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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, July 2
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This Week At NASA...

Engineers at the Kennedy Space Center completed a successful test of space shuttle Endeavor's external fuel tank. A misaligned Ground Umbilical Carrier plate on the tank had caused a hydrogen vent line leak forcing the postponement of the June 13th launch of Endeavor on STS-127.

Pete Nickolenko: "We’ve had a very successful tanking test, and our next step is to move forward towards launch on the eleventh of July."

Mark Polansky will lead the STS-127 crew on its 16-day mission to the International Space Station. Douglas Hurley will pilot the shuttle and Christopher Cassidy, Thomas Marshburn, David Wolf and Julie Payette, a Canadian Space Agency astronaut will serve as mission specialist. The STS-127 crew will complete the installation of the Japanese Kibo complex.

Endeavor will also deliver Timothy Kopra he'll join the Expedition 20 crew as flight engineer and science officer. At the conclusion STS-127 Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, a member of Expedition 18, 19 and 20 will return to Earth.

STS-125 mission commander Scott Altman thanked employees at the Stennis Space Center for their contribution to the final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

Scott Altman: "All the work that people did at various centers, especially here at Stennis making sure that the things we needed to get off the ground were ready to go, that the engines would work and fire. Thank you."

The 13 day mission to refurbish Hubble included five consecutive days of spacewalks and presented the STS-125 crew with many unique and dangerous challenges.

STS-125 Astronaut: "This is a really tremendous adventure we’ve been on, a very challenging mission."

Altman presented a commemorative plaque to that includes a flag that had flown on the mission to the Center and joined the rest of the crew for a talk at the Stennis visitors' center.

The STS-125 astronauts, including greater Cleveland native Michael Good, attended a picnic at Glenn Research Center, where they signed autographs. During the mission Good performed two EVA's totaling nearly 16 hours. The upgrades are expected to keep the Hubble telescope functioning for another decade.

Officials from Maryland and Virginia converged on NASA's Wallops Flight Facility to break ground for a new launch complex. The site will be used to launch Orbital Science Corporations Taurus II rocket on cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station.

Barbara Mikulski: "I believe when we build it, they will come. Orbital is already here, revved up, and as our President says, Fired up and ready to go."

Construction of the launch complex will create 300 immediate construction jobs and 400 permanent high-tech jobs by next year.

Many people are happy to get off a plane, but few are so excited they drop to the ground in thanks.

Comedian Mark Malkoff spent 30 days aboard an airliner to get over his fear of flying. Recently he visited with Anna McGowan at the Langley Research Center to learn about NASA's efforts to make airplanes more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Anna McGowan: "So NASA is really pushing technology that’ll make the airplane quieter, spit out less bad emissions that are bad for the greenhouse gases as well as use a whole lot less fuel than they use today."

Joining McGowan was Johnny Alonso, one of the hosts of "NASA 360," a half hour NASA TV program that explores the agency's contributions to everyday life. Their conversation was videotaped for a future episode.


The 4th of July holds special historical significance for NASA; in 1997 the Mars Pathfinder used a parachute and air bag system to safely land on the surface of the Red planet.

The Lander and its rover Sojourner took more than 17 thousands images and sent back to Earth over 2.3 billion bits of data from Pathfinder's landing site on a rocky flood plain on Mars northern hemisphere. Chemical analysis of rock and soil suggested that Mars had once been warm, wet and contained an essential element for life as we know it, liquid water.

Eight years later in 2005, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft watched as its remote probe produced 4th of July fireworks, when it smashed into the nucleus of comet Temple 1 at nearly 23, 000 miles per hour.

Deep Impact observed the demise of the 825 pound impactor and relayed back to Earth valuable scientific data, and spectacular images of this deep space collision.

NASA centers around the country are presenting a variety of events throughout the month to commemorate the Apollo Program and the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing,

Neil Armstrong: "Tranquility Base here, the eagle has landed."

including a celebration of the Apollo 11 crew at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington on July 20th. For the complete list of events go to and scroll down to Apollo Anniversary.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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