Dava Newman KB1HIK Begins Work as NASA’s Deputy Administrator

NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Dava Newman KB1HIK walks to a meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden formerly KE4IQB, on Monday, May 18, her first day on the job at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Deputy Administrator Dr. Dava Newman KB1HIK walks to a meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden formerly KE4IQB, on Monday, May 18, her first day on the job at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Dava Newman KB1HIK started her official duties as NASA’s new deputy administrator on Monday at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

Newman was nominated in January by President Obama, confirmed by the Senate in April and sworn in on Friday, May 15. The deputy administrator position had been vacant since the departure of Lori Garver in September 2013.

“I have known and admired Dava for several decades,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (formerly KE4IQB). “Her talents and skills as an educator and technological innovator will bring a new energy to our NASA leadership team, and I’m ecstatic to have her on board.”

Along with Bolden, Newman is responsible to the agency administrator for providing overall leadership, planning, and policy direction for NASA. Newman will perform the duties and exercises the powers delegated by the administrator, assists the administrator in making final agency decisions, and acts for the administrator in his absence by performing all necessary functions to govern NASA operations and exercises the powers vested in the agency by law. Newman also is responsible for articulating the agency’s vision and representing NASA to the Executive Office of the President, Congress, heads of federal and other appropriate government agencies, international organizations, and external organizations and communities.

“I’m very excited to be at NASA,” said Newman. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the agency’s work to expand humanity’s reach into space, advance our journey to Mars and strengthen America’s leadership here at home.”

Prior to her tenure with NASA, Newman was the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Her expertise is in multidisciplinary research that encompasses aerospace biomedical engineering.,

Newman’s research studies were carried out through space flight experiments, ground-based simulations, and mathematical modeling. Her latest research efforts included: advanced space suit design, dynamics and control of astronaut motion, mission analysis, and engineering systems design and policy analysis. She also had ongoing efforts in assistive technologies to augment human locomotion here on Earth.

Newman is the author of Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design, an introductory engineering textbook published by McGraw-Hill, Inc. in 2002. She also has published more than 250 papers in journals and refereed conferences.

As a student at MIT, Newman earned her Ph.D. in aerospace biomedical engineering in 1992 and Master of Science degrees in aerospace engineering and technology and policy in 1989. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1986.

Source NASA

New NASA Deputy Administrator is a Radio Ham

Prof. Dava Newman KB1HIK being sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator - Credit MIT

Prof. Dava Newman KB1HIK being sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator – Credit MIT

Prof. Dava Newman KB1HIK was sworn in as NASA Deputy Administrator on May 15 from her MIT office.

Her appointment had been confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 27. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (formerly KE4IQB) said, “I am delighted with the Senate confirmation of Dr. Dava Newman to be the deputy administrator of NASA. The strong bipartisan support Dr. Newman received in the Senate is a reflection of her well-earned reputation and renown as a global leader in science and technology research and policy.”

Newman is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and of engineering systems. On the MIT faculty since 1993, she directs the Institute’s Technology and Policy Program and MIT Portugal Program, and is co-director of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Man Vehicle Laboratory. She is a Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology faculty member, and a Margaret McVicar Faculty Fellow.

Her research has included modeling human performance in low and micro-gravity conditions, examining the dynamics and control of astronaut motion, and the development of assisted walking devices for the physically handicapped. Perhaps her most prominent project has been development of the BioSuit, a skintight spacesuit that would give astronauts unprecedented comfort and freedom in exploration of planetary surfaces and extra-vehicular activity.

After accepting the confirmation, Newman said, “It’s an enormous honor to serve at NASA in times when our country is extending humanity’s reach into space while strengthening American leadership here on Earth. I’m profoundly grateful to President Obama, the United States Senate, and Administrator Bolden — along with everyone at MIT. I can’t wait to come aboard.”

Source MIT

ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft fires thrusters for a return to Earth

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

AMSAT-DL report a team of engineers, space enthusiasts and radio amateurs have succeeded in firing the thrusters of the NASA-abandoned ISEE-3/ICE spacecraft.

