NASA Podcasts

NASA TV's This Week @NASA, October 30
10.30.09
 
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This Week At NASA...

FERMI FINDS – GSFC
NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has completed its first year of operation, mapping the sky with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity. Not only has Fermi captured more than a thousand different sources of gamma rays, the highest-energy form of light, but has also taken a measurement of a gamma-ray burst that provides rare experimental evidence of Einstein’s theories about the very structure of space and time. Fermi’s Large Area Telescope found that, after journeying some seven billion years, two gamma-ray photons of wildly-different energy levels traveled at roughly the same speed, something predicted by Einstein but questioned in alternate theories.

John Morse: "FERMI is not only looking, in traditional sense, at astronomical objects, in a whole new sensitivity, in a high energy wave band, but we’re also doing test of physics, the very fabric of space time, that typical observatories aren’t able to perform."

SHUTTLE UPDATE – JSC
Preparations for STS-129 continue at the Kennedy Space Center. Space shuttle Atlantis sits at Launch Pad 39A awaiting its liftoff targeted for Nov. 16 at 2:28 p.m. EST.

The six-member STS-129 crew commanded by Charlie Hobaugh will deliver two control moment gyroscopes and other equipment to the International Space Station. The mission will also return station crew member Nicole Stott to Earth and is slated to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight.

First-time flyer Dr. Bobby Satcher is the designated Tweeter for the 129 mission. His Twitter name, astro_bones, was selected in an online "Astro-Poll."

Bobby Satcher: "I’m excited that there are lot of people who are twittering, that will be following the mission, and also for those who will traveling to the Cape; I think that’s very exciting also and I’m looking forward to it."

You can follow Satcher on the popular social medium as he provides updates of his training and mission preparations, at astro_bones

GREEN CENTER NOW OPEN – JPL
NAT/SOT: "3-2-1-0"

Elected officials, dignitaries and JPL employees gathered to celebrate the opening of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s state-of-the-art "green" building. The building is so green that JPL went for the gold -- a gold certification, that is, under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, set up by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council. To achieve a gold-level certification, the building must meet certain criteria: consume water, energy and resources efficiently; treat the environment in friendly ways; and create a healthy and comfortable indoor workspace.

Charles Elachi: "It’s the highest green building that exists at NASA. We’re very proud that’s that the case and hopefully it will be an example for other facilities, be it at NASA, or in the city of Pasadena, or in the state of California, or in the country, or in the world, about the importance of having buildings which are very high energy efficient."

The new six-story Flight Projects Center has a number of environmentally-friendly features including: a green living roof to keep the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter, "smart" heating and cooling systems, and paints and surface materials with low levels of toxic fumes. The new facility will house 620 employees during the design and development phases of a variety of NASA missions.

RETURN OF THE HAWK - DFRC
One of NASA’s two Global Hawk high-altitude aircraft has returned to flight, taking to the skies for the first time under the agency’s operation. A hybrid of a satellite and an aircraft, the Global Hawk flew a successful four-hour, functional check flight in restricted airspace over Edwards Air Force Base. The test included a check-out of aircraft systems, including engine, flight controls and communication. The autonomously controlled aircraft will be used for Earth system science research where high-altitude, long-endurance, long-distance airborne capability is required. Originally operated by the Air Force, the Global Hawk can fly for more than 30 hours and at altitudes up to 65,000 feet. The aircraft’s first science mission, a series of six long-duration flights over the Pacific and Arctic regions next year, will be a collaboration of NASA and NOAA.

SAFETY DAY – SSC
The Stennis Space Center promoted safety and health at home and at work during a special day-long event. "Shooting for the Stars" focused on Stennis’s goal of reaching Star status in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Programs. Among the features and activities were safety and health booths, informational sessions, and a guest appearance by astronaut Dom Gorie.

EARHART WATCH – JSC
A watch worn by famed aviator Amelia Earhart will be among astronaut Shannon Walker’s personal items during her mission to the International Space Station next spring. The watch was worn by Earhart on both of her record-setting flights across the Atlantic Ocean. Presenting the historic timepiece was Joan Kerwin, director of the Ninety Nines, an international women's aviation group of which Earhart was the first president.

Walker, a private pilot and Ninety-Nines member, is scheduled to launch in a Soyuz spacecraft in May to begin a six-month-long mission on the station.

For more on these and other stories, log onto: www.nasa.gov
 
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