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This Week a NASA | Spacewalk to Fix Space Station Parts; Mars Comet Flyby; more

Uploaded 10/10/2014

Spacewalk to Fix Space Station Parts; Mars Comet Flyby; more

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 41 Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency donned U.S. spacesuits for an October 7 spacewalk to relocate a failed cooling pump and to install a backup power cable device for the station’s rail car system. The failed pump was replaced with a spare and is being temporarily stowed near the Quest airlock and the back-up power cables are for the unlikely event that the Mobile Transporter rail car on the station’s truss loses power. Also, A comet’s Mars flyby, Brightest pulsar! Total Lunar Eclipse and LADEE wins Popular Mechanics award.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

U.S. spacewalk on ISS

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 41 Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency donned U.S. spacesuits for an October 7 spacewalk to relocate a failed cooling pump and to install a backup power cable device for the station’s rail car system. The failed pump was replaced with a spare and is being temporarily stowed near the Quest airlock and the back-up power cables are for the unlikely event that the Mobile Transporter rail car on the station’s truss loses power.

Comet’s Mars flyby

A news briefing at NASA headquarters on October 9 outlined the space and Earth-based assets that will have an opportunity to study a comet’s close flyby of Mars later this month. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Kepler spacecraft and others will be watching on October 19, when Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring zips by the Red Planet – only 88,000 miles away from it. That’s less than half the distance between us and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth. Observations of the comet could yield fresh clues about our solar system’s earliest days.

Brightest pulsar!

Astronomers, using NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR have found a pulsating, dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. The pulsar – a dense stellar remnant left over from a supernova explosion – is the brightest ever recorded. The discovery is helping astronomers better understand mysterious sources of blinding X-rays, called ultraluminous X-ray sources, which, until now, were thought to be black holes.

Total Lunar Eclipse

The year’s second total lunar eclipse, in the early morning hours on October 8, was visible in the Pacific Ocean and bordering regions. A lunar eclipse happens when Earth blocks sunlight that would normally reflect off the moon. This total lunar eclipse produced what’s known as a “blood moon” because of its reddish color. The last eclipse of 2014 – a partial solar eclipse on October 23 – will be widely visible from Canada and the U.S.

LADEE wins Popular Mechanics award

NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, mission won Popular Mechanics’ 2014 Breakthrough Award. The award, which recognizes innovation in science and technology, was given for the spacecraft’s modular, general purpose design – which could drastically reduce the cost of spacecraft development, much like assembly line production did for automobiles. NASA’s Ames Research Center designed and built LADEE, which orbited the moon for 100 days to study the dust environment of the lunar atmosphere.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

(c)2014 NASA | SCVTV
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