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August 15, 2014
This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

“Here’s some of the stories trending This Week at NASA!”

Carbon Observatory’s First Data

A month after its launch, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, NASA’s first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide – has reached its final operating orbit and returned its first science data. “First light” test data were collected on August 6 as OCO-2 flew over central New Guinea -- confirming the health of the spacecraft’s science instrument’s.

ATV-5 Delivers Cargo

Aboard the International Space Station, the European Space Agency’s fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ship docked to the ISS on August 12. Named Georges Lemaitre after the 20th century Belgian astronomer, the ATV delivered about 7 tons of supplies to the station’s Expedition 40 crew.

Cygnus Departs Station

After a month-long stay, Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus cargo craft departed the station August 15 loaded with trash. The Cygnus, dubbed the SS Janice Voss for the late astronaut, arrived at the station on July 16 with almost three tons of supplies.

Super Celestial Show

If you looked up in the night sky on August 10, chances are saw “it”. It was the second and largest supermoon of the summer. A supermoon – occurs when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee — the point in the moon’s orbit when it’s closest to Earth. The next supermoon is September 9.

Black Hole Blurs X-ray Light

This image from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR shows the extreme blurring and stretching of X-ray light from a corona, caused by the intense gravitational pull of a supermassive black hole 324 million light-years from Earth. Similar events have been observed before, but never in such detail. NuSTAR is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the  Science Mission Directorate.

Million Pound Move

Engineers at Stennis Space Center moved the 1-point-2 million pound Main Propulsion Test Article structure previously used for propulsion testing with the space shuttle, to a base platform on the B-2 Test Stand in preparation for testing the Space Launch System core stage. Another million pounds of steel will be used to extend the structure so that it can accommodate the SLS core stage.

New “Green” Building

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center opened the agency’s latest “green” building during an August 13 ribbon-cutting ceremony. Among those joining Center Director Patrick Sheuermann at the event were U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and U.S. Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama's 5th District. Marshall opened the agency's first green building in 2006.

Agency Honor Awards

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden helped recognize the best of best at NASA during the Agency Honor Awards August 14 at headquarters, the annual event is meant to highlight the distinguished contributions of the honorees and to thank them for their valued service to NASA and its mission.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA …

For more on these and other stories follow us on social media and visit www.nasa.gov/twan.

Page Last Updated: August 15th, 2014
Page Editor: Gary Daines