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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, February 19
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This Week At NASA...
PRESIDENT CALLS SPACE STATION - HQ
President Obama: "Hey guys!"
President Obama spoke with the crews of space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station from the Roosevelt Room of the White House.
President Obama : "I think I speak for the all young people here, and everybody back home how proud we are of you, how excited we are about the work that is being done on the Space Station, and how committed we are to continuing human space exploration in the future."
The president discussed their missions with commanders George Zamka and Jeff Williams and their respective STS-130 and Expedition 22 crew members.
George Zamka : "Well, thank you very much, Mr. President. It is a large team effort. In front of you, you have the joint crew of Endeavour and the Space Station, and we are the ones that are fortunate enough to be able to accomplish this great mission together in space. But there are many thousands of people around the world that gave the best of themselves, over many years, in order to have the days that we've been having up here.”
Mr. Obama noted the ISS's new era of discovery and innovation that’ll foster scientific breakthroughs through advances in space research conducted in the station’s laboratories.
T.J. Creamer : "When we do cellular research for even - like for cancer research, for instance, on Earth the cells actually collapse under their own weight, and so their growth on Earth are a little bit distorted. Here, without the gravity effect, we can grow cells very purely and understand the mechanisms by which they are replicating."
The president also took special interest in the station’s new cupola. The seven-windowed observation deck, delivered and installed on the ISS by space shuttle Endeavour’s crew, will host a robotics work station and has the best view humans in space have ever had of Earth and the stars.
President Obama: "The amazing work that is being done on the International Space Station not only by our American astronauts but also by our colleagues from Japan and Russia is just a testimony to your human ingenuity, a testimony to extraordinary skill and courage you guys bring to bear, and a testimony to why continued space exploration is so important and is part of the reason my commitment to NASA is unwavering."
Middle school students from Michigan, Florida, North Carolina and Nebraska in Washington for an engineering competition, and several dignitaries joined President Obama to ask questions of the orbiting astronauts.
President Obama: "This is Ruth, coming from North Carolina. -- What are some of the benefits of exploring space as opposed to exploring other places on Earth?"
Steve Robinson: "Learning about how we, ourselves, work and how we can handle changes if we go somewhere very different than what we're used to is something that's valuable also on Earth." This was the second call President Obama has made to the International Space Station. He spoke with the crews of STS-119 and Expedition 18 last March.
President Obama: "Bye, guys!”"
CHANDRA’S NEW LIGHT ON DARK ENERGY – CXC
New findings by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in the Andromeda galaxy have provided a major advance in understanding a type of supernova believed critical to studying dark energy. A zoom into this composite image of Andromeda, also known as M31, shows astronomers that the merger of what’s left of two dense stars is the likely cause of many Type Ia supernovas.
Type Ia supernovas have been used to measure the accelerated expansion of the universe. Astronomers believe that expansion’s being caused by the dark energy they think pervades the universe – and about which they know very little.
SOFIA: ONE STEP CLOSER – DFRC
The telescope aboard NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, was successfully activated during a January 15 test flight of almost six hours. Engineers examined the telescope's movement and stability to verify that it could remain locked in on a celestial object while the aircraft maneuvers in flight. This successful dry-run comes after the telescope’s large cavity external door was opened during two test flights in December. These developments pave the way for SOFIA to begin astronomy missions as early as this spring.
"CLIMATE KIDS" - JSC
A new NASA Web site can help our future explorers and leaders better understand the how’s and why’s of climate change – and what they can do to make our planet more habitable.
Called "Climate Kids," the new Web site is the latest companion to NASA's award-winning Global Climate Change Web site.
Aimed at students in grades 4 through 6, the multimedia-rich site uses age-appropriate language, games and humorous illustrations and animations to help break down and understand an important topic most adults find difficult to grasp.
Fish: "Kind of far south for a polar bear ain't you?"
Polar Bear: "You don't say. Look, my habitat is shrinking and I obviously fell asleep on the wrong iceberg."
Fish: "What you say?"
Climate Kids can be found at http://climate.nasa.gov/kids
NASA ANNIVERSARY: FLIGHT OF FRIENDSHIP 7 Feb. 20, 1962
Scott Carpenter: "Godspeed John Glenn!"
Forty-eight years ago, Mercury astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth when an Atlas rocket successfully carried his Friendship 7 capsule into space.
John Glenn: "Roger. Zero G and I feel fine."
Glenn completed three orbits to usher in a new era of space travel…
John Glenn: "Oh, that view is tremendous!"
…that eventually led to Apollo astronauts walking on the moon by the end of the 1960s.
And that’s This Week @ NASA.
For more on these and other stories, log onto: www.nasa.gov
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