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    • By NASA
      Ed Stone, former director of JPL and project scientist for the Voyager mission, died on June 9, 2024. A friend, mentor, and colleague to many, he was known for his straightforward leadership and commitment to communicating with the public.NASA/JPL-Caltech Known for his steady leadership, consensus building, and enthusiasm for engaging the public in science, Stone left a deep impact on the space community.
      Edward C. Stone, former director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, and longtime project scientist of the agency’s Voyager mission, died on June 9, 2024. He was 88. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice Stone. They are survived by their two daughters, Susan and Janet Stone, and two grandsons.
      Stone also served as the David Morrisroe professor of physics and vice provost for special projects at Caltech in Pasadena, California, which last year established a new faculty position, the Edward C. Stone Professorship.
      “Ed Stone was a trailblazer who dared mighty things in space. He was a dear friend to all who knew him, and a cherished mentor to me personally,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Ed took humanity on a planetary tour of our solar system and beyond, sending NASA where no spacecraft had gone before. His legacy has left a tremendous and profound impact on NASA, the scientific community, and the world. My condolences to his family and everyone who loved him. Thank you, Ed, for everything.”
      Stone served on nine NASA missions as either principal investigator or a science instrument lead, and on five others as a co-investigator (a key science instrument team member). These roles primarily involved studying energetic ions from the Sun and cosmic rays from the galaxy. He was one of the few scientists involved with both the mission that has come closest to the Sun (NASA’s Parker Solar Probe) and the one that has traveled farthest from it (Voyager).
      Ed Stone became project scientist for the Voyager mission in 1972, five years before launch, and served in the role for a total of 50 years. During that time, he also served as director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the Voyager mission for the agency. NASA/JPL-Caltech “Ed will be remembered as an energetic leader and scientist who expanded our knowledge about the universe — from the Sun to the planets to distant stars — and sparked our collective imaginations about the mysteries and wonders of deep space,” said Laurie Leshin, JPL director and Caltech vice president. “Ed’s discoveries have fueled exploration of previously unseen corners of our solar system and will inspire future generations to reach new frontiers. He will be greatly missed and always remembered by the NASA, JPL, and Caltech communities and beyond.”
      From 1972 until his retirement in 2022, Stone served as the project scientist from NASA’s longest-running mission, Voyager. The two Voyager probes took advantage of a celestial alignment that occurs just once every 176 years to visit Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. During their journeys, the spacecraft revealed the first active volcanoes beyond Earth on Jupiter’s moon Io, and an atmosphere rich with organic molecules on Saturn’s moon Titan. Voyager 2 remains the only spacecraft to fly by Uranus and Neptune, revealing Uranus’ unusual tipped magnetic poles, and the icy geysers erupting from Neptune’s moon Triton.
      “Becoming Voyager project scientist was the best decision I made in my life,” Stone said in 2018. “It opened a wonderful door of exploration.”
      During Stone’s tenure as JPL’s director from 1991 to 2001, the federally funded research and development facility was responsible for more than two dozen missions and science instruments. Among them was NASA’s Pathfinder mission, which landed on Mars in 1996 with the first Red Planet rover, Sojourner. The next year saw the launch of the NASA-ESA (European Space Agency) Cassini/Huygens mission.
      JPL also developed six missions for planetary exploration, astrophysics, Earth sciences, and heliophysics under Stone’s leadership.
      Journey to Space
      The eldest of two sons, Stone was born in Knoxville, Iowa, during the Great Depression and grew up in the nearby commercial center of Burlington. After high school, he studied physics at Burlington Junior College and went on to the University of Chicago for graduate school. Shortly after he was accepted there, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, and the Space Age began. Stone joined a team building instruments to launch into space.
      “Space was a brand-new field waiting for discovery,” Stone recalled in 2018.
      In 1964, he joined Caltech as a postdoctoral fellow, running the Space Radiation Lab together with Robbie Vogt, who had been a colleague at Chicago. They worked on a number of NASA satellite missions, studying galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles.  
      Depending on the mission, Stone served as a co-investigator or principal investigator for the missions’ instrument teams, and Vogt could see his leadership potential. “Ed didn’t let emotions get in the way of doing the best possible job,” he said. “His personality is to solve a problem when it arises.” In 1972, Vogt recommended Stone to JPL leadership to be Voyager project scientist.
      Among Stone’s many awards is the National Medal of Science from President George H.W. Bush. In 2019, he was presented with the Shaw Prize in Astronomy, with an award of $1.2 million, for his leadership in the Voyager project. Stone was also proud to have a middle school named after him in Burlington, Iowa, as an inspiration to young learners.
      News Media Contact
      Calla Cofield
      Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
      626-808-2469
      calla.e.cofield@jpl.nasa.gov
      2024-081
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      Last Updated Jun 11, 2024 Related Terms
      Voyager Program Heliophysics Heliosphere Jet Propulsion Laboratory Jupiter Neptune Planetary Science Saturn The Solar System Uranus Voyager 1 Voyager 2 Explore More
      6 min read NASA Watches Mars Light Up During Epic Solar Storm
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    • By NASA
      Overview
      NASA’s Communications Services Project, known as CSP, is pioneering a new era of space communications by partnering with industry to provide commercial space relay communications services for NASA missions near Earth. CSP’s goal is to validate and deliver these commercial communication services to the Near Space Network by 2030. To meet this goal, CSP provided $278.5 million in funding to six domestic partners to develop and demonstrate space relay communication capabilities.

