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The Herschel telescope.
The Importance of Human Factors

By Alessandro Ercolani   Since joining the European Space Agency, ESA, in 2000, I have developed my whole career at the Department of Ground Segment Engineering.

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From the Academy Director: The Appeal of Space

By Ed Hoffman     The first International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held on the African continent was a potent reminder that nations seek the benefits of spaceflight for many different reasons.

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In This Issue by Don Cohen
In This Issue (ASK 45)

Don Cohen, Managing Editor   In their frank analysis of the failure of the Wide-field Infrared Explorers primary mission (“WIRE: Learning from Failure”), Bryan Fafaul and Kerry Ellis explain that this project based on “insight, not oversight” didn’t have enough of either.

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Dava models the BioSuit.
Building the Future Spacesuit

By Dava Newman   For the past dozen years, I have been working with colleagues and students here at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and with collaborators in various disciplines from around the world to develop a new kind of spacesuit.

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The Knowledge Notebook by Laurence Prusak
The Knowledge Notebook: Networks and Success

By Laurence Prusak Every once in a while, some U.S. or other government agency or a nongovernmental organization issues a report that is actually very useful and—dare I say it—even startling in its implications.

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ASK Interactive
ASK Interactive (ASK 45)

NASA in the News NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed its first discovery of a planet in the “habitable zone,” the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface.

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On August 1, 2010, almost the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in activity from a C3-class solar flare
On the Cover Issue 45, Winter 2012

On August 1, 2010, almost the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in activity from a C3-class solar flare, a solar tsunami, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection, and more. This extreme ultraviolet snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows the sun’s northern hemisphere in mid-eruption. Different […]

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The International Space Station docked with Europe’s ATV Johannes Kepler and Space Shuttle Endeavour as seen by Expedition 27 crewmember Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20.
Hands-On vs. Hands-Off Project Management at ESA

By Bob Chesson   Most European Space Agency (ESA) projects are contracted to European industry on a firm fixed-price (FFP) basis. These FFP contracts and their statements of work transfer most of the project risks to the prime contractor, who then transfers as much risk as he can to subcontractors and equipment suppliers.

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