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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, April 16
04.16.10
 
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This Week at NASA…

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S VISIT

President Barack Obama made a trip to the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday to explain his plan for America's space program. Accompanied by Florida Senator and former shuttle astronaut Bill Nelson, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, President Obama addressed an audience comprised of elected officials, leaders from industry, academia and KSC employees. "I am 100% Committed to the mission of NASA and its future. Because broadening our capabilities in space will continue to serve our society in ways we can scarcely imagine. Because exploration will once more inspire wonder in a new generation: sparking passions, launching careers. And because, ultimately, if we fail to press forward in the pursuit of discovery, we are ceding our future, ceding that essential element of the American character."

The President’s remarks preceded the start of NASA's one-day. "Conference on the American Space Program for the 21st Century," President Obama said his new budget request to increase NASA’s funding by $6 billion over the next five years is an investment in America's future, and a challenge to the agency to build on its legacy of innovation and discovery.

"We will partner with industry. We will invest in cutting edge research and technology. We will set far-reaching milestones - and provide the resources to pass them. And step by step, we will push the boundaries not only of where we can go but what we can do."

And the President defended his decision to chart a bold, new course for human spaceflight.

"I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the Moon first, as previously planned. But I just have to say pretty bluntly the simple fact is, we have been there before. There is a lot more space to explore, and a lot more to learn when we do. I believe it is more important to ramp up our capabilities to reach – and operate at – a series of increasingly demanding targets, while advancing our technological capabilities with each step outward. That is what this strategy does. And that is how we will ensure that our leadership in space is even stronger in this new century than it was in the last."

NASA HONORED FOR EXPLORATION ACHIEVEMENTS

STS-125, the fifth space shuttle servicing mission that gave the Hubble Space Telescope a new lease on life, and L-CROSS, the mission that definitively proved the presence of water on the moon, received awards from the Space Foundation at its 26th annual National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

The award this year goes to the Hubble Telescope repair team crew and Repair mission team

For program success in the evolution of space exploration and development, the STS-125 crew of Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Greg Johnson and Mission Specialists Drew Feustel, Mike Good, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Megan McArthur received the Foundation’s annual Space Achievement Award.

On behalf of the entire Hubble servicing team I would like to thank the space foundation

The LCROSS mission team was presented with the 2010 John L. "Jack" Swigert, Jr., award for Space Exploration. Established in 2004, the annual award is a tribute to the late Coloradan and his enduring legacy of space exploration as a member of the Apollo 13 mission. LCROSS crashed one spacecraft into the moon; another, following minutes behind, found the water by analyzing the debris kicked up after the impact.

Thank yall very much I must admit this is somewhat surreal for the LCross team I feel a little bit like the independent film winning the best picture at the academy awards.

Among the featured speakers of the four-day symposium were NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and his deputy, Lori Garver.

INNOVATION SUMMIT

What do a lunar habitat module, paper that captures sound as energy, and a drug delivery system for use in space have in common? They’re all concepts being developed for commercialization by high school students who competed in the Conrad Foundation’s Innovation Summit.

Commercial statistics on these costs.

Hosted by the Ames Research Center, the three-day summit featured twenty-five teams from across the country "pitching" their ideas to a panel of experts, much like entrepreneurs trying to woo potential investors. The students also created an online portfolio with videos, blogs, and company logos as part of each presentation.

The winning teams were presented with the "Spirit of Innovation" award in memory of the late astronaut Charles 'Pete' Conrad, commander of the Apollo XII mission and the third person to walk on the moon. The award includes $5,000 in seed money for product development.

GLO-PAC

The Global Hawk Pacific robotic plane was on display at the Dryden Flight Research Center after a successful science flight to study the air over the Pacific and Arctic oceans.

Also known as GloPac, the revolutionary aircraft flew a pre-programmed 14 hour, 4,500 nautical-mile-long flight path that brought it just south of Alaska's Kodiak Island. There, at an altitude of almost 61-thousand feet, Glo-Pac’s 11 instruments measured and sampled greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting substances, aerosols, and other indicators of air quality in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

Some of the really nice results is the under flights of some of the NASA Satellites.

There is a collection of NASA satellites that orbit the earth 14 a day it’s the A train. . .And one of those satellites in the A train is the Aura Satellite and we have under flown it.

And that provides a measurement that we make on the global hawk that confirms what is being measured from space.

GloPac can fly autonomously for up to 30 hours at altitudes twice as high as a commercial airliner -- and travel about half the Earth’s circumference. Scientists say no other science platform provides that range and time to sample rapidly-evolving atmospheric phenomena.

GREAT MOONBUGGY RACE

Huntsville's U.S. Space & Rocket Center hosted the 17th annual Great Moonbuggy Race. Competing were upwards of 600 student drivers, engineers and mechanics representing more than 70 teams from 18 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Germany, India and Romania.

We got around the obstacle, the tire was flat, the chain was slipping. I burned a lot of energy out there, but I never gave up!

Organized by the Marshall Space Flight Center, the Great Moonbuggy Race challenges students to design, build and race lightweight, human-powered buggies that tackle many of the same engineering challenges faced by Apollo-era lunar rover developers at Marshall in the late 1960s.

We have a lot of fun. And I think that is the most important part of it. Winning and having fun.

The winning college team from the University of Puerto Rico traversed the treacherous half-mile lunar surface-simulating course of curves, gravel pits and other obstacles in 4 minutes 18 seconds. The high school division's winner, the International Space Education Institute of Leipzig, Germany, beat that time by 41 seconds!

APOLLO 13 REMEMBERED

The John Glenn Lecture Series at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington honored the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 13 mission. Joining Commander Jim Lovell was Apollo 13 Flight Controller, Gene Kranz; Lunar Module Pilot, Fred Haise; and astronaut Ken Mattingly, who was replaced on the mission by the late Jack Swiegert after contracting measles just before the mission's start.

Clock starts Looks good flight

In April 1970, Apollo 13 was to have been NASA's third moon landing. But Lovell and crew would never make it to the lunar surface. On the way to their destination, the Apollo 13 spacecraft was crippled by the explosion of an oxygen tank, casting doubts about their survival.

Thus began the crew's perilous but safe return to Earth, made possible through the heroic efforts of the ground control team and the astronauts themselves. Apollo 13 has been called a "successful failure" and one of NASA's finest hours.

Jim Lovell, Apollo 13 Commander "I think it shows some of the quality of the people of this country who in the past and now thru the present have the ability to accomplish things that we normally would … …not think possible."

YURI’s NIGHT 2010

Yuri's Night 2010 celebrated humankind's achievements in space exploration with music, dance, fashion, and art at countless locations around the world, including several NASA centers.

NASA's leadership team of Administrator Charlie Bolden and Deputy Lori Garver sent videotaped well-wishes to party-goers.

Bolden –

"Yuri’s night is a especially for the next generation – The forward thinking people who dreaming of our future in space. Together, we'll make it happen. Have a great night."

Yuri's Night is named for the first human in space, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who rocketed into Earth's orbit on April 12, 1961.

And that's This Week at NASA!

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