UpFront

NASA’s “Game-Changing” Technologies

When you think of what types of technologies are developed within NASA, the term “game-changing” often comes to mind. Now, NASA has created a new office that focuses on these technologies. The Game Changing Development (GCD) Program Office at Langley Research Center (Hampton, VA) seeks to identify and rapidly mature innovative/ high-impact capabilities and technologies. The GCD Program Office is headed by Steve Gaddis, program executive at the Office of the Chief Technologist. Find out more about the GCD Program in this month’s Who’s Who at NASA interview with Steve on page 10. Watch a video about the new program on Tech Briefs TV at www.techbriefs.com/tv/gcdprogram.

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NASA Begins an Era of Curiosity

NASA’s most advanced Mars rover, Curiosity, touched down on the Red Planet at 1:32 am EDT on August 6, ending a 36-week flight and beginning a two-year investigation. The one-ton rover landed in Gale Crater at the foot of Mount Sharp, a mountain three miles tall and 96 miles in diameter. During its mission, Curiosity will investigate whether the region ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life.

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App of the Month: Rocket Science 101

With NASA’s Rocket Science 101, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to launch a spacecraft. NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) is turning over the virtual selection, construction, and launch of a mission to players who will decide the best rocket to assemble to launch a spacecraft. Rocket Science 101 is available for iPad users via iTunes at http://bit.ly/Mn1xLr.

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Curiosity Update

After driving more than a football field’s length since landing, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity spent several days preparing for full use of the tools on its arm. Curiosity extended its robotic arm on September 5 in the first of 6-10 consecutive days of planned activities to test the 7-foot arm and the tools it manipulates.

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Good Diet, Proper Exercise Protect Astronauts’ Bones

Eating right and exercising hard in space helps protect International Space Station astronauts’ bones, a finding that may help solve one of the key problems facing future explorers heading beyond low Earth orbit.

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App of the Month: NASA Science - A Journey of Discovery

This app brings you the latest information from NASA’s Science Missions, including the spacecraft, their instruments, the data, and what we are learning. Find out more about planet Earth, our Sun and solar system, and the universe. Download the free iPad app at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nasa-science-journeydiscovery/tid541482963?mt=8.

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Curiosity Update

NASA’s rover Curiosity touched a Martian rock with its robotic arm for the first time on September 22, assessing what chemical elements are in the rock called “Jake Matijevic.” Curiosity put its Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument in contact with the rock during the rover’s 46th Martian day. Watch Tech Briefs TV for the latest videos of the mission at www.techbriefs.com/tv/mars. Keep up with Curiosity at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

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