Education: March 2011 Archives

Keith's note: This photo was taken during the STS-133 mission. Shuttle and ISS crew members pose with a printout of one of the photos taken of the Discovery's ascent into space by the Robonaut-1 balloon flown by Quest for Stars in collaboration with the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Larger view.

- Video: Robonaut-1: Time Lapse View: Entire flight from Liftfoff to Touchdown
- Educational Balloon Provides Space Shuttle Launch Images and Video From Over 110,000 feet
- First Photos: Shuttle Discovery's Trail Into Space As Seen from Over 70,000 Feet in a Balloon

Movie recreates Gagarin's spaceflight, BBC

"A movie has been made on the space station that tries to show what Yuri Gagarin might have seen on his historic flight around the Earth in 1961. FirstOrbit is being released as a free download to celebrate the Russian cosmonaut's achievement 50 years on. No film exists showing what Gagarin saw through the viewports of his Vostok capsule; there is only an audio recording of his observations. This has now been matched to high-definition video shot from the station."

Trailer

NASA 360 is on Hulu.com

Keith's note: NASA 360 just launched on HULU. Only 4 shows up right now, but they will be uploading others soon. You can see the episodes here: http://www.hulu.com/nasa-360

Here are some stats for HULU:

~30 million users monthly
~1 billion ad streams monthly (comScore)

Yuri's Night 2011

$18,000 in Prizes Offered by Yuri's Night in "Call to Humanity" Space Exploration Ad Competition

"Yuri's Night is excited to commemorate the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight by launching two contests: the "Call to Humanity" Space Exploration Ad Competition, which calls on talented graphic designers, artists, and other creative individuals to create a powerful and inspiring print campaign that will move people to think about and support humanity's future in space, and the "International Space Sweepstakes," a free global drawing."

NASA Forward Maker Camp

"NASA Forward Maker Camp is a participant-driven Maker Camp based on "code-a-thon" or "think tank" style events, with a heavy emphasis on tangible final products. It's our chance to do pursue projects of value to the NASA mission that would not normally be done and also to collaborate with others from around the agency who are doing interesting work in fields that we are trying to learn about. The NASA Forward Maker Camp is as good as participants make it, so be prepared to lead or participate in a project, ask interesting questions, show off what you've been working on, or generally leave your mark on the event. ... The NASA Forward Maker Camp is tentatively scheduled for April 28-29, 2011"

Keith's note: Apparently this official NASA event is happening agencywide - yet there is no mention whatsoever at NASA.gov - only on a non-NASA website at wikispaces.com. NASA's CIO/Open Government Initiative Office is behind this but no mention is made at the CIO website. Curiously, the CIO is not shy about announcing events such as this one and this one.

But when it comes to CIO's participation in events such as the NASA Forward Maker Camp and "Random Hacks of Kindness", the CIO individuals working on these projects go out of their way to limit the public visibility they provide in advance - thus limiting the participation of others outside their small community. Its rather ironic that the "Open Government" initiative office at NASA condones such "closed" behavior.

That said, there is an interesting precedent being set here: all of the people involved in this activity work for the NASA CIO. They have set up this website totally outside of the NASA firewall, use the NASA logo, and are conducting government (NASA) business on this site in their official capacities. The wiki on this website is open for anyone, anywhere on Earth to join, read, and comment on. ANYWHERE. Since the CIO approves of this approach by their staff, will everyone else at NASA be allowed to do this too? No more security, firewalls, design standards? No adherence to Section 508, ITAR, and other government regulations that govern such things? Wow, THAT is really being "open".

Don't get me wrong, I think events such like this are a great idea and they should be encouraged. But the closed way these CIO folks are going about it in terms of giving their efforts visibility and their total disregard for IT rules and regulations their office supposed to enforce, makes me wonder if anyone is really in total control of this organization.

One of the problems they are looking at sounds like something that Code L ought to be coordinating. It also sounds like lobbying material ...

