Tag: MIT

Digital Materials & Robotic Assembly in Space


MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Assembling large structures in space is an enormous undertaking, and the International Space Station, or ISS, which is longer in length than a football field, is the prime case in point. Its construction was challenging. First, the modules, or compartments, had to be built on Earth, where engineers have access to tools for piecing together an agglomeration of parts. Then, apart from being of suitable size to fit within the rocket fairing, each module had to be structurally reinforced to withstand the violent turbulence of launch. Once in space, a tricky rendezvous-and-docking sequence was employed to join them all together.

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CASIS Releases FY 2015 Annual Report

CASIS_2015_Annual_Report_CoverMELBOURNE, Fla. (CASIS PR) — We are pleased to share with you the FY2015 CASIS Annual Report.

As the managers of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, The Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) works closely with NASA and ISS National Lab partners to maximize the impact of research and development on the ISS to directly benefit life on Earth. Inside this year’s report you will find many signals of progress, as well as, unique perspectives from diverse ISS National Lab users.

FY2015 highlights include:

  • Receiving significant outside investments in ISS National Lab programming, including an agreement from the National Science Foundation to commit $1.8 million toward an ISS National Lab sponsored program, a $550,000 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for flight and education projects, and more than $250,000 from the Boeing Company to match a CASIS partnership with the Mass Challenge Accelerator program.
  • Growing non-traditional user demand—the ISS National Lab reached full capacity for allocated crew time for research that was both scientifically and economically reviewed for Earth benefit.  These users included organizations like Merck, National Institutes of Health (NIH),  iExpressGenes, RasLabs, Massachusetts Institutes of Technology (MIT), Novartis. Visidyne and University of Florida.
  • Conducting the first-ever mouse bone-density scans in orbit—improving the capability to study bone and muscle loss in rodent models. Studying rodent models in space has been identified by researchers as an accelerated pathway to better treatments for osteoporosis and muscle atrophy on Earth.
  • Mounting of the first commercial platform on the exterior of the ISS for commercial testing of research payloads, sensors, and electronic components in space—created and sponsored by the ISS National Lab commercial service provider NanoRacks, LLC.

Hedgehog Robots Hop, Tumble in Microgravity

'Hedgehog' Robots Hop, Tumble in Microgravity While a Mars rover can't operate upside down, the Hedgehog robot can function regardless of which side lands up. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Stanford)

While a Mars rover can’t operate upside down, the Hedgehog robot can function regardless of which side lands up. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Stanford)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, and they can’t operate upside-down. But on a small body, such as an asteroid or a comet, the low-gravity conditions and rough surfaces make traditional driving all the more hazardous.

Enter Hedgehog: a new concept for a robot that is specifically designed to overcome the challenges of traversing small bodies. The project is being jointly developed by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; Stanford University in Stanford, California; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

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Dava Newman Approved as NASA Deputy Administrator

Dava J. Newman

Dava J. Newman

The Senate has approved Dava J. Newman as NASA’s new deputy administrator by an 87-0 vote. The approval comes 20 months after Lori Garver left the position for the top staff job at the Air Line Pilots Association.

Newman is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and of engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). [Biography] The White House nominated her for the position in October.

“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,” Newman said in a statement. “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.”

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NASA Selects New Suborbital Technology Payloads, Total Tops 130


NASA LOGOEDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has selected 13 space technology payloads for flights on commercial reusable launch vehicles, and a commercial parabolic aircraft. These flights provide cutting-edge technologies with a valuable platform to conduct tests, before they enter use in the harsh environment of space.

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Emerald Bio to Conduct Microgravity Reseach on Therapeutic Targets

The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth's atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

BEDFORD, Mass., Jan. 8, 2014 (Emerald Bio PR) – Emerald Bio, world class protein science researchers and drug discovery experts integrating structure-guided drug discovery and target knowledge to transform the treatment of disease, announced today a partnership with industry, academic and nonprofit organizations to explore the effects of microgravity on crystallization of two challenging therapeutic targets implicated in cancer and cardiovascular disease. The company is collaborating with the Broad Institute, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), NanoRacks and Protein BioSolutions.

