“Dealing with a buggy situation in the air …”
“A next generation weather satellite is a step closer to launch …”
“And a comet’s close encounter with the Sun … Those are some of the stories trending, This Week at NASA!”
ISON and the Sun
On Thanksgiving Day, Comet ISON passed about 685-thousand miles above the surface of the sun – the comet’s closest approach on a projected path around our solar system’s star. Data from this close encounter is providing clues about the comet and its interaction with the solar atmosphere – which can help us understand more about the sun itself.
A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft, stocked with almost three tons of food, supplies and holiday items for the International Space Station, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The four-day trip included a pre-docking flyby to test upgraded automated rendezvous equipment. Meanwhile, the crew onboard ISS spent Thanksgiving sampling traditional holiday favorites with a space-food flair… such as irradiated smoked turkey, thermostabilized yams and freeze-dried green beans.
A transport container holding the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite left Goddard Space Flight Center on a 73-hundred mile journey to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tanegashima Space Center, where it will undergo launch preparations. GPM will set a new standard for global precipitation measurements. Launch is planned for early 2014.
Chief Scientist’s visits
New Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan is making introductory visits to the NASA centers. Recently at Langley, she toured several facilities and participated in other activities … In California… Stofan met with center managers and the media at Ames … and the former JPL scientist returned to Pasadena to discuss finding life beyond Earth.
An agreement to attract high tech companies to Maryland was signed during an event at Goddard Space Flight Center. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley and Goddard Center Director Chris Scolese participated in the signing. The agreement will benefit future NASA missions as well as the economic future of Maryland.
An update on Langley Research Center’s work to produce a bug resistant coating for airplane wings. Langley is conducting the first in-flight evaluations of the coating. Residue from bug splatter, along with other factors, can cause drag and lead to higher fuel consumption in airplanes.
Spacelab 1 Anniversary
Spacelab 1 was launched thirty years ago aboard space shuttle Columbia -- November 28, 1983 – on STS-9. The 10 day mission demonstrated the ability to conduct advanced scientific research in space – with over seventy experiments completed on the flight. More than twenty Spacelab missions followed.
And that’s what’s up … This Week at NASA.
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Page Editor: Gary Daines