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    • By NASA
      From the left, NASA Kennedy Space Center’s, Maui Dalton, project manager, engineering; Katherine Zeringue, cultural resources manager; Janet Petro, NASA Kennedy Space Center director; and Ismael Otero, project manager, engineering, unveil a large bronze historical marker plaque at the location of NASA Kennedy’s original headquarters building on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Approved in April 2023 as part of the State of Florida’s Historical Markers program in celebration of National Historic Preservation Month, the marker commemorates the early days of space exploration and is displayed permanently just west of the seven-story, 200,000 square foot Central Campus Headquarters Building, which replaced the old building in 2019.Photo credit:: NASA/Mike Chambers Current and former employees of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida gathered recently to celebrate the installation of a Florida Historical Marker cast in bronze at the location of the spaceport’s old headquarters building.
      The first of its kind inside the center’s secure area, the marker is the latest example of the center’s commitment to remembering its rich history as it continues to launch humanity’s future.
      At the forefront of NASA Kennedy’s commitment to preservation is Katherine Zeringue, who serves as cultural resources manager, overseeing the center’s historic resources from buildings to historic districts to archaeological sites.
      “Traditional approaches attempt to preserve things to a specific time period, including historic materials,” Zeringue said. “But that’s a challenge here because we still actively use our historic assets, which need to be modified to accommodate new missions and new spacecraft. Therefore, we rely on an adaptive reuse approach, in which the active use of a historic property helps to ensure its preservation.”
      Many iconic structures are still in service at NASA Kennedy, like the Beach House where Apollo astronauts congregated with their families, the Vehicle Assembly Building where NASA rockets are still stacked, the Launch Control Center, and Launch Complex 39A. All told, 83 buildings, seven historic districts, and one National Historic Landmark are either listed or are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
      To conserve these resources, the spaceport follows a variety of federal laws, regulations, and executive orders, including the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. This includes making a reasonable and good faith effort to identify any historic properties under its care and considering how its decisions affect historic properties.
      “The Cultural Resources Management Program aims to balance historic preservation considerations with the agency’s mission and mandate to ensure reliable access to space for government and commercial payloads,” Zeringue said. “Finding that proper balance is challenging in the dynamic environment of our spaceport.”
      Perhaps no other location embodies the center’s commitment to the past and the future more than Launch Complex 39A. Created in 1965, the launch complex was initially designed to support the Saturn V rocket, which powered the agency’s Apollo Program as it made numerous trips to the Moon. Outside of launching Skylab in 1973, the pad stood unused following Apollo’s end in 1972 until the agency’s Space Shuttle Program debuted in 1981. The transition from Apollo to space shuttle saw Launch Complex 39A transform from support of a single-use rocket to supporting the nation’s first reusable space launch and landing system.
      By the time the program ended in 2011, 135 space shuttle launches had taken place within Kennedy’s boundary, 82 of which were at Launch Complex 39A. Many of those were among the program’s most notable, including the flights of astronauts Sally Ride, NASA’s first woman in space, and Guion Bluford, NASA’s first Black astronaut in space, as well as the first flight to the newly created International Space Station in 1998.
      The launch complex began another transformation in 2014 when NASA signed a 20-year lease agreement with SpaceX as part of Kennedy’s transformation into a multi-user spaceport. SpaceX reconfigured Launch Complex 39A to support its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, which today launch robotic science missions and other government and commercial payloads, as well as crew and cargo to the space station. Apollo-era infrastructure is incorporated in the SpaceX Crew Launch Tower.
      “Launch Complex 39A exemplifies the balance between historic preservation and supporting the mission,” Zeringue noted. “Each chapter of the space program brings change, and those changes become additional chapters in the center’s historical legacy as we continue to build the future in space exploration.”
      View the full article
    • By European Space Agency
