Helo Makers Vying For Ames Task Orders. HELO TECH: Bell Helicopter, Boeing and Sikorsky will share a five-year, $40 million cost plus fixed-fee contract for subsonic rotary wing technology development awarded by NASA Ames Research Center. The three will compete on task orders for research and development support of a variety of rotorcraft needs, including a next-generation air traffic management system, prognostics and health management, advanced rotorcraft configurations, drive systems, avionic processors and wind tunnel test stands.- Av. Week Staff
Kepler Mission Excites Program Manager. The New York Times (3/3, D1, Overbye, 1.12M), in a 1,764 word article on the front page of its Science Times Section, continues reporting on the upcoming launch of the Kepler Space Telescope. Most of the article is similar to other previous reports, detailing the mission, what it hopes to find, and how it will discover planets using the transit method. The article notes, “Many technical hurdles had be overcome before Kepler became practical. In particular it required very accurate and sensitive digital detectors, said James Fanson, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Kepler’s project manager.” Fanson also said, “In my 25 years of working with NASA this is the most exciting mission I’ve worked on. … We are going to be able to answer for the first time a question that has been pondered since the time of the ancient Greeks. Are there other worlds like ours?” According to the NYTimes, “The Kepler mission is a tribute to the perseverance of” lead scientist William Borucki of the Ames Research Center, “who began proposing it to NASA in the 1980s, before any exoplanets had been discovered.”
NASA Names Satellite Investigation Board. UPI (3/4) reported NASA “has named the officials who will investigate the cause of the unsuccessful Feb 24 launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite.” The head of the board, Rick Obenschain, deputy director of the Goddard Space Flight Center, had already been named. “The panel’s four other voting members are Jose Caraballo, safety manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center…Patricia Jones, acting chief of the Human Systems Integration Division at the Ames Research Center; Richard Lynch of aerospace systems engineering at the Goddard Space Flight Center; and Dave Sollberger, deputy chief engineer of launch services at the Kennedy Space Center.” NASA “said Ruth Jones, safety and mission assurance manager at the Marshall Space Flight Center, will be a non-voting member charged with assuring the board’s activities conform to NASA procedural requirements.” The Lompoc (CA) Record (3/5) also covers the story.