Keith Cowing: July 2012 Archives

AIP FYI #102: Subcommittee Examines NASA Derived Technology Transfer Activities

"Regarding the IG report, Palazzo commented that "the IG found a general lack of awareness among NASA program managers about the technology transfer and commercialization process and that many personnel did not understand the range of technologies that could be considered as technological assets. Furthermore, the report found that the number of patent attorneys and dedicated Innovative Partnership Office staff - and related funding - was insufficient given the technology transfer and commercialization potential."

NASA: Notice of Prospective Space Act Agreement and Intent to Transfer Sponsorship of Investigational New Drug Application

"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has identified a potential pharmaceutical industry partner named Epiomed Therapeutics, Inc., having its principal place of business in Irvine, California, which is interested in assuming responsibilities for the further development and commercialization of a pharmaceutical dosage form for intranasal administration of scopolamine (INSCOP). NASA has been actively engaged in the clinical development of this agent and is now seeking a Space Act Agreement (SAA) Partner whose role will include production of the formulation under FDA stipulated GMP GUIDELINES for clinical trials."

Keith's note: No mention of CASIS - anywhere. Isn't this the sort of thing CASIS is supposed to be doing?

Comparing Moon Boulders: Lunar Orbiter (1967) Vs LRO (2012)

"[Left] image taken on 11 August 1967 by Lunar Orbiter 5 [Right] Image taken of the same location by LRO in 2012. Lighting angles for both images are almost identical. When looking at higher resolution imagery it is obvious that the dynamic range of the LOIRP-retrieved Lunar Orbiter image is comparable to that presented in the LRO image - especially in bright regions. When comparing LOIRP-retrieved imagery with USGS previously scanned versions of the same image the increase in resolution and dynamic range is even more pronounced."

NASA Administrator Bolden's Remarks from the "Go Curiosity" Video

"We've put together some materials that will help you tell this fascinating story to your family, friends, and neighbors, because no doubt, they'll be asking you as the NASA expert, no matter what your job is with the agency. "It's a pretty straightforward story, and we should all be happy and proud to talk about it. So we've sent your supervisors some materials that you can use to answer questions and relay your excitement about working for NASA."

Keith's note: If Charlie Bolden really trusts all of his employees to honestly and openly convey their exctement about MSL, then why are these materials only sent to supervisors - and not sent directly to all NASA employees? In addition, this website communications.nasa.gov/marstoolkit is mentioned but taxpayers are not allowed to access it. Why is Charlie being less than open about what these materials are?

United Tech in talks to sell Rocketdyne to GenCorp, Reuters

"United Technologies Corp (UTX) is in final discussions to sell its Rocketdyne business to GenCorp Inc (GY), a maker of aerospace propulsion systems, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The deal, which may come late this week or early next week according to one of the sources, represents part of the diversified U.S. conglomerate's efforts to divest non-core units and focus on closing its $16.5 billion acquisition of aircraft component maker Goodrich Corp (GR)."

Keith's note: GenCorp is the parent company of Aerojet.

Forrest McCartney

Keith's note: Former Kennedy Space Center Director Forrest McCartney died yesterday after a short battle with cancer.

NASA Mourns Loss of Former Kennedy Director Forrest McCartney

"McCartney served as director of Kennedy under detail from the U. S. Air Force beginning Oct. 1, 1986. He came to NASA from the position of commander, Air Force Space Division and concluded a distinguished 35-year military career on Aug. 31, 1987, with a retirement ceremony at the office of the Secretary of the Air Force in the Pentagon."

Bio at Wikipedia

Put space policy on the presidential to-do list, Jay Barbree, NBC

"Forty-five years later, one of the relative newcomers to the space business, SpaceX, is receiving roughly three-quarters of a billion dollars from NASA -- while one of the shuttle program's longtime contractors, ATK, is still trying to get in on the funding for space station resupply."

Keith's note: It is beyond odd that Jay Barbree focuses on the money spent on SpaceX but ignores the billions that NASA spent on Ares 1's first stage - which is now being used as the first stage of Liberty. Ares 1 was, itself, a derivation of another government-funded research program to develop the Space Shuttle SRBs. Given th ebillions spent on SRB and Ares 1, SpaceX is an incredible bargain by an order of magnitude.