The plan on Tuesday, July 8, was to fire the thrusters for a total of 7 sequences with breaks for telemetry analysis. While this would have resulted in a velocity change of 7 m/s, the course correction is required for the lunar swing-by on Aug 10, 2014 then to enter a stable orbit around Earth. However after the first firing sequence the remaining sequences were cancelled due to the returned telemetry data, which is being analyzed. A second attempt was planned for July 9.

The ISEE-3 Reboot Project (IRP) team attempted this main trajectory correction maneuver following a first short thruster firing on July 2, which increased the rotation rate of the spacecraft to the required value. This was possible due to international collaboration between the IRP, and a team of AMSAT-DL and Bochum observatory with its 20 m diameter radio telescope which received and processed critical real-time data of the maneuvers.

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

Amateur Radio Facility at Bochum

While the IRP has access to the Arecibo observatory which, at 305 m diameter, is the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, downlink support from Bochum is required as Arecibo cannot transmit and receive simultaneously.

Two members of the AMSAT-DL Bochum team will be giving presentations on their reception of ISEE-3 at the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, GU2 7XZ, United Kingdom. The event is open to all, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/colloquium/colloquium-2014/

Real-time telemetry from ISEE-3 is displayed at http://amsat-dl.org/

ISEE-3 http://spacecollege.org/isee3

Read the Daily Mail story at

ISEE-3 Spacecraft Reboot Project Update

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Dennis Wingo KD4ETA has released an update on the attempts by volunteers, including radio amateurs, to gain control of the NASA ISEE-3 spacecraft.

The International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3), a spacecraft that was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere and repurposed in 1983 to study two comets. Renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE), it has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up to us from behind, and will be closest to Earth in August, 2014.

In his report Dennis says that the spacecraft was successfully commanded into engineering telemetry mode and he mentions the work of radio amateurs Achim Vollhardt DH2VA (AMSAT-DL Bochum) and Phil Karn KA9Q.

[Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Mario Lorenz DL5MLO plan to attend the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium in Guildford July 26-27 to give a presentation of their work. The event is open to all]

Regarding the possibility of Lunar impact Dennis says “If we can maneuver the spacecraft by June 17th we get the very small delta V number for the maneuver above. However, this starts to climb rapidly as the spacecraft gets closer to the moon. Also we cannot at this time rule out a lunar impact. It is imperative that we get a ranging pass as soon as possible. We also need time to not only evaluate the health of the spacecraft, but to test the systems, the catalyst bed heaters for the propulsion system, the valve heaters, analyze the rest of the propulsion, power, and attitude control system as rapidly as possible. This will be a lot of commanding so we have to move into high gear next week. This is a very fluid situation and we have made amazing progress, thanks to the support of those who believed in us in our crowd funding and the support of our NASA sponsors at NASA Ames and NASA headquarters. More to come soon!!”

Read the report at http://spacecollege.org/isee3/isee-3-reboot-project-update-bullseye-and-more.html

Watch ISEE-3 Reboot Project – Recovering a 30 year old space probe

ISEE-3 / ICE Telecommunications Summary

Dennis Wingo KD4ETA blog http://denniswingo.wordpress.com/

Can radio amateurs command the ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft ?

Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft

Radio hams help attempts to command NASA spacecraft

ISEE-3/ICE on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3returns

Juno spacecraft QSL cards sent out

Juno Spacecraft QSL Card October 9, 2013

Juno spacecraft QSL card October 9, 2013

Juno QSL cards have been sent out to those radio amateurs who participated in the Juno Earth flyby experiment.

Amateur radio operators sent a very slow CW (1/25 WPM) to NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its Earth flyby on October 9, 2013.

Hams sent “HI” every 10 minutes as Juno approached Earth, and the message was clearly detected several times. The Juno team confirmed that more than 1400 radio hams participated, representing all seven continents.

Data video: http://youtu.be/Vg80vaGj2Gg
Data video & image caption: http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17744
Mini documentary: http://youtu.be/hg9xY1zvrsw
Archived event page: http://missionjuno.swri.edu/hijuno

Radio hams say Hi to Juno http://amsat-uk.org/2013/10/09/radio-hams-say-hi-to-juno/

Can radio amateurs command the ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft ?

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

Der Spiegel newspaper features an article about the hopes of radio amateurs to transmit commands to control the NASA ISEE-3 / ICE spacecraft.

