Managing pilotless aircraft and solar panels that could help humans live on the Moon and Mars are among the technologies NASA is looking to develop with small business awards totaling $106 million. In all, NASA has selected 142 proposals from 129 U.S. small businesses from 28 states and the District of Columbia to receive Phase II contracts as part the agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
“Small businesses play an important role in our science and exploration endeavors,” said Jim Reuter, acting associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.
An adolescent star in the midst of a dramatic growth phase has been observed with the help of two NASA space telescopes. The youngster belongs toa class of starsthat gain mass when matter swirling around the star falls onto its surface. The in-falling matter causes the star to appear about 100 times brighter. Astronomers have found only 25 stars in this class, and only about half of those have been observed during an outburst.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced Monday the selection of Dr. Eugene L. Tu as the next director of the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, effective immediately.
Tu most recently served as the director of Exploration Technology at Ames, where he led four technology research and development divisions, including two of NASA’s critical infrastructure assets: the consolidated arc jet testing complex and the agency’s primary supercomputing facility.
“I am delighted to have a leader of Dr. Tu’s caliber to engage the Ames workforce and harness the center’s innovation for cutting edge science and the technology development to support our journey to Mars and the next generation of aviation,” Bolden said.
Tu’s career in aeronautics began as a research scientist, conducting computational fluid dynamics research on the aerodynamics of complex aircraft configurations. He has held research and managerial positions at the center in computational aerodynamics, information technology, and high performance computing and communications. He also served in the Office of Biological and Physical Research at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
Tu has a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s and doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. He is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2000 and Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive in 2009.