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Transcript: This Week at NASA, November 19-25


NASA's Johnson Space Center hosted a space shuttle program status briefing live on NASA-TV. Led by Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale, panelists updated media on the processing of Discovery for the next space shuttle mission, STS-121, as well as, the progress of testing and foam application on the orbiter's external fuel tanks.

WAYNE HALE SOT: “…We are, I think, in good stead to proceed to a launch next year -- again being driven by the results of our technical folks and the output of the investigation and the capability to get our hardware into the safest possible configuration.”


Former NASA Associate Deputy Adminstrator Mike Mott has died, losing his battle with cancer. A former Marine aviator, Mott served the agency as Associate Deputy Administrator from December 1993 to June 1998. In that role, Mott is credited with helping forge the 16-nation partnership that's the foundation of the International Space Station. Mike Mott was 56.


Expedition 12 Commander Bill McArthur and Flight Engineer Valery Tokarev talked about the progress of their mission with WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina. Commander McArthur is a North Carolina native. His hometown is Wakulla, North Carolina.

MACARTHUR SOT: "...Our goal up here is to try to continue to prepare the station for the resumption of assembly, once routine and regular shuttle flights begin again and, at the same time, conduct a series of experiments that are focused on preparing us, in the hopefully not too distant future, to leave lower earth orbit, return to the moon and eventually go to Mars."

Expedition 12 is in the eighth week of a six-month assignment.


The ISS Crew also expressed their thoughts on the meaning of Thanksgiving during a downlink message.

MCARTHUR SOT: "… We want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. May you truly reflect on the blessings that you have and may those blessings multiply."

The pair also displayed foods they'll eat as they celebrate the holiday 220 miles above the earth.

MCARTHUR SOT: " Of course what Thanksgiving Day would be complete without turkey and here's one serving of smoked turkey."


The hottest move ON the planet is OFF it, too! "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" got an out-of-this world viewing by Commander Bill McArthur aboard the International Space Station. With the help of Warner Brothers, this latest in the Potter film series was uplinked to the station as part of NASA's regular assistance to long-duration spaceflight crewmembers.

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