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NASA space camps to find astronauts for Mars journey

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Washington: NASA is organizing space camps for the young would-be astronauts this summer and the best ones may join the US space missions, including Mars.

Thousands of children will gather at the Kennedy Space Centre (KSC) in Florida and the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, to learn what it takes to be an astronaut for deeper space missions, the Guardian reported.

The kids will have first-hand experience of constructing and launching model rockets made of paper tubes and PVC pipes and experiencing the pull of a microgravity simulator.

They will also be taught to plan and execute a mission on board a full-size space shuttle mock-up.

“Each activity is planned to bring out team-building and problem-solving skills among children,” the US space agency said.

“It is about allowing their natural curiosity to run its course and sowing the seeds that might eventually lead them into space,” it added.

“I’m going to be a computer engineer, helping to launch rockets to go deeper into space,” 11-year-old Colin Cox was quoted as saying.

“The kids believe they can be the next person in that spacecraft. We may not be launching people now, but by the time they’ve finished school, we’ll be there,” Kerri Lubeski, chief educator of Camp KSC, was quoted as saying.

The Space Launch System (SLS) from NASA will be the largest rocket ever built, with the aim of a manned mission to Mars by the 2030s.

Its first unmanned test flight is set for no later than November 2018.

(IANS)

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NASA Partnering with 10 Start-ups to Develop New Technologies For Space

"Industry is developing new technologies rapidly, using new tools and methods in software development and other areas,"

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NASA researchers have created the atmosphere of a super-hot planet outside our solar system, here on Earth. Pixabay

NASA is inviting applications from start-ups to take part in a three-month pilot programme to develop new technologies for space.

Applications will be accepted till April 7 and a total of 10 companies will be selected for the programme, the US space agency said.

The accelerator programme will focus on technologies that can be applied to space — including geospatial analytics, digital design coupled to advanced manufacturing, autonomous systems, applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

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NASA Administrator James Bridenstine delivers remarks as he tours the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. VOA

“We want to assist these companies in developing their own technologies and becoming commercial successes. NASA will also benefit by collaborating with these companies,” said Tom Cwik, Manager of the Space Technology Office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

Based in Los Angeles, the accelerator programme begins on July 15. After developing their concepts and business plans over a three-month period, the teams will then pitch their results to the NASA community, co-sponsors and private investors at a demo day in October, NASA said.

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“Industry is developing new technologies rapidly, using new tools and methods in software development and other areas,” said Cwik.

“It’s incumbent upon us to learn from developments in industry and contribute our vast expertise in technology as we prepare to use them in our future missions,” Cwik added. (IANS)