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    • By NASA
      Credits: NASA NASA has selected CACI, Inc. of Chantilly, Virginia, to maintain and improve IT services across the agency.
      The NASA Consolidated Applications and Platform Services (NCAPS) award is a hybrid firm-fixed price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract with an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity provision and a maximum potential value of about $2 billion. The performance period will extend eight years with a 90-day phase-in period, followed by a base period, seven option periods, and a six-month extension period.
      The NCAPS award will provide a comprehensive enterprise solution to standardize and centralize NASA’s IT services. This includes the maintenance of IT systems, development of new applications as needed for NASA, a rationalization of duplicative efforts to create efficiencies across NASA Centers, and other functions.
      For information about NASA and other agency programs, visit:
      Tiernan Doyle
      Headquarters, Washington
      Last Updated Jun 10, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
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    • By NASA
      2 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      Food for the Apollo astronauts was not always especially appealing, but thanks to the protocol NASA and Pillsbury came up with, known as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HAACP) system, it was always safe.Credit: NASA Countless NASA technologies turn up in our everyday lives, but one of the space agency’s most important contributions to modern society isn’t a technology at all – it’s the methodology that ensures the safety of the food we eat. Today the safety procedures and regulations for most of the food produced around the world are based on a system NASA created to guarantee safe food for Apollo astronauts journeying to the Moon. 

      For the Gemini missions, NASA and partner Pillsbury tested the food they were producing at the Manned Spacecraft Center, now Johnson Space Center in Houston, and destroyed entire batches when irregularities were found, a process similar to industry practices of the day. In response to agencywide guidelines from the Apollo Program Office aimed at ensuring the reliability of all critical systems, they altered that method for the Apollo missions. 

      They focused on identifying any points in the production process where hazards could be introduced, establishing procedures to eliminate or control each of those hazards, and then monitoring each of those points regularly. And they required extensive documentation of all this work. This became the foundation for the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. 
      The Apollo missions were humans’ longest and farthest voyages in space, so food for the astronauts had to be guaranteed safe for consumption hundreds of thousands of miles from any medical facility. Credit: NASA
      Howard Bauman, the microbiologist leading Pillsbury’s Apollo work, convinced his company to adopt the approach, and he became the leading advocate for its adoption across the food industry. That gradual process took decades, starting with the regulation of certain canned foods in the 1970s and culminating in the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, which mandated HACCP-like requirements across all food producers regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. By then, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was managing HACCP requirements for meat and poultry, while Canada and much of Europe had also put similar rules in place. 

      The standards also apply to any outside producers who want to export food into a country that requires HACCP, effectively spreading them across the globe.
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    • By NASA
      Comicpalooza, the largest annual pop culture festival in the southern United States, is home to thousands of comic book, science, anime, and gaming fanatics in Houston. Guests have the opportunity to celebrate their passions through a variety of entertainment, panels, and meet and greets.

      NASA’s Johnson Space Center has participated in Comicpalooza’s festivities for the last decade, giving attendees the chance to interact with NASA experts and learn more about human space exploration and the agency’s mission.

