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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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This June 2021 aerial photograph shows the coastal launch range at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The Atlantic Ocean is at the right side of this image, and nearby Chincoteague and Assateague islands are at upper left and right, respectively. A subset of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops is the agency’s only owned-and-operated launch range. Shore replenishment and elevated infrastructure at the range are incorporated into Goddard’s recently approved master plan.courtesy Patrick J. Hendrickson; used with permission Two sounding rockets are scheduled to launch for the Department of Defense from NASA’s launch range at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The launch window is Nov. 15-17, 2023. No launch times will be provided.
No real-time launch status updates will be available. The launches will not be livestreamed.
The rocket launches are expected to be visible from the Chesapeake Bay region.
Last Updated Nov 13, 2023 Editor Amy L. Barra Contact Amy L. Barraamy.firstname.lastname@example.org Location Wallops Flight Facility Related Terms
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Scientists using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope just made a breakthrough discovery in revealing how planets are made. By observing water vapor in protoplanetary disks, Webb confirmed a physical process involving the drifting of ice-coated solids from the outer regions of the disk into the rocky-planet zone.
Theories have long proposed that icy pebbles forming in the cold, outer regions of protoplanetary disks — the same area where comets originate in our solar system — should be the fundamental seeds of planet formation. The main requirement of these theories is that pebbles should drift inward toward the star due to friction in the gaseous disk, delivering both solids and water to planets.
A fundamental prediction of this theory is that as icy pebbles enter into the warmer region within the “snowline” — where ice transitions to vapor — they should release large amounts of cold water vapor. This is exactly what Webb observed.
“Webb finally revealed the connection between water vapor in the inner disk and the drift of icy pebbles from the outer disk,” said principal investigator Andrea Banzatti of Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. “This finding opens up exciting prospects for studying rocky planet formation with Webb!”
“In the past, we had this very static picture of planet formation, almost like there were these isolated zones that planets formed out of,” explained team member Colette Salyk of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. “Now we actually have evidence that these zones can interact with each other. It’s also something that is proposed to have happened in our solar system.”
Image: Planet-forming Disks
Artist’s Concept: This artist’s concept compares two types of typical, planet-forming disks around newborn, Sun-like stars. On the left is a compact disk, and on the right is an extended disk with gaps. Scientists using Webb recently studied four protoplanetary disks—two compact and two extended. The researchers designed their observations to test whether compact planet-forming disks have more water in their inner regions than extended planet-forming disks with gaps. This would happen if ice-covered pebbles in the compact disks drift more efficiently into the close-in regions nearer to the star and deliver large amounts of solids and water to the just-forming, rocky, inner planets. Current research proposes that large planets may cause rings of increased pressure, where pebbles tend to collect. As the pebbles drift, any time they encounter an increase in pressure, they tend to collect there. These pressure traps don’t necessarily shut down pebble drift, but they do impede it. This is what appears to be happening in the large disks with rings and gaps. This also could have been a role of Jupiter in our solar system — inhibiting pebbles and water delivery to our small, inner, and relatively water-poor rocky planets. NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted (STScI) Harnessing the Power of Webb
The researchers used Webb’s MIRI (the Mid-Infrared Instrument) to study four disks — two compact and two extended — around Sun-like stars. All four of these stars are estimated to be between 2 and 3 million years old, just newborns in cosmic time.
The two compact disks are expected to experience efficient pebble drift, delivering pebbles to well within a distance equivalent to Neptune’s orbit. In contrast, the extended disks are expected to have their pebbles retained in multiple rings as far out as six times the orbit of Neptune.
The Webb observations were designed to determine whether compact disks have a higher water abundance in their inner, rocky planet region, as expected if pebble drift is more efficient and is delivering lots of solid mass and water to inner planets. The team chose to use MIRI’s MRS (the Medium-Resolution Spectrometer) because it is sensitive to water vapor in disks.
The results confirmed expectations by revealing excess cool water in the compact disks, compared with the large disks.
