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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending January 30
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Space shuttle Discovery's liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center isn't far off. STS-119 is scheduled to begin February 12th at 7:32 am EST. Commander Lee Archambault and crew will deliver the final pair of solar arrays needed by the International Space Station to support six residents. 119 will also return Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Sandy Magnus to Earth, and deliver her replacement, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata. A veteran of two shuttle missions, Wakata will be JAXA's first resident station crew member.

Koichi Wakata: "It is over 20 years since Japan started this endeavor, in participating in the International Space program and to be able to conduct a variety of experiments, we need to be able to stay on board the space station on a long-duration basis to fully utilize the asset. I am very fortunate to be able to participate in a long-duration flight."

Wakata will serve as a flight engineer for Expeditions 18 and 19, and return to Earth on STS-127.


The crew of STS-126 is on another mission – this one, an 11-day trip to visit with U.S. troops serving overseas. The Endeavour crew - Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Eric Boe, and Mission Specialists Don Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Shane Kimbrough - is making an unprecedented visit to military bases in Germany and the Middle East. At each stop, they'll present an overview of their 16-day flight to the International Space Station last November. The trip is sponsored by the Department of Defense's Armed Forces Entertainment agency, the first time they've hosted astronauts on an overseas troop tour. Five of the six STS-126 crew members are active military.


The launch of NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide is scheduled for Feb. 23rd. That's when the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, or OCO, will begin its mission to map the global distribution of carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate. The planet's population produces more than 30-billion tons of carbon dioxide each year; scientists have long wondered where on Earth much of that is absorbed and whether Earth will keep absorbing it at that same rate in the future.

Eric Ianson: "The mission will help scientists identify carbon dioxide sources or the places on earth where carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere, as well as its sinks, the places where it's being removed."

OCO will be launched Feb. 23 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.


Researchers from NASA helped test two synthetic fuels for possible use by commercial jets. Neither fuel was derived from oil. A DC-8 aircraft based at the Dryden Flight Research Center served as the test vehicle. Each of the synthetic fuels, one made from coal, the other from natural gas, was run through the airplane's engine at various power levels. The test measured engine performance and aircraft emissions. NASA hopes the research can lead to new sustainable, secure and reliable sources of fuel for the aviation industry.


The Marshall Space Flight Center celebrated the twin Mars rovers' five years of success with a special event. "Afternoon Tea with Spirit" allowed Marshall employees to sit in and observe an interactive session with the rover's science and operations team as they planned that day’s tasks for the vehicle on Mars. Spirit and Opportunity's deputy principal investigator, Ray Arvidsen, led the session. The event was hosted by Dr. Barbara Cohen, the only current Marshall member of a Mars rover science and operations team.

Dr. Barbara Cohen: "Spirit and Opportunity touched down on Mars five earth years ago this month and so we're having a series of celebrations all over the country and we wanted Marshall to be able to join in the celebration."


Announcer SOT: "From downtown Nashville, the National Academy of Television Arts and Science presents the 23rd annual Mid-South Emmy awards."

Gene Policinski: "It’s our distinct honor to celebrate NASA TV on the occasion of NASA's 50th anniversary."

NASA Television received the Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Mid-South Emmy Awards in Nashville. The award recognizes the agency’s 50th anniversary and NASA TV's agency-wide broadcast, technology and engineering excellence.

Bob Jacobs: "A lot of people do a lot of hard work to bring you the images from space, those guys that work on NASA television, from the astronauts, to the scientists, to the engineers, the producers; they all work very hard to make you a part of the space program so, for them, thank you very much."

Rodney Grubbs: "We’ll be back to work next week preparing the possibility the next steps on the moon in HD-tv."

Michael Fincke: "We're excited for the chance to take you into the space with the miracle of television."

The program also included remarks from Expedition 18 Commander Michael Fincke and Flight Engineer Sandy Magnus, both currently living aboard the International Space Station, as well as a special video outlining the history of NASA TV.

NASA ANNIVERSARY: February 3, 1995 STS-63 Launch: First Female Shuttle Pilot

Launch Announcer: "And lift-off of Space Shuttle Discovery on a mission to prepare for the next era of world cooperation in space."

History was made fourteen years ago when Eileen Collins became the first female to pilot a space shuttle, Discovery. STS-63 carried out the first shuttle rendezvous with and flyaround of Russia's Mir space station. Collins would later become the first female shuttle commander with Columbia's STS-93 mission to launch the Chandra X-ray Observatory. She would also command the STS-114 return to flight mission in 2005. Collins retired from NASA in May 2006.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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