NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending July 18

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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending July 18
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This Week At NASA…

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the Ames Research Center to learn how NASA is using Ikhana – a remotely-piloted aircraft to help firefighters in the Golden State battle hundreds of forest fires. Ikhana has flown over much of California, gathering data that firefighters use to pinpoint the location of wildfires.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: "So, it is great to be here today at the NASA Ames Research Center to see one of the most exciting new weapons in our firefighting arsenal."

During his tour the governor piloted a flight simulator used to display visible light and fire imagery and was shown a demonstration of the hyperwall-2, a high-resolution visualization system displaying images from the wildfires. The aircraft used a sophisticated Autonomous Modular Scanner developed at Ames during flights originated from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center. Ikhana's onboard sensor can detect temperature differences from less than one-half degree to approximately 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The scanner operates like a digital camera with specialized filters to detect light energy at visible, infrared and thermal wavelengths.

The STS-124 crew visited NASA Headquarters to share highlights from its recent mission with employees and their families.

During their 14-day trip, STS-124 crew members delivered two new sections of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory to the International Space Station, performed three spacewalks and installed the Japanese Pressurized Module and Kibo’s robotic arm system. They also delivered the next space station resident, Greg Chamitoff, to his home away from home for the next six few months. Returning with them aboard space shuttle Discovery was outgoing ISS resident Garrett Reisman, who’d spent three months aboard the complex.

Garrett Reisman: "I expected it to be kind of tough coming back. Normally readjusting to Earth’s gravity takes a little time, both to get your balance down, and everything feels really heavy, and I had all those sensations for about the first 24 hours, but it went away pretty quickly and I'm really happy about that."

The next generation of airliners and cargo planes may look something like this. They're the winning drawings from an annual competition for college students sponsored by NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Program. Fourteen teams and two individual students from colleges and universities around the world participated by providing their visions of what a future subsonic transport aircraft might look like. Taking graduate team honors was Georgia Tech; the undergraduate winner was Virginia Tech.

The Mercury capsule Alan Shepard rode into space in 1961 has made its way to the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas. Freedom 7, along with a Russian Vostock capsule, is part of a new exhibit, 'To The Moon, ' scheduled to open August 27th, what would have been President Lyndon Johnson’s 100th birthday. Also on display will be the actual Mission Control Console used at the Johnson Space Center during the Apollo program.

This week, NASA remembers three landmark moments in the agency's 50 year history. On July 22, 1999, on STS-93, astronaut Eileen Collins became the first woman to command a space shuttle. Collins had already made history in 1995 when she was the first woman to pilot a shuttle.

Launch announce: "2-1 and lift-off of Space Shuttle Discovery beginning America’s new journey to the Moon, Mars and beyond."

Six years later, on July 26, 2005, with Collins again as commander, NASA returned to flight with STS-114. The launch of Space Shuttle Discovery came two-and-a-half years after the Columbia accident. STS -114 executed precise on-orbit maneuvers and tested new equipment and procedures, including the first-ever on-orbit repair of a shuttle’s heat shield. Neil Armstrong SOT: "40 feet down, two-and-a-half, picking up some dust."

And, of course, 39 years ago, on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11's lunar module landed on the moon.

Neil Armstrong: "Tranquility base here the. The Eagle has landed."

Six hours later, Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on another heavenly body.

Neil Armstrong: "It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent 21 hours on the lunar surface before lifting off to reunite with Michael Collins orbiting in the Command Module "Columbia." The Apollo 11 crew safely returned to Earth on July 24, 1969.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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