NASA News: NASA TV Covers Space Station Cargo Ship Launch and Arrival

HOUSTON -- NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch
and docking of the next spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station.

Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank of NASA and his five crewmates
will be standing by as the unpiloted Russian ISS Progress 46 resupply
craft launches Wednesday, Jan. 25, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan, to deliver almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the complex.

The new Progress craft is scheduled to launch at 5:06 p.m. CST on Jan.
25 (5:06 a.m. Baikonur time Jan. 26). NASA TV coverage will begin at 4:45 p.m.

Two days later, on Friday, Jan. 27, the Progress 46 will automatically
dock to the Pirs Docking Compartment at 6:08 p.m. NASA TV coverage of
the new Progress' arrival at the station will begin at 5:30 p.m.

An older Progress resupply ship currently at the Pirs docking port
will undock on Monday, Jan. 23, to make room for the new cargo ship.
The undocking of Progress 45 will not be broadcast live.

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


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



Media Invited to Up Close Look at Engine Test Facilities for Next Deep Space Rocket

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. -- Media representatives are invited to NASA's
Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Jan. 25 for a
behind-the-scenes look at the facilities used for testing the J-2X
engines that will launch astronauts on missions to deep space aboard
the Space Launch System (SLS).

Journalists will have the opportunity to visit the:
-- Test Control Center that manages all J-2X test-firings
-- A-1 Test Stand where J-2X powerpack testing is set to begin soon
-- Engine Assembly Facility where final assembly of the J-2X is completed

NASA officials will brief media on the new SLS and J-2X engine, the
process for preparing an engine for testing, and what takes place on
the day of an engine test.

Participants include:
-- Tom Byrd, J-2X engine lead in the SLS Liquid Engines Office at
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
-- Gary Benton, J-2X engine testing project manager at Stennis

To attend, media representatives must contact Rebecca Strecker at
228-688-3249 or rebecca.a.strecker@nasa.gov no later than noon CST on
Jan. 24. News media must arrive no later than 9 a.m. on Jan. 25 to
allow time for clearance and escort on site and must be wearing flat,
closed-toe shoes.

For more information on the J-2X engine, visit:


For more information on the Space Launch System, visit:



Wallops Media Roundtable With NASA's Space Technology Director

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- Journalists are invited to a roundtable
discussion at 11 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Jan. 24, with NASA's Chief
Technologist Mason Peck during his visit to the agency's Wallops
Flight Facility at Wallops Island, Va.

Wallops Flight Facility Director Bill Wrobel will join Peck for the
event. They will discuss Wallops' important role in the agency's
development of cutting-edge technologies and innovations that will
enable NASA's future missions in science, exploration and space operations.

Wallops will conduct critical high-altitude balloon and sounding
rocket flights for several major space technology projects during the
coming years. The center will test inflatable aerodynamic
decelerators for safely returning cargo to Earth from the
International Space Station and landing large payloads on planetary
surfaces. NASA also will launch a small technology secondary payload
aboard a commercial rocket from Wallops this year.

Reporters interested in attending the media roundtable at Wallops must
contact Keith Koehler at 757-824-1579 or keith.a.koehler@nasa.gov by
3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23. To join the roundtable by telephone,
journalists should call: 1-800-369-6087 or 1-773-756-0843 and use the
passcode "Wallops."

For information about high altitude balloon and sounding rocket
programs at Wallops, visit:


For Peck's biography and information about the Office of the Chief
Technologist, visit:



NASA Finds 2011 Ninth Warmest Year on Record

WASHINGTON -- The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the
ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding
continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern
meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, which
monitors global surface temperatures on an ongoing basis, released an
updated analysis that shows temperatures around the globe in 2011
compared to the average global temperature from the mid-20th century.
The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer
temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around
the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the
mid-20th century baseline.

"We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting,"
said GISS director James E. Hansen. "So we are continuing to see a
trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a
strong La Nina influence and low solar activity for the past several
years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record."

The difference between 2011 and the warmest year in the GISS record
(2010) is 0.22 degrees F (0.12 C). This underscores the emphasis
scientists put on the long-term trend of global temperature rise.
Because of the large natural variability of climate, scientists do
not expect temperatures to rise consistently year after year.
However, they do expect a continuing temperature rise over decades.

The first 11 years of the 21st century experienced notably higher
temperatures compared to the middle and late 20th century, Hansen
said. The only year from the 20th century in the top 10 warmest years
on record is 1998.

Higher temperatures today are largely sustained by increased
atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, especially carbon
dioxide. These gases absorb infrared radiation emitted by Earth and
release that energy into the atmosphere rather than allowing it to
escape to space. As their atmospheric concentration has increased,
the amount of energy "trapped" by these gases has led to higher temperatures.

The carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere was about 285 parts per
million in 1880, when the GISS global temperature record begins. By
1960, the average concentration had risen to about 315 parts per
million. Today it exceeds 390 parts per million and continues to rise
at an accelerating pace.

The temperature analysis produced at GISS is compiled from weather
data from more than 1,000 meteorological stations around the world,
satellite observations of sea surface temperature and Antarctic
research station measurements. A publicly available computer program
is used to calculate the difference between surface temperature in a
given month and the average temperature for the same place during
1951 to 1980. This three-decade period functions as a baseline for the analysis.

The resulting temperature record is very close to analyses by the Met
Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom and the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

Hansen said he expects record-breaking global average temperature in
the next two to three years because solar activity is on the upswing
and the next El Nino will increase tropical Pacific temperatures. The
warmest years on record were 2005 and 2010, in a virtual tie.

"It's always dangerous to make predictions about El Nino, but it's
safe to say we'll see one in the next three years," Hansen said. "It
won't take a very strong El Nino to push temperatures above 2010."

For more information on the GISS temperature analysis, visit:



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