Thursday, November 15, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope your week is going great, I know many of the schools are having their "Great American Teach In" today... this is a day when professionals from many fields visit the kids to talk about different careers and to give them an idea of some of the things they may want to do in the future... the visits to Frost, Garner, and Inwood were great... I would like to thank Gina, Keli, & Jackie for their support... I know allot goes into setting up the schedules and they have to devote time away from the classroom... at Frost I not only did the presentations to the kids in large groups but also was able to spend considerable time in smaller groups talking and answering questions which is what I enjoy most... I try to divide the presentations up into grade levels, usually k-2, then 3-5... we did 4-5, 2-3, & K-1 in groups... the K-1 kids were so cute, I show movies, then talk with them but in this instance after seeing a shuttle launch, with the different phases, they were clapping and cheering so much, I decided to just show movies and see what they would do... for about 30 minutes they never stopped cheering and clapping... it was so much fun to feel their excitement... I hope they will remember it and wonder what they were like the rest of the day :) at Garner, I was able to have lunch with 20 students at a picnic table, which again, was a lot of fun, and at Inwood I spent the time with 20 fifth graders in their classroom... again, my appreciation for the support, it was a very hectic but fun two days... now back to reality... :) we have to remember to live in the present, do our best, enjoy everything we do, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe

NASA marks two milestones in the search for planets like Earth: the beginning of NASA's Kepler space telescope's extended mission and the successful completion of its three-and-a-half year prime mission.

Scientists have used Kepler data to identify more than 2,300 planet candidates and confirm more than 100 planets - teaching us that the galaxy is teeming with planetary systems, that planets are prolific, and hints that nature makes small planets efficiently.

NASA Television to Air Soyuz Landing Coverage Nov. 18 NASA Television will provide live coverage as three of the crew members on the International Space Station come back to Earth Sunday, Nov. 18

View the Latest Edition of "This Week@NASA" (Dated Nov. 9, 2012)

View the latest "This Week@NASA" produced by NASA Television for features on agency news and activities. Stories in this program include:

  • Suni Set to Return - JSC
  • Curiosity Rover Update - JPL
  • New Name, Same Great Mission - APL
  • Fighting Fire with Fire - MSFC
  • Stumping for STEM - DFRC
  • Enterprising Student - ARC
  • Honor Awards - HQ
  • Disability Employment Awareness - GRC
  • Native American Heritage Month Profile: William Badboy, Jet Propulsion Laboratory — JPL
  • Happy Birthday JPL! - JPL
  • An Article of Hope - ARC
  • NASA Anniversary: Launch of STS-5 (First Operational Shuttle Mission), Nov. 11, 1982
  • NASA Anniversary: Launch of Apollo 4 (First Saturn V Launch), Nov. 9, 1967
  • Apollo 17 Remembered - KSC

To watch this edition of "This Week@NASA" dated Nov. 9, 2012, click the image below:

You also may access this edition of "This Week@NASA" here.

This Week@NASA" and other NASA features are available at http://www.nasa.gov under NASA Multimedia, http://www.youtube.com/nasatelevision and iTunes.

Student Teams to Build and Fly Rockets With Onboard Payloads for NASA Rocketry Challenge
Organizers of the NASA Student Launch Projects have announced the 57 student teams whose inventive creations will soar skyward in April during the space agency's 2012-13 rocketry challenge.

Sheldon Glacier View of Sheldon Glacier with Mount Barre in the background, seen from Ryder Bay near Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica. A new NASA/British Antarctic Survey study examines why Antarctic sea ice cover has increased under the effects of climate change over the past two decades. Image credit: British Antarctic Survey


Monday, November 12, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you had a great weekend and celebrated Veterans' day with a thanks to all who have done so much for our country and for us... I know many of the classes have special celebrations so the kids will be involved and understand the meaning of this day... it is actually great to see how the current Veterans are receiving so much public praise... I know I've been in airports and on planes when people in uniform come by, everyone will clap, shake hands, and say thanks... it is very touching and so well deserved... it has to make them feel extremely good... I know some of the schools are off today and some are in session, have no idea how that works but we are at work... we work certain holidays throughout the year so we are off the week between Christmas and New Year... which is great... I will be off the next two days visiting schools, my favorite thing to do... tomorrow I'll be at Frost Elementary and on Wed at Garner & Inwood Elementary schools... both days will be full and I'm sure fun... I'm hoping to have lunch with the kids, often I can't because I'm running from school to school, so seldom have time but looks like we have it arranged on both days... wishing you a very happy day... we have to remember to live in the present, be appreciative of the good in our lives, always do our best, smile & have fun! :) Gabe

The American flag patch pictured here is from the left arm on Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 suit. This image was taken in April 2006 at the National Air and Space Museum's Garber Facility in Suitland, Md.

NASA astronauts Leroy Chiao, Edward Michael Fincke and Greg Chamitoff have all voted while aboard the International Space Station thanks to a bill passed in 1997 by Texas legislatures. The bill sets up a technical procedure for astronauts -- nearly all of whom live in Houston -- to vote from space.

Last week I sent a picture of the space station with the Shuttle docked.....a special friend, Jamie, asked how this photo was taken... :-) This image of the International Space Station and the docked space shuttle Endeavour, flying at an altitude of approximately 220 miles, was taken by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 following its undocking on May 23, 2011 (USA time). The pictures taken by Nespoli are the first taken of a shuttle docked to the International Space Station from the perspective of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. For more great pictures go to this link... Unique 'Portrait' Of Shuttle And International Space Station Released

This Week @ NASA, November 9, 2012

A Nearby Stellar Cradle The Milky Way and other galaxies in the universe harbor many young star clusters and associations that each contain hundreds to thousands of hot, massive, young stars known as O and B stars. The star cluster Cygnus OB2 contains more than 60 O-type stars and about a thousand B-type stars. Deep observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have been used to detect the X-ray emission from the hot outer atmospheres, or coronas, of young stars in the cluster and to probe how these fascinating star factories form and evolve. About 1,700 X-ray sources were detected, including about 1,450 thought to be stars in the cluster. In this image, X-rays from Chandra (blue) have been combined with infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (red) and optical data from the Isaac Newton Telescope (orange). Image Credit: NASA

NASA, ESA Use Experimental Interplanetary Internet to Test Robot From International Space Station NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully have used an experimental version of interplanetary Internet to control an educational rover from the International Space Station.

Happy Little Crater on Mercury It looks like even the craters on Mercury have heard of Bob Ross! The central peaks of this complex crater have formed in such a way that it resembles a smiling face. This image taken by the MESSENGER spacecraft is oriented so north is toward the bottom. The MESSENGER spacecraft is the first ever to orbit the planet Mercury, and the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation are unraveling the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet. Visit the Why Mercury? section of this website to learn more about the key science questions that the MESSENGER mission is addressing. During the one-year primary mission, MESSENGER acquired 88,746 images and extensive other data sets. MESSENGER is now in a yearlong extended mission, during which plans call for the acquisition of more than 80,000 additional images to support MESSENGER's science goals. Image Credit: NASA


Monday, November 5, 2012

How adorable is this picture!!! :)

Good morning all,

I hope you had a great weekend... also that you were able to watch NASA TV as Atlantis moves from the VAB to the Visitor's Center where it will go on display for the public in July. It was actually even more amazing to see and watch the events than I had ever imagined... we were just a few feet away as it passed and had a friend take this picture... I don't take a lot of pictures but this was is really special and I was so fortunate to get it... NASA TV did a fantastic presentation of the event, with so much history, not only of Atlantis but of the space program as well. That is really the end of an era here and not sure what the future will bring but we have to hope for more exciting adventures with astronauts going back to the moon and to Mars... go to this link to catch up with all the latest... Wishing you a great day... we have to remember to live in the present, be appreciative of the good in our lives, enjoy everything we do, smile & have fun! gabe

These links were created by a couple of good friends, thanks to Jenni & Bill for sharing. Click here to see their album.

This Week @ NASA, November 2, 2012

Spot The Space Station Over Your Backyard With New NASA Service On the 12th anniversary of crews continuously living and working aboard the International Space Station, NASA announced Friday a new service to help people see the orbiting laboratory when it passes overhead.

One Giant Scoop for Mankind This image shows a "bite mark" where NASA's Curiosity rover scooped up some Martian soil. The first scoop sample was taken from the "Rocknest" patch of dust and sand on Oct. 7, 2012, the 61st sol, or Martian day, of operations. A third scoop sample was collected on Oct. 15, or Sol 69, and deposited into the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument on Oct. 17, or Sol 71. This image was taken by Curiosity's Mast Camera. Scientists enhanced the color in this version to show the Martian scene as it would appear under lighting conditions on Earth, which helps in analyzing the terrain. During the two-year prime mission of the Mars Science Laboratory Project, researchers are using Curiosity's 10 instruments to investigate whether areas in Gale Crater ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life. Image Credit: NASA

NASA'S Curiosity Rover Provides Clues to Changes in Martian Atmosphere NASA's car-sized rover, Curiosity, has taken significant steps toward understanding how Mars may have lost much of its original atmosphere.

Twelve Years and Counting Aboard the ISS Twelve years ago, Bill Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev made history by becoming the first crew to live and work on the International Space Station. On Nov. 2, 2000, Expedition 1 docked with the station. From the moment the hatch of their Soyuz spacecraft opened and they entered the fledgling space station, there have been people living and working in orbit, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In this photo, Expedition 1 crew members (from left to right) Commander Bill Shepherd, and Flight Engineers Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko pose with a model of their home away from home.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Good morning all,

Final preparations are under way to move Atlantis from the VAB (Vehicle Assemble Building) to the Visitor's Center where it will go on display. The attached picture was taken in the VAB... it will start about 7 am tomorrow and will be carried live throughout the day on NASA TV. It is really the final move of an Orbiter on KSC and will certainly be a magnificent sight but with a huge mixture of pride and sadness... it is amazing that it has been 30 years of having this absolutely amazing vehicle taking astronauts and extremely heavy payloads into space to build the International Space Station, launch and repair the Hubble telescope and thrill us beyond description with launches that shook the ground and returns that could only be appreciated by actually watching them in person. Wishing you a great day... we have to remember to live in the present, enjoy everything we do, be thankful for the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe

NASA Television Airs Space Shuttle Atlantis' Final Move NASA Television will provide live coverage of events surrounding space shuttle Atlantis' move to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida for permanent public display.

This might be a day late but hope you can share this picture with the kids...

A Ghost in Cepheus Described as a "dusty curtain" or "ghostly apparition," mysterious reflection nebula VdB 152 really is very faint. Far from your neighborhood on this Halloween Night, the cosmic phantom is nearly 1,400 light-years away. Also catalogued as Ced 201, it lies along the northern Milky Way in the royal constellation Cepheus. Near the edge of a large molecular cloud, pockets of interstellar dust in the region block light from background stars or scatter light from the embedded bright star giving parts of the nebula a characteristic blue color. Ultraviolet light from the star is also thought to cause a dim reddish luminescence in the nebular dust. Though stars do form in molecular clouds, this star seems to have only accidentally wandered into the area, as its measured velocity through space is very different from the cloud's velocity. This deep telescopic image of the region spans about 7 light-years. Image Credit: NASA/Stephen Leshin

Astronaut Kevin Ford in Destiny Lab On Oct. 26, 2012, NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, Expedition 33 flight engineer, smiles for a photo while holding a still camera in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.

NASA Rover's First Soil Studies Help Fingerprint Martian Minerals NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has completed initial experiments showing the mineralogy of Martian soil is similar to weathered basaltic soils of volcanic origin in Hawaii.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you are having a good week, I know many of you have Halloween parties with the kids and I'm sure it is fun day for all... winter has arrived in Florida... :) way cold for us and windy too... always interesting to see everyone bundled up... heavy coats, sweaters, hats, gloves... when it gets below 50 :) Of course we are all concerned about the storm hitting the East coast with so much damage and loss of life... it should be a reminder to never take anything for granted and always be appreciative of the good in our lives. This is a special week at KSC as we wind down to Atlantis moving from the VAB to the Visitor's Center on Friday... it will be a big event and the final chapter is this amazing period of space exploration... it is always so exciting to relive the launches, knowing I was able to share them with so many of you and of course with the kids through you. Go to the subject link for all the latest updates as well as many educational activities for all grades... we have to remember to always do our best, enjoy everything we do, keep things in perspective, live in the present, smile & have fun! gabe

View of Curiosity's First Scoop Also Shows Bright Object
This image from the right Mast Camera (Mastcam) of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows a scoop full of sand and dust lifted by the rover's first use of the scoop on its robotic arm. In the foreground, near the bottom of the image, a bright object is visible on the ground. The object might be a piece of rover hardware. Related video.

This image was taken during the mission's 61st Martian day, or sol (Oct. 7, 2012), the same sol as the first scooping. After examining Sol 61 imaging, the rover team decided to refrain from using the arm on Sol 62 (Oct. 8). Instead, the rover was instructed to acquire additional imaging of the bright object, on Sol 62, to aid the team in assessing possible impact, if any, to sampling activities.

Dragon in its Nest A Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 3:22 p.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, a few hundred miles west of Baja California, Mexico. The splashdown successfully ended the first contracted cargo delivery flight contracted by NASA to resupply the International Space Station. The Dragon capsule will be taken by boat to a port near Los Angeles, where it will be prepared for a return journey to SpaceX's test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing. Returning with the Dragon capsule was 1,673 pounds of cargo, including 866 pounds of scientific research. Not since the space shuttle have NASA and its international partners been able to return considerable amounts of research and samples for analysis. Image Credit: SpaceX

NASA Hosts DC Social Media Event With Station Astronaut Joe Acaba NASA invites its social media followers to a special event with astronaut Joe Acaba from 9 -11:30 a.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 4. The event will take place in the James E. Webb Memorial Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. SW in Washington.

For those of you who may have an interest in launching Rockets with the kids, please contact Jack or Kathy, they will help you establish a program at your school and answer any questions

"Jack & Kathy Colpas" colpas1@comcast.net
7th annual Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition
We were honored to have Homer Hickam and the original Rocket Boys kick-off the 7th annual Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition during the October Sky Festival.

See the article from SpaceRef.com : http://spaceref.com/calendar/calendar.html?pid=7697
We are off to Space Camp at the US Space & Rocket Center to celebrate and launch rockets with this year's national winners!
Note: If you are planning to get your kids into this year's competition - Estes traditionally raises prices in January.

Save Money - Order your supplies now!
Wishing you light winds on launch day.
Jack & Kathy Colpas, co-directors

Helping Kids Reach for the Stars / Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition
Christa McAuliffe / Challenger Learning Center - Educational Outreach
www.TheRocketman.net Rocketman@SciConServices.com
Phone (941) 955-3958 / Fax (206) 350-7880


Friday, October 26, 2012

Good morning all,

Kind of a strange morning here as we are bracing for the passing of a hurricane, well off the coast but still expecting strong winds and rain... so far, not much... the schools are off in our county and a few others through the state so I know there are a few sad teachers at home in bed right now! :) check out this YouTube video on the shuttle, sent to me by a good friend... wishing you a great day... and weekend ahead... we have to remember to enjoy what we do, always do our best, live in the present, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe

Space Shuttle Program: Spanning 30 Years of Discovery
Image above: Space shuttle Atlantis, having rolled out of its processing hangar for the final time, approaches the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In the VAB, the spacecraft will await its upcoming move to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Image credit: NASA/Tim Jacobs
View larger image

NASA's space shuttle fleet began setting records with its first launch on April 12, 1981 and continued to set high marks of achievement and endurance through 30 years of missions. Starting with Columbia and continuing with Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour, the spacecraft has carried people into orbit repeatedly, launched, recovered and repaired satellites, conducted cutting-edge research and built the largest structure in space, the International Space Station. The final space shuttle mission, STS-135, ended July 21, 2011 when Atlantis rolled to a stop at its home port, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA TV to Air Space Station Cargo Ship Launch and Docking NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch and docking of the next Russian cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station Wednesday, Oct. 31

NASA'S Spitzer Sees Light of Lonesome Stars A new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggests a cause for the mysterious glow of infrared light seen across the entire sky.

