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Transcript: This Week at NASA, November 12 - 18

SOYUZ ON THE MOVE – JSC Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev relocated their Soyuz TMA-7 capsule from the Pirs Docking Compartment to the Earth-facing docking port of the Zarya module at the International Space Station. The maneuver took 19 minutes and frees up Pirs to be used as an airlock for an upcoming spacewalk. The ISS was briefly left unoccupied while the pair carried out the Soyuz repositioning.


Student SOT: “…Hi, My question is for Bill. Solar power is a major source of energy on the International Space Station. What is the next form of energy you hope to harness in space?

Students at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax County, Virginia got an opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with the crew from the International Space Station during an in-flight education event. The live program was held in recognition of International Education Week. The Expedition 12 Crew fielded questions on everything from distinctions between spacesuits, to solar vs. nuclear power for space travel, to health care on the station.

STUDENT SOT: "… If a crew member becomes seriously ill what kind of options do you have to deal with that issue?

BILL MCARTHUR SOT: “I have a very good friend here and we’ve both had medical training and so we do have some capability to deal with admittedly, relatively, minor things. The doctors work very hard to insure that we are in good health, good physical condition before we launch. “

Also, on hand for the event was US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, Astronaut Carl Waltz and NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale.

SHANA DALE SOT: “It seems appropriate that as we celebrate International Education week we are linking up with the International Space Station. The station celebrated its 5th year of international occupancy earlier this month. That means that for the past five years there has been continuous human presence in lower earth orbit. To date 89 scientific investigations have been conducted on the space station and more breakthroughs are yet to come.”

Thomas Jefferson is dedicated to excellence in science, mathematics, and technology education. International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of Education and State.


MCCARTNEY SOT: “…We are going to go now to the International Space Station. There they are!” (big applause)

The Expedition 12 crew, aboard the ISS received a special treat – a live wake up call from music legend and former Beatle, Paul McCartney.


While on his US tour, McCartney serenaded the crew with two numbers: “English Tea" and "Good Day Sunshine.” The event was broadcast live from Anaheim, California on NASA TV and was the first ever concert uplink to the International Space Station.


Award-winning author Chris Van Allsburg joined NASA scientist Jennifer Keyes as the celebrity guest on NASA's Digital Learning Network series. Students and teachers from Alaska to Florida, participated in videoconferences at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. During the conferences, the author talked about weaving art, fantasy and science into stories.

ALLSBURG SOT: “…You can actually bring a kids interest in art and fantasy and insert into that a genuine scientific knowledge and that those can be the component of a story.”

Allsburg is the author of 15 books including: Jumanji, The Polar Express and Zathura, which have all been turned into popular movies. Under the auspices of a Space Act Agreement, NASA, Columbia Pictures and the Houghton Mifflin Company, which publishes all of Allsburg’s books, are partnering to create resources for educators that spark student imagination, encourage interest in space exploration and enhance the elementary science curriculum.

AND 12 MAKES 36 - HQ

LAUNCH ANNOUNCER SOT: "2-1-0 -- all engines running, commence lift off."

On November 14th 1969, NASA sent its second human mission to the moon. Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Alan Bean crewed this 10-day return to the lunar surface. Conrad and Bean walked on the moon on November 19th. The moonwalkers also retrieved parts left behind in 1967, by the Surveyor spacecraft, in order to examine the effects of long-term exposure to the lunar environment.

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