The newspaper interviewed radio amateurs Achim Vollhardt DH2VA and Thilo Elsner DJ5YM both members of AMSAT-DL.

The article quotes David Dunham as saying “Radio operators have only one attempt. It might take 200 years before ICE is close enough to Earth again”.

Read the Der Spiegel newspaper article in Google English at

Radio amateurs receive NASA ISEE-3 / ICE Spacecraft

ISEE-3 Returns https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3returns

Can Radio Hams Receive NASA’s ISEE-3/ICE ?

ISEE-3 - ICE Spacecraft - Image credit NASA

ISEE-3 – ICE Spacecraft – Image credit NASA

A post on the Planetary Society website wonders if radio amateurs will be able to pick up the signal from ISEE-3/ICE as it passes Earth.

Emily Lakdawalla says: The International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE-3), a spacecraft that was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere and repurposed in 1983 to study two comets. Renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE), it has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up to us from behind, and will return to Earth in August, 2014. It’s still functioning, broadcasting a carrier signal that the Deep Space Network successfully detected in 2008. Twelve of its 13 instruments were working when we last checked on its condition, sometime prior to 1999.

The 36 year-old satellite is still apparently operational but it seems NASA can no longer send commands to it because the transmitters to do so were removed in 1999.

Emily sums up: So ISEE-3 will pass by us, ready to talk with us, but in the 30 years since it departed Earth we’ve lost the ability to speak its language. I wonder if ham radio operators will be able to pick up its carrier signal — it’s meaningless, I guess, but it feels like an honorable thing to do, a kind of salute to the venerable ship as it passes by.

The satellite carries Redundant S-band transponders, each with 5 Watt RF output

Transponder A:
2090.66 MHz RHCP uplink, command or ranging
2270.40 MHz RHCP downlink, telemetry or ranging

Transponder B:
2041.95 MHz LHCP uplink, command
2217.50 MHz LHCP downlink, telemetry

Transmit antenna: medium gain with dual inputs for simultaneous right and left hand circular polarization downlink, 8 rows of 4 elements, 7 dBi, ±6° beamwidth, multibeam, electronically steerable, four lobe, omni directional coverage in azimuth

Receive antenna: 2042 MHz, intermediate gain, 1 row of 4 elements, 0 dBi, ±45° beamwidth

Read the Planetary Society ISEE-3/ICE post at

ISEE-3/ICE Telecommunications Summary

ISEE-3/ICE on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ISEE3returns

NASA Challenge – CubeSat around the Moon

Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit - Image credit NASA

Earthrise viewed from lunar orbit – Image credit NASA

The Centennial Challenges Program is NASAs flagship program for technology prize competitions (http://www.nasa.gov/challenges). The program is an integral part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing, and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. The Centennial Challenges Program directly engages the public, academia, and industry in open prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies that have benefit to NASA and the nation. For more information about NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech .

The Centennial Challenges program is seeking input on two challenges being considered for start in 2014. Both challenges would be to design, build, and deliver flight-qualified small spacecraft capable of advanced operations near the moon and beyond.

The purposes of this RFI are: (1) to gather feedback on the two competitions being considered, the prize amounts and distribution structure, (2) to determine the level of interest in potentially competing in these challenges, and (3) to understand the applicability of the challenge capabilities for other non-government applications.

The first challenge will focus on finding innovative solutions to deep space communications with small spacecraft, while the second focuses on primary propulsion for small spacecraft. Together, these challenges are expected to contribute to opening deep space exploration to non-government spacecraft for the first time.

The proposed challenges would be NASAs first prize competitions demonstrated and competed in deep space and potentially would be carried into trans-lunar trajectory of the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) on the first launch (EM-1) of the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion planned for late 2017.

Responses should be submitted in Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word format and are limited to five (5) pages in length. Responses should include (as applicable): name, address, email address, and phone number of the respondent, business, or organization, with point of contact for business or organization.

This RFI is seeking feedback on the competition phases, the prize amounts and distribution structure, and/or interest in competing in any or all phases of this Challenge. Comments must be submitted in electronic form no later than March 31, 2014 to Dr. Larry Cooper at e-mail address: HQ-STMD-CentennialChallenges@mail.nasa.gov. Use Deep Space Spacecraft Challenges on the Subject line.

