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ISS Update: Interviews (Nov. 12-16, 2012)
Interviews: International Space Station Update

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ISS Update: ISS Update: NASA Astronaut Anna Fisher - 11.16.12
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ISS Update Commentator Pat Ryan interviews Dr. Anna Fisher, NASA Astronaut, about her flight on STS-51A on the anniversary of its landing, her NASA history and current work.

Dr. Anna Fisher began her career at NASA when she was selected as an astronaut candidate in 1978. She has worked for NASA in a variety of capacities over the years, including crew representative, mission specialist, Chief of the Space Station branch and CAPCOM.

Her first trip to space happened in 1984 aboard space shuttle Discovery on the STS-51A mission. Today marks the anniversary of the successful completion of that mission when Discovery landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Fisher says that during that mission, the crew deployed two satellites and retrieved the Palapa B-2 and Westar VI satellites for return to Earth, making it the first space salvage mission in history.

Fisher says that becoming an astronaut has always been her dream job and was something she has wanted to do since she was 12 years old.

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› Read more about STS-51A

ISS Update: Station Crew Departure Preps - 11.14.12
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As three Expedition 33 crew members spend their final week aboard the International Space Station preparing for their return to Earth, NASA astronaut Dan Burbank joined ISS Update commentator Pat Ryan at the PAO console in Mission Control Houston to explain the process. It’s a topic near and dear to Burbank as he made that same journey April 27 after spending more than five months aboard the orbiting complex as an Expedition 29 flight engineer and commander of Expedition 30.

Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko are scheduled to undock from the station at 5:26 p.m. EST Sunday aboard their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft and land in the steppe of Kazakhstan a little over three hours later. However before that happens, they will need to complete packing their gear, readying the vehicle and preparing themselves mentally for the return home.

As Burbank points out, returning to Earth after to living and working in the unique environment of the space station requires some big adjustments. “You need to spend a little bit of time -- and it’s hard to do because it’s very busy in the last couple of weeks – looking out the window, internalizing, writing to your personal hard drive, if you will, those experiences,” said Burbank, “because pretty soon they’re going to be behind you.”

ISS Update: Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM) – 11.13.12
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ISS Update commentator Pat Ryan talks to Brion Au, Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students (EarthKAM) Payload Developer, about the EarthKAM investigation being performed aboard the International Space Station this week.

EarthKAM is a NASA education program that enables thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew's perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted aboard the station. This enables them to photograph the Earth's coastlines, mountain ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. The team at EarthKAM then posts these photographs on the Internet for the public and participating classrooms around the world to view.

Au says that one of the things that makes EarthKAM so unique is that it is a science payload for students, controlled by students. He says that the students have direct control of the camera aboard the station. The images are not a result of someone else’s research; these are images that the students have actually targeted via web page tools provided to them. The images are then sent to the students on the ground for study.

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