Storm on Saturn NASA's Cassini spacecraft has tracked the aftermath of a rare massive storm on Saturn. Data reveal record-setting disturbances in the planet's upper atmosphere long after the visible signs of the storm abated, in addition to an indication the storm was more forceful than scientists previously thought. These red, orange and green clouds (false color) in Saturn's northern hemisphere indicate the tail end of the massive 2010-2011 storm. Even after visible signs of the storm started to fade, infrared measurements continued to reveal powerful effects at work in Saturn's stratosphere. The Cassini mission is part of NASA's long tradition of exploring our solar system, now being celebrated at the NASA History Symposium: Solar System @50.

NASA Spacecraft Sees Huge Burp At Saturn After Large Storm NASA's Cassini spacecraft has tracked the aftermath of a rare massive storm on Saturn.

Antarctica's Tallest Peak NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory passes Antarctica's tallest peak, Mount Vinson, on Oct. 22, 2012, during a flight over the continent to measure changes in the massive ice sheet and sea ice. The flight is part of NASA's Operation IceBridge, a multi-year airborne campaign to monitor changes in Earth's polar ice caps in both the Antarctic and Arctic. IceBridge science flights from Punta Arenas, Chile, began on Oct. 12 and continue through early November. Mount Vinson is located in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica. Image Credit: NASA/Michael Studinger


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you've had a great weekend and beginning to this week... been very busy with activities which support differently able students plus the real job :) last Saturday I went to St Petersburg to see an amazingly talented girl be Master of Ceremony and sing at a preface to a huge Pops in The Park concert. It featured 4 extremely talented Very Special Arts (VSA) 2012 Young Soloists Winners, of which, Ludi, my special friend, is one... the kids are so talented, have overcome so much... they are a wonderful example of determination and success, yet always remain so humble... Monday was our Mentoring Day, with differently abled kids... I always thank my buddy, Joey, for instilling this term in me and I hope together we can help others see it too... spend the day at KSC job shadowing an adult in a field they would like to work in as an adult... the day was a big success with about 35 students participating. Now I have to try to get back to the "real job" which has been kind of neglected... :) be sure to check out the subject link for all the latest... wishing you a happy day, we have to remember to always enjoy what we do, do our best, live in the present, smile & have fun! Gabe

Expedition 33 Crew Waves Farewell Expedition 33/34 crew members, Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy, bottom, Flight Engineer Kevin Ford of NASA, and Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin of ROSCOSMOS, top, wave farewell before boarding their Soyuz rocket just a few hours before their launch to the International Space Station on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Launch of a Soyuz rocket later in the afternoon will send Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin on a five-month mission aboard the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

New Crew Headed to the International Space Station NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy launched aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket on their mission to the International Space Station at 5:51 a.m. CDT Tuesday (4:51 p.m. Kazakhstan time). The trio lifted off from Site 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This is the first time in 28 years the pad has been used for human spaceflight.

Flight Engineers Kevin Ford, Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin will orbit the Earth for two days before docking to the Poisk module at 8:35 a.m. EDT Thursday. The new trio will join Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko who've been residing at the orbital laboratory since July 17.
Watch Launch Video

NASA'S NuSTAR Reveals Flare From Milky Way's Black Hole NASA's newest set of X-ray eyes in the sky, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), has caught its first look at the giant black hole parked at the center of our galaxy

Sea Ice off eastern Greenland The MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Sea Ice off eastern Greenland on October 16, 2012. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team

NASA to Preview Upcoming Space Station Spacewalk to Repair Ammonia Leak NASA will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. CDT (2 p.m. EDT) Friday, Oct. 26, to preview an upcoming spacewalk involving U.S. and Japanese astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The news conference will be broadcast live on NASA Television from the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Media questions will be taken by telephone and from other participating NASA locations.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you will have a great day and a enjoy the weekend ahead... a friend sent me these pictures... I think it is so refreshing to see the interest across the country with the orbiters' passing through... for those of us here at KSC we have been so fortunate to have a close up view and be involved, to any extent. It's a reminder of how great the experience was... although I assure you, some of us don't need the reminder :) Also check out the crawler video... The only event left is for Atlantis to move from KSC to the Visitor's Complex on Nov 2nd... Have a great weekend, we have to remember to enjoy what we do, be thankful for the good in our lives, live in the present, smile & have fun! gabe

SpaceX's Dragon Carrying NASA Cargo Resupplies Space Station The Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft was berthed to the International Space Station at 8:03 a.m. CDT Wednesday, a key milestone in a new era of commercial spaceflight.

Mars Rock Touched By NASA Curiosity Rover Offers Surprises The first Martian rock NASA's Curiosity rover has reached out to touch presents a more varied composition than expected from previous missions.

NASA and IHMC Develop Robotic Exoskeleton for Space and Possible Use on Earth
A new robotic space technology spinoff derived from NASA's Robonaut 2 project someday may help astronauts stay healthier in space and aid paraplegics in walking here on Earth.

This is an excellent link to info on the crawler that brought the shuttle and Mobile Launch Platform to the pad... http://youtu.be/l0HX3mr8fa4


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Good morning all,

We just saw that the Dragon Capsule was captured by the ISS Robotic Arm... you can go to http://www.spacex.com/webcast/ to see the events live... I hope you can find time to share this with the kids... also be sure to go to this link... it has a great video... running late today so will quickly get this off... wishing you a happy day, we have to remember to live in the present, enjoy everything we do, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe

NASA's Swift Satellite Discovers a New Black Hole
Swift recently detected the presence of a previously unknown stellar-mass black hole.

Star's 'Cry' Heralds New Era for Testing Relativity
Researchers have observed a distinctive X-ray signal following a black hole's eruption that comes from matter on the verge of falling into it.

View of Curiosity's First Scoop Also Shows Bright Object This image from the right Mast Camera (Mastcam) of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows a scoop full of sand and dust lifted by the rover's first use of the scoop on its robotic arm. In the foreground, near the bottom of the image, a bright object is visible on the ground. The object might be a piece of rover hardware. › Related video This image was taken during the mission's 61st Martian day, or sol (Oct. 7, 2012), the same sol as the first scooping. After examining Sol 61 imaging, the rover team decided to refrain from using the arm on Sol 62 (Oct. 8). Instead, the rover was instructed to acquire additional imaging of the bright object, on Sol 62, to aid the team in assessing possible impact, if any, to sampling activities. For scale, the scoop is 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) wide, 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) long. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

View the Latest Edition of "This Week@NASA" (Dated Oct. 9, 2012)

View the latest "This Week@NASA" produced by NASA Television for features on agency news and activities. Stories in this program include:
  • We're Back! — KSC/JSC
  • Hangin' Out — HQ
  • Yeast Experiment — JSC
  • Antares Rolls — WFF
  • Curiosity Rover Report — JPL
  • Stop, Think, Connect — HQ
  • Next Crew Prepares — JSC
  • Ingenuity Starts at Home — KSC
  • Astronomical Mirror — DFRC
  • Up and Running! — NSSC
  • Happy 95th! — LaRC
  • Earthscapes Forever — GSFC
  • NASA Anniversary: Launch of STS-112, Oct. 7, 2002
  • NASA Anniversary: 130th Birthday of Robert H. Goddard, Oct. 5, 1882
  • NASA National Hispanic Heritage Month Profile: Cassandra "Cassie" Rodriquez, ISS Flight Controller — JSC

You also may access this edition of "This Week@NASA" here.

"This Week@NASA" and other NASA features are available at http://www.nasa.gov under NASA Multimedia, http://www.youtube.com/nasatelevision and iTunes.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope your week is going well, been raining a lot here which is good but takes away from swim practice... I try to swim 5 days a week to stay "in shape" but it is an outdoor pool so if any storms they usually kick us out... it seems as when you miss a couple of days it is really hard to get back but I enjoy the challenge and it is probably the most difficult thing I've ever done... everything else going well, we are super busy since I work in an area which validates facility and infrastructure (roads, bridges, utilities) requirements, then supports the prioritization for the funding to get the work accomplished. Here, it isn't so much what you do but where you do it that makes it so great! Totally enjoy the magic of KSC, even though a serious void when the shuttle stopped flying, there are still so many interesting and fascinating things going on, it will never get "old". We have to remember that applies to everything we do, we always have a choice, it is all mental... and within our control... I always tell the kids... you can stand there and be happy or stand there and be miserable... either way you are standing there... found this interesting link, hopefully you can share it with the kids and use it to see some great pictures from deep in space... wishing you a great day... smile & have fun! Gabe

Search the Most Comprehensive Collection of NASA Images on the Web at www.nasaimages.org.

NASAimages.org is the most comprehensive compilation of NASA's new and historic imagery: photographs, film and video. Imagery can be explored, downloaded and embedded with new material being added on a regular basis. The Internet site http://www.nasaimages.org combined for the first time 20 major NASA imagery collections into a single, searchable online resource when it was launched in July, 2008. Since then, users have downloaded over 3.5 terabytes of information.

NASA Offers Opportunities for Biological Research on Space Station NASA invites scientists from around the country to submit proposals to perform biological research aboard the International Space Station.

American Resupply Missions to the Space Station Progressing Orbital Sciences Corporation Monday rolled the first stage of its Antares rocket to the launch pad of the nation's newest spaceport - the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Va. - while in Florida, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) moves ahead with preparations for an Oct. 7 launch to the International Space Station for NASA's first Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission.

NASA Astronaut Kevin Ford Interview Availability Before Space Station Mission NASA astronaut Kevin Ford of Indiana, making final preparations for an October launch to the International Space Station at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Star City, Russia, will be available for live satellite interviews from 5 to 6 a.m. CDT Friday, Oct. 5.

'Bathurst Inlet' Rock on Curiosity's Sol 54, Context View NASA's Mars rover Curiosity held its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera about 10.5 inches (27 centimeters) away from the top of a rock called "Bathurst Inlet" for a set of eight images combined into this merged-focus view of the rock. This context image covers an area roughly 6.5 inches by 5 inches (16 centimeters by 12 centimeters). Resolution is about 105 microns per pixel. MAHLI took the component images for this merged-focus view, plus closer-up images of Bathurst Inlet, during Curiosity's 54th Martian day, or sol (Sept. 30, 2012). The instrument's principal investigator had invited Curiosity's science team to "MAHLI it up!" in the selection of Sol 54 targets for inspection with MAHLI and with the other instrument at the end of Curiosity's arm, the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer. A merged-focus MAHLI view from closer to the rock, providing even finer resolution, is here. The Bathurst Inlet rock is dark gray and appears to be so fine-grained that MAHLI cannot resolve grains or crystals in it. This means that the grains or crystals, if there are any at all, are smaller than about 80 microns in size. Some windblown sand-sized grains or dust aggregates have accumulated on the surface of the rock but this surface is clean compared to, for example, the pebbly substrate below the rock (upper left and lower right in this context image). MAHLI can do focus merging onboard. The full-frame versions of the eight separate images that were combined into this view were not even returned to Earth -- just the thumbnail versions. Merging the images onboard reduces the volume of data that needs to be downlinked to Earth


Monday, October 1, 2012

Good morning all,

Hope you had a great weekend and will look forward to enjoying the week ahead, of course, one day at a time :) check out the picture above, it is absolutely beautiful... go to the subject link for the latest on the upcoming missions as well as live coverage on NASA TV... also I was recently asked about the 747 shuttle carrier... see birds of a feather below for more explanation... wishing you a happy day... we have to remember to always live in the present, enjoy everything we do, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe :)

This Week @ NASA, September 28, 2012

Next Station Crew Preps for Launch NASA astronaut Kevin Ford (left), Expedition 33 flight engineer and Expedition 34 commander; Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy (center) and Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin (right) clasp hands Sept. 21, 2012 in front of a Soyuz vehicle mock-up as they wrap up two days of final qualification exams at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. The trio is scheduled to launch Oct. 23 in their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a five-month mission on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Angling Saturn The Cassini spacecraft takes an angled view toward Saturn, showing the southern reaches of the planet with the rings on a dramatic diagonal. North on Saturn is up and rotated 16 degrees to the left. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 14 degrees below the ringplane. The rings cast wide shadows on the planet's southern hemisphere. The moon Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) appears as a small, bright speck in the lower left of the image. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 15, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.8 million miles (2.9 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 72 degrees. Image scale is 11 miles (17 kilometers) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Birds of a Feather NASA's modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft briefly flew in formation over the Edwards Air Force Base Test Range on Aug. 2, 2011. The aircraft were scheduled to be in the air on the same day, NASA 911 (plane in the foreground) on a flight crew proficiency flight, and NASA 905 (rear) on a functional check flight following maintenance operations. Since both aircraft were scheduled to be in the air at the same time, SCA pilot Jeff Moultrie of Johnson Space Center's Aircraft Operations Directorate took the opportunity to have both SCA's fly in formation for about 20 minutes while NASA photographer Carla Thomas captured still and video imagery from a NASA Dryden F/A-18. In addition to Moultrie, NASA 905's check flight crew included pilot Arthur "Ace" Beall and flight engineer Henry Taylor while NASA 911 was flown by Larry LaRose, Steve Malarchick and Bob Zimmerman from NASA Johnson and Frank Batteas and Bill Brockett from NASA Dryden. Image Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas

Three Generations of Rovers with Crouching Engineers Two spacecraft engineers join a grouping of vehicles providing a comparison of three generations of Mars rovers developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The setting is JPL's Mars Yard testing area. Front and center is the flight spare for the first Mars rover, Sojourner, which landed on Mars in 1997 as part of the Mars Pathfinder Project. On the left is a Mars Exploration Rover Project test rover that is a working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on Mars in 2004. On the right is a Mars Science Laboratory test rover the size of that project's Mars rover, Curiosity, which is on course for landing on Mars in August 2012. Sojourner and its flight spare, named Marie Curie, are 2 feet (65 centimeters) long. The Mars Exploration Rover Project's rover, including the "Surface System Test Bed" rover in this photo, are 5.2 feet (1.6 meters) long. The Mars Science Laboratory Project's Curiosity rover and "Vehicle System Test Bed" rover, on the right, are 10 feet (3 meters) long. The engineers are JPL's Matt Robinson, left, and Wesley Kuykendall. The California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, operates JPL for NASA. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA Rover Finds Old Streambed On Martian Surface NASA's Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence - images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels - is the first of its kind.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Good morning all,

I often get pictures from within our group which I then share with you... most are so amazing and certainly has to fuel all of our imagination as to... wonder what it would be like... or wish I could :) so sharing a couple with you this morning and wishing you a happy day... we have to remember to live in the present, always do our best, enjoy everything we do, smile & have fun! :) Gabe

Thanks to Lori, got this from her signature block, a free-flying astronaut outside the International Space Station...

