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NASA to Highlight Inclusion During Bayou Classic Event
NASA Logo.NASA NASA is bringing a clear message to the 50th Annual Bayou Classic Friday, Nov. 24 and Saturday, Nov. 25 – while exploring the universe for the benefit of all, it is equally invested in ensuring the participation of all in the agency and its discovery work.
The commitment will be on full display during NASA’s outreach and engagement activities at the Bayou Classic weekend in New Orleans. “Our message is simple – there’s space for everybody at NASA,” said Pamela Covington, Office of Communications director at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, which is leading the agency’s Bayou Classic planning. “We need everyone involved if we hope to accomplish our shared mission and truly benefit all humanity.”
The annual Bayou Classic event, which features a football game and a spirited Battle of the Bands, typically attracts more than 200,000 students and supporters from two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana – to New Orleans.
In addition to signage and social media messaging, NASA Stennis representatives will be on hand during Fan Fest activities Nov. 25 to interact and visit with event participants. Alumni and others will staff a NASA booth at Champions Square next to the Caesars Superdome from 9 a.m. CDT to 12 p.m., to talk about their career paths with the agency and to promote current internship and employment opportunities for minority students and others.
The outreach and engagement effort is part of an agencywide commitment to advance equity and reach deeper into underrepresented and underserved segments of society and is in support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to advance racial equity in the federal government. NASA’s 2022 Equity Plan outlines the agency’s efforts to increase participation in areas such as procurements and contracts, as well as grants and cooperative agreements. The agency also is working to eliminate visible and invisible barriers to full participation, and to increase NASA outreach to underserved communities. The agency is scheduled to update the plan and its progress by year’s end.
Frontline evidence of the agency’s commitment to inclusion also is seen in its plan to return humans, including the first woman and the first person of color, to the Moon through Artemis missions, powered by NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket. That is just one aspect of the agency’s across-the-board diversity work.
The NASA Minority University Research and Education Project is another example. Through the initiative, NASA provides financial awards to minority-serving institutions, including HBCUs, to assist faculty and students alike in STEM-related research efforts. The initiative also focuses on providing internship opportunities and career paths for minority members.
NASA also has launched a Science Mission Directorate Bridge Program to develop partnerships with underserved institutions such as HBCUs and to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility within the agency. The primary focus is to help transition science and engineering students from undergraduate studies into graduate schools and/or employment by NASA or related institutions.
Along the same lines, a new NASA Space Tech Catalyst Prize seeks to recognize individuals and/or organizations that share effective best practices on ways to engage underrepresented and diverse space technology innovators, researchers, technologists, and entrepreneurs. The initiative is built on the premise that diversity leads to greater innovation, research, and mission success.
Stay connected with the mission on social media, and let people know you’re following it on X, Facebook, and Instagram using the hashtags #Artemis, #BayouClassic50, #NASA_HBCUs. Follow and tag these accounts:
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Last Updated Nov 20, 2023 Editor Contact Location Stennis Space Center Related Terms
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September’s full Moon, the Harvest Moon, is photographed from the International Space Station, perfectly placed in between exterior station hardware. NASA leadership, including Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, will participate in a workshop on space mobility and in-space servicing on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Beginning at 8:30 a.m. EST, the Consortium for Space Mobility and ISAM Capabilities (COSMIC) workshop runs through Wednesday, Nov. 8. NASA announced the consortium in April, aiming to create a nationwide aerospace community alliance that provides global leadership in space mobility and in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing (ISAM) for use in Earth orbit, lunar orbit, deep space, and on planetary surfaces.
Following welcome remarks from Prasun Desai, acting associate administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, Melroy will provide a keynote on NASA’s support for ISAM.
Other leaders from The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Defense, the defense and aerospace industry, and academia, also will participate. The conference features panel discussions and breakout workshops for COSMIC’s three caucuses – U.S. government, industry, and academia – and the Consortium’s five focus areas.
Media interested in attending the opening day, either in person or virtually, should RSVP by 12 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6, to Parker Wishik at 708-391-7806 or email@example.com. NASA and COSMIC experts will be available for interview opportunities upon request. Other COSMIC plenary sessions will be recorded and later published to the COSMIC YouTube channel.
NASA funds COSMIC, creating a nationwide alliance around the capability areas, and it will support the ISAM National Strategy and National ISAM Implementation Plan, released in 2022, which define a national approach to build on existing investments and emerging capabilities to realize future opportunities enabled by ISAM. The Consortium aims to accelerate ISAM’s universal adoption and support its utilization as a routine part of space architectures and mission lifecycles.
