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This Week at NASA | New Astronauts, Pluto Flyby, more

Uploaded 07/10/2015

New Astronauts, Pluto Flyby, more

NASA has selected four astronauts to work closely with two U.S. commercial companies that will return human spaceflight launches to Florida’s Space Coast. NASA named veteran astronauts and experienced test pilots Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with Boeing and SpaceX. NASA contracted with Boeing and SpaceX to develop crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. The agency will select the commercial crew astronauts from this group of four for the first test, which is scheduled for 2017. Also, NASA’s newest astronauts, New Horizons still on track, Benefits for Humanity, Cargo ship arrives at space station, Training continues for next ISS crew and more.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Commercial crew astronauts

NASA has selected four astronauts to work closely with two U.S. commercial companies that will return human spaceflight launches to Florida’s Space Coast. NASA named veteran astronauts and experienced test pilots Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with Boeing and SpaceX.

NASA contracted with Boeing and SpaceX to develop crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station.

The agency will select the commercial crew astronauts from this group of four for the first test, which is scheduled for 2017.

NASA’s newest astronauts

After two years of intensive training, NASA has eight new astronauts who will help advance scientific knowledge on the space station and help pave the way for America’s new space launch capabilities and journey to Mars.

The new astronauts, which were announced in June 2013, were selected from more than 6,300 applicants – the second largest number NASA has ever received. The group reported to Johnson Space Center in August of that year to begin technical space system training, robotics instruction and specialized hardware and science training around the globe. As of July 7, they had successfully completed their training and will now support mission operations and technical duties while awaiting spaceflight assignments.

New Horizons still on track

After a July 4 anomaly caused NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft to go into “safe mode,” the mission is back to normal operations and is on track for its July 14 flyby of Pluto. Investigators concluded the underlying cause of the incident was a hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence, and that no hardware or software fault resulted from the anomaly. Before that incident, New Horizons transmitted more high-resolution views of Pluto, including a color image showing the four mysterious dark spots on Pluto that have captured the imagination of the world.

Benefits for Humanity

NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman, International Space Station Program Manager Mike Suffredini and SpaceX President Elon Musk were among those in attendance at the fourth annual ISS R&D Conference, July 7-9 in Boston. The event brought together leading minds in scientific research from the commercial and academic communities. NASA also released the print version of a new NASA book at the conference titled, “Benefits for Humanity.” The publication, which also is available online, highlights research aboard the space station and how it helps improve lives on Earth, while advancing NASA’s ambitious human exploration goals.

Cargo ship arrives at space station

The space station’s Expedition 44 crew received a delivery of more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies from an unpiloted Russian Progress cargo ship that successfully docked to the outpost on July 5. The Progress, which had launched from Kazakhstan two days earlier, is scheduled to remain at the station for the next four months.

Training continues for next ISS crew

Meanwhile, NASA’s Kjell Lindgren and the remaining members of the Expedition 44/45 crew continue with pre-flight training activities in Russia, ahead of their upcoming trip to the ISS. The launch to the station of Lindgren, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is targeted for July 22.

Cessna drop test

Technicians at NASA’s Langley Research Center conducted a crash test with a single engine Cessna 172 airplane to test four emergency locator transmitters, or ELTs, installed on board. The research, funded by the NASA Search and Rescue Mission Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, is designed to improve the emergency transmitters’ performance. ELTs are supposed to transmit a distress signal within 50 seconds of an airplane crash. The signal can be picked up by passing aircraft, nearby ground stations or a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

 

(c)2015 NASA | SCVTV
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