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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending January 9
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This Week At NASA…

The crew of STS-119 is in final training for its mission to the International Space Station. Commander Lee Archambault, pilot Tony Antonelli, and mission specialists Joe Acaba, John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Ricky Arnold and Koichi Wakata have been reviewing launch procedures and spacewalking techniques, as well as undergoing medical exams at the Johnson Space Center. They’ll deliver the final components needed to power-up the station for its planned expansion to a crew of six in 2009.

Meanwhile, shuttle Discovery was moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building, where mating with the external tank and solid rocket boosters takes place. STS-119 is targeted to launch the morning of Feb. 12.

The STS-126 crew will represent NASA in the 56th Inaugural Parade on Jan. 20. Commander Chris Ferguson will march with Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Don Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough, and Expedition 17 Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff in this historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. They’ll join representatives of schools from around the country, and members of the armed forces in the parade following swearing-in ceremonies for president-elect Barack Obama. The NASA contingent also will include a small pressurized rover, a concept vehicle for a new generation of lunar rovers that astronauts will take with them when they return to the moon by 2020.

Administrator Michael Griffin presented NASA's Public Service Medal to Dr. Edward David for his work as a member of the NASA Advisory Council. David served as Chairman of the NAC’s Science Committee from September 2006 until late last year. Among his many accomplishments, David served as Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology and is a past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Mike Griffin: "For outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to NASA as a member of the NASA Advisory Council, your contributions will benefit the nation for generations to come."

The 213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in Long Beach, California featured many new findings in astrophysics by NASA researchers.

Among the most visual: the first public presentation of a new mosaic image of the center of the Milky Way galaxy captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Also unveiled: a new movie made with data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory showing changes in time never seen before in a supernova remnant. That same remnant was also displayed in 3D using data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and ground-based telescopes.

DEEP IMPACT LAUNCH – January 12, 2005

Launch Announcer: "We have ignition and liftoff of a Delta II rocket carrying Deep Impact, NASA’s journey to unlock the mystery of the solar systems’ origin."

Four years ago in NASA history, the Deep Impact spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on its ambitious, 83 million mile mission to blast a hole in comet Tempel 1 and kick up clues about the formation of the solar system. About six months later, on the Fourth of July, a probe sent by Deep Impact smashed into Tempel 1, providing scientists not only with a spectacular fireworks display, but also information crucial to understanding the composition of comets. Since then, the Deep Impact team has reported a number of key findings, including an abundance of organic matter on Tempel 1 as well as three pockets of thin ice on its surface. Comets like Tempel 1 are thought to have been created in the earliest days of our solar system.

Jim Green: "We’re learning now from missions like Deep Impact which has really given us a great handle on understanding the amount of water that actually exists in these comets and material organics as we’re talking about. They are there and they come in and when they do collide with out planet they are deposited on the earth and all the other planets and they can evolve from that. So Deep Impact is providing that key set of information that helps us put one more piece of the puzzle of the origin and evolution of our solar system and perhaps a key element as to how we ended up with life on the earth."

It’s been five years this month since NASA rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed safely on Mars. Yet, the twin rovers may still have a lot of exploration left in ‘em. Both have worked 20 times longer than their expected 90-day missions, and both, operating in different regions of the Red Planet, have made important discoveries about wet and tumultuous environments on Mars. Spirit set down on the Martian surface on Jan. 3, 2004; Opportunity followed three weeks later.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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