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September 2012

 

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September 2012

Flight Research Report Dedicated to Neil Armstrong, Authoring Committee Member

neil-armstrong2

Armstrong and Captain Eugene A. Cernan USN (ret.), Commander, Apollo 17, testify at a committee hearing on NASA Human Spaceflight. Credit: Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (2011).

Neil Armstrong, the first human ever to step onto another planetary body, has died at the age of 82 (1930-2012). As a naval aviator and NASA test pilot, he flew over 200 different models of aircraft in his lifetime, including jets, rockets, helicopters, and gliders. As command pilot, he performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space, saved the Gemini 8 spacecraft from a potentially fatal accident, and instantly made history on the Apollo 11 mission with just one sentence: "That is one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."

A member of the NAE, Armstrong was actively involved in various Academies activities, such as a member of the Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century Selection Committee. in 2010, he volunteered on his last formal NRC study as a member of the Committee to Assess NASA's Aeronautics Flight Research Capabilities . In recognition of his remarkable life and in gratitude for his many contributions-including his participation in authoring the final report, released this year-the National Academies will be dedicating Recapturing NASA's Aeronautics Flight Research Capabilities in the memory of Neil Armstrong. The dedication issue will be released online later this month.

New Releases

Optics and Photonics
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Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation

Optics and photonics technologies are ubiquitous: they are responsible for the displays on smart phones and computing devices, optical fiber that carries the information in the internet, advanced precision manufacturing, enhanced defense capabilities, and a plethora of medical diagnostics tools. The opportunities arising from optics and photonics offer the potential for even greater societal impact in the next few decades, including solar power generation and new efficient lighting that could transform the nation's energy landscape and new optical capabilities that will be essential to support the continued exponential growth of the Internet. As described in the National Research Council report Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation, it is critical for the United States to take advantage of these emerging optical technologies for creating new industries and generating job growth.

Solar and Space Physics
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Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society

 

From the interior of the Sun, to the upper atmosphere and near-space environment of Earth, and outwards to a region far beyond Pluto where the Sun's influence wanes, advances during the past decade in space physics and solar physics have yielded spectacular insights into the phenomena that affect our home in space. This report, the final product of a study requested by NASA and the National Science Foundation, presents a prioritized program of basic and applied research for 2013-2022 that will advance scientific understanding of the Sun, Sun-Earth connections and the origins of "space weather," and the Sun's interactions with other bodies in the solar system. The report includes recommendations directed for action by the study sponsors and by other federal agencies-especially NOAA, which is responsible for the day-to-day ("operational") forecast of space weather. Report in Brief

 

Capability Planning and Analysis to Optimize Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Investments
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Capability Planning and Analysis to Optimize Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Investments

Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities have expanded situation awareness for U.S. forces, provided for more precise combat effects, and enabled better decision making both during conflicts and in peacetime. Furthermore, reliance on ISR capabilities is expected to increase in the future. This report reviews the current approach to the Air Force corporate planning and programming process for ISR capability generation and the various analytical methods, processes, and models for large scale, complex domains like ISR. It also identifies best practices and applies the current approach and recommended best practices to the Air Force corporate planning and programming process for ISR in the context of the future Joint, National, and coalition partner environment. Finally, the report recommends improvements/changes to existing analytical tools, methods, roles/responsibilities, organization, and management that would be required to ensure the Air Force corporate planning and programming process for ISR is successful in addressing all Joint, National, and Coalition partners' needs.

Report in Brief

Continuing Kepler's Quest
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Continuing Kepler's Quest: Assessing Air Force Space Command's Astrodynamics Standards

 

 

Solar and Space Physics Decadal Survey Launched at Webcast Event
 


 


 
Co-chairs Explore the Future of Heliophysics at the Release Event

The Space Studies Board released a new decadal strategy for solar and space physics (heliophysics) at a launch event in Washington, D.C. on August 15. Co-chairs Daniel N. Baker, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Thomas H. Zurbuchen, University of Michigan, presented highlights from the report Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society, which provides a prioritized research and applications strategy for the U.S. solar and space physics enterprise for the period 2013-2022.The full report, Report in Brief, press release and NASA Television webcast are available for free online.

 

 

Optics and Photonics Community Shares New NMMB Report Online

Optics and photonics technologies are ubiquitous: they are responsible for the displays on smart phones and computing devices, optical fiber that carries the information on the Internet, advanced precision manufacturing, enhanced defense capabilities, and a plethora of medical diagnostics tools. The opportunities arising from optics and photonics offer the potential for even greater societal impact in the next few decades, including solar power generation and new efficient lighting that could transform the nation's energy landscape and new optical capabilities that will be essential to support the continued exponential growth of the Internet.
 

As described in the National Materials and Manufacturing Board report Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation, it is critical for the United States to take advantage of these emerging optical technologies for creating new industries and generating job growth. The full report and color booklet summarizing Optics and Photonics are available online from the Academies. OSA has launched a landing page  for the report and SPIE has posted a series of videos based on the study, including a talk by Co-chair McManamon.

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Paul McManamon "Harnessing Light" video

 

 

building-future-light-vid
Building the Future with Light video

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022

 

In 2011, the NRC released the report Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022, which reviews the current state of knowledge about the solar system, poses the key questions in planetary science that need to be answered, and outlines the major initiatives necessary to find those answers in the coming decade. This booklet summarizes the key science questions identified in the full NRC report and introduces the spacecraft, telescopes, and other activities that should be undertaken to find the answers.

 
 

Herb Lin discusses U.S. Cyberattack Policy in a Federal News Radio Interview

Herb Lin, Chief Scientist in the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, explored the policy implications of cyber weaponry in an August 29 "In-Depth" interview for Federal News Radio, stating that he believes the U.S. government is taking positive steps toward becoming more open about cybersecurity operations. Referencing a recommendation outlined in the 2009 NRC report Technology, Policy, Law, and Ethics Regarding U.S. Acquisition and Use of Cyberattack Capabilities, Lin explained that "the U.S. government should be more open about its plans in cyberspace for conducting offensive operations ... we have to be willing to talk about this if we are going to understand what these weapons can do and the circumstances under which we are willing to use them." 

 

Upcoming Meetings

September 20-21
NASA's Strategic Direction
Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
Keck Center, Washington, DC

September 29-30
Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States Meeting 4
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Beckman Center, Irvine, CA


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