This Week @ NASA

Latest Edition of “This Week @ NASA”
Upcoming Activities and NASA TV Coverage

Monday, October 27
  • “Destination Station: ISS Technology Forum.” The Destination Station forums are a series of live, interactive panel discussions about the space station. This is the second in the series, and it will feature a discussion on how technologies are tested aboard the orbiting laboratory. Thousands of investigations have been performed on the space station, and although they provide benefits to people on Earth, they also prepare NASA to send humans farther into the solar system than ever before. The forum will be broadcast live on NASA TV. Forum panelists and exhibits will focus on space station environmental and life support systems; 3-D printing; Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) systems; and Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES). LINK
  • Launch of the Third Orbital Sciences Cargo Resupply Mission to the Space Station. Following an inspection of the tracking station in Bermuda used for Antares launches after Hurricane Gonzalo, Orbital and NASA together have established October 27 as the launch date for the upcoming Orb-3 Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS).  The mission will originate from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia.  Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch at 6:45 p.m. EDTfrom the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Launch Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Launch coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. Cygnus will transport almost 5,000 pounds of supplies, including science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and experiment hardware. It will arrive at the station Sunday, Nov. 2. LINK
  • 10 a.m. - Live coverage of Destination Station: ISS Technology Forum (all channels)
  • 4 p.m. - Replay of Orbital CRS-3 Prelaunch News Conference and Orbital CRS-3 Mission Science Cargo Overview Briefing (all channels)
  • 5:15 p.m. - Video B-Roll of Orbital Sciences/Cygnus CRS-3 Processing (all channels)
  • 5:45 p.m. - Coverage of the Launch of Orbital Sciences’ Antares Rocket and the Cygnus Cargo Ship to the ISS (all channels)
  • 8:15 p.m. - Orbital Sciences/Cygnus CRS-3 Post-Launch News Conference – WFF (all channels)
Tuesday, October 28
  • Administrator Bolden Visits NASA’s Payload Operations Integration Center at the Marshall Space Flight Center. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will get a behind-the-scenes look at the science command post for the International Space Station when he visits NASA’s Payload Operations Integration Center at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Oct. 28. Bolden will call space station Expedition 41 Flight Engineer Barry E. “Butch” Wilmore, who currently is living and working on the orbiting laboratory, at 11:30 a.m. from the control center. The phone call will be carried live on NASA Television. The Marshall Payload Operations Integration Center allows researchers around the world to perform cutting-edge science in space by providing communications between investigators and the astronauts in orbit. Bolden also will chat with the expert payload operations team, which has helped conduct more than 1,500 science investigations and student experiments from 82 countries. LINK
  • Administrator Bolden Remarks at Wernher von Braun Symposium. The 7th Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium will be held October 27-29, 2014in Huntsville, Alabama. Administrator Bolden will be the luncheon speaker on October 28. LINK
  • 11:30 a.m. - Administrator Bolden calls space station Expedition 41 Flight Engineer Barry E. “Butch” Wilmore
  • 12:25 p.m. - ISS Expedition 41 In-Flight interviews for NASA Flight Engineer Barry Wilmore with Nashville, TN Public Radio and WCYB-TV, Tri-Cities TV (all channels)
Wednesday, October 29
  • 8:30 a.m. – Coverage of the Docking of the ISS Progress 57 Cargo Ship to the ISS (all channels)
  • 12:20 p.m. - ISS Expedition 41 In-Flight Interviews with Nashville Public Radio and WCBY-TV, Tri-Cities TV for Tennessee and Virginia with NASA Flight Engineer Barry Wilmore (all channels)
Thursday, October 30
  • 8:05 a.m. - ISS Expedition 41 In-Flight Event for ESA with German Media and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst (with English translation) (NTV-1 (Public), NTV-2 (Education))
Friday, October 31
  • 10 a.m. - Video File of the ISS Expedition 42/43 Qualification Training Simulation Runs at Star City, Russia (all channels)
News Highlights
On Sunday, the Huntsville Times published an op-ed from Administrator Bolden. Bolden highlighted the role Huntsville is playing in NASA’s journey to Mars.
There were 300 articles about the commercial cargo launches to and departures from the International Space Station, including the SpaceX departure on October 25 and the Orbital launch on October 27. Several of the stories noted that many people on the East Coast will likely be able to see the Orbital launch. CNNCBS NewsAFP, and NBC Newscovered the activities.
There were more than 100 articles about the first information and pictures gathered by NASA science assets when Comet Siding Spring flew by Mars on October 19. Coverage included pieces from the Los Angeles Times and UPI.
Several outlets covered NASA’s new Soundcloud page, where the agency has collected sounds from its history. BBCVox, and CNET all covered the story.
Press Releases & Web Features October 20-27
International Space Station
NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly Shares Bullying Prevention Message Ahead of His One-Year Mission (October 24)