Thanks to Gina, an early morning walk on the beach with this view...

Be sure to go to these links for more amazing pictures...

NASA'S Chandra Shows Milky Way is Surrounded by Halo of Hot Gas Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to find evidence our Milky Way Galaxy is embedded in an enormous halo of hot gas that extends for hundreds of thousands of light years.

Angling Saturn The Cassini spacecraft takes an angled view toward Saturn, showing the southern reaches of the planet with the rings on a dramatic diagonal. North on Saturn is up and rotated 16 degrees to the left. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 14 degrees below the ringplane. The rings cast wide shadows on the planet's southern hemisphere. The moon Enceladus (313 miles, or 504 kilometers across) appears as a small, bright speck in the lower left of the image. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on June 15, 2012 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.8 million miles (2.9 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 72 degrees. Image scale is 11 miles (17 kilometers) per pixel. The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Good morning all,

Running late but wanted to get these off as it is great to share the enthusiasm and follow Endeavour as it heads towards its final destination... also check out the attachment: CHASE PLANE PATHFINDER FILMS ENDEAVOUR IN HOUSTON... everything going great here, most of you know my involvement is supporting kids with disabilities or as I always remind us... kids who are DIFFERENTLY ABLED... as we prepare for Disability Mentoring Day at KSC next month... also still working on school visits so for those of you who would like me to come to your school to talk with the kids, please let me know... wishing you all a happy day... we have to remember to live in the present, enjoy everything we do, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! gabe

Go to the subject link for all the latest NASA info.

Highlights from the delivery of Endeavour to Los Angeles.

The vehicle is safely tucked in the United Hangar...

We will start removing the tailcone and doing a few other final preparations on Monday.

The orbiter will stay in the hangar until 12 October when it will be transported to the California Science Center in downtown LA.

Everything went well.

This is the last remote site delivery...

View the Latest Edition of "This Week@NASA" (Dated Sept. 21, 2012)

View the latest "This Week@NASA" produced by NASA Television for features on agency news and activities. Stories in this program include:

  • Cross Country Tour — KSC/MAF/SSC/JSC/DFRC/ARC/JPL
  • Shuttle Social — DFRC
  • Curiosity Cruising — JPL
  • Helping Hangout — HQ
  • Next Crew Trains — JSC
  • Spotlight on Station Science — GRC
  • Are You Prepared? — HQ
  • Hurricane Hunting Aircraft — WFF
  • Space Launch System Models Ready for Wind Tunnel Tests — MSFC/LaRC
  • Student Experiments Launched — WFF
  • Prehistoric Footprints Confirmed — GSFC
  • Race Cars to Mars — LaRC
  • NASA Anniversary: Launch of STS-86, Sept. 25, 1997
  • NASA Anniversary: Launch of Dawn Spacecraft, Sept. 27, 2007
  • NASA National Hispanic Heritage Month Profile: Omar De Frias, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Ride Remembered — JSC
To watch this edition of "This Week@NASA" dated Sept. 21, 2012, click the image below: Watch the Video You also may access this edition of "This Week@NASA" here. "This Week@NASA" and other NASA features are available at http://www.nasa.gov under NASA Multimedia, http://www.youtube.com/nasatelevision and iTunes.

NASA's Chandra Shows Milky Way is Surrounded by Halo of Hot Gas Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to find evidence our Milky Way Galaxy is embedded in an enormous halo of hot gas that extends for hundreds of thousands of light years.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope your weekend was good and you will look forward to enjoying the week ahead... it is great to get so much feedback from the pictures of Endeavour, thanks so much for sharing some of the pictures that were taken by friends and family as it made the trip to the West coast. For most of us it is the mixed emotions of seeing the orbiter, relating to launches or missions that we followed, shared with the kids, and fueled their imagination, as well as our own... then the reality that these magnificent missions have come to an end... we have to try to focus on how fortunate we are to have been a part of this and hopefully, somewhere in the future, there will be missions taking astronauts to faraway places to explore the unknown. Wishing you a happy day, we have to remember to enjoy everything we do, live in the present, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe

Go to the subject link for all the latest...

Endeavour's Final Flight Ends NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver speaks at a welcoming ceremony for space shuttle Endeavour, on Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, at Los Angeles International Airport. Beginning Oct. 30, the shuttle will be on display in the California Science center's Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, embarking on its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and educate and inspire future generations of explorers.

This Week @ NASA, September 21, 2012

NASA Dawn Spacecraft Sees Hydrated Minerals on Giant Asteroid NASA's Dawn spacecraft has revealed the giant asteroid Vesta has its own version of ring around the collar

SpaceX, NASA Target Oct. 7 Launch for First Contracted U.S. Cargo Resupply Mission to Space Station; Media Accreditation Open NASA managers, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) officials and international partner representatives Thursday announced Sunday, Oct. 7, as the target launch date for the first contracted cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

Wildland Fires in Idaho ISS033-E-005644 (19 Sept. 2012) --- One of the Expedition 33 crew members aboard the International Space Station, flying at an altitude of approximately 260 statute miles, recorded this nadir scene of the Mustang Complex wildland fires in Idaho. Close to 300,000 acres have been burned by the Mustang fires and hundreds of people have been forced to flee the area.

James Webb Space Telescope Mirror 'Cans'

The powerful primary mirrors of the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to detect the light from distant galaxies. The manufacturer of those mirrors, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., recently celebrated their successful efforts as mirror segments were packed up in special shipping canisters (cans) for shipping to NASA. The Webb telescope has 21 mirrors, with 18 primary mirror segments working together as one large 21.3-foot (6.5-meter) primary mirror. The mirror segments are made of beryllium, which was selected for its stiffness, light weight and stability at cryogenic temperatures. Bare beryllium is not very reflective of near-infrared light, so each mirror is coated with about 0.12 ounce of gold. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace

Kids.gov is the U.S. government's website for children (grades K-8). Kids, parents, and teachers can use the site to get help with homework, access lesson plans, watch videos, play games, and more.

If you've visited Kids.gov previously, you'll notice that the website has been completely redesigned. The vibrant new site provides areas for three specific audiences: kids (grades K-5), teens (grades 6-8), and grown-ups (teachers and parents).

Enjoy exploring all that Kids.gov has to offer, including the following examples:


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Good morning all,

A good buddy was at the Shuttle Landing Strip for the departure of Endeavour... he took these pictures... The video is cool because you can see what it is like to be here and share with everyone as we all watched in awe at this magnificent sight... many sad eyes too... hope you will enjoy... running late but wanted to share... thanks to Bill for creating these... hope you have a great day... smile & have fun! Gabe

The first link contains photos Bill took yesterday of Endeavour departing the SLF. The second link is a quick video he made of Endeavour taxiing down the runway, taking off and flying over the SLF. Thought you might enjoy them. HD photos or the entire photo album can be downloaded from this link under the "action" drop down, if desired. Please feel free to share!

Farewell to Endeavour
Photos I took yesterday of Endeavour departing SLF. Thought you might enjoy them. Please feel free to share.


View Video
Quick video I made of Endeavour taxiing down the runway, take-off and fly-over. Please feel free to share. Enjoy!


Space Shuttle Endeavour Ferry Flight Continues West The space shuttle Endeavour atop its 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) is scheduled to depart Houston's Ellington Field at about 7 a.m. CDT on Thursday for California.

Home From Space, NASA Astronaut Joe Acaba Set for Interviews NASA astronaut Joe Acaba of Southern California, who returned to Earth Sept. 17 after four months on the International Space Station, will be available for live satellite interviews from 7-8 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

NASA Mars Rover Targets Unusual Rock En Route to First Destination NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has driven up to a football-size rock that will be the first for the rover's arm to examine.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good morning all,

Everything set for the fly out this morning... certainly a double whammy, with seeing this amazing sight in flight for the very last time mixed with memories of so many spectacular launches... for those of you that we were able to share, I hope you will remember the excitement and wonder of the launch and that each was such an amazing accomplishment... to the left of the picture is the mate/demate structure where the orbiter and 747 are attached for flight... just came in from watching the takeoff and fly by... I'm sure we will have some great pictures as is progresses to LA. I will be doing something a little different on Friday... doing a presentation for a group of adults at Bentley Systems Engineering in Texas through link up at work... have never tried this before, so it should be interesting. Still planning the school visits for this year so please let me know if you are interested in me coming to speak with the kids... you can go to http://www.educatemotive.com/ for additional info or email me here... wishing you all a wonderful day... we have to remember to enjoy everything we do, live in the present, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! gabe

KSC Employee Update:
Endeavour Set to Embark on Space Shuttle Program's Final Ferry Flight

Space shuttle Endeavour is on track to depart from Kennedy at about 7:15 a.m. EDT today, Sept. 19, atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA).

Preparations of the shuttle for its cross-country voyage atop the modified 747 jetliner was captured by time-lapse cameras placed around the Mate-Demate Device (MDD) at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility.

Check out the video here while you wait to catch a glimpse of the majestic vehicle flying over Florida's Space Coast for the final time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDywZ-nhIb4

As the agency's youngest shuttle, Endeavour flew 25 missions, spent 299 days in space, orbited Earth 4,671 times and traveled 122,883,151 miles. The spacecraft will now take center stage at the California Science Center, telling the stories of the people who processed, launched and flew aboard the vehicle and beginning a new mission of inspiring America's next generation of explorers.

Coverage Set for Space Station Departure of European Cargo Ship The departure of the third European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-3) cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station will be broadcast live on NASA Television beginning at 6:15 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Sunita Williams on Spacewalk NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Expedition 32 flight engineer, appears to touch the bright sun during the mission's third session of extravehicular activity (EVA) on Sept. 5, 2012. During the six-hour, 28-minute spacewalk, Williams and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide (visible in the reflections of Williams' helmet visor), flight engineer, completed the installation of a Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) that was hampered by a possible misalignment and damaged threads where a bolt must be placed. They also installed a camera on the International Space Station's robotic arm, Canadarm2. Image Credit: NASA

Kids.gov is the U.S. government's website for children (grades K-8). Kids, parents, and teachers can use the site to get help with homework, access lesson plans, watch videos, play games, and more.

If you've visited Kids.gov previously, you'll notice that the website has been completely redesigned. The vibrant new site provides areas for three specific audiences: kids (grades K-5), teens (grades 6-8), and grown-ups (teachers and parents).

Enjoy exploring all that Kids.gov has to offer, including the following examples:


Monday, September 17, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you had a fun weekend and will look forward to the week ahead, remembering, one day at a time & enjoy each one as we pass through it... I participated in a NASA family education night over the weekend, it was a great turn out, free to the public, the 3rd year I've been involved... it's always fun, especially to share the interest with so many kids and adults... I always feel so privileged to come to the schools to speak with the kids and meet so many wonderful teachers... I know there is so much talent, dedications, and genuine care for the kids, it takes a very special person to do this day in and day out... I'm sure many of you get well deserved recognition that stays within your immediate area, sometimes I find out and always want to share... so a very special congratulations to Luci, who just received the NATIONAL AEROSPACE TEACHER OF THE YEAR award in DC... she represents so many who do so much, I know it is a wonderful honor and tremendously deserved... the shuttle Endeavour fly out has been delayed until tomorrow, at the earliest as weather is a factor, it will be day to day... I will try to update you as soon as I know anything because I know some of you are planning to be along the beach to see it fly over... otherwise check the subject site to get the latest... remember to smile & have fun! Gabe

Weather Postpones Shuttle Endeavour Ferry Flight to Sept. 18 NASA's planned ferry flight of space shuttle Endeavour atop the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) has been postponed until Tuesday, Sept. 18 due to an unfavorable weather forecast for Monday, Sept. 17.

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Reveals Geological Mystery NASA's long-lived rover Opportunity has returned an image of the Martian surface that is puzzling researchers.

Mars Rover Curiosity Arm Tests Nearly Complete NASA's Mars Curiosity team is almost finished robotic arm tests in preparation for the rover to touch and examine its first Martian rock.

Wheels and a Destination This view of the three left wheels of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines two images that were taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 34th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 9, 2012). In the distance is the lower slope of Mount Sharp. The camera is located in the turret of tools at the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The Sol 34 imaging by MAHLI was part of a week-long set of activities for characterizing the movement of the arm in Mars conditions. The main purpose of Curiosity's MAHLI camera is to acquire close-up, high-resolution views of rocks and soil at the rover's Gale Crater field site. The camera is capable of focusing on any target at distances of about 0.8 inch (2.1 centimeters) to infinity, providing versatility for other uses, such as views of the rover itself from different angles. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

NASA Orbiter Observations Point to 'Dry Ice' Snowfall on Mars NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) data have given scientists the clearest evidence yet of carbon dioxide snowfalls on Mars

NASA Offers Opportunity to Use Communications Testbed on Space Station NASA is announcing opportunities for academia, industry and government agencies to develop and carry out research and technology demonstrations on the International Space Station using the newly installed Space Communications and Navigation (SCAN) testbed.

First Planets Found Around Sun-Like Stars in a Cluster NASA-funded astronomers have, for the first time, spotted planets orbiting sun-like stars in a crowded cluster of stars.

International Space Station Astronauts Land Safely in Kazakhstan Three members of the Expedition 32 crew undocked from the International Space Station and returned safely to Earth on Sunday, wrapping up a mission lasting more than four months.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Good morning all,

I got back last night, I would like to thank so many of you who commented on the story of my brother and, as always, have shared your thoughts and very kind words... the Memorial was so well done, everyone there: thousands of fire fighters, police, memorial staff, and so many volunteers who went out of their way to be so helpful, respectful, and genuinely cared made this an exceptional day for all... there were 14 of my family attending and I know we all felt something very special at the way it was done... this picture is of the new Freedom Tower, taken by my son on the Staten Island Ferry, with the lights projected up from the two twin towers' foundations which have now been turned into a memorial pools... go to this site for a view. In the story I wrote, I mentioned two firefighters who were with my brother when the towers went down, I've been trying to contact their families since I first found out about them to let them know how much it meant to us that they were with Rich and to thank them for their bravery... I finally made the connection and will hopefully be able to speak with them, this week... I'll send a few more pictures along with the emails over the next few days as the sights were amazing... we have to remember to live in the present, be appreciative of the good in our lives, enjoy everything we do, smile & have fun! Gabe

New York City on September 11, 2001 Visible from space, a smoke plume rises from the Manhattan area after two planes crashed into the towers of the World Trade Center. This photo was taken of metropolitan New York City (and other parts of New York as well as New Jersey) the morning of September 11, 2001. "Our prayers and thoughts go out to all the people there, and everywhere else," said Station Commander Frank Culbertson of Expedition 3, after the terrorists' attacks. The following day, he posted a public letter that captured his initial thoughts of the events as they unfolded. "The world changed today. What I say or do is very minor compared to the significance of what happened to our country today when it was attacked." Upon further reflection, Culbertson said, "It's horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are." > Culbertson's Letter from Sept. 11, 2001 > 2010 Video: Frank Culbertson Remembers 9/11 Ten Years Later Image credit: NASA


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hi all,

Getting ready to call it a day and head to NY tomorrow... I've been sending this story out on 9/11 for you to share with you and whomever you think may want to read it or use however you see fit... it is more for awareness of the event and the way it changed our lives forever... I hope you will have a good rest of the week, weekend, and next week... I will be back on Thursday but would imagine I will be pretty busy with just a two day "work week" :) keep smiling! :)

Feel free to pass this along to anyone who you think might want to read about it... gabe

Hi my name is Gabe, George Gabrielle......my brother Richard Gabrielle was lost in the attack on the World Trade Center.

