NASA News: NASA Awards Huntsville Operations Support Center Services Contract

WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected COLSA Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., for
its Huntsville Operations Support Center (HOSC) contract. The
estimated value of the contract, including all options, is
approximately $94.6 million.

COLSA will provide engineering, operations and maintenance, system
development services and tools for the International Space Station
and other program and project mission services.

The HOSC services contract has a potential period of performance of
five years and is a small business set-aside. The contract begins
April 1, 2012, with an 18-month base period, followed by three
one-year options and one six-month option that may be exercised at
NASA's discretion. It is a cost-plus-award-fee contract.

Under the contract, COLSA will perform its services both locally and
remotely to support NASA spacecraft, payload, satellite, and
propulsion systems operations services. COLSA will furnish all
resources, including management, personnel, equipment and supplies,
unless specific exceptions are made by the government.

Other members of the COLSA team include Computer Sciences Corp. of
Lanham, Md., and QTEC Inc. of Huntsville.

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



Teachers Fly Experiments on NASA Reduced Gravity Flights

HOUSTON -- More than 70 teachers had an opportunity to experience what
it feels like to float in space as they participated in the Reduced
Gravity Education Flight Program at NASA's Johnson Space Center in
Houston last week.

The teachers flew aboard an aircraft that flies parabolic flight
paths, which create brief periods of weightlessness. It is a key
component of NASA's astronaut training protocol. The teachers were
selected for the flights through NASA's Teaching from Space and
Explorer School Programs.

NASA Associate Administrator for Education and two-time space shuttle
astronaut Leland Melvin also participated in some of the flights and
shared first-hand with the participants his experiences in astronaut training.

"The enthusiasm among our teachers participating in the reduced
gravity flights is contagious," Melvin said. "I know it will add a
new dimension to their teaching as they engage their students in
science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies."

Also participating in the flights was Mark Riccobono, executive
director of the National Federation of the Blind's Jernigan
Institute. Riccobono is blind. NASA has worked with the National
Federation of the Blind in a variety of capacities during the past 10
years to share the excitement and inspiration of the agency's
missions and programs with those who are visually impaired.

"NASA education always is looking for ways to make our offerings
available to the widest audience possible," Melvin said. "Mark
Riccobono's flight represents a new chapter in our commitment to
sharing the excitement of NASA's mission with the blind community."

The Teaching from Space Program offers educational opportunities that
use the unique assets of NASA's human spaceflight mission to engage
the education community and create space-related learning
opportunities. Teachers used the event to work with their students to
propose, design and build the experiments they took on the flights.

Fourteen teams comprising 40 teachers from NASA Explorer Schools also
participated as part of the 2011 School Recognition Award for their
contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or
STEM. They conducted microgravity experiments provided by NASA.

The Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program continues NASA's
investment in U.S. education by helping attract and retain students
in STEM disciplines critical to future space exploration.

To learn more about NASA's education activities, visit:



NASA Seeks Space Launch System Advanced Booster Risk Reduction Solutions

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.,
has issued a NASA Research Announcement for the Space Launch System
(SLS) Advanced Booster risk-reduction effort.

NASA is looking for an advanced booster concept with the goal of
reducing risk in the areas of affordability, reliability and
performance. Proposals will identify and mitigate liquid or solid
booster technical risks and provide related hardware demonstrations,
as well as identify high-risk areas associated with adaptation of
advanced booster technology to SLS.

The 130-metric-ton evolved SLS vehicle will require a booster with a
significant increase in thrust over existing U.S. liquid or solid
boosters. This new heavy-lift launch vehicle will expand human
presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of
exploration across the solar system.

"These risk-reduction efforts will set the course for the full-scale
design and development of this new advanced booster," said Chris
Crumbly, SLS Advanced Booster NRA evaluation team chair. "We're
excited to see what innovative solutions industry will provide as we
embark on this new capability -- enabling unprecedented missions
beyond low-Earth orbit."

NASA anticipates making multiple awards in response to this
solicitation, and anticipates $200 million total funding. Final
awards will be made based on the strength of proposals and
availability of funds. The deadline for submitting proposals is April
9. The anticipated period of performance for any contracts awarded as
a result of this announcement is not expected to exceed 30 months and
will have an effective date of Oct.1, 2012.

This announcement is the second part of a three-part plan that
includes risk-reduction planning prior to design, development,
testing and evaluation of the advanced boosters.

To view the announcement and instructions for submissions, visit:


For information about NASA's Space Launch System, visit:



NASA Announces Third Round Of CubeSat Space Mission Candidates

WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected 33 small satellites to fly as
auxiliary payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2013 and 2014.
The proposed CubeSats come from universities across the country, the
Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, NASA field centers and
Department of Defense organizations.

CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The
cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long, have a
volume of about one quart and weigh less than three pounds.

The selections are from the third round of the CubeSat Launch
Initiative. After launch, the satellites will conduct technology
demonstrations, educational research or science missions. The
selected spacecraft are eligible for flight after final negotiations
and an opportunity for flight becomes available. The satellites come
from the following organizations:

-- Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
-- Air Force Research Lab, Wright-Patterson AFB
-- California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
-- Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
-- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
-- Montana State University, Bozeman
-- Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. (2 CubeSats)
-- NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
-- NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
-- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in partnership with the
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (2 CubeSats)
-- NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
-- The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, Silver Spring, Md.
-- Saint Louis University, St. Louis
-- Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, Mont.
-- Space and Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala. (2 CubeSats)
-- Taylor University, Upland, Ind.
-- University of Alabama, Huntsville
-- University of California, Berkeley
-- University of Colorado, Boulder (2 CubeSats)
-- University of Hawaii, Manoa (3 CubeSats)
-- University of Illinois, Urbana (2 CubeSats)
-- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
-- University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.
-- University of Texas, Austin
-- US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
-- Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg

Thirty-two CubeSat missions have been selected for launch in the
previous two rounds of the CubeSat Launch Initiative. Eight CubeSat
missions have been launched (including five selected via the CubeSat
Launch Initiative) to date via the agency's Launch Services Program
Educational Launch of Nanosatellite, or ELaNa, program.

For additional information on NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative
program, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



NASA Reaches Higher With Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request

WASHINGTON -- NASA announced Monday a $17.7 billion budget request for
fiscal year 2013 supporting an ambitious program of space exploration
that will build on new technologies and proven capabilities to expand
America's reach into the solar system.

Despite a constrained fiscal environment, the NASA FY13 budget
continues to implement the space science and exploration program
agreed to by President Obama and a bipartisan majority in Congress,
laying the foundation for ground-breaking discoveries here on Earth
and in deep space, including new destinations, such as an asteroid
and Mars by 2035.

"This budget in-sources jobs, creates capabilities here at home -- and
strengthens our workforce, all while opening the next great chapter
in American exploration," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.
"And as we reach for new heights in space, we're creating new jobs
right here on Earth, helping to support an economy that's built to last."

The NASA budget includes $4 billion for space operations and $4
billion for exploration activities in the Human Exploration
Operations mission directorate, including close-out of the Space
Shuttle Program, and funding for the International Space Station,
$4.9 billion for science, $669 million for space technology and $552
million for aeronautics research.

"This budget puts us on course to explore farther into space than ever
before, revealing the unknown and fueling the nation's economy for
years to come," Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. "We are
committed to ensuring that our astronauts are once again launched
from U.S. soil on American-made spacecraft, and this budget provides
the funds to make this a reality."

The budget supports NASA's continued work to develop the Space Launch
System, a new heavy-lift rocket to carry astronauts to destinations
such as an asteroid and Mars, and the Orion crew capsule in which
they will travel. Included are resources for final preparation and
manufacturing milestones for Orion's 2014 Exploration Flight Test 1
and preliminary design reviews of major Space Launch System elements.

NASA has prioritized funding for its partnership with the commercial
space industry to facilitate crew and cargo transport to the station.
The $830 million for this work in the FY13 budget advances progress
towards a vibrant space industry that will create well-paying,
high-tech jobs to the U.S. economy, and reduce America's reliance on
foreign systems.

The budget also enhances use of the International Space Station to
improve life on Earth and help make the next great leaps in
scientific discovery and exploration.

NASA's science budget supports a balanced portfolio of innovative
science missions that will reach farther into our solar system,
reveal unknown aspects of our universe, and provide critical data
about our home planet. The agency will continue to develop and
conduct critical tests on the James Webb Space Telescope leading to
its planned launch in 2018. As the successor to Hubble Space
Telescope, James Webb again will revolutionize our understanding of
the universe. NASA also is developing an integrated strategy to
ensure the next steps for the robotic Mars Exploration Program will
support science as well as long-term human exploration goals.

Space Technology work supported in the budget will drive advances in
new high-payoff space technologies such as laser communications and
zero-gravity propellant transfer, seeding innovation that will expand
our capabilities in the skies and in space, supporting economic
vitality, lowering the cost of other government and commercial space
activities, and helping to create new jobs and expand opportunities
for a skilled workforce.

NASA supports its commitment to enhancing aviation safety and airspace
efficiency, and reducing the environmental impact of aviation by
helping to accelerate the nation's transition to the Next Generation
Air Transportation System through investments in revolutionary
concepts for air vehicles and air traffic management.

"The 2013 budget moves us forward into tangible implementation of a
sustainable and affordable exploration program," NASA's Chief
Financial Officer Elizabeth Robinson said.

The NASA budget and supporting information are available at:



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