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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Fireball


“What was that bright light in the sky last night?” is a popular question NASA hears from the public and media, and one that the Meteoroid Environment Office, along with its All Sky Fireball Network, does its best to answer, in detail.

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Reliability Assessment Using Physics-of-Failure Principles, Modeling and Simulation

Circuit board

One of the most important aspects of Reliability and Maintainability is understanding how things fail. Engineers can only make systems reliable if they understand what makes them unreliable.

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TEAMS: Alternatives to Enable Model-Based Mission Assurance

Depiction of Orion

Johnson Space Center’s Reliability and Maintainability program is working on a new system that helps engineers and mission managers make better risk-informed decisions.

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NASA Monitors Perseids to Improve Meteor Forecasting


The Perseid meteor shower, which peaks in August of each year, was twice as active in 2016 compared to other years. The Perseids are always a major shower and move at very high speeds, so monitoring is essential for the safety of NASA’s spacecraft as there is great potential for high-energy impacts. Increases in activity, like that seen this year, add additional mission risks.

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Scintillating Quantum Dots May Hold the Key to High-Speed, Low-Cost X-Rays

Scintilating Quantum Dots

Imagine if capturing an X-ray was as fast and simple as taking a digital photo. Now imagine being able to capture high-speed radiography videos with the same relative ease. 

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New System Receives and Searches NASA Advisories and GIDEP Notices


Want to search for NASA Advisories, Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP) Notices and other similar documents on your own?

Up until now, if you wanted to search GIDEP, you either needed your own account or had to contact your center GIDEP representative. Now, if you are within the NASA firewall, you can search for GIDEP Notices and NASA Advisories yourself. 

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NEPP Partners With NSWC Crane

The NASA Electronic Parts and Packaging Program has a long history of partnering with businesses and organizations to foster knowledge on radiation and reliability of new electronic devices and related technologies. It has partnered with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division (often referred to as Crane) for many years on different technologies.
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NASA Collaborates to Progress AM Efforts Both Nationally and Internationally

Additive Manufacturing

These days 3-D printing is a fairly well-known concept, but in the design and Quality Assurance worlds, 3-D printing — aka Additive Manufacturing (AM) — is still in its infancy. There aren’t many policies guiding AM efforts at NASA, other government organizations or in industry, but the AM community is working hard to change that.

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Evaluation of Additively Manufactured Metals for Use in Oxygen Systems

Manufactured Metal

NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance’s Nondestructive Evaluation program is leading a variety of agency initiatives to ensure the successful qualification of Additive Manufacturing products for deployment on future NASA missions.

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Goddard Develops Risk-Based Approach to Using Inherited Components

Inherited Parts

Over the last seven years, Goddard Space Flight Center has experienced a massive increase in the use of inherited components, including flight-printed wiring assemblies.

An inherited component is one that either already exists or is built-to-print from an existing design. If these parts aren’t designed, manufactured, inspected, tested and delivered acceptably, they pose an elevated risk to missions.

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Project Review: MMOD Impacts Found on a Returned ISS Cover

Orbital Debris Quarterly News

The July 2016 edition of Orbital Debris Quarterly News included an article on Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris impacts on an International Space Station cover. Continue reading for the full article. 

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Update: Orbital Debris Program Office to Procure Titan Transtage for Research

Titan Transtage

NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office is acquiring a Titan Transtage from the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group , commonly known as “The Boneyard,” at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tuscon, Arizona, to conduct spectrographic inspections to better understand these historic spacecraft.

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Goddard Hosts MBE Workshop and Shares Model-Based Mission Assurance With MBE Community

Goddard Hosts MBE Workshop and Shares Model-Based Mission Assurance to MBSE Community

On Feb. 17-18, Goddard Space Flight Center hosted its second Model-Based Engineering (MBE) workshop, which included an overview of MBE’s mission assurance counterpart, Model-Based Mission Assurance.

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MEO Looks to Identify Parent Body of Meteor Shower

Meteor Shower

Not much is known about the Kappa Cygnid meteor shower, and NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office (MEO) is working to rectify that.

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OSMA’S NDE Program Granted Patent

Electric Field Imaging

The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) program a patent for its Electric Field Quantitative Measurement System and Method. The patent covers both the Electric Field Imaging sensor and the methods developed by Edward Generazio, NDE program manager.

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OSMA’s NDE Program Published Capabilities Data Book

NDE Data Book

NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) program recently published a Technical Manual, NASA DOEPOD [Design of Experiments for Probability of Detection] NDE Capabilities Data Book.

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NASA Addresses CubeSat SMA and Reliability Challenges

NASA Addresses CubeSat SMA and Reliability Challenges

As the agency looks at opportunities to use CubeSats in science and exploration missions, NASA’s Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) community is working to address some of the SMA challenges associated with these small spacecraft.

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Dust Study Explored Impact of Meteoroids on Solar Probe Plus Project

Solar Probe Plus

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, with the support of NASA’s Meteoroids Environments Office, conducted a dust study as a part of NASA’s Solar Probe Plus mission to explore the sun’s outer atmosphere. 

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JSC Team Improves R&M for Wastewater Recovery System That Will Support Mission to Mars


A team at NASA Johnson Space Flight Center is working to improve Reliability and Maintainability for the Cascade Distillation System using Model-Based Systems Engineering techniques.