"Task: Generate a "How NASA Affects Your State" Map: Background: One challenge the NASA workforce faces is communicating its impact on the country to the public and politicians. This team could research the economic drivers for each state (e.g. California and agriculture) and match them to NASA Spinoff technology (e.g. don't know, but I'll find out), eventually generating an infographic. This infographic could act as a springboard for NASA employees (and others) to start a conversation about why NASA matters to its stakeholders. The NASA Spinoff App has something similar to this idea, but it is more focused on individuals in each state."

NASA Launches New Website, Celebrates Women's Contributions To Science And Exploration

"NASA will debut its new Women@NASA website during a Women's History Month event at the agency's Headquarters in Washington at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 16. Approximately 200 local students from elementary through high school level will attend and learn about the significant and varied roles women have played in the agency's history."

Go to http://women.nasa.gov/

NASA's Spaceward Bound Goes to the Deserts of the United Arab Emirates

"Whether or not you remember the winter of 2011 as unusually cold or snowy, an adventurous team of experts will remember its intense heat, as they searched for microbial life between sand dunes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They were searching for simple life forms that also may exist on other planets. The United States team consisted of teachers Mike Wing and Lucinda Land, NASA space scientists Chris McKay and Jon Rask, and education specialist Matthew Reyes. Together, they embarked on a high adventure desert expedition from Feb. 18 - Mar. 4 with UAE students and teachers as part of a NASA education program, called Spaceward Bound."

NASA GSFC Solicitation: The Climate at Home Project

"NASA Goddard Space Flight Center ("GSFC") is looking to enter into a non-funded Space Act Agreement partnership for the development of a climate simulation system referred to hereafter as the "Climate@Home(TM) project." The Climate@Home(TM) project will build a virtual climate simulation supercomputer with contributions from citizens for both their idle computing cycles and local knowledge about climate change."

LOIRP LPSC Student Poster: New Lunar Crater Search Using LROC-NAC vs LOIRP Lunar Orbiter Images

"While some candidate craters were observed that appeared in LROC data but not in Lunar Orbiter data, these were all very near the edge of discernable feature size and are almost certainly explained by various differences between the images (e.g. sun angle or viewing geometry). While our initial search did not find any discernable new cratering, we have shown that data from the original analog Lunar Orbiter tapes, as recovered by the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery project, possesses the characteristics necessary to discern new craters at reasonably small sizes. If the entire Lunar Orbiter data set was recovered in this manner it may be possible for future researchers to apply automated methods to detect changes with much better chances of success."

Northrop Grumman Foundation Announces 2011 Weightless Flights of Discovery Program at National Science Teachers' Association Conference

"The Northrop Grumman Foundation announced today that the Foundation is accepting teacher applications for the 2011 Weightless Flights of Discovery program, a unique professional development initiative that places teachers on microgravity flights to test Newton's Laws of Motion and energize students during their formative middle school years. The announcement was made during the National Science Teachers Association's (NSTA) National Conference on Science Education, held in San Francisco this week."

Evaluating NASA Technology Road Maps - Public Workshop Series

"A National Research Council steering committee and six panels that are advising NASA on innovative technologies for future missions is holding a series of public workshops to review 14 draft NASA technology "road maps" and solicit input from the public, the aerospace community, and policymakers. The study will provide recommendations to NASA to help chart a course for technologies and concepts that could benefit future earth and space science missions and also contribute to critical national and commercial needs in space technology."

"Rise to the edge of space, freefall for 50,000 feet, fly through clouds, and land gently in bushes"

Educational Balloon Provides Space Shuttle Launch Images and Video From Over 110,000 feet

"A balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space."

NASA Announces Winners of OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest

"NASA has announced the winners of the 2010 NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Award. The contest encouraged students to produce short, creative videos about their favorite technology from NASA's Spinoff 2009 Publication. NASA collaborated with Hasbro using the correlation between the popular TRANSFORMERS brand, featuring its leader OPTIMUS PRIME, and spinoffs from NASA technologies created for aeronautics and space missions used here on Earth. The goal was to help students understand how NASA technology 'transforms' into things used daily."

