Monthly Archives: July 2012

ROSES-12 Amendment – Terrestrial Ecology

ROSES-12 Amendment 12: Final Text for ROSES-12 Appendix A.4, Terrestrial Ecology.

NASA Terrestrial Ecology research addresses changes in Earth’s carbon cycle and ecosystems using space-based observations.  This solicitation requests proposals for 1) data set development in support of arctic-boreal ecosystem vulnerability research to be conducted in a future Terrestrial Ecology Program-sponsored field campaign, 2) data set development to meet specific priority needs of the NASA terrestrial ecological community, and 3) successor studies in the areas of remote sensing science and remote sensing methods development that offer to significantly advance the results of prior NASA Terrestrial Ecology research.

Proposals to this program will be taken via a two-step proposal process. This means that the Notice of Intent is replaced by a required Step-1 proposal and the Title and Principal Investigator are binding. The three-page Step-1 proposal will be used to conduct a preliminary evaluation, which will result in full proposals being either encouraged or discouraged. See Section 4 of Appendix A.4 for details.

This amendment presents the final text for this Appendix A.4 Terrestrial Ecology, which replaces in its entirety the placeholder text that was released with ROSES 2012. Step-1 proposals are due September 18, 2012 and Step-2 proposals are due January 8, 2013.

On or about July 30, 2012, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2012” (NNH12ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at and will appear on the RSS feed at:


NASA and NSBRI Solicitation for Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research Announcement (NRA), entitled, “Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions” (NRA NNJ12ZSA002N), has been released which jointly solicits ground-based, analog definition and flight definition proposals for the NASA Human Research Program (HRP) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). This NRA is available through the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at and then linking through the menu listings “Solicitations” to “Open Solicitations.” On the Open Solicitations page, select NNJ12ZSA002N from the list of Solicitations.

Proposals are solicited by NASA in the areas of Sensorimotor Impairment and Space Motion Sickness; Epidemiological Evidence of Spaceflight Induced Cardiovascular Disease; Computational Models of Cephalad Fluid Shifts; Spaceflight Biochemical Profile; Maintenance and Regulation of Team Function and Performance over Extended Durations; and Development of Safety and Efficiency Metrics for Human-Automation Systems. NASA is also soliciting investigations or technologies lasting no more than one year that provide innovative approaches to any of the defined risks contained in the Integrated Research Plan ( of the Human Research Program.

Proposals are solicited by NSBRI in the areas of Cardiovascular Alterations; Human Factors and Performance; Musculoskeletal Alterations; Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Factors; Sensorimotor Adaptation; and Smart Medical Systems and Technology.

Proposals responding to the NASA emphases and NSBRI emphases must be submitted separately, and will result in separate evaluations and awards. Step-1 proposals are due on September 4, 2012, and invited Step-2 proposals are due on December 3, 2012. Participation is open to all categories of organizations, including educational institutions, industry, nonprofit organizations, NASA centers, and other Government agencies.

Proposals solicited through this NRA will use a two-step proposal process.  Only Step-1 proposers determined to be relevant with respect to the solicited research of this NRA will be invited to submit full Step-2 proposals. Proposals must be submitted electronically. Step-1 proposals to NASA may be submitted via the NASA Proposal data system NSPIRES ( or via ( Invited Step-2 proposals to NASA must be submitted via NSPIRES. Both Step-1 and Step-2 proposals to NSBRI must be submitted via NSPIRES.

ROSES-12 Amendment – Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program

ROSES-12 Amendment 11: Final Text for ROSES-12 Appendix C.19, Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program.

The Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program supports the advanced development of spacecraft-based instruments that show promise for use in future planetary missions. The goal of the program is to develop and demonstrate planetary and astrobiology science instruments to the point where they may be proposed in response to future announcements of flight opportunity without additional extensive technology development (approximately TRL 6). The proposed instrument must address specific scientific objectives of likely future planetary science missions.

