Monthly Archives: November 2010

Next Shuttle Launch Scheduled for No Sooner Than December 17, 2010

Space shuttle Discovery on the launchpad

Space Shuttle Discovery may launch in December

Following the discovery of cracks in aluminum brackets attached to the external tanks of the Space Shuttle Discovery, NASA has rescheduled the next launch for no sooner than December 17, 2010. A status review by the Program Requirements Control Board will be held on Thursday, December 2 to determine if the launch plans can proceed.

Please visit the NASA website for the latest updates regarding Discovery:
View the launch online at NASA TV:

NASA’s Know Your Earth Project

Astronaut and Earth

NASA studies the Earth as well as space

This summer marked the nationwide release of the new, multi-mission education and public outreach project named “Know Your Earth.” This project is a collaboration between 11 Earth-observing missions. It promotes understanding our planet and climate change through a fun, light-hearted and engaging three-minute video segment that has been released in almost 300 movie theaters nationwide as part of National CineMedia’s Lobby Entertainment Network. This video segment plays on screens in theater lobbies in more than 40 states, including major movie-going venues in Los Angeles, New York and Orlando.

The main purpose of the video segment is to reach a major audience, the movie-going public that might not seek out this scientific information on a regular basis. The video is designed to inspire all age groups and to further interest in learning about climate change.

Included with the Know Your Earth Segment is a 30-second video entitled “NASA Reveals a Most Unusual Planet,” which shows just how unusual our planet really is.

This video segment is also available for museums, science centers, planetariums, parks, nature centers, zoos, aquariums and more.

To learn more about the project and to view the videos online, visit

2011 NASA Student Airborne Research Program – Deadline Feb 11, 2011

The NASA Airborne Science Program invites highly motivated junior and senior undergraduate and early graduate students to apply for the third NASA Student Airborne Research Program, also known as SARP 2011. The program provides students with hands-on research experience in all aspects of a major scientific campaign, from detailed planning on how to achieve mission objectives to formal presentation of results and conclusions to peers and others. Students will assist in the operation of two airborne instruments. Research areas include atmospheric chemistry and evapotranspiration from agricultural crops in the California Central Valley and ocean biology along the California coast.

The program takes place in June and July 2011. Preparatory information will be presented at the University of California Irvine. Instrument and flight preparations, and the research flights themselves, will occur at NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.

Successful applicants will be awarded a $2,500 stipend for six weeks of participation in the program. Full travel and living expenses will be provided.

Applications received by Jan. 21, 2011, will be considered for early acceptance. The deadline for all applications is Feb. 11, 2011.

For more information and to download the program application, visit

Video Chat: How to Build a Mars Rover – Nov 23, 2010

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are currently assembling and testing the rover and other components of the Mars Science Laboratory in a clean room. The rover, known as Curiosity, is scheduled to launch at the end of 2011. JPL’s Education Office is hosting video chats about the mission for classrooms. Chats will feature the continuous live video feed of the rover’s construction, available at

The first chat will be held on Nov. 23, 2010, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. PDT (1 to 1:30 p.m. EDT). Mars Science Laboratory Deputy Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada will be the guest.

Each chat will be limited to six classrooms. Interested teachers are asked to send an email as soon as possible to Classrooms will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For full details, please visit

Live Chat With NASA Astronaut Michael J. Foreman – Nov 22, 2010

The NASA Explorer Schools project would like to invite K-12 students from across the U.S. to participate in a chat with astronaut and veteran spacewalker Mike Foreman. The hour-long event will take place on Nov. 22, 2010, at 1 p.m. EST. Foreman will answer questions about his spacewalking experiences, living and working in the microgravity environment of space, and his unique career path from high school through astronaut training.

Go to the NES Virtual Campus website to participate in the webchat.


NASA Careers ‘What’s in Your Future?’ Webcasts

DLiNFocus: NASA Careers ‘What’s in Your Future?’ Special Event Series

Various subject matter experts from different NASA centers will be in the Digital Learning Network studios for a series of webcasts focusing on careers. Selected classrooms will be able to interact live with the scientists face to face through the DLN cameras. Each event will be webcast to allow students from all over the world to watch the interviews. Any student can interact by sending questions via e-mail.

Experts will share their academic experiences from elementary through college and talk about what motivated them to pursue their careers. They will discuss where those career paths lead. Students and teachers will have an opportunity to learn about the wide variety of career choices at NASA — astronauts aren’t the only folks who work here! The schedule of events through December includes:

— Nov. 17: Stennis Space Center featuring Casey Kirchner — Aerospace Engineer.
— Dec. 1: Marshall Space Flight Center featuring Tristan Curry — Aerospace Engineer.
— Dec. 8: Dryden Flight Research Center featuring Kathleen Stanton — Nurse.
— Dec. 15: Glenn Research Center featuring Mike Foreman — former astronaut and current Chief of External Programs at GRC.

Each hour-long webcast event begins at 2 p.m. ET.

Sign up today to become a part of this exciting opportunity to meet NASA employees live! For more information, visit the DLN website at and click the Special Events button


Free Webcast on Meteor Showers – Nov 16, 2010

The Aerospace Education Services Project, or AESP, is presenting a free webcast on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, at 3 p.m. EST. During this hour-long webcast, aerospace education specialist Thomas Estill will share NASA’s educational resources designed to help teachers understand meteor showers. Estill also will share ideas for making a comet in the classroom and organizing a school or community meteor shower party.

For more information and to view the webcast, visit

2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest – Deadline April 11, 2011

From the massive Gulf oil spill to the continued decline of Arctic sea ice, NASA satellites and other observing instruments have proved crucial this year in monitoring the many environmental changes – both natural and human-induced – occurring on global, regional and local scales. The 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, challenges high school students (grades 9-12) to conduct innovative research on our changing planet using the latest geospatial tools and data.

The best project will receive cash awards in the amount of $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Individuals or teams of up to four students may submit entries. In the case of team entries, the cash award will be split equally among the winning team members. Winners will also be featured in an Encyclopedia of the Earth article. In addition to the student prizes, teachers or adult “coaches” of the first-, second-, and third-place students will receive a $200 gift card.

For more information, visit:

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