      CSP aims to deliver innovative capabilities to meet NASA mission needs, while simultaneously supporting the growing commercial space communications market in the United States. CSP intends for future commercial space relay communication services to also support other government agencies and commercial space flight companies, further bolstering the domestic space industry.

      Capability Development and Demos
      CSP’s Capability Development and Demonstration (CDD) sub-project is responsible for ensuring commercial space relay capabilities will be available to support NASA missions and ready for validation in 2028. The CDD sub-project also conducts insight into industry activities, primarily through partnership agreements such as the Funded Space Act Agreements (FSAAs) CSP established with six industry partners.

      To contact the CSP Capability Development and Demonstrations team, email the Capability Development and Demonstration Sub-Project Manager, Dave Chelmins, dchelmins@nasa.gov.

      Mission Support
      CSP’s Mission Support (MS) sub-project supports NASA missions as they prepare to make the transition to commercial space relay communication services. The MS sub-project leads CSP’s Commercial Services User Group and conducts simulations to help mission better understand the benefits and impacts of transitioning to commercial communication services. In addition, the MS sub-project facilitates demonstrations between early-adopter NASA missions and commercial service providers.

      To contact the CSP Mission Support team, email Mission Support Sub-Project Manager, Ryan Richards, ryan.m.richards@nasa.gov.

      Service Infusion
      CSP is developing a set of service requirements that commercial providers must meet before they can provide operational services to NASA missions. The CSP Service Infusion (SI) sub-project is responsible for developing, and coordinating, these service requirements with key stakeholders including the mission community, the Near Space Network, and NASA’s mission directorate leadership. The CSP SI sub-project is also responsible for validating commercial services and transitioning these services to the NSN for operational use.

      To contact the CSP Service Infusion team, contact Service Infusion Sub-Project Manager, Jennifer Rock, jennifer.l.rock@nasa.gov.

      Near Earth Operations Testbed
      CSP’s Near Earth Operations Testbed (NEO-T) sub-project develops advanced hardware-in-the-loop emulation capabilities that allow NASA missions interact with commercial space relay communication services from the comfort of the laboratory. NEO-T will allow direct connections between mission hardware and actual commercial provider systems, and supports missions from planning through system integration phases, and beyond.

      To contact the CSP Near Earth Operations Testbed team, email the NEO-Testbed Sub-Project Manager, Nang Pham, nang.t.pham@nasa.gov.

      FSAA Partners
      NASA’s Communications Services Project has six Funded Space Act Agreements (FSAA) with industry partners to develop and demonstrate commercial space relay communication services.
      Inmarsat Government Inc.
      Inmarsat Government will demonstrate a variety of space-based applications enabled by their established ELERA worldwide L-band network and ELERA satellites.
      Kuiper Government Solutions LLC
      Kuiper will deploy over 3,000 satellites in low-Earth orbit that link to small customer terminals on one end and a global network of hundreds of ground gateways on the other.
      SES Government Solutions
      SES will develop a real-time, high-availability connectivity solution enabled by their established geostationary and medium-Earth orbit satellite constellations.
      Space Exploration Technologies
      SpaceX plans to connect their established Starlink constellation and extensive ground system to user spacecraft through optical intersatellite links for customers in low-Earth orbit.
      Telesat U.S. Services LLC
      Telesat plans to leverage their Telesat Lightspeed network with optical intersatellite link technology to provide seamless end-to-end connectivity for low-Earth orbit missions.
      Viasat Incorporated
      Viasat’s Real-Time Space Relay service, enabled by the anticipated ViaSat-3 network, is designed to offer a persistent on-demand capability for low-Earth orbit operators.
      Contact Us
      CSP is managed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, under the direction of NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) program. SCaN serves as the program office for all of NASA’s space communications activities, presently enabling the success of more than 100 NASA and non-NASA missions.

      To contact NASA’s Communications Services Project, email the CSP Manager, Dr. Peter Schemmel, peter.j.schemmel@nasa.gov.

      To contact the Space Communications and Navigation program, email scan@nasa.gov.
      View the full article
    • By Space Force
      Service members and civilians from the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France and Japan participated in Project Convergence Capstone Four at Camp Pendleton.

