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June 2014 E-News

Orion StackingWith just six months until its first trip to space, NASA’s Orion spacecraft is taking shape at KSC.  On June 9, the team logged an important milestone on the path to the Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT1) launch this December when engineers stacked the crew module on top of the completed service module. This is the first step in moving the three primary Orion elements –crew module, service module and launch abort system – into the correct configuration for launch.  Over the next few weeks the integrated modules will be put through their final system tests before being turned over to Ground Operations in early August.

NASA is also returning to the bottom of the ocean this summer, twice. Life undersea is a good prep for spaceflight and a close-to-home test bed for future exploration. The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) will conduct studies that correlate to life aboard the space station, including evaluating human health and performance, and leaning new tasks from a remote expert.

JSC engineering recently completed the first spacewalk simulation with the new Portable Life Support System (PLSS), recognizable to most as the spacesuit backpack. This is the first PLSS developed since the Space Shuttle spacesuit was introduced in 1981. The PLSS 2.0 incorporates new technology components developed by the Space Technology Mission Directorate for carbon dioxide removal, suit pressure regulation, thermal control, and energy storage.

JSC has welcomed 95 summer interns from universities across the United States and Puerto Rico. The interns were selected from 53 universities including Stanford, Princeton, and Texas A&M, as well as three local high schools.  In case you know a student who might be interested in applying for a future semester, here’s a link:  https://intern.nasa.gov.

NASA's OPALS"Hello, World!" beamed the message from the International Space Station as NASA successfully transmitted high-definition video via laser from space to ground on June 5. The 175-megabit video transmission was the first of its kind for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) with the goal of improving the way we receive data from orbit and beyond.  This emerging technology of optical communications—or lasercomm—is likened to an upgrade from dial-up to DSL.

Expedition 40 astronaut Reid Wiseman explored uncharted territory recently when he posted the first Vine Video from the station. You can follow him on Vine and Twitter.

There are seems to be a bit of friendly World Cup rivalry between USA crewmates Wiseman and Steve Swanson and fellow crewmate German-native Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency. USA and Germany will face off on June 26 at Area Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil. Who will get braggin’ rights? We’ll see.

If you get a chance check out the space station’s top results for biotechnology, health and education and its 2013 most compelling research results both announced this week at the ISS Research and Development conference in Chicago, IL.

See you next month,

Ellen Ochoa
JSC Director

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Page Last Updated: June 19th, 2014
Page Editor: Jason Roberts