Monthly Archives: November 2011

Call for SOFIA Observing Proposals – Deadline January 27, 2012

Cycle 1 Call for SOFIA observing proposals
Release Date: November 22, 2011
Proposal Deadline: January 27, 2012

The first science observations with FORCAST mid-infrared camera at 5-40 micron (P.I. Terry Herter, Cornell University) and GREAT far-infrared spectrometer (P.I. Rolf Guesten, Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy) were obtained in Dec 2010 and April of 2011, respectively. SOFIA also completed a set of general investigator observations under the Basic Science proposal call during 2011.

The deadline for submitting Cycle 1 proposals is January 27, 2012. The Cycle 1 observing period is from August 2012 to August 2013. Cycle 1 observations offer with the instruments of FORCAST mid-infrared camera, GREAT far-infrared spectrometer, FLITECAM infrared camera at 1-5 micron (P.I. Ian MacLean, UCLA) and HIPO Occultation Photometer (P.I. Edward Dunham, Lowell Observatory). The combination of HIPO/FLITECAM is also available. The instrument configuration of FORCAST grism, FLITECAM grism and GREAT M1 (2.51 THz OH line) are considered “shared-risk” observations.

To prepare and submit observing proposals, see the Cycle 1 webpage: Some of the supporting tools and documentation are undergoing updates based on recently obtained information. These updates (primarily, the sensitivities; and opening for proposal ingestion) will be released on December 12, 2011.

The Call is open to all qualified astronomers, world-wide, except for those currently affiliated with German institutions, for whom a separate Call will be issued by the Deutsches SOFIA Institut. Successful proposers with U.S. professional affiliations will be eligible to receive funding to support the acquisition, analysis and publication of their Cycle 1 program.

For further information about the Cycle 1 Call for Proposal or help in preparing proposals, please see the “Information for Researchers” ( section of the SOFIA web site, or contact the SOFIA help desk at

Questions about the SOFIA General Investigator program can be directed to the SOFIA Science Operations Manager, Dr. B-G Andersson (, or SOFIA User Support Scientist Dr. Ravi Sankrit (

For further information about the SOFIA Science project, please contact the above, or the Science Mission Operations Director, Dr. Erick T. Young (

Mars Education Challenge – Register by Dec 16, 2011

Artist Rendition of Mars Curiosity Rover

Artist Rendition of Mars Curiosity Rover

Teachers of grades 7-12 are challenged to develop ingenious ways to incorporate Mars science and exploration into the classroom. The grand-prize winner receives $5,000, a trip to the NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Indianapolis, and a chance to do field research with a well-known NASA scientist. Other exciting prizes will also be awarded. For more information, please visit the Explore Mars web page and submit your intent to enter by December 16, 2011.

Final entries (lesson plans) are due by January 16, 2012.

  1. Lessons should use Mars (as an example) in your science lesson, while teaching the standard curriculum. Your entry can be one lesson, or several lessons. It can use technical equipment or simple pen and paper.
  2. Abstract: You will need to send an abstract providing a general description of your curriculum support The main body of your curriculum support materials should be no longer than 5,000 words in length.
  3. Your lesson(s) must be accompanied by 5 to 20 PowerPoint slides of your idea / your lesson(s).
  4. The PowerPoint slides will also be put on the web to elucidate your lesson idea to your fellow science teachers.
  5. Send in a letter from your school confirming that you teach at that school and indicating the science course(s) that you teach at that school.
  6. Include your own personal contact information (name, address, email address, telephone numbers, and school address)

Learn more at the Explore mars website

Watch Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity Launch at OMSI and Online

NASA’s Mars Science Lab will launch on the morning of Saturday, Nov 26th, 2011. NASA TV will have live coverage of the launch event online at

To learn more about the MSL and the new Curiosity rover, visit the Mars Science Lab website for up-to-date information:

Spacecraft: Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity Rover
Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Atlas V
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41
Launch Date: Nov. 26, 2011
Launch Time: 10:02 a.m. EST

For those of you in the Portland, OR area, OMSI will broadcast the launch live!

Saturday, November 26 at 7:02 a.m. in the OMSI Auditorium
On November 26 at 7:02 a.m. PST, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) will offer space exploration enthusiasts a front-row seat for the launch of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory. Mars Science Laboratory is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term robotic exploration of the red planet. Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover will assess whether Mars ever was, or is still today, an environment able to support microbial life. Its mission is to determine the planet’s habitability. Launch of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory will be shown in the OMSI Auditorium via a non-stop live link from NASA TV. Although the museum is closed, the auditorium doors will open at 5:30 am and admission to the televised launch is free. Coffee provided!

