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    • By NASA
      4 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      High school and collegiate student teams gathered just north of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to participate in the agency’s annual Student Launch competition April 13. Credits: NASA/Charles Beason Over 1,000 students from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico launched high-powered, amateur rockets on April 13, just north of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, as part of the agency’s annual Student Launch competition.
      Teams of middle school, high school, college, and university students were tasked to design, build, and launch a rocket and scientific payload to an altitude between 4,000 and 6,000 feet, while making a successful landing and executing a scientific or engineering payload mission.
      “These bright students rise to a nine-month challenge that tests their skills in engineering, design, and teamwork,” said Kevin McGhaw, director of NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement Southeast Region. “They are the Artemis Generation, the future scientists, engineers, and innovators who will lead us into the future of space exploration.”
      NASA announced the University of Notre Dame is the overall winner of the agency’s 2024 Student Launch challenge, followed by Iowa State University, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A complete list challenge winners can be found on the agency’s student launch web page.
      Each year NASA implements a new payload challenge to reflect relevant missions. This year’s payload challenge is inspired by the Artemis missions, which seek to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.
      The complete list of award winners are as follows:
      2024 Overall Winners
      First place: University of Notre Dame, Indiana Second place: Iowa State University, Ames Third place: University of North Carolina at Charlotte 3D Printing Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Tennessee Chattanooga Middle/High School Level:
      First place: First Baptist Church of Manchester, Manchester, Connecticut Altitude Award
      College Level:
      First place: Iowa State University, Ames Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Morris County 4-H, Califon, New Jersey Best-Looking Rocket Award:
      College Level:
      First place: New York University, Brooklyn, New York Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Notre Dame Academy High School, Los Angeles American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Reusable Launch Vehicle Innovative Payload Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Colorado Boulder Second place: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee Third place: Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Judge’s Choice Award:
      Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa Second place: Young Engineers in Action, LaPalma, California Third place: First Baptist Church of Manchester, Manchester, Connecticut Project Review Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Florida, Gainesville AIAA Reusable Launch Vehicle Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Florida, Gainesville Second place: University of North Carolina at Charlotte Third place: University of Notre Dame, Indiana AIAA Rookie Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Colorado Boulder Safety Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Notre Dame, Indiana Second place: University of Florida, Gainesville Third place: University of North Carolina at Charlotte Social Media Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Colorado Boulder Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Newark Memorial High School, Newark, California STEM Engagement Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Notre Dame, Indiana Second place: University of North Carolina at Charlotte Third place: New York University, Brooklyn, New York Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Notre Dame Academy High School, Los Angeles, California Second place: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa Third place: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia Service Academy Award:
      First place: United States Air Force Academy, USAF Academy, Colorado
      Vehicle Design Award:
      Middle/High School Level:
      First place: First Baptist Church of Manchester, Manchester, Connecticut Second place: Explorer Post 1010, Rockville, Maryland Third place: Plantation High School, Plantation, Florida Payload Design Award:
      Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Young Engineers in Action, LaPalma, California Second place: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa Third place: Spring Grove Area High School, Spring Grove, Pennsylvania Student Launch is one of NASA’s nine Artemis Student Challenges, activities which connect student ingenuity with NASA’s work returning to the Moon under Artemis in preparation for human exploration of Mars.
      The competition is managed by Marshall’s Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM). Additional funding and support are provided by NASA’s OSTEM via the Next Gen STEM project, NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate, Northrup Grumman, National Space Club Huntsville, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Association of Rocketry, Relativity Space, and Bastion Technologies.
      To watch the full virtual awards ceremony, please visit NASA Marshall’s YouTube channel.
      For more information about Student Launch, visit:
      https://www.nasa.gov/stem/studentlaunch/home/index.html
      For more information about other NASA challenges, please visit:
      https://stem.nasa.gov/artemis/
      Taylor Goodwin
      Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
      256.544.0034 
      taylor.goodwin@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Jun 14, 2024 Related Terms
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      4 min read NASA Announces New System to Aid Disaster Response
      In early May, widespread flooding and landslides occurred in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande…
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    • By NASA
      In early May, widespread flooding and landslides occurred in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, leaving thousands of people without food, water, or electricity. In the following days, NASA teams provided data and imagery to help on-the-ground responders understand the disaster’s impacts and deploy aid.
      Building on this response and similar successes, on June 13, NASA announced a new system to support disaster response organizations in the U.S. and around the world.
      Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue team in Adiyaman, Turkey (Türkiye), conducting rescue efforts in the wake of powerful earthquakes that struck the region in February 2023. NASA provided maps and data to support USAID and other regional partners during these earthquakes. USAID “When disasters strike, NASA is here to help — at home and around the world,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “As challenges from extreme weather grow, so too does the value of NASA’s efforts to provide critical Earth observing data to disaster-response teams on the frontlines. We’ve done so for years. Now, through this system, we expand our capability to help power our U.S. government partners, international partners, and relief organizations across the globe as they take on disasters — and save lives.”
      The team behind NASA’s Disaster Response Coordination System gathers science, technology, data, and expertise from across the agency and provides it to emergency managers. The new system will be able to provide up-to-date information on fires, earthquakes, landslides, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme events.
      NASA Administrator Bill Nelson delivers remarks during an event launching a new Disaster Response Coordination System that will provide communities and organizations around the world with access to science and data to aid disaster response, Thursday, June 13, 2024, at the NASA Headquarters Mary W. Jackson Building in Washington. NASA/Bill Ingalls “The risk from climate-related hazards is increasing, making more people vulnerable to extreme events,” said Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. “This is particularly true for the 10% of the global population living in low-lying coastal regions who are vulnerable to storm surges, waves and tsunamis, and rapid erosion. NASA’s disaster system is designed to deliver trusted, actionable Earth science in ways and means that can be used immediately, to enable effective response to disasters and ultimately help save lives.”
      Agencies working with NASA include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Agency for International Development — as well as international organizations such as World Central Kitchen.
      “With this deliberate and structured approach, we can be even more effective in putting Earth science into action,” said Josh Barnes, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Barnes manages the Disaster Response Coordination System.
      NASA Disasters Team Aiding Brazil
      When the floods and landslides ravaged parts of Brazil in May, officials from the U.S. Southern Command — working with the U.S. Space Force and Air Force, and regional partners — reached out to NASA for Earth-observing data.
      Image Before/After NASA’s response included maps of potential power outages from the Black Marble project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Disaster response coordinators at NASA Goddard also reviewed high-resolution optical data — from the Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition Program — to map more than 4,000 landslides.
      Response coordinators from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, both in Southern California, produced flood extent maps using data from the NASA and U.S. Geological Survey Landsat mission and from ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite. Response coordinators at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston also provided photographs of the flooding taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
      Building on Previous Work
      The Brazil event is just one of hundreds of responses NASA has supported over the past decade. The team aids decision-making for a wide range of natural hazards and disasters, from hurricanes and earthquakes to tsunamis and oil spills. 
      “NASA’s Disasters Program advances science for disaster resilience and develops accessible resources to help communities around the world make informed decisions for disaster planning,” said Shanna McClain, manager of NASA’s Disasters Program. “The new Disaster Response Coordination System significantly expands our efforts to bring the power of Earth science when responding to disasters.”
      For more information visit:
      https://disasters.nasa.gov/response
      By Jacob Reed
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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      Last Updated Jun 13, 2024 Editor Rob Garner Related Terms
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      Last Updated Jun 13, 2024 EditorLoura Hall Related Terms
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    • By NASA
      The Virginia Tech team, winners of first place overall in the RASC-AL 2024 competition.NASA Out of 14 finalist teams that encompassed collegiate and university representation from across the globe, the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University team with their concept, “Project Draupnir,” in the AI-Powered Self-Replicating Probe theme, took home top prize in NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition.  
      The University of Maryland took second place overall for their concept, “SITIS: Subsurface Ice and Terrain In-situ Surveyor,” while South Dakota State University took third place overall with “POSEID-N: Prospecting Observation System for Exploration, Investigation, Discovery, and Navigation,” both in the Large-Scale Lunar Crater Prospector theme.  
      The first and second place overall winning teams will receive a travel stipend to present their work at the 2024 AIAA Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery (ASCEND) Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in July. 
      The University of Maryland team, winners of second place overall in the RASC-AL 2024 competition.NASA In its 23rd year, RASC-AL is one of NASA’s longest running higher education competitions.  
      “It’s an engaging engineering design challenge that fosters collaboration, innovation, and hard work. Finalist teams also enjoy the comradery and networking opportunities at our annual forum in Cocoa Beach, Florida,” said Pat Troutman, program assistant, technical for NASA’s Strategy and Architecture Office. “Each year, the competition grows as more and more students want to contribute to NASA’s mission of improving humanity’s ability to operate on the Moon, Mars and beyond.”  
      The forum is attended by NASA and industry subject matter experts who judge the presentations and offer valuable feedback. New this year, RASC-AL teams based in the United States were encouraged to work with universities from countries that have signed The Artemis Accords – a set of principles designed to guide civil space exploration and use in the 21st century. 
      Finalist teams responded to one of four themes, ranging from developing large-scale lunar surface architectures enabling long-term off-world habitation, to designing new systems that leverage in-situ resources for in-space travel and exploration. 
      The South Dakota State team, winners of third place overall in the RASC-AL 2024 competition.NASA Additional 2024 Forum awards include: 
      Best in Theme: 
      AI-Powered Self-Replicating Probes – an Evolutionary Approach:   Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, “Project Draupnir”  Large-Scale Lunar Crater Prospector:  University of Maryland, “SITIS: Subsurface Ice and Terrain In-situ Surveyor”  Sustained Lunar Evolution: University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, “Permanent Outpost Lunar Architecture for Research and Innovative Services (POLARIS)”  Long Duration Mars Simulation at the Moon: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the National Higher French Institute of Aeronautics and Space (ISAE-SUPAERO), “MARTEMIS: Mars Architecture Research using Taguchi Experiments on the Moon with International Solidarity”  Other Awards: 
      Best Prototype: South Dakota State University, “POSEID-N: Prospecting Observation System for Exploration, Investigation, Discovery, and Navigation”  RASC-AL is open to undergraduate and graduate students studying disciplines related to human exploration, including aerospace, bio-medical, electrical, and mechanical engineering, and life, physical, and computer sciences. RASC-AL projects allow students to incorporate their coursework into space exploration objectives in a team environment and help bridge strategic knowledge gaps associated with NASA’s vision. Students have the opportunity to interact with NASA officials and industry experts and develop relationships that could lead to participation in other NASA student research programs.  
      RASC-AL is sponsored by the Strategies and Architectures Office within the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, and by the Space Mission Analysis Branch within the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA Langley. It is administered by the National Institute of Aerospace.  
      For more information about the RASC-AL competition, including complete theme and submission guidelines, visit: http://rascal.nianet.org. 
      Facebook logo @NASA@nasalarc @NASA@NASA_Langley Instagram logo @NASA@NASA_Langley Linkedin logo @NASA@company/nasa-langley-research-center Share
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      Last Updated Jun 13, 2024 Related Terms
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