NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending June 20

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending June 20
06.20.08
 
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This Week At NASA…

OSTM - KSC

George Diller: "2-1 and liftoff of the Delta II with Jason 2."

After its successful launch aboard a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Ocean Surface Topography Mission’s Jason 2 satellite is orbiting 830 miles above the Earth. Its five primary science instruments measure ocean surface height. These measurements will help scientists predict and evaluate climate changes and improve weather forecasting.

Mikael Rattenborg: "This mission will help us to estimate intensification of hurricanes as they approach the shoreline. Where there are warm pools, deep pools, of water off-shore, like in the Gulf of Mexico, those can cause hurricanes to intensify, and the mission will be very beneficial in doing hurricane forecasting, intensity forecasting at the national hurricane center at NOAA."

PHOENIX UPDATE - JPL
The chunks of bright material photographed by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander have vanished from inside a trench four days after they were uncovered. That has scientists convinced that the material was frozen water that vaporized after digging exposed it.

NEW TESTING – HQ

Countdown SOT: "2-1" (explosive sound)

Engineers have begun preliminary testing of a key component of NASA’s Constellation Program. This new vertical test stand recently unveiled by NASA and Alliant Techsystems In Promontory, Utah is being used to checkout the motor igniter of the Orion crew exploration vehicle’s launch abort system. The abort motor is designed to pull the crew module away from the Ares I launch vehicle in an emergency on the launch pad or during the first 300,000 feet after launch. Full-scale abort motor testing is scheduled this summer. The Constellation Program spacecraft will return humans to the moon by 2020.

ASTRONAUT VISIT – GRC
NASA astronaut Mike Foreman returned home to Ohio to visit with employees and summer students at the Glenn Research Center. Foreman, a native of Wadsworth, not far from Cleveland, showed highlights of his recent excursion into space aboard shuttle Endeavour as a member of the STS-123 crew. Foreman also answered questions and signed autographs for his fellow Buckeyes.

AMATEUR ASTRONOMER – HQ
An amateur astronomer in Australia is helping NASA with information he’s collected about a storm on Saturn. Backyard stargazer and retired miner Trevor Barry, who lives in the small town of Broken Hill in western New South Wales, first noticed the storm in February. He’s been sending pictures to University of Iowa scientists and NASA researchers ever since.

Trevor Barry: "This is just another night of imaging Saturn and when I process the images there was the barest hint of some structure, a white spot."

Barry’s observations are supplementing data collected of the storm by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft that’s orbiting Saturn.

Trevor Barry: "I’m now involved with NASA. Can you believe it!!!" (very excited)

NEWFOUND INDEPENDENCE – HQ (courtesy KXAS Dallas)

(Beeping sound)

Technology designed by NASA for the Apollo program is providing independence for a Texas teenager. Matthew Swinton of the Dallas suburb of Southlake is confined to a wheelchair by muscular dystrophy. A system developed by NASA for its Apollo lunar rovers allows Swinton to get around in his own modified minivan. Rather than a steering wheel and pedals, a joystick lets Swinton turn, accelerate and brake his vehicle. A touch screen computer provides additional options, like blowing his horn…

(Horn beeping) Mathew Swinton: "Watch it buddy!"

Swinton is thrilled his newfound independence is linked to NASA’s first program to send astronauts to the moon. A recent high school graduate, Swinton will attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall – and plans to drive to South Bend.

Mathew Swinton: "One giant leap or roll for mankind."

And that's This Week At NASA!

To learn more about these and other stories, log onto www.nasa.gov.
 
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