NASA News: NASA Announces Prelaunch Events for Mars Science Lab Mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- News conferences, events and operating hours
for the Press Site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., are set for
the agency's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover launch.

MSL is scheduled to liftoff at 10:25 a.m. EST on Nov. 25 from Space
Launch Complex 41 at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

NASA Television's countdown launch commentary begins at 8 a.m. on Nov.
25. That also is when a NASA blog will begin providing countdown
updates. Originating from the Air Force station's Hangar AE, the blog
is the definitive Internet source for information leading up to liftoff.

Detailed lists of news briefing times and participants, prelaunch
media tours and photo opportunities and hours of operation for
Kennedy's Press Site are available at:


The Curiosity rover has 10 science instruments to search for evidence
Mars had environments favorable for microbial life, including the
chemical ingredients for life. The unique rover will use a laser to
look inside rocks and release their gasses so its spectrometer can
analyze and send the data back to Earth.

Free wireless Internet access currently is not available at Kennedy's
Press Site. Media representatives must bring their own equipment for
wireless connectivity.

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


For the latest information on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, visit:



NASA Expands Women@NASA Website to Encourage Girls to Pursue STEM Careers

WASHINGTON -- NASA has expanded its Women@NASA website to include
Aspire 2 Inspire, a new feature aimed at helping middle school girls
explore education and careers in science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The site features four short films and one overview film that explore
the careers and backgrounds of early-career women who work for NASA
in each of the STEM areas. A list of community organizations and
NASA-affiliated outreach programs with a STEM emphasis also is available.

The site also features four Twitter feeds where visiting girls can
interact with and submit questions to the young women featured in the films.

"We have an opportunity to reach out to the next generation and
inspire today's girls to pursue science and technology careers," said
Rebecca Keiser, the agency's associate director for agency-level
policy integration and representative to the White House Council on
Women and Girls. "Expanding opportunities in these fields will give
our country perspectives and expertise that will help us
out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the world. It's key to our future."

Visit the website at:



NASA Announces Space Shuttle Closeout Contract Modification

HOUSTON -- NASA announced the Space Shuttle Program and subcontractor
closeout modification to the Space Program Operations Contract (SPOC)
with United Space Alliance (USA) of Houston, valued at $232.9 million.

The contract covers SPOC closeout actions from Oct. 1, 2011 through
Sept. 30, 2013, including:

-- Making orbiters Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour safe for public display
-- Ferry operation activities for Discovery
-- Property, information technology systems and records disposition by USA
-- Subcontract closeout activities including property disposition,
information technology systems disposition and records disposition by
31 subcontractors through firm-fixed-price contracts and five
subcontractors through five cost-plus type contracts.

The principal locations of the various work elements are USA's
facilities in Houston, Huntsville, Ala.; and Titusville, Cocoa Beach
and Kennedy Space Center in Fla.

This is a cost-plus-award-fee-
reimbursement contract.

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



Astronaut, Food Scientist To Discuss Thanksgiving In Space

HOUSTON - Please pass the irradiated smoked turkey, thermostable yams
and freeze-dried green beans. The International Space Station is
stocked and ready for an out-of-this-world Thanksgiving feast.

The three station crew members, one American and two Russians, will
enjoy a holiday dinner floating 220 miles above Earth. In addition to
the traditional holiday favorites, albeit with a space-food flair,
their menu will include NASA's own cornbread dressing, as well as
home style potatoes and cranberries. And, along with the best view
from any Thanksgiving table, cherry-blueberry cobbler is available
for dessert.

Vickie Kloeris, NASA food scientist and manager of the space station
food system, and astronaut Clay Anderson are available for live
satellite interviews on Wednesday, Nov. 23, from 6-7:30 a.m. CST to
discuss the station's Thanksgiving menu. A veteran of two space
flights, Anderson spent 152 days living aboard the station in 2007
and returned to the outpost in 2010 as a member of space shuttle
mission STS-131. Related b-roll will precede the interviews at 5:30 a.m.

To arrange an interview, news media representatives must contact the
Johnson Space Center newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 3 p.m. on
Nov. 22.

Participating media must tune into NASA Television's Live Interview
Media Outlet channel. The channel is a digital satellite C-band
downlink by uplink provider Americom. It is on satellite SES 2,
transponder 9C, located at 87 degrees west, downlink frequency 3865.5
MHz based on a standard C-band, horizontal downlink polarity. FEC is
3/4, data rate is 6.0 Mbps, symbol rate is 4.3404 Msps, transmission
DVB-S, 4:2:0.

NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and
Anatoly Ivanishin arrived at the station Tuesday and will spend this
holiday season aboard the orbiting laboratory. They are scheduled to
live and work aboard the station until March, conducting dozens of
experiments and preparing for the arrival of new commercial resupply spacecraft.

Burbank recently described the station crew's plans for celebrating
Thanksgiving. For footage of his description, which includes displays
of food that will make up their holiday feast, visit:


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


For more information about the space station and its crew, visit:



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