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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, October 16
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This Week At NASA...
SKY MAP – HQ
Richard Fisher: "This mission has produced some brand new results and gives us our very first look at our home in the galaxy."
Nearly a year after its launch, NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer spacecraft is successfully imaging and mapping the dynamic interactions taking place where the hot solar wind slams into the cold expanse of space.
Dave McComas: "What we’ve observed with IBEX is this really narrow ribbon of strong emission, lots of particles, lots of neutral atoms, coming in from the interaction at the edge of our heliosphere, the edge of our solar system."
IBEX’s mission team unveiled the first-ever-all-sky view constructed from IBEX data. The spacecraft detects particle interactions at the edge of the solar system and, every six months, creates a picture or map of the boundary across the entire sky. These boundary regions shield Earth and our solar system from dangerous cosmic radiation.
IBEX, one in a series of low-cost, Small Explorers missions rapidly developed by NASA, is the first spacecraft to image and map these dynamic and important interactions at the edge of our solar system.
ATLANTIS ROLLOUT – KSC
Space shuttle Atlantis is at Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center awaiting its launch targeted for November 12. That’s when its six astronauts will begin their STS-129 mission to the International Space Station.
Commanding his first shuttle mission will be two-time pilot, Charlie Hobaugh. In the pilot’s seat for this mission will be first-time flyer, Barry Wilmore. Also making their first trips into space will be Mission Specialists Bob Satcher and Randy Bresnik. Rounding out the crew will be veteran mission specialists Mike Foreman and Leland Melvin.
Atlantis will deliver parts to the space station, including a spare gyroscope. The mission will feature three spacewalks.
STS-129 will also return station crew member Nicole Stott to Earth.
Nicole Stott: "I think it’s a really exciting time, not only for the space station program, but also for just figuring out how to better live and work in space."
This mission is slated to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight to or from the International Space Station.
DISCOVERY CREW VISIT – SSC
Fred Sturckow: "Thank you!"
Members of the STS-128 crew thanked Stennis Space Center employees for their contributions to a safe mission. Commander Fred Sturckow and Mission Specialist Pat Forrester narrated highlights of their successful, late-summer trip to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Discovery.
Launch Announcer: "Booster ignition and liftoff of Discovery."
STS-128 delivered equipment and supplies to the complex, installed a new ammonia storage tank, and replaced experiments outside the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory. Discovery’s crew returned home on Sept. 11 after a 5.7-million-mile journey.
JFK MOONROCK TO RICE – JSC
Apollo Astronaut SOT: “I hope you’re watching how hard I have to hit this into the ground.”
The moon rock with which NASA honored President John F. Kennedy as an Ambassador of Exploration was presented to Rice University during halftime of the Rice-Navy football game in Houston.
Mike Coats: "On behalf of the Kennedy family, and NASA, it is my honor to present to Rice University the NASA Ambassador of Exploration Award.”
Mike Coats, a former astronaut and director of the Johnson Space Center, presented the moon rock to Rice President David Leebron. The Kennedy family selected Rice to house and publicly display the lunar sample at its Fondren Library.
President Kennedy: "Why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal?"
Kennedy was honored for his vision and leadership in landing a man on the moon. It was in a speech at Rice on Sept. 12, 1962, that he called for a national initiative to go to the moon.
President Kennedy: "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other thing not because they are easy but because they are hard."
TWEETING TWINS - JSC
Twin brothers are using the popular social medium, Twitter, to provide unique insights into their respective preparations on opposite ends of the world to travel in space. The tweeting twin astronauts are Mark and Scott Kelly. Mark is the commander of space shuttle mission STS-134 set to launch in late 2010. Also late next year, Scott should be aboard the International Space Station commanding Expedition 26. If schedules hold, the two will meet then in space. To follow the Kelly twins as they communicate with the world, and each other, check out their Twitter accounts.
For Mark, visit: http://twitter.com/shuttlecdrkelly
For Scott, log on to http://twitter.com/stationcdrkelly
For more on these and other stories, log onto: www.nasa.gov
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