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July 2014 E-News

July 12 marked 5,000 days since the Expedition One crew of Bill Shepherd, Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko arrived at the International Space Station back in November 2000. We’ve been supporting a crew on board every day since then, first assembling and operating the station, and now focusing on science research and technology development.

One of the experiments the Expedition 40 crew is performing is an evaluation of the XSENS ForceShoe system as a potential method to measure exercise loads during crew exercise. Here on Earth the study relates to those who may be restricted from activity due to injury, age and even busy lifestyles.

On its second cargo mission, Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft delivered 3,300 pounds of supplies to the station on July 16, including a host of student experiments as part of an initiative of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and NanoRacks.

On the education front here at JSC, this summer marks the 15th anniversary of our high school aerospace scholars (HAS). Funded by the state of Texas, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement, the program involves high school students in a sustained online program with JSC through the school year capped by a visit and design competition at the center in the summer. Thousands of students from school districts all across the state have participated and, in fact, JSC claims a number of alumni on the JSC team. Its success has resulted in derivative programs for community colleges in Texas and nationwide. So, happy birthday to HAS!

With less than six months until its first trip to space, Orion continues taking shape at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. With stacking complete and the heat shield installed, the crew/service module stack is currently undergoing final testing, including mission simulations that have sent data from the spacecraft to JSC’s Mission Control Center for the first time.

On June 25, the JSC team conducted the most complex and flight-like test of the Orion parachute system. It went off without a hitch.

Highway safety barriers may become taller, softer and safer thanks to JSC-developed technology and a recent a NASA patent license agreement formalizing a relationship with LifeNet Systems Inc. The LifeNet Systems product is based on technology developed by JSC inventor, James Locke, M.D. and William Schneider, Ph.D., Texas A&M University Professor.

The Apollo missions blazed a path to deep space, and today we are extending that path to Mars and other destinations.  To celebrate the 45th anniversary, Expedition 40 crew members Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman virtually participated in the renaming ceremony for the KSC Operations and Checkout Building. The building is being named for legendary astronaut and first man to set foot on the moon, Neil Armstrong. 

Also, a great way to stay informed about what is happening on the space station and here at JSC is to join our social media. Last week our social media outlets gained 25,320 fans on the International Space Station Facebook page, 1,531 followers on@NASA_Johnson Twitter, 2,460 followers on nasajohnson Instagram and 2,313 fans on NASA’s Johnson Space Center Facebook page. I hope you have joined!


See you next month,

Ellen Ochoa
JSC Director

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Page Last Updated: July 21st, 2014
Page Editor: Jason Roberts