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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending Sept. 7
This Week at NASA …
SHUTTLE UPDATE - KSC
Space Shuttle Discovery's External Tank has been mated to its Solid Rocket Boosters inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. The orbiter is slated to be rolled over to the VAB around Sept. 19, then rolled out to Launch Pad 39A about a week later. Discovery, carrying the STS-120 crew, is targeted for a late October launch. STS-120 will be the 23rd shuttle mission to the International Space Station. The crew will deliver the Harmony Node. Commander Pam Melroy will be the second woman to lead a shuttle mission. George Zamka will fly the orbiter. The remaining crew is Mission Specialists Scott Parazynski, Doug Wheelock, Stephanie Wilson and Paolo Nespoli, a European Space Agency astronaut from Italy. Space Shuttle Discovery will also ferry Daniel Tani to the Space station to replace Expedition 15 and 16 Flight Engineer Clay Anderson.
CRATER CRUISE - JPL
With atmospheric conditions on the Red Planet continuing to improve, the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is poised to enter Victoria Crater. The Rover team is eager to have Opportunity examine science targets on the inner slope that were identified in June. That's when severe dust storms blocked sunlight and limited electrical power, curtailing the activities of Opportunity and its twin, Spirit.
HIGH SPEED HELP - GRC
Testing at the Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook Station Facility has improved the performance of a tire deflation device, or TDD, used by law enforcement agencies. The TDD is a strip with embedded metal spikes that's designed to stop a speeding vehicle by deflating its tires, often without the need of a dangerous high-speed pursuit. With previous devices, some of the spikes that didn't puncture the tires were, instead, strewn over the highway, creating safety hazards for other motorists. NASA teamed with the strip's manufacturer to secure these rogue spikes. The improved technology has a 100-percent safety and 100-percent take-down record in deflating all tires that have come across its path.
SCIENCE AS ART - STScI
Sebastian is a celebrated Mexican urban monumental sculptor whose huge, geometrical works can be found throughout Mexico, the U.S., and around the world. His sculptures are inspired by mathematical concepts and by theories in physics. He recently paid Hubble Space Telescope astrophysicist Mario Livio a visit at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. After reading two of Livio’s books, Sebastian recognized that the two men had much in common: both strive to bridge the gap between science and art. During their meeting, Livio showed Sebastian many of the Hubble's beautiful images, and the two discussed the role of aesthetics in science.
PROBES PARTY - JPL
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory celebrated the 30th anniversary of the launches of the Voyager spacecraft. The event included a performance by the Ka Band and an address by former JPL Director Ed Stone. Space advocate and actress Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Lt. Uhura in the Star Trek television series and movies, made a special appearance.
NASA's two Voyager spacecraft are heading toward interstellar space after three decades of flight. During their first dozen years, the Voyagers made detailed explorations of Jupiter, Saturn, and their moons, and conducted the first explorations of Uranus and Neptune. The spacecraft returned never-before-seen images and scientific data, making fundamental discoveries about the outer planets and their moons. They continue to provide data as they approach the edge of our solar system.
STS - 47
Fifteen years ago, on Sept. 12, 1992 NASA launched Space Shuttle Endeavour, the 50th space shuttle mission. STS-47 was a joint effort between NASA and the National Space Development Agency of Japan to conduct microgravity experiments in materials and life sciences. The international crew included Mission Specialist Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to fly in space; Mission Specialists Mark Lee and N. Jan Davis, the first married couple to fly on the same space mission; and Payload Specialist Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese astronaut to fly aboard the shuttle.
And that's This Week At NASA!
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