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JSC Director News

JSC Director Ellen Ochoa

Hello! Thank you for your interest in subscribing to my e-news. The Director News will cover timely topics in and around the Johnson Space Center. I hope you find it informative and entertaining.

Dr. Ellen Ochoa,
JSC Director

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April 9, 2014


We are LIVE FROM SPACE! Those words definitely drew lots of us to the TV on March 14. Nat Geo (the National Geographic Channel) got the chance to go ‘Live from Space’ from a stage in Mission Control with a two-hour broadcast co-anchored by Soledad O’Brien and astronaut Mike Massimino, and starring Expedition 39 crew Rick Mastracchio, Koichi Wakata and Mikhail Tyurin. The U.S. version and the encore that followed reached more than four million viewers alone; the international version reached 170 countries; and #LiveFromSpace hit number one on Twitter during the show.  

Space is definitely trending on social media. Expedition 39 astronaut Steve Swanson is the first space station crew member to officially post photos to Instagram from space.  On March 16, Mastracchio, @AstroRM, got a Top Tweet of the day when he posted a photo of the moon for his wife.  Swanny, Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, two cosmonauts, joined their Expedition 39 crewmates March 27.  

It’s now less than a year until astronaut Scott Kelly -- the first U.S. astronaut to spend a year in space – launches with cosmonaut Mikhail Komienko to the International Space Station (March 28, 2015.) Scott, in space, and his twin brother, Mark, on Earth, will take part in twin-focused science experiments during the year-long mission. You can follow Scott as he prepares for the mission on Twitter @StationCDRKelly.

It’s almost time for Space Center Houston’s “Big Move!” The 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (NASA 905) is on its final approach to Space Center Houston to anchor a new $12 million exhibit with the full-scale space shuttle replica atop it. The move will span two evenings, April 28-29, with trucks carrying the nine large pieces from Ellington Field to SCH. A 1,000-foot trailer convoy will be hard to ignore.

Casting a vote on NASA’s newest prototype spacesuit, the Z-2, a surface-specific planetary mobility suit, has been popular on the Web – 200,000 votes and counting. It’s garnered JSC’s Engineering Directorate some interesting ideas, like LED lights around the helmet and even brighter colored suits so as “not to depress the astronauts.” Cast your vote here. Z-2 should be ready for testing this fall.

The Orion spacecraft is getting closer to its first test flight, EFT-1. At Kennedy Space Center, Orion’s crew module and service module are being readied, with functional tests on the crew module scheduled to be complete this week,  and the United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket boosters have arrived for preparation. Five teams of high school student engineers from across the country have made it to the final round of the Exploration Design Challenge, a competition to build and test designs for radiation shields for Orion. The next phase will require building prototypes.

Mark the launch of the next SpaceX resupply mission to the space station on your calendar. SpaceX-3 is scheduled to lift off at 3:58 p.m. CDT April 14 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Ellen Ochoa
JSC Director

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Page Last Updated: April 9th, 2014
Page Editor: Jason Roberts