NASA Podcasts

NASA TV's This Week @NASA, May 1
05.01.09
 
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This Week At NASA…

SHUTTLE UPDATE – KSC
Preparations continue for the fifth and final Hubble Servicing Mission. The STS-125 crew commanded by Scott Altman will install two new instruments, repair two inactive ones and replace components intended to keep the telescope up and running for at least five more years.

Ed Weiler: "If we are successful, HST will be more powerful and robust than ever before. It will continue to enable world class science and overlap with the James Webb Space Telescope."

No one will be more interested in the 11-day mission than NASA Associate Administrator for Science, Ed Weiler, who’s been a part of the Hubble team the project was launched 31 years ago.

Ed Weiler: "I remember a cartoon back after we fixed the Hubble, and it really touched me because we were all in pretty bad moods back in the early days. And then we fixed Hubble, things started to look up, but we knew we really had succeeded when we saw this national cartoon. It was a little boy and his dad in a telecope store, and the dad was pointing at this really expensive imported telescope, probably a 4 inch refractor, but the little boy had a tear in his eye and the caption was, ‘but Daddy, couldn’t I have Hubble. We knew we had made it back."

Shuttle Atlantis is targeted to launch for Hubble on May 11th at 2:01 p.m. Eastern.

PLAY BALL! – HQ

P.A. Announcer: "Ladies and gentleman, it’s now time for our ceremonial first pitch."

Led by mission specialist Ricky Arnold, six crew members of STS-119 paid a visit to the home of the Baltimore Orioles, Camden Yards.

P.A. Announcer: "Okay Ricky, whenever you’re ready, it’s your pitch." (applause)

Arnold, a native of nearby Bowie, Maryland, got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the O’s took on the visiting Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

EVA: "That’s good there Ricky, and welcome to EVA."

Ricky Arnold: "Copy, thanks."

The former science teacher conducted two spacewalks outside the International Space Station during the March mission, his first spaceflight. The other 119 crew members joining Arnold at the game were Commander Lee Archambault, Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Joe Acaba, Steve Swanson and John Phillips.

Arnold also presented the Orioles with a team jersey that flew with the crew to space on shuttle Discovery.

CASANI, FULLERTON HONORED – HQ

Gordon Fullerton: "What a great honor and what a great privilege!"

Two NASA pioneers received the highest honor the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum bestows, The Trophy for Lifetime Achievement.

John Casani and Gordon Fullerton accepted their awards at a private ceremony at the Washington, D.C. museum.

In a career spanning five decades at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, John Casani served as chief engineer or project manager for deep-space programs from Mariner missions to Voyager, Galileo and Cassini. At the very genesis of robotic planetary exploration, Casani designed spacecraft to perform tasks never before attempted. His leadership and engineering expertise advanced our knowledge of the solar system through missions that yielded increasingly-detailed data and awe-inspiring imagery.

John Casani: "I’m proud of my accomplishments. I’m proud of the fact that I was able to lead several teams through very many difficult times."

Gordon Fullerton spent much of his 30-year Air Force career as an astronaut in the Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle programs. He later served 22 more years as a flight research test pilot at the Dryden Flight Research Center. Having logged more than 380 hours in spaceflight and more than 16,000 hours of flight time in 135 different aircraft, Gordon Fullerton is recognized for helping make air travel safer.

Gordon Fullerton: "I would submit though that the award I just received is misnamed. It really should be the lifetime good fortune award. As I look back, it’s been 50 years of uncommon good luck all the way."

SCIENCE ON A SPHERE – SSC
The Stennis Space Center held a grand opening of its latest visitors center exhibit – “Science on a Sphere,” a room sized, computer-generated global display system that uses four projectors to show dynamic, revolving, animated images of Earth and other planets. The 68-inch giant animated globe depicts a variety of planetary data on everything from weather patterns and global warming trends, to atmospheric storms and ocean temperatures. “Science on a Sphere” also includes modules of documentaries specially-designed for the sphere, including NASA’s plans to return to the moon. Stennis’s is only the third NASA visitor center to offer “Science on a Sphere.

NASA ANNIVERSARY: LAUNCH OF STS-30 AND MAGELLAN -- MAY 4, 1989

Launch Announcer: "And liftoff!"

Twenty years ago, on May 4, 1989, the five-member crew of STS-30 launched from the Kennedy Space Center aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis, carrying Magellan, the first deep space probe on a space shuttle mission. Magellan was deployed to Venus to begin its planetary mapping mission and rendezvoused with the planet less than a year-and-a-half later on August 10, 1990. STS-30 was the first U.S. planetary mission in eleven years. During its four years in orbit around Venus, Magellan radar-mapped 98 percent of the planet’s surface and collected high-resolution gravity data of Earth’s sister planet.

And that's This Week @ NASA.

To learn more about NASA’s Airborne Science Program, log onto: www.nasa.gov
 
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