This Week @ NASA

Stories in this program include:

• This Week @ NASA

• Upcoming activities and NASA TV coverage (all times EST unless otherwise indicated)

• News highlights

• Press releases and web features from the previous week

Latest Edition of “This Week @ NASA” (Posted February 6)

Upcoming Activities and NASA TV Coverage

Monday, February 9

Tuesday, February 10

• DSCOVR Launch. Sunday’s launch was scrubbed due to loss of the Air Force’s Eastern Range

radar. The Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is now scheduled to launch at 6:05 p.m.

EST Tuesday, February 10, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

in Florida on aNASA. A backup launch opportunity is available at 6:03 p.m. on

Feb. 11, if needed. LINK

• SpaceX Dragon Cargo Craft Departs the International Space Station. After delivering more than

5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station last month, the

SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is set to leave the orbiting laboratory on Tuesday, Feb. 10. The

Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to detach from the Earth-facing side of the station’s Harmony

module and release through commands sent by ground controllers in mission control at NASA’s

Johnson Space Center in Houston operating the Canadarm 2 robotic arm. Mission control will

maneuver Dragon into place for its release, which is scheduled for 2:09 p.m. Dragon will execute

three thruster firings to move a safe distance from the space station for its deorbit burn at

approximately 7 p.m. The spacecraft will splash down in the Pacific Ocean around 7:44 p.m. The

deorbit burn and the splashdown will not air on NASA TV. LINK


o 1:45 p.m. – Coverage of the Release of the SpaceX/Dragon Cargo Ship from the ISS

(Release time is scheduled at 2:10 p.m. ET) (all channels)

o 4 p.m. – Replay of Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) Prelaunch News

Conference (2/7/15) (all channels)

o 5 p.m. – Live Coverage of the Launch of DSCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory)

(Launch is scheduled at 6:05 p.m.) (all channels)

Wednesday, February 11

Anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). SDO launched on February 11, 2010,


• 5

10:23 am EST on an Atlas V from SLC 41 from Cape Canaveral. SDO studies how solar activity is

created and how Space Weather comes from that activity. Measurements of the interior of the

Sun, the Sun’s magnetic field, the hot plasma of the solar corona, and the irradiance that creates

the ionospheres of the planets are our primary data products. LINK

Thursday, February 12


o 10:35 p.m. – ISS Expedition 42 In-Flight Event for the European Space Agency for the

Sanremo Music Festival with ESA Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti (NTV-1 (Public),

NTV-2 (Education))

Friday, February 13


o 1:05 p.m. – ISS Expedition 42 In-Flight Event with Fox News Channel’s “Dayside”

Program and Fox News Channel’s “America’s News Headquarters” Program with

Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts of NASA (all channels)

News Highlights

There were more than 600 articles about DSCOVR mission and launch, including pieces from The New

York Times, Florida Today, and National Geographic. Former Vice President Al Gore also wrote a piece

about the mission for Scientific American.

Images from NASA spacecraft were popular in the news this week as well. Dawn’s new images of the

dwarf planet Ceres were covered by The Washington Post, ABC News, and the BBC. New Horizons’

images of Pluto were reported on by NBC News, PBS NewsHour, and Time. CNET and the Seattle Post-
Intelligencer reported on a photo of Mars Curiosity taken by HiRISE.

Press Releases & Web Features February 2-February 9

Earth Right Now

Q&A on NOAA’s DSCOVR Mission (February 4)

NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on

Feb. 8 at 6:10 p.m. EDT and is a joint mission with NASA and the U.S. Air Force. Recently, the following

representatives from each partner agency provided answers to questions: Doug Whiteley, deputy

director, Office of Systems Development, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service; Douglas Biesecker,

DSCOVR program scientist, NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center; and Richard Eckman, NASA

DSCOVR program scientist. LINK

Next Launch Try for DSCOVR: Tuesday 6:05 p.m. (February 9)

NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Air Force and SpaceX have issued the following statement: “The next launch

attempt for the DSCOVR mission will now be Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 6:05 p.m. EST with a backup

launch opportunity on Wednesday, Feb 11 at 6:03 p.m. Weather for an attempt on Monday, Feb 9 is

unfavorable. If that attempt were to scrub for weather, we would lose either the Tuesday or Wednesday

launch opportunity due to crew rest requirements for the Air Force. Teams will target launch on

Tuesday with a backup of Wednesday as weather is more favorable on both of those days. While it is

not required for flight, SpaceX will leverage the extra time to replace a video transmitter on the first

stage in advance of the next attempt.” LINK

International Space Station

Canadarm2 Prepares to Grab Dragon; Life Science for Crew (February 3)

Mission Controllers in Houston will send commands to the 57.7 foot long Canadarm2 to grapple the

SpaceX Dragon space freighter Tuesday. The robotic arm will latch on to a grapple fixture ahead of

next week’s release of Dragon from the Harmony module. It will splash down off the Pacific coast

of Baja California loaded with research and gear for analysis on Earth. Back inside the International

Space Station, the crew is working on more visiting vehicle activities, spacewalk preparations as well

as ongoing microgravity science. Commander Barry Wilmore is loading Europe’s Automated Transfer

Vehicle-5 (ATV-5) with trash readying the vehicle for its departure Feb. 14. Cosmonauts Alexander

Samokutyaev and Anton Shkaplerov practiced using the telerobotically operated rendezvous system, or

TORU, ahead of the Feb. 17 arrival of the ISS Progress 58 resupply ship. The TORU would be used in the

unlikely event the Kurs automated rendezvous system failed during the Progress’ approach. LINK

NASA TV Coverage Set for U.S. Cargo Ship’s Departure from Space Station (February 4)

After delivering more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station

last month, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is set to leave the orbiting laboratory on Tuesday, Feb.

