Astronomy: March 2009 Archives

Final Memorandum on Audit of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Program Management Effectiveness

"SOFIA Program management had made significant progress in identifying and addressing past problems associated with management structure, schedule, and quality assurance. Program management had established adequate risk assessment and quality assurance processes to oversee contractor performance with respect to the accomplishment of near-term goals. However, we found that Program management had not yet completed actions required to address the long-term servicing needs of the aircraft, had not requested an independent cost estimate (ICE), and lacked an effective cost control process to evaluate the Program's cost efficiency in meeting schedule milestones. As a result, Program management cannot accurately assess the effects of long-term aircraft servicing and maintenance on the Program's life-cycle costs, demonstrate cost efficiencies, or provide earned value for completed contractor work."

Kepler Is On Its Way

The Kepler Mission Begins

"The Delta II rocket carrying the Kepler planet-hunting spacecraft lifted off on time at 10:49 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spectacular nighttime launch followed a smooth countdown free of technical issues or weather concerns. The Kepler spacecraft will watch a patch of space for 3.5 years or more for signs of Earth-sized planets moving around stars similar to the sun. The patch that Kepler will watch contains about 100,000 stars like the sun. Using special detectors similar to those used in digital cameras, Kepler will look for a slight dimming in the stars as planets pass between the stars and Kepler."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Astronomy category from March 2009.

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