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China solicits int'l cooperation experiments on space station

BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- China is asking the world to collaborate in experiments on its planned space station so as to promote international space cooperation and sustainable global development.

The Committee on Science and Technology Experiments of the Chinese Space Station was established recently under the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).

The offer is open to the entire international community. Proposals and projects can be submitted online (www.css-research.cn) and peer-reviewed. The candidate projects will go through to the China Manned Space Agency.

"We are looking forward to experiments to better sustain space exploration. We also expect China's space station to be an in-space incubator of new technologies that can improve people's lives," said Zhang Hongtai, president of CAST.

CAST might also provide opportunities to conduct some international cooperation experiments on other spacecraft or satellites, said Zhang.

"China is further opening up, and space exploration is a shared challenge for China and other countries. We hope to solicit and evaluate experiments with common international practices, and select the most promising and innovative projects. The research data will be shared by the international community," said Bao Weimin, chairman of the newly established committee and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

NASA released a solicitation for proposals for next generation science instrument(s) that will harness the unique capabilities of SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.

SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP aircraft that carries a 100-inch telescope and science instruments to 38,000- 45,000 feet. At these altitudes, it is above more than 99 percent of Earth’s atmospheric water vapor, thereby opening up wavelengths for astronomical observations not available from the ground. Unlike most space missions, its scientific instruments can be exchanged between flights to accommodate changing science requirements and to incorporate new technologies.

The science instrument selected for SOFIA in 2016 is currently being built by a team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The High Resolution Mid-InfrarEd Spectrometer (HIRMES) will help researchers determine the location of the raw materials that are the building blocks of life and to better understand how they help planetary systems, like our own solar system, evolve. It’s scheduled to fly on SOFIA in 2019.

SOFIA’s newest instrument, regularly used for observations from 40,000 feet, is an infrared camera and polarimeter, which can be used to map celestial magnetic fields. It’s helping researchers better understand how stars form, how gas cools in the interstellar medium, and how magnetic fields are creating stellar winds around black holes.

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NASA Awards Contract for Advanced Computing Services
BEIJING, Aug. 5 China solicits int'l cooperation experiments on space station Story Below BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- China is asking the world to collaborate in experiments on its planned space station so as to promote international space cooperation and sustainable global development.

SOFIA is Looking for Next Science Instrument
NASA has selected InuTeq LLC of Beltsville, Maryland, to provide world-class, high-performance computing to all NASA missions in support of mission-driven science and engineering. This is a single award, hybrid contract with cost-plus-award-fee phase-in, core contract management, core technical services contract line items, and cost-plus-award-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee technical services indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract line items.

The period of performance begins July 2 with a one-year base, followed by nine one-year options. The phase-in, core contract management, and core technical services have a potential value of approximately $111.6 million. The minimum amount of indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity supplies or services that will be ordered during the effective period of this contract is $100,000. The maximum indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity value is approximately $1.1 billion. The total potential value is approximately $1.2 billion.

InuTeq will provide direct support to the NASA Advanced Supercomputing division at the agency's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, and the NASA Center for Climate Simulation at the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and provide advanced computing services to other NASA centers. The work will be performed at Ames and Goddard.

For information about NASA and other agency programs, visit:

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