Image: Water Abundance
Emission Spectrum – Water Abundance: This graphic compares the spectral data for warm and cool water in the GK Tau disk, which is a compact disk without rings, and extended CI Tau disk, which has at least three rings on different orbits. The science team employed the unprecedented resolving power of MIRI’s MRS (the Medium-Resolution Spectrometer) to separate the spectra into individual lines that probe water at different temperatures. These spectra, seen in the top graph, clearly reveal excess cool water in the compact GK Tau disk, compared with the large CI Tau disk. The bottom graph shows the excess cool water data in the compact GK Tau disk minus the cool water data in the extended CI Tau disk. The actual data, in purple, are overlaid on a model spectrum of cool water. Note how closely they align. NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak (STScI) As the pebbles drift, any time they encounter a pressure bump — an increase in pressure — they tend to collect there. These pressure traps don’t necessarily shut down pebble drift, but they do impede it. This is what appears to be happening in the large disks with rings and gaps.
Current research proposes that large planets may cause rings of increased pressure, where pebbles tend to collect. This also could have been a role of Jupiter in our solar system — inhibiting pebbles and water delivery to our small, inner, and relatively water-poor rocky planets.
Solving the Riddle
When the data first came in, the results were puzzling to the research team. “For two months, we were stuck on these preliminary results that were telling us that the compact disks had colder water, and the large disks had hotter water overall,” remembered Banzatti. “This made no sense, because we had selected a sample of stars with very similar temperatures.”
Only when Banzatti overlaid the data from the compact disks onto the data from the large disks did the answer clearly emerge: the compact disks have extra cool water just inside the snowline, at about ten times closer than the orbit of Neptune.
“Now we finally see unambiguously that it is the colder water that has an excess,” said Banzatti. “This is unprecedented and entirely due to Webb’s higher resolving power!”
Image: Icy Pebble Drift
This graphic is an interpretation of data from Webb’s MIRI, the Mid-Infrared Instrument, which is sensitive to water vapor in disks. It shows the difference between pebble drift and water content in a compact disk versus an extended disk with rings and gaps. In the compact disk on the left, as the ice-covered pebbles drift inward toward the warmer region closer to the star, they are unimpeded. As they cross the snow line, their ice turns to vapor and provides a large amount of water to enrich the just-forming, rocky, inner planets. On the right is an extended disk with rings and gaps. As the ice-covered pebbles begin their journey inward, many become stopped by the gaps and trapped in the rings. Fewer icy pebbles are able to make it across the snow line to deliver water to the inner region of the disk.NASA, ESA, CSA, Joseph Olmsted (STScI) The team’s results appear in the Nov. 8 edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.
Laura Betz – email@example.com
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
Download full resolution images for this article from the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Research results in the Nov. 8 edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
More about protoplanetary disks on NASA’s Universe website.
More Webb News – https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/latestnews/
More Webb Images – https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/multimedia/images/
Webb Mission Page – https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/
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NASA has awarded the Kennedy Operational and Institutional Support (KOIS) contract to Chiricahua-Logical Joint Venture of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to provide services at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
KOIS is an Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity, Level of Effort contract that includes a one-month phase-in period beginning Nov. 1, 2023, followed by a 22-month base period and three 1-year option periods. The maximum total award value is not to exceed $20 million.
The scope includes a broad range of operational and institutional support services including internal controls for property, logistics, American Sign Language interpreter, institutional training and development, and export control support.
The contract covers onsite and offsite work at Kennedy, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, and other locations authorized by the contracting officer, including other NASA Centers if the need arises.
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NASA Glenn Seeking Proposals to Support 2024 Events
Oct. 26, 2023
NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland wants to collaborate with organizations across the country to bring the NASA experience to new, diverse audiences.
Glenn has a collection of engaging exhibits and a pool of experts who can speak on space and aeronautics topics. NASA engagement is popular, and each year Glenn receives more event requests than it can accommodate.
Organizations are invited to take advantage of this opportunity and submit proposals for established events taking place in 2024 that could benefit from a NASA engagement presence.
This opportunity is designed to provide organizations with:
Interactive NASA exhibits and historical artifacts to showcase NASA’s missions and research. Access to NASA subject matter experts for interactive speaking engagements. All proposals are to be submitted through an online proposal form. Proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Nov. 17, 2023. Only proposals submitted online will be accepted for review. For more information about this opportunity, visit: LINK.
For answers to questions about the project or proposal form, contact NASA Glenn’s Office of Communications at GRC-Public-Engagement@mail.nasa.gov.
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