My brother worked for AON Corporation, on the 103rd floor of the South Tower. We were able to trace his steps from the time the North Tower was hit until he went down with the South Tower. We know that he was with a group of about 200 people waiting for an express elevator on the 78th floor when the plane struck the South Tower. That the building rocked back & forth, a deafening explosion occurred, walls and ceilings crumbled into a foot of debris on the floor, the air turned black, and flames shot out the elevator shafts. Most people died instantly, some had serious injuries as was the case with my brother. We know the force of the explosion sent people flying through the air and my brother was thrown against a wall, suffered two broken legs, and was pinned under a large marble slab that had been on the wall. We know people tried to help him but couldn't... he was in too much pain and others, who were also injured, were trying to get out. We found this out from one of the 12 people who survived from the 78th floor.

We were faced with this thought of him lying there by himself, in severe pain, knowing he had a terrible fear of dying in a fire, and it was very difficult to imagine. About 6 month later, tapes that had never been released surfaced... Lost Voices of Firefighters. In them we learned that firefighters had actually reached the 78th floor, mentioned him by name, he was still alive, and were with him when the tower collapsed. This was such a huge relief, to know that he probably thought he would be OK and at least did not die by himself.

There is so much more to this story that I could add... I had plane tickets for the 13th to fly to NY to spend 4 days with my brother... when I finally was able to get a flight to NY, what it was like to go to trauma centers with thousands of people mourning and looking for loved ones, of people walking around with pictures looking for anyone who may have seen a missing relative, of being in NYC in an eerie stillness filled with such sadness, of standing in long, long lines to give DNA samples, of my brother's memorial and the memorial for the people he worked with... of getting back to KSC to have my desk filled with stuffed animals and cards, of friends' kids sending me gifts & cards, of getting phone calls and only hearing people crying on the other end... this to me is the reality of 9/11... I do know that Rich was the funniest guy I ever knew. That he is with me now and we laugh and joke as we always have. I refuse to allow myself to think of him as buried in the rubble of the World Trade Center, his remains were never found.

I know we must go forward with life and by me taking him with me he can continue to have fun and enjoy life through my eyes. I believe we carry our loved ones with us and they share our emotions... when we are happy so are they and when we are sad, so are they. I believe the event far overshadows the individual or even collective losses, that we as a country must understand there are people out there who would do this over and over, or worse, if they could. That they will never stop trying and we must not be naive to think that this was a onetime occurrence.

A little more insight to some of the events that day which very few knew...

A lost tape of lost voices, ignored until recently by investigators studying the emergency response on Sept. 11, shows that firefighters climbed far higher into the south tower than practically anyone had realized. At least two men reached the crash zone on the 78th floor, where they went to the aid of grievously injured people trapped in a sprawl of destruction.

Until the building's final minutes, one of the two firefighters, Battalion Chief Orio J. Palmer, was organizing the evacuation of people hurt by the plane's impact. He was accompanied by Fire Marshal Ronald P. Bucca. Both men died.

Only now, nearly a year after the attacks, are the efforts of Chief Palmer, Mr. Bucca and others becoming public. City fire officials simply delayed listening to a 78-minute tape that is the only known recording of firefighters inside the towers. The Fire Department has forbidden anyone to discuss the contents publicly on the ground that the tape might be evidence in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the man accused of plotting with the hijackers.

According to four people who have heard it, the tape provides new, sharp and unforgettable images of the last minutes inside the trade center complex.

For months, senior officials believed that firefighters had gone no higher than about the 50th floor in each tower, well below most damage. The transmissions from Chief Palmer and others reveal a startling achievement: firefighters in the south tower actually reached a floor struck by the second hijacked airplane. Once they got there, they had a coherent plan for putting out the fires they could see and helping victims who survived.

About 14 or 15 minutes before the south tower collapsed, a group of people who had survived the plane's impact began their descent from the 78th floor. As they departed, Chief Palmer sent word to Chief Edward Geraghty that a group of 10 people, with a number of injuries, were heading to an elevator on the 41st floor. That elevator was the only one working after the plane hit. On its last trip down, however, the car became stuck in the shaft. Inside the elevator was a firefighter from Ladder 15, who reported that he was trying to break open the walls. It is not clear whether the group of 10 had reached that elevator before it left the 41st floor but those who listened to the tape said it was most unlikely that they had enough time to escape, by the elevator or by stairs.

Only a minute or two of the tape covers transmissions from the north tower; the rest are from the south tower. Senior officials said this suggested that the communications problems that plagued the Fire Department's response to the attack were caused not simply by equipment failures, but possibly also by misunderstandings over how certain radio gear was working.

On the tapes, the commander of operations in the south tower, Donald Burns, is heard repeatedly calling for additional companies, but many firefighters headed for that building became caught in traffic or became confused about which tower they should report to. As events developed, the inability to get more firefighters into the south tower may have spared some lives, officials said.

The tape was recovered months ago by staff members from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, although authority officials could not be precise about the time. In January or February, the Port Authority offered a copy of the tape to Fire Department officials, but they declined the offer.

The fire officials said they were not told at the time that the tape contained important information and did not want to sign a confidentiality agreement demanded by the Port Authority.

In early July, after The New York Times reported the existence of the tape and the fact that consultants studying the department's response to the attack had not listened to it, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that the fire investigators would immediately review it. A draft of the consultants' report does not take account of the tape's contents.

The department has identified the voices of at least 16 firefighters on the tape, and on Friday, their families were invited to listen to it in a ballroom at the Southgate Tower Suite Hotel near Pennsylvania Station. First, they were required to sign a statement prepared by city lawyers saying they would not disclose the last words of their husbands, brothers and sons.

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta told the families that he had not known the tape existed until very recently. Later, he declined to discuss its contents, but said it had a powerful effect on him. "Every time I've seen videotapes, listened to audio recordings or read the accounts of firefighters and their actions on Sept. 11, I've felt the same thing: an extraordinary sense of awe at their incredible professionalism and bravery."

As the tape played over the hotel sound system, a transcript was displayed on a video screen.

Chief Palmer's widow, Debbie Palmer, said she attended the session with trepidation, but as Commissioner Scoppetta did, she used the word "awe" to describe her feelings afterward. She had known little about her husband's movements on Sept. 11. Mrs. Palmer stressed that she would not break her promise to keep the tape confidential but said it had given her some peace about her husband's last moments.

"I didn't hear fear, I didn't hear panic," she said. "When the tape is made public to the world, people will hear that they all went about their jobs without fear, and selflessly."

Chief Palmer, 45, worked as a firefighter and officer in every borough of the city except Staten Island, said Capt. Robert Norcross, a close friend. He was a student of communication technology, publishing a study of radio equipment in the Fire Department's internal newsletter. "Every time he went to work, Orio had a project," Captain Norcross said. "He was a very brilliant man. And he also was in excellent shape - a marathoner. When the department started giving out a fitness medal, he was the first to win it three or four times."

Chief Palmer began his assignment in the north tower after the first plane struck, helping to organize the operations there. Soon after the second plane hit the south tower at 9:02 a.m., Chief Palmer moved into that building with Chief Burns.

Although most elevators were knocked out of service, Chief Palmer found one that was working and took it to the 41st floor. At that point, he was halfway to the impact zone, which ran from the 78th to the 84th floors.

As he began climbing, he crossed paths with a handful of injured people who had been in the 78th floor Sky Lobby, where scores of office workers had been waiting for express elevators when the second plane hit. The tip of its left wing grazed the lobby, instantly killing most of a group variously estimated between 50 and 200 people. Only a dozen ultimately escaped from the building. Among them was Judy Wein.

"We saw the firefighters coming up, and they would ask us, what floor did you come from?" Ms. Wein recalled in an interview. "We told them, 78, and there's lots of people badly hurt up there. Then they would get on their walkie-talkies and report back in."

Ed Nicholls, whose arm was nearly severed by the blast across the 78th floor, recalled in an interview that he saw a firefighter somewhere around the 50th floor who had advice on how to get out. "We encountered a fireman who told us to go to the 41st floor," he said.

While it is impossible to say if Chief Palmer was the firefighter whom Mr. Nicholls saw, the chief did send radio messages with the information that he collected from civilians trying to escape the building.

As Ling Young, another survivor of the 78th floor, made her way down, she passed two fire marshals, Mr. Bucca and James Devery. They had climbed the stairs from the lobby because they did not know about the elevator that ran to the 41st floor. "Ronnie was ahead of me, like a flight, at all times - he was just in better shape," Mr. Devery said in an interview. "And then on the 51st floor there was a woman standing there on the stairwell landing and she had her arms out and her eyes were closed. And she was bleeding from the side." That was Mrs. Young, and she seemed ready to faint, he recalled, so he decided to escort her out.

"Then I yelled to Ronnie, I yelled up, because he was ahead of me - I said, `Ronnie, I got to help her down, I'll be back,' " Mr. Devery said. "But he didn't answer me. He must have been two flights ahead of me."

Mr. Devery and Mrs. Young took the elevator on the 41st floor to the street. She spent weeks in the hospital recuperating.

When Chief Palmer reached the 75th floor, he reported meeting a fire marshal in the stairway, and officials said that was Mr. Bucca. The two men were well ahead of all the other firefighters in the building. Mr. Bucca, 47, was very fit, like Chief Palmer, and was active in the Army Reserve.

As they passed other survivors from the impact zone, Chief Palmer informed the fire officers on the lower floors about their injuries. Chief Geraghty, who had come to the 41st floor, called down to the ground for firefighters with medical training.

Chief Palmer also found an obstruction in the stairway and told the trailing fire companies how to get around it. He asked the chiefs below him to find an elevator that reached the 76th floor, those who heard the tape said.

Throughout, the voices of Chief Palmer, Chief Geraghty, and the other firefighters showed no panic, no sense that events were racing beyond their control.

When Chief Palmer radioed from the 78th floor, he sounded slightly out of breath, perhaps from exertion or perhaps from the sight of all the people who moments before had been waiting for an elevator and now were dead or close to it.

"Numerous 10-45's, Code Ones," Chief Palmer said, using the Fire Department's radio terms for dead people.

At that point, the building would be standing for just a few more minutes, as the fire was weakening the structure on the floors above him. Even so, Chief Palmer could see only two pockets of fire, and called for a pair of engine companies to fight them.

Among those lying in the lobby of the 78th floor was Richard Gabrielle, an Aon employee who had been waiting for the elevator. He was trapped under marble that was blown off the wall, witnesses said.

His widow, Monica Gabrielle, said that she has been tormented by nightmares about her husband's last moments, and that she was appalled that fire officials had waited so long to listen to the tape. She had wondered whether her husband had died alone. The efforts of Chief Palmer and Mr. Bucca in reaching the 78th floor eased that anxiety.

"The fact that Rich, still alive, was not alone - at least he knew there was help, and thought that they were getting out," she said. She added that she thought all such records should be made public.

Mrs. Palmer said that as she sat in the audience on Friday listening to the tape, she realized that she knew how events would end, but that her husband and the other firefighters did not. "In my mind, I was saying, hurry up, hurry up, get out of there," she said. "But what's done is done."


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Good morning all,

Hope you are having a good week and the kids are doing well... I know each day is an adventure and that you can't possibly prepare for all the variables you face as each school day unfolds... but then again, I'm sure that is what makes it fun! :)

I will be leaving tomorrow to spend the next 6 days in New York City... we are going to spend some time in the city and then participate in the events at the World Trade Center site. Most of you know, my brother was lost in the attacks... this is the first time either myself or my sister will attend and I would think it will be very, very emotional... the event is only open to family members so you can imagine what it will be like to be with thousands of people, all mourning the loss of loved ones... not sure I can comprehend it but based on my time in NYC shortly after the attacks, I am very sure it will be a surreal environment... my daughter has also been selected as one of the readers who will participate in reading the names of those lost on that tragic day... I'm not sure how you handle this in individual schools but know, none of the kids, even in HS have much of an awareness of how devastating this was to our country and how it changed all of our lives forever... I will send a little more later...

Wishing you a happy day... we always have to remember to live in the present, be appreciative of the good in our lives, enjoy everything we do, smile & have fun..... Gabe

While this picture is good, what we saw over Florida was much more spectacular...
Blue Moon Over Cincinnati A rare second Full Moon of the month, known as a "Blue Moon," is seen over Cincinnati on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012. The family of Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong held a memorial service celebrating his life earlier in the day in Cincinnati. Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, died Saturday, Aug. 25. He was 82. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

I've helped schools get tiles in the past, be sure you apply as these are treasured and everyone who has received one has a very special piece of history...
NASA Is Expanding Offer For Space Shuttle Tiles And Food NASA is expanding its offer to museums and schools of space shuttle heat shield tiles and food packaged for spaceflight.

NASA Announces Asteroid Naming Contest for Students Students worldwide have an opportunity to name an asteroid from which an upcoming NASA mission will return the first samples to Earth.

NASA Crew News Conference to Preview Space Station Expeditions NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston will hold an Expedition 34 and 35 crew briefing Thursday, Sept. 13, to preview the upcoming missions aboard the International Space Station.

A little dated but still a Cool picture...
New planet discovered by astronomers

By Daily Mail Reporter
4:14 PM on 24 July 2008

CoRot-Exo-4b

Astronomers have discovered a new planet about the same size as Jupiter, it was announced today. The planet, named CoRot-Exo-4b, was spotted by a European space mission.

It forms part of the unicorn constellation and lies about 3,000 light years from our solar system. Astronomers believe it is mostly made up of gas and has a similar composition to Jupiter.

CoRot-Exo-4b forms part of the unicorn constellation and lies about 3,000 light years from our solar system.

The planet is currently not visible from Earth but will come back into view in autumn.

It is slightly larger than the sun, so a year lasts 9.2 days on the planet, which is the time it takes to orbit its star. But scientists said paying a visit to the planet would be out of the question. As well as being unbearably hot and made of gas, it is simply too far away. Even if scientists succeeded in building a spacecraft that could travel at light-speed, the journey would take 3,000 years.

The discovery was announced at an international astronomy conference at the University of St Andrews today.

The mission that made the discovery is called CoRot and was launched in December 2006 with the objective of tracking down planets outside our solar system. It is led by the French space agency CNES, but includes contributions from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Brazil and the European Space Agency.

St Andrews astronomer Dr Martin Dominik said: "Within less than 15 years, the count of planets orbiting stars other than the sun has risen from none to over 300. 'The new findings provide reason for the scientists currently gathering in St Andrews to revise their theories."