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Brown/MIT Team Chosen for New NASA Virtual Institute


NASA_SSERVI-LOGOPROVIDENCE, R.I. (Brown University PR]) — NASA has tapped a team of Brown and MIT researchers to be part of its new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). The team will help to develop scientific goals and exploration strategies for the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, and the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos.

“These are the most accessible solar system targets for robotic and human exploration beyond Earth,” said Carle Pieters, professor of geological sciences and principal investigator for the Brown/MIT team. “They are diverse bodies that together may hold the key to understanding the formation and evolution of our solar system.”

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MIT Researchers Test Inflatable CubeSat Antennae

View of a CubeSat equipped with an inflated antenna, in a NASA radiation chamber. (Credit: Alessandra Babuscia)

View of a CubeSat equipped with an inflated antenna, in a NASA radiation chamber. (Credit: Alessandra Babuscia)

By Jennifer Chu
MIT News Office

The future of satellite technology is getting small — about the size of a shoebox, to be exact. These so-called “CubeSats,” and other small satellites, are making space exploration cheaper and more accessible: The minuscule probes can be launched into orbit at a fraction of the weight and cost of traditional satellites.

But with such small packages come big limitations — namely, a satellite’s communication range. Large, far-ranging radio dishes are impossible to store in a CubeSat’s tight quarters. Instead, the satellites are equipped with smaller, less powerful antennae, restricting them to orbits below those of most geosynchronous satellites.

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Skolkovo Fund, Roscosmos to Cooperate on Space Tech


By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Roscosmos and the Skolkovo Fund will work together on developing advanced space and telecommunications technologies as part of the space agency’s long-range development plan that extends out to 2030 and beyond, Russian media report.

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Video: Dava Newman Shows Off Her Flexible Spacesuit Design


MIT Professor and spacesuit designer Dava Newman shows off her design for a flexible spacesuit. This is a series of videos for the PBS science show Nova. Another video after the break. Continue reading ‘Video: Dava Newman Shows Off Her Flexible Spacesuit Design’

X PRIZE’s Peter Diamandis to Talk in Phoenix



The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Enterprise Forum of Phoenix will host an extraordinary event, Rewarding Breakthrough Innovation, on June 4, 2009, at the Arizona Science Center where Arizona business leaders and community members will meet the key figure in the development of the personal spaceflight industry, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis. He will be sharing his experiences, vision and passion for having created many space-related businesses and organizations including the X PRIZE Foundation, the Rocket Racing League, Zero Gravity Corporation, Singularity University and Space Adventures, Ltd.

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MIT Enterprise Forum to Discuss Aerospace Entrepreneurship


MIT Enterprise Forum of New York
Investing in Aerospace Entrepreneurship

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Eisner LLP
750 Third Avenue, Floor 16
(between 46th and 47th streets)
New York, NY 10017

In the current economic climate, investors are evaluating all investment opportunities with a critical eye, looking for enhanced returns and reduced risk. While aerospace and defense technologies represent a fertile area for investment, many investors are hesitant as they do not fully understand the landscape.

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Next-Gen COTS and the Future of Human Space Exploration


The Space Review has a couple of interesting articles this week that might be of some interest to you all:

COTS: The Next Generation
Taylor Dinerman examines the possibilities and the obstacles involved in NASA’s next step beyond its COTS program.

The Problems with “The Future of Human Spaceflight”
James Oberg points out some flaws he finds in an MIT report with recommendations for NASA about the future of human spaceflight.

MIT Joins Google’s Race to the Moon


By David Chandler
MIT News Office

MIT faculty and students have joined the race to send the first privately funded spacecraft to the moon.

At a press conference on Dec. 17 at NASA’s Ames Research Center, organizers of the Google Lunar X-Prize competition revealed the members of a “mystery team” that is one of a dozen contestants for the $30 million prize and that, it turns out, includes significant MIT participation.

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MIT Weighs In on Future U.S. Space Program



A team led by MIT researchers releases today the most comprehensive independent review of the future of the nation’s human spaceflight program undertaken in many years. The report recommends setting loftier goals for humans in space, focusing research more clearly toward those goals, and increasing cooperation with other nations and private industry.

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