NASA welcomes all segments of industry, academia, and government, including associations, innovators, and enthusiasts to reply to this RFI. This RFI is for informational/planning purposes only and the Government will not be responsible for any cost associated with preparing information in support of this RFI. This RFI is NOT to be construed as a commitment by the government to enter into any agreement or other obligation or to conduct small spacecraft challenges. This notice is issued in accordance with the NASA Prize Authority, 51 U.S.C. 20144. Responses may be made available for public review and should not include proprietary information. Submitted information will be shared within NASA and with contractor personnel associated with the NASA Centennial Challenges Program. All responses are to be for general access by government reviewers.

For general information on the NASA Centennial Challenges Program see: http://www.nasa.gov/challenges . The point of contact is Dr. Larry Cooper, Program Executive, Centennial Challenges Program, NASA Headquarters.

Read the full NASA release at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=ec040a31b16194f877d1034ccefdda40&tab=core&_cview=0

NASA Centennial Challenges http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/centennial_challenges/index.html

NASA EDGE: CubeSat Workshop Video

Student at the CubeSat Workshop - Image credit NASA

Student at the CubeSat Workshop – Image credit NASA

CubeSat pioneer Bob Twiggs KE6QMD is interviewed in this NASA EDGE video.

NASA EDGE and special guest host Tiffany Nail explore the latest developments in nanosat technology at the 10th Annual CubeSat Development Workshop. MagnetoStar-1, however, still won’t fly.

Watch NASA EDGE: CubeSat Workshop

10th Annual CubeSat Workshop – Cal Poly 2013 – Slides

Videos of the presentations

First Anniversary of Mars Rover Curiosity

In the workshop building the Rover - Image credit Beatty Robotics

In the workshop building the Rover – Image credit Beatty Robotics

The Mars rover Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011, at 15:02 UT aboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft and successfully landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on August 6, 2012, 05:17 UT.

The Rover - Image credit Beatty Robotics

The Rover – Image credit Beatty Robotics

Venture Beat reports that two sisters, Camille and Genevieve Beatty, aged 11 and 13, have built a Mars rover in a workshop in their family’s garage. They have been invited to the New York Hall of Science to show off their rover as part of a special exhibit on astronomy. The rover will roam around a mini-Martian landscape and analyze rocks with hidden heat lamps embedded inside.

Read the Venture Beat story at http://venturebeat.com/2013/08/01/check-out-the-mars-rover-these-two-girls-built-in-their-garage/

Read the blog detailing the building of the rover at http://beatty-robotics.com/category/blog

The sisters are also interested in wireless telegraphy see http://beatty-robotics.com/lunamoth-and-julajay-work-on-wireless-telegraph

NASA officials and crew members aboard the International Space Station will observe the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover’s landing on Mars at a public event in Washington from 16:00-17:30 UT (12-1:30 p.m. EDT) Tuesday, August 6.

The event will be broadcast on NASA Television and streamed live on the agency’s website.

Media and the public are welcome to attend to hear highlights from the Mars Science Laboratory’s first year of investigations, learn about upcoming NASA robotic missions to the red planet, and speak with astronauts conducting experiments in space that will enable human exploration of Mars in the 2030s.

Those interested in attending should plan to arrive at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. SW, by 15:30 UT (11:30 a.m. EST) Seating is limited.

Participating will be:
• Charles Bolden (formerly KE4IQB), NASA administrator
• Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR and Karen Nyberg, NASA astronauts, live from the space station
• Jim Green, director, Planetary Division, NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
• Sam Scimemi, director, NASA’s International Space Station Program
• Prasun Desai, acting director, Strategic Integration, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate

The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, UT, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area.

Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. With much more science to come, Curiosity’s wheels continue to blaze a trail for human footprints on Mars.

To follow the conversation online about Curiosity’s first year on Mars, use hashtag #1YearOnMars or follow @NASA and @MarsCuriosity on Twitter.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about NASA’s exploration of Mars, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mars

For more information about the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station

NASA release Curiosity Morse code picture

437 MHz – Curiosity – Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Frequencies

Radio Amateurs Receive Mars Science Laboratory  (MSL)

Mars Rover Curiosity - Image credit NASA

Mars Rover Curiosity – Image credit NASA