      The 2024 edition of the Berlin International Airshow (ILA), Germany's largest aerospace trade show, returns to Berlin ExpoCenter Airport from 5 to 9 June. The European Space Agency is taking part to present Europe's future endeavours in space and the agency’s ambitions. On the first three days, an extensive programme of sessions awaits thousands of professional attendees, while the last two days will be open to the public, welcoming visitors of all ages and backgrounds. 
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      This artist’s concept features one of multiple initial possible design options for NASA’s Habitable Worlds Observatory. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab NASA announced Friday it selected three industry proposals to help develop technologies for future large space telescopes and plan for the agency’s Habitable Worlds Observatory mission concept, which could be the first space telescope designed to search for life outside our solar system.
      The mission would directly image Earth-like planets around stars like our Sun and study their atmospheres for the chemical signatures of life, as well as enable other investigations about our solar system and universe. NASA is currently in the early planning stages for this mission concept, with community-wide working groups exploring its fundamental science goals and how best to pursue them. The agency is also in the process of establishing a Habitable Worlds Observatory Technology Maturation project office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
      “The Habitable Worlds Observatory will be a historically ambitious mission, so we are taking a deliberate, strategic approach to its development and laying the groundwork now. We will need to bring together diverse expertise from government, academia, and industry, while building on technologies and lessons learned from our previous large space telescopes,” said Mark Clampin, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “With these awards, we’re excited to engage industry to help close technology gaps to make this groundbreaking mission a reality.”
      In January 2024, NASA solicited industry proposals to help advance key technologies that will eventually be necessary for the Habitable Worlds Observatory. For example, the mission will require a coronagraph – an instrument that blocks the light of a star so we can better see nearby objects – thousands of times more capable than any prior space coronagraph, and a stable optical system moving no more than the width of an atom during its observations.
      To help further the readiness of these technologies, NASA has now selected the following proposals for two-year, fixed-price contracts with a combined value of $17.5 million, targeted to begin by late summer 2024:
      “Ultra-stable Telescope Research and Analysis – Critical Technologies (ULTRA-CT)”This project will focus on high-fidelity modeling and subsystem demonstrations to support future development of “ultra-stable” optical systems beyond current state-of-the-art technologies. Principal investigator: Laura Coyle, Ball Aerospace (now BAE Systems) “Technology Maturation for Astrophysics Space Telescopes (TechMAST)”This project seeks to advance the integrated modeling infrastructure required to navigate design interdependencies and compare potential mission design options. Principal investigator: Alain Carrier, Lockheed Martin “STABLE: Systems Technologies for Architecture Baseline”This project will focus on maturing technologies that support telescope features, such as a deployable baffle and a structure to support the optical train, while mitigating the impact of system or environmental disturbances. Principal investigator: Tiffany Glassman, Northrop Grumman This work will continue industry involvement started in 2017 under NASA’s “System-Level Segmented Telescope Design” solicitations, which concluded in December 2023. The new selected proposals will help inform NASA’s approach to planning for the Habitable Worlds Observatory, as the agency builds on technologies from its James Webb Space Telescope and future Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope and identifies where future investments are needed.
      To learn more about NASA’s Habitable Worlds Observatory visit:
      Alise Fisher
      Headquarters, Washington
      Last Updated May 31, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Science & Research Astrophysics Exoplanet Science Science Mission Directorate The Search for Life View the full article
    • By NASA
      As a member of the Mars Architecture Team, Clare Luckey is one of the people at the forefront of designing the first crewed mission to the Red Planet. Her current work involves helping to develop the vision for the initial segment of Mars exploration missions. She also has been named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 Class of 2024 in the Science category. Her commitment extends beyond the cosmos as she is deeply involved in community outreach, inspiring students to aim for the stars in space careers and encouraging diversity in STEM.  

