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Tag Archives: NASA

NASA Setting MAVEN Closer to Mars to Support Rover Communications

NASA plans to reduce the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission’s orbit around the red planet to support data exchange between the agency and its future rovers on Mars. The space agency said Monday that it will lower MAVEN spacecraft's elliptical orbit from 3,850 to 2,800 miles above the planet’s surface to serve as data-relay satellite for the Mars 2020 rover. 

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Former Senate Staff Suzanne Gillen Appointed NASA Associate Legislative Affairs Administrator

Suzanne Gillen, former professional staff at the U.S. Senate, has been named associate administrator of NASA's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. She holds 14 years of experience in the Senate, having contributed to policy for NASA, civil space and aviation areas under Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the space agency said Friday.

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NASA Attempts Mars Rover Recovery Via Command Transmissions

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory transmitted new commands to a 15-year-old exploration rover on Mars and will continue doing so for weeks to come. The laboratory said Friday it intends to address the effects of Mars' planet-wide dust storm on the Opportunity rover. The storm has caused the rover to cease transmitting following the last communication made on June 10, 2018.

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Sen. Ted Cruz Pushing Commercial Space Bill in Congress

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will reintroduce the Space Frontier Act that failed to pass the House in 2018 in an effort for Congress to approve commercial space regulatory reform and extend NASA’s control of the International Space Station, SpaceNews reported Wednesday. In July, Cruz introduced the bill and received Senate approval in December.

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NASA Governmentwide Contract Still Operational Despite Shutdown; Joanne Woytek Quoted

NASA's Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement contract, the agency's governmentwide procurement vehicle, has remained operational despite the government's shutdown, FCW reported Tuesday. Joanne Woytek, SEWP's program manager, told FCW that the vehicle's main federal customers continue buying services via SEWP amid the shutdown.

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NASA Informs Employees of Potential Personal Data Breach

NASA discovered a potential compromise of servers storing personally identifiable information of current and former employees. The agency said it initially found that one of the servers containing Social Security numbers and other PII data of its workers was potentially affected by the cyber incident in October, according to an internal memo obtained by SpaceRef.

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NASA Advisory Council Suggests Review on Planetary Protection Guidelines; Thomas Zurbuchen Quoted

NASA's advisory council is recommending the space agency to review existing policies on preventing extraplanetary matter from contaminating earth and Earth-based spacecraft from contaminating foreign planets, Space News reported Friday. Following a two-day meeting, the council advises NASA to establish a committee to conduct this review on planetary protection and formulate policies that balance exchanges between Earth and other planetary bodies.

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Larry Leopard Named Engineering Head of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Larry Leopard, a 28-year veteran at NASA, was appointed director of the Engineering Directorate at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., NASA said Friday. The move follows Preston Jones’ appointment as the center’s associate director and designates Lisa Watson-Morgan as the directorate’s new deputy director.

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