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HEOMD Internal Reorganization Completed

By Keith Cowing on September 19, 2020 3:04 PM.

NASA human spaceflight directorate completes reorganization, SpaceNews

"The NASA directorate responsible for human spaceflight efforts has completed a long-anticipated internal reorganization intended to better align activities ranging from the International Space Station to Artemis. At a Sept. 16 Washington Space Business Roundtable webinar, Kathy Lueders, who took over as NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations three months ago, said that NASA Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk formally approved a reorganization of her mission directorate the previous day."

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Two Decade NASA CIO Struggle To Implement Effective IT Governance

By Keith Cowing on September 18, 2020 11:45 AM.

Hearing link, Hearing on Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Information Technology Management, Policies, and Practices at NASA

Prepared statements

- Rep. Kendra Horn
- Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
- Rep. Brian Babin
- Jeff Seaton, Chief Information Officer (Acting) National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Diana L. Burley, Vice Provost for Research, American University

- Paul K. Martin, Inspector General, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

"Our concerns with NASA's IT governance and security are long-standing and reoccurring. For more than two decades, NASA's OCIO has struggled to implement an effective IT governance structure that aligns authority and responsibility commensurate with the Agency's overall mission. Specifically, we have found that the Agency Chief Information Officer (CIO) and IT security officials have limited oversight and influence over IT purchases and security decisions within Mission Directorates and at NASA Centers. The decentralized nature of NASA's operations coupled with its long-standing culture of autonomy hinder the OCIO's ability to implement effective enterprise-wide IT governance. For example, in an August 2020 audit we found OCIO's visibility into the process Centers use to authorize and approve IT systems and devices to access Agency networks remains limited.4 Although the NASA CIO is responsible for developing an Agency-wide information security program, OCIO relies on Center-based CIOs and IT security staff to implement and enforce the Agency's information security policies. This practice has allowed Centers to tailor processes to meet their own priorities, which has in turn led to inconsistent implementation of NASA's enterprise-wide IT security management. Such a decentralized approach to cybersecurity management limits OCIO's ability to effectively oversee NASA's information security activities and make informed decisions related to project timelines, costs, and efficiencies as well as realistically assess the overall security of NASA's numerous IT systems."

- Earlier posts on NASA IT

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The Path To Mars Flies Over Your House

By Keith Cowing on September 18, 2020 1:28 AM.

Keith's note: After 20 years of continuous human occupation, the full potential of the ISS has yet to be tapped. To borrow a phrase from Star Trek - which was borrowed from Shakespeare - the ISS is the 'undiscovered country'. With all the talk about how we'd conduct a human mission to Mars, we have a Mars transit spacecraft analog flying over our homes every day just waiting to be used to its fullest extent. Seeing the ISS passing by Mars in this image should be a reminder of the amazing potential of this expeditionary base camp in Low Earth Orbit. Let's use it - before we lose it.

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Did Russia Claim Venus? Too Bad They Can't Afford To Visit It Any More

By Keith Cowing on September 17, 2020 9:19 PM.

Hell Is in Space and It Belongs to Russia, Roscosmos Chief Says, Gizmmodo

"Our country was the first and only one to successfully land on Venus," Rogozin told attendees at the 2020 HeliRussia exhibition, according to Russia's state-run TASS news agency. "The [Russian] spacecraft gathered information about the planet -- it is like hell over there." "We believe that Venus is a Russian planet," Rogozin added. "Both agencies have historically struggled with funding. ... The Russian government has slashed funding for Roscosmos repeatedly in recent years, even as it's facing pressure from competitors like SpaceX who offer cheaper, reusable rockets. Rogozin has offered a lot of bluster about Roscosmos' capabilities despite the cuts, but this week he admitted that insufficient funding was taking a toll. "I don't quite understand how to work in these conditions," Rogozin said. "We are seeing that leading foreign space agencies are increasing their budgets." Going to hell just isn't as easy as it used to be."

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Virtual ISS R&D Conference Draws Another Record Audience

By Keith Cowing on September 17, 2020 4:19 PM.

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ISS Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) Continues

By Keith Cowing on September 17, 2020 1:43 PM.

Day 2 of ISSRDC Online Series to Feature Space Investment, Commercialization, and NASA-driven Programs

"Day 2 of the 9th annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC) will take place virtually this Thursday, September 17, bringing together researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, investors, and the general public to showcase the benefits of conducting research and technology development onboard our nation's industrial incubator in low Earth orbit (LEO). Each year, ISSRDC is hosted by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), NASA, and the American Astronautical Society. The day will kick off with a session focused on space-based research that is leading to commercial product applications. Multiple plenary sessions will be dedicated to NASA-driven initiatives like GeneLab and the Cold Atom Lab. Additionally, a session focused on trends within the investment community will be led by executive leadership within Nasdaq."

The conference will also air on NASA TV

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ISS Commercialization Is Here: Reality Shows and Perfume Ads

By Keith Cowing on September 17, 2020 1:22 PM.

Space Travel Reality Show Set To Send Contestant To ISS In Works From Space Hero Company & Propagate, Deadline

"The trip of the Space Hero winner will be on a SpaceX Dragon rocket. Space Hero, billed as the first space media company, is working with Axiom Space, manufacturer of the world's first privately funded commercial space station -- a module for the ISS where the private astronauts can stay -- and full-service human spaceflight mission provider. Led by Mike Suffredini who served as NASA's International Space Station program manager for 10 years, Axiom handles all aspects of the Space Hero private astronaut mission, from brokering the trip to the ISS -- currently earmarked for early 2023 -- and securing the rocket seat to training the aspiring astronauts and insurance coverage."

