NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending May 2

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending May 2
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This Week At NASA…

NASA engineers have adjusted the flight path of the Phoenix Mars Lander in preparation for a May 25th landing on the Red Planet. Images taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera prompted the Phoenix team to shift the spacecraft’s landing target. Phoenix will now set down eight miles farther to the southeast, away from rockier patches to the northwest. Once landed, Phoenix will dig to an ice-rich layer just beneath the Martian surface to search for evidence on climate cycles and whether microbes might ever have survived there.

NASA Headquarters sponsored "Spinoff Day on the Hill." Speakers and exhibits in Congress’ Rayburn House Office Building highlighted many of the products and technologies derived from NASA research and how they’re used and applied for the benefit of society.

Doug Comstock: "Spinoffs are a byproduct of what we do when we explore space. And when we’re pursuing exploration of other planets and the universe, we’re pushing technologies in ways that they haven’t been pushed before. And in doing so, those new technologies that we create have many other applications for other things here on earth."

Among those in attendance were members of Congress, their staff and visitors to the Capitol.

In a laboratory at the Langley Research Center, two crash test dummies have helped researchers learn more about the human body's ability to withstand sudden impacts. (nat sound) Vertical drop tests of helicopter skid landing gear have led engineers to conclude that crash test computer models developed for cars can also be used for aircraft. A research paper showcasing this work was recently recognized for its contribution to passenger safety by the American Helicopter Society.

Astronaut Dan Tani returned home to suburban Chicago to visit with students at St. Cyril and Methodius School. Tani brought back a school medal he’d taken into space aboard shuttle Discovery last October. Tani served as Expedition16 Flight Engineer on the International Space Station. He returned to Earth on February 20th after 120 days in space. The medal was returned to the 500 students at St. Cyril and Methodius after its round trip of 6,249,000 miles.

One of the latest recipients of the NASA Silver Snoopy Award is Dr. Jitendra Joshi of Headquarters. Dr. Joshi is a technology advisor with the Advanced Capabilities Division of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. He was honored for his work on crew health and productivity during space flight missions.

Jitendra Joshi: "It kind of brought back a lot of memories in terms of what we did in order to make spaceflight more safe in terms developing life support systems, monitoring systems."

Carl Walz: "The work that Jitendra has done is both going to pay dividends for us on the space station, but also pay dividends for Orion as we go to the moon."

Silver Snoopy Awards are given by NASA’s astronaut corps to select individuals who’ve made significant contributions to America’s human space program. Dr. Joshi’s Silver Snoopy pin was flown on STS-115.

(Music "Fly me to the moon...")
Want to be a part of NASA’s next lunar expedition? You’ll soon have the chance to send your name to the moon aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter – the LRO, spacecraft. LRO is the first step in NASA’s plans to return humans to the moon, and your name can reach there first. Just log on at to submit your name and print a certificate as a keepsake. All submitted names will be placed on a microchip that will fly on the LRO spacecraft that will orbit the moon doing essential research.

Victoria Friedensen: "It’s a case where you get to send a little bit of yourself to the moon and its going to be there for a very long time. LRO will be in orbit around the moon for at least five years doing its work. It’s going to be doing pathfinding, work that’s absolutely essential for NASA, in order to identify outposts and send humans back to the moon. So, LRO is that key first step that we’re taking, and we get to ride along with it. And that’s why I think it’s so exciting."

And that's This Week At NASA!
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