NASA News - NASA Announces 2012 Summer Of Innovation Project

WASHINGTON -- NASA's third annual Summer of Innovation (SOI) project
is underway. The project is providing hands-on learning opportunities
for middle school students and educators through NASA-unique science,
technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational activities
during the summer school break. SOI is a key component of the
agency's broader education program to increase student interest in
STEM courses, particularly among those in underserved sectors of the
academic community.

SOI uses NASA's out-of-this-world missions and technology programs to
boost interest in STEM among middle school students by offering
interactive learning experiences. This year, a major portion of the
SOI content focus will be on Curiosity, a NASA flagship science
mission currently en route to Mars and scheduled to land Aug. 6.

"NASA always has been fortunate when it comes to offering interesting
STEM education content; our missions are compelling and inspiring,"
said Leland Melvin, associate administrator for NASA Office of
Education. "Because Curiosity will reach the Red Planet during SOI
2012, it provides a timely and relevant context for teaching students
about planetary science, engineering and technology. Students will
get to see much of what they learned unfold as the rover makes its
final rendezvous with Mars."

SOI 2012 is multi-faceted and features a variety of engagement
activities offered by NASA's 10 centers located across the country.
SOS 2012 also will continue several STEM summer programs developed by
NASA's national SOI partners during 2010 and 2011.

SOI includes a competitive "mini-grant" component to assist small
education and outreach organizations in providing NASA-themed STEM
content to middle school students or teachers through existing summer
or afterschool programs. NASA plans to announce the mini-grants
proposal process and due dates within the coming weeks.

A revamped SOI website will include new products and tools for
students and educators to access virtually NASA's educational
offerings and resources. It will feature tools to download learning
and activity plans and access to current SOI NASA center
opportunities, highlights of the 2012 program and SOI contact information.

Another exciting new web feature is a collection of SOI virtual
activity plans called "mini-camps." These eight self-contained STEM
learning modules offer one-day, two-day and weeklong programs in
fields such as rocketry, aeronautics and robotics that easily can be
tailored to a variety of audiences.

SOI debuted in 2010 as a three-year pilot program to respond to
President Obama's Educate to Innovate campaign. Since its inception,
NASA has reached more than 45,000 students; had a presence in 46
states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico; and provided
professional development opportunities for approximately 5,500 educators.

For more information about the SOI project, visit:


For more information about NASA's broader education program, visit:



NASA's Commercial Crew Partner Boeing Completes Parachute Test

WASHINGTON -- The Boeing Company successfully completed the second
parachute drop test for its Crew Space Transportation (CST)
spacecraft Wednesday, part of its effort to develop commercial crew
transportation capabilities that could ferry U.S. astronauts to and
from low-Earth orbit (LEO) and the International Space Station.

A helicopter lifted the CST-100 crew capsule to about 14,000 feet
above the Delmar Dry Lake Bed near Alamo, Nev. A drogue parachute
deployment sequence was initiated, followed by deployment of the main
parachute. The capsule descended to a smooth ground landing,
cushioned by six inflated air bags. The test demonstrated the
performance of the entire landing system.

"Boeing's parachute demonstrations are a clear sign NASA is moving in
the right direction of enabling the American aerospace transportation
industry to flourish under this partnership," NASA's Commercial Crew
Program Manager Ed Mango said. "The investments we're making now are
enabling this new path forward of getting our crews to LEO and
potentially the space station as soon as possible."

Boeing's CST system is designed to be a reusable, capsule-shaped
spacecraft capable of taking up to seven people, or a combination of
people and cargo, to and from low-Earth orbit, including the space
station. HDT Airborne Systems of Solon, Ohio, designed, fabricated
and integrated the parachute system, including the two drogue
parachutes. ILC Dover of Frederica, Del., designed and fabricated the
landing air bag system.

The first test, on April 3, validated the architecture and deployment
of the parachute system, characterized pyrotechnic shock loads,
confirmed parachute size and design, and identified potential forward
compartment packaging and deployment issues. The company inspected
and re-packed the full parachute system for this second test.

"This second parachute drop test validates Boeing's innovative system
architecture and deployment plan," said John Mulholland, vice
president and program manager of Boeing Commercial Programs.
"Boeing's completion of this milestone reaffirms our commitment to
provide safe, reliable and affordable crewed access to space."

The company has scheduled additional tests to be performed in 2012
that will provide more data on elements of the spacecraft's design.
Boeing's spacecraft was designed to be compatible with a variety of
expendable launch vehicles. The company selected United Launch
Alliance's Atlas V rocket for initial CST-100 test flights.

All of NASA's industry partners, including Boeing, continue to meet
their established milestones in developing commercial crew
transportation capabilities.

For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program, visit:



◄ Share this news!

Bookmark and Share


The Manhattan Reporter

Recently Added

Recently Commented