NASA News: NASA Spacecraft Reveals New Details Of Planet Mercury; Science Journal Has Embargoed Details Until 2 p.m. EDT on Sept. 29

WASHINGTON -- NASA will host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT on
Thursday, Sept. 29, to discuss new data and images from the first
spacecraft to orbit Mercury.

NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging
(MESSENGER) spacecraft conducted fifteen laps through the inner solar
system for more than six years before achieving the historic orbit
insertion on March 18.

Briefing participants are:
- Ed Graykzeck, MESSENGER program manager, NASA Headquarters,
- James Head, III, professor of geological sciences, Brown
- David Blewett, MESSENGER participating scientist and staff
scientist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL),
Laurel, Md.
- Patrick Peplowski, staff scientist, APL
- Thomas Zurbuchen, professor of space science and aerospace
engineering, University of Michigan

To participate in the teleconference, reporters must contact Dwayne
Brown at dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov or 202-358-1726, by noon on Sept. 29
for dial-in instructions.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at:


Related images and supporting briefing information will be available at:



NASA'S Associate Administrator For Science Ed Weiler To Retire

WASHINGTON -- Ed Weiler, who has worked almost 33 years as a leader in
NASA's science exploration programs, will retire from the agency
effective Sept. 30.

Weiler most recently served as the associate administrator of NASA's
Science Mission Directorate at agency Headquarters in Washington,
directing a variety of research and science programs in Earth
science, heliophysics, planetary science and astrophysics. Chuck Gay,
the directorate's deputy associate administrator, will become the
acting associate administrator until a permanent replacement is announced.

"Ed leaves an enduring legacy of pride and success that forever will
remain a part of NASA's science history," NASA Administrator Charles
Bolden said. "His leadership helped inspire the public with each new
scientific discovery, and enabled NASA to move forward with new
capabilities to continue to explore our solar system and beyond."

Weiler's career at NASA included stints as chief scientist for the
Hubble Space Telescope from 1979 to 1998; associate administrator for
the agency's Space Science Enterprise from 1998 to 2004; and director
of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., from 2004 to
2008. He has led the Science Mission Directorate since May 2008.

The successes under Weiler's leadership include NASA's great
observatory missions, unprecedented advances in Earth science and
extensive exploration of Mars and other planets in our solar system.
These advances have rewritten science textbooks and earned enormous
support for NASA's science programs from the general public.

For Weiler's complete biography, visit:


For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



NASA Announces California Tweetup To Tour Airborne Observatory

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- NASA will host a Tweetup for 50 of its
Twitter followers on Oct. 14 at the agency's Ames Research Center in
Moffett Field, Calif. The Tweetup includes a tour of the
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft,
which will visit Ames.

SOFIA is a highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft that carries a
telescope with a 100-inch reflecting mirror to conduct astronomy
research not possible with ground-based telescopes. SOFIA is housed
at NASA's Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif.

In addition to climbing aboard SOFIA, the Tweetup guests will speak
with NASA officials, managers and SOFIA scientists. The Tweetup will
include a session where participants can mingle with fellow Tweeps
and the staff behind the tweets on @NASA, @NASAAmes and

Tweetup registration opens at 7 a.m. PDT on Monday, Oct. 3, and closes
at 2 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, Oct. 4. NASA will randomly select 50
participants from online registrations.

For more information and rules about the Tweetup and registration, visit:


To follow NASA on Twitter, visit:


For more information about NASA's Ames Research Center, visit:



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