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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, May 15
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After its manufacture at the Michoud Assembly Facility, the external fuel tank for space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission to the International Space Station has made its way to the Kennedy Space Center.

ET-132 was taken off its transport barge, Pegasus, and moved into the Vehicle Assembly Building and lifted into a checkout cell. The tank and twin solid rocket boosters will be attached to Discovery for a targeted liftoff Aug. 6. Discovery's primary payload will be the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo, which will help support the Station’s new six-person crew.


A nanosatellite about the size of a loaf of bread will help determine the efficacy of drugs in weightlessness. Weighing approximately ten pounds, PharmaSat has a controlled-environment micro-laboratory to detect how yeast cells respond to different antifungal treatments while orbiting the Earth. PharmaSat is expected to yield new information about the susceptibility of microbes to antibiotics in the environment of space.

Bruce Yost: "It's very important to maintain crew health on long duration missions as they explore the universe. One of the things we have concern with is that we've seen some data from space station and shuttle that indicate that some pathogens may become more resistant to antibiotics when they are exposed to the microgravity environment. PharmaSat will help us to understand that resistance mechanism potentially, and to allow us to prescribe better treatments for the crews as they go out and explore."

The mission is scheduled to launch from the Wallops Flight Facility by the end of this month.


More than 30,000 people attended the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's annual Open House. Visitors peered at the sun through solar-safe telescopes and toured JPL's biggest "clean room" where spacecraft are built. Demonstrations were held of the Mars Science Laboratory -- JPL's next spacecraft bound for Mars, and of the Axel rover, a system designed to provide mobility to explore the surfaces of planets throughout the solar system. JPL scientists and engineers also were available to discuss missions studying Saturn, Jupiter, Earth and the moon. This year's event celebrated the International Year of Astronomy and saluted the 40th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission – the first human landing on the moon.


NASA has been honored with two Webby awards for Internet excellence. received the People's Voice award for best government Web site, and the Cassini mission Web site, which has the latest news, science findings and images from Cassini's orbit of Saturn, took top honors for best science site. This is the second time the agency's web site garnered this distinction.

Brian Dunbar: "It's really gratifying. It's gratifying for the dozens of the people who work on the site, most of them who don't get a whole lot of credit for it, and it's gratifying because we've always tried to run the site for the general audience, give people video, still images, keep them up to date on our missions, feature stories on all of the great things going on at NASA, and really try to convey the excitement of exploration and all the things that the agency does." captured its first People’s Voice award in 2003.


Launch Announcer: “Launch commit! We have liftoff; we have liftoff ,49 minutes past the hour!”

Launched forty years ago, on May 18, 1969, the Apollo 10 mission was the first lunar flight of the complete Apollo spacecraft: command and service modules, and lunar lander.During their eight-day mission, Commander Tom Stafford,, Command Pilot John Young and Lunar Module Pilot Gene Cernan simulated a moon landing as a "dress rehearsal" for Apollo 11 and subsequent lunar missions.

With its primary mission objectives met, the Apollo 10 spacecraft and crew safely returned to Earth on May 26, 1969.

And that’s This Week At NASA!

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