"Most space veterans agree with those goals, Mr. President, but with a cautionary note: Don't prop up t.e newcomers while giving short shrift to America's most experienced aerospace companies. This happened before, when the White House took the contract from the experienced and gave it to the inexperienced. In 1967, the Apollo 1 astronauts paid with their lives in a launch-pad fire."

Keith's note: Contrary to Barbree's ill-informed statement, North American Aviation was far from being "inexperienced". Once again, it is odd how Barbree focuses on one company and a fatal accident but does not bother to mention Morton Thiokol (bought by ATK to form the basis of its solid rocket business) and its involvement in the Challenger accident which resulted from the very same SRBs that from the basis for the basic Ares 1/Liberty design.

Liberty should be allowed to succeed or fail on its own merits. Yet Jay Barbree continues to write this one-sided, badly-researched revisionist history. Indeed, the things he writes are downright misleading and are fraught with inconsistencies and glaring omissions. Does NBC simply not care enough to provide Jay Barbree with a research assistant or fact checker?

- Jay Barbree Needs A Fact Checker, earlier post
- Jay Barbree is Stuck In The Past, earlier post
- A Confused Story and Things That Never Happened, earlier post

NASA's Mars rover may be in for blind landing, Reuters

"NASA's new Mars rover is heading for a risky do-or-die touchdown next month to assess conditions for life on the planet, but the U.S. space agency may not know for hours whether it arrived safely, managers said on Monday."

NASA's Car-sized Rover Nears Daring Landing on Mars

"Those seven minutes are the most challenging part of this entire mission," said Pete Theisinger, JPL's MSL project manager. "For the landing to succeed, hundreds of events will need to go right, many with split-second timing and all controlled autonomously by the spacecraft. We've done all we can think of to succeed. We expect to get Curiosity safely onto the ground, but there is no guarantee. The risks are real."

Keith's note: Funny how NASA never bothers to include minor details in these press releases such as having a satellite failure impede its ability to monitor the landing of Curiosity. So this whole "7 minutes of terror" campaign that NASA has been mounting for the MSL landing is probably inaccurate and may be much longer than "7 minutes".

Three Weeks Before Curiosity Rover Lands on Mars, SpaceRef (With video of the news conference)

NASA Selects Launch Services Contract for Three Missions

"NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC of Englewood, Colo., to launch the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) spacecraft. The spacecraft will launch in October 2014, July 2014 and November 2016, respectively, aboard Delta II rockets from Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California."

NASA Selects Launch Services Contract for Jason-3 Mission

"NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., to launch the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Jason-3 spacecraft in December 2014 aboard a Falcon 9 v1.0 rocket from Complex 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California."

NASA Letter from SARA: China FAQ and New Volunteer Reviewer Form, NASA SMD

"Dear Colleagues, If you collaborate with anyone in China you should read our new FAQ. Our appropriation (Public Law 112-55, SEC. 539) contained a brief statement, the bottom line if which is that NASA funds, including ROSES research grants, cannot be used "...to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China..."

NASA Solicitation: Intepretation Translation, Visa Processing, and Logistical Support, NASA

"Oral interpretation and written translation of official and technical/scientific/engineering documents ... China, Visa processing for ... and China ... Administrative coordination, advance preparation and support of conducting onsite overseas official meetings and high level visits; 8) Overseas logistics support primarily for the Former Soviet states and China, providing administrative, clerical and in-country ground transportation logistic services ..."

Keith's note: If NASA is prohibited by Public Law 112-55, SEC. 539 from interactions with China, why is NASA soliciting contractors to support NASA interactions (visits, translations) with China?

Former NASA Workers Struggle To Find Work A Year After Program's End, AP

"A year after NASA ended the three-decade-long U.S. space shuttle program, thousands of formerly well-paid engineers and other workers around the Kennedy Space Center are still struggling to find jobs to replace the careers that flourished when shuttles blasted off from the Florida "Space Coast."

NASA Announcement for Partnering Opportunities for Delivery of NASA Content To The Public

"In the existing infrastructure without our delivery partners, NASA may have to cap the number of visitors and hours of web streaming coverage or eliminate it entirely for particular peak activities. This would force visitors to seek content from other venues that may or may not cover NASA missions. To avoid this situation, NASA seeks to broaden its ability to reach new audiences and numbers of people through access to multiple venues."

Latest Crew Blasts Off For International Space Station (With video)

"Three new crew members are on their way to the International Space Station. NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, Russian Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:40 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 14 (8:40 a.m. Baikonur time July 15)."


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