Monthly Archives: September 2011

International Space Apps Challenge

Open Government Partnership logo  International Space Apps Challenge


The Open Government Partnership is a global effort to make governments better though transparency, accountability and citizen involvement.  As part of the Open Government Partnership, NASA will participate in the International Space Apps Challenge.

The global competition challenges scientists, students, and citizens to envision new smartphone apps to solve global problems and find new approaches to the challenges that affect us all.

Visit the NASA International Space Apps Challenge website for details.

NASA Tweetup Opportunity – Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Launch

NASA Invites 150 Twitter Followers to Mars Rover Launch

NASA will host a two-day launch Tweetup for 150 of its Twitter followers on Nov. 23 and 25 at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Tweetup is expected to culminate in the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch window open is scheduled to open at 10:21 a.m. EST on Nov. 25.

The Tweetup will provide NASA’s social media followers with the opportunity to tour Kennedy Space Center; speak with scientists and engineers; and, if all goes as scheduled, view the spacecraft launch. The event also will provide participants the opportunity to meet fellow tweeps and members of NASA’s social media team.

What is a tweetup?
A Tweetup is an informal meeting of people who use the social messaging medium Twitter. This Tweetup is an opportunity to learn more about NASA and the Mars Science Laboratory mission, explore NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and experience a launch.

How do I register?
Tweetup registration opens at noon EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 5, and closes at noon EDT on Friday, Oct. 7. NASA will invite 150 participants randomly selected from those who sign up. Additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list.

Registration is for one person only (you) and is non-transferable.

Do I need to have a Twitter account to register?
Yes. This event is designed for active Twitter users who follow @NASA, @NASATweetup and other NASA Twitter accounts. The goal of NASA Tweetups is to allow people who regularly interact with each other via Twitter to meet in person and discuss one of their favorite subjects: NASA.

If you are not familiar with Twitter nor a regular user of Twitter and just want to see a spacecraft launch, NASA offers other ways to experience a launch. Learn more at

The Twitter account for the Tweetup is @NASA, and the hashtag is #NASATweetup. We’ll use both to post updates and reminders about the event. Follow the mission via @NASA, @NASAJPL and @MarsCuriosity.

Register between Noon EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 5 and Noon EDT Friday, Oct. 7, 2011 at the following website:

Gerald A. Soffen Travel Grants for Undergraduate and Graduate Students – Deadline October 15, 2011

The Gerald A. Soffen Memorial Fund is pleased to announce the final 2011 Travel Grant application opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in fields of space science and engineering.

The Travel Grants, in the amount of $500, enable student recipients to attend professional meetings to present their research.  The Fall 2011 Travel Grant application deadline is October 15, 2011.

Jerry Soffen, a biologist by training, led a distinguished career in NASA, including serving as the Project Scientist for Viking and as an architect for the NASA Astrobiology Institute. The Travel Grant continues Jerry’s dedication to educating and involving future generations in space science and engineering pursuits.  The electronic application materials and instructions are accessible through the Soffen Fund website:

Questions regarding the application or application process may be sent to:

Scholarships Available Now From Oregon NASA Space Grant – Deadline November 1, 2011

Apply now for Oregon Space Grant Scholarships!

image of money and diploma

Apply today for scholarships from the Oregon NASA Space Grant

Deadline November 1, 2011

After a three month wait, the Oregon NASA Space Grant is pleased to announce that our 2011 Scholarship Programs are now available for students! In addition to an extended application period, the new awards will now be offered in a single payment during December.

Scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $5,000 per student awardee. Please take a moment to review the scholarship guide available on our website The guide includes detailed application instructions and guidelines for each opportunity.

Note: If you’ve already sent an application for one of this year’s scholarships, you do not need to submit a new application; you should expect an email (sent during the first week of October) requesting an updated transcript. Follow the instructions in the email in order to be considered for the extended scholarship opportunity.

We look forward to your participation!

Global Climate Change Education Opportunity

PBS TeacherLine is recruiting high school science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) teachers willing to help evaluate the effectiveness of a new online graduate course, STEM417: Global Climate Change Education for High School.

A NASA grant is funding the research study and the development of the GCC Course. Participants will receive a $50 stipend for completing the evaluation and for completing a PBS TeacherLine online STEM course this fall. The course enrollment fee will be covered by the study.

