Tag: panel

05
Oct
2020
Posted in software

Safety panel has “great concern” about NASA plans to test Moon mission software

Teams at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility move the Core Stage toward a barge in January that will carry it to a test stand in Mississippi.
Enlarge / Teams at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility move the Core Stage toward a barge in January that will carry it to a test stand in Mississippi.

NASA

An independent panel that assesses the safety of NASA activities has raised serious questions about the space agency’s plan to test flight software for its Moon missions.

During a Thursday meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, one of its members, former NASA Flight Director Paul Hill, outlined the panel’s concerns after speaking with managers for NASA’s first three Artemis missions. This includes a test flight of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for Artemis I, and then human flights on the Artemis II and III missions.

Hill said the safety panel was apprehensive about the lack of “end-to-end” testing of the software and hardware used during these missions, from launch through landing. Such comprehensive testing ensures that the flight software is compatible across different vehicles and in a number of different environments, including the turbulence of launch and maneuvers in space.

“The panel has great concern about the end-to-end integrated test capability plans, especially for flight software,” Hill said. “There is no end-to-end integrated avionics and software test capability. Instead, multiple and separate labs, emulators, and simulations are being used to test subsets of the software.”

The safety panel also was struggling to understand why, apparently, NASA had not learned its lessons from the recent failed test flight of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, Hill said. (Boeing is also the primary contractor for the Space Launch System rocket’s core stage).

Prior to a test flight of the Starliner crew capsule in December 2019, Boeing did not run integrated, end-to-end tests for the mission that was supposed to dock with the International Space Station. Instead of running a software test that encompassed

01
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Senate panel issues subpoenas for Big Tech CEOs

A Senate panel voted Thursday to subpoena the top executives of Facebook, Google and Twitter to answer questions on disinformation, online scams and a range of social ills.

The Commerce Committee agreed unanimously to call Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google parent Alphabet.

The move comes with Big Tech platforms facing heightened scrutiny on monopoly concerns, and also for failing to stem hateful and nefarious content.

“After extending an invitation to these executives, I regret that they have again declined to participate and answer questions on the record about issues that are so visible and urgent to the American people,” said Republican Senator Roger Wicker, who chairs the panel.

“We have questioned how they are protecting and securing the data of millions of Americans, we’ve explored how they’re combating disinformation fraud and other online scams, we’ve examined whether they are providing a safe and secure internet experience for children and teens.”

Wicker added that the panel wants to know “how they are removing content from their sites that encourages extremism and mass violence… their use of secret algorithms that may manipulate users and drive compulsive usage of the internet, among our youth.”

Big Tech firms, including Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, have seen their economic power grow in recent years and accelerate during the coronavirus pandemic, dominating a range of economic sectors.

President Donald Trump and his allies have claimed tech platforms are biased against conservatives, despite his own vast social media following.

Democrats meanwhile have expressed concerns over monopoly abuses and the failure of social media to stem misinformation from Trump himself.

Lawmakers from both parties have called for changes to the legal liability shield of online services under a law known as Section 230, claiming the provision enables toxic and harmful content