UpFront

Curiosity Update

The Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time. Water, sulfur, and chlorine-containing substances showed up in samples delivered to the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite. One thing SAM checks for is organic compounds that can be ingredients for life. SAM tentatively identified onecarbon organics, but it is possible they may have been carried from Earth by Curiosity and detected by SAM. 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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App of the Month: Ascent - Commemorating Shuttle

Ascent is a compilation of film and video representing the best groundbased Space Shuttle motion imagery from the STS-114, STS-117, and STS- 124 missions. Download the free app for the iPad at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ascent-commemorating/shuttle/id473973416.

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Research Group to Develop Flight Navigation Technology

NASA has tapped a team of aerospace, military, and academic researchers for a three-year project that could dramatically improve in-flight navigation capabilities for space vehicles, military air and sea assets, and commercial vehicles. The project includes researchers from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center; the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Develop ment, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC); and Northwestern University.

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Smartphone Nanosatellites

NASA’s PhoneSat project will demonstrate the ability to launch the lowest-cost and easiest-to-build satellites ever flown in space — capabilities enabled by using off-theshelf consumer smartphones to build spacecraft. The smartphones already offer a wealth of capabilities needed for satellite systems, including fast processors, versatile operating systems, multiple miniature sensors, high-resolution cameras, GPS receivers, and several radios.

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Apps of the Month

This month, there are multiple Apps of the Month – the winners of the International Space Apps Challenge, which joined more than 2,000 people from around the world to create solutions of global importance related to spaceflight. The best apps are:

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Last Chance to “Create the Future”

The tenth annual “Create the Future” Design Contest, sponsored by COMSOL, Nordson EFD, and Tech Briefs Media Group, an SAE International Company, closes for entries on June 30, 2012. If you haven’t submitted your entry, go to www.createthe future2012.com today for your opportunity to receive global recognition and a Grand Prize of $20,000 in cash for an innovative new product idea.

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NASA’s New Mission on Earth — Sustainability Base

NASA has repurposed its aerospace technologies in innovative ways to create a smart building unlike any other government building. Designed in harmony with its environment, Sustainability Base is located at NASA Ames Research Center in California.

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