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This Week @ NASA, July 29, 2011
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This Week @NASA...


Jim Green: "Juno is on schedule and on budget."

NASA's upcoming Juno mission to Jupiter was previewed by scientists and engineers at a Kennedy Space Center news briefing.

Jan Chodas: "The size of Juno is about 11 and ½ feet tall, about 11 and ½ feet wide; the diameter of the circle is about 80 feet."

Scott Bolton: "We're the first ones to go out that far, to Jupiter’s distance, solar-powered."

Juno's goal is to improve our understanding of our solar system’s beginnings by revealing data about the gas giant's evolution. Juno will get closer to Jupiter than any other spacecraft to provide detailed images and the first glimpse of its poles.

Scott Bolton: "What we’re really after is discovering the recipe for making planets, and we’re back at the first step of making sure that we have all the ingredients in that recipe."

Juno is scheduled to launch August 5 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 11:39 a.m. Eastern.

Jim Green: "Juno is really the first in a whole series of planetary science missions that are beginning. Juno will launch in early August, we’ll have GRAIL going to the moon in September and then we’ll launch the Mars Science Laboratory to Mars in November." GALE'S A "GO" FOR MSL LANDING - HQ

With the recent selection of the Gale Crater as its landing site on the Red Planet, the Mars Science Laboratory mission is now one step closer to its scheduled launch this November. NASA's next Mars rover, car-sized Curiosity, would land in August of next year at the foot of a giant, layered mountain inside Gale.

Voice of John Grant: "There is this enormous stack, five kilometers thick, of layered material which represents the opportunity to literally read chapters in the book of a history of past deposition on Mars."

During a prime mission lasting one Martian year -- nearly two Earth years -- researchers will use the rover's tools to study whether the landing region had favorable environmental conditions for supporting microbial life and for preserving clues about whether life ever existed.

With this plaque-hanging ceremony at Mission Control in Houston, the STS-135 crew that completed the final space shuttle mission aboard Atlantis paid tribute to flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center who supervised its13-day mission.

Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim took part in the traditional ceremony that spanned both the International Space Station and Space Shuttle flight control rooms.

Chris Ferguson: "Every time we go flying we take a little piece of you with us. And we, hopefully, just brought you along a little bit more on this flight."

Chris Edelen: "If you think about a year ago this flight didn’t even exist; it was the STS-335 rescue mission and, really, was just a gleam in Mike Suffredini’s eyes back then. And , now, here we are, fast forward through twelve incredibly busy months of preparation, and look at what we’ve accomplished."

Kwatsi Alibaruho: "We never lost focus; you never lost heart, you never lost your morale, you never lost the discipline with which we have been taught to come into this room, and all of the surrounding rooms, to do what we do. And, for that, I think you all deserve to be commended. So, let’s give yourselves a round of applause." (applause)

Lori Garver: "What we are trying to do in this administration is return NASA to that more classical role of our 1958 space act of investing in technologies."

Deputy Administrator Lori Garver was keynote speaker at the Space Frontier Foundation's annual NewSpace Conference held at the Ames Research Center.

NewSpace allows entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, engineers, regulators and space policy leaders to discuss the opening of space to human settlement.

The theme of this year’s three-day forum, "The Next Big Thing," focused on the emerging commercial space industry.

Lori Garver: "These are people who believe in what we do, who believe that NASA is the government’s part of the advancement of humanity into space. And, of course, we want to help communicate with them about the things we’re doing so that they can take that further."

While at Ames, Garver also sat down for an "up close and personal" chat with members and guests of the center’s chapter of WIN, the Women's Influence Network.

Garver spoke about her personal experiences and role in the evolving workplace, barriers she’s had to overcome, and advice for those working to achieve personal and professional success.

The Kennedy Space Center teamed up with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and Brevard Workforce to host a job fair in Cape Canaveral for shuttle workers.

This Space Coast Job Fair and Hands-on Training Event attracted hundreds of job seekers and more than 60 federal and private sector employers from across the country.

NASA has been working with local, state and federal officials to provide future planning and placement assistance for non-civil servant contractors who work to support the Space Shuttle Program, which will end next month. NASA's Human Resources Office has also hosted workshops, seminars and other events to help prepare employees for future opportunities.

Students from several NASA Aeronautics-sponsored programs spent two days at Headquarters reporting on their accomplishments and experiences working at the agency.

Recipients of Aeronautics scholarships were joined by students from the agency's Aeronautics Academy in making 10 minute presentations to ARMD officials, including Associate Administrator, Jaiwon Shinn.

This is the fourth consecutive year that student scholars and fellows have studied aeronautics and related fields in summer internships guided by NASA professionals. Both programs attempt to foster new generations of highly-skilled scientists and engineers critical to the future of the nation’s aeronautics industry.

Benjamin Breitberg: "It's awesome! This summer has definitely given me the opportunity to see a lot of different aspects of aeronautics research and be a part of something that I never thought that I would."

Members of the STS-134 crew stopped by Stennis to share video highlights from their 16-day mission to the International Space Station aboard space shuttle Endeavour. Mission Specialists Greg Chamitoff and Mike Fincke mingled and took questions from the Stennis staff.

Stennis Staffer: "I couldn’t help notice that you all like to kind of "Superman," through the always over there."

They also engaged in some Q & A with youngsters participating in the Center’s summer Astro Camp session.

Camp Participant: "Do you see black or does the ultraviolet and infrared light affect what you see behind your eyelids?"

During STS-134, space shuttle Endeavour delivered spare parts to the complex and transported and installed AMS-02, a particle physics detector that’ll increase our understanding of the origins of the universe.


Host: "Welcome to the third installment of the Legends Series."

Stennis Space Center’s yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration continued with the third round of its Legends Lecture Series. The series features influential current and former civil service and contractor employees who’ve contributed to the growth and development of Stennis throughout the years.

Helen Paul: "They had me typing software on a typewriter with a little round ball that had letters and numbers on it; I had never seen a typewriter like that before and what the heck was software?" (laughter)

This particular presentation brought together administrative assistants who've served in the center director's office over the center’s half-century. These Center "legends" gave a unique “behind-the-scenes” glimpse into life in the front office.

Janet Austill: "I worked for engineers; I worked for retired military; I worked for an astronaut, and I don’t know any other organization I could work for, and work those type of people; they were all great to work for!"

And that’s This Week @NASA.

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