NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending July 04

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending July 04
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This Week At NASA…

The GLAST Burst Monitor on NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Telescope is up and running. (applause)

Scientists and engineers at the GLAST Burst Monitor Instruments Operations Center at Marshall watched as the instrument successfully powered up. GLAST launched June 11 into a circular orbit 350 miles above the Earth is in the two-month checkout phase. When it’s fully operation GLAST will be the world’s premier gamma ray sensing scientific instrument capable of providing the widest coverage of gamma rays ever available with a single spacecraft.


Hubble Servicing Crew: "Alpha 4, Okay Alpha 4. 23 decimal 5, going in."

The last time human hands were placed on the Hubble Space Telescope was in 2002, when the STS-109 Crew completed the fourth mission to service the space telescope.

Mission Control: "Good Job."

This fall the crew of STS-125 makes the fifth and final mission to service HST. They’ll take more than 22-thousand pounds of fresh batteries and updated scientific equipment for the telescope on their journey aboard space shuttle Atlantis. To prepare for the mission the crew is undergoing intensive training that includes getting familiar with Hubble’s flight instruments, hardware and the tools they’ll use during the servicing. During the 11-day stay on-orbit the STS-125 crew will perform five spacewalks. Astronomers hope that repairs will keep Hubble operational through at least 2013, allowing it to continue to capture important data and spectacular images.


"A new world record" (applause/cheers) The Speedo LZR racing suit was unveiled in February and since then, 40 of the 44 new world’s records were set by athletes wearing it.

Aerospace engineer Steve Wilkinson at the Langley Research Center tested the suit’s fabric in a wind tunnel. Wilkinson focused on reducing the material’s drag, thereby making it propel more efficiently through the air. That data was used to make the swimsuit fabric go faster through water. The suit will receive its biggest test to date in the coming weeks when swimmers use it on the world stage – at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The 42nd Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s spotlight on NASA – 50 years and Beyond continues to delight and inform visitors to the National Mall about the past accomplishments of the American Space Program and new heights to be reached in the future. Guests also were able to discuss human and robotic space exploration with NASA scientists and engineers.

Brenda Franklin: "We sent Voyagers out to the edge of the solar system; missions to Mercury which is closest to the sun. Every time we go somewhere new we find something unexpected."

Panel discussions and presentations were held on subjects ranging from exploration of Mars to returning to the Moon. Best-selling author and small-town native Homer Hickam told an audience how he realized his dreams of becoming a rocket engineer for NASA.

Homer Hickam: "I thought to myself how can I be a part of what’s happening here, going into space? And, I’d heard about this guy down in Huntsville, Alabama. His name was Dr. Wernher Von Braun and he had told the United States that if the United States wanted to have a satellite in orbit, he could put one into orbit in 90 days. And I thought to myself, that’s it I need to go get a job with Wernher Von Braun."

NASA's exhibits and demonstrations provided inspiration for a least one next generation explorer.

Zhaylen Alavi: "I really like the telescopes because they give all the pictures that we see everyday in the news, and I really like studying about space."

The nation of Bhutan and the state of Texas were also featured at the Festival.


(Flute music up full then under…)

The Fourth of July holds special historical significance for NASA. On this date in 1997, Mars Pathfinder used a parachute and airbag system to safely land on the surface of the Red Planet. (applause/cheers) The lander and its rover, Sojourner, returned more than 17-thousand images and more than 2-point-3 billion bits of data from Pathfinder's landing site on a rocky flood plain in Mars' northern hemisphere. Chemical analyses of rocks and soil suggested that Mars had once been warm and wet with the 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 Fourth of July fireworks when it smashed into the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 at about 23-thousand miles per hour.

JPL TEAM: "Team we’ve got a confirmation." (applause/cheers)

Deep Impact observed the demise of the 820-pound impactor and relayed back to Earth valuable scientific data and spectacular images of this deep space collision.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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