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Transcript: This Week at NASA, January 21 - 27
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...This Week At NASA


On January 24, “Opportunity,” the second of NASA’s two Exploration Rovers completed two years of investigating Mars. Its twin, “Spirit,” achieved that milestone on January 3. The Rovers, launched in the summer of 2003, show minimal signs of aging. They play an important role in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration, as each is a robotic field geologist equipped to learn what conditions were like when Martian rocks and soil were formed. They have already helped NASA learn more about the ancient water and climate of Mars.


In other anniversary news…

31 years ago this week, NASA launched Apollo 5, the first unmanned Lunar Module flight. It’s mission – to verify the operation of the LM (lem) ascent and descent propulsion systems, evaluate Lunar Module staging and appraise the Saturn 4B-IVB instrument unit performance. Apollo V was tested on January 22, 1968, paving the way for man’s first Lunar Landing.

And seventeen years later, on the same day, January 22, 1975 – Landsat 2 was launched. The first Landsat missions were also known as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite or (ERTS) series. Images received from Landsat satellites are a unique resource for global change research with practical application in a variety of areas including: agriculture, geology and forestry.

HOMAGE TO IMAGE - HQ NASA's Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration or (IMAGE) satellite recently ceased operations, bringing to a close a successful six-year mission investigating Earth’s external magnetic field. Scientists say the data amassed from IMAGE promises to yield new discoveries and will support investigations by other spacecraft and ground-based observatories for years to come. IMAGE stopped responding to commands from ground controllers in December 2005 but continues in an elliptical earth orbit and poses no threat to the planet.


As part of a newly-established partnership between NASA Langley Flight Research Center and Virginia Beach City Schools, students from the Math and Science Academy at Ocean Lakes High School participated in a composite wing design and test course. Engineers & Technicians from Langley’s Model Shop, supported the students in their efforts, giving them tips on how to build strong, yet lightweight, composite wings. Weeks later, the students were asked to test their wings to the breaking point. The goal -- to have a wing strong enough to withstand the highest pressure before actually breaking. Mentors from the 'Model Shop' were on hand for the event, which took place at Langley field.


Mars Rovers “Spirit & Opportunity” were on the red carpet this week. The famous robot pioneers are starring in a world premiere documentary produced by Disney Pictures entitled “Roving Mars.” The film chronicles their work as they traverse the Red Planet, exploring its surface and divining its mysteries. Presented as a public service by Lockheed Martin, “Roving Mars” was produced by Academy Award nominee, Frank Marshall, of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” fame. It is showing exclusively at IMAX Theatres.

Film Announcer SOT: "... See the whole new world that awaits."


As the Vision for Exploration pushes us deeper into space, our technologies will continue to make an impact and improve life here on Earth. NASA holds more than 6, 300 patents, thousands of which impact our daily lives. These spinoffs are consumer products and services based on NASA-inspired technologies.

Plastics and Graphite used in Sports and Safety Equipment Technologies for Heart Pumps & Artificial Limbs Flat Screen & Projection TV's FDA/USDA Food Safety Systems Work surface light bulbs And Satelllite transmissions

It would seem the seeds of space exploration bloom everywhere you look!

And that's this week at NASA.

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