NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending Nov. 23

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending Nov. 23
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This Week at NASA …

The seven-member crew of STS-122 completed a full dress rehearsal for their upcoming mission. The crew participated in the terminal countdown demonstration test, familiarizing themselves and ground teams with equipment and launch-related procedures. STS-122 gets underway with the launch of space shuttle Atlantis early next month. The STS-122 crew members are Commander Steve Frick, Pilot Alan Poindexter, and mission specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stanley Love, and Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts of the European Space Agency.

The Expedition 16 crew is working hard aboard the International Space Station, preparing for Atlantis' arrival. By the time the shuttle docks in December, Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Dan Tani will have conducted two spacewalks to hook up Harmony’s connecting node to the Destiny Laboratory getting it ready for mating with the European Columbus Laboratory. Whitson is in the early stages of her six-month stay on station; Tani is scheduled to return home next month.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin gave a lecture on Space Exploration at Georgetown University. Griffin said collaboration between nations can help solve the unique problems they face in space.

Griffin: "My training in physics tells me that the problems and constraints are the same for all; the rocket equation does not change when expressed in another language. Collaboration offers us the chance to reap a rich harvest of ideas and solutions germinated in different intellectual soil."

The lecture was sponsored by Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service.

The Goddard Space Flight Center hosted the seven astronauts who’ll complete the final human servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope. STS-125 Commander Scott Altman and crew worked in the High Bay Clean Room with Goddard engineers and technicians in order to get familiar with the tools and procedures that they will use during five space walks. During the space walks the Crew will replace batteries, gyroscopes and thermal blankets. The successful completion of the EVA’s should result in the extention of Hubble's operating life. The STS-125 crew will make three trips to Goddard as part of its training for the HST servicing mission.

The main parachute for Constellation Program rockets had its second test over the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Everything in the chute's system functioned properly. Weighing a ton and measuring 150 feet in diameter, this parachute is the largest of its kind ever tested. It'll allow the first stage boosters of the Ares I and Ares V rockets to be reused after their safe return to earth. NASA's Constellation program is developing the next generation of launch vehicles to get us to the International Space Station and the moon.

NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate hosted its first Technology Exchange Conference in Houston. ESMD oversees development of capabilities and technology for human and robotic space exploration. The conference promoted dialogue between NASA and other government agencies, the aerospace industry and academia. It focused on how astronauts and cargo will get to, live, and work on the moon. Among the speakers were Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley, and Apollo Flight Director Gene Kranz.

A new exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington chronicles passenger air travel in the United States. Beginning with the first airlines, "America by Air" follows the development of commercial aviation through today's biggest jets. Among other highlights, Air and Space visitors can sit in the cockpit of a real Boeing 747, or thrill to a simulated pilot's takeoff aboard an Airbus A-320.

Forty-three top science and engineering students from Seoul Science High School in South Korea visited the Marshall Space Flight Center for an up-close look at what technological careers NASA has to offer. Marshall was one stop on an international student tour of American scientific centers of excellence that also included Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley. The students spent time with Marshall scientists before also visiting the National Space Science and Technology Center, the science department at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

Students and teachers at John B. Cary Elementary welcomed representatives of the Langley Research Center. The Richmond, Virginia school is one of only 25 in the nation named as a NASA Explorer School. The visit helped kick off a new educational partnership between Cary's students and teachers, and Langley employees.

Seventy-two students from the Arlington, Virginia Science Focus School were at the National Arboretum in Washington to present experts with their lunar plant growth chambers. The students created the chambers as part of this year's NASA Engineering Design Challenge. Each chamber contained growth from cinnamon basil seeds flown on Space Shuttle Endeavour last August. Three STS-118 astronauts were on hand for the event; Commander Scott Kelly, educator and mission specialist Barbara Morgan, and Canadian Space Agency mission specialist Dave Williams flew last August on Space Shuttle Endeavour. The NASA Engineering Design Challenge allows elementary, middle and high school students to explore how future space explorers can sustain resources on the moon.

And that's This Week At NASA!
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