NASA Podcasts

This Week @ NASA, November 18, 2011
11.18.11
 
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This Week@NASA...

DOCKED AND READY – JSC

"Roger that."

"Standing by for the contact. Copy? The crosshairs are lined up."

"Docking confirmed."

NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin are settling into their new accommodations aboard the International Space Station. Their Soyuz spacecraft docked with the orbiting laboratory about 48 hours after its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, joining them with their fellow Expedition 29 members, Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa Sergei Volkov. Those three ISS residents are scheduled to return to Earth on Nov. 21. Scheduled to launch to the station Dec. 21 as Expedition 30 flight engineers are NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers.

CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL – HQ

(nat sound: Rep. John Boehner, Republican-8th District of Ohio)
"Gentlemen … heroes or not your acts were heroic … and today we add you to the many honors – with two of your many honors, with respect and gratitude, the Congressional Gold Medal."

The Gold Medal, Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions, was presented to four storied NASA astronauts: John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. The Capitol Hill award ceremony was hosted by House and Senate leaders of both parties.

(nat sound: John Glenn, NASA Mercury/Space Shuttle Astronaut)
"Thank you all very, very much. We must consider ourselves among the most fortunate of all generations, for we have lived at a time when the dream became a reality. When we finally could travel above the atmosphere around the earth, where we could establish laboratories in space and do research, and for the very first time in history, leave human footprints on some place other than Earth … as Neil and Buzz and Mike made their epic journey. The message they left on the lunar surface could be said of all of our manned space travels; ‘we came in peace for all mankind’."

Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, achieving the feat onboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon, while Collins piloted Apollo 11's command module.

(nat sound: Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11 Commander)
"Congressional Gold Medals have been presented nine times for aviation and rocketry achievements. Today, for the first time they’re being given for achievements in space flight. The Apollo 11 crew is honored to receive the Congressional Gold Medal and accept on behalf of our fellow Apollo teammates – all of those who’ve played a role in expanding the human presence outward from earth, and all of those who played a role in expanding human knowledge of the solar system and beyond. We thank Congress very much."

NEW ASTRONAUTS APPLICATION PROCESS - HQ

(nat sound: Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator)
"These are exciting times here at NASA and this is an especially exciting day."

Administrator and former astronaut Charlie Bolden helped rollout NASA’s new online application process for its next class of astronauts. The Class of 2013 will be chosen from among candidates who, for the first time, will apply for the exciting opportunity through the federal government's USAJobs.gov website.

(nat sound: Voice of: Jeri Buchholz, NASA Assistant Administrator for Human Capital)
"You will be able to read about the NASA mission and learn a little bit about what it means to be an astronaut and what the qualifications for the position are."

Flight Crew Operations Director Janet Kavandi and five members of the recently graduated 2009 astronaut class participated in the announcement.

(nat sound: Serena Auñón, NASA Astronaut)
"We're excited because bringing on a new class of astronauts means a couple of things. We’ve got more people to work with us to travel to and from the International Space Station, We’ve got new commercial vehicles coming online."

The class of 2009 was the first to graduate astronauts who’ll fly in NASA’s new era of spaceflight aboard commercial craft to the International Space Station and NASA spacecraft on missions of exploration beyond low Earth orbit.

EUROPAN OCEAN – HQ

(nat sound: Britney Schmidt, Institute for Geophysics, University of Texas at Austin)
"We're excited about Europa because it represents a place that’s somehow alien, yet strangely familiar and may be a place where there is existence of life in the solar system today."

Data from a previous NASA planetary mission, Galileo, have provided scientists evidence of what appears to be a body of liquid water just beneath the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. The data suggest that, not only is the volume of this Europan subsurface ocean similar to that of the North American Great Lakes, but also that there is significant exchange between the moon’s icy shell and the ocean beneath.

(nat sound: Tori Hoehler, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Ames)
"You could view Eurpoa as something like a great big battery. It’s stored energy and the question has been whether or not that stored energy is actually available for life on Europa."

Launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1989 to the most massive planet in our solar system, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft has produced numerous discoveries about Jupiter and provided scientists decades worth of data to analyze.

SLS INDUSTRY DAY – MAF
A Space Launch System Industry Day gave potential SLS suppliers a look into the technological capabilities at host Michoud Assembly Facility. The event featured a tour of the main manufacturing building at MAF that includes, among other key capabilities, friction stir welding, high speed machining, and composite fiber processes. Facility executives provided insight as to how Michoud and its commercial suppliers can help in the coordination and building of the SLS, NASA’s next rocket system to take astronauts beyond low Earth orbit.

ON THE ROAD – MSFC/GRC
The directors of seven NASA centers visited several centers, including here at Marshall, to talk about their shared vision for the agency’s future and take questions from the workforce.

All stressed the importance of NASA’s partnerships and the need for further joint efforts to strengthen relationships inside and outside the agency.

Among the other centers visited was the Glenn Research Center, where the group again touted the importance of working together to accomplish the nation’s goals for science, engineering and space exploration.

LAUNCH: ENERGY FORUM - KSC
The Kennedy Space Center hosted the latest LAUNCH Forum aimed at identifying, showcasing and supporting new approaches to sustainability. This three-day event provided 10 international participants with a stage to highlight their innovations for addressing energy challenges on Earth and in space. LAUNCH is an ongoing initiative whose founding partners are NASA, USAID, Nike Inc., and the U.S. Department of State. LAUNCH:Energy was the third forum in the series.

RECYCLING AND SHREDDING - JSC
Johnson Space Center’s Contractors Environmental Partnership Hosted it’s 5th Electronic Waste Recycling and Document Shredding event to celebrate ‘Texas Recycles Day’ in 2011.

(nat sound: Jennifer Morrison, JSC Contractor Environmental Partnership)
"JSC’s Electronics Collection Events are a community service and part of the comprehensive efforts to increase sustainability in and around NASA."

There are no limits set on the number of items people can bring. Acceptable items include both working and non-working personal computers, monitors, printers, scanners, digital cameras, portable music devices, cords, VCRs and cell phones.

(nat sound: Jennifer Morrison, JSC Contractor Environmental Partnership)
"We’re actually offering an additional service, this time you can bring your personal documents in to be recycled and shredded as well."

DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH - WFF

NASA’s WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY HONORED THE NATIONAL DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH BY INVITING 15 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS TO TOUR THE FACILITY AND LEARN ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPPORTUNITIES.

(nat sound: Barbara Bell, Transition Program Specialist)
"Most of them are in a career technology program based out of Wicomico County and we bring them to Wallops to try to do a little career awareness with them and give them that experience."

THE STUDENTS PARTICIPATED IN TOURS OF TECHNICAL AREAS INCLUDING THE BALLOON LAB, RANGE CONTROL CENTER, AND MISSION PLANNING LAB. IN EACH CASE, PRESENTERS TALKED ABOUT THE POTENTIAL CAREERS IN THAT AREA.

(nat sound: Wyzhir Johnson, Student)
“This is so cool and so interesting and I think it’s so intriguing and I think everybody should just come and check out and see really what they do.”

NASA ANNIVERSARY: Launch of First ISS Component
Thirteen years ago, on Nov. 20, 1998, the first component of the new International Space Station was launched atop a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Zarya Control Module will provide the station with battery power, fuel storage, and rendezvous and docking capability for Soyuz and Progress space vehicles.

And that’s This Week @NASA.

For more on these and other stories, log onto www.nasa.gov.

 
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