WISE Eyes, Haitian Quake Study, More on This Week @ NASA!


Uploaded by NASAtelevision on 29.01.2010

Transcript:
This Week at NASA…
With launch day fast approaching, the STS-130 crew and launch team have their hands full
with last minute preparations. As pad maintenance and system checks are performed, Commander
George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts, and Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick, Bob Behnken,
Steve Robinson and Kathryn Hire continue to review flight data and practice tasks they’ll
perform during launch and on orbit. Virts, the only first-time flyer of the crew, is
understandably excited about the mission.
I think everybody on their first space flight is just looking forward to going into space.
It’s an amazing concept to think of leaving the planet earth and just not that many people
have gotten to do that so I’m really looking forward to that.
At launch pad 39A Endeavour’s payload bay doors are closed and ready for flight. Inside
is Tranquility, a pressurized module that will house many of the station’s life support
systems, and a cupola, a seven-window work station that will give the astronauts a vastly
improved view of the station’s exterior. Launch of Endeavour is scheduled for Feb.
7 at 4:39 am eastern.
A NASA aircraft with extensive radar capabilities will help study earthquake faults in Haiti
and the Dominican Republic. A Gulfstream III carrying NASA’s Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle
Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, was already scheduled to perform a three-week series of
science over flights in Central America. After the Haitian earthquake, NASA managers added
additional science objectives that will allow UAVSAR’s unique observational capabilities
to study geologic processes in Hispaniola following the earthquake. UAVSAR’s ability
to provide rapid access to regions of interest, short repeat flight intervals, high resolution
and its variable viewing geometry make it a powerful tool for studying ongoing Earth
processes.
It began as a 90-day mission, but NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, roamed for
more than six years to gather and return unprecedented science from the Red Planet. Now, impossibly
stuck in a sand trap, Spirit has been designated a stationary science platform after efforts
during the past several months to free it have been unsuccessful.
With the loss of mobility on Spirit, people are disappointed. These have really become
public icons, globally, not just in the United States. Even children, easily, identify with
the rovers; they’re cute, and they give you a human’s eye view of the surface of
another planet for the first time. Spirit’s primary objective in the coming
weeks will be to tilt itself more towards the sun and collect enough solar energy to
weather the severe Martian winter. If Spirit survives, it could continue conducting significant
new science for years.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory mission gets underway with a launch from Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station in February.
SDO is our first opportunity to use a piece of instrumentation called a heliosiesmometer,
and what this does is it does the same thing as a sonogram for a human diagnostic, where
you look inside of a human to see organs and processes going on, and we are going to be
able to see the birth of magnetic fields in the sun and their evolutions this is the first
time ever we’ll be able to do that.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory, will help scientists zoom in on solar activity such
as sunspots, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, thus improving forecasting of how
this solar weather will affect us. The Observatory is expected to deliver startling images of
the sun with ten times more detail than High Definition Television cameras. SDO is the
first in NASA’s “Living with a Star” satellites and has been designed to provide
invaluable data about the sun for five years.
WISE, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer has discovered a near-Earth asteroid some
98 million miles away. The asteroid is not expected to come near enough to our planet
to pose a threat. Scientists say this is just the beginning for WISE, which began its all-sky
survey at the beginning of the year.
Ignition and lift-off of a Delta II rocket and WISE searching for stars at galaxies never
seen before. The telescope should find as many as a thousand
previously undiscovered asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter, as well as hundreds
of new near-Earth asteroids and other hidden objects.
The things we did on our flight, of course launch, landing & space station
The STS-129 crew continued its center tour with a stop in northeast Ohio at the Glenn
Research Center. There, they presented video highlights from their 11-day mission last
November.
The 129 crew also visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, bringing with
them several items that accompanied the astronauts on their 4.5 million mile journey into space:
a specially-minted silver coin that will be used at the kickoff of Super Bowl XLIV; jerseys
representing the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, the two NFL teams with whom crew
member Leland Melvin had a tryout; and, a football, inscribed with the names of Pro
Football Hall of Fame members. Local students and community partners joined in the event.
Commander Charlie Hobaugh, who attended high school in Ridgeville, Ohio, and Cleveland-area
native, Mission Specialist Mike Foreman, were joined by crew members Melvin, Barry Wilmore,
Randy Bresnik and Bobby Satcher at a Cleveland Cavaliers game with the visiting Minnesota
Timberwolves at Quicken Loans Arena.
Joining us tonight with that jersey is the crew from the space shuttle Atlantis
As well as taking in the matchup, the astronauts participated in pregame activities and met
with fans.
Fifteen years ago, on February 3, 1995, Space Shuttle Discovery launched from the Kennedy
Space Center on mission STS-63. A night launch and the 20th mission for Discovery, it marked
the first time a space shuttle mission had a female pilot, Eileen Collins. Dubbed the
Near-Mir mission, STS-63 rendezvoused with and did a fly around of Russian space station
Mir, in preparation for STS-71, the first mission to dock with Mir. Along with Collins,
the STS-63 crew included Commander Jim Weatherbee, Mike Foale, Janice Voss, Bernard Harris and
cosmonaut Vladimir Titov. Collins went on to become the first female commander of a
space shuttle mission, STS-93, in 1999.
And that’s This Week at NASA! For more on these and other stories, log onto
www.nasa.gov.