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Sunday, April 22, 2012

NASA Celebrates Earth Day 2012 in the Washington Area

NASA is taking part in the celebration of Earth Day's 42nd anniversary on the National Mall in Washington from April 20 through April 22. The agency's involvement includes three consecutive days of activities and exhibits open to the public. Additional activities are scheduled at nearby NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The "NASA Village" on the National Mall will contain activities and exhibits in three tents that highlight the use of NASA science and technology to advance knowledge and awareness of our home planet. The area is located one block west of 12th Street and the Smithsonian Metro station entrance.

The Earth and Activities tents will host exhibits and hands-on demonstrations throughout the weekend. Activities include the Weather Versus Climate game, a "Go Green" environment challenge, and Earth Science Pursuit. The Green Theater will feature large satellite images and presentations by NASA scientists and others.
On Earth Day, April 22, a performance stage hosted by the Earth Day Network will feature presentations by NASA along with a wide variety of entertainment.
Below is a schedule of NASA Earth Day events on the Mall.

Friday, April 20

11 a.m. - 3 p.m. EDT -- NASA Village: Presentations in Green Theater, demonstrations and activities for students. Topics include: satellite imagery, ozone, forests, water, auroras, atmosphere, shrinking sea ice, dust, pollution and severe storms.

Saturday, April 21

12 - 5 p.m. EDT -- NASA Village open to the public. Demos and exhibitions in all three tents.

1 - 2 p.m. EDT -- NASA UStream broadcast in the Green Theater: featuring scientists talking about how NASA helps us see and understand Earth in new ways.

Sunday, April 22

12 – 7 p.m. EDT -- Official Earth Day activities

11 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT -- NASA Village open to the public

NASA will also be hosting the following Earth Day activities at the Goddard Space Flight Center Visitor Center:

Wednesday, April 18

12 - 1 p.m. EDT -- "The Next Generation Blue Marble from Suomi NPP," Robert Simmon, NASA Earth Observatory

1 - 2 p.m. EDT -- Digital Learning Network presentation: "Beautiful Earth Multimedia Performance and Science Dialogue." Kenji Williams, Jim Rock and Thorsten Markus present a multimedia and musical online performance: http://www.dln.nasa.gov

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Enterprise's Ferry Flight Postponed

WASHINGTON -- NASA's planned flight to New York City of space shuttle Enterprise atop the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) has been postponed until further notice due to an unfavorable weather forecast for Monday, April 23. 

To ensure a safe flight for Enterprise and the SCA, NASA managers, in consultation with the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, decided Friday to delay the flight because of inclement weather predicted in both New York and Washington, where the flight will originate. 

Managers will continue to review weather forecasts and announce a new flight date as soon as practical. 

Media will have access to the public areas at Dulles to view the departure of Enterprise. Media sending crews to Dulles should contact the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Office of Public Affairs at 703-417-8370. 

After departing Washington, the SCA and Enterprise will fly over various parts of the New York City metropolitan area before landing and John F. Kennedy International Airport. 

Several weeks following the arrival, Enterprise will be "demated" from the 747 and placed on a barge that will be moved by tugboat up the Hudson River to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in June. The shuttle will be lifted by crane and placed on the flight deck of the Intrepid where it will be on exhibit to the public starting this summer in a temporary climate-controlled pavilion. The Intrepid continues work on a permanent exhibit facility to showcase Enterprise that will enhance the museum's space-related exhibits and education curriculum. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Planet X Nibiru Nasa 2012 Doomsday Info Leaked

They came from outer space--and you can have one! Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store.

SHUTTLE LAUNCH UPDATE: Engineers are still working to repair a problem that delayed space shuttle Endeavour's scheduled launch on April 29th. Heaters on a fuel line for the shuttle's auxiliary power unit failed during the countdown, and it might take as much as a week to get them back online. NASA says the next launch attempt will occur no earlier than May 8th. Stay tuned for updates.

SOUTH POLE AURORAS: A solar wind stream that hit Earth's magnetic field during the weekend sparked auroras over both ends of the planet. "After a slow start to the aurora observing season, we are finally getting some beautiful Aurora Australis here at the geographic South Pole (90 degrees S. latitude)," reports J. Dana Hrubes, science leader at the Amundsen-Scott Station. He took this picture at the peak of the geomagnetic storm on May 1st:

"Red and green auroras were directly overhead and appeared to be 'raining' down on us," says Hrubes. "It was much too cold for rain, however; the air temperature outside was -85 F. The sun set on March 23rd and will not rise again until six months later, so we will surely see more of these lights in the dark nights ahead." 

