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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, March 27
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This Week At NASA…


Launch Announcer: "The landing gear is down."

Discovery and its crew glided to a smooth landing at the Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility to complete its 13-day mission to the International Space Station.

Mission Control: "And, nose gear touch down. Space Shuttle Discovery is rolling out on runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center."

Discovery Crew: "I think that worked out really well and start these guys by hand."

STS-119 delivered and installed the final pieces of hardware needed to generate enough electricity to fully power science experiments and support the station's expanded crew of six scheduled for May.

Discovery Crew: Houston Discovery it looks like we had a very good deploy. A couple of yes’s on the deployed status and tension reel came up exactly as predicted

President Obama: "Hello Commander, can you hear us?"

A videoconference with President Obama and the shuttle and station crews also highlighted the mission. Members of Congress and Washington, D.C. - area school children joined with the president in offering congratulations and asking questions about space travel.

President Obama: "What about fitness requirements these days?"

Lee Archambault: "The International Space Station just recently incorporated a new fitness machine. It’s a very, very fancy workout machine like you’d see in a gym, but it’s called the A-RED and we can do a lot of good exercises on it."

Space shuttle Discovery also delivered new ISS crew member Koichi Wakata and returned Flight Engineer Sandy Magnus to Earth after more than four months aboard the complex.

NASA scientists from the Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Lab are studying celestial meteorites considered to be the first unequivocal link to an asteroid from space. The meteorites were recovered last fall after an SUV-sized asteroid called 2008 TC3 was tracked by the NASA-sponsored Catalina Sky Survey as it entered the Earth's atmosphere over northern Sudan’s Nubian Desert. Their discovery gives scientists the chance to learn more about different types of asteroids, their origins and, perhaps, the beginning of our solar system.


Some two-dozen female middle-school students participated in a "Tech Trek" at the Dryden Flight Research Center. The seventh-graders and their adult chaperones were treated to a variety of activities during their field trip. They toured Dryden’s main aircraft hangar and several specialized research and support aircraft, including the modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier, and the Global Hawk and Ikhana unmanned science aircraft. The students also learned how a high-altitude pressure suit works, and got to test their piloting skills in one of Dryden’s flight simulators.

Tech Treks are week-long summer math and science camps held on California college campuses for incoming eighth-grade girls. Sponsored by the American Association of University Women, Tech Trek promotes careers in the science, math and technical fields.


Nat: "3-2-1, GO!"

FIRST regional robotics competitions continue nationwide. These high school students from the Hampton Roads area got "ready to robot rumble" during the NASA-sponsored Virginia regionals held in Richmond. FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology brings together high school teams from around the world who've each built a robot from a standardized kit. This year's contest is called "Lunacy" to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. The FIRST finals are just weeks away in Atlanta.

The Goddard Space Flight Center has produced a unique "spherical" movie about the changing ice and snow cover on our planet. Using images captured by NASA spacecraft, "Frozen," a 12-minute, narrated film, explores the cryosphere, the areas of the Earth where snow or ice form, and takes viewers from the everyday experience of sensing heat and cold to a discussion of how satellites "see" it with advanced sensors. Dramatic displays of satellite data of changing Arctic sea ice and global snow cover project onto a six-foot diameter carbon fiber sphere hanging in a dark theater surrounded by four computer driven projectors. “Frozen” is now playing at select science centers and museums nationwide.


Chris Scolese: "Astronaut Admiral Thomas Ken Mattingly…"

NASA astronaut Thomas K. "Ken" Mattingly was presented with an Ambassador of Exploration Award for his contributions to the U.S. space program. Mattingly accepted the award, a moon rock brought back by Apollo astronauts, at his alma mater, Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

Born in Chicago and raised in Miami, Mattingly was command module pilot on Apollo 16. He’d been also designated command module pilot for the Apollo 13 mission, but was pulled from the flight 72 hours before its scheduled launch because of exposure to German measles. Mattingly also flew two space shuttle missions, commanding both STS-4 and STS 51-C.

The Ambassador of Exploration Award honors NASA’s first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for realizing America's goal of going to the moon. Mattingly’s moon rock, encased in Lucite, will remain at Auburn on public display.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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