This Week @ NASA

Latest Edition of “This Week @ NASA”  January 9, 2017

Stories in this program include:

  • This Week @ NASA – Jan 6 (link)
  • Upcoming Activities and NASA TV coverage (all times ET unless otherwise indicated)
  • News Highlights
  • Press releases and web features from the previous week
  • NASA Live (link)

Upcoming Activities and NASA TV Live Coverage (link)

Monday, Jan 9

Activities

Tuesday, Jan 10

Activities

NASA TV

·            9 a.m. ISS Expedition 50 In-Flight Educational Event with the Lovett School in Atlanta and ISS Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA (all channels)

Wednesday, Jan 11

Activities

NASA TV

·            9:30 a.m. ISS Expedition 50 In-Flight Event with Europe 1 and M6 for the European Space Agency with Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (Starts at 9:45 a.m.) (All channels)

Annual Events

Thursday, Jan 12

Activities

Annual Events

  • Anniversary: 26th anniversary of the first exoplanet around a pulsar

Friday, Jan 13

Activities

NASA TV

·            5:30 a.m. Coverage of ISS Expedition 50 U.S. EVA # 39 (Kimbrough and Pesquet; spacewalk scheduled to begin at 7:05 a.m. ET; will last appx. 6 ½ hours) (all channels)

News

  • Solar System and Beyond: NASA has selected two Discovery Program missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system – a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed to mission formulation. The Washington Post, CNBC, Mashable and the Wall Street Journal reported on this story. NASA also has selected the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission, a science mission that will allow astronomers to explore, for the first time, the hidden details of some of the most extreme and exotic astronomical objects, such as stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars. ABC News has reported on this story.
  • Mars, Space Technology: Starting with a proposed concept called “Mars Ice Dome,” a group of NASA experts and designers and architects from industry and academia came together at Langley’s Engineering Design Studio to design a concept for The Ice Home, an inflatable structure that makes use of locally derived water to shield inhabitants against cosmic rays. The project was competitively selected through the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s (STMD) Center Innovation. This is just one of many potential concepts for sustainable habitation on the Red Planet in support of the agency’s journey to Mars. New Atlas reported on this story.
  • International Space Station: Expedition 50 astronauts are venturing outside the International Space Station at 7 a.m. EST Jan. 6 and 13 to perform a complex upgrade to the orbital outpost’s power system, to install adapter plates and hook up electrical connections for six new lithium-ion batteries delivered to the station in December. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA successfully performed the first spacewalk Jan. 6. The second spacewalk on Jan. 13, will be conducted by Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency). CBS News carried this story.
  • Earth: A new study using a NASA satellite instrument orbiting Earth has found that small, environmental changes in polar food webs significantly influence the boom-and-bust, or peak and decline, cycles of phytoplankton. Engadget reported on this story.
  • Mars: From the beginning of assembly work on the Orion crew module at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to testing a range of the spacecraft systems, engineers made headway in 2016 in advance of the spacecraft’s 2018 mission beyond the moon. A look at the important milestones that lie ahead in 2017 give a glimpse into how NASA is pressing ahead to develop, build, test and fly the spacecraft that will enable human missions far into deep space. Space Daily reported on this story.

Press Releases & Web Features Dec 20 – Jan 9 (link)

ISS

Atlanta Students to Speak to NASA Astronaut on Space Station

Jan. 9, 2017 – Students at The Lovett School in Atlanta will have the opportunity to speak with a NASA astronaut living and working aboard the International Space Station at 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Jan. 10. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA Assigns Upcoming Space Station Crew Members

Jan. 4, 2017 – NASA is assigning veteran astronaut Andrew Feustel and first-flight astronaut Jeanette Epps to missions aboard the International Space Station in 2018.

NASA Preps for Space Station Power Upgrade Spacewalks

Dec. 28, 2016 – Expedition 50 astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station at 7 a.m. EST Jan. 6 and 13 to perform a complex upgrade to the orbital outpost’s power system. Coverage of the spacewalks will begin at 5:30 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA Administrator Remembers NASA Scientist, Astronaut Piers Sellers

Dec. 23, 2016 – The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Piers Sellers, who passed away Friday in Houston of pancreatic cancer.

Solar System and Beyond

NASA Selects Two Missions to Explore the Early Solar System

Jan. 4, 2017 – NASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system – a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed to mission formulation.

NASA Selects Mission to Study Black Holes, Cosmic X-ray Mysteries

Jan. 3, 2017 – NASA has selected a science mission that will allow astronomers to explore, for the first time, the hidden details of some of the most extreme and exotic astronomical objects, such as stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars.

NASA to Hold Media Call for Discovery Program Announcement

Jan. 3, 2017 – NASA will discuss the results of its latest Discovery mission selection during a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

Earth

Space Laser Reveals Boom-and-Bust Cycle of Polar Ocean Plants

Dec. 20, 2016 – A new study using a NASA satellite instrument orbiting Earth has found that small, environmental changes in polar food webs significantly influence the boom-and-bust, or peak and decline, cycles of phytoplankton.