NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy Available for Interviews Before Space Station Mission

MEDIA ADVISORY
:
M13-040

NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy Available for Interviews Before Space Station Mission

HOUSTON — NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy of Maine, who is making final preparations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, for a March launch to the International Space Station, will be available for live satellite interviews from 5 to 6 a.m. CST Friday, March 8.

The interviews will originate from Star City, and will be preceded at 4:30 a.m. by a video b-roll feed of Cassidy’s mission training and previous spaceflight. To participate in the interviews, reporters should contact Karen Svetaka at 281-483-8684 no later than 1 p.m., Thursday, March 7.

Cassidy is a Navy SEAL and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He served in worldwide deployments supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan prior to joining NASA in 2004. Cassidy previously flew in space as a mission specialist aboard space shuttle Endeavour on STS-127 in 2009. On that mission Cassidy completed three spacewalks during the construction of the space station.

Cassidy will launch with Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). The trio is set to launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the orbiting laboratory from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:43 p.m. CDT March 28 (2:43 a.m. March 29 Baikonur time). They are scheduled to return to Earth Sept. 11.

This launch will be the first time in the 12-year history of the space station a spacecraft carrying crew will dock to the outpost within hours of launching. Approximately six hours after launch, and several orbits around Earth, the crew will dock and enter the station.

When they arrive, the trio will join NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Canadian Space Agency astronaut and Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, who launched to the station in December 2012. The six-person crew will participate in several hundred experiments in biology and biotechnology, physical science and Earth science during their almost six month space mission.

NASA TV’s Media Channel 103 will carry the b-roll and will be used to conduct the interviews. It is an MPEG-4 digital C-band signal, carried by QPSK/DVB-S modulation on satellite AMC-18C, transponder 3C, at 105 degrees west longitude, with a downlink frequency of 3760 MHz, vertical polarization, data rate of 38.80 MHz, symbol rate of
28.0681 Mbps, and 3/4 FEC. A Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) is needed for reception. The Compression Format is MPEG-4, Video PID = 0x1031 hex / 4145 decimal, AC-3 Audio PID = 0x1035 hex /4149 decimal, MPEG I Layer II Audio PID = 0x1034 hex /4148 decimal.

For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Cassidy’s biography is available at:

http://go.nasa.gov/wQfxJe

For more information about Expedition 36 and 37, visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/XCDQ6p

For information about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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SpaceX and NASA Host Teleconference Today on SpaceX 2 Mission to Space Station

MEDIA ADVISORY
:
M13-041

SpaceX and NASA Host Teleconference Today on SpaceX 2 Mission to Space Station

WASHINGTON — SpaceX and NASA will hold a media teleconference at 3 p.m. EST today to discuss the latest information about the company’s second cargo mission to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

The teleconference participants are:

–     Elon Musk, chief designer and CEO, SpaceX
–     Gwynne Shotwell, president, SpaceX
–     William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at NASA Headquarters, Washington
–     Michael Suffredini, International Space Station program manager

For dial-in information, journalists must contact Josh Buck at jbuck@nasa.gov or 202-358-1100, or the Kennedy Space Center newsroom 321-867-2468.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s website at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

For more information about NASA’s International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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NASA Coverage Set for March 1 SpaceX Mission to Space Station

MEDIA ADVISORY
:
M13-037

NASA Coverage Set for March 1 SpaceX Mission to Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The second SpaceX mission to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch Friday, March 1, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage begins at 8:30 a.m. EST.

The company’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying its Dragon cargo capsule will lift off at 10:10 a.m. If needed, a backup launch opportunity is available on March 2 with launch time at 9:47 a.m. and NASA TV coverage beginning at 8 a.m.

The mission is the second of 12 SpaceX flights contracted by NASA to resupply the space station. It will mark the third trip by a Dragon capsule to the orbiting laboratory, following a demonstration flight in May 2012 and the first resupply mission in October 2012.

The capsule will be filled with more than 1,200 pounds of scientific experiments and cargo. It will remain attached to the space station’s Harmony module for more than three weeks. The Dragon capsule will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California on March 25, returning more than 2,300 pounds of experiment samples and equipment, which will be recovered for examination by scientists and engineers.

In advance of the launch, NASA will host a briefing on NASA’s human deep space exploration progress at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On Thursday, Feb. 28, NASA will host a mission science briefing at 1 p.m. and a prelaunch news conference at 3 p.m. All three briefings will be carried live on NASA TV and the agency’s website.

Media may request accreditation to attend the prelaunch news conferences and launch by going online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

The deadline for U.S. media to apply for accreditation is Feb. 25. The deadline has passed for international news media to apply.