      Starting her journey as an intern at NASA’s Johnson Space Center Operations in fall 2018, Luckey’s career trajectory has been nothing short of meteoric. She began her career as a contractor at Barrios Technology, focusing on cargo integration for the International Space Station Program, then transitioned to a civil servant position in Center Operations by late 2020. Currently serving in the Exploration Mission Planning Office, Luckey’s role is critical not just in Mars exploration but also in the Artemis missions, where she contributes to Lunar Mission Planning in the Mission Analysis and Integrated Assessments team. 
      Official portrait of Clare Luckey. Credit: NASA/Josh Valcarcel Luckey’s innovative thinking is especially crucial as she navigates the complexities of planning travel to Mars. Her ability to compare and adapt strategies from near-term missions like Artemis to the long-term objectives of Mars colonization highlights her unique insight and adaptability. “Mars missions are more open to change because they are far in the future,” said Luckey. “We are still in the process of figuring out not only how to make decisions, but what decisions to make.” 

      Her influence extends far beyond engineering. Luckey’s engagement with global space leaders at the Space Symposium and her contributions as a panelist at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Science and Technology Forum exemplify her as a thought leader in aerospace. She also participated in the Space Generation Advisory Council, a board that advises the United Nations on next-generation space exploration concepts. “All of these opportunities have given me different insights into the larger space industry and space economy,” she said. 
      Clare Luckey, member of the Mars Architecture Team, shares her passion with NASA’s Johnson Space Center employees at the JSC Town Hall on Aug. 23, 2023.Credit: NASA/Riley McClenaghan  Reflecting on her journey, Luckey attributes her passion for space exploration to a middle school project, “Future Cities,” where she and her friends designed a futuristic Mars city. The project ignited her imagination and inspired her to think critically and creatively about the future. “It’s important to build the foundations of mathematics and science at a young age,” she said. “I am really passionate about getting other people who look like me involved in the space industry.” 

      Luckey’s involvement with the National Society of Black Engineers and her efforts to mentor and help students with school projects gives her great joy. “NASA can invest in the next generation by building a sustainable pipeline alongside sustainable space architecture,” she said. “You have to invest in communities and education so that kids grow up participating in a culmination of activities that make them want to be a part of NASA.” She believes that persistence, passion, and creativity are the top qualities for someone to excel in the space exploration industry.  

      As a vocal advocate for diversity in the space industry, Luckey emphasizes the importance of community and mentorship within NASA and beyond. “I try to reach out to people and build that community because it is important,” she said. “That’s one of the things that keeps people coming to work – no matter where you work. It’s not the work, it’s the people that keep you coming back. I work with a lot of great people that have built that NASA community.” 
      Clare Luckey at the NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop 2023, “To the Moon: The Next Golden Age of Human Spaceflight,” at the Galveston Island Convention Center on Feb. 8, 2023. Credit: NASA/Josh Valcarcel  Luckey’s advice to aspiring space explorers is, “Just try. Even when you don’t think you’re capable or don’t think you know enough, you will learn as you go.” She also encourages students to search out opportunities and get involved at a young age. “There’s no wrong answer. Just do what you’re interested in, put effort into it, and you’ll end up where you want to go,” she said. 

      Her favorite part about working at NASA is the outlandishness of it all, she said. “People at NASA are really trying to build the future. The work we do here is amazing and not to be overlooked.” She is looking forward to the Artemis missions because this time is a completely new paradigm. “With Artemis, we’re going to the Moon to stay and to build sustainable architecture,” said Luckey. “We’re going to push forward. I am really excited to see how it turns out, and the international collaboration will be amazing for us.” 

      Her enthusiasm for the Artemis campaign and the future of international space collaboration shines through her work, envisioning a new era of lunar exploration and beyond. “I am grateful to be here,” she said. “The most important thing to me is to be humble and personable. I want to be someone that is approachable, helpful, and easy to learn from so that I can be a mentor to the next generation of students, in the same way that I had mentors.” 
      Clare Luckey, an engineer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford View the full article
    • By Space Force
      DAF senior leaders emphasized the importance of the all-volunteer force and helping the military meet national defense needs during RAND Corporation’s America’s All-Volunteer Force symposium in Arlington, Virginia, May 3.

      View the full article
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