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NASA Awards Millions to Historically Black Colleges, Universities

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NASA awards 11.7 million to HBCUs to conduct data science research that will contribute to the agency’s Science Mission Directorate missions.
Credits: NASA/Cory Huston

NASA is awarding $11.7 million to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through the new Data Science Equity, Access, and Priority in Research and Education (DEAP) opportunity. These awards will enable HBCU students and faculty to conduct innovative data science research that contributes to NASA’s missions.

“We’re pleased to make progress through awards like this to intentionally build the STEM pipeline of the future, especially in communities of color,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. “It’s fitting during Black History Month that we make this tangible step to build on the talent pool at HBCUs in our ongoing work to bring to the table all the talents and perspectives we’ll need to send humans to the Moon, Mars and beyond, and do amazing science throughout the solar system.”

Technology advancements in the field of data science, including the growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning, are poised to significantly impact the work of data scientists and analysts. The awarded projects have up to three years to establish institutes and partnerships to increase the number and research capacity of STEM students at HBCUs, accelerate innovation in a wide range of NASA science, technology, engineering, and mathematic research areas, and prepare the future workforce for data-intensive space-based Earth sciences.

“The increasing use of data science at NASA and beyond really drives home the need for a future workforce with data science knowledge,” said Mike Kincaid, associate administrator of NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, which manages MUREP. “With our newest collaboration, NASA created an exciting pathway to find new talent at HBCUs.”

The agency’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) and the Science Mission Directorate collaborated on the DEAP opportunity, and selected the following institutions and their proposed projects:

Bethune-Cookman University Inc., Daytona Beach, Florida

NASA MUREP DEAP Institute of Environmental Intelligence for Advanced Space-based Earth Sciences

The project will establish a DEAP Institute focusing on machine learning-based development of a virtual constellation of satellites that will capture changing water levels, from events such as storm flooding to multi-decadal time scales, such as sea level rise. NASA tracks sea level changes and its causes from space.

Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina

Institute for Multi-agent Perception through Advanced Cyberphysical Technologies (IMPACT)

The IMPACT project will build on existing capacity and collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Silicon Valley, California, to engage students and faculty in using data science to address scientific questions as one of the key factors to manage NASA’s Earth mission research.

Florida A & M University, Tallahassee, Florida

Effects of Gravity on Creeping Salts and Salt Mixtures: Developing Image-based and AI-enhanced Diagnostics for Determining Chemical Compositions

This project will rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to better understand the science of concentrated salt solutions and the formation of ring-like deposits called evaporites. Understanding the science of salt concentrations and formation of evaporites will bring new insight into identifying where water may have existed. Water is a critical source NASA researches and explores to better understand other planets’ surface geology and the potential future of lunar and Martian exploration.

Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri

Using Data Science to Understand Soil, Wildfire, & Social Disparity of Climate Change and Air Pollution

This project aims to provide data science problem-solving, skill development, and professional development of minority and underserved students. Students will utilize existing state-of-the-art ML methods to develop new data analytic approaches to solve some of the core problems in Earth science research.

Morgan State University, Baltimore

Long-Term, High-Resolution Urban Aerosol Database for Research, Education and Outreach

Through innovative data analysis algorithms, including ML/AI methods, this project will produce a high-resolution, open-access, and user-friendly urban aerosol database focusing on the Baltimore-Washington area. The database will also be used in both classroom teaching and scientific outreach, accompanied by online tools and educational materials bringing new, authentic Earth science education to local schools and communities.

North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina

DEAP Institute: Harnessing Data Science for Flood Monitoring and Management

Three North Carolina-based HBCUs will work together on this project developed to harness data science for flood monitoring and management.

North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina

Capacity Building to Support the Machine Learning-Based Detection of Floods and other Natural Hazard Impacts in the Department of Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences at North Carolina Central University

This project will create training, data resources, and opportunities to use machine learning/artificial intelligence to identify and measure the impact of flood events and other natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, drought, wildfires, and more.

Prairie View A & M University, Prairie View, Texas

DEAP Institute in Research and Education for Science Translation via Low-Resource Neural Machine Translation

This project aims to build an AI-based system that can share interactive, instantaneous, and user-relevant Earth science information, making NASA science more discoverable and accessible to a broad audience.

