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This Week at NASA | Moon of Saturn Has Underground Ocean; more

Uploaded 09/18/2015

Moon of Saturn Has Underground Ocean; more

Sept. 15 marked the halfway point in the yearlong mission on the International Space Station with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. An event the day before at the National Press Club in Washington included a discussion about the biomedical research conducted on the station, to help formulate future human missions to Mars. Kelly participated from the space station. His identical twin, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, and NASA astronaut Terry Virts, who served as commander of Expedition 43, participated from the press club. Also, I spy the space station: Live!, Expedition 43 post-flight visit, Key milestone for Orion spacecraft, Global ocean on Enceladus, Connecting space to village and more.

TRANSCRIPT

Halfway point of the one-year mission

Sept. 15 marked the halfway point in the yearlong mission on the International Space Station with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. An event the day before at the National Press Club in Washington included a discussion about the biomedical research conducted on the station, to help formulate future human missions to Mars. Kelly participated from the space station. His identical twin, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, and NASA astronaut Terry Virts, who served as commander of Expedition 43, participated from the press club.

I spy the space station: Live!

And as part of the activities celebrating the halfway point of the One-Year mission, NASA teamed with the community observatory organization, Slooh on Sept. 16 to broadcast live views of the space station on NASA TV and the agency’s website as the station passed over Slooh’s network of ground-based telescopes. The broadcast featured NASA experts discussing work on the space station and the future of space exploration.

Expedition 43 post-flight visit

Astronaut Terry Virts also made appearances in Baltimore during his Washington-area visit. At Fort McHenry, he presented officials with a flag flown in space during his mission. They gave Virts a flag flown over the fort, on the recent anniversary of the 1814 battle that inspired the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. Later that evening, Virts returned a baseball jersey flown in space to the Baltimore Orioles during a pre-game ceremony at Camden Yards.

Key milestone for Orion spacecraft

NASA has completed a rigorous technical and programmatic review for the Orion spacecraft, confirming continued support of the program and establishing the agency’s commitment to the program’s technical, cost, and schedule baseline. This is the first time NASA has reached this level of progress for a spacecraft designed to take humans into deep space beyond the moon, including to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and on the journey to Mars.

Global ocean on Enceladus

New research, using data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has determined a global ocean lies beneath the icy crust of Saturn’s geologically active moon Enceladus. According to researchers, the magnitude of the moon’s very slight wobble, as it orbits Saturn, can only be accounted for by the presence of a global ocean.

Connecting space to village

On Sept. 17, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden joined Terry Virts and Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA, for a town hall hosted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) at the Reagan Building, in Washington to discuss the SERVIR partnership. The joint venture between the agencies provides state-of-the-art, satellite-based imagery and data of Earth to help improve environmental decision-making in developing countries. The ISERV camera onboard the International Space Station, provides some of this data.

Annual Arctic sea ice measurements

According to a NASA analysis of satellite data, the 2015 Arctic sea ice minimum extent is the fourth lowest on record since observations from space began. Arctic sea ice cover helps regulate the planet’s temperature by reflecting solar energy back to space. The sea ice cap’s minimum summertime extent has been decreasing since the late 1970s.

Connecting business with HBCUs

On Sept. 16, Administrator Bolden and NASA Associate Administrator for Small Business, Glen Delgado visited Alabama A&M University to hear success stories about a mentor program sponsored by NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne. That visit and an annual event at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama are part of a NASA initiative to help connect the agency’s prime contractors with colleges and universities that serve minority students.

Science fact in the spotlight

Some NASA employees, who served as technical consultants for the new movie, “The Martian” attended the Sept. 11 premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, to discuss the movie’s realistic portrayal of the challenges NASA faces in getting humans to Mars in the 2030s.

A few days later at Johnson Space Center, some of the film’s cast members saw NASA at work during a tour that included a stop at the International Space Station’s mission control and a call to the station.

Then on Sept. 17 at NASA Headquarters, Administrator Bolden led an agency-wide discussion about the film’s use of real NASA science and exploration of Mars. NASA is already working on many of the technologies depicted in the movie required for a human mission to Mars.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

(c)2015 NASA | SCVTV
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