Indeed, the solar wind continues to blow at high speed, and NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of more geomagnetic activity during the next 24 hours. High latitude sky watchers should remain alert for colorful 'rain.'

STS-134 Launch Scrubbed; Progress Docks to Station

STS-134 Launch Scrubbed; Progress Docks to Station

ISS Progress 42

The ISS Progress 42 cargo craft approaches the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV
Technicians and engineers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida have identified the likely source of what caused heaters on a fuel line for space shuttle Endeavour's auxiliary power unit-1 (APU-1) to fail on Friday, scrubbing the first launch attempt for the STS-134 mission. The failure appears to be a power problem within the aft load control assembly-2 (ALCA-2), a box of switches controlling power feeds.

Launch of space shuttle Endeavour is now set for no earlier than May 8.

The ISS Progress 42 cargo craft docked to the Pirs docking compartment on the International Space Station at 10:28 a.m. EDT Friday, less than six hours before space shuttle Endeavour’s scheduled launch to the station on the STS-134 mission.

The cargo ship launched at 9:05 a.m. Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying 1,940 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 2,976 pounds of maintenance hardware, experiment equipment and resupply items for the Expedition 28 crew.

Current and Future Expeditions Gallery

International Space Station Sightings

International Space Station watchers are offered some great looks at the orbiting laboratory.

Bill Tracy, a flight dynamics officer in the Mission Control Center in Houston said: "Sightings of a wide variety of satellites are fairly common. Usually, however, sightings of the Station are limited to some parts of the country on some days, and other parts of the country on other days."

Full view of the International Space Station Image to right: Backdropped by the blackness of space and Earth's horizon, this full view of the International Space Station was photographed by a crewmember onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Credit: NASA

"This week, the conditions all came together that will provide most of the continental United States with at least one sighting opportunity of the ISS on Wednesday or Thursday evenings -- with Thursday being the better of the two days," Tracy said.

NASA's Human Space Flight Web site provides lists of sighting opportunity times for hundreds of cities in the United States and the world. If a person cannot find a nearby location on the city list, the SkyWatch application allows a person to get ISS sighting times by providing some information. It will also provide sighting opportunity times for other satellites orbiting the Earth.

Because of the Station's orbit and the rotation of the Earth, the number of sighting opportunities and times will vary from location to location. For example on Thursday, Ruston, La., will have two 5-minute windows at 5:37 a.m. and 8:28 p.m. CDT. Salt Lake City will have one 6-minute opportunity at 4:32 a.m. MDT on Thursday and two evening opportunities -- at 9:03 p.m. for 4 minutes and at 10:37 p.m. for 5 minutes.

The Space Station will appear as a bright, slow, but steady moving star. Tracy said several conditions must occur for the sighting of the ISS or a satellite to take place in particular locations.

"First, obviously, the satellite must be above the horizon at the observer's location. That's easy enough," he said. "The second requirement is that the observer must be in darkness, when the sun is more than 6 degrees below the horizon. It may not be totally dark, but past experience shows that 6 degrees is about right.

"Third, the satellite itself must be lit by the sun. This means that the sun must be above the satellite's horizon. With the observer in darkness, sightings generally occur near sunrise and/or sunset at the observer's location. Finally, the lit side of the satellite must be facing roughly in the direction of the observer. Even if all other conditions are met, if the lit side of the spacecraft is facing away from the observer, then a sighting cannot take place."

Also, the ISS will appear in different parts of the sky from location to location. For example, Thursday evening Station gazers in Philadelphia should look for the ISS to appear at 9:32 p.m. EDT 10 degrees above the southwestern horizon and sail directly overhead before it disappears 11 degrees above the northeastern horizon.

If a location misses out on the ISS sighting opportunities this week, Tracy said there would be another excellent opportunity this summer. "There will be a few evening opportunities over the next two weeks," he said, "but the best evening sighting opportunities of ISS around the country will not occur again until mid-July of this year."