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who is scheduled to fly on a one-year spaceflight mission in 2015, is lending his voice to help reduce childhood bullying. As part of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Kelly recorded a special message encouraging bystanders to take action. “Be more than just a bystander,” said Kelly in the message. “Take action and do something to stop bullying…Teamwork makes the dream work at NASA. There is no space for bullying.”LINK
Cosmonauts Complete Third October Spacewalk (October 22)
Russian spacewalkers Max Suraev and Alexander Samokutyaev closed the Pirs docking compartment hatch at 1:06 p.m. EDT ending the third spacewalk for Expedition 41. The cosmonauts were outside the International Space Station for three hours and 38 minutes. Two U.S. spacewalks took place Oct. 7 and 15.LINK
NASA Marshall, North Alabama Companies Play Big Part in Orion’s First Flight (October 24)
On Dec. 4, the Orion spacecraft will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket for a trip that will take it 3,600 miles above Earth’s surface — a historic journey that also will take with it the hearts and hard work of people right here in the Tennessee Valley. During Orion’s uncrewed test flight, several key systems will be tested: abort systems integration; computer and guidance systems designed to sustain a crew during space travel; and the heat shield and other critical landing systems that provide safe return to Earth. Flight data will influence future design decisions, validate existing computer models and innovative new approaches to space systems development, as well as reduce overall mission risks and costs. Teams at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, have provided critical support ahead of Orion’s first flight. LINK
NASA Seeks Ultra-lightweight Materials to Help Enable Journey to Mars (October 24)
NASA is seeking proposals to develop and manufacture ultra-lightweight materials for aerospace vehicles and structures of the future. Proposals will demonstrate lower-mass alternatives to honeycomb or foam cores currently used in composite sandwich structures. Composite sandwich structures are a special type of material made by attaching two thin skins to a lightweight core. This type of composite is used extensively within the aerospace industry and in other applications where reducing weight while maintaining structural strength is important. A common use for these sorts of composites is the shrouds for launch vehicles and other key technology components that will enable our journey to Mars. LINK
Close Encounters: Comet Siding Spring Seen Next to Mars (October 23)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has produced a unique composite image of comet Siding Spring as it made its never-before-seen close passage of a comet by Mars. Siding Spring, officially designated Comet C/2013 A1, made its closest approach to Mars at 2:28 p.m. EDT on Oct. 19, at a distance of approximately 87,000 miles. That is about one-third of the distance between Earth and the moon. At that time, the comet and Mars were about 149 million miles from Earth. The comet image is a composite of Hubble exposures taken between Oct. 18, 8:06 a.m. to Oct. 19, 11:17 p.m. Hubble took a separate image of Mars at 10:37 p.m. on Oct. 18. LINK
Space Launch System Booster Separation Testing Brings Confidence to First Flight (October 22)
3, 2, 1 liftoff! It’s a familiar phrase heard just before a rocket launches at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Throughout history, millions have traveled from across the world to see the fiery plumes created by a rocket’s large boosters, which have launched astronauts and other payloads into space time and time again. NASA will once again shape history when it launches the Space Launch System (SLS). LINK
Solar System and Beyond
One Giant Sunspot, 6 Substantial Flares (October 26)
A giant active region on the sun erupted on Oct. 26, 2014, with its sixth substantial flare since Oct. 19. This flare was classified as an X2-class flare and it peaked at 6:56 a.m. EDT. This is the third X-class flare in 48 hours, erupting from the largest active region seen on the sun in 24 years.
NASA Identifies Ice Cloud Above Cruising Altitude on Titan (October 24)

NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn’s moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth’s poles. This lofty cloud, imaged by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, was part of the winter cap of condensation over Titan’s north pole. Now, eight years after spotting this mysterious bit of atmospheric fluff, researchers have determined that it contains methane ice, which produces a much denser cloud than the ethane ice previously identified there. LINK
Galactic Wheel of Life Shines in Infrared (October 22)

It might look like a spoked wheel or even a “Chakram” weapon wielded by warriors like “Xena,” from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 1291. Though the galaxy is quite old, roughly 12 billion years, it is marked by an unusual ring where newborn stars are igniting. LINK
NASA Webb’s Heart Survives Deep Freeze Test (October 21)
After 116 days of being subjected to extremely frigid temperatures like that in space, the heart of the James Webb Space Telescope, the Integrated Science Instrument Module (ISIM) and its sensitive instruments, emerged unscathed from the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Teams of engineers and technicians have been on heart-monitoring duty around the clock since this complicated assembly was lowered into the chamber for its summer-long test.  LINK