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Posts Tagged ‘Astronauts’

NASA Astronaut Mark Polansky Leaves Agency


NASA astronaut Mark Polansky has left the agency. His last day with NASA was June 30.

Polansky is a veteran of three space shuttle missions. He flew as a pilot on the STS-98 mission in 2001 and served as commander for STS-116 in 2006 and STS-127 in 2009. Polansky ends his NASA career with more than 41 days in space.

“Mark is a remarkably talented individual,” said Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office. “His skills as an aviator coupled with his engineering expertise were a valuable contribution to our team. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-232_Polansky_Leaves_NASA.html

NASA Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson Leaves Agency


NASA astronaut Stephen Robinson has left the space agency. Robinson ends his 36-year NASA career as a veteran of three spacewalks with more than 48 days of spaceflight experience. Robinson will become a professor at the University of California at Davis in the fall of 2012. His last day at NASA was June 30.

Robinson began work with NASA as a cooperative education student in 1975 at the agency’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. He was selected for the astronaut corps in 1995. Robinson served as a mission specialist on four spaceflights, including space shuttle missions STS-85 in 1997, STS-95 in 1998, STS-114 in 2005 and STS-130 in 2010.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-227_Robinson_retires.html

NASA Extends Sympathy To Poindexter Family On Death Of Former Astronaut


Former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander Alan “Dex” Poindexter died while on vacation with his family July 1 in Pensacola, Fla. A veteran of two spaceflights, Poindexter spent a total of 28 days in space.

Poindexter, a U.S. Navy captain, commanded the STS-131 space shuttle Discovery mission to the International Space Station in 2010, delivering more than 13,000 pounds of hardware and equipment. He was the pilot for shuttle Atlantis’ STS-122 mission that delivered and installed the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory on the station in 2008.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-228_Former_Astronaut_Poindexter_Dies.html

Prediction System To Protect Astronauts From Solar Storms

June 30, 2012 1 comment

With the impending solar maximum expected to bring heightened rates of flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), putting at risk an ever-increasing human presence in space, Oh et al. designed and assessed a prediction system to keep astronauts safe from these solar storms. During a solar flare or CME, particles from the Sun can be accelerated to very high energies-in some cases travelling near the speed of light. Protons with energies surpassing 100 megaelectron volts essentially sandblast everything in their path. Though people on Earth are protected by the planet’s magnetic field and thick atmosphere, astronauts in spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit, or people at high altitudes near the poles, can be exposed to this increased radiation. This can potentially cause radiation sickness, with symptoms such as fever and vomiting.

Full Story: http://www.agu.org/news/press/jhighlight_archives/2012/2012-06-29.shtml#two

NASA Commercial Crew Partner Boeing Meets Software Milestone


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The Boeing Company has successfully completed a new milestone in the development of software that will operate its Crew Space Transportation (CST) spacecraft. The company is one of NASA’s partners developing commercial crew transportation capabilities to ferry U.S. astronauts to and from low Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

With the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of its software on May 18, the company now has completed more than 40 milestones under partnerships supporting NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/may/HQ_12-170_Boeing_CCP_Software_Milestone.html

NASA Seeks Hosts for Space Station Interactive Education Events


NASA is seeking formal and informal education organizations to host live in-flight interactive conversations between the next generation of explorers and astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Comprehensive proposals are being accepted for missions scheduled between September 2012 and March 2013. The deadline to submit is Friday, June 1, 2012.

During ISS Expeditions 33 and 34, NASA crew members Sunita Williams, Kevin Ford and Thomas Marshburn will participate in 20-minute question-and-answer sessions with students who will learn what it is like to live and work in space. While participants see and hear the crew members live from space, the crew does not see the audience.

U.S. education organizations including school districts, museums, science centers, national and regional education organizations and local, state and federal government agencies are eligible to participate. Organizations may apply individually or work together. NASA provides this opportunity at no charge to the host institution and will work with the organization to plan the event.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/apr/HQ_12-105_Hosts_Ed_Downlinks.html

Record-Setting Astronaut Lopez-Alegria Departs NASA

March 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Michael Lopez-Alegria, NASA’s most experienced spacewalker and the American holding the record for the single longest spaceflight mission, has left the agency.

Lopez-Alegria flew on four missions and performed 10 spacewalks during his career. He most recently served in the Flight Crew Operations Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston as assistant director for the International Space Station (ISS).

“Mike has faithfully served the Flight Crew Operations Directorate for many years,” said Janet Kavandi, director of Flight Crew Operations at Johnson. “His unique background and diplomatic skills have made him an outstanding FCOD assistant director for space station and lead for the Multilateral Crew Operations Panel. Mike’s tireless dedication to the safety and well-being of space station crews is well known. We will miss him and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/mar/HQ_12-077_Lopez_Alegria_Departs.html

NASA To Release New Women@Nasa Videos In Celebration Of Women’s History Month


NASA will release new Women@NASA video interviews at the Women, Aerospace and Innovation event on March 8. The event will take place at the George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium and Marvin Center in Washington, D.C., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST.

The Women@NASA website showcases women from diverse backgrounds, with careers at NASA, telling their stories in their own words. Featured women include astronauts, engineers, scientists and administrators. They discuss their accomplishments and offer encouragement to women and girls considering technical careers to become the trailblazers of tomorrow. The website also provides information about NASA internships and career opportunities.

The event also will spotlight information from the Girl Scouts Research Institute on how to inspire young women to enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The National Academy of Engineering will present its Engineer Girl website, which answers questions girls may have about engineering jobs and hosts an annual essay contest on ways engineering impacts the world.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/mar/HQ_12-072_Women_@NASA_2.html

Astronaut Don Pettit Shares Passion for Science from Space

February 8, 2012 Leave a comment

NASA and the American Physical Society (APS) have begun a partnership to share videos from the International Space Station with students, educators and science fans around the world. NASA astronaut Don Pettit, currently on the orbiting outpost as a member of the Expedition 30 crew, will use everyday objects from Earth to demonstrate physics through “Science off the Sphere” presentations.

Space fans know Pettit from his previous science demonstrations performed in space, such as the “Zero G Coffee Cup” from the space shuttle’s STS-126 mission in 2008. This time he has added a physics challenge for viewers. Some episodes of “Science off the Sphere” will end with a question. APS will review the responses and identify a winner. Pettit will announce the winner from aboard the station.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/feb/HQ_12-043_Astronaut_Pettit_Shares_Passion_for_Science.html

Legendary Astronaut Shannon Lucid Retires From NASA

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Shannon Lucid, a member of NASA’s first astronaut class to include women, has retired after more than three decades of service to the agency.

A veteran of five spaceflights, Lucid logged more than 223 days in space, and from August 1991 to June 2007, held the record for the most days in orbit by any woman in the world. Lucid is the only American woman to serve aboard the Russian Mir space station. She lived and worked there for more than 188 days, the longest stay of any American on that vehicle. Her time on Mir also set the single flight endurance record by a woman until Suni Williams broke it in 2006.

“Shannon is an extraordinary woman and scientist. She paved the way for so many of us,” said Peggy Whitson, chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “She was a model astronaut for long-duration missions, and whether she was flying hundreds of miles up in space or serving as Capcom [capsule communicator] during the overnight hours for our space shuttle and space station crews, she always brought a smile to our faces. Like so many others, I always will look up to her.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jan/HQ_12-038_Lucid_Retires.html