NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending September 19

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending September 19
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This Week At NASA…

Preparations continue on space shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A. Atlantis will take the STS-125 crew on the last servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Scott Altman: "Hubble really is cutting-edge science. We’ve made observations using the telescope that have reformed the way we understand how our universe is built – the fact that things instead of slowing down as they get farther out, are actually accelerating. And Hubble has done the science that made those observations, that analysis possible."

Atlantis’ launch is targeted for the early morning of October 10. Meanwhile, space shuttle Endeavour is at Launch Pad 39B, standing by in the unlikely event that a rescue mission for Atlantis is needed. After Endeavour is cleared from duty as a potential rescue vehicle, it’ll move to Launch Pad 39A, from where it’ll launch in November on the STS-126 mission to the International Space Station.

STS-122 Mission Specialist Leland Melvin returned hometown, Lynchburg, Virginia, where he was honored by his alma mater-- Heritage High School. Melvin, a receiver on the school’s football team had his number retired during half-time of a recent game.

Leland Melvin: NASA Astronaut, Heritage H.S. Grad - "Being back in Lynchburg, it's family, it's home, it's where I grew up. And coming back on this gridiron is where I dropped a touchdown pass, then caught the touchdown pass that got me to the University of Richmond on a football scholarship, so it brings back lots of fond memories. And all my coaches were here, that taught me, trained me, how to work on a team, how to have good sportsmanship. And it's just an amazing time."

Melvin graduated from Richmond in 1986 and was a late round draft pick of the Detroit Lions. He began his NASA career at Langley 1989 and became an astronaut in 1998. Melvin made his first trip to space in February on STS-122. He’s scheduled to return to space in October 2009 on STS-129.

The Goddard Space Flight Center recently put out the welcome mat for guest attending its open house -- LaunchFest. Thousands of visitors were treated to tours, exhibits, food and entertainment, and interactive activities. Attendees witnessed model rocket launches and got a close up look at space hardware.

The Space Telescope and Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland hosted a special event for participants in its 2008 Youth for Astronomy program. Male students from grades six through twelve joined with their parents for the Institute’s “Evening Under the Stars.” The program included dinner, hands-on activities, an interactive seminar and a chance to observe stars and planets through Johns Hopkins University’s Morris Offit Telescope.

The Youth for Astronomy and Engineering program exposes interested youngsters to activities and experiences in those fields. A similar event is scheduled for female students and their parents. The Space Telescope Science Institute administers and performs outreach for the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA 50th ANNIVERSARY: September 19, 1961 – Houston Selected as Site of NASA’s "Manned Space Center" – HQ
Forty-seven years ago this week the city of Houston was selected as the site for NASA’s new space flight center. The new test and research facility would spearhead America’s effort to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Houston was chosen due to its close proximity to a U.S. Army ordnance depot and regional universities. Originally named the Manned Spacecraft Center when it opened its doors in September, 1963, the facility was renamed for former president Lyndon B. Johnson following his death in 1973. The Johnson Space Center continues to coordinate and monitor all human spaceflight for the United States and direct all space shuttle missions and activities aboard the International Space Station.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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