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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, June 18
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This Week at NASA…
"Sascha is opening the hatch. Okay open."
Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker got a warm welcome from the resident Expedition 24 crew after arriving at the International Space Station. Yurchikhin, Wheelock and Walker will spend six months on the station, joining Alexander Skvortsov, Mikhail Kornienko and Tracy Caldwell Dyson, who’ve been there since April.
"There it goes; standing by for main engine start. We've got main engine start 5,4,3, 2 , 1 and ignition."
Yurchikhin, Wheelock and Walker arrived at the ISS after a two-day journey that began with the liftoff of their Russian Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
"A perfect ascent to orbit for the newest trio of residents headed for the International Space Station."
The six Expedition 24 crew members will now concentrate on more than 130 science experiments being conducted aboard the ISS.
KEPLER’S CONTINUING SEARCH FOR EXOPLANETS
William Borucki: "This discovery is just astounding."
After continually monitoring the brightness of more than 156,000 stars, NASA's Kepler team has released the first 43 days of science data…
William Borucki: "This is the biggest release of candidate planets that has ever happened. The number of candidate planets is actually greater than all the planets that have been discovered in the last 15 years."
Launch Announcer: "3-2-engine start—1,zero, and lift off of the Delta II Rocket with Kepler."
Since its launch on March 6, 2009, Kepler has been on the hunt to find planets similar in size to our Earth, especially those in the habitable zone of stars where liquid water and possibly life might exist.
William Borucki: "A planet candidate is some astrophysical signal that we have picked up that looks like it’s coming from a planet orbiting another star. Some of those are actual planets, and some of them are false positives so we have a ground-based program with a dozen different telescopes that stretch from the Canary Islands, to Hawaii, where we check to see which of those signals is really a planet, and which one isn't."
The findings of those follow-up observations will be released in February 2011.
A team of astronomers and scientists from NASA, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and other organizations had a front row seat as the Hayabusa spacecraft made a fiery return to Earth’s atmosphere.
"Nice flashes. Oh Wow. Lower right, lower right. Reentry vehicle looks like lower right."
Special cameras and other imaging instruments aboard NASA's DC-8 airborne laboratory captured the spacecraft's high-speed re-entry over an unpopulated area of central Australia. Hayabusa completed a seven-year journey to return a sample of the asteroid Itokawa. Scientists aren’t sure a sample was obtained; if they do find one, it'll weigh no more than a gram.
MAIL ROOM MAYDAY
"We're going to be needing the SERT Hazmat team here."
The Glenn Research Center held a "Mail Room Mayday." The drill was a test of cutting- edge robotic technology to detect a simulated biological contaminant in the center's mailroom.
"We just performed our control, it's already changing colors to purple, indicating a valid test, confirming that it's not likely to contain biological materials.'
The exercise evaluated current emergency procedures and reactions by local emergency responders.
Seth Harbaugh: "This exercise was a tremendous success for us, not only to give us the opportunity to test that robotic capability and prove its value to our emergency response capabilities, but it also gave us an opportunity to partner with our local response organizations and work together as a team."
The joint exercise was conducted by multiple agencies, including OSHA, the U.S. Postal Service, local fire departments, and Glenn safety personnel.
134 CREW VISITS STENNIS
"That's a good tank down there."
The STS-134 crew traveled to the Stennis Space Center on June 11 for a preflight visit with employees. STS-134 is the last scheduled mission of the Space Shuttle Program.
"Thanks for all your hard work."
While at the center, Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Greg Johnson and Mission Specialists Greg Chamitoff, Drew Feustel, Mike Fincke and European Space Agency Specialist Roberto Vittori met with employees and toured the rocket engine test complex, including the A-2 Test Stand where the last scheduled space shuttle main engine test was conducted in July of 2009.
A video program sponsored by NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace aimed at helping high school students learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has won a regional Emmy television award.
"Welcome to NASA Launchpad"
"NASA Launchpad" took home the statue in the Informational/Instructional category for its episode, "Bernoulli's Principle," at the 52nd Capital Region Emmy Awards held in Washington.
Scott Bednar: "Winning an Emmy was such an amazing honor for the two of us, especially at such a young age. But, Tom and I cannot take all the credit for this. We work with such and amazing team who is supporting us the entire way through."
Tom Shortridge: "And we just wanted to thank NASA and NIA for giving us the opportunity to produce this show, and for giving us the opportunity to help inspire the next generation of scientists, technologist, engineers, and mathematicians."
"NASA Launchpad" is targeted at high school students and features five-to seven-minute programs that apply STEM topics learned in the classroom to real world challenges. Teacher guides accompany the online educational program.
To watch episodes of "NASA Launchpad," log onto www.nasa.gov
and consult NASA TV’s Education Channel schedule , or click on "For Educators" on the Website's main page and select "eClips."
KIDS AT MARSHALL
Making robots, building lunar landers, and competing in a paper airplane contest was all part of the fun and educational activities at the Marshall Space Flight Center's annual "Take Our Children to Work Day."
Rhonda Childress-Thompson: "I think it's good because if we stimulate interest we can create more scientists, engineers and be globally competitive."
Ian Thompson: "I like the extreme chill because they froze a bunch of objects using liquid nitrogen and seemed pretty cool."
Children spent the day touring NASA facilities, visiting their parents' workspace and seeing what they do each day at Marshall.
Bruce Askins: "Sometimes it’s even fun for me to do some of this. It's been so long so, it’s neat to interact and work with the children."
Lauren Askins: "I've been here every year and there’s a lot of fun things to do, and I just love coming."
The event was organized by Marshall's Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.
And that's This Week at NASA!
For more on these and other stories, log onto: www.nasa.gov
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