The MatISSE Program seeks proposals for development activities leading to instrument systems in support of the Science Mission Directorate’s (SMD) Planetary Science Division.  The objectives of the program are to develop new technologies that significantly improve instrument measurement capabilities for planetary science missions (such as Discovery, New Frontiers, Mars Exploration, and other planetary programs). It is the responsibility of the proposer to demonstrate how their proposed technology addresses significant scientific questions relevant to stated NASA goals and not for NASA to attempt to infer this.

This amendment presents final text for Appendix C.19, which replaces the previous version in its entirety. The name of this program has been changed from Astrobiology Science and Technology for Instrument Development, as it was at the time of release of ROSES in February 2012, to the Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration.

Notices of intent are requested by August 31, 2012, and proposals are due by October 31, 2012.

On or about July 30, 2012, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2012” (NNH12ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at and will appear on the RSS feed at:

On a related note, we regret to inform potential proposers that Appendixes C.16 and C.20, which were presented as placeholders on release of ROSES 2012 in mid-February, will not be solicited this year. However, we anticipate that they will be solicited in ROSES 2013 and draft text for Appendix C.16 is presented in ROSES 2012 as the Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations (PICASSO) Program.

Resources for the Mars Rover Landing


The Curiosity rover will land August 5-6, 2012.

Celebrate the Landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover!

In a few weeks, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is set to land on Mars. What will this rover do? Curiosity will look for things that sustain life: signs of long-term water in the past or present and the right chemical ingredients for life (e.g., carbon-based molecules, the chemical building blocks of life). Use this historic occasion to introduce current real-world science and engineering to your students.

Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars at 1:31 a.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (That’s 10:31 p.m. PDT, Sunday, Aug. 5.) That evening, Mars will be visible in the night sky with a telescope or with the naked eye. Take this opportunity to host a Mars-gazing party! Just after sunset, Mars will be roughly 150 million miles away from Earth, and the Curiosity Rover will be only hours away from arriving to this distant orange dot in the night sky. Submit your events to

Looking for activities to get students excited about the upcoming landing? A number of short, hands-on activities relating to the mission are available at

For a basic overview of the Red Planet, visit the following websites:

  1. Basic Information on Mars:
  2. Mars Image Collection:
  3. 3-D Images of Mars:

Want to know more about the area where the Curiosity rover will be landing on Mars? Visit the following websites to learn more about Gale Crater.

  1. Destination Gale Crater: August 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm PDT:
  2. Gale’s Mount Sharp Compared to Three Big Mountains on Earth:
  3. National Parks as Mars Analog Sites:

The Curiosity rover will landing using a bold new landing technique. Check out the “Seven Minutes of Terror” video at the link below to see how rockets, parachutes and a “sky crane” will help Curiosity make a soft landing on Mars.

“Seven Minutes of Terror” video:

Live media coverage of the Curiosity landing begins at midnight EDT (9 p.m. PDT) on NASA TV. To find NASA TV on your local cable provider, or to view the coverage online, visit

Curiosity also has a presence on Twitter and Facebook:

  1. Twitter:
  2. Facebook:

For up-to-the-minute mission information about the Curiosity rover and progress toward its Mars landing, visit and


NASA – Mars Orbiter Repositioned to Phone Home Mars Landing

NASA – Mars Orbiter Repositioned to Phone Home Mars Landing. July 24, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft has successfully adjusted its orbital location to be in a better position to provide prompt confirmation of the August landing of the Curiosity rover.

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft carrying Curiosity can send limited information directly to Earth as it enters Mars’ atmosphere. Before the landing, Earth will set below the Martian horizon from the descending spacecraft’s perspective, ending that direct route of communication. Odyssey will help to speed up the indirect communication process.

NASA reported during a July 16 news conference that Odyssey, which originally was planned to provide a near-real-time communication link with Curiosity, had entered safe mode July 11. This situation would have affected communication operations, but not the rover’s landing. Without a repositioning maneuver, Odyssey would have arrived over the landing area about two minutes after Curiosity landed.

A spacecraft thruster burn Tuesday, July 24, lasting about six seconds has nudged Odyssey about six minutes ahead in its orbit. Odyssey is now operating normally, and confirmation of Curiosity’s landing is expected to reach Earth at about 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (early Aug. 6, EDT and Universal Time), as originally planned.