Media credentials will be valid at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Johnson Space Center in Houston for mission activities from launch through splashdown.

For more information about media accreditation, call Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or 321-867-2468.

For an updated schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage times, visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/13hO0IY

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog and more information about the mission, visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/spacex2

For more information about the International Space Station, research in low-Earth orbit, NASA’s commercial space programs and the future of American spaceflight, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration

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NASA Targets March 1 Launch for Next SpaceX Station Resupply Mission; Media Accreditation Open

MEDIA ADVISORY
:
M13-029

NASA Targets March 1 Launch for Next SpaceX Station Resupply Mission; Media Accreditation Open

HOUSTON — NASA and its international partners are targeting Friday, March 1, as the launch date for the next cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).

Launch is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. EST (9:10 a.m. CST) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Media accreditation to view the launch is open. International media without U.S. citizenship must apply for credentials to cover the prelaunch and launch activities by noon on Monday, Feb. 18. For U.S. media, the deadline to apply is Monday, Feb. 25.

Questions about accreditation may be directed to Jennifer Horner at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 321-867-6598 or 321-867-2468. All media accreditation requests must be submitted online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

NASA also is inviting 50 social media users to apply for credentials for the launch. Social media users selected to attend will be given the same access as journalists. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Registration for social media accreditation is open online. International social media users without U.S. citizenship must apply for credentials by 5 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 15, to qualify. For U.S. social media, the deadline to apply is 5 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 22. For more information about NASA social media accreditation requirements and to register, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/social

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will be filled with about 1,200 pounds of supplies for the space station crew and experiments being conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory.

On March 2, Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn of NASA will use the station’s robot arm to grapple Dragon following its rendezvous with the station. They will attach the Dragon to the Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony module for a few weeks while astronauts unload cargo. They then will load experiment samples for return to Earth.

Dragon is scheduled to return to Earth March 25 for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California. It will be bringing back more than 2,300 pounds of experiment samples and equipment.

To follow the mission and for more information about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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Reporters Invited to International Space Station Social Media Event

MEDIA ADVISORY
:
M13-032

Reporters Invited to International Space Station Social Media Event

WASHINGTON — Journalists are invited to participate in a NASA Social from 9:30 a.m. to noon EST Wednesday, Feb. 20, in the James Webb Auditorium of NASA Headquarters at 300 E St. SW in Washington.

During this event, 150 social media followers and their guests will speak with three of the six crew members currently aboard the International Space Station orbiting about 240 miles above Earth. The participants also will hear from agency scientists and engineers about ground-breaking research taking place daily on the orbiting laboratory.

NASA Socials are in-person meetings for people who engage with the agency through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks.

Participants in this NASA Social will learn about the discoveries enabled by the space station’s unique microgravity environment that benefit humanity and increase our understanding of how humans can safely work and live in space for long periods.

Astronauts and officials scheduled to meet with the NASA Social participants are:

— Astronauts Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn of NASA and Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency will participate from the space station
— NASA astronaut Don Pettit, a former space station resident
— Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations Mission Directorate
— Marshall Porterfield, director of NASA’s Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division
— Tara Ruttley of NASA, an associate space station program scientist

NASA Television will broadcast the social from 10 a.m. to noon at:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

In the afternoon, NASA has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, where NASA Social participants will tour the Moving Beyond Earth and Space Race galleries, see demonstrations, interact with museum staff and and hear museum curators talk about the space station, robots in space and Skylab.

Registration for social media participants for this event has concluded. News media interested in attending either session of the NASA Social should contact Trent Perrotto at 202-358-1100 by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19. News media interested in covering the afternoon session also must contact Isabel Lara at the National Air and Space Museum at 202-633-2374 by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19.

To follow the conversation with the NASA Social participants as they experience the day’s events, use hashtag #NASASocial or follow @NASA and @NASASocial on Twitter.

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

To find all the ways to connect with NASA on social media, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/connect

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NASA Awards Space Station Mission Operations and Integration Services Contract

CONTRACT RELEASE
:
C13-008

NASA Awards Space Station Mission Operations and Integration Services Contract

WASHINGTON — NASA has selected Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., for its International Space Station mission operations and integration contract.

The cost-plus-award-fee services contract is valued at about $120.1 million and has a potential performance period of five years. The contract begins March 1 with an 18-month base period, followed by three one-year options and one six-month option that may be exercised at NASA’s discretion. The contract includes an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity component for additional services, as needed.

Teledyne Brown will provide operations in support of the International Space Station at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville and the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Support entails all phases of flight, including mission preparation, crew and flight controller training, and real-time requirements for spaceflight operations.