10. NASA Television will provide live coverage of Dragon’s departure beginning at 1:45 p.m. EST. The

Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to detach from the Earth-facing side of the station’s Harmony module

and release through commands sent by ground controllers in mission control at NASA’s Johnson Space

Center in Houston operating the Canadarm 2 robotic arm. Mission control will maneuver Dragon into

place for its release, which is scheduled for 2:09 p.m. LINK

NASA TV Coverage Set For Partner Space Station Cargo Spacecraft Activities (February 6)

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the departure and the arrival of two cargo spacecraft

at the International Space Station (ISS) this month. The European Space Agency’s (ESA) fifth and final

Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) cargo craft will departure the station on Saturday, Feb. 14. Launch

and docking of a Russian Progress resupply spacecraft will follow on Tuesday, Feb. 17. NASA TV coverage

of the ATV undocking will begin at 8:15 a.m. EST on Feb. 14. The “George Lemaitre” ATV-5, which

arrived at the orbital laboratory last August, will undock from the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module

at 8:41 a.m. After it undocks, the “Georges Lemaitre” will move to a safe distance from the station

where it will stay for 13 days until it is deorbited on Friday, Feb. 27. LINK


NASA’s Curiosity Analyzing Sample of Martian Mountain (February 5)

The second bite of a Martian mountain taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover hints at long-ago effects of

water that was more acidic than any evidenced in the rover’s first taste of Mount Sharp, a layered rock

record of ancient Martian environments. The rover used a new, low-percussion-level drilling technique

to collect sample powder last week from a rock target called “Mojave 2.” Curiosity reached the base of

Mount Sharp five months ago after two years of examining other sites inside Gale Crater and driving

toward the mountain at the crater’s center. The first sample of the mountain’s base layer came from a

target called “Confidence Hills,” drilled in September. LINK

Solar System and Beyond

NASA Spacecraft Returns New Images of Pluto En Route to Historic Encounter (February 4)

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft returned its first new images of Pluto on Wednesday, as the probe

closes in on the dwarf planet. Although still just a dot along with its largest moon, Charon, the images

come on the 109th birthday of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the distant icy world in 1930. “My

dad would be thrilled with New Horizons,” said Clyde Tombaugh’s daughter Annette Tombaugh, of Las

Cruces, New Mexico. “To actually see the planet that he had discovered, and find out more about it — to

get to see the moons of Pluto– he would have been astounded. I’m sure it would have meant so much

to him if he were still alive today.” New Horizons was more than 126 million miles (nearly 203 million

kilometers) away from Pluto when it began taking images. The new images, taken with New Horizons’

telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, are the first acquired

during the spacecraft’s 2015 approach to the Pluto system, which culminates with a close flyby of Pluto

and its moons on July 14. LINK

NASA’s LRO Discovers Lunar Hydrogen More Abundant on Moon’s Pole-Facing Slopes (February 4)

Space travel is difficult and expensive – it would cost thousands of dollars to launch a bottle of water to

the moon. The recent discovery of hydrogen-bearing molecules, possibly including water, on the moon

has explorers excited because these deposits could be mined if they are sufficiently abundant, sparing

the considerable expense of bringing water from Earth. Lunar water could be used for drinking or its

components – hydrogen and oxygen – could be used to manufacture important products on the surface

that future visitors to the moon will need, like rocket fuel and breathable air. LINK

Planck Mission Explores the History of Our Universe (February 5)

Hot gas, dust and magnetic fields mingle in a colorful swirl in this new map of our Milky Way galaxy. The

image is part of a new and improved data set from Planck, a European Space Agency mission in which

NASA played a key role. Planck spent more than four years observing relic radiation left over from the

birth of our universe, called the cosmic microwave background. The space telescope is helping scientists

better understand the history and fabric of our universe, as well as our own Milky Way. LINK

Dawn Gets Closer Views of Ceres (February 5)

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, on approach to dwarf planet Ceres, has acquired its latest and closest-yet

snapshot of this mysterious world. At a resolution of 8.5 miles (14 kilometers) per pixel, the pictures

represent the sharpest images to date of Ceres. After the spacecraft arrives and enters into orbit around

the dwarf planet, it will study the intriguing world in great detail. Ceres, with a diameter of 590 miles

(950 kilometers), is the largest object in the main asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter. LINK

Hubble Captures Rare Triple-Moon Conjunction (February 5)

Firing off a string of action snapshots like a sports photographer at a NASCAR race, NASA’s Hubble Space

Telescope captured the rare occurrence of three of Jupiter’s largest moons racing across the banded

face of the gas-giant planet: Europa, Callisto, and Io. These so-called Galilean moons, named after the

17th century scientist Galileo Galilei, who discovered them with a telescope, complete orbits around

Jupiter with durations ranging from 2 days to 17 days. They can commonly be seen transiting the face

of Jupiter and casting shadows onto its cloud tops. However, seeing three moons transiting the face of

Jupiter at the same time is rare, occurring only once or twice a decade. The Hubble image on the left

shows the beginning of the event, which took place on January 24, 2015. From left to right, the moons

Callisto and Io are above Jupiter’s cloud tops. The shadows from Europa, Callisto, and Io are strung out

from left to right. Europa is not visible in this image. LINK

Science Mission Directorate Weekly Highlights (Attached)

This entry was posted in NASA, NASAS, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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