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Uploaded 11/18/2016

Expedition 50/51 Launches to Space Station

The Expedition 50/51 crew, including NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Nov. 17 eastern time, to begin a two-day flight to the International Space Station. Whitson, Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) are scheduled to join Expedition 50 commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, who all have been aboard the orbiting laboratory since October. Whitson will assume command of the station in February – making her the first woman to command the space station twice. Whitson and her Expedition 50 crewmates are scheduled to return to Earth next spring. Also, the Supermoon shines bright, Newman participates in Operation IceBridge, and the advanced weather satellite mission is previewed.

TRANSCRIPT

Expedition 50/51 Launches to Space Station

The Expedition 50/51 crew, including NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Nov. 17 eastern time, to begin a two-day flight to the International Space Station. Whitson, Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) are scheduled to join Expedition 50 commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, who all have been aboard the orbiting laboratory since October. Whitson will assume command of the station in February – making her the first woman to command the space station twice. Whitson and her Expedition 50 crewmates are scheduled to return to Earth next spring.

Supermoon Shines Bright

On Nov. 14, several days before the launch of Expedition 50, there was something other than a rocket taking center stage in the skies above the Baikonur Cosmodrome – and other places around the world. The closest supermoon to Earth since 1948, rose majestically in Kazakhstan, above the Soyuz spacecraft as it sat, poised for liftoff, on the launch pad. A supermoon, which can appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter, occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest, or at perigee, to Earth. This was the only supermoon this year to be completely full. The next time a supermoon comes this close to Earth won’t be until 2034.

Newman Participates in Operation IceBridge

NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman was in Punta Arenas, Chile, to participate in airborne science flights, scheduled Nov. 17-19 over Antarctica, as part of NASA’s Operation IceBridge. IceBridge, a six-year NASA mission, is the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice ever flown. It will yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice to better understand connections between polar regions and the rapidly changing features of our global climate system. IceBridge studies annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets. IceBridge flights are conducted in March through May over Greenland and October through November over Antarctica.

Advanced Weather Satellite Mission Previewed

On Nov. 17-18, officials from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), participated in several media events at Kennedy Space Center, in Florida to preview the launch and mission of GOES-R, the first spacecraft in a new series of NASA-built advanced geostationary weather satellites for NOAA. GOES-R is set to launch into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Nov. 19, from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Once in orbit, GOES-R will be known as GOES-16 and provide images of weather patterns and severe storms as regularly as every five minutes or as frequently as every 30 seconds. These images can be used to aid in weather forecasts, severe weather outlooks, watches and warnings, lightning conditions, maritime forecasts, and aviation forecasts. It also will assist in longer term forecasting, such as in seasonal predictions and drought outlooks.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

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