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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, March 26
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This Week at NASA…
The seven member STS-131 crew continues to prep for its April mission to the International Space Station. Flying aboard the space shuttle Discovery the crew will deliver about 13-thousand pounds of supplies to the station.
Alan Poindexter: "This is a great crew. If I had to pick a crew, this would be the crew that I would pick. I mean, without a doubt, they're just great folks and super skilled and very, very professional and just a joy to work with every day."
STS-131 will mark the first time two astronauts from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are in space together. Mission Specialist Naoko Yamazaki and Expedition 23 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi will meet up aboard the ISS.
Naoko Yamazaki: "This is a very big step for Japan. Of course, for American astronauts, it is usual. However, for the Japanese astronaut, it is a first time to get together in space, and Soichi and I are scheduled to do several tasks together like experimental rack transfer and installation on the space station, so we are looking forward to working with each other, and we are also looking forward to sharing some Japanese cultures among the crew members."
SOFIA TEST FLIGHT
NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy aircraft, SOFIA completed a two-week series of "flight envelope expansion" test flights. Flying with its telescope cavity door open, the modified 747 was put through a variety of maneuvers to gauge its handling and identify potential problems with vibrations and buffeting. NASA test pilots also flew simulated landing approaches at 15,000 feet altitude to evaluate aero-acoustic effects of having the 16-foot-high telescope door open while the aircraft is in landing configuration.
When its initial science missions begin later this year, SOFIA will conduct world-class astronomical observations in the infrared while cruising at more than seven miles above ground.
SOCIETY OF WOMEN ENGINEERS AWARD
Charlie Bolden: "I just want to thank you all for choosing to recognize Brenda because she is a champion and she has been incredibly helpful to me in the brief period of time that I’ve been the NASA Administrator so Brenda would you come forward and I thank you for what you do."
Brenda Manuel, NASA Associate Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, was honored by the Society of Women Engineers as this year's recipient of the group's President's Award. A lawyer by training, Manuel was recognized for her longtime encouragement of women to pursue careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Brenda Manuel: "Creating and maintaining welcoming and inclusive STEM environments in which equal opportunity can thrive is crucial to increasing the number of women and minorities in the STEM pipeline, thereby expanding the available talent pool."
Manuel is responsible for developing and directing the agency's equal opportunity, civil rights compliance, and diversity strategies, programs and processes.
The final support beam for the Ames Research Center's new green building was installed during a special "Topping Out" celebration.
Traditionally an evergreen tree and/or a flag is placed on the last beam lifted into place, signifying the structure's final height and completion of its iron skeleton.
When built, Sustainability Base will incorporate new, energy-efficient technologies to make it one of the greenest and highest-performance federal buildings in the country. It'll be highly intelligent, even intuitive, anticipating and reacting to changes in sunlight, temperature, wind, and usage. Among the innovative features will be a water recovery system developed by Ames scientists that will reduce potable water consumption by 90 per cent.
THE MOON AND "STARS"
First the moon, now the stars.
Former moonwalker, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin has again captured the nation’s attention as a contestant on the ABC television series, "Dancing with the Stars."
Buzz Aldrin: "My name is Buzz Aldrin and on July 20, 1969 I was one of the first men to walk on the moon."
Aldrin was teamed with professional dancer, Ashley Costa, a "Stars" veteran.
Aldrin was spurred on by NASA astronauts Jeff Williams and T.J. Creamer in a surprise message from the International Space Station.
T. J. Creamer: "Buzz we know that you are an original moonwalker, but can you still do this move."
On June 20, 1969, Aldrin and Apollo 11 crewmate Neil Armstrong became the first humans to set foot on another heavenly body.
Buzz Aldrin: "Beautiful, Beautiful, isn’t that something."
And that’s This Week at NASA!
For more on these and other stories, log onto: www.nasa.gov
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