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope your week is going well... many of you are writing about getting ready for students at the beginning of the new year: parents/teacher meetings, still decorating classrooms and all the activities to prepare for the year... things most of us would never imagine and take for granted... you know, that cake job where you flip a switch, everything ready to go, all kids eager to learn, all well behaved, parents always supportive, administration always supportive, and 9-3 job... :) plus making major bucks... :) you know I'm teasing, but there are many who just do not understand what is involved and how tremendously challenging teaching is as well as the huge responsibility... the launch is scheduled for 4:07 a.m. tomorrow, it will be broadcast on NASA TV and replayed throughout the day... I hope you can share it with the kids as well as the updates with Curiosity... remember to go to the subject link for all the updates as well as great pictures... we have to remember to enjoy everything we do, be appreciative of the good in our lives, live in the present, smile & have fun! Gabe

KSC Employee Update:
RBSP, Atlas V Await Launch on Pad 41

RBSP, Atlas V Await Launch on Pad 41

The rollout of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes spacecraft began on schedule at 8 a.m. EDT, reaching the pad at Space Launch Complex-41 at 8:35 a.m. Preparations are beginning to fuel the rocket's first stage with about 25,000 gallons of RP-1, a highly refined kerosene. The fueling operation is scheduled to begin at noon and takes 45 minutes to complete.

The launch weather forecast has improved to only a 30 percent chance of not meeting the weather criteria for liftoff at 4:07 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24. Scattered clouds are forecast, with a temperature at launch time near 78 degrees and a light southwest wind. Tropical Storm Isaac will not be a factor if launch occurs on Friday or Saturday.

To learn more about the RBSP mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/rbsp or find out the latest news via NASA's RBSP social media sites at http://go.nasa.gov/QR9agk, http://www.twitter.com/RBStormProbes and http://www.twitter.com/nasakennedy.

Mars Interior Artist rendition of the formation of rocky bodies in the solar system - how they form and differentiate and evolve into terrestrial planets. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Hubble Watches Star Clusters on a Collision Course Astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope caught two clusters full of massive stars that may be in the early stages of merging. The 30 Doradus Nebula is 170,000 light-years from Earth. What at first was thought to be only one cluster in the core of the massive star-forming region 30 Doradus has been found to be a composite of two clusters that differ in age by about one million years. The entire 30 Doradus complex has been an active star-forming region for 25 million years, and it is currently unknown how much longer this region can continue creating new stars. Smaller systems that merge into larger ones could help to explain the origin of some of the largest known star clusters. The Hubble observations, made with the Wide Field Camera 3, were taken Oct. 20-27, 2009. The blue color is light from the hottest, most massive stars; the green from the glow of oxygen; and the red from fluorescing hydrogen. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and E. Sabbi (ESA/STScI)

NASA, Maritime Administration Announce New Home For Liberty Star NASA and the Maritime Administration signed a memorandum of understanding to transfer NASA's Liberty Star, to the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

KSC Employee Station Update:
Diagnosing Medical Conditions on Earth and in Space

In the movie "Iron Man 2," billionaire-turned-super-hero Tony Stark uses a pocket device to measure his toxicity levels caused by the fictional reactor core in his chest that gives him superpowers. In this Hollywood vision, the test results come back instantly, of course, and are immediately transferred to a vast database that helps Stark find a cure.

In real life, such instantaneous personal medical technology doesn't exist yet. But soon, a new device the Canadian Space Agency will be testing on the International Space Station could pave the way for just such a gadget -- one able to offer real-time analysis of everything from infections to stress, blood cells, cancer markers, and could even be used to test food-quality levels here on Earth. The device -- called Microflow -- is a miniaturized version of a flow cytometer, a common research or clinical laboratory instrument used for a range of bioanalysis and clinical diagnoses. Microflow can spot cells and biological molecules rapidly by using optical fiber-optic technology to detect them in a sample of liquid as they pass single file in front of a laser -- all within 10 minutes.

To read the full story, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/­research/news/microflow.html. To follow the latest happenings on the orbiting laboratory, subscribe to the Space-Blogs list at https://lists.nasa.gov/mailman/listinfo/space-blogs.

EVA to Add to the ISS Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka (top), Expedition 32 commander; and Yuri Malenchenko, flight engineer, participate in a session of extravehicular activity (EVA) to continue outfitting the International Space Station. During the five-hour, 51-minute spacewalk on August 20, 2012, Padalka and Malenchenko moved the Strela-2 cargo boom from the Pirs docking compartment to the Zarya module to prepare Pirs for its eventual replacement with a new Russian multipurpose laboratory module. The two spacewalking cosmonauts also installed micrometeoroid debris shields on the exterior of the Zvezda service module and deployed a small science satellite. Image Credit: NASA


Monday, August 20, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you had a great weekend... mine was really busy trying to catch up as I have been gone the last two... sure went fast!!! :) I know many schools start back today, probably still some of the East Coast with a couple of weeks before everyone is back... it is a sign that summer is winding down and as a new school year begins so many opportunities to visit with you and the kids... always such a bright part of my day... I received so many pictures of Endeavour & Atlantis... as I mentioned on Friday, bitter /sweet but will include a few over the next couple of weeks for those of you who I know enjoy them so much... hopefully you can show the kids Curiosity's landing and updates through the subject link as well as from the group email... NASA TV will show the launch live on Thursday and replay it through the day... wishing you a fun day... it has to be very challenging to have a whole new group of students to adjust to and to try to mold as individuals, dealing with so many different personalities as well as learning habits... you all amaze me... we have to remember to always do our best, enjoy everything we do, live in the present, smile & have fun! Gabe

KSC Employee Update:
Radiation Belt Storm Probes Arrive at Pad 41

Tucked inside their protective fairing, NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes were transported Aug. 10 from the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville to the Vertical Integration Facility at Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The spacecraft were hoisted into place atop an Atlas V rocket and powered on for a state-of-health check and their batteries were charged during the weekend.

The Integrated Systems Test, an interface verification check between the Atlas V and the spacecraft, is planned for today. These activities are on schedule, with launch slated for 4:08 a.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 23.

NASA Curiosity Team Pinpoints Site for First Drive, First Laser Use On Tap This Weekend The scientists and engineers of NASA's Curiosity rover mission have selected the first destination for their one-ton, six-wheeled mobile Mars laboratory.

Phoenix Cluster Sets Record Pace at Forming Stars Astronomers have found an extraordinary galaxy cluster, one of the largest objects in the universe, that is breaking several important cosmic records.

This Week @ NASA, August 17, 2012

Galactic Island In terms of intergalactic real estate, our solar system has a plum location as part of a big, spiral galaxy, the Milky Way. Numerous, less glamorous dwarf galaxies keep the Milky Way company. Many galaxies, however, are comparatively isolated, without close neighbors. One such example is the small galaxy known as DDO 190, snapped here in a new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. (“DDO" stands for the David Dunlap Observatory, now managed by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, where the catalog was created). DDO 190 is classified as a dwarf irregular galaxy as it is relatively small and lacks clear structure. Older, reddish stars mostly populate DDO 190's outskirts, while some younger, bluish stars gleam in DDO 190's more crowded interior. Some pockets of ionized gas heated up by stars appear here and there, with the most noticeable one shining towards the bottom of DDO 190 in this picture. Meanwhile, a great number of distant galaxies with evident spiral, elliptical and less-defined shapes glow in the background. DDO 190 lies around 9 million light years away from our solar system. It is considered part of the loosely associated Messier 94 group of galaxies, not far from the Local Group of galaxies that includes the Milky Way. Canadian astronomer Sidney van der Bergh was the first to record DDO 190 in 1959 as part of the DDO catalog of dwarf galaxies. Although within the Messier 94 group, DDO 190 is on its own. The galaxy's nearest dwarf galaxy neighbor, DDO 187, is thought to be no closer than 3 million light years away. In contrast, many of the Milky Way’s companion galaxies, such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, reside within a fifth or so of that distance, and even the giant spiral of the Andromeda Galaxy is closer to the Milky Way than DDO 190 is to its nearest neighbor. Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA


Friday, August 17, 2012

Good morning all,

Yesterday we were able to see a magnificent sight... Since I now work close to both the VAB & OPF it was awesome to walk outside and watch as they switched places in final preparations to be moved to their public display areas... to be honest it was double edged as also sad to think we will never see these fly again but have to focus on how fortunate it was to be here for not only the first but so many... coupled with sharing the experience with so many of you, it was simply amazing. I have quite a few more pictures, I'll try to send some next week... wishing you all a very happy weekend... we have to remember to enjoy today first and make sure we do that day to day... we tend to always be looking back or ahead and not focusing on the day we are in... most of us are guilty of it so that is why I try to remind all of us, as well as the kids, the most important day of our lives is the one we are in, if we can enjoy it day to day, we will have a very happy life... smile & have fun! Gabe

NASA's space shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis switched locations today at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and in the process came "nose-to-nose" for the last time in front of Orbiter Processing Facility 3. Endeavour was moved from Orbiter Processing Facility 2 to the Vehicle Assembly Building where it will be housed temporarily until its targeted departure from Kennedy atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft in mid-September. After a stop at the Los Angeles International Airport, Endeavour will move in mid-October to the California Science Center for permanent public display. Now in the processing facility after leaving the Vehicle Assembly Building, shuttle Atlantis will undergo preparations for its move to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in November, with a grand opening planned for July 2013.

NASA to Host Curiosity Rover Update Teleconference Aug. 17 NASA will host a media teleconference at 1:30 p.m. EDT, Friday, Aug. 17, to provide a status update on the Curiosity rover's mission to Mars' Gale Crater.

Phoenix Cluster Sets Record Pace at Forming Stars Astronomers have found an extraordinary galaxy cluster, one of the largest objects in the universe, that is breaking several important cosmic records.

This is crazy... enjoy :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DQFvNhsWMU0c

History of our world in 2 minutes
Hang on this is a fast ride...
Take 2 min to see this little masterpiece. It is too short but so interesting...
Click following link: http://marcbrecy.perso.neuf.fr/history.html
AFTER YOU CLICK UP THE LINK AND THE PICTURE APPEARS CLICK IT AGAIN...

AGENCYWIDE MESSAGE TO ALL NASA EMPLOYEES:

On her tortuous journey to Mars, the Curiosity rover had to withstand the rigors of flight through interplanetary space and the effects of solar radiation and space weather. Now that she is safely on the surface, our attention turns to our next mission to study the interaction of the dynamic sun with our home planet Earth.

The Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission is scheduled to launch next Thursday, August 23, on an Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window opens at 4:08 a.m. EDT and closes at 4:28 a.m. EDT; you can watch the launch on NASA TV or at http://www.nasa.tv/ntv.

The RBSP mission is made up of two identical probes that will study the Van Allen Radiation Belts, two concentric, donut-shaped rings of high-energy particles that surround Earth. Data from the probes will help us understand this major feature of the Earth's magnetosphere and the interactions between the sun and Earth.

As the second mission in NASA's Living With a Star program, the twin RBSP spacecraft are part of a fleet of spacecraft that may help predict space weather before it affects our spacecraft in orbit and the surface of our home planet.

I encourage all of you to learn more about this mission and help us tell the great story of what we are doing to make life better here on Earth. Please visit http://www.nasa.gov/rbsp for more information about the launch next Thursday and the science behind the mission.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Good morning all.

I really enjoy the feedback and hearing about how you are getting ready to start classes, all the work that goes into fixing up and personalizing the classrooms... I know at the end of every year most of you have to box everything up, which is a chore within itself, then at the beginning of every year reconfigure the classroom to make it fun as well as interesting for the kids... As I always say you have the most difficult job in the world and I am in awe of what you do, day to day... it is always so much fun to visit the schools, spend time with the kids, and hopefully support you in everything you do... so let me know if you would like me to visit your school, I am starting to get requests and trying to plan a "schedule"... for those of you unfamiliar you can visit ... www.educatemotivate.com wishing you a great day... we have to always remember to do our best, enjoy everything we do, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe

Check this out...

360-degree panoramic view from Curiosity on Mars -- really cool stuff!
http://www.360cities.net/image/curiosity-rover-martian-solar-day-2#518.28,19.67,110.0

Visit NASA's website on the Curiosity Mars Rover to learn about the mission, see recent images and videos, get the latest news, and more. The rover landed on the red planet at 10:32 p.m. (PDT) on August 5, 2012 and will spend the next two years analyzing soil and rock samples to determine whether Mars was ever able to support small life forms.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Image This color-enhanced view of NASA's Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as the satellite flew overhead. Colors have been enhanced to show the subtle color variations near the rover, which result from different types of materials. The descent stage blast pattern around the rover is clearly seen as relatively blue colors (true colors would be more gray). Curiosity landed within Gale Crater, a portion of which is pictured here. The mountain at the center of the crater, called Mount Sharp, is located out of frame to the southeast. North is up. This image was acquired at an angle of 30 degrees from straight down, looking west. Another image looking more directly down will be acquired in five days, completing a stereo pair along with this image. The scale of this image cutout is about 12 inches (31 centimeters) per pixel. HiRISE is one of six instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates the orbiter's HiRISE camera, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Image credit: NASNASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Two Space Station Spacewalks to be Broadcast on NASA TV Astronauts and cosmonauts will perform two spacewalks outside the International Space Station this month.

In Their Own Words: Nicole Stott NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott discusses her path to a spaceflight career, life aboard the International Space Station, the legacy of the Space Shuttle Program, and more.

KSC Employee Update:
Yikes! Spiders on the International Space Station

Arachnophobia is not for astronauts on the International Space Station! In her latest blog entry, Expedition 32 Flight Engineer Suni Williams recounts her observations of the spiders residing in the orbiting laboratory as she and her fellow crew members awaited the arrival of an unpiloted Progress resupply ship, anticipating fresh fruit and care packages.

"Cleopatra and Nefertiti are our two spiders. Cleopatra, the zebra spider seems to be either very clever or very shy. She has disappeared. She was the first one I met and was pretty active when I first saw her. She is sort of small, like the size of the holes where the fruit flies live... so, we think she was maybe really hungry and went into one of the holes. If so, she was having a buffet in there. There are cameras on them in the habitat so the ground can watch and they saw evidence that there was webbing in one of the fruit fly holes. My only worry about her is that she will eat too much, grow a lot and get stuck in there... the life of a Spidernaut.

"Nefertiti on the other hand is too big. She is sort of scary; in fact I am so glad I am not a fruit fly. I opened up the habitat and actually saw her running around at full speed looking for something to eat. It was difficult to even get a steady picture. Then a fruit fly came out. Nefertiti stopped, she stalked and then she pounced. It was amazing to see this with my own two eyes. Apparently they inject some acidic fluid in the fly body, which liquefies the insides, and then she sucks everything out of the fly. The only thing left is the carcass... and I saw many carcasses floating around in her twisted web. Note her 4 eyes and the fruit fly in her mouth! I was told she has excellent vision. Again, I am so happy to not be a fly -- reminded me of that futuristic movie Starship Troopers. Yikes!"

To read Williams' blog in its entirety, go to http://go.nasa.gov/OQ5DJM. To stay up to date on the latest happenings on the station, subscribe to the Space-Blogs list at https://lists.nasa.gov/mailman/listinfo/space-blogs.

