This Week @ NASA

Latest Edition of “This Week @ NASA”  January 23, 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)

Wednesday, Jan 25



·            1 p.m. NASM’S “STEM in 30” – The Biology of Long-Term Spaceflight (NTV-1 (Public))

·            2 p.m. ISS Expedition 52-53 Crew News Conference (Ryazanskiy, Bresnik and Nespoli) (all channels)

Annual Events


Thursday, Jan 26



·            10:30 a.m. ISS Expedition 50 In-Flight Educational Event with the Jenks Public Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA (starts at 10:35 a.m.) (All channels)


Friday, Jan 27


·            10 a.m. Coverage of the Departure of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-6) from the International Space Station (Release scheduled at 10:30 a.m. ET) (all channels)

Annual Events


Saturday, Jan 28

Annual Events





For decades, NASA has used computer models to simulate the flow of air around aircraft in order to test designs and improve the performance of next-generation vehicles. At NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, researchers recently used this technique to explore the aerodynamics of a popular example of a small, battery-powered drone, a modified DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter. Digital Trends reported on this story.



Earth’s 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Washington Post, New York Times, ABC News and Reuters reported on this story.


Three new NASA field research campaigns get underway around the world this year and nine continue fieldwork to give scientists a deeper understanding of how our home planet works. Space Daily reported on this story.



A NASA JPL video provides a robot’s-eye-view of the “Mars Yard,” a terrain simulation area at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where rover hardware and software is tested before being sent to the Red Planet. Viewers can “ride” alongside, atop and below the Scarecrow test mobility double for the Curiosity and Mars 2020 rovers. Inverse reported on this Mars Yard rover video.


Scientists used NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover in recent weeks to examine slabs of rock cross-hatched with shallow ridges that likely originated as cracks in drying mud. If this interpretation holds up, these would be the first mud cracks — technically called desiccation cracks — confirmed by the Curiosity mission. They would be evidence that the ancient era when these sediments were deposited included some drying after wetter conditions. Engadget and Popular Mechanics reported on this story.


Solar System and Beyond:

On Jan. 14, 2005, ESA’s Huygens probe made its historic descent to the surface of Saturn’s hazy moon, Titan. Carried to Saturn by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, Huygens made the most distant landing ever on another world, and the only landing on a body in the outer solar system. This NASA video uses actual images taken by the probe during its two-and-a-half hour fall under its parachutes. Engadget reported on this story.



Press Releases & Web Features Jan 17 – 19 (link)


Family Statement Regarding Service Arrangements for Gene Cernan

Jan. 17, 2017 – A funeral service for Capt. Eugene A. Cernan, who passed away Monday at the age of 82, will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. CST on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston.


NASA Opens Media Accreditation for Next SpaceX Cargo Launch

Jan. 19, 2017 – Media accreditation now is open for launch of the next SpaceX commercial cargo resupply services mission to the International Space Station, currently targeted for no earlier than February.

NASA Hosts News Conference, Interviews with Next Space Station Crew

Jan. 18, 2017 – NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency), and Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, who are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station in late spring, will participate in a news conference at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.


Iowa Students to Speak to Astronaut on the International Space Station

Jan. 17, 2017 – Students from Oskaloosa and Mt. Ayr Community Schools in Iowa will have the opportunity to speak with a NASA astronaut living and working aboard the International Space Station at 10:25 a.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 19. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.



NASA, NOAA Data Show 2016 Warmest Year on Record Globally

Jan. 18, 2017 – Earth’s 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Solar System and Beyond

NASA Hosts Facebook Live to Mark Success, Future New Horizons Mission

Jan. 17, 2017 – Members of NASA’s New Horizons team will discuss the achievements of the first encounter with Pluto and look ahead to the mission’s next exploration of the Kuiper Belt during a Facebook Live event at 4 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 19 — the 11th anniversary of the spacecraft’s launch.