NASA wants to send your name to Mars

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced Tuesday it’s seeking names to put aboard microchip that will be used on future Mars exploration missions.

Navy uses NASA tech to direct unmanned vessels at sea

By adapting a software used in the Mars rovers, the U.S. Navy can remotely deploy “swarm boats” to protect high-value targets at sea. The Navy said its biggest threat comes from small boats used in suicide attacks.

Why NASA wants kids to 3-D print tools for astronauts

NASA launched its Future Engineers challenge last month, which calls on K-12 students to design tools that will be printed aboard the International Space Station.

As commercial space travel approaches, FAA issues recommendations

NASA isn’t the only federal player in space travel anymore. As commercial space travel gets closer to reality, the Federal Aviation Administration released a framework of recommended practices for human space flight safety.

Agencies shine in new Twitter handbook for government and elections

Citing examples from several departments and agencies, Twitter released a guide for government and elections usage last week, covering the basics from what the social media network is and how to compose a tweet to more complex topics like live-tweeting events, constituent engagement and Twitter question and answer sessions.

Field of Dreams:’s half-decade transition

When was established in 2009, it was considered an experiment in open government. Now, with more than half a million unique data resources on the website, it’s transitioned into a proactive resource for data enthusiasts, public and private alike. “We work hard to push as much data up and out and to try to be as responsive and proactively go out and work with communities around the country and around the world,” Jeanne Holm,’s evangelist, told FedScoop. “[Over time] we just worked really hard to take it as far as we could.” Holm, who also works as the…

Will quantum computing usher in a brave new world?

News that Google was close to unveiling a science fiction-like quantum computer took many people by surprise this week, but the truth is the government has been working on quite a few of these new devices for years.

NASA review panel to Mars Curiosity team: Show us the science

The Mars Curiosity Rover cost taxpayers $2.5 billion. But a NASA review panel has concerns about what it recently called a “poor science return for a such a large investment in a flagship mission.”

NASA to refresh memory on Mars Opportunity rover

In the coming days, NASA will be reformatting Opportunity’s onboard flash memory, which has been getting in the way of the rover’s science missions.

White House looks to case studies to increase value of innovation investments

From NASA’s private sector competitions to promote the future of commercial space travel to the Department of Veterans Affairs’s invitation for ideas to ease restrictions on nontraditional contractors, the White House released a new document Aug. 21 jointly produced by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy highlighting an array of innovative contracting case studies in federal government.

Here’s how you can help NASA shine a light on photos of Earth’s cities

Can you identify a city just by looking at its lights from space? NASA would like to hear from you.

NASA taps massive coding community for deep space solutions

NASA’s National Tournament Lab is working with TopCoder, a community of more than 630,000 developers, designers and scientists to find solutions from everything to faster email delivery from space to monitoring astronaut health.

NASA rolls out big app upgrade as Mars rover mission turns 2

As a celebration of the two-year anniversary of the Mars Curiosity Rover landing, NASA released an update to its 3-D Spacecraft app that features a bunch of new content from the rover’s explorations. The augmented reality app now offers four new 3-D models of NASA spacecraft that users can interact with and a new image book published by National Geographic. Before the update, users needed to use an augmented reality target to interact with the models, according to NASA: “Augmented reality overlays visual content, like 3-D spacecraft models, onto the real-world view from a device’s camera. To view the app’s content,…

NASA wants help downloading data from Mars

The communications infrastructure that links NASA’s Mars robots and satellites to earth is aging and by 2020 may not be fully capable of supporting the agency’s mission. In order to keep scientific discoveries coming from the red planet, NASA is exploring commercial options to own and operate critical data relay orbiters.

NASA, FAA team up to improve air traffic control

The Federal Aviation Administration is getting some help from NASA to make air traffic controlling more efficient.

Amazon files for FAA exemption for delivery drones

In December, Amazon’s CEO announced the company was exploring a drone-based delivery service that could deliver some packages in as quickly as 30 minutes. Less than a year later, the company is ready to take that plan to the next level. In a letter Wednesday to the Federal Aviation Administration, the online shopping giant requested an exemption under section 333 of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act to operate an unmanned aircraft system before the agency’s official guidelines are released.  “Amazon shares Congress’ goal of getting small aerial vehicles (a.k.a., small unmanned aircraft systems, or “sUAS”) flying commercially in the United States…

Up & Comers makes a comeback

FedScoop’s popular podcast series, “Up-and-Coming,” is back. Starting July 15, FedScoop will be interviewing and profiling the millennials who are setting the stage for what the next decade of federal IT will look like.

Labor Department produces development kit for Apple’s Swift

That was fast. The Department of Labor has written an SDK for Apple’s Swift, which has only been available to the public for a month.

NASA launches open data challenge with Amazon Web Services

NASA, by virtue of Amazon Web Services’ cloud, is challenging the public to use its open data to create ways to study the planet’s actual clouds.

Is NASA boldly going toward a Star Trek future?

Will a new proposed spaceship help take NASA, and humanity, into a Star Trek-like universe where the stars are within reach?

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