NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending Aug. 31

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending Aug. 31
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This Week at NASA …


Doug Cooke SOT: "This competitive procurement has indicated to us, once again, the value of the open competition."

NASA has selected the Boeing Company as the contractor to help design and build the upper stage of the Ares I rocket. Ares I will launch astronauts to the International Space Station and eventually help return humans to the moon.

Steve Cook SOT: "This is about six time larger of any upper stage that flies today, but this is on the scale of the things were built and flown in the Saturn era. We want to make this as low cost, as reliable and safe stage as we’ve ever built."

Ares I's upper stage will provide the navigation, guidance, control and propulsion required for the second stage of the rocket's ascent. Boeing will provide support to a NASA-led team during the Ares I upper stage design phase and will produce units for testing and NASA-planned flights through 2016. Final assembly of the Ares I upper stage will take place at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

After six weeks of hunkering down, the Mars Exploration Rovers are moving again. Spirit and Opportunity were all but shut down by raging dust storms that limited solar power. But, with weather and energy supplies slowly improving, the two rovers have resumed driving. Opportunity advanced 44 feet toward the edge of Victoria Crater. And Spirit drove 17 inches backwards to take pictures of a rock it had examined with its spectrometer. During the crisis, the rovers conserved energy by limiting communication with mission controllers to every third or fourth day; now, they're back on schedule, messaging daily.



Expedition flight engineers Clayton Anderson and Oleg Kotov successfully relocated a pressurized component of the International Space Station. Using the station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, Anderson and Kotov detached a large docking adapter, called the Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 from one port of the Unity connecting node and attached it to another port. The relocation paves the way for the attachment of the Harmony connecting module slated for delivery to the station on STS-120 in late October. Harmony will provide ports to connect the station's European and Japanese laboratory modules. The modules are scheduled to arrive in late 2007 and early 2008.


Clay Anderson SOT: "Hello John in Lincoln, Neb., we have you loud and clear."

The entire Expedition 15 Crew, Anderson, Kotov and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin took time out to talk about life and work on the complex with KLKN-TV, a TV station located in Anderson's home state of Nebraska.

Reporter SOT: "Commander Yurchikin is Clay a good crew member?"

Commander Yurchikin SOT: "This is a very difficult question (laughs). Of course he is a very good crew member, very strong commander and a very friendly, very helpful to us. And of course we are a team."


Woodrow Whitlow Jr. SOT: "Ladies and Gentlemen Suni Williams."

The Glenn Research Center held a homecoming of sorts for astronaut Suni Williams. Williams, who was part of both the Expedition 14 and 15 crews, was born in Euclid, Ohio, near Cleveland. During the visit, Williams showed employees video highlights from her missions and talked about the space experiments designed and built at Glenn. Williams holds the record for the longest stay in space by a woman, 195 days.

The moon has long been an object of fascination. A NASA-sponsored contest taps into that fascination by teaming college art and design students, with would-be scientists and engineers, to create art about living and working on the moon. The Advanced Planning and Partnership Office at the Langley Research Center is sponsoring the "Life and Work on the Moon" contest. University students and faculty will team up across art and engineering disciplines to produce works depicting what'll be needed to establish a human presence on the moon --- and the art that'll be a facet of life there. Winners will receive cash prizes, certificates of achievement and opportunities to exhibit their work. The goal of the contest is to inspire present and future generations of explorers. To learn more, log onto:

One of the first men to walk on the moon, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, was the honoree at Aerospace Appreciation Night at Clear Channel Stadium in Lancaster, Calif. Aldrin threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Lancaster JetHawks' minor league baseball game with the Stockton Ports. Also honored was Dryden Flight Research Center test pilot, and former astronaut, Gordon Fullerton, and famed X-15 test pilot Bill Dana. Aldrin also is a former commander of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base. The first 1,000 fans in attendance received a Buzz Aldrin bobble head doll.

And that's This Week At NASA!
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