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Transcript: This Week at NASA, December 24 - 30
12.30.05


CHRISTMAS IN SPACE - JSC

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 12 Commander and NASA Science Officer Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev celebrated Christmas more than 200 miles above the Earth. They enjoyed a dinner of Russian foods, holiday presents and good conversation with flight controllers at Mission Control, Houston.

PROGRESS – JSC

Those holiday presents were among the cargo brought to the Station several days before by an unpiloted Russian Progress spacecraft. This 20th Progress supply ship docked to the ISS as the two vehicles flew 220 miles over the Atlantic off the east coast of South America. Its 2-point-8 ton cargo also included food, fuel, oxygen, and spare parts. Launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Progress supply ship completed its automated journey in two days. McArthur and Tokarev are nearing the halfway mark of their six-month mission.

Commentator SOT: "...The visiting vehicle officer reports contact and capture."

BOREALIS BALLET - Chandra X

In an unusual observation, a team of scientists using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has scanned the Earth's northern polar region. The results show that the aurora borealis, or "northern lights," not only "dance" in visible light, but also X-ray light, creating changing bright arcs of X-ray energy above the Earth's surface.

WOMAN OF THE YEAR - SSC

NASA Stennis aerospace technologist Rosa Obregon has been named one of the 'Ten Women of the Year' by Latina Magazine. Obregon was honored for her contributions to Discovery's return to flight space shuittle mission in July. Obregon was one of five test conductors for the External Tank Foam Test Project. That test team simulated weather conditions for a shuttle launch to determine what kinds of ice and frost formed on the fuel tank's foam insulation. A native of Corpus Christi,Texas, Obregon has been a member of the Stennis team since her 2-thousand-4 graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

SUPER SPIRIT! - JPL

NASA's Spirit rover begins its third year on Mars this week, showing only minor signs of aging after working eight times as long as originally planned. Spirit's twin, Opportunity, reaches the two-year anniversary of its Mars landing on Jan. 24. Their continuing adventures add to our understanding of the Red Planet and generate excitement about future Mars exploration as part of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! – JSC

MacArthur/Tokarev SOT: "...Hi, I'm Expedition 12 Commander and ISS Science Officer Bill McArthur. Along with my crewmate, Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev, from on board the International Space Station, we wish you a very happy and joyous New Year!"

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