Canadarm2 and HTV-3 In the grasp of the International Space Station's robotic Canadarm2, the HTV-3 Exposed Pallet is moved for installation on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-3) currently docked to the space station. Earth's horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the scene. Image Credit: NASA


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Good morning all,

Will just quickly send a few links as I have to get some things done... another short week and as busy as we have been trying to be productive :) Off to Oregon tomorrow, returning Sunday night... will be a long flight but never want to miss an opportunity to spend time with family, we are on both coasts so chances don't happen very often... Curiosity is continuing to send back pictures, be sure to go to the subject link for all the latest as well as great videos... wishing you a happy day and rest of the week... we have to enjoy it day to day, keep things in perspective, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun!

Gabe

Curiosity's Heat Shield in View

This color thumbnail image was obtained by NASA's Curiosity rover during its descent to the surface of Mars on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The image was obtained by the Mars Descent Imager instrument known as MARDI and shows the 15-foot (4.5-meter) diameter heat shield when it was about 50 feet (16 meters) from the spacecraft. It was obtained two and one-half minutes before touching down on the surface of Mars and about three seconds after heat shield separation. It is among the first color images Curiosity sent back from Mars. The resolution of all of the MARDI frames is reduced by a factor of eight in order for them to be promptly received on Earth during this early phase of the mission. Full resolution (1,600 by 1,200 pixels) images will be returned to Earth over the next several months as Curiosity begins its scientific exploration of Mars. The original image from MARDI has been geometrically corrected to look flat. Curiosity landed inside of a crater known as Gale Crater. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Orbiter Images NASA's Latest Additions to Martian Landscape Late Monday night, an image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured the Curiosity rover and the components that helped it survive its seven-minute ordeal from space to its present location in Mars' Gale Crater.

Briefing Set to Preview Two Spacewalks from Space Station NASA will preview a pair of spacewalks involving U.S., Russian and Japanese crew members aboard the International Space Station at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 14.

NASA to Hold News Conference on Upcoming Radiation Belt Storm Probes Launch NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EDT, Thursday, Aug. 9 to discuss the upcoming launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP).

Saturn's Moons The Cassini spacecraft watches a pair of Saturn's moons, showing the hazy orb of giant Titan beyond smaller Tethys. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing sides of Titan (3,200 miles, or 5,150 kilometers across) and Tethys (660 miles, or 1,062 kilometers across). The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Oct. 18, 2010. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) from Titan and at a Sun-Titan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 55 degrees. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 55 degrees. Image scale is 15 kilometers (9 miles) per pixel on Titan and 6 miles (9 kilometers) per pixel on Tethys. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Good morning all,

Since this will be a short week for me, I'll try to give you the latest updates on Curiosity's mission... it is still such an amazing accomplishment... we sometimes forget what it takes to do these spectacular missions... 350 million miles, 8 1/2 months, two planets revolving around the sun in different orbits as well as individually rotating, everything timed to perfection... I remember a few launches that had a one second launch window, everything timed to one second... mmmmmmm and I have trouble balancing my check book!!!! :) It is just some of the magic that being here at Kennedy which makes day to day life so interesting... it's great to share it with you and I always appreciate the feedback... wishing you a happy day... we have to remember to always do our best, enjoy everything we do, live in the present, smile & have fun! Gabe

Curiosity Videos

NASA Lands Car-Size Rover Beside Martian Mountain NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet.

NASA's Curiosity Rover Caught in the Act of Landing An image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot (almost 16 meter)-wide parachute as it descended toward its landing site at Gale Crater Sunday

NASA's Curiosity rover has landed on Mars and is returning some of its first images of the Martian landscape. The images include Mount Sharp, which is Curiosity's main science target over the next two years. The Curiosity team hopes to drive the rover to the mountain to investigate its lower layers, which scientists think hold clues to past environmental change. View images from the Curiosity rover.

Curiosity's Surroundings This is one of the first images taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars on the morning of Aug. 6, 2012. It was taken through a fisheye wide-angle lens on the left "eye" of a stereo pair of Hazard-Avoidance cameras on the left-rear side of the rover. The image is one-half of full resolution. The clear dust cover that protected the camera during landing has been sprung open. Part of the spring that released the dust cover can be seen at the bottom right, near the rover's wheel. On the top left, part of the rover's power supply is visible. Some dust appears on the lens even with the dust cover off. The cameras are looking directly into the sun, so the top of the image is saturated. Looking straight into the sun does not harm the cameras. The lines across the top are an artifact called "blooming" that occurs in the camera's detector because of the saturation. As planned, the rover's early engineering images are lower resolution. Larger color images from other cameras are expected later in the week when the rover's mast, carrying high-resolution cameras, is deployed. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Smokey Bear to Celebrate 68th Birthday at Mission Control NASA, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Texas Forest Service and Smokey Bear are teaming up to celebrate Smokey's 68th birthday Aug. 9 at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

View the Latest Edition of "This Week@NASA" (Dated Aug. 6, 2012)

View the latest "This Week@NASA" produced by NASA Television for features on agency news and activities. Stories in this program include:

  • Curiosity Has Landed! - JPL
  • Vertical Test Bed - KSC/JSC
  • Fast-Tracked Cargo Ship - JSC
  • 2012 NASA Honor Awards - HQ
  • Celestial Symphony - HQ
  • Take Your Children to Work Day - HQ
  • Young Apprentices - HQ
  • Marking History - KSC
  • A Nozzle -- and a Smile -- MSFC
  • NASA Anniversary: Launch of STS-85, Aug. 7, 1997
  • NASA Anniversary: Launch of STS-118, Aug. 8, 2007
  • NASA Anniversary: Launch of Juno Spacecraft, Aug. 5, 2011

To watch this edition of "This Week@NASA" dated Aug. 6, 2012, click the image below:

You also may access this edition of "This Week@NASA" at: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=149952391

"ThisWeek@NASA" and other NASA features are available at http://www.nasa.gov under NASA Multimedia, http://www.youtube.com/nasatelevision and iTunes.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Good morning all,

Got back about 1:30 am Sunday morning from whirlwind visit to Missouri and Arkansas... all went well including presentations with the kids in Richland & Waynesville... Thanks to BJ & Connie for their help and to Kelly for making all the arrangements... Not sure if you were able to watch the events from this morning's successful landing of the Mars Scientific Lab, Curiosity... if not I hope you will watch the replays and events as there will be live feed and should be an exciting adventure for the kids as many will be starting back to school soon... hard to believe, the summers go faster and faster, as it seems does life in general... :) all the more reason to live in the present, enjoy everything we do, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & always... have fun :) ... this will be another short week, with another quick trip, this time to Oregon for my cousin's wedding... leaving on Thursday, returning on Sunday... wishing you a great day... Gabe

Make sure to visit the subject link for all the latest and awesome videos...

KSC Employee Update:

NASA LANDS CAR-SIZE ROVER BESIDE MARTIAN MOUNTAIN

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft that carried Curiosity succeeded in every step of the most complex landing ever attempted on Mars, including the final severing of the bridle cords and flyaway maneuver of the rocket backpack.

"Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars. Curiosity, the most sophisticated rover ever built, is now on the surface of the Red Planet, where it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether life ever existed on Mars -- or if the planet can sustain life in the future," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "This is an amazing achievement, made possible by a team of scientists and engineers from around the world and led by the extraordinary men and women of NASA and our Jet Propulsion Laboratory. President Obama has laid out a bold vision for sending humans to Mars in the mid-2030's, and today's landing marks a significant step toward achieving this goal."

Curiosity landed at 10:32 p.m. Aug. 5, PDT, (1:32 a.m. EDT Aug. 6) near the foot of a mountain three miles tall and 96 miles in diameter inside Gale Crater. During a nearly two-year prime mission, the rover will investigate whether the region ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life.

"The Seven Minutes of Terror has turned into the Seven Minutes of Triumph," said NASA Associate Administrator for Science John Grunsfeld. "My immense joy in the success of this mission is matched only by overwhelming pride I feel for the women and men of the mission's team."

Curiosity returned its first view of Mars, a wide-angle scene of rocky ground near the front of the rover. More images are anticipated in the next several days as the mission blends observations of the landing site with activities to configure the rover for work and check the performance of its instruments and mechanisms.

"Our Curiosity is talking to us from the surface of Mars," said MSL Project Manager Peter Theisinger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "The landing takes us past the most hazardous moments for this project, and begins a new and exciting mission to pursue its scientific objectives."

Confirmation of Curiosity's successful landing came in communications relayed by NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter and received by the Canberra, Australia, antenna station of NASA's Deep Space Network.

Curiosity carries 10 science instruments with a total mass 15 times as large as the science payloads on the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Some of the tools are the first of their kind on Mars, such as a laser-firing instrument for checking elemental composition of rocks from a distance. The rover will use a drill and scoop at the end of its robotic arm to gather soil and powdered samples of rock interiors, then sieve and parcel out these samples into analytical laboratory instruments inside the rover.

To handle this science toolkit, Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as Spirit or Opportunity. The Gale Crater landing site places the rover within driving distance of layers of the crater's interior mountain. Observations from orbit have identified clay and sulfate minerals in the lower layers, indicating a wet history.

The mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL.

For more information on the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mars and http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

Follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at: http://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity.

Celebrating Curiosity NASA/JPL ground controllers react to learning the Curiosity rover had landed safely on Mars and begun to send back images to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. The rover will assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support life forms. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

This Week @ NASA, August 3, 2012

NASA Announces Next Steps In Effort To Launch Americans From U.S. Soil CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA Friday announced new agreements with three American commercial companies to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities, enabling a launch of astronauts from U.S. soil in the next five years.

Field of Stars The Hubble Space Telescope captured a crowd of stars that looks rather like a stadium darkened before a show, lit only by the flashbulbs of the audience's cameras. Yet the many stars of this object, known as Messier 107, are not a fleeting phenomenon, at least by human reckoning of time -- these ancient stars have gleamed for many billions of years.

Messier 107 is one of more than 150 globular star clusters found around the disc of the Milky Way galaxy. These spherical collections each contain hundreds of thousands of extremely old stars and are among the oldest objects in the Milky Way. The origin of globular clusters and their impact on galactic evolution remains somewhat unclear, so astronomers continue to study them.

Messier 107 can be found in the constellation of Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer) and is located about 20,000 light-years from our solar system.

French astronomer Pierre Mechain first noted the object in 1782, and British astronomer William Herschel documented it independently a year later. A Canadian astronomer, Helen Sawyer Hogg, added Messier 107 to Charles Messier's famous astronomical catalogue in 1947.

This picture was obtained with the Wide Field Camera of Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys.

Image credit: ESA/NASA

Star Formation in a Dwarf Galaxy This image shows the Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy in infrared light from the Herschel Space Observatory, a European Space Agency-led mission, and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Considered dwarf galaxies compared to the big spiral of the Milky Way, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are the two biggest satellite galaxies of our home galaxy. In combined data from Herschel and Spitzer, the irregular distribution of dust in the Small Magellanic Cloud becomes clear. A stream of dust extends to the left in this image, known as the galaxy's "wing," and a bar of star formation appears on the right. The colors in this image indicate temperatures in the dust that permeates the Cloud. Colder regions show where star formation is at its earliest stages or is shut off, while warm expanses point to new stars heating surrounding dust. The coolest areas and objects appear in red, corresponding to infrared light taken up by Herschel's Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver at 250 microns, or millionths of a meter. Herschel's Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer fills out the mid-temperature bands, shown here in green, at 100 and 160 microns. The warmest spots appear in blue, courtesy of 24- and 70-micron data from Spitzer. Image Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Good morning all,

Everything going well for Curiosity's landing on Monday... This is leading up to a huge event... I hope you were able to go to some of the links I sent on Monday... I will be in Missouri the rest of the week so won't be able to send any more info but follow along on the NASA site and hopefully we can watch it land on Monday morning. Running a little late, :) want to get this of... enjoy the rest of the week, it will be a busy and fun one for me, fly out tomorrow, do school presentations on Friday, attend a wedding on Sat, then fly back Sat night... we have to remember to always do our best, enjoy everything we do, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe

William Shatner and Wil Wheaton Narrate New NASA Mars Curiosity Rover Video As NASA prepares for next week's Curiosity rover landing on Mars, William Shatner and Wil Wheaton share this thrilling story of NASA's hardest planetary science mission to date.

Daring NASA Mars Mission Broadcast Lands In Times Square WASHINGTON -- The Toshiba Vision screen in New York City's Times Square will become the largest East Coast location for the public to see live mission coverage of Curiosity, NASA's most advanced planetary rover, as it lands on the Martian surface at 1:31 a.m. EDT August 6.

KSC Employee Update:
Curiosity Rover Nears Landing on Mars

The much-anticipated landing of NASA's Curiosity rover is fast approaching. Contact with the surface of the Red Planet is expected at 1:31 a.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 6.

Although Curiosity is close to reaching its destination after a successful launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in November 2011, the process from entering the Martian atmosphere to landing safely is no easy task. Curiosity has seven minutes to decelerate from 13,000 mph to a soft landing. If a single step is unsuccessful, the mission could fail. This process has been dubbed the "seven minutes of terror."

Sci-fi icons William Shatner and Wil Wheaton narrate the story of NASA's hardest planetary science mission to date in the video, "Grand Entrance," which can be viewed online at http://go.nasa.gov/N7eV2N and http://go.nasa.gov/N7f8D8. NASA's landing coverage will be carried on NASA TV and can be viewed online at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

For more information about NASA's Mars Curiosity rover and its two-year prime mission to investigate one of the most intriguing regions of Mars, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mars or follow Curiosity on social media at http://twitter.com/marscuriosity or http://www.facebook.com/MarsCuriosity.

NASA Television to Air Upcoming Cargo Ship Launch to Space Station NASA Television will broadcast the launch and for the first time, the same-day rendezvous and docking of a Progress cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).

This diagram illustrates the differences between orbits of a typical near-Earth asteroid (blue) and a potentially hazardous asteroid, or PHA (orange). PHAs are a subset of the near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and have the closest orbits to Earth's orbit, coming within 5 million miles (about 8 million kilometers). They also are large enough to survive passage through Earth's atmosphere and cause damage on a regional, or greater, scale. Our yellow sun sits at the center of the crowd, while the orbits of the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars are shown in grey. Earth's orbit stands out in green between Venus and Mars. As the diagram indicates, the PHAs tend to have more Earth-like orbits than the rest of the NEAs. The asteroid orbits are simulations of what a typical object's path around the sun might look like. The dots in the background are based on data from NASA's NEOWISE, the asteroid-hunting portion of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, which scanned the whole sky twice in infrared light before entering hibernation mode in 2011. The blue and orange dots represent a simulation of the population of near-Earth asteroids and PHAs, respectively, which are larger than 330 feet (100 meters). NEOWISE has provided the best overall look at the PHA population yet, refining estimates of their numbers, sizes, types of orbits and potential hazards. The NEOWISE team estimates that about 20 to 30 percent of the PHAs thought to exist have actually been discovered as of May 2012, the date of this image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Flame Nebula The Flame Nebula sits on the eastern hip of Orion the Hunter, a constellation most easily visible in the northern hemisphere during winter evenings. This view of the nebula was taken by WISE, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. This image shows a vast cloud of gas and dust where new stars are being born. Three familiar nebulae are visible in the central region: the Flame Nebula, the Horsehead Nebula and NGC 2023. The Flame Nebula is the brightest and largest in the image. It is lit by a star inside it that is 20 times the mass of the sun and would be as bright to our eyes as the other stars in Orion's belt if it weren't for all the surrounding dust, which makes it appear 4 billion times dimmer than it actually is. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

View the latest "This Week@NASA" produced by NASA Television for features on agency news and activities. Stories in this program include:

  • Red Planet Rendezvous - Curiosity Rover - JPL
  • Mars Yard "Stunt Doubles" - JPL
  • Heavy-Lift Milestone - MSFC
  • Hypersonic Heat Shield Success - LARC/WFF
  • J-2X Sets New Best - SSC/MSFC
  • Cargo Ship Delivers NASA Technology - JSC/GRC/MSFC
  • Upcoming ISS Missions Previewed - JSC
  • Happy 40th, Landsat!
  • Summer Thinkers - HQ
  • Commander Returns - DFRC
  • NASA Anniversary: Launch of STS-46: July 31, 1992
  • Remembering a Space Pioneer - Sally Ride - HQ

To watch this edition of "This Week@NASA" dated July 27, 2012, click the image below:

Watch the Video

You also may access this edition of "This Week@NASA" at: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=149489051

"This Week@NASA" and other NASA features are available at http://www.nasa.gov under NASA Multimedia, http://www.youtube.com/nasatelevision and iTunes.