The Aerospace Corporation leads COSMIC as the management entity contracted by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate to ensure coordination among members, caucuses, and focus areas and to execute COSMIC initiative-focused events.
For information on the COSMIC kickoff meeting, including the full agenda, visit:
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NASA, Pacific Disaster Center Increase Landslide Hazard Awareness
Communities worldwide now have access to a powerful tool to increase their awareness of landslide hazards, thanks to NASA and the Pacific Disaster Center.
A humanitarian worker from USAID observes the impacts of a landslide. USAID deployed an elite Disaster Assistance Response Team on Nov. 17, 2020, to lead the U.S. response to Hurricanes Eta and Iota.USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance After years of development and testing, NASA’s Landslide Hazard Assessment for Situational Awareness model (LHASA) has been integrated into the Pacific Disaster Center’s (PDC) multi-hazard monitoring, alerting, and decision-support platform, DisasterAWARE. LHASA allows researchers to map rainfall-triggered landslide hazards, giving DisasterAWARE users around the world a robust tool for identifying, tracking, and responding to these threats. The aim is to equip communities with timely and critical risk awareness that bolsters disaster resilience and safeguards lives and livelihoods.
Landslides cause thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damage every year. Developing countries often bear disproportionate losses due to lack of access to hazard early warning systems and other resources for effective risk reduction and recovery. Reports from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction emphasize that early warning systems and early action are among the most effective ways to decrease disaster-related deaths and losses.
The distribution of reported fatalities from 10,804 rainfall-triggered landslides in NASA’s Global Landslide Catalog (GLC) from 2007 to 2017. White dots represent incidents with zero reported fatalities and dots in the color scale from pink to red represent incidents in the range of 1-5000 fatalities. The NASA landslides team, based primarily out of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, develops the Global Landslide Catalog and LHASA with support from NASA’s Disasters program. NASA Scientific Visualization Studio “Some local authorities develop their own systems to monitor landslide risk, but there isn’t a global model that works in the same way. That’s what defines LHASA: it works all the time and it covers most regions of the world,” says Robert Emberson, NASA Disasters associate program manager and a key member of the NASA landslides team. “Thanks to our collaboration with the Pacific Disaster Center, this powerful landslide technology is now even more accessible for the communities that need it most.”
LHASA uses a machine learning model that combines data on ground slope, soil moisture, snow, geological conditions, distance to faults, and the latest near real-time precipitation data from NASA’s IMERG product (part of the Global Precipitation Measurement mission). The model has been trained on a database of historical landslides and the conditions surrounding them, allowing it to recognize patterns that indicate a landslide is likely.
The result is a landslide “nowcast” – a map showing the potential of rainfall-triggered landslides occurring for any given region within the past day. This map of hazard likelihood can help agencies and officials rapidly assess areas where the current landslide risk is high. It can also give disaster response teams critical information on where a landslide may have occurred so they can investigate and deploy life-saving resources.
In 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, triggering a series of landslides across the country. Landslides can destroy infrastructure and impede the movement of people and life-saving aid. United Nations World Food Programme Partnering to Protect the Vulnerable
Generating landslide nowcasts is merely the first step. To be truly effective, vulnerable communities must receive the data in a way that is accessible and easy to integrate into existing disaster management plans. That’s where the Pacific Disaster Center comes in.
PDC is an applied research center managed by the University of Hawaii, and it shares NASA’s goal to reduce global disaster risk through innovative uses of science and technology. Its flagship DisasterAWARE software provides early warnings and risk assessment tools for 18 types of natural hazards and supports decision-making by a wide range of disaster management agencies, local governments, and humanitarian organizations. Prominent users include the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), and the World Food Programme (WFP).
“The close pairing of our organizations and use of PDC’s DisasterAWARE platform for early warning has been a special recipe for success in getting life-saving information into the hands of decision-makers and communities around the world,” said Chris Chiesa, PDC deputy executive director.
The collaboration with PDC brings NASA’s landslide tool to tens of thousands of existing DisasterAWARE users, dramatically increasing LHASA’s reach and effectiveness. Chiesa notes that teams in El Salvador, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic have already begun using these new capabilities to assess landslide hazards during the 2023 rainy season.
This screenshot from PDC’s DisasterAWARE Pro software shows LHASA landslide hazard probabilities for Myanmar in Sept. 2023. Red areas indicate the highest risk for landslide occurrence within the past three hours, while orange and yellow indicate lesser risk. Pacific Disaster Center PDC’s software ingests and interprets LHASA model data and generates maps of landslide risk severity. It then uses the data to generate landslide hazard alerts for a chosen region that the DisasterAWARE mobile app pushes to users. These alerts give communities critical information on potential hazards, enabling them to take protective measures.