      View the full article
    • By NASA
      1 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      Following an in-depth, independent project review, NASA has decided to discontinue the On-orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 (OSAM-1) project due to continued technical, cost, and schedule challenges, and a broader community evolution away from refueling unprepared spacecraft, which has led to a lack of a committed partner. Following Congressional notification processes, project management plans to complete an orderly shutdown, including the disposition of sensitive hardware, pursuing potential partnerships or alternative hardware uses, and licensing of applicable technological developments. NASA leadership also is reviewing how to mitigate the impact of the cancellation on the workforce at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
      Media Contact:
      Jimi Russell
      NASA Headquarters
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      3 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      In the dawn of the Space Age, a group of scientists and engineers from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) had their eye on a new frontier: the uncharted expanse of space. Project Vanguard, initiated in 1955, aimed to launch the first American satellite into Earth orbit as part of the International Geophysical Year (July 1957 to December 1958). Led by NRL, it envisioned a three-stage rocket design and emphasized scientific instrumentation over military application while showcasing American ingenuity. Despite its ambitious goals, Project Vanguard encountered difficulties. The first five Vanguard launch attempts suffered critical failures, earning it the nickname “Flopnik” in the press. The public, eager for American success in space following the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik 1, was disappointed in Vanguard’s performance. However, Vanguard’s legacy extends beyond its initial setbacks. On March 17, 1958, Vanguard TV-4, also known as Vanguard I, achieved orbit to become America’s second satellite and the world’s fourth artificial satellite in space. This success marked a major milestone and instilled renewed confidence in the project. Today, Vanguard I remains in space as the oldest satellite orbiting the Earth.
      The Vanguard II satellite is prepared for launch on the Vanguard SLV-4 rocket in early 1959. NASA Goddard Archives The sphere-shaped Vanguard II satellite reflects the scene in this 1959 photo from the preparations for its launch.NASA Goddard Archives A few months after the launch of Vanguard I in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and on May 1, 1959, NASA Administrator Dr. T. Keith Glennan announced that the Beltsville Space Center would become Goddard Space Flight Center. The center would be under the overall guidance of Dr. Abe Silverstein, then Director of Space Flight Development at NASA Headquarters.
      Recognizing the expertise and dedication of the NRL team, NASA transferred many employees from Project Vanguard to form the nucleus of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The migration of NRL scientists and engineers to Goddard wasn’t merely a paperwork shuffle, it was the transfer of their vital knowledge and experience.
      Their impact was immediate. While initially tasked with completing Vanguard’s mission, the Goddard center quickly expanded its scope, encompassing Earth science, astrophysics, and space exploration. Early Goddard employees formed the core of several projects, including the Explorer series of satellites and the Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) Program. They tackled the challenges of satellite communication, laying the groundwork for technologies that would be used for years.
      Goddard’s dedication ceremony took place on March 16, 1961, but its employees were hard at work well before that day. According to one employee’s account, the Applied Mathematics Branch moved from an office in Anacostia to the Greenbelt site on May 9, 1960. Other employees from a Massachusetts Avenue office building in Washington, DC, arrived around the same time. Those early days at Goddard were not easy. Parking lots had not been paved and signs at the center directed employees to park their cars under a large grove of oak trees. Some buildings did not yet have running water and portable toilets were available outside.
      The parking area outside Building 1 at Goddard Space Flight Center circa 1960 left room for improvement. NASA Goddard Archives Portable toilets were also parked outside Building 1 circa 1960 when running water at the site was still unavailable.NASA Goddard Archives In celebration of Vanguard II’s sixtieth anniversary in 2019, the Goddard Archives installed newly preserved flight spares of Vanguard II and Vanguard III. Vanguard II hangs in the atrium of Building 33 and Vanguard III hangs in the visitor’s center. The Goddard Archives also hosted an event to highlight Goddard’s roots in Project Vanguard. In attendance were NRL historian Angelina Callahan, who gave a short talk about NRL and Project Vanguard, and five employees who worked at Goddard when it was first established. The legacy of the early work at NASA Goddard endures, not just in its scientific achievements, but also in its inspiring work exploring the frontiers of our universe.
      Five of the original employees at Goddard Space Flight Center participated in a celebration of Vanguard II’s sixtieth anniversary in 2019. From left to right they are Andy Anderson, Ed Habib, Bill Hocking, Ron Muller, and Pete Serbu.NASA/GSFC Read Vanguard: A History (SP-4202) More History of Goddard Space Flight Center About the Author
      Christine Stevens
      NASA Chief Archivist
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      Last Updated Feb 15, 2024 LocationGoddard Space Flight Center Related Terms
      NASA History Goddard Space Flight Center Explore More
      2 min read Launch of TIROS 1, World’s 1st Weather Satellite — This Week in Goddard History: March 31–April 6
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