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This Week @ NASA, November 4, 2011
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This Week@NASA...


(SOT): "Today I am happy to announce that the Boeing company has settled Florida for its commercial crew office"…clapping

A new partnership has been formed between NASA and Space Florida to occupy, use and modify the Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility, OPF 3, the Space Shuttle Main Engine Processing Facility and Processing Control Center. The 15-year use permit deal is the latest step Kennedy is making in its transition from a historically government-only launch complex to a multi-user spaceport.

Deputy Admin. Lori Garver: “Kennedy and the entire space coast have been synonymous with NASA’s historic 30 year shuttle program as well as America’s first 50 years in human space flight and the agreement that we have reached today with Spaceport Florida will help set-up an even future.”

Space Florida, the state’s aerospace economic development agency, is leasing OPF-3 to the Boeing Company to manufacture and test the company's Crew Space Transportation spacecraft. Development of the CST-100, a reusable capsule-shaped spacecraft to transport up to seven people, or a combination of people and cargo to space, is expected to create as many as 550 jobs along the Space Coast.


(nat) “40 meters away from docking, the Progresses’ Cores automated rendezvous antenna has been retracted”

The Russian Progress 45 cargo ship docked to the International Space Station, delivering almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the residents of the complex.

(nat) Capture we have indicator mode – Docking confirmed

The unmanned resupply ship automatically linked up to the Pirs Docking Compartment on the Russian segment of the station.

(quik nat launch) And liftoff of the Soyuz booster on the Progress 45 resupply ship bound for the ISS

The arrival of the spacecraft came three days after its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in a successful comeback from the failure of a similar Soyuz booster on Aug. 24 that resulted in the loss of Progress 44. It also happened eleven years to the day after the docking of Expedition 1, when NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev arrived at the orbiting outpost aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule, becoming the first inhabitants of the ISS. There has been an uninterrupted human presence there ever since.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis crew of, from left, Doug Hurley, Sandy Magnus, Commander Chris Ferguson and Rex Walheim was welcomed to the White House by President Obama. The President was presented with the coat from STS-135, the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program, by former astronaut Janet Kavandi, now Director of Flight Crew Operations at the Johnson Space Center.

One of the latest recipients of the Nobel Prize for Physics is now the latest to receive one of NASA's most prestigious awards.

Deputy Administrator, Lori Garver, joined with Maryland Senator, Barbara Mikulski, in presenting the agency’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal to Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute. The award is given for contributions to NASA’s aeronautical or space exploration goals. Riess was among three scientists who provided evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

The Shaw Prize, won by Riess five years ago, goes this year to NASA astrophysicist, Gerald Fishman, of the Marshall Space Flight Center. Fishman and another scientist share the award and million-dollar cash prize for research on gamma-ray bursts -- the brightest, most explosive events known to occur in the universe.

Fishman, a NASA astrophysicist since 1974, is a co-investigator on the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor, a key instrument aboard the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

As for Fermi, it has discovered the youngest known millisecond gamma-ray pulsar in an old globular cluster of stars named NGC 6624. Millisecond pulsars are highly-magnetized neutron stars that rotate every one- to ten-milliseconds, or one one-thousandth of a second. Animation shows a neutron star to scale with the island of Manhattan – and all pulsars detected by Fermi, blinking at one fiftieth their actual speed.

The economic impact of the Wallops Flight Facility was the topic of the day as members of the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond toured the facility. The day included a roundtable discussion on the importance of Wallops economically to the area with 20 regional economic development leaders and also a tour of several of the facilities at Wallops including NASA’s sounding rocket facility and range control center. They also received an overview on Orbital Sciences Corp. Taurus II launch vehicle that will begin carrying supplies to the International Space Station in 2012 and also the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s new pad from which the Taurus II will launch.

Jeff Lacker President of Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond: “We were interested just for its implications for the economy. You guys are doing great things, innovation is the key to growth in our standard of living over time but you’re doing good things for the country as well, so keep up the good work.”


Admin Charlie Bolden: “NASA couldn’t achieve the big things were it not for small business.”

Administrator Charlie Bolden led the list of speakers at NASA’s 4th Annual Small Business Symposium and Awards Ceremony. The two-day event once again helped inform company executives and employment specialists about opportunities the agency provides for small businesses in exploration and science missions, as well as other programs.

Karen G. Mills, Administrator U.S. Small Business Administration: “It’s really a new chapter, and one of the things that’s going to fuel that chapter as you know is innovation and our entrepreneurs.”

The Fourth Annual Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium featured several NASA speakers providing updates on the Marshall Space Flight Center and various agency missions and programs. The three-day event held at the University of Alabama, Huntsville also hosted panel discussions on a wide range of topics, including NASA’s Exploration Roadmap, energizing commercial space, integrating robotic and human exploration, and national space policy. The von Braun Symposium is organized by the American Astronautical Society in conjunction with UAHuntsville, the Huntsville National Space Club and the Marshall Space Flight Center


Admin Charlie Bolden: “Today we are going to recognize some of our extraordinary colleagues. I want to thank all of you for your outstanding efforts over the past year.”

The Headquarters Honor Awards ceremony recognized employees who’ve made significant contributions to the Headquarters community. Eighteen teams and individuals were so honored for their exemplary efforts over the past year.


(NAT full) - “Station Houston on two for Mike, your guest is entering the room and we will be calling up shortly.”

Singer and musician Dusty Hill of ZZ Top toured the Johnson Space Center at the invitation of Expedition 29 commander, Mike Fossum.

Dusty Hill of ZZ Top: I’m at the end of my tour, I guess you near the end of your tour, but, I am closer to home than you are.”

Hill visited the Mission Control Center, where he spoke with Fossum and Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov and Satoshi Furukawa aboard the International Space Station.

Astronauts Cady Coleman, Dottie Metcalf Lindenberger, and Steve Robinson, who moonlight as amateur musicians for the band Max Q, showed Hill where astronauts train and engineers are developing the next generation of NASA spacecraft.

In the early days of soaring, gliders used to look like this – a reproduction of a Wright Glider once tested in the Full Scale Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center. Then along came a Langley researcher in the 1940's and 50's - Frances Rogallo and his Rogallo Wing. The so-called father of hang gliding's design can be seen in the skies today --- piloted by soaring enthusiasts and wowing spectators.

Many of the faithful commemorated a century of soaring on North Carolina's Outer Banks –where on October 24th in 1911 Orville Wright made an historic nine minute and 45 second glider flight.

The goal of Soaring 100 – to celebrate that birth of modern soaring.

At the Wright Brothers Memorial NASA Langley technicians demonstrated how the science of flight has changed.

Glenn Brehm NASA Langley Technician: One of the things on the Harrier is the vectored engines – they would turn and the same thing as the Osprey and they would turn the engines and vector the thrusting to give it the take off and landing and it's doing the same thing with this and turns and varies its thrust as it does on the Osprey also.

Nearby - at Jockey's Ridge State Park - an exhibit from NASA's Johnson Space Center helped visitors soar far above the clouds and into space. They even had a chance to feel a piece of the moon.

Kelly Pennington, Charleston, W.Va. Visitor: You touch the Earth rocks all the time and you don't think much about it, but then when you touch something that comes from outer space – that's pretty neat.

Another Soaring 100 attraction that participants found pretty neat – a man dressed up as one of the Tusken Raiders from the movie Star Wars.

And that's This Week@NASA!

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