Live Video Chat: Graphics and Animation – The Magic of Creating – Nov 23, 2011

NASA Explorer Schools invites students in grades 6-12 from across the U.S. and Departments of Defense and State schools to participate in a live video webchat with Zareh Gorjian. Gorjian is the lead animator and software engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory located in Pasadena, Calif. He will be discussing some of the projects he has worked on and how an animation or graphic is put together from start to finish. Gorjian will be able to connect what the students are doing in the classroom with a real-life career. The hourlong live webchat begins at 9 a.m. EST on Nov 23, 2011. You do not need to be a participant in the NASA Explorer Schools project to participate in the webchat.

Submit questions during the chat through a chat window, or send them to NASA-Explorer-Schools (at)

To learn more about NES, visit the website.
To view the video chat or for more information, visit

Tagged ,

Heat Transfer: MESSENGER – My Angle on Cooling Web Seminar – Nov 21, 2011

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences, NASA Explorer Schools and the National Science Teachers Association are hosting a 90-minute Web seminar on Nov. 21, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. EST. Learn how the MESSENGER mission to Mercury takes advantage of passive cooling methods to keep the spacecraft functioning in a high-temperature environment. Participants will also see how to use the Staying Cool activities to lead students through an examination of different solutions to the problem of how to deal with too much sunlight and energy.

For more information and to register online, visit
To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

ROSES-11 Amendment 32: Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology NASA/NSF Partnership For Collaborative Space Weather Modeling

A primary goal of NASA’s Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology (LWS TRT) program is the development of first-principles-based models for the coupled Sun-Earth and Sun-Solar System. Such models can act as tools for science investigations, as prototypes and test beds for prediction and specification capabilities, as frameworks for linking disparate data sets at vantage points throughout the Sun-Solar System, and as strategic planning aids for enabling exploration of outer space and testing new mission concepts.

The Geospace Sciences Section of the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF), in collaboration with the NSF Office of Polar Programs, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), funds basic research in support of national space weather objectives. This includes the development of space weather models for specification and forecast of conditions throughout the space environment.

Because of the common goals among the agency programs, NASA and NSF have agreed to renew their partnership to support a new round of Strategic Capabilities, large-scale research projects that are more ambitious than those typically supported by a single grant by either organization. Descriptions of previously developed Strategic Capabilities can be found at This NASA/NSF Partnership for Collaborative Space Weather Modeling will support modeling collaborations between institutions, including Government laboratories and universities. Collaborations among proposing institutions are not required, but it is anticipated that collaborations are more likely to meet the objectives of this solicitation.

This is a joint NASA and NSF call, and points of contact from both agencies are listed in the Appendix. Though this solicitation is being issued by NASA, its evaluation will include consideration of factors common at NSF but not typical for NASA, such as “broader impacts.”

This amendment presents final text for the Appendix B.7, which replaces the previous text in its entirety. For this year this program is named the Living With a Star Targeted Research and Technology NASA/NSF Partnership For Collaborative Space Weather Modeling. The due dates have changed. Notices of Intent to propose are due December 15, 2011. Proposals are due March 15, 2012.

On or about November 17, 2011, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2011” (NNH11ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at (select “Solicitations” then “Open Solicitations” then “NNH11ZDA001N”). You can now track amendments, clarifications, and corrections to ROSES and subscribe to an RSS feed at:

Student Career Experience Program at Marshall Space Flight Center – Application deadline Dec 31, 2011

NASA’s Student Career Experience Program, also known as Cooperative Education Student Program, or Co-op, is seeking undergraduate and graduate students to apply for co-op positions. The purpose of the Student Career Experience Program is to provide students with exposure to public service, enhance their educational experience and provide financial support to encourage and support their educational goals.

The Cooperative Education Student Program is formally structured to give students the opportunity to work in positions related to their academic/career goals. A written agreement is required between NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the student’s university and the student.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least 16 years old and have a grade point average of at least 2.9. Enrollment in an accredited college or university on at least a half-time basis and at least sophomore standing are also required. Salary is based on academic classification supported by an official transcript and letter of referral by the University Co-op or Career Services Office.

Applications must be received no later than Dec. 31, 2011.

To view this opportunity announcement on the USAJobs website, visit
To learn more about the Marshall Space Flight Center Cooperative Education Program, please visit

NIH Lessons About Bioscience Challenge – Experiment Submission Deadline Dec 1, 2011

The National Institutes of Health, or NIH, is making a collection of engaging, inexpensive experiments for K-12 students, and they need your help. Through the Lessons About Bioscience, or LAB, Challenge, NIH is looking for science enthusiasts – students, teachers, parents, scientists and organizations – to submit their best experiments. The experiment should be original, inexpensive, related to health and life science and easily accessible for use in a K-12 classroom.

For challenge details, visit

The deadline to submit experiment ideas is Dec. 1, 2011. Winners will be announced on March 1, 2012. Each winning experiment and submitter’s name and affiliation will be featured online and published in an NIH best-experiments collection, and each winner will receive an exclusive NIH LAB Challenge electronic badge to display online.

%d bloggers like this: