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February 14, 2014
Space to Ground - 02/14/14

Josh Byerly: Welcome to Space to Ground, your weekly look at what’s happening on board the ISS. I’m Josh Byerly.

The station crew began the deployment, this week, of a series of CubeSats. Ultimately, there will be 33 of these tiny satellites released over the coming weeks in the largest CubeSat deployment in history. These first few will take a look at the planet below and offer lower cost, more efficient earth imaging for scientists and educators. These CubeSats are managed by NanoRacks and were delivered aboard Cygnus.  

And speaking of Cygnus, NASA television and nasa.gov will provide live coverage as the vehicle departs the station on Tuesday. Coverage begins at 6 a.m. Eastern, with the release of the spacecraft taking place at 6:40. Cygnus will be sent into a destructive re-entry the next day a little after 8 a.m. Eastern.

The view of the winter Olympic events in Sochi may be great from your couch, but the best view of Olympic park may just come from the ISS. In this nighttime shot, you can clearly see Fisht stadium and even the Olympic cauldron. The crew has been downlinking a number of photos of Sochi, so make sure you check them out on Twitter.

In station science, the crew had a busy week working on the SPHERES rings experiment. This is a different version of SPHERES than we’ve shown you before. It’s designed to not only test formation flying of these small droid-like satellites, but also wireless power transfer. The hope is that the results can be used to design more effective and adaptable satellites for all kinds of uses.

The crew also played with a little fire this week. It’s part of an experiment called BASS-2. Bass stands for the Burning And Suppression Of Solids. Fire doesn’t behave in space at all like it does here on Earth. This version of BASS looks at how different materials and fuels burn in space versus here on Earth. The data will be used for better spacecraft design and fire detection and suppression.

This week’s Twitter question comes from Roberto. He asks if there are any apps that can be downloaded to be in sync with all the ISS and NASA news? Absolutely! Your main source is the NASA app that is available on iPhones, iPads and Android devices.You can use that to learn more about the space station and even find out when to spot it in the sky. For more about all the NASA apps, log on to www.nasa.gov/apps

Make sure you keep sending us your questions and comments using the hashtag #spacetoground.  We’ll see you next week.

Page Last Updated: March 3rd, 2014
Page Editor: Jerry Wright