DisasterAWARE also creates comprehensive regional risk reports that estimate the number of people and infrastructure exposed to a disaster – focusing specifically on things like bridges, roads, and hospitals that could complicate relief efforts when damaged. This information is critical for allowing decision-makers to effectively deploy resources to the areas that need them most.
DisasterAWARE landside risk report for Myanmar, showing estimated population, infrastructure and capital exposure to landslide risk, as well as the community’s needs. Pacific Disaster Center This effort between NASA and the PDC builds upon a history of fruitful cooperation between the organizations. In 2022, they deployed a NASA global flood modeling tool to enhance DisasterAWARE’s flood early-warning capabilities. They have also shared data and expertise during multiple disasters, including Hurricane Iota in 2020, the 2021 earthquake in Haiti, and the devastating August 2023 wildfires in Maui, PDC’s base of operations.
“The LHASA model is all open-source and leverages publicly available data from NASA and partners,” says Dalia Kirschbaum, lead of the NASA landslides team and director of Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “This enables other researchers and disaster response communities to adapt the framework to regional or local applications and further awareness at scales relevant to their decision-making needs.” Kirschbaum and her team were recently awarded the prestigious NASA Software of the Year award for their work developing LHASA.
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FAIRMONT – The NASA Independent Verification & Validation Program’s Orion Team received an award for their contributions to the Artemis I Mission during a ceremony hosted at the I-79 Technology Park, in Fairmont.
The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Space Flight Awareness (SFA) Award Ceremony is an annual event recognizing employees and teams who have made strides in their role in promoting astronaut safety and mission success. Members of the IV&V Orion Team took home the team award for significant contributions “to improving the quality, reliability, and safety of the Orion Program’s safety and mission critical software in support of the Artemis I Mission.”
Members of the IV&V Orion Team pose for a celebratory photo with Astronaut and Scientist Stanley Love at the Space Flight Awareness Awards Ceremony, in Fairmont. Travis Wohlrab GSFC Artemis I was an uncrewed lunar flight test and the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration at the Moon and future missions to Mars.
The IV&V winners were among those honored at a recent ceremony in Fairmont, West Virginia, with IV&V Program Director Wes Deadrick and NASA Astronaut and Scientist Stanley Love among those speaking at the event.
“It’s a treat to be able to come out and shake hands with some of the folks who keep us safe and keep our missions going,” Love said.
According to the SFA Program, the IV&V Orion Team identified and helped resolve nearly 3,000 high-severity issues and risks, working closely with its customers in the Orion Program and others.
According to the agency, on Artemis missions, Orion will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.
“NASA’s human spaceflight missions greatly rely on evolving systems and software, and if the safety for these systems fail then the mission fails,” Deadrick said during the ceremony. “In this regard, both for human spaceflight missions and for science missions, the IV&V Program has become indispensable to Goddard and the agency.”
IV&V Program Director Wes Deadrick makes a speech during the Space Flight Awareness Awards Ceremony, in Fairmont.Travis Wohlrab GSFC To learn more about the Artemis Program: Artemis – NASA
For more on the SFA Program and Awards, visit: Space Flight Awareness – NASA
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NASA Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month 2023: Azlin Biaggi-Labiosa
Azlin Biaggi-Labiosa, project manager at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.NASA Dr. Azlin Biaggi-Labiosa, born and raised in Puerto Rico, made a courageous decision to pivot her academic studies – launching her towards an accomplished career in defense, space, and aeronautics research for NASA.
She headed to medical school after earning her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico. After two years, she knew it was not the right path for her and shifted her sights to graduating with a doctorate in physics.
Now, she manages foundational electrified aircraft propulsion research for NASA’s Transformational Tools and Technologies project, leading a team of researchers aiming to develop innovative materials and methods to advance sustainable aviation.
Biaggi-Labiosa delivers a presentation in Spanish to engineering students at the University of Puerto Rico.NASA This past year, she gave back to her alma mater. Dr. Biaggi-Labiosa was instrumental in organizing university engagements and industry visits to Puerto Rico, building relationships with NASA. She delivered a project overview in Spanish to an engaged group of engineering students and has helped recruit inspiring individuals for NASA internships.
Today, we celebrate Dr. Biaggi-Labiosa’s selection as a 2023 Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC) award winner in the category of Outstanding Technical Achievement – Government.
Individuals who are awarded in the Outstanding Technical Achievement category have made a significant technological contribution to STEM through key research and by having designed, developed, managed, or assisted in the development of a product, service, system, or intellectual property.
The HENAAC awards were created in 1989 to honor the world-class achievements of outstanding Hispanic engineers, scientists, and STEM professionals.
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