NASA News: NASA Congratulates Winners of YouTube Space Lab Contest

WASHINGTON -- NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver issued the
following statement Thursday, March 22, about the announcement of the
YouTube Space Lab contest winners:

"I want to congratulate the winners of the YouTube Space Lab contest
for their outstanding proposals. I am especially proud of the two
winners from the United States, Dorothy Chen and Sara Ma, and look
forward to seeing the results of their experiments after they are
flown and conducted on the International Space Station during
Expedition 32 and 33 this summer. Earlier today, I had a chance to
speak with Dorothy and Sara to thank them for their hard work, and
salute them on behalf of NASA.

"As a national laboratory, our goal is to open up the space station to
new paths for the exploration, discovery and economic development of
space. Educating and inspiring the next generation of space explorers
and scientists are among the most important things NASA can do, and
these students are getting the opportunity of a lifetime. A contest
like this taps into the passion of so many people who get involved,
from the just over 2,000 students who submitted proposals to everyone
who voted for them, and we want to encourage that passion and engagement."

For information about the contest and to see the proposals from the 60
finalists, visit:



NASA Awards Protective Services Contract for Headquarters

WASHINGTON -- NASA has awarded a contract to Security Support
Services, LLC, in Henderson, Nev., to support the Office of Security
at the agency's Headquarters in Washington.

The firm fixed-price core, indefinite-delivery/
component contract has a period of performance of five years. This
includes a one-year base period and four one-year-option periods,
with a potential value of approximately $26 million.

Security Support Services, LLC, will provide protective services
consisting of: operating and maintaining on-site uniformed protective
forces; locksmith services; security systems administration, support
and services; and administrative and technical support to assist
security office staff. The company also will be responsible for
acquiring, installing, maintaining and repairing items related to the
Headquarters integrated security system. This system includes
electronic access control, video surveillance and alarm monitoring.

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



NASA'S Cassini Mission Receives Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Highest Honor

WASHINGTON -- The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum has
bestowed its highest group honor, the Trophy for Current Achievement,
on NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn. The annual award recognizes
outstanding achievements in the fields of aerospace science and technology.

The trophy was presented Wednesday during an evening ceremony at the
museum in Washington. Established in 1985, the award has been
presented to seven NASA planetary mission teams.

"This joint mission has produced an unprecedented science return,"
said William Knopf, Cassini program executive at NASA Headquarters in
Washington. "Missions like Cassini pave the way for future robotic
and human exploration throughout our solar system and beyond."

Launched in 1997, the Cassini spacecraft entered Saturn's orbit in
June 2004 with the European Space Agency's (ESA) Huygens probe bolted
to its side. In December 2004, the spacecraft successfully released
Huygens, which entered the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon Titan.
Cassini completed its prime mission in 2008 and has been extended
twice. It is now in its so-called solstice mission, which will enable
scientists to observe seasonal changes in Saturn and its moons during
the planet's northern summer solstice. The mission will last through
September 2017.

"We look forward to sailing around the Saturn system for several more
years to see how our views of the planet and its magnificent moons
change as we get into northern summer solstice," said Robert
Mitchell, the Cassini program manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., who accepted the award on
behalf of the team.

The Cassini spacecraft carries 12 science instruments and
investigations, with an additional six aboard Huygens. Cassini
mission highlights to date include the discovery of four new moons
and two new rings around Saturn. Cassini observed spraying water
vapor and icy particle jets from the moon Enceladus. In Saturn's
northern hemisphere, the spacecraft watched the evolution of a
monster storm, a sign of seasonal change from northern winter into
northern spring.

Cassini and Huygens also revealed new characteristics about Titan, the
only body in the solar system other than Earth with stable liquid on
its surface.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA and
the Italian Space Agency. JPL manages the mission for NASA's Science
Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two
onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL.

For more information about the mission, visit:


Images of the award and a Cassini historical video are available at:


For a full listing of previous awardees, visit:



NASA Awards Architecture And Engineering Services Contracts

HOUSTON -- NASA has selected four Texas companies to perform
architecture and engineering services at NASA's Johnson Space Center
in Houston. This will include work at Ellington Field, the Sonny
Carter Training Facility and the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.

The four contractors selected are HDR Architecture of Dallas and three
Houston-based companies: PDG Architects; Reynolds, Smith and Hills,
Inc.; and URS Group, Inc.

These firm-fixed-price contracts have a period of performance of five
years from the effective date of the contract, with no options. The
cumulative maximum indefinite-delivery/
indefinite-quantity value of the contracts is $49 million.

The services required will include feasibility studies; conceptual
designs; preliminary engineering reports; budget estimates; and
designs for alterations, new construction, repair and refurbishment
projects. Selectees also will serve as the owner's representative
during pre-solicitation activities by issuing a certificate of
occupancy for design-build construction projects.

For information about NASA and other agency programs, visit:



NASA'S Grail MoonKam Returns First Student-Selected Lunar Images

WASHINGTON -- One of two NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed
back the first student-requested pictures of the lunar surface from
its onboard camera. Fourth grade students from the Emily Dickinson
Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont., received the honor of making the
first image selections by winning a nationwide competition to rename
the two spacecraft.

The image was taken by the MoonKam, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by
Middle school students. Previously named Gravity Recovery And
Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) A and B, the twin spacecraft are now
called Ebb and Flow. Both washing-machine-sized orbiters carry a
small MoonKAM camera. Over 60 student-requested images were taken
aboard the Ebb spacecraft from March 15-17 and downlinked to Earth on
March 20.

"MoonKAM is based on the premise that if your average picture is worth
a thousand words, then a picture from lunar orbit may be worth a
classroom full of engineering and science degrees," said Maria Zuber,
GRAIL mission principal investigator from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. "Through MoonKAM, we have an
opportunity to reach out to the next generation of scientists and
engineers. It is great to see things off to such a positive start."

GRAIL is NASA's first planetary mission to carry instruments fully
dedicated to education and public outreach. Students will select
target areas on the lunar surface and request images to study from
the GRAIL MoonKAM Mission Operations Center in San Diego.

The MoonKAM program is led by Sally Ride, America's first woman in
space, and her team at Sally Ride Science in collaboration with
undergraduate students at the University of California in San Diego.
More than 2,700 schools spanning 52 countries are using the MoonKAM

"What might seem like just a cool activity for these kids may very
well have a profound impact on their futures," Ride said. "The
students really are excited about MoonKAM, and that translates into
an excitement about science and engineering."

Launched in September 2011, Ebb and Flow will answer longstanding
questions about the moon and give scientists a better understanding
of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the
GRAIL mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
GRAIL is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA's Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems
in Denver built the spacecraft.

To view the student-requested images, visit:


For more information about MoonKAM, visit:


For more information about GRAIL, visit:



NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Symposium March 27-29

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Symposium
will be held March 27-29 at the Westin Pasadena Hotel, 191 North Los
Robles Ave., in Pasadena, Calif. The NIAC examines early stage
concepts that may lead to advanced and innovative space technologies
critical for NASA to enable missions 10 to 100 years from today.

Panel topics during the symposium include space debris elimination,
fission fragment rocket engine propelled spacecraft, and the
potential for ambient plasma wave propulsion systems.

NIAC is part of NASA's Space Technology Program, which develops
technologies that enable future NASA missions. NIAC awardees come
from academia, the private sector and government research labs.

To attend the conference, reporters must register online, listing
their media outlet under "affiliation," at:


Journalists seeking interviews with NASA or other conference
participants should contact Priscilla Vega at 818-354-1357 or

To view the complete conference agenda, visit:


For more information about NASA's NIAC program, visit:



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