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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, May 7
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This Week at NASA…
STS-132 MAKING PROGRESS
John Shannon: This is a very exciting mission, it's nice that we have this for the team to go and execute for Atlantis' last scheduled mission.
Bill Gerstenmaier: The teams have done a phenomenal job down here again, the vehicle is ready to go fly is a true testament to the work the teams has done down here at the Cape.
With a green light from NASA managers, space shuttle Atlantis and its six-member STS-132 crew is ready to fly May 14.
While Commander Ken Ham, Pilot Tony Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Michael Good, Piers Sellers and Steve Bowen continued preparations for their mission to the International Space Station, shuttle technicians readied Atlantis for its scheduled twelve-day flight. That included loading the orbiter with hypergolic propellants, chemicals that ignite when they come in contact with each other. The propellants are used to help steer the shuttle in space.
Atlantis will deliver a cargo carrier with hardware and spare parts for the ISS, as well as a Russian-built Mini Research Module-1, called Rassvet, or "dawn," that'll be permanently attached to the station's Zarya module.
Launch time on May 14 is 2:20 p.m. EDT.
CREW VEHICLE SAFETY SYSTEM TESTED
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Launch, launch, launch
The first test of the fully integrated Launch Abort System for the Orion crew vehicle was successfully completed at the White Sands Missile Range on May 6. The Pad Abort 1 test is part of an ongoing mission to develop safer vehicles for human spaceflight applications.
Don Reed: "The performance was just absolutely astounding and we have a lot of relieved and very happy people out there to see all of this hard work they’ve done come to fruition."
Doug Cooke: "This is the first abort system the US has developed since Apollo, but it’s much more advanced, it has more capability, advance technologies that will be of value to us in the future."
The information gathered through the test will help shape future emergency escape systems for crews.
"Wow that went like clockwork"
'PAD LEADER' PASSES
Guenter Wendt, the first pad leader for NASA's manned space program, died at his home in Merritt Island, Fla., following hospitalization for congestive heart failure and subsequent stroke.
Born and educated in Berlin, Wendt became an American citizen in 1955. He worked at Cape Canaveral as an engineer on missile projects for McDonnell Aircraft Corp, later overseeing spacecraft on the launch pads and all personnel who had access to them in Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.
Guenter Wendt: "Essentially I was responsible for the spacecraft preparations for launch in other words when a spacecraft hit the Cape the we had coordinate who wants to do what or who must do what from the time it got here until we launched it."
Wendt was the last man astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins saw before launching to the moon.
Guenter Wendt: "I wasn't made to do repetitive jobs I always said look what you like to do then find out what it takes to get the job and then convince the powers that be, that you are the man, they need to do. So I always go after the job I liked to do and anything new & fascinating was it"
Guenter Wendt was 85.
OIL SLICK PICS
NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites continue to help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration keep an eye on the recent Gulf oil spill. NOAA is the lead agency on oil spills, and periodically-captured imagery provided by the two NASA spacecraft are helping supplement data needed to assess the extent of the accident.
The slick from the spill is expected to bring devastating economic loss to the Gulf Coast region.
At the Dryden Flight Research Center, the newly-dubbed Full-scale Advanced Systems Testbed, or FAST aircraft, has begun flights to demonstrate the workings of its Research Flight Control System.
The demonstration flights are part of NASA's Integrated Resilient Aircraft Controls, or IRAC project. Data from IRAC will be used to design and develop aviation systems better enabled to safely fly and land damaged aircraft.
"There's a nice one for you!!"
ROVER TEAM RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL AWARD
John Callas: We have explored deep craters we've climbed mountains, we survived rover killing dust storms and several harsh cold winters and the adventure is still not over for these two intrepid vehicles".
The team that operates the NASA rovers already on Mars, Spirit and Opportunity, was honored by the Space Ops Organization with its 2010 Award for Outstanding Achievement. The presentation was made at the group’s annual conference held in Huntsville, Alabama.
John Callas: "My team, the team that has earned this goes to work on Mars every single day, I have the great pleasure of being up here to except this award but it really is an award that goes not only to the ten people listed on this certificate but the hundreds of people that have contributed and continue to contribute on this really great project Thank you all very much."
The rovers landed on Mars in January 2004 for three-month long missions; instead, the twins have lasted more than six years.
Also honored with the organization's International Space Operations Exceptional Achievement Medal was Gene Kranz, former Apollo Flight Director and head of Mission Operations at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Gene Krantz: "We had a marvelous group of astronauts led by Deke Slayton and mission operations led by Christopher Columbus Craft, and a spectacular team of contractors that supported us in the process. So on behalf of all these folks, we thank you"
SpaceOps was founded in 1990 to foster continuous technical interchange on space mission operations and ground data systems, and to promote and maintain an international community of experts on space operations.
NASA'S "WEBBY" WINS
For the second consecutive year, the nasa.gov Website was honored with a People's Voice award in the Government category by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences in its annual Webby Awards competition. JPL won the People's Voice Webby in the Science category for climate.nasa.gov. And NASA Home & City 2.0 was selected as the Government Webby winner by the organization’s panel of judges.
NASA RETURNS TO NASCAR
From better brakes and safer tires to heat-resistant paint and cleaner emissions, NASA's contributions to the auto racing world - and drivers everywhere - were featured in the traveling exhibit: "From Rockets to Race Cars" at Virginia’s Richmond International Raceway.
Highlights were a quarter-scale NASA Benefits Race Car and a Wheel Exhibit, which includes a NASCAR tire, Shuttle tire, Lunar Rover tire, a Lunar Tweel (a non-pneumatic tire/wheel combination) and a Spring Tire. Fans could see, touch and compare the wheels of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The Rockets to Race Car exhibit has a few more pit stops to make this spring, including the Darlington Raceway, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the Kentucky Speedway.
And that's This Week at NASA!
For more on these and other stories, log onto: www.nasa.gov
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