      Comicpalooza guests listen to a presentation by NASA astronaut Marcos Berríos at the agency’s exclusive booth and stage area.NASA/Robert Markowitz Over 52,000 fans attended this year’s Comicpalooza, held May 24-26 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. NASA shared with them the exhilarating future of the Artemis campaign that will take humans further in space exploration than ever before, plans for human exploration of the Moon and Mars, and showcased innovative spacesuits, lunar terrain vehicles, and spacewalk tools. Fans also had an opportunity to meet and take photos with NASA astronaut Marcos Berríos.
      NASA astronaut Marcos Berríos talks about his journey to becoming an astronaut and experiences to date during a presentation at 2024 Comicpalooza. NASA/Robert Markowitz The NASA exhibit featured immersive experiences with the Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program; Exploration Architecture, Integration, and Science Directorate; Human Health and Performance Directorate; and STEM engagement programs. These unique exhibits provided guests with insight into the exciting opportunities and discoveries ahead for human spaceflight. NASA’s presence at Comicpalooza also caught the attention of legendary Hollywood actor Christopher Lloyd, who met NASA officials and participated in a tour of Johnson Space Center after the event concluded.
      Johnson Space Center volunteers and NASA experts who led interactive exhibits and panel discussions as part of the agency’s presence at 2024 Comicpalooza.NASA/Robert Markowitz NASA’s exclusive Comicpalooza stage featured 13 unique panels and discussions from agency experts, programs, and Berríos. These panels included:
      The Development of Lunar Base Camp: NASA scientists discussed how future robotic and human explorers will put in place infrastructure for a long-term sustainable presence on the Moon. Driving on the Moon One Day: A discussion about the latest technology and partnerships that will develop the next mobility systems on the Moon. Another One Bites the Dust: Lunar Dust, Hardware Damage, and Why It Matters on the Moon: Lunar dust mitigation engineers and scientists talked about some of the risks of working on the Moon, what happened during Apollo, and what they plan to do about hardware damage, which threatens their efforts to keep astronauts safe and ensure mission success. Meet an Astronaut: NASA astronaut Marcos Berríos hosted a panel about his journey to becoming an astronaut, what he is doing at NASA during his training period, and what is next for him in the future. A Q&A session followed the presentation and guests had the opportunity to learn more about Marcos. Why It’s Hard to get to Mars: A discussion on why it is so difficult to get to the “Red Planet” and what technologies and strategies NASA is developing to accomplish this goal. Landing on the Moon: A panel onwhy landing on the Moon remains a challenge and what the future looks like for additional lunar landings and activities. International Space Station Mimic: Engineers and educators talked about a 3D printed, robotic model that syncs to live telemetry streaming from the real International Space Station in real-time. My NASA Story: An early career perspective on launching a career at Johnson Space Center. Panelists discussed how they got to where they are, and what their jobs look like on a daily basis. Artemis Overview: An overview on the Artemis campaign and its future, which includes landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. Through the Artemis missions, NASA will use new technology to study the Moon in new and better ways and prepare for human missions to Mars. Draw Artemis: A panel of experts hosted a “draw along” as they discussed humanity’s voyage back to the Moon, the key role art plays in exploration, and the otherworldly environment of the Moon’s South Pole.
      NASA’s participation in Comicpalooza educates and excites the public about the agency’s mission and inspires people who want to be a part of space exploration in their own unique ways.

