NASA News: NASA TV's Public, Media Channels Transitioning to HD


WASHINGTON -- Beginning Feb. 17, 2012, NASA Television's Public and
Media channels will transmit their respective content in high definition.

NASA Television's Public Channel (101), the channel most often carried
by cable and satellite service providers, provides digital coverage
of NASA missions and events, as well as documentaries, archival and
other special programming.

NASA TV's Media Channel (103) provides mission coverage, news
conferences and relevant video and audio materials to local, national
and international news-gathering organizations.

NASA TV's Education Channel (102) will continue in standard
definition. The current NASA TV HD Channel (105) will cease service.

For complete NASA TV downlink information, visit:



NASA'S Orion Spacecraft to Land in Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama

WASHINGTON -- A test version of NASA's Orion spacecraft soon will make
a cross-country journey, giving residents in three states the chance
to see a full scale test version of the vehicle that will take humans
into deep space.

The crew module will make stops during a trip from the White Sands
Missile Range in New Mexico to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The planned stops include Jan. 23-25 at Science Museum Oklahoma in
Oklahoma City; Jan. 27-29 at Victory Park and the American Airlines
Center in Dallas; and, Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the U.S. Space and Rocket
Center in Huntsville, Ala. Engineers, program officials, astronauts
and NASA spokespeople will be available to speak with the media and
the public.

The full-scale test vehicle was used by ground crews in advance of the
launch abort system flight test that took place in New Mexico in 2010.

Media interested in seeing the spacecraft or scheduling interviews
should contact Dan Huot at daniel.g.huot@nasa.gov or by calling the
newsroom at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston at 281-483-5111 .

Orion will serve as the vehicle that takes astronauts beyond low-Earth
orbit. The first orbital flight test is scheduled for 2014.

For more information on the each of the sites, visit:




To learn more about the Orion, visit:



NASA Moves Shuttle Engines From Kennedy To Stennis

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The relocation of the RS-25D space shuttle main
engine inventory from Kennedy Space Center's Engine Shop in Cape
Canaveral, Fla., is underway. The RS-25D flight engines, repurposed
for NASA's Space Launch System, are being moved to NASA's Stennis
Space Center in south Mississippi.

The Space Launch System (SLS) is a new heavy-lift launch vehicle that
will expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new
missions of exploration across the solar system. The Marshall Space
Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., is leading the design and
development of the SLS for NASA, including the engine testing
program. SLS will carry the Orion spacecraft, its crew, cargo,
equipment and science experiments to destinations in deep space.

"The relocation of RS-25D engine assets represents a significant cost
savings to the SLS Program by consolidating SLS engine assembly and
test operations at a single facility," said William Gerstenmaier,
NASA's Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations
Mission Directorate.

The RS-25Ds -- to be used for the SLS core stage -- will be stored at
Stennis until testing begins at a future date. Testing is already
under way on the J-2X engine, which is planned for use in the SLS
upper stage. Using the same fuel system -- liquid hydrogen and liquid
oxygen -- for both core and upper stages reduces costs by leveraging
the existing knowