The first U.S. mission to bring samples from an asteroid back to Earth is the Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx. Scheduled for launch in September 2016, OSIRIS-REx will increase our understanding of asteroids, and it could shed new light on the origin of life on Earth.
Farid Salama (SSA) was elected Vice President of IAU Commission 14 (Atomic & Molecular Data) at the last IAU General Assembly (GA) that was held in Beijing, China in late August. Commission 14 is a commission of the IAU Executive Committee whose interdisciplinary role is to inform the astronomical community of new developments in the fields related to the needs for, and availability of, atomic and molecular data through specific involvement and support of IAU Symposia and Joint Discussions, and by Reports of the Working Groups.
Tom Greene has been helping with the cryogenic testing of the James Webb
Space Telescope (JWST) Near-infrared camera (NIRCam) flight instrument at
the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto since June 28.