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Transcript: This Week at NASA, November 26 - December 2

The newly-restructured NASA Advisory Council met on Capitol Hill in a two-day session, with Administrator Mike Griffin offering his welcoming remarks.

Griffin SOT: "…I think that this panel today represents a group of such people who can work with us across several major areas to provide the kind of outside steering, outside critique that we need and I'm looking forward to that."

Former Senator and Apollo astronaut Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt is the NAC's new chairman. The group, comprised of 24 subject matter experts in exploration, science, aeronautics, human capital and audit and finance. was restructured to meet agency needs as NASA implements the Vision for Space Exploration. Among the NAC's new members: Apollo 11 Commander, Neil Armstrong.


DALE SOT: "…I am tremendously excited to be working with the talented and dedicated people of NASA."

Shana Dale is NASA's new deputy administrator. Her swearing-in ceremony was held at NASA headquarters. Dale, who most recently served as deputy director for homeland and national security for the Office of Science &Technology Policy (OSTP), was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be NASA's 11th deputy administrator.

DALE SOT: "…As I said at my confirmation hearing, this is a place where significant scientific and technological breakthroughs are everyday occurrences and I am honored to be a part of this team."

GRIFFIN SOT: "…Shana has, in fact, hit the ground running and, in fact, hit the ground sprinting not just running."

Mars' ionosphere, part of the planet's upper atmosphere, is very lumpy and complex. That finding by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding, an instrument on the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter. The first radar instrument to look below the surface of Mars, its data have also revealed hidden craters and thick layers of ice beneath the planet's surface. The radar instrument is jointly funded by NASA and the Italian Space Agency.

As technologies get smaller, so can spacecraft -- as evidenced by NASA's Space Technology 5 Project's three micro-satellites. The size of a conventional 13 inch TV, each of the three will travel into Earth's magnetosphere this February to test and validate new technologies for future science missions. The micro-satellites will demonstrate the benefits of small, low-cost, spacecraft taking measurements in different locations at the same time.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory celebrates ten years of studying our sun. SOHO has delivered the first detailed visual recording of one entire solar cycle. NASA and its partner, the European Space Agency, can claim stunning achievements in imaging the interior of the sun, improving space weather forecasting and studying the solar wind and sunspots.

Musician Paul McCartney, whose "US" tour included a tribute to Discovery's mission, a live linkup with the International Space Station crew and an appearance on stage in Houston by the Discovery astronauts, recently discussed with NASA TV how he and the agency got hooked up:

McCartney SOT: "...We were in England at the time that the Discovery Crew reentered and came back and it was a news story and tagged on to the news story there was the fact that NASA had played "Good Day Sunshine" to wake them up and I think they played it on the news story. I didn't actually see the news story but a friend of mine, my assistant, said 'wow it's great and they played Good Day Sunshine,' so we were buzzin' on that. And, so we thought we're going to do that in the show, what we should do is try and get some film, so we'll try and get in touch with NASA and see if they've got any film we can use on our big screens behind us to make a bit more of a show about it. That actually, the film, was my wife's idea. She said, " that would be great, I’m sure they've got some stuff." So we did that. So, the combination of friends put this idea together."

Narrator: "And that's This Week At Nasa."

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