NASA TV's This Week @NASA, April 21

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, April 21
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Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, Flight Engineer and Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin and American Spaceflight Participant Charles Simonyi are back on terra firma after their Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan. Lopez-Alegria and Tyurin completed seven months aboard the International Space Station, and Simonyi wrapped up 13 days in space and 11 days aboard the complex. The crew will next undergo several weeks of rehabilitation and medical testing at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.

NASA astronaut Suni Williams went faster -- and farther -- than anyone has ever gone in the Boston Marathon. Williams ran this year's famed 26-point-2-mile race on a treadmill aboard the International Space Station, 210 miles above Earth. Williams, who's been aboard the station since last December, is an accomplished marathoner who qualified for the Boston race by finishing among the top 100 females in last year's Houston Marathon. This is the first time an astronaut in space has been an official participant in a marathon.

The Kennedy Space Center hosted a welcoming ceremony for a major component of the International Space Station. The Japanese Experiment Module, known as Kibo, or "hope," is Japan's first human space facility and its primary contribution to the station. Kibo will enhance the unique research capabilities of the orbiting complex by providing an additional environment in which astronauts can conduct science experiments. Kibo's various components will be assembled in space during the course of three shuttle missions. The first, STS-123, is targeted for launch late this year.

NASA Shuttle Program Director, Wayne Hale, toured the Marshall Space Flight Center's Hot Gas Facility. The facility is a special wind tunnel that tests materials used to protect the shuttle's solid rocket booster and external tank.

The 14th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race was hosted by the Marshall Space Flight Center. Students designed, built and operated vehicles meeting engineering requirements faced by the team that produced NASA's lunar rover. That vehicle traversed the moon's surface during the final three team Apollo missions of the early 1970s. What started in 1994 with only eight college teams has expanded to more than 60 teams from high schools and colleges throughout the United States, Canada and Germany.

The observance of Earth Day by Marshall Space Flight Center employees was highlighted by an environmental expo. The expo featured more than 25 local vendors touting the latest environmental services and best practices, as well as energy-saving and environmentally friendly products. The theme of this year's observance was, "Earth Day Every Day."

A future Leader Dog for the Blind is getting some important training at NASA's Langley Research Center. Aries, a female golden retriever puppy, is being socialized by aerospace structural engineer Evan Horowitz, who takes the pup with him everywhere at the center.

(nat test)

That includes Langley's Lunar Landing Impact Facility, where Neil Armstrong learned to land on the moon in the 1960s.

(sot wanted to do something constructive/helpful)

Evan Horowitz SOT: "I've always wanted to, you know, be giving like most people, and I tried to think of what would be a nice way to give. Anyone can give money. I wanted to do something a little more direct, hands on; extreme you could go into the Peace Corps or something like that. Raising a guide dog is going to be my time, my effort, my love, my heart -- giving."

Horowitz's job is to get the puppy accustomed to people and everyday situations, as well as teach her basic commands. Aries will spend more than a year with Horowitz at Langley until she's returned to Michigan for her actual guide dog training.

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