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NASA's 'LAUNCH' Program Recognized For Government Innovation

Program 'Searches For Visionaries' With 'World Class Ideas'

A NASA program supporting innovative approaches to sustainability challenges has received an Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

NASA's LAUNCH program is among the top 25 federal programs recognized by the Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The award promotes excellence and creativity in the public sector. LAUNCH and the other Top 25 programs represent the top 5 percent of all applications received for the award.

NASA and founding partners the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. State Department and Nike created LAUNCH in 2010 to identify, showcase and accelerate innovative approaches to specific sustainability challenges faced by human spaceflight, as well as communities and nations on Earth. LAUNCH searches for visionaries whose world-class ideas, technologies or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts to exploring beyond low-Earth orbit and on society.

The challenge currently under way, LAUNCH: System Challenge 2013, will identify 10 game-changing innovations that could enable fabric systems to enhance global economic growth, drive human prosperity and replenish the planet's resources. The challenge seeks creative innovations in the materials from which fabrics are made, with a focus on positive social and environmental impact in space and on Earth. Fabrics and the materials from which they are made are important for designing new spacecraft and spacesuits that will protect astronauts traveling to destinations far beyond Earth. Innovations presented at the LAUNCH: System Challenge 2013 forum may lead to new, stronger, lighter and more affordable fabrics that will benefit NASA as it sends humans deeper into our solar system. NASA will host the forum Sept. 26-28 at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.

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