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TEERM Works With Programs and Projects to Address Environmental Pressures


NASA’s Technology Evaluation for Environmental Risk Mitigation Program Office, part of the Environmental Management Division, works with agency programs and projects to enhance mission readiness and reduce risks caused by environmental pressures.

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Europa Clipper Uses New Software Assurance Process

Europa Clipper Uses New Software Assurance Process

The Europa Clipper is the first mission to integrate into its design a new Software Assurance process on managing Command File Errors.

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Metrology and Calibration Working Group Develops Agency-Wide Capabilities Database

Metrology and Calibration Database

NASA’s Metrology and Calibration Program Office at Kennedy Space Center released the NASA Calibration Capabilities database on May 19, 2015. The database lists the calibration capabilities of NASA centers, providing information on the types, measurement ranges and accuracies of calibrations that can be performed at each location. 

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New Database to Ease Hazard Assessments on Oxygen Systems


The Oxygen Compatibility Assessment (OCA) team at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility created a Web-based OCA database that will be available agency-wide within the next year.  

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NASA Confirms Accuracy of Voltage Calibration Standard


The NASA Metrology and Calibration program’s Programmable Josephson Voltage Standard (PJVS) recently was routed to three other government organizations as part of an Inter-Laboratory Comparison (ILC). The PJVS is the most accurate Direct Current (DC) voltage calibration standard available.  The comparison validated that NASA’s PJVS and the Josephson voltage standards at those locations are working properly and providing accurate measurements.

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NASA Explores NDE Options for Evaluating Additively Manufactured Parts

3D printing

Although Additive Manufacturing (AM) has been around for decades, increasing awareness of the significant benefits of flying 3D printed parts and using 3D printers in space has pushed NASA and the aerospace industry to take a close look at how to evaluate and certify AM parts to assure safety and mission success. 

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Goddard Develops Software Tools to Improve Mission Reliability

GSFC Data Systems

Goddard Space Flight Center developed Mission Configuration and the Failure Interrogation and Archiving Tool to improve reliability predictions for missions.

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NASA Programs Explore Risk-Based Techniques in Lieu of Traditional GMIPs


NASA programs are exploring risk-based approaches that reduce cost without increasing risk for safety-critical attributes as a replacement for Government Mandatory Inspection Points (GMIPs). Quality Assurance and risk management officers from NASA programs and industry gathered at ATK in Promontory, Utah, on Oct. 22-23 to share their ideas and methods.

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Cross-Agency SMA Team Overcame Unique Challenges with LADEE


A multi-center Safety and Mission Assurance team, led by Ames Research Center, collaborated to provide oversight to the LADEE mission.

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The NEPP Program Hosts EEE Parts Workshop With Focus on Small Missions

NEPP Event on EEE Parts

The NASA Electronic Parts and Packaging Program hosted an international Electrical, Electronic and Electromechanical Parts workshop focusing on small missions.

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NASA Invests in Additive Manufacturing Technologies

Additive Manufacturing

NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance has developed a three-year plan to develop Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) methodologies designed to ensure the production of safe and reliable Additive Manufactured (AM) parts for spaceflight applications. AM, or 3-D printing, is a rapidly growing technology that has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing by reducing component lead time, cost, material waste and energy usage. 

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Metrology and Calibration Program’s Equipment Repurposing Efforts Save Millions

MetCal Repurposing Efforts

For the past three years, NASA’s Metrology and Calibration Program Office has been repurposing measuring and test equipment previously used to support the Shuttle Program at Kennedy Space Center, resulting in close to $2 million in cost avoidance to date.

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Agile Development Brings New Challenges for Software Assurance at NASA

Agile Development

Agile development helps support NASA’s next-generation missions, but it also poses new challenges for Software Assurance oversight.

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Reliability Plays Important Role in SpaceCube Development


Goddard Space Flight Center has made reliability a key component in the development of SpaceCube.

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NASA’s Explosives Safety Program Makes Major Changes

Explosives Safety Program Changes

In 2013, NASA Headquarters and center Explosives Safety Officers retooled the agency's Explosives Safety program, putting emphasis on requirements, qualifications, tools, training and audits to ensure the safe handling, storage and application of explosive materials, including pyrotechnics.

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Class Y: A New Class of Microcircuits for Space and Military

Class Y

The Defense Logistics Agency, in cooperation with NASA, other government agencies and industry, has introduced a new classification of microcircuits, which will allow the incorporation of new and emerging technologies into military and civilian space systems.

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Ames Research Center’s MAS Platform Is Used by ISS

ISS Mission Assurance System

Ames Research Center's Mission Assurance System helps safety engineers assess and control risk both on earth and aboard the International Space Station.

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Program Announcement: ORDEM 3.0 Released

Orbital Debris Quarterly News

January's issue of Orbital Debris Quarterly News featured an article on the release of NASA's Orbital Debris Engineering Model, ORDEM 3.0. Read the full article for details.

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Introducing NASA’s Meteoroid Engineering Model

Meteoroid Engineering Model

NASA developed the Meteoroid Engineering Model to mitigate the risk associated with the sporadic meteoroid environment, which can damage spacecraft.

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Characterization of the Wide Field Planetary Camera-2 Radiator’s Cored Impact Features at NASA JSC

Orbital Debris Quarterly News

The July 2013 issue of Orbital Debris Quarterly News included an article on cored impact features from the Wide Field Planetary Camera-2's radiator. Continue reading for the full article.

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