For more information, go to

NASA DIME and WING Competitions – Proposals Due Nov 1, 2011

DIME (Dropping In a Microgravity Environment) and WING (What If No Gravity?) encourage student teams to design and build a science experiment that will then be tested next spring in a NASA microgravity drop tower at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

DIME is for high school teams and WING is for student teams in grades 6-9. These programs are school-year long projects which mimic the research process used by NASA and academic researchers. Four (4) DIME teams will be invited to participate in DIME Drop Days at NASA Glenn Research Center in April 2011. The WING teams’ experiments will be tested by the NASA WING staff.

DIME and WING proposals are due by November 1, 2011. For more information, visit

Get Ready for International Observe the Moon Night – Oct 8, 2011

An image of the Earth's moon

The Galileo spacecraft took these images on December 7, 1992 on its way to explore the Jupiter system in 1995-97.

Get ready for International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN)! Let’s get as many people as possible, worldwide, to spend an evening observing and learning about the Moon.

Information about InOMN and the Moon, a listing of all registered events, step-by-step instructions on hosting your own event, activities, and more are available at

Draft SALMON-2 AO released for community comment

Release Date: August 24, 2011
Comments Due: September 16, 2011
Identification Number: NNH11ZDA017J
Notice Type: Presolicitation

On August 24, 2011, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is releasing a draft solicitation for community review and comment: the draft Second Stand Alone Mission of Opportunity Notice (SALMON-2) Announcement of Opportunity (AO). Upon the release date, the full text of the draft solicitation will be available at

The draft SALMON-2 AO provides a solicitation and procurement base for opportunities for modest investigations requiring space flight that advance the high priority science, exploration, and technology objectives of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and the Office of the Chief Technologist. This draft SALMON-2 AO represents a restructuring of the 2008 SALMON AO (NNH08ZDA009O; to incorporate the standard format and processes that have been developed for the NASA Science Mission Directorate’s Standard AO (

This draft SALMON-2 AO is the product of a multi-directorate effort by NASA to:
• Simplify and remove burden from the community in generating proposals that respond to the SALMON-2 AO.
• Incorporate into the cross-Directorate SALMON-2 AO the standard processes, standard language, and lessons learned that have been incorporated into all Science Mission Directorate AOs beginning in 2009.
• Maintain NASA’s ability to solicit modest space investigations through the SALMON-2 AO without needing to develop an AO for each proposal opportunity.
• Not make changes that will substantially affect the quality of proposals being received nor limit NASA’s ability to determine the risk associated with such proposals for implementation.
It is NASA’s intent that:
• This AO clearly and unambiguously states the policies that govern the solicitation, evaluation, selection, and implementation of modest space investigations, also referred to as Mission of Opportunity (MO) investigations, solicited by NASA by any of its space-going Directorates including the Science Mission Directorate, the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and the Office of the Chief Technologist.
• This AO standardizes the language and policies, to the maximum extent possible, that all mission directorates use in soliciting modest space investigations.
• To simplify the nature of the response necessary, this AO clearly and unambiguously states and numbers the requirements that all proposals shall meet in order to represent a compliant response to this AO.
• This AO clearly separates requirements that apply to proposals from the program policies and requirements that apply to investigations that have been selected to proceed into formulation. The successful proposer, however, will have a good understanding of the tasks necessary during formulation and beyond.
Requirements governing proposal content will be found, for the most part, in Section 5 and Appendix B of this AO. The rest of the AO contains NASA policies and practices for implementing space flight projects that may aid the proposer in developing a response to this AO. These policies and practices include requirements that will apply to any proposed investigation that is selected by NASA for further definition and implementation.

It is further intended that the “standards” established by this AO be the template for all SALMON-2 solicitations with program specific requirements (including deviations from SALMON-2 standard requirements) called out in a Program Element Appendix (PEA) for a specific solicitation and proposal opportunity.

NASA welcomes comments and suggestions on this DRAFT standardized SALMON-2 AO. Comments are welcome on any topic, but are especially welcome where they identify policies, practices, or specific language that are unclear, ambiguous, nonoptimal, or unnecessary.

Comments should be sent to the following address no later than September 16, 2011, in order to be most useful. Please include the phrase “SALMON-2 AO COMMENT” (without quotes) in the subject line of any comment submitted.

Questions or requests for further information may be addressed to Dr. Paul Hertz, Chief Scientist, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, DC 20546; Telephone: 202-358-0986; Email:

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