Archive for March, 2015

Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL) Seminar – The MarsSedEx flights – Simulating Sedimentation on Mars

The Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL) near KSC, invites you to meet

Dr. Nickolaus Kuhn, University of Basel, Switzerland, –

Wednesday, April 8th at 12.00 noon in Conference Room 301.

Dr. Kuhn got his first degree in Physical Geography (1990-1995) in his native country Germany from the University of Trier, completing a thesis on Holocene climate change and dryland lake hydrology in NE-Spain. Winning the Government of Canada Award to undertake PhD research, he moved to the University of Toronto in 1996. There he completed a PhD in Geography (1996-2000), studying the effects of varying weather patterns on soil erosion in Canada and Mexico. The PhD was followed by postdoctoral research in Israel (2001) on the role of rainfall-surface interaction for landscape development in the northern Negev. In 2002, he started academic teaching as Visiting Assistant Professor at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts. He joined the University of Exeter as Lecturer for Geography in July 2003. In 2007, he was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter.

The MarsSedEx flights – Simulating Sedimentation on Mars

Unravelling the past environments on Mars and the search for traces of life is based on the understanding of the formation of rocks formed by deposition in rivers and lakes. Interpreting MER and MSL rover imagery relies strongly on back calculating flow hydraulics using rock properties such as the diameter of the grains and pebbles visible in outcrops. Models for such calculations have been developed for applications on Earth and are highly empirical. This raises the question whether they apply on Mars, in particular how the lower Martian gravity affects flow hydraulics. The Mars Sedimentation Experiments (MarsSedEx) conducted during reduced gravity flights offered by Zero g and supported by Space Florida examined the potential error caused by using a non-calibrated terrestrial model for particle settling on Mars and the effect on the size distribution of sand grains forming rocks such as those found in Gale crater.

This talk presents the research conducted by the University of Basel during the MarsSedEx I and II flights in 2012 and 2013 and published by Nikolaus Kuhn in the book Experiments in Reduced Gravity: Sedimentation on Mars.  In addition, an outlook onto the MarsSedEx III flight scheduled for June 2015 and the further development of experimental research on Martian surface processes is presented.


Please note that a food truck (Willy T’s Crab Shack; menu to follow) will be available beginning at 11:00am if you’d like to take your lunch to the seminar.  Additionally, please enter through the lobby, sign in and take a badge.  Hope to see you there.


ASA Scholarship Opportunity

Applications for ASA Scholarships in the amount of $2,000 are currently being accepted.  Applicants must be an entering sophomore or junior in an undergraduate degree program pursuing study in the areas of physical sciences, engineering, or aviation or aerospace related fields.  For more information and to apply, visit

An integral part of the mission of the Aerospace States Association (ASA) is to:
…support and develop initiatives that significantly enhance student and
teacher education in space and aeronautics and increases the number of
students in the pipeline.
In light of that component of the mission statement, ASA established two
scholarships that are generously funded by Rockwell Collins. The terms and
conditions are as follows:
• A $2,000 ASA scholarship, to be competed for, and awarded annually to up to
two students pursuing an aerospace-related education.
• The scholarship/s shall be available each year. The student can only win once.
• The Education Committee of ASA will administer the scholarship competition.
• The ASA delegate/alternate from each member state shall publicize the
scholarship through the state’s aerospace-related institutions of higher
learning, career centers, and/or other appropriate entities.
• The candidate’s application for the scholarship shall include community-related
activities, school-related activities, grade point average, field of study and
an official transcript. An academic-based, personal letter of
recommendation shall also accompany the application. These documents
shall be sent to the attention of the ASA Education Committee Chair at the
address on the application form for review.
• The applicant may only be an entering sophomore or junior in an
undergraduate degree program pursuing study in the areas of physical
sciences, engineering, or aviation or aerospace related fields.
• Scholarship candidate’s application should be submitted to the ASA Education
Committee Chair by April 30th of each year.
• The scholarship would be made available for the fall school term of the year
under consideration.
• The scholarship shall be awarded in the form of a check made out to the
scholarship awardee/awardees appropriate school, and it shall be
understood that the funds are for tuition and books only.
• The ASA member state of the recipient shall consider staging a presentation of
the scholarship in the recipient’s state with the presence of the ASA
representative/organization and the Lt. Governor, where applicable.
The scholarship application and submission instructions can be found on the
ASA website: under the Education tab.

Launching 2 Learn – Paid Rocketry workshop for college freshman at Kennedy Space Center

Launching 2 Learn – NASA Opportunity for College Freshmen

NASA Kennedy Space Center is providing a new opportunity for college freshmen.  It’s called Launching 2 Learn.  There are 20 slots available for students to learn how to launch level 1 and level 2 high powered rockets, and learn all the math and science involved.  The purpose is to encourage students to stay enrolled in a STEM degree program.  Students will be paid $600 a week for 4 weeks to participate in this program.  Some travel funds are available for students that live further than 50 miles from KSC.  The program will be held at KSC July 6 – 31.  Students must be U.S. Citizens to participate.  Applications are due April 20, 2015.  Please see link below:


Free NASA Webinar Series on Remote Sensing for Wildfire Applications

Free NASA Webinar Series on Remote Sensing for Wildfire Applications 

NASA has two terrific opportunities to learn how to leverage satellite remote sensing technology for wildfire applications.

The first is a FREE webinar developed by NASA ARSET that covers an “Introduction to Remote Sensing for Wildfire Applications” and begins on Tuesday March 31st. This webinar is a pre-requisite to the second opportunity (also supported by NASA ARSET), “Remote Sensing for Wildfire Applications” 3-day hands-on workshop to be held at Idaho State University’s GIS TReC on October 6-8th, 2015 (registration for this workshop will begin in April and will be available to all those attending the webinar).

Please take just a few minutes to look over the  NASA_ARSET_WildfireWebinar_Flyer and register for the webinar by visiting



NASA Challenge Invites Students to Help Design Journey to Mars Systems

NASA Challenge Invites Students to Help Design Journey to Mars Systems 

College students have the opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation for NASA’s journey to Mars by designing systems for future space habitats and exploration systems through the agency’s Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge.

The challenge is designed to engage students directly in the design, research and development of functional components of future habitats. As NASA develops missions to send astronauts to destinations far into the solar system, such as an asteroid and Mars, a habitat to sustain the crews pioneering deep space environments will be needed.

The challenge also will help develop strategic partnerships with universities in order to increase knowledge in critical exploration capabilities and technology risk reduction activities.

To apply for the challenge, student teams must submit their plans for designing, manufacturing, assembling and testing systems for evaluation by engineers and scientists in NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, which leads and oversees the agency’s human space operations in low-Earth orbit and beyond. Applications for the challenge will be accepted through April 30.

This year’s challenge includes a broad array of topics such as power distribution systems, deployable structures, habitat architectural layout studies and food production systems. Previous projects have included a remotely-operated plant growth system and a deployable airlock structure.

The X-Hab Challenge is part of a continuing effort to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. Exposing students to engineering and design processes used in the aerospace industry will benefit both NASA and the participants.

The challenge is managed by the National Space Grant Foundation for NASA. Teams selected for the challenge will receive a monetary stipend to assist in producing functional products based on their designs.

For more information on the 2016 X Hab Challenge application process, visit:

For more information on NASA’s journey to Mars, visit:

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