Keith's note: Yesterday I made note of a broken website - NASA Buzzroom's video page. One feature of this site is to grab videos posted on YouTube - automatically - and post them on a nasa.gov webpage and add a comment feature. Nice idea - it lets people see what others think about NASA. One small problem - humans are not in the loop at NASA. At one point I found a video that had been on nasa.gov for weeks that depicted a bloody lynching and featured a non-stop stream of profanity. NASA eventually got around to deleting it - once I complained (Google cached version).

I complained about lots of other videos that simply had no reason whatsoever to be on a taxpayer-funded space agency website. Eventually, once someone at NASA saw these videos mentioned by me, they were removed. This process seems to be working backwards. I find these videos simply by looking at the video page. NASA deletes them - but only when I make public note of their location. The NASA folks seem to be utterly incapable of making a decision as to what is in appropriate on their own - or identifying inappropriate videos that have been on their site for weeks (or longer). Nor are they able to fix the problem inherent in this website's design in the first place. Given the way they set up this site, it would seem that no one in SOMD's crack Internet squad ever tested this website before putting it online.

To compound things, they simply take videos off of their webpage because one person (me) complains. That's not right. As such, they clearly don't have any established guidelines for removal of videos either.

Right now a clip from the notoriously horrid Howard the Duck from the 1980s is gracing a nasa.gov page. It is harmless but pointless when it comes to space exploration. The NASA SOMD Internet guys will eventually delete it (this is the video on YouTube). But they will only delete it because I complained. FAIL.

Curiously, while NASA told me - officially - that the NASA lawyers had told them - that they could not link to this rather popular video "NASA - The Frontier Is Everywhere" that went viral a month or so ago, this NASA Buzzroom website links to it. So ... there is a bright side to the way this page works. Too bad the people who run this site do not take its design or upkeep seriously.

Pseudoscience and Profane Videos Featured Online at NASA.gov, earlier post

Keith's update: Beth Beck from SOMD sent me this in response to an inquiry as to how content is approve for posting on NASA Buzzroom. She is responsible for this page at NASA.gov. The full exchange is below. In a nutshell whoever is responsible for this website is incompetent and should be relieved of this responsibility. You see, this is the sort of material that the current process allows to be posted and approved:

Keith's note: This is a much longer version of the previously released video - with music. If at all possible watch this at 720p resolution. As the payload slowly rotates you will see Discovery's vapor trail at the Earth's limb. The payload (with camera) swings to the west (where the sun is) and then swings back to the east, past Discovery's vapor trail, around to the west again and then continues to rotate to the east toward the fading vapor trail.

Educational Balloon Provides Space Shuttle Launch Images and Video From Over 110,000 feet

"Last week a balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space.These images and video were released today as part of a mission report provided by Quest for Stars representative Bobby Russell at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) at the University of Central Florida."

If you can, watch this video in HD (select the 720p option). As the payload slowly rotates you will see Discovery's vapor trail at the Earth's limb - twice. The payload (with camera) first swings to the west and then reverses and swings back to the east, past Discovery's vapor trail, around to the west again, and then continues to rotate to the east toward the vapor trail again.

Educational Balloon Provides Space Shuttle Launch Images and Video From Over 110,000 feet

"Last week a balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space.These images and video were released today as part of a mission report provided by Quest for Stars representative Bobby Russell at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) at the University of Central Florida."

Challenger Center and Coalition for Space Exploration Join Forces for Aerospace Education

"Today the Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center) joins the Coalition for Space Exploration (Coalition) as a Partner level member to educate and inspire a new generation of aerospace workers and space explorers. The announcement was made at the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Orlando. Challenger Center and the Coalition both strive to ensure that America remains a leader in space, science and technology. One important facet of that leadership includes a well-trained and competitive workforce which begins with a heightened interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Education category from March 2011.

Education: February 2011 is the previous archive.

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