“NASA is tackling how to use the latest techniques in data science combined with the volumes of data produced by our missions to answer questions about our changing planet,” said Steven Crawford, senior program executive for scientific data and computing. “Working with students from HBCUs will not only engage the generation that will be most affected by these subjects but will help NASA scientists and engineers address these challenges.”

Administered by OSTEM, MUREP supports and invests in the research, academic, and technology capabilities of Minority Serving Institutions. For more information about NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, visit:

https://stem.nasa.gov

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Tech

The Weather Network launches its first advertising campaign using an AI-assisted Avatar

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OAKVILLE, ON, June 11, 2024 /CNW/ – The Weather Network has launched a first-of-kind ad campaign using an AI-Assisted Avatar of their own Content Creator and Presenter, Rachel Schoutsen. The Weather Network partnered with Home Hardware Stores Limited to showcase storefront and local store callouts where Rachel’s AI-Assisted Avatar covers an Ontario summer forecast, plus a summer sale call to action, designed to drive traffic to Home Hardware locations across Ontario.

Watch this video to see Rachel Schoutsen’s avatar in action

Rachel Schoutsen’s avatar in action.

By leveraging advanced AI technologies, The Weather Network is now able to deliver hyper-local forecasts on a larger scale, providing communities and local economies with opportunities to prepare for and respond to weather-related events. The Weather Network’s mission is to keep its users safe and informed with accurate and localized weather information.

“This partnership puts Home Hardware front and centre when Canadians are engaging with weather content and planning for the summer ahead,” said Simon Jennings, CRO, The Weather Network. “Canadians want to know what to expect as they plan their busiest social days and holidays and can purchase the right products for the weather forecast in their area.”

“Home Hardware is a business built on serving small communities across the country and we are proud to support The Weather Network’s innovative efforts to do the same through AI technology,” said Laura Baker, Chief Marketing Officer, Home Hardware Stores Limited. “Our more than 1,000 stores and the Dealers who operate them make it their mission to provide comprehensive support for all our customers’ home improvement needs within their communities. That means helping Canadians complete and enjoy their outdoor home improvement and yard maintenance projects while also preparing for any inclement weather events.”

With a focus on helping users and businesses make informed decisions using cutting-edge technology, The Weather Network is committed to ensuring the use of avatars in its promotional materials aligns with the highest ethical standards. All promotional materials have a clear disclaimer to ensure its viewers are well informed of AI-created content. In addition, employee avatars are used with their consent and an agreement to participate.

“We are excited about this latest innovation and the opportunities it will provide to our consumers and businesses,” said Maureen Rogers, Managing Director Editorial & Public Alerting, The Weather Network. “As with any new product we launch, we value their input and will use it to continuously improve the product to meet their needs and deliver products that exceed their expectations. We are delighted to have partnered with Home Hardware on piloting this new product with us.”

The Weather Network recently launched Your Weather Assistant, a generative AI tool to transform the way people consume weather information. The introduction of its newly developed AI-Assisted Avatar demonstrates Pelmorex Corp.’s, owner of The Weather Network, commitment to innovation as it evolves into an AI-frontiered weather and climate organization.

About Pelmorex Corp.
Pelmorex Corp., founded in 1989, is an international weather information and data management company. Pelmorex owns and operates the weather brands The Weather Network, MétéoMédia, Eltiempo.es, Clima, and Otempo.pt. It also operates Canada’s National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination System, part of Alert Ready. Through constant innovation and entrepreneurship, Pelmorex has grown to reach consumers around the globe, has become one of the largest weather information providers and has broken new ground in providing data solutions and insights to businesses. Through harnessing the value of weather, Pelmorex is driven to make the world smarter and safer for consumers and businesses. 

To learn more, visit pelmorex.com and follow us on X (platform formerly known as Twitter), Instagram and LinkedIn.

About Home Hardware Stores Limited

Founded 60 years ago in St. Jacobs, Ontario, Home Hardware Stores Limited is proudly Canadian and the country’s largest Dealer-owned and operated home improvement retailer with more than 1,000 stores operating under the Home Hardware, Home Building Centre, Home Hardware Building Centre and Home Furniture banners. The Home Hardware Dealer network improves life at home by providing superior home improvement retail experiences through helpful advice and a deep understanding of the communities they serve. Home Hardware Stores Limited is designated as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies and recognized as one of Canada’s Best Employers. More information about the company is available at homehardware.ca.