X-rays From A Young Supernova Remnant More than fifty years ago, a supernova was discovered in M83, a spiral galaxy about 15 million light years from Earth. Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to make the first detection of X-rays emitted by the debris from this explosion. Named SN 1957D because it was the fourth supernova to be discovered in the year 1957, it is one of only a few located outside of the Milky Way galaxy that is detectable, in both radio and optical wavelengths, decades after its explosion was observed. In 1981, astronomers saw the remnant of the exploded star in radio waves, and then in 1987 they detected the remnant at optical wavelengths, years after the light from the explosion itself became undetectable. A relatively short observation -- about 14 hours long -- from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in 2000 and 2001 did not detect any X-rays from the remnant of SN 1957D. However, a much longer observation obtained in 2010 and 2011, totaling nearly 8 and 1/2 days of Chandra time, did reveal the presence of X-ray emission. The X-ray brightness in 2000 and 2001 was about the same as or lower than in this deep image. This new Chandra image of M83 is one of the deepest X-ray observations ever made of a spiral galaxy beyond our own. This full-field view of the spiral galaxy shows the low, medium, and high-energy X-rays observed by Chandra in red, green, and blue respectively. The new X-ray data from the remnant of SN 1957D provide important information about the nature of this explosion that astronomers think happened when a massive star ran out of fuel and collapsed. The distribution of X-rays with energy suggests that SN 1957D contains a neutron star, a rapidly spinning, dense star formed when the core of pre-supernova star collapsed. This neutron star, or pulsar, may be producing a cocoon of charged particles moving at close to the speed of light known as a pulsar wind nebula. If this interpretation is confirmed, the pulsar in SN 1957D is observed at an age of 55 years, one of the youngest pulsars ever seen. The remnant of SN 1979C in the galaxy M100 contains another candidate for the youngest pulsar, but astronomers are still unsure whether there is a black hole or a pulsar at the center of SN 1979C. Image Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/STScI/K.Long et al., Optical: NASA/STScI


Monday, July 30, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and will enjoy the week ahead. Of course, we know we must take each day and focus on it as we pass through it... making sure we enjoy it and appreciate it because we create our past and build our future each day... if we can just make each day happy, one day at a time... we will have a very happy life... this is one of the things I try to teach the kids during presentations, as well as remind all of us (including myself), on a daily basis... :)

LESS THAN A WEEK UNTIL CURIOSITY LANDS... this will be the most covered mission to Mars ever... it should be amazing... I know the landing time is difficult... 1:31 am, on the 6th... Sunday night/Monday morning... but if there is any way to get the kids up... it is such an event in the history of the space program and I know it will be replayed but seeing it live and making it a very special event will stay with them forever... go to this link for all the latest: http://www.nasa.gov/mars make sure you watch this video and share it with the kids... "Seven Minutes of Terror" it recounts the many technological challenges that Curiosity must overcome to reach the Martian surface. The reward: unprecedented science, demonstration of precision landing technology, and a mission on the Red Planet's surface that will serve as a precursor to our planned human missions to Mars in the 2030s... remember Mars is 300,000,000 (three hundred million) miles from earth and it has taken 8 months to get there... there are no guarantees, this is extremely complex and like science fiction...

I will be leaving for Missouri on Thursday, so may not have a chance to follow up before I leave... Will manage two presentations while I am there as well as attend a special friend's wedding... wishing you all a very happy day... we have to always remember to enjoy everything we do, live in the present, smile & have fun! Gabe

Where is Curiosity?

Follow Curiosity on her journey, through these simulated views, which are updated daily. http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/­whereistherovernow/

Key Dates

Landing:
10:31 p.m. PDT, Aug. 5, 2012
(1:31 a.m. EDT, Aug. 6, 2012)

Watch the landing:
Curiosity's Landing
Live NASA TV show begins
Aug. 5, 2012, 8:30 p.m. PDT
(11:30 p.m. EDT): NASA TV

Mission Fact Sheet:
Mission Fact Sheet (PDF, 768 KB)

Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror. Engineers who designed the entry, descent and landing system for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity candidly talk about the new landing system, and describe the challenges of Curiosity's final moments before touchdown on Aug. 5, 2012, at 10:31pm PDT.

Cruising with Curiosity: Landing Practice. Mars Science Laboratory engineers have a dress rehearsal for Curiosity's landing day on the Red Planet.

Next Mars Rover to Land at Gale Crater. NASA's next Mars rover will land at the foot of a layered mountain inside the planet's Gale Crater.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good morning all,

It is sometimes hard to imagine what the early days of the space program must have been for women... when we look back at those early control rooms and realize not a single woman was seen, it is fantastic to see how much it has changed... women like Sally, who proved she could do anything, opened the doors for so many others and I hope we will all take a moment to remember what a special person she is... she certainly died relatively young which should remind us to be appreciative of those we care about, to let them know, and to do what we can to make their lives better.

The countdown to CURIOSITY arriving at Mars is moving quickly... I hope you are following along as this will be an amazing accomplishment and certainly a huge milestone in the space program... wishing you a happy day, remember to always smile & have fun!

gabe

AGENCYWIDE MESSAGE TO ALL NASA EMPLOYEES:

NASA Offers Condolences on the Passing of Pioneering Astronaut Sally Ride

In a space agency filled with trailblazers, Sally K. Ride was a pioneer of a different sort. The soft-spoken California physicist broke the gender barrier 29 years ago when she rode to orbit aboard space shuttle Challenger to become America's first woman in space.

"Sally Ride broke barriers with grace and professionalism -- and literally changed the face of America's space program," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "The nation has lost one of its finest leaders, teachers and explorers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sally's family and the many she inspired. She will be missed, but her star will always shine brightly."

"Sally was a personal and professional role model to me and thousands of women around the world," said NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver. "Her spirit and determination will continue to be an inspiration for women everywhere."

Ride's contribution to America's space program continued right up until her death at age 61 this week. After two trips to orbit aboard the shuttle, she went on to an award-winning academic career at the University of California, San Diego, where her expertise and wisdom were widely sought on matters related to space. She holds the distinction of being the only person to serve as a member of both investigation boards following NASA's two space shuttle accidents. She also served as a member of the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee in 2009 which informed many of the decisions about NASA's current human spaceflight programs.

However, Ride's place in history was assured on June 18, 1983 when she rocketed into space on Challenger's STS-7 mission with four male crewmates.

"The fact that I was going to be the first American woman to go into space carried huge expectations along with it," Ride recalled in an interview for the 25th anniversary of her flight in 2008. "That was made pretty clear the day that I was told I was selected as a crew. I was taken up to Chris Kraft's office. He wanted to have a chat with me and make sure I knew what I was getting into before I went on the crew. I was so dazzled to be on the crew and go into space I remembered very little of what he said."

"On launch day, there was so much excitement and so much happening around us in crew quarters, even on the way to the launch pad," Ride said. "I didn't really think about it that much at the time -- but I came to appreciate what an honor it was to be selected to be the first to get a chance to go into space."

Ride joined NASA as part of the 1978 astronaut class, the first to include women. She and five other women, along with 29 men, were selected out of 8,000 applicants. The class became known as the "Thirty-Five New Guys" and reported to the Johnson Space Center the next summer to begin training. Ride trained for five years before she and three of her classmates were assigned to STS-7. The six-day mission deployed two communications satellites and performed a number of science experiments.

Following that historic flight, Ride returned to space on another shuttle mission, STS-41G in 1984. The 8-day mission deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, conducted scientific observations of Earth, and demonstrated potential satellite refueling techniques. She was assigned to a third flight, but transitioned to a role on the Rogers Commission that investigated the Challenger accident after that shuttle was lost in January 1986. When the investigation was completed, she accepted a job as a special assistant to the NASA administrator for long range and strategic planning.

Ride left NASA in 1989 to join the faculty at the University of California, San Diego, as a professor of physics and director of the University of California's California Space Institute. In 2001, she founded her own company, Sally Ride Science, to pursue her long-time passion of motivating girls and young women to pursue careers in science, math and technology.

A native of Los Angeles, Ride graduated from high school there in 1968 and enrolled at Stanford University. At Stanford, she earned four degrees, including a doctorate in physics in 1978. She also was an accomplished athlete who played varsity tennis at Stanford after being nationally ranked as a youth.

Ride received numerous honors and awards during the course of her career. Most notably, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame, and received the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the von Braun Award, the Lindbergh Eagle, and the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award.

----

Celebrating Apollo 11 In the Mission Operations Control Room of the Mission Control Center, Building 30, Manned Spacecraft Center, flight controllers applaud the splashdown and success of the Apollo 11 lunar mission. Four days earlier on July 20, 1969, mission commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. Armstrong, Aldrin and command module pilot Michael Collins splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, successfully completing the mission. Image Credit: NASA

Markers Preserve History at Shuttle Runway Etchings and granite pavers mark where the space shuttles' last missions came to an end.

NASA Telescope Captures Sharpest Images of Sun's Corona WASHINGTON -- A telescope launched July 11 aboard a NASA sounding rocket has captured the highest-resolution images ever taken of the sun's million-degree atmosphere called the corona. The clarity of the images can help scientists better understand the behavior of the solar atmosphere and its impacts on Earth's space environment.

A Storm of Comets Around Star Eta Corvi This artist's conception illustrates a storm of comets around a star near our own, called Eta Corvi. Evidence for this barrage comes from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, whose infrared detectors picked up indications that comets were recently torn to shreds after colliding with a rocky body. In this artist's conception, one such giant comet is shown smashing into a rocky planet, flinging ice- and carbon-rich dust into space, while also smashing water and organics into the surface of the planet. A glowing red flash captures the moment of impact on the planet. Yellow-white Eta Corvi is shown to the left, with still more comets streaming toward it. Spitzer detected spectral signatures of water ice, organics and rock around Eta Corvi -- key ingredients of comets. This is the first time that evidence for such a comet storm has been seen around another star. Eta Corvi is the right age, about one billion years old, to experience a bombardment of comets akin to what occurred in our own solar system at 600 to 800 millions years of age, termed the Late Heavy Bombardment. Scientists say the Late Heavy Bombardment was triggered in our solar system by the migration of our outer planets, which jostled icy comets about, sending some of them flying inward. The incoming comets scarred our moon and pummeled our inner planets. They may have even brought materials to Earth that helped kick start life. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA Astronaut Spins Discs from Space for Third Rock Radio NASA astronaut Joe Acaba will host a two-hour special radio broadcast on the Internet radio station Third Rock Radio while aboard the International Space Station, 240 miles above Earth.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you had a great week and will enjoy the weekend... although we have to remind ourselves to be sure to appreciate what we are doing as we are doing it... we often tend to look back or look forward and forget to enjoy each minute as we pass through it... there will be a launch to the ISS of a Japanese supply ship tonight, hopefully some of you will be able to tune in and watch as the mission unfolds... I was in the VAB a couple of days ago and took these pictures to share with you... I hope you enjoy... wishing you a wonderful weekend... smile & have fun!

Gabe

Banner in the VAB transfer isle, signed by the workers.

Banners from various missions signed by the workers.

Atlantis from the 16th Floor of the VAB.

Atlantis from the 7th floor of the VAB.

Atlantis.

An Orion capsule.

NASA TV Coverage Set For Launch, Capture Of Japanese Cargo Ship HOUSTON -- NASA Television coverage of the launch and arrival of an unpiloted cargo spacecraft to supply the International Space Station will begin at 8:15 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 20. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) "Kounotori 3" H-II Transfer Vehicle, or HTV-3, is set to launch at 9:06 p.m. July 20 (11:06 a.m. Japan time on July 21) from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan.

The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project: An Orbital Partnership Is Born

On July 17, 1975, something momentous happened: two Cold War-rivals met in space. When their respective spacecraft rendezvoused and docked, a new era of cooperative ventures in space began. For more than a decade, American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts have been regularly living and working together in Earth orbit, first in the Shuttle-Mir program, and now on the International Space Station. But, before the two Cold War-rivals first met in orbit in 1975, such a partnership seemed unlikely. Since Sputnik bleeped into orbit in 1957, there had been a Space Race, with the U.S. and then-Soviet Union driven more by competition than cooperation. When President Kennedy called for a manned moon landing in 1961, he spoke of "battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny" and referred to the "head start obtained by the Soviets with their large rocket engines." But by the mid-70s things had changed. The U.S. had "won" the race to the moon, with six Apollo landings between 1969 and 1972. Both nations had launched space stations, the Russian Salyut and American Skylab. With the space shuttle still a few years off and the diplomatic chill thawing, the time was right for a joint mission. The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project would send NASA astronauts Tom Stafford, Donald K. "Deke" Slayton and Vance Brand in an Apollo Command and Service Module to meet Russian cosmonauts Aleksey Leonov and Valeriy Kubasov in a Soyuz capsule. A jointly designed, U.S.-built docking module fulfilled the main technical goal of the mission, demonstrating that two dissimilar craft could dock in orbit. But the human side of the mission went far beyond that. Image Credit: NASA

NASA Holds Briefings To Preview Space Station Expeditions NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston will hold two briefings Thursday, July 26, to preview the upcoming Expedition 33 and 34 missions aboard the International Space Station.

NASA'S Spitzer Finds Evidence for an Exoplanet Smaller than Earth Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have detected what they believe is a planet two-thirds the size of Earth.

Enterprise Joins New York's Attractions The space shuttle Enterprise is seen shortly after the grand opening of the Space Shuttle Pavilion at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Thursday, July 19, 2012 in New York. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA Television to Air Space Station Cargo Ship Moves and Test NASA Television will broadcast the move of a Russian cargo spacecraft at the International Space Station and the demonstration of a new docking system beginning Sunday, July 22.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope everything is going well and you are enjoying your summer, no matter what you are doing. Some of you have been writing to me and telling me of your jobs away from teaching... I think it must be a great diversion and also give you a different perspective. I also know many of you teach through the summer so hope it is going well and you are able to enjoy it year round... been very busy here... which is good... I was at both Pads yesterday and it is interesting to see the difference ...wish I would have thought about taking some pictures so I could share them with you, will do next time... Curiosity, the rover heading towards Mars is starting to get some National coverage and I know it will be a huge story... I hope you are still sharing this adventure with everyone and generating interest as this will certainly be an amazing experience to see firsthand... wishing you a happy day... we have to remember to always live in the present, enjoy everything we do, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe

Check out the subject link for all the latest...

