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NASA TV's This Week @NASA, October 10
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This Week at NASA…

Two historic milestones have been marked at the Kennedy Space Center -- the arrival of the Space Shuttle Program’s final external fuel tank, and the departure of the program’s final solid rocket boosters from the Assembly and Refurbishment Facility.

The external fuel tank for STS-134, the final planned shuttle flight, was removed from the barge that carried it 900 miles over six days at sea from the Michoud Assembly Facility. STS-134 is scheduled for launch next February.

The SRBs arrived by train at Kennedy in late May following tests at the ATK solid rocket booster plant in Promontory Utah. They’re being readied for use by shuttle Atlantis on STS-335, a mission to be launched in the unlikely event an on-orbit rescue of the STS-134 crew is needed.


Pilots: “So, turn straight west and we’ll head back around to the east, with a turn to the north.”

Three U.S. Air Force F-15D Eagle aircraft have been transferred to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center for use in flight research and mission support. The demilitarized high-performance tactical fighters were ferried from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., to Dryden on Sept. 21. One will be dedicated to aeronautical research missions, replacing Dryden's aging F-15B research test bed aircraft. A second F-15D will be used for operational support, while the third will be a source of spare parts for the other two.


Travelers racing for planes at Washington’s Dulles International Airport...

Airport Announcer: “Thank you for your cooperation.”

...should allow extra time to ponder the beauty and majesty of our solar system. A new photographic exhibition, called “BEYOND: Visions of Our Solar System,” is now on display in the airport’s Gateway Gallery. The photos are the work of artist Michael Benson, who has adapted 46 images highlighting recent discoveries by the Hubble Space Telescope, the Cassini spacecraft, and other NASA science missions.

Michael Benson: "For my whole life, I have been fascinated by the story of space exploration and this evolving set of discoveries, series of discoveries. So, to be able to meet people actually involved in planning the missions is very gratifying for me."

Sponsored by NASA, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Benson’s work will remain on display at Dulles’ Gateway Gallery through next March.


Lori Garver: "Please help me welcome Jose Hernandez."

Headquarters celebrated Hispanic American Heritage Month with a special presentation in its James Webb Auditorium. Sponsored by NASA and HOLA, the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement, the event included remarks by Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and featured keynote speaker, Astronaut Jose Hernandez.

Jose Hernandez: "It took me fourteen years to get selected as an astronaut, I applied twelve straight times before I finally got selected, so it was as story of perseverance. As Lori mentioned in 2004, that’s when I got selected, trained for two years --- 2006, and then got assigned in 2008 and last year I realized my first space mission.

Hernandez joined NASA in 2001. Eight years later, this son of Mexican migrant farm workers, flew aboard space shuttle Discovery on STS-128, the 30th mission to the International Space Station.


NASA hosted its first bilingual online chat on Participants in the live event interacted with NASA pilot Herman Posada in English and Spanish.

"So, submit. Yep."

Posada pilots the Ikhana and Global Hawk unmanned aircraft using a joystick and video monitors. NASA uses the aircraft to monitor dangerous conditions, including wildfires and hurricanes. Ikhana, a Predator B plane modified for non-military missions, carries instruments for environmental Earth science studies as well as aircraft research and development.

The Global Hawk has been busy this hurricane season collecting valuable data for scientists from a number of tropical storms.


When she was just six years old, Carolina Gallardo fell in love with the night sky. As a teenager, the young woman from a poor family near Mexico City watched a television show about astronomy and the Hubble Space Telescope that would make the stars her life’s work. Carolina, then thirteen, was so inspired by Ed Weiler, the NASA scientist featured on the program that she initiated a correspondence with him that would encourage her studies for years to come.

Now, at age 30, Carolina Gallardo has finished a summer internship at the Goddard Space Flight Center to complete masters’ programs in aeronautics/astronautics and space technology. A special guest at the Science Mission Directorate’s monthly meeting at Headquarters, Caroline told senior managers how Weiler, now the directorate’s Associate Administrator and others at NASA have impacted her life.

Caroline Gallardo: "Now I graduate with two Masters in aerospace and I can say that thanks to you, thanks to your challenge, to your motivation, I can tell everyone that if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have gone this far. Thank you very much."

And that's This Week at NASA!

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