NASA astronauts have a new task: make videos of Estee Lauder products, CNN

"The International Space Station has served as the world's most unique laboratory for two decades, hosting hundreds of scientific experiments, crews of astronauts and even the occasional slime. But now, NASA, one of the space station's primary operators, is preparing to oversee the largest push of business activity aboard the ISS. Later this month, up to 10 bottles of a new Estée Lauder (EL) skincare serum will arrive at the space station, a NASA spokesperson told CNN Business. NASA astronauts are expected to film the items in the microgravity environment of the ISS and the company will be able to use that footage in ad campaigns or other promotional material."

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Civilian Space Agency NASA Wants To Collaborate With Military Space Force

By Keith Cowing on September 17, 2020 12:41 PM.

Keith's note: So ... civilian space agency NASA is now looking at "areas of collaboration" with military space agency Space Force, according to Jim Bridenstine. I thought the whole point of having a civilian space agency was to have a civilian space agency - not a partner of a military space agency. Curiously, Jim Bridenstine was talking about the purposeful creation of a civilian space agency just yesterday.

Slippery Slope.

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Where Will Artemis III Land?

By Keith Cowing on September 16, 2020 8:38 PM.

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Space Weather Bill Passed By The House

By Keith Cowing on September 16, 2020 5:54 PM.

House Science Bills on Space Weather and Election Technology Pass the House

"S.881, the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to Improve the Forecasting of Tomorrow Act, more commonly referred to as the PROSWIFT Act, improves our ability to monitor and forecast space weather. Space weather is generated by magnetic activity on the Sun and can affect technologies on Earth ranging from cell phone communications to GPS navigation to the electric grid. The bill includes an amendment by Lucas to create a pilot program that will ensure that emerging private sector companies have a seat at the table and will be able to provide monitoring and forecast data which the federal government can purchase and utilize in space weather forecasts."

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OIG: NASA Planetary Science Is Doing Fine But Problems Lie Ahead

By Keith Cowing on September 16, 2020 11:13 AM.

NASA OIG: NASA's Planetary Science Portfolio

"While PSD and the Centers are focused on meeting current mission needs, they are at risk of neglecting investments that would help ensure long-term maintenance of NASA's unique planetary science infrastructure. These include (1) sustaining technical capabilities to support future mission needs; (2) a workforce facing increasing risk from an impending wave of retirements that is exacerbated by the lack of sufficient workforce data for management to make informed decisions, challenges associated with transfer of knowledge, and limited awareness of hiring authority best practices; (3) a lack of adequate funding to repair, maintain, and modernize the Deep Space Network, which provides tracking, telemetry, and command services for deep space missions; and (4) funding mid-level technology development. Moreover, the lack of a cohesive "One NASA" approach by stakeholders, including Center management, Mission Directorate management, and NASA's technical workforce, is hindering the Agency's ability to identify, prioritize, and address longer-term risks to planetary science infrastructure."

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Breakthrough Initiatives Wants To Go To Venus

By Keith Cowing on September 15, 2020 9:56 AM.

Breakthrough Initiatives to Fund Study into Search for Primitive Life in the Clouds of Venus

"Breakthrough Initiatives, the privately-funded space science programs founded by science and technology investor and philanthropist Yuri Milner, are funding a research study into the possibility of primitive life in the clouds of Venus. The study is inspired by the discovery, announced yesterday, of the gas phosphine, considered a potential biosignature, in the planet's atmosphere. The science team undertaking the research will comprise world-class physicists, astronomers, astrobiologists, chemists and engineers, led by Dr. Sara Seager, Professor of Planetary Science, Physics and Aerospace Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The group will investigate the scientific case for life and analyze the technical challenges of an exploratory mission in the event that such evidence proves compelling."

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NASA OIG: Future Viability Of SOFIA Is Threatened

By Keith Cowing on September 14, 2020 3:00 PM.

OIG: NASA's Management of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy Program

"The lack of clear and achievable performance expectations and lack of concurrence between SMD and SOFIA management on science output goals including publication and citation metrics has reduced productivity and threatens the Program's future viability. The Program is unlikely to achieve the community's expectation of 150 publications per year by 2022, or the Program's goal of 100 annual publications, as it only produced 33 publications in 2019 and the actions proposed to meet this goal fall short of the transformational changes required to address current operational and technical challenges. Further, the proposed actions are unlikely to mitigate SOFIA's lack of competitiveness because of the Program's poor efficiency on a science-per-dollar basis when compared to other observatories."

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Is Artemis Starting To Fade?

By Keith Cowing on September 14, 2020 2:49 PM.

Keith's note: Are we seeing an indication that the expansive, fast-paced goals NASA has for Artemis are now colliding with reality?

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Stay Safe Stennis and Michoud

By Keith Cowing on September 14, 2020 12:06 PM.

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More stories for September.

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Battelle Research and Infrastructure.
Von Braun Symposium 2020.
Book: Stellaris - People of the Stars.


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NASA Weekly ISS Space to Ground Report for 18 September, 2020

NASA Weekly ISS Space to Ground Report for 18 September, 2020 Video in Story

NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.

More updates...

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