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

 

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NASA Awards Engineering, Technology and Science Contract

CONTRACT RELEASE
:
C13-009

NASA Awards Engineering, Technology and Science Contract

WASHINGTON — NASA has selected Jacobs Technology Inc. of Tullahoma, Tenn., for an engineering, technology and science contract at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The cost-plus-award-fee services contract has a potential value of $1.93 billion, including options. The contract begins May 1 with a five-year base period followed by two two-year options and includes indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity task orders.

Work under the contract will support Johnson’s Engineering Directorate and Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate. Services will include: engineering design and development; sustaining engineering; engineering analysis and assessment, technology development; test services; laboratory and facility operation and maintenance; planetary mission research; physical science research; and astromaterial curation. Contract services will be performed at Johnson and facilities owned by Jacobs and major subcontractors. It will be managed in Houston.

NASA programs and offices that will be supported by the contract include the International Space Station, Orion, Advanced Exploration Systems, the Chief Technologist and Commercial Crew and Cargo and Mars Science Laboratory science research and operations.

Companies that will support Jacobs on this contract include Aerodyne Industries of Oldsmar, Fla.; HX5 of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; Hamilton Sundstrand of Windsor Locks, Conn., and Barrios Technology, ERC Inc., GeoControl Systems Inc., Oceaneering Space Systems and MRI Technologies, all of Houston.

For information about NASA and other agency programs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

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NASA’S Refueling Demonstration Proves Viability Of Satellite-Servicing Technologies

RELEASE
:
13-046

NASA’S Refueling Demonstration Proves Viability Of Satellite-Servicing Technologies

WASHINGTON — NASA has demonstrated robotic fluid transfer in space, an objective that will help inform the development of robotic technology to refuel satellites. The first-of-its-kind demonstration was performed during the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) aboard the International Space Station.

“This achievement is a major step forward in servicing satellites,” said Frank Cepollina, associate director of the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “RRM gives NASA and the emerging commercial satellite servicing industry the confidence to robotically refuel, repair and maintain satellites in both near and distant orbits — well beyond the reach of where humans can go today.”

A joint effort with the Canadian Space Agency, RRM uses the International Space Station as test bed for the research and development of robotic satellite-servicing capabilities. During six days of activity last month, controllers on the ground at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston used the space station’s remotely operated Dextre, a robotic space handyman, to cut wires, remove and stow caps and perform tasks necessary to refuel satellites not designed to be refueled.

The cutting-edge technologies that RRM is demonstrating could extend the lives of many of the hundreds of satellites currently in geosynchronous Earth orbit. These are satellites that deliver essential services such as weather reports, cell phone communications, television broadcasts, government communications and air traffic management.

RRM tasks scheduled to be performed later this year include thermal blanket cutting and fastener and electronic termination cap removals. NASA anticipates RRM technologies may help boost the commercial satellite-servicing industry in the future. Such servicing capabilities could greatly expand options for government and commercial fleet operators.

For information, updates and videos about RRM and NASA’s satellite servicing activities, visit:

http://ssco.gsfc.nasa.gov

For more information about the International Space Station and its crew, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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NASA Hosts Its First Google+ Hangout Connecting with Space Station

RELEASE
:
13-042

NASA Hosts Its First Google+ Hangout Connecting with Space Station

WASHINGTON — NASA will host its first Google+ Hangout live with the International Space Station from 11 a.m. to noon EST, Friday, Feb. 22. This event will connect NASA’s social media followers with astronauts on the ground and living and working aboard the laboratory orbiting 240 miles above Earth.

Google+ Hangouts allow as many as 10 people to chat face-to-face, while thousands more can tune in to watch the conversation live on Google+ or YouTube.

NASA’s social media followers may submit video questions prior to the Hangout. During the event, several video questions will be selected and answered by the station crew and astronauts on the ground. Unique and original questions are more likely to be selected. Additionally, NASA also will take real-time questions submitted by fans on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

The deadline to submit video questions is Feb. 12. To be considered, video clips must be no longer than 30 seconds and must be uploaded to YouTube and tagged with #askAstro. Submitters should introduce themselves and mention their location before asking their question.

Also use #askAstro to ask real-time questions on Google+, YouTube or Twitter during the event. On the morning of the event, NASA will open a thread on its Facebook page where questions may be posted.

The hangout can be viewed live on NASA’s Google+ page or on the NASA Television YouTube channel. To join the hangout, and for updates and opportunities to participate in upcoming hangouts, visit the NASA’s Google+ page at:

http://www.google.com/+NASA

Astronauts Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn of NASA and Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency will answer questions and provide insights about life aboard the station. Crews conduct a variety of science experiments and perform station maintenance during their six-month stay on the outpost. Their life aboard the station in near-weightlessness requires different approaches to everyday activities such as eating, sleeping and exercising.

