NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending July 11

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

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander used its Robotic Arm to deliver a second soil sample to the spacecraft's wet chemistry laboratory. Test results will be compared to those of the first Martian soil sample analyzed by the wet chemistry lab several weeks ago. The lander has also tested a method for scraping and delivering a sample of icy material into the scoop at the end of the Robotic Arm for analysis by Phoenix's bake-and-sniff instrument, the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer.

NASA's remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft has flown over much of California to help fight more than a thousand forest fires burning in the state. The NASA-developed Autonomous Modular Scanner aboard the aircraft is capturing visible light, infrared and thermal imagery of the wildfires. The images are transmitted through a communications satellite by Ikhana to the Ames Research Center, where they’re integrated into Google Earth maps for subsequent use by firefighters in the field.

Steve Hipskind: "The real leap that we've made here is getting the right data in near real time, getting it to the people, telling them where the fire fronts are, where they’re moving, and you need that information within minutes so that they can make decisions about where to put people on the ground."

Ikhana is a Predator-B aircraft adapted for civilian research and is based at the Dryden Flight Research Center.

Scientists analyzing data from NASA’s MESSENGER space craft say smooth plains on the planet Mercury were formed by volcanoes. The data were gathered by MESSENGER’s flyby of Mercury last January. Data from MESSENGER, which stands for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging spacecraft, also suggests that Mercury’s magnetic field is actively produced in the core of the planet.


Crowd Countdown: "3-2-1," (applause and cheering)

The next total eclipse of the sun is coming August first. It’ll be visible in parts of Canada, northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and China. A partial solar eclipse will be seen within the much broader path of the moon's penumbral shadow. That will cover northeastern North America, most of Europe and Asia.

Madhulika Guhathakurta: "During this moment, when the moon actually occults the visible disc of the sun, we get to take observations very close to the outer edge of the sun; that is the very end of the photosphere."

NASA Television will provide eclipse coverage produced by the University of California at Berkeley and the Exploratorium. It’s part of the annual Sun-Earth Day celebrating the sun’s interaction with our planet and others in the solar system.


Mission Control: "2- engine sequence start – 1- 0 - Launch commit. We have a liftoff"

Thirty-three years ago this week, international human spaceflight got off the ground.

The Apollo Soyuz Test Project was the first of many joint space missions between the United States and the former Soviet Union. A crew of three NASA astronauts headed by Apollo commander Tom Stafford rendezvoused and docked in Earth orbit with a Soyuz spacecraft carrying two cosmonauts.

(nat of hatch opening, cheering)

Their historic handshake was televised live to the world. The crews received congratulations from President Gerald Ford and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The Apollo Soyuz Test Project opened a new era of international cooperation in space that flourishes today aboard the International Space Station.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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