NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending October 10

NASA TV's This Week @NASA, Week Ending October 10
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This Week At NASA…

An important flight test article of the Orion crew module has been completed at the Langley Research Center. Engineers and technicians there designed and fabricated the structure, which represents the size, outer shape and specific mass characteristics of the Orion crew module. It'll be used in the Constellation Program's first full-scale flight test of Orion's launch abort system scheduled for next spring. To prepare for the flight test, ground crews will practice lifting and stacking this crew module on the launch pad.

A mission to enlighten scientists about the farthest reaches of the solar system is slated to begin soon. On October 19, NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX spacecraft, will be launched on its two-year quest to capture images and map dynamic interactions in the interstellar boundary. That’s where the hot solar winds meet the cold expanse of space. Scientists say IBEX will provide a better understanding of how this region helps shield the Earth from galactic cosmic rays that would otherwise make human spaceflight more dangerous.

Ninth grader Melissa Rey of Chesterfield, Missouri is “America’s Top Young Scientist” for 2008. Rey competed against nine other middle school students in the 10th Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge held this year at the Goddard Space Flight Center. Students were required to complete a series of interactive challenges focused on the theme, "The Science of Space."

Student: "Fire in the hole."

Contestants were judged on their science process and communication skills. Along with the title, Rey received $50,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds. The runners-up were each awarded a thousand-dollar savings bond and science experience prizes that include a trip to view a space shuttle launch at the Kennedy Space Center.

Itching to get into space? If you can’t make it, your name can. NASA's Glory satellite will carry a microchip filled with names from the public on its upcoming mission to orbit the Earth. Glory will measure tiny airborne particles in our atmosphere and their potential for affecting climate change. The "Send Your Name Around the Earth" web site offers everyone the opportunity to become part of this important scientific voyage. To send your name into space, visit:

Submission deadline is Nov. 1. The Glory spacecraft is scheduled to launch next June from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

NASA 50TH ANNIVERSARY: APOLLO 7 October 11, 1968
Forty years ago in NASA history, a Saturn 1B rocket launched Commander Wally Schirra -- one of NASA's original Mercury astronauts -- and crewmates Donn Eisele and Walt Cunningham into Earth orbit on Apollo 7, the first of the manned Apollo missions. For nearly 11 days, NASA's first three-astronaut crew put the Apollo Command Module through its paces, paving the way for the lunar missions to follow. Apollo 7 also broadcast the first live television from an American spacecraft. "The Wally, Walt and Donn Show" went on to earn an Emmy.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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