For information about the space station, research in low-Earth orbit, NASA’s commercial space programs and the future of American spaceflight, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration

To follow Marshburn and Hadfield on Twitter, visit:

http://www.twitter.com/AstroMarshburn

and

http://www.twitter.com/Cmdr_Hadfield

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Space Station Cargo Ship Flights to Be Broadcast on NASA TV

MEDIA ADVISORY
:
M13-026

Space Station Cargo Ship Flights to Be Broadcast on NASA TV

WASHINGTON — NASA Television will provide live coverage of the departure of one Russian cargo spacecraft at the International Space Station and the launch and arrival of another.

The ISS Progress 48 resupply ship, which arrived at the station last August, will depart the Pirs docking compartment, part of the Russian segment, on Saturday, Feb. 9. The Progress will leave orbit three hours later and burn up above the Pacific Ocean. NASA TV coverage of the undocking will begin at 8 a.m. EST. The undocking is scheduled for 8:15 a.m.

That move will clear Pirs for the arrival of the new ISS Progress 50 resupply spacecraft. It is scheduled to launch at 9:41 a.m. (8:41 p.m. Kazakhstan time) Monday, Feb. 11, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA TV coverage of the launch begins at 9:30 a.m. The Progress is loaded with almost 3 tons of food, fuel, supplies and experiment hardware for the six crew members aboard the orbital laboratory.

Like its two predecessors, Progress 50 is scheduled to launch into an accelerated, four-orbit rendezvous with the station, docking only six hours after launch. NASA TV coverage will resume at 3 p.m. for the rendezvous and docking activities, with docking scheduled for 3:40 p.m.

If any technical issues arise, the Russian flight control team can default to a standard two-day rendezvous plan for the Progress that would result in docking on Feb. 13.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about the International Space Station and its crew, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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NASA to Launch Ocean Wind Monitor to Space Station

RELEASE
:
13-032

NASA to Launch Ocean Wind Monitor to Space Station

WASHINGTON — In a clever reuse of hardware originally built to test parts of NASA’s QuikScat satellite, the agency will launch the ISS-RapidScat instrument to the International Space Station in 2014 to measure ocean-surface wind speed and direction.

The ISS-RapidScat instrument will help improve weather forecasts, including hurricane monitoring, and understanding of how ocean-atmosphere interactions influence Earth’s climate.

“The ability for NASA to quickly reuse this hardware and launch it to the space station is a great example of a low-cost approach that will have high benefits to science and life here on Earth,” said Mike Suffredini, NASA’s International Space Station program manager.

ISS-RapidScat will help fill the data gap created when QuikScat, which was designed to last two years but operated for 10, stopped collecting ocean wind data in late 2009. A scatterometer is a microwave radar sensor used to measure the reflection or scattering effect produced while scanning the surface of Earth from an aircraft or a satellite.

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have studied next-generation replacements for QuikScat, but a successor will not be available soon. To meet this challenge cost-effectively, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., and the agency’s station program proposed adapting leftover QuikScat hardware in combination with new hardware for use on the space station.

“ISS-RapidScat represents a low-cost approach to acquiring valuable wind vector data for improving global monitoring of hurricanes and other high-intensity storms,” said Howard Eisen, ISS-RapidScat project manager at JPL. “By leveraging the capabilities of the International Space Station and recycling leftover hardware, we will acquire good science data at a fraction of the investment needed to launch a new satellite.”

ISS-RapidScat will have measurement accuracy similar to QuikScat’s and will survey all regions of Earth accessible from the space station’s orbit. The instrument will be launched to the space station aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. It will be installed on the end of the station’s Columbus laboratory as an autonomous payload requiring no interaction by station crew members. It is expected to operate aboard the station for two years.

ISS-RapidScat will take advantage of the space station’s unique characteristics to advance understanding of Earth’s winds. Current scatterometer orbits pass the same point on Earth at approximately the same time every day. Since the space station’s orbit intersects the orbits of each of these satellites about once every hour, ISS-RapidScat can serve as a calibration standard and help scientists stitch together the data from multiple sources into a long-term record.

ISS-RapidScat also will collect measurements of Earth’s global wind field at all times of day for all locations. Variations in winds caused by the sun can play a significant role in the formation of tropical clouds and tropical systems that play a dominant role in Earth’s water and energy cycles. ISS-RapidScat observations will help scientists understand these phenomena better and improve weather and climate models.

The ISS-RapidScat project is a joint partnership of JPL and NASA’s International Space Station Program Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, with support from the Earth Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more information on NASA’s scatterometry missions, visit:

http://winds.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm

For more information about the International Space Station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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