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June 13, 2014
This Week @ NASA, June 13, 2014

“Here’s some of the stories trending This Week at NASA!”

OCO-2 Briefing

This week, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission was discussed during a prelaunch briefing at NASA headquarters. OCO-2, the first NASA spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, will provide a more complete, global picture of CO-2, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas affecting our climate. Launch is scheduled for July 1 from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Bolden at National Aeronautic Association

During a National Aeronautic Association luncheon in Arlington, Virginia, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden spoke about the wide array of technologies NASA is working on … including those that will enable future missions to deep space, research to reduce aircraft noise and emissions in our skies and the capabilities needed to protect us from asteroids and other near Earth objects. The National Aeronautic Association holds annual events to recognize achievements in aeronautics.

Hopkins visits National Institutes of Health

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins visited the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland to discuss his recent mission on the International Space Station and the research being conducted aboard the station in human biology, life sciences and other areas, including NIH-funded investigations. Hopkins spent 166 days in space as a flight engineer for ISS Expeditions 37 and 38.

Cargo ship leaves ISS

The Russian Progress cargo ship that previously undocked from the ISS in late April to test an upgraded rendezvous system, has finally departed the station for good – separating from the station as the two spacecraft passed over Mongolia. The Progress, filled with trash and other unneeded items, later burned up while reentering Earth’s atmosphere.

Orion’s heat shield installed

NASA and Lockheed Martin engineers have installed the largest heat shield ever constructed… on the Orion spacecraft crew module -- a major milestone on the path toward Exploration Flight Test-1 -- Orion’s first spaceflight targeted for early December. The heat shield is made with a coating called Avcoat, which protects the crew module from the extreme heat of reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere and the cold of space

Sample return robots

Eighteen robotics teams from across the nation participated in NASA’s 2014 Sample Return Robot Challenge at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. Robots in the competition were designed to locate and retrieve geologic samples from wide and varied terrains – without human controls. The challenge is meant to encourage innovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies. Innovations from the challenge may improve NASA's capability to explore a variety of space destinations.

Sally Ride: Life Stories

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington presented a program Thursday called Sally Ride: Life Stories, about the life and historical impact of America’s First Woman in Space and the history of women entering the astronaut corps. On June 18, 1983, Ride became the first U.S. female astronaut in space when she launched on space shuttle Challenger's STS-7 mission. Ride passed away in 2012.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA …

For more on these and other stories follow us on social media and visit www.nasa.gov/twan.

Page Last Updated: June 13th, 2014
Page Editor: Gary Daines