SOURCE Pelmorex Corp.

https://stmdailynews.com/category/tech

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Space and Tech

NASA’s Newest Spaceplane: Dream Chaser Tenacity Arriving at Kennedy Space Center

Dream Chaser Tenacity arrives at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, a milestone in enhancing ISS resupply missions. New era of commercial spaceplanes begins.

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Image Credit: Sierra Space

Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser Tenacity has made an exciting arrival at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, marking a significant milestone in NASA’s initiative to enhance commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station. This uncrewed spaceplane, part of a fleet planned by Sierra Space, is set to deliver 7,800 pounds of cargo using a ULA Vulcan rocket for its inaugural mission.

Pre-Launch Testing and Preparation
Before its arrival at Kennedy Space Center, Dream Chaser Tenacity underwent rigorous testing and preparation. From vibration testing to exposure to extreme temperatures and pressures, the spaceplane and its cargo module, Shooting Star, were meticulously prepared for their journey to the ISS.

Final Preparations at Kennedy
Now at Kennedy Space Center, Dream Chaser Tenacity is undergoing final testing and prelaunch processing inside the Space Systems Processing Facility. The spaceplane is set to launch atop a ULA Vulcan rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, marking the beginning of its mission to deliver cargo to the orbiting laboratory.

Design and Capabilities
With its lifting body design and unique winged structure, Dream Chaser is capable of transporting cargo to and from low Earth orbit and landing on a runway similar to NASA’s space shuttle. The spaceplane, along with the Shooting Star cargo module, offers a versatile and efficient means of resupplying the ISS.

Certification and In-Orbit Operations
Once in orbit, Dream Chaser Tenacity will undergo a series of demonstrations to showcase its maneuverability and docking capabilities. After delivering cargo to the ISS and completing its mission, the spaceplane will return to Kennedy’s Launch and Landing Facility for inspection and preparation for future missions.

The arrival of Dream Chaser Tenacity at Kennedy Space Center heralds a new era in commercial resupply missions to the ISS, showcasing the capabilities of Sierra Space’s innovative spaceplane technology. As NASA continues to expand its partnerships with commercial providers, the Dream Chaser fleet stands ready to support the agency’s goals in low Earth orbit exploration.

https://www.sierraspace.com/dream-chaser-spaceplane/uncrewed-cargo-spacecraft

https://stmdailynews.com/category/science

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  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

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Space and Tech

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches First Crewed Starliner

“The first human spaceflight launch signifies the start of a new era for ULA.”

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CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — For the first time in history, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V carrying NASA astronauts aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner lifted off on June 5 at 10:52 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. The launch of NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams marks the return of human spaceflight to Cape Canaveral and extends the Atlas legacy, echoing the launch of U.S. astronaut John Glenn aboard a heritage Atlas LV-3B rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 1962.

The inaugural human spaceflight launch marks the beginning of a new era for ULA
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams aboard the Boeing Starliner spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 10:52 a.m. EDT on June 5, 2024. Photos by United Launch Alliance

“Safety is a critical part of the ULA decision-making process, and we are deeply honored to have been entrusted with the responsibility of starting the astronauts on their journey to the International Space Station, one that we will watching throughout their mission,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. “ULA has performed a tremendous amount of work in conjunction with our partners at Boeing and NASA to ensure our designs provide the highest level of safety to the crew and we will continue to prioritize our dedication to safety as we look forward to future launches in support of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.”

While the mission is continuing, the Atlas V rocket’s job is complete and safely delivered the Starliner and crew to a 98-nautical mile (nmi) sub-orbital trajectory. Following separation from the Atlas V, the Starliner engines ignited to place the crew on their orbital path to the space station.

“My congratulations and sincerest gratitude to our unrivaled team and exceptional partners on the launch of a new era in human spaceflight aboard one of the most reliable rockets in the world,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO. “It’s a profound honor to assist in enabling assured reliability and redundancy of crewed launches.”

All rockets are not created equal. ULA is the nation’s most experienced, reliable and accurate launch service provider delivering unmatched value, a tireless drive to improve, and commitment to the extraordinary. Vulcan’s inaugural launch marked the beginning of a new era of space capabilities and provides higher performance and greater affordability while offering the world’s only high energy architecture rocket to deliver any payload, at any time, to any orbit.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com and join the conversation on social media @ulalaunch.
Mission webpage
Mission Photo Album Link.

SOURCE United Launch Alliance (ULA)

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