Caitlin Fairchild

Web Producer Caitlin Fairchild joined Government Executive in summer 2011 as an editorial fellow, after graduating from the College of William & Mary, where she spent four years writing for the student newspaper, The Flat Hat. In March 2012, she was hired full time as a web producer. She has completed internships at Washingtonian Magazine and at the public affairs office of Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
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Video: Sequencing DNA in Space

November 7, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Many things are impossible to do without gravity—like taking a shower, for instance. But one thing astronauts can do? Sequence DNA. NASA sent up biologist-turned-astronaut Kate Rubins to the International Space Station for four months to conduct a number of biological experiments, including testing the ability to sequence DNA without...

Video: What's Next for the James Webb Space Telescope

November 4, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The optical and scientific segment of the largest space telescope ever constructed is finally complete. NASA's James Webb Telescope is currently standing in one of the biggest clean rooms in the world at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. To get to this point, however, took nearly two decades, the development...

Video: How to Start Chatting with Google Assistant

November 3, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Google's voice assistant has learned some new tricks. Like most voice-recognition smartphone assistants, basic commands like telling it to search the web or change settings are a cinch, but now users can have a real, contextual conversation with Google Assistant thanks to machine learning. Asking questions like, "How long will...

Video: Testing the Materials That Will Take Us to Mars

November 2, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow How do you decide what materials to use to build a Mars-bound spacecraft? NASA is testing them all. The agency is conducting a Materials on International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) to determine which material will best withstand the extreme temperatures and high levels of radiation that is experienced during space...

Video: IG Report of 18F Continues to Raise Questions

November 1, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow What will become of 18F? The General Services Administration's digital shop recently faced a second scathing audit in a year. Nextgov's own Frank Konkel sat down to discuss this and other issues surrounding 18F and the U.S. Digital Service. Also discussed: the Technology Transformation Service's new leader. Watch the conversation...

9 Most Memorable Cyber Incidents of 2016

October 31, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Although 2015 featured some of the highest-profile hacks of note, 2016 so far has been remarkable when it comes to major cyberattacks and breaches. While not much could top the devastation of the Office of Personnel Management hack, in which 20 million Social Security numbers and 5 million fingerprints were...

Video: NASA Hosts Pumpkin-Carving Contest

October 31, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Want to know the best way to carve a pumpkin? Ask a NASA engineer. The space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory set its sight closer to Earth by hosting a pumpkin-carving contest. Contestants picked out their pumpkin the day before, allowing them a chance to measure and study their decorative gourd....

Video: Inside a Robotic Parking Garage

October 28, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Where do you park your self-driving car? In a self-parking garage, of course. This robot valet saves time and space, and prevents a few fender benders. Horizontal and vertical shuttles gently move vehicles into their parking spaces. There are two to three times as many parking spaces than in a...

Video: Uber's Next Project: Flying Cars

October 27, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Uber recently begun expanding its business into self-driving 18-wheelers. Next up for the Silicon Valley transportation company: flying cars. The startup is pitching a new division called Uber Elevate, and promises within 10 years a fleet of on-demand, semi-autonomous, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically. What will stand...

Video: Uber's Self-Driving Big Rig

October 26, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine driving down the highway when you pass by an 18-wheeler with no one behind the wheel. That's exactly what's happening with Uber's latest project: self-driving trucks. Uber recently purchased San Francisco startup Otto, which takes traditional trucks and gives them a $30,000 retro-fit to make them autonomous. The company...

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