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COSPAR Updates Planetary Protection Policy for Lunar Missions

3-minute read
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Artist Concept

Recently, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) updated its Planetary Protection policy for the Moon, including adding Category II sub-designations to accommodate missions to different regions. The new Category IIa and IIb designations reflect the importance of the Permanently Shadowed Regions (PSRs) to science and the Artemis generation of human exploration.

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NEPP Provides Guidance on Gallium Nitride in Electronic Components

3-minute read
GAN-Hero

Gallium Nitride (GaN), a Wide Bandgap (WBG) semiconductor, is emerging as a promising material for electronic components in the aerospace industry. While historically semiconductor devices have been silicon-based, in recent years, devices using WBG materials such as silicon carbide and GaN have matured to a point where their performance and economic value are competitive with, or in some cases, exceed traditional silicon parts. 

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New ODQN Available: November 2020

1-minute read
ODQN Nov. 2020

The latest issue of Orbital Debris Quarterly News (ODQN) is now available. See the latest updates as of November 2020. 

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SARP Deploys Software Assurance Tasking Checklist Tool for NASA-STD-8739.8A

3-minute read
SARP-Checklist-Hero

As part of the Software Assurance Research Program (SARP), the project team leading the “Software Assurance Tasking Checklists for NASA-STD-8739.8” project developed and deployed a tool to automate the identification of Software Assurance (SA) activities using Commercial Off-The-Shelf tools. This checklist tool is one of five research projects in Fiscal Year 2020 sponsored by SARP and aimed to address the current needs of the SA community across the agency.

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Human Factors Program: Year in Review

3-minute read
Human Factors

As the new calendar year approaches, the Human Factors Task Force (HFTF) started reflecting on its many achievements over the past 12 months. The team gained new members, offered and developed more training, and integrated Human Factors into the agency mishap reporting system.

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SMA Leadership Profile: Rick Nybakken

6-minute read
rick-nybakken-hero

Sometimes, being on the outside provides perspective. That’s the case for Rick Nybakken, director for Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

“My career path has really helped to shape me: I’ve been at JPL for 35 years, and I’ve probably been in SMA for eight of those years,” explained Nybakken. “Working with Safety and Mission Assurance as a partner helped me understand the value since day one. That contributed to my desire to eventually work in SMA and gain a greater understanding from the inside.” 

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Ring in the New Year with NASAHFACS Training

1-minute read
NASAHFACS Training
The Human Factors Task Force is hosting a virtual NASA Human Factors Analysis and Classifications System (NASAHFACS) training and certification course, available to NASA personnel interested in learning about the impact of Human Factors across the agency. The three-day certification course will be Jan. 19-21, 2021, via Microsoft Teams.
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NASA Breakthrough in Multi-Layered Pressure Vessel NDE

2-minute read
PVS

The Office of Safety and Mission Assurance’s Multi-Layered Pressure Vessel Risk Mitigation Project (MLPVRMP) made significant advancements in detecting weld flaws in Multi-Layered Pressure Vessels (MLVP) through the use of advanced techniques in Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE). The unique design and fabrication of MLPVs made inspection of inner weld areas joining shell to shell layers impossible, until now. This breakthrough presents the agency with the ability to thoroughly examine and baseline in-service MLPVs for critical weld flaws, thereby supporting selective MLPV replacement based on verified risk. 

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New Tool for Developing Safety Assurance Cases

5-minute read
Diagram

NASA projects go through the full life cycle, from concept to implementation to closeout, with a number of reviews along the way. These reviews ensure that the developed project can meet mission objectives and do so safely. The project must make a case for itself: show and explain why the system will work as intended. Enter, the safety assurance case, or simply safety case as it may be more commonly known. Researchers at Ames Research Center have been fine tuning their notion of the safety case and developing a tool to make its development easier.

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SMA Leadership Profile: Andrew Demo

7-minute read
Andrew Demo

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world,” said author Mary Anne Radmacher. For Ames Research Center’s newest Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) Director Andrew “Drew” Demo, a lifetime of travel has taught him to appreciate diversity, exercise empathy and sensitivity, and build relationships — all essential building blocks to his leadership style.

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Help NASA Harness Digital Technology

2-minute read
DT-Hero

In tune with the agency’s initiative to create solutions that enable seamless data flow and collaboration across centers, NASA is hosting its first virtual Digital Transformation Hackathon, Sept. 11.

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