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May 2, 2014
This Week @ NASA, May 2, 2014

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

The Human Path to Mars

On Tuesday, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and other agency officials participated in a public exploration forum at headquarters, to showcase the path the agency has laid out to put humans on Mars.

Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator: “NASA’s path for the human exploration of Mars begins in low Earth orbit. Astronauts aboard the ISS are helping us learn how to safely execute extended missions deeper into space. It’s important to remember that NASA sent humans to the moon by setting a goal that seemed beyond our reach. With Mars as our focus, we are steadily building the capability to enable human missions to Mars.”

Senate hearing

A hearing on Thursday of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, provided yet another opportunity for the Administrator to testify before legislators and continue the focus on NASA’s human path to Mars. NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars in the 2030s.

Seeking concepts for Europa mission

A Request For Information issued on Monday by NASA, seeks conceptual ideas from the science and engineering communities for a mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa , which could address fundamental questions about the Jovian moon and the search for life beyond Earth. Among the mission’s primary objectives is study of the liquid-water ocean believed to be beneath Europa’s icy crust. Deadline to submit a mission concept is May 30.

Tornado outbreak seen from space

The weather system that spawned tornadoes across parts of several U.S. central and southern states early in the week was seen from space by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-East satellite. Meanwhile, infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed the powerful storms extended high into the troposphere.

Spacecraft stacked

The recent three-day stacking of all four spacecraft for NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission was condensed into this one minute time-lapse. The stacking at Goddard Space Flight Center, was to prepare the spacecraft for vibration testing, which simulates the conditions it will experience during launch. NASA plans to launch MMS in late 2014, to study a phenomenon known as “magnetic reconnection” -- a trigger of space weather events.

Shuttle Carrier Aircraft reaches final destination

Monday and Tuesday night, a convoy carried the disassembled NASA 905 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft from Ellington Field, through the streets of Houston’s Clear Lake area to the Space Center Houston visitor center, near Johnson Space Center. The 747 will be reassembled and put on permanent public display at Space Center Houston. One of two Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, NASA 905 safely transported space shuttles around the country on 68 ferry flights from 1974 to September 2012.

Spinoffs 2013

NASA’s Spinoffs 2013 can be seen on a computer screen near you. This edition of the online publication about commercial products we use every day here on Earth and made with technology developed by NASA, features water filtration devices, comfortable car seats, remote medical devices and more. Check out spinoff.nasa.gov to see just how much space there is in our lives.

NASA honors Shatner

At a charity event in Los Angeles, NASA honored actor William Shatner – a life-long supporter of space exploration – with its Distinguished Public Service medal … the agency’s highest award for non-government personnel. The award is presented to those who have personally made a contribution representing substantial progress to the NASA mission and must be so extraordinary, that other forms of recognition would be inadequate. The citation for the medal reads, “For outstanding generosity and dedication to inspiring new generations of explorers around the world, and for unwavering support for NASA and its missions of discovery.

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: May 2nd, 2014
Page Editor: Gary Daines