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ISS Update: Interviews (March 4-8, 2013)
Interviews: International Space Station Update

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ISS Update: Huntsville Control Center Celebrates 12 Years – 03/07/13
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From Mission Control Center, JSC Public Affairs Officer Josh Byerly commemorates 12 years of continuous space station science operations at the Payload Operations Center (POC) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Ala. Byerly calls over to MSFC where Public Affairs Officer Lori Meggs interviews Katie Pressor, Payload Operations Director.

International Space Station flight activities are controlled in Houston at MCC. However, all station science activities are coordinated in Huntsville at the POC. Not all experiments require an astronaut’s attention, though. Some experiments can be controlled remotely from the ground allowing a greater scientific output aboard the orbital laboratory.

Pressor decided the best way to celebrate the ongoing science operations would be to introduce students to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities and excite them about science and space careers. Digital Learning Events will be conducted with several schools live on the web from the POC. Experts will also visit the schools themselves for one-on-one experiences.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in actual space station experiments. For instance, the SPHERES-Zero-Robotics experiment allows high school students to act as ground controllers and design algorithms to control small satellites. The interaction with these small satellites provides benefits to future space missions.

Read more about SPHERES-Zero-Robotics

For more information on the science and operations about the space station, visit http://www.nasa.gov/station

ISS Update: Optical Communications – 03.06.13
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NASA Public Affairs Officer Lori Meggs talks with OPALS Project Systems Engineer Bogdan Oaida from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. OPALS, short for Optical PAyload for Lasercomm Science, looks at using lasers to transmit data from the International Space Station at much higher data rates than what is possible currently with radio-frequency transmissions.

OPALS will demonstrate and test optical communications technologies from a space-based platform by transferring video data via the laser hardware on the space station to a ground receiver at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Optical Communications Telescope Laboratory in Wrightwood, Calif.

"Using laser beams, which can be hundreds-to-thousands of times narrower than radio-frequency beams, allows us to achieve higher data rates," said Oaida.

› Learn more about OPALS

For more information on the science and operations about the space station, visit http://www.nasa.gov/station

ISS Update: Expedition 34 Flight Director Describes Station Science Operations – 03.06.13
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NASA Public Affairs Officer Josh Byerly interviews Chris Edelen, Expedition 34 Lead Flight Director, at Johnson Space Center’s Mission Control Center. Edelen has overseen the research and utilization aboard the International Space Station during the Expedition 34 increment.

With the assembly stage of the station complete, crews can now focus on science and exploration providing benefits back on Earth. The six-member Expedition 34 crew is on track to set a record for the amount of research conducted aboard the orbital laboratory. A total of 166 experiments have been conducted during Expedition 34.

Two different experiments taking place during Expedition 34 include a materials science study and a life science study. The Coarsening of Solids and Liquid Mixtures study will help identify processes to build smarter and stronger materials. The Medaka study used fish as a model to observe how vertebrates adapt to microgravity.