NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending Jan. 11

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending Jan. 11
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This Week At NASA …

The crew of STS-122 is scheduled to begin its mission to the International Space Station on February 7. Launch aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for 2:47 p.m. eastern standard time. During its 11 day mission the STS-122 Crew will install the European Space Agency's Columbus Laboratory on Harmony Node 2. When activated Columbus will provide an opportunity for scientists around the world to conduct a variety of experiments.

Scientists and astronomers from the Ames Research Center took to the skies to observe the first major meteor shower of the New Year: the Quadrantid meteor shower. An instrument-laden Gulfstream V aircraft flew for 10 continuous hours over the Arctic to document what could be the most brilliant meteor shower of 2008. This year's Quadrantids produced more than 100 visible meteors per hour at its peak. It's theorized that the Quadrantids were formed 500 years ago by a collision between a comet and a near-Earth asteroid.

Details of next summer's scheduled Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission were outlined for media at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin.

Alan Stern: "We're not only going up to Hubble to refurbish its capabilities -- after five or more long years on orbit where wear and tear have gotten, as expected, the best of a few of the subsystems, but also to extend its grasp tremendously."

In August, space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to lift off with a crew of seven astronauts for Hubble. The 11-day mission features five days of spacewalks to repair and update the telescope, keeping it alive through 2013.

NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel took a few "hot laps" at Daytona International Speedway in NASCAR's Preseason Thunder Fan Fest. Feustel's appearance was in celebration of NASA's 50th anniversary and the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in 2008. Feustel, who took his laps in an official Daytona track car, will be part of the Hubble Servicing Mission crew.

STS-120 Commander Pam Melroy and five of her Discovery crew members visited Marshall Space Flight Center employees. With Melroy were pilot George Zamka, mission specialists Scott Parazynski, Stephanie Wilson, Doug Wheelock, and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency. The 120 crew showed highlights of their 15-day mission to the International Space Station during which they delivered and installed the Harmony laboratory.

The annual FIRST international student robot design competition is underway. Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester hosted the kickoff, launching the six-week robot "design and build" contest. FIRST stands for inspiration and recognition of science and technology. Some 15-hundred teams comprised of 37,000 high school students worldwide are participating in this year's contest. Forty-one regional competitions will lead to the 2008 FIRST Championship at Atlanta's Georgia Dome in April.

And that's This Week At NASA
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