      Enjoy more images of the NASA exhibit booth at Comicpalooza below.
      Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage. NASA/Robert Markowitz Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage. NASA/Robert Markowitz Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage. NASA/Robert Markowitz Actor Christopher Lloyd visited the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center following Comicpalooza.NASA Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage.NASA/Robert Markowitz Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage.NASA/Robert Markowitz Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage. NASA/Robert Markowitz Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage. NASA/Robert Markowitz Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage. NASA/Robert Markowitz Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage. NASA/Robert Markowitz Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage. NASA/Robert Markowitz Comicpalooza guests enjoyed interactive exhibits, photo ops, and compelling panel discussions at NASA’s booth and exclusive event stage. NASA/Robert Markowitz View the full article
    • By NASA
      4 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      It’s not just rising air and water temperatures influencing the decades-long decline of Arctic sea ice. Clouds, aerosols, even the bumps and dips on the ice itself can play a role. To explore how these factors interact and impact sea ice melting, NASA is flying two aircraft equipped with scientific instruments over the Arctic Ocean north of Greenland this summer. The first flights of the field campaign, called ARCSIX (Arctic Radiation Cloud Aerosol Surface Interaction Experiment), successfully began taking measurements on May 28.
      Two NASA aircraft are taking coordinated measurements of clouds, aerosols and sea ice in the Arctic this summer as part of the ARCSIX field campaign. In this image from Thursday, May 30, NASA’s P-3 aircraft takes off from Pituffik Space Base in northwest Greenland behind the agency’s Gulfstream III aircraft.Credit: NASA/Dan Chirica “The ARCSIX mission aims to measure the evolution of the sea ice pack over the course of an entire summer,” said Patrick Taylor, deputy science lead with the campaign from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. “There are many different factors that influence the sea ice. We’re measuring them to determine which were most important to melting ice this summer.”
      On a completely clear day over smooth sea ice, most sunlight would reflect back into the atmosphere, which is one way that sea ice cools the planet. But when the ice has ridges or darker melt ponds — or is dotted with pollutants — it can change the equation, increasing the amount of ice melt. In the atmosphere, cloudy conditions and drifting aerosols also impact the rate of melt.
      “An important goal of ARCSIX is to better understand the surface radiation budget — the energy interacting with the ice and the atmosphere,” said Rachel Tilling, a campaign scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
      About 75 scientists, instrument operators, and flight crew are participating in ARCSIX’s two segments based out of Pituffik Space Base in northwest Greenland. The first three-week deployment, in May and June of this year, is timed to document the start of the ice melt season. The second deployment will occur in July and August to monitor late summer conditions and the start of the freeze-up period.
      “Scientists from three key disciplines came together for ARCSIX: sea ice surface researchers, aerosol researchers, and cloud researchers,” Tilling said. “Each of us has been working to understand the radiation budget in our specific area, but we’ve brought all three areas together for this campaign.”
      Two aircraft will fly over the Arctic during each deployment. NASA’s P-3 Orion aircraft from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, will fly below the clouds at times to document the surface properties of the ice and the amount of energy radiating off it. The team will also fly the aircraft through the clouds to sample aerosol particles, cloud optical properties, chemistry, and other atmospheric components.
      A Gulfstream III aircraft, managed by NASA Langley, will fly higher in the atmosphere to observe properties of the tops of the clouds, take profiles of the atmosphere above the ice, and add a perspective similar to that of orbiting satellites.
      The teams will also compare airborne data with satellite data. Satellite instruments like the Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer will provide additional information about clouds and aerosol particles, while the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite 2 will provide insights into the ice topography below both satellites and aircraft.
      The aircraft will fly coordinated routes to take measurements of the atmosphere above ice in three-dimensional space, said Sebastian Schmidt, the mission’s science lead with the University of Colorado Boulder.
      “The area off the northern coast of Greenland can be considered the last bastion of multi-year sea ice, as the Arctic transitions to a seasonally ice-free ocean,” Schmidt said. “By observing here, we will gain insight into cloud-aerosol-sea ice-interaction processes of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Arctic — all while improving satellite-based remote sensing by comparing what we’re seeing with the airborne and satellite instruments.” 
      By Kate Ramsayer
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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    • By USH
      A crew member on a research vessel on a trip studying bioluminescence in the Gulf of Mexico filmed what appears to be a USO. 

      Here is his testimony: Before you read: I understand this is not technically a “UFO”, because it was seen in the water. 
      I work on a research vessel. Recently we had a trip, studying bioluminescence in the Gulf of Mexico. Around 2345, we were conducting research as normal, when a science party member saw a strange light about a quarter mile off our stern. 
      We immediately started to make way towards the light. The intensity of the light was quite astonishing, nobody in the crew or the science party knew what to make of it. At first, we thought it could have been a sunken vessel, or a navigation buoy of some kind that sunk. 
      We proceeded to get as close as possible to the light, and eventually we hovered directly on top of it. Our vessel has a moonpool in the center, which the crew and science party were able to carefully observe the light from directly on top. 
      We used a sub-surface camera to attempt and capture what the object may have been. The science party onboard automatically ruled out the light being produced by bioluminescent phytoplankton. 
      This light source was 100% on the bottom of the ocean, and not something that was floating through the water column. It did not move in the current. The water depth at this specific location was 60’ deep. As we hovered on top of the light, we used an EK-80 ( sonar ) to provide us with imagining of the ocean floor at this location. 
      To our surprise, this object producing the light did not have a physical shape that we could detect. It was invisible to our sonar. The sonar is also capable of imaging objects that are below the sea floor ( objects that could be partially submerged in the mud ), and objects that could be as small as 3’ in length/ width. 
      Any speculations on what this object could have been? Consider the strength of the light having to shine through 60’ of water, and being strong enough for us to observe from a considerable distance away. There was definitely an arc of visibility that seemed to be brighter when viewed from further away, then top down. 
      TLDR: Saw a very bright light source shining from the ocean floor, was invisible on our sonar. Object had no physical shape but produced a strong light. 
      See more original images and videos of the strange light: https://imgur.com/a/LpYobmL
        View the full article
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