NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending Dec. 7

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending Dec. 7
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This Week at NASA …

The addition of the Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station was marked during a gathering at the Washington residence of the German ambassador to the U.S. Columbus is Europe's most important contribution to the ISS. It will increase the station's living quarters and science research capabilities. European Space Agency astronaut Hans Schlegel of Germany is a member of the STS-122 crew tasked with delivering Columbus to the space station.

Expedition 16 Flight Engineer and Chicago native, Dan Tani was joined by Commander Peggy Whitson in a series of interviews with his hometown media.
Reporter: "Can you actually pick out land marks in the Chicago land area?"

Dan Tani: "Any particular point, any city, for instance, we’re going over, you only have about 30 seconds, or 45 seconds or so, to watch it flyover. We’re going 17,000 miles an hour."

Tani will return home with the STS-122 crew aboard space shuttle Atlantis. Whitson is scheduled to stay on station through mid-April.

Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Expedition 15 Flight Engineer Suni Williams visited the Marshall Space Flight Center to thank employees for their continued support of the International Space Station and space shuttle programs. They presented mission highlights to a packed auditorium. Students from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville also asked questions of the astronauts.

Student: "What was the scariest experience from your mission?"

Both Lopez-Alegria and Williams set U.S. records for a single, long-duration mission. Lopez-Alegria set the men's mark with more than 215 days in space, and Williams set one for women by completing 195 days on orbit.

The music heard at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory came not from any traditional instruments, but ingenious devices invented by students.

This year's Invention Challenge tasked teams from 15 southern California middle and high schools to build machines that could play part of a song in a designated scale, with proper tone, tempo and meter. The challenge was that students could use only one action, like a switch or lever, to start their song machines. JPL scientists and engineers assisted each team with their project. Awards were given for successfully completing the task, creativity and artistry.

Hundreds of family, friends and associates paid tribute to NASA research pilot Ed Lewis. Lewis and another pilot died last month when their Civil Air Patrol plane crashed southwest of Las Vegas. A former military and commercial pilot with more than 28,000 flight hours, Lewis was a research pilot at Dryden and the Ames Research Center for 18 years. Lewis had also been active in the Civil Air Patrol since 1951. Ed Lewis was 71.

NASA.GOV has a new look – and lots of new features. 5-point-0 is the first major redesign of the agency's primary Web site in more than four years. It features increased interactivity and customization. With the Web site's new capabilities, users can comment on NASA stories, create personal video playlists, and share content on other Internet sites. Experience it yourself, at

And that's This Week At NASA!
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