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Mars Rover Curiosity Landing Educator Conference at JPL – August 3-5, 2012

Curiosity Rover

Bring “Curiosity” Into Your Classroom! Educator conference at JPL Aug.3-5, 2012.

Bring “Curiosity” Into Your Classroom!

Join in the historic landing of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity at Gale Crater Aug.3-5, 2012, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Bring the excitement of Mars exploration to your classroom with standards-aligned, STEM-based, hands-on activities and take home image-rich learning materials. Mission team members will share their stories, and you can see mission control, rover test beds and more. Then, view Curiosity’s anticipated landing at 10:31 p.m., Aug. 5.

For more information and to register, go to:


Free Webinars from NASA’s Aerospace Education Services Project – July and August 2012


NASA Educators Online Network (NEON) is a part of the NASA Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP). The network provides professional development opportunities for K-12 educators to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

NASA’s Aerospace Education Services Project will provide additional free webinars in July and August of 2012. All webinars can be accessed online. Educators can join aerospace education specialists during the events to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides for each topic.  These webinars and the interaction with education specialists are designed to make it easy for you to use NASA materials in your classroom.  Try a free professional development opportunity this month!

Putting NEON to Work for You, Part 2 (Grades K-12)
July 31, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Anne Weiss explains how to use the NASA Educators Online Network, or NEON’s, most important feature: the interest groups. Participants will role-play several scenarios to find out how NEON’s various tools can be used to find NASA activities that align to state-specific standards.

Toys in Space (Grades 4-9)
Aug. 1, 2012, 11 a.m. -noon EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will share NASA’s Toys in Space videos and activities. In this program, astronauts took toys from around the world with them into space. Students predict, observe and record how the toys behave without the effects of Earth’s gravity, putting Newton’s Laws of Motion to the test. Participants will receive copies of the astronaut videos for use in the classroom.

Physics Resources for Secondary School (Grades 6-12)
Aug. 1, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist John Weis as he demonstrates simple activities and resources for teaching physics at middle and high school levels. Topics and resources covered will include Newton’s Laws of Motion, energy, light and gravity. Lesson plans and modification strategies will be discussed.

Exploring Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-12)
Aug. 2, 2012, 10 – 11 a.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will integrate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography, or STEM-G, with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. NASA curriculum products, missions and other resources will be utilized to demonstrate an inquiry-based teaching strategy to better understand Earth and the processes that shape it.

Curiosity: Roving Mars (Grades 2-8)
Aug. 2, 2012, noon – 1 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner will share an overview of the Mars Science Laboratory mission and its rover named Curiosity. Scheduled to land on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, Curiosity is twice as big as rovers Spirit or Opportunity and weighs nearly a ton. The work the mission is designed to accomplish is equally large.

Exploring Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-12)
Aug. 9, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will integrate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography, or STEM-G, with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. NASA curriculum products, missions and other resources will be utilized to demonstrate an inquiry-based teaching strategy to better understand Earth and the processes that shape it.

“Flying to Mars… In an Airplane?” (Grades 3-9)
Aug. 16, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Brian Hawkins will present an overview of the Mars Science Laboratory mission with its Curiosity rover and explore the proposed Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey of Mars, or ARES, mission. ARES is also known as the Mars Airplane. Two hands-on activities will be demonstrated during this session.

For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through August 2012, visit

Fish in Space: Space Station Gets an Aquarium

Space Aquarium

The Aquatic Habitat, or AQH, will help astronauts study the effects of microgravity on fish!

Fish in Space: Space Station Gets an Aquarium.

The Japanese Space Agency, or JAXA, will install a new aquatic node on the International Space Station today to study the effects of microgravity on fish and aquatic organisms.  According to Universe Today,

This is not the first time fish have been part of a space mission. Versions of the AQH flew on space shuttle missions STS-47, STS-65, and STS-90. The current system’s design upgrades are based on lessons learned from these missions.

You can read more about the planned experiements and the Medaka fish that will become the astronauts’ new friends at

I wonder if they plan to name the fish…

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