Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. "We look forward to a
successful mission, which will open up a new era in commercial cargo
delivery for this international orbiting laboratory."

Gerstenmaier said, "There is still a significant amount of critical
work to be completed before launch, but the teams have a sound plan
to complete it and are prepared for unexpected challenges. As with
all launches, we will adjust the launch date as needed to gain
sufficient understanding of test and analysis results to ensure
safety and mission success."

During the flight, Dragon will conduct a series of check-out
procedures that will test and prove its systems in advance of the
rendezvous with the station. The primary objectives for the flight
include a fly-by of the space station at a distance of approximately
two miles to validate the operation of sensors and flight systems
necessary for a safe rendezvous and approach. The spacecraft also
will demonstrate the capability to abort the rendezvous, if required.

Dragon will perform the final approach to the ISS while the station
crew grapples the vehicle with the station's robotic arm. The capsule
will be berthed to the Earth-facing side of the Harmony node. At the
end of the mission, the crew will reverse the process, detaching
Dragon from the station for its return to Earth and splashdown in the
Pacific off the coast of California. If the rendezvous and attachment
to the station are not successful, SpaceX will complete a third
demonstration flight in order to achieve these objectives as
originally planned.

"SpaceX is on the forefront of demonstrating how a partnership between
the government and private industry can lead to new capabilities and
provide a large return on investment," said Alan Lindenmoyer, program
manager for COTS at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"SpaceX is excited to be the first commercial company in history to
berth with the International Space Station. This mission will mark a
historic milestone in the future of spaceflight," said SpaceX
President Gwynne Shotwell. "We appreciate NASA's continued support
and their partnership in this process."

Begun in 2006, NASA's COTS program is investing financial and
technical resources to stimulate efforts within the private sector to
develop and demonstrate safe, reliable and cost-effective space
transportation capabilities. In a multiphase strategy, the program is
spurring the innovation and development of new spacecraft and launch
vehicles from commercial industry, creating a new system of
delivering cargo to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

Through Space Act Agreements, SpaceX will receive up to $396 million
and Orbital Sciences Corporation, NASA's other COTS partner, will
receive up to $288 million for the successful completion of all
milestones in the agreements. To date, SpaceX has received $376
million for completing 36 out of 40 milestones and Orbital has
received $261.5 million for completing 23 out of 29 milestones.

For more information on COTS, visit:


For more information on the International Space Station, visit:


For more information on SpaceX or the Dragon spacecraft, visit:



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