NASA'S Car-Sized Rover Nears Daring Landing on Mars NASA's most advanced planetary rover is on a precise course for an early August landing beside a Martian mountain to begin two years of unprecedented scientific detective work.

Black Hole Outburst in Spiral Galaxy M83 NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered an extraordinary outburst by a black hole in the spiral galaxy M83, located about 15 million light years from Earth. Using Chandra, astronomers found a new ultraluminous X-ray source, or ULX. These objects give off more X-rays than most normal binary systems in which a companion star is in orbit around a neutron star or black hole. Image Credit: NASA/CXC/Curtin University/R.Soria et al.

Latest Crew Blasts Off For International Space Station WASHINGTON -- Three new crew members are on their way to the International Space Station. NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, Russian Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:40 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 14 (8:40 a.m. Baikonur time July 15).

Expedition 32 Launches The Soyuz TMA-05M rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:40 p.m. EDT on Saturday, July 14, 2012, carrying Expedition 32 Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko, NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide to the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

New Crew Docks With International Space Station

NASA astronaut Suni Williams, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko joined their Expedition 32 crewmates at the International Space Station early Tuesday.

NASA astronaut Suni Williams, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko joined their Expedition 32 crewmates at the International Space Station early Tuesday.

The docking occurs 37 years to the day after the first ever docking of American and Russian spacecraft during the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission. Learn More About Expedition 32. Expedition 32 Photos on Flickr.

KSC Employee Publication

New Spaceport News Available Online Today

The Orion capsule's arrival to Kennedy Space Center begins new chapter; a biomedical console used in Launch Control Center Firing Room 3 is now on display at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center at Columbus State University in Georgia; students of the International Space University's 25th annual Space Studies Program are challenged to come up with new and innovative destinations, experiments and business models; Kennedy's Engineering Directorate breaks ground on a new test site that could help reduce the cost of ground hydrogen processing operations; and Kennedy receives the "Waste Reduction" award from Recycle Florida Today. These and other stories are in the latest issue of Spaceport News, out today. To view past issues online, go to http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/­news/snews/spnews_toc.html.

Watch the Video

You also access this edition of "This Week@NASA" at: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/­videogallery/index.html?media_id=148534591 "This Week@NASA" and other NASA features are available at http://www.nasa.gov under NASA Multimedia, http://www.youtube.com/nasatelevision and iTunes.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope all is well and you are enjoying your day, whatever you are doing :) We have been extremely busy here... which is good, although a little hectic, would rather be this way than having nothing to do... so many interesting things going on, please go to the subject link for all latest. Also be sure to check out the 3d link for space travel... we have to remember to enjoy everything we do, always do our best. Live in the present, smile & have fun! :) Gabe

NASA 3-D App Gives Public Ability to Experience Robotic Space Travel A NASA-created application that brings some of the agency's robotic spacecraft to life in 3-D now is available for free on the iPhone and iPad.

This site was sent to me by a good friend, check it out…. This web site put out by NASA and I have found that it is the most elaborate and extensive site I have ever seen on our solar system. You will have to download a 3-D program to view the site but it is well worth it. I would recommend that you start of by viewing the ( Info ) tutorial first... http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/eyes/

NASA News Conference to Preview August Mars Rover Landing NASA will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. EDT Monday, July 16, to discuss the upcoming August landing of the most advanced robot ever sent to another world.

Hubble, Swift Detect First-Ever Changes in an Exoplanet Atmosphere An international team of astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope made an unparalleled observation, detecting significant changes in the atmosphere of a planet located beyond our solar system. Exoplanet HD 189733b lies so near its star that it completes an orbit every 2.2 days. In late 2011, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope found that the planet's upper atmosphere was streaming away at speeds exceeding 300,000 mph. Just before the Hubble observation, NASA's Swift detected the star blasting out a strong X-ray flare, one powerful enough to blow away part of the planet's atmosphere. The exoplanet is a gas giant similar to Jupiter, but about 14 percent larger and more massive. The planet circles its star at a distance of only 3 million miles, or about 30 times closer than Earth's distance from the sun. Its star, named HD 189733A, is about 80 percent the size and mass of our sun. This artist's rendering illustrates the evaporation of HD 189733b's atmosphere in response to a powerful eruption from its host star. Image Credit: NASA

Atlantis Replica Gets Processed In Orbiter Processing Facility-1 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians sitting on the Hyster forklift monitor the progress as technicians in the aft portion of space shuttle Atlantis connect replica shuttle main engine RSME number 2. Three RSMEs will be installed on Atlantis. The work is part of the Space Shuttle Program's transition and retirement processing of the space shuttle fleet. A groundbreaking was held Jan. 18 for Atlantis' future home, a 65,000-square-foot exhibit hall in Shuttle Plaza at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Atlantis is scheduled to roll over to the visitor complex in November in preparation for the exhibit's grand opening in July 2013. Photo credit: NASA, Glenn Benson

This computer-simulated image shows gas from a star that is ripped apart by tidal forces as it falls into a black hole. Image Credit: NASA, S. Gezari (The Johns Hopkins University), and J. Guillochon (University of California, Santa Cruz)

This computer-simulated image shows gas from a star that is ripped apart by tidal forces as it falls into a black hole. Some of the gas also is being ejected at high speeds into space. Using observations from telescopes in space and on the ground, astronomers gathered the most direct evidence yet for this violent process: a supermassive black hole shredding a star that wandered too close. NASA's orbiting Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and the Pan-STARRS1 telescope on the summit of Haleakala in Hawaii were used to help to identify the stellar remains. A flare in ultraviolet and optical light revealed gas falling into the black hole as well as helium-rich gas that was expelled from the system. When the star is torn apart, some of the material falls into the black hole, while the rest is ejected at high speeds. The flare and its properties provide a signature of this scenario and give unprecedented details about the stellar victim. To completely rule out the possibility of an active nucleus flaring up in the galaxy instead of a star being torn apart, the team used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to study the hot gas. Chandra showed that the characteristics of the gas didn't match those from an active galactic nucleus. The galaxy where the supermassive black hole ripped apart the passing star in known as PS1-10jh and is located about 2.7 billion light years from Earth. Astronomers estimate the black hole in PS1-10jh has a mass of several million suns, which is comparable to the supermassive black hole in our own Milky Way galaxy. Image Credit: NASA, S. Gezari (The Johns Hopkins University), and J. Guillochon (University of California, Santa Cruz)


Monday, July 2, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you had a great weekend and will look forward to celebrating July 4th as it is truly a very special day. I know there will be so much going on with parties, parades, beach/lake activities and fireworks to cap off this very special day... I'm going to take off Thurs & Fri so will have a long weekend... It is actually the first time I've taken off in months that I haven't done so visiting schools... will miss that but I have plenty to do and will definitely get in some beach time. Wishing you all a very happy day and a full, fun week ahead... we have to make sure live in the present... enjoying each day as we pass through it... remember to let those we care about know, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile and have fun... HAPPY 4TH TO ALL,

gabe

Station Crew Sees 'Night-Shining' Clouds

Mesospheric cloudstypically appear as delicate, shining threads against the darkness of space--hence their other names of noctilucent or 'night-shining' clouds.

In both the Earth's Northern and Southern Hemispheres polar mesospheric clouds are at the peak of their visibility, during their respective late spring and early summer seasons. Visible from aircraft in flight, the International Space Station and from the ground at twilight, the clouds typically appear as delicate, shining threads against the darkness of space--hence their other names of noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds.

On June 13, 2012, when this image was taken from the space station as it passed over the Tibetan Plateau, polar mesospheric clouds were also visible to aircraft flying over Canada. In addition to the still image above, the station crew took a time-lapse image sequence of polar mesospheric clouds several days earlier on June 5, while passing over western Asia. It is first such sequence of images of the phenomena taken from orbit.

Polar mesospheric clouds form between 47 to 53 miles (76 to 85 kilometers) above Earth's surface when there is sufficient water vapor at these high altitudes to freeze into ice crystals. The clouds are illuminated by the sun when it is just below the visible horizon, lending them their night-shining properties. In addition to the polar mesospheric clouds trending across the center of the image, lower layers of the atmosphere are also illuminated. The lowest layer of the atmosphere visible in this image--the stratosphere--is indicated by dim orange and red tones near the horizon.

Trio From International Space Station Lands Safely in Kazakhstan Three members of the Expedition 31 crew undocked from the International Space Station and returned safely to Earth Sunday, July 1, wrapping up a mission that lasted six-and-a-half months.

Picture Perfect Landing

The Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 31 Commander Oleg Kononenko of Russia and Flight Engineers Don Pettit of NASA and Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Sunday, July 1, 2012.

The Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 31 Commander Oleg Kononenko of Russia and Flight Engineers Don Pettit of NASA and Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers returned from more than six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 30 and 31 crews.

New NASA Game Lets Players Build and Launch a Virtual Rocket With NASA's Rocket Science 101, a new game designed for computers and iPad users, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to launch a spacecraft.

NASA'S Cassini Finds Probable Subsurface Ocean on Saturn Moon

Researchers saw a large amount of squeezing and stretching as the moon orbited Saturn. They deduced that if Titan were composed entirely of stiff rock, the gravitational attraction of Saturn would cause bulges, or solid "tides," on the moon only 3 feet (1 meter) in height.

KSC Employee Update: Research Takes Many Forms on International Space Station

What do harnesses, zucchini and geometry have in common? They all have a part in the research under way on the International Space Station.

Expedition 31 flight engineer Don Pettit writes about the Glenn harness on the space station's treadmill that simulates backpack loads on the body in space in his latest blog entry "Carrying the Load." "To run on the treadmill in zero-g requires that your feet stay in contact with the belt, so we wear a backpack harness with adjustable spring-loaded straps." Pettit explains. "The loading is important. To reap the full health benefit, the harness is loaded to near (Earth) body weight, which for me is 80 kilograms (176 pounds)." To read about the challenges of maintaining healthy muscles, bones and cardiovascular systems on long-duration space missions, go to http://go.nasa.gov/LwGjd4.

Pettit also writes about plant sprouts and deaths in the space zucchini's diary. "June 9: Great news; I have a baby brother sprout!" Pettit conveys for his garden companion. "Gardener just showed me baby Zuc. He is strong and healthy and ready to move from the sprouter into his own aeroponic bag. While Broccoli and Sunflower are great companions, there is nothing quite like having a zucchini to zucchini conversation." To learn more about a zucchini's life on the station, go to http://go.usa.gov/vAG.

European Space Agency Expedition 31 flight engineer André Kuipers is running experiments on the International Space Station that are shedding light on conditions deep inside Earth -- specifically the Geoflow. This experiment mimics the geometry of our planet, containing two revolving concentric spheres with a liquid between them. The inner sphere represents Earth's core, with the outer sphere acting as the crust. The liquid, of course, is the mantle. An improved understanding of our planet could help researchers better explain earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, but this is not the only outcome of Geoflow. The results could also benefit industries by improving spherical gyroscopes, bearings and centrifugal pumps. To read the full story, "Delving Inside Earth from Space," go to http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/­station/research/news/geoflow.html.

To stay up to date on the latest news from the station, subscribe to the Space-Blogs list at https://lists.nasa.gov/mailman/listinfo/space-blogs.

KSC Employee Update: Time Management Crucial to Life on the International Space Station

Did you know that Expedition 31 flight engineer Don Pettit uses part of his off-duty time to write his blog entries, "Letters to Earth?" A normal day on the International Space Station has nine hours designated as off-duty time for activities such as communicating with family and friends, gazing out the window or sleeping. And station life can be a little solitary, believe it or not.

"It is not unusual to work the whole day without seeing your fellow crew members at all (space station is a big place)," Pettit wrote in his most recent letter, "and it is important to gather over a meal to exchange stories. This fulfills a very human social requirement, probably done since the discovery of fire, when the tribe would gather around the burning embers after the hunt (we now gather around our electric food warmer)."

To read the entire post, "A Slice of Time Pie," as well as other blog entries written on the station, visit http://go.usa.gov/vvQ.

Giant Asteroid Vesta's Tarpeia Crater

This colorized image from NASA's Dawn mission shows temperature variations at Tarpeia Crater, near the south pole of the giant asteroid Vesta. Obtained by the visible and infrared mapping spectrometer, data show the warmest areas in white, measuring about minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 degrees Celsius). The dark areas are the coldest, with temperatures at or below minus 150 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 100 degrees Celsius). The variations in the red shading indicate the intensity of the emitted light in the 5-micron wavelength, which is indicative of the surface temperature. The visible and infrared mapping spectrometer obtained the images during Dawn's low-altitude mapping orbit (130 miles or 210 kilometers in altitude) on Feb. 5, 2012. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/INAF


Friday, June 22, 2012

Good morning all,

I hope you had a fun week and are enjoying the summer. I guess for those of you who don't teach and work other jobs it is a good diversity and I would think so much easier... just do, hopefully what you enjoy, and then go home and focus on enjoying your life rather than correcting papers or working on lesson plans or maybe even dealing with parents... Just a "regular person," like the rest of us!!!! The picture below was from an Atlas V heavy lift rocket on Wed... not a NASA mission but we still get to see fantastic launches... and then there is the additional benefit of hanging out on the beach to watch!!! Wishing you a great weekend, we have to remember to enjoy everything we do, live in the present, be appreciative of the good in our lives, smile & have fun! Gabe

Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, attired in a training version of his spacesuit, is submerged in the waters of the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near NASA's Johnson Space Center in this image from January 2012. Divers assisted Hoshide in this training exercise, which is intended to help prepare him for work on the exterior of the International Space Station. Hoshide and his Expedition 32 crew mates Suni Williamsand Yuri Malenchenko are scheduled to launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-05M from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on July 14 to the station. Image Credit: NASA

NASA Spacecraft Reveals Ice Content in Moon Crater NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft has returned data that indicate ice may make up as much as 22 percent of the surface material in a crater located on the moon's south pole.

Compact Blue Dwarf Galaxy The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured this view of the dwarf galaxy UGC 5497, which looks a bit like salt sprinkled on black velvet in this image. The object is a compact blue dwarf galaxy that is infused with newly formed clusters of stars. The bright, blue stars that arise in these clusters help to give the galaxy an overall bluish appearance that lasts for several million years until these fast-burning stars explode as supernovae. UGC 5497 is considered part of the M 81 group of galaxies, which is located about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major (The Great Bear). UGC 5497 turned up in a ground-based telescope survey back in 2008 looking for new dwarf galaxy candidates associated with Messier 81. Image Credit: ESA/NASA

NASA Astronaut Available for Interviews Before Station Flight NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, making final preparations for a July launch to the International Space Station, will be available for live satellite interviews from 6 to 7 a.m. CDT Tuesday, June 26.

Blue Marble 2012 Arctic View Fifteen orbits of the recently launched Suomi NPP satellite provided the VIIRS instrument enough time (and longitude) to gather the pixels for this synthesized view of Earth showing the Arctic, Europe, and Asia. Suomi NPP orbits the Earth about 14 times each day and observes nearly the entire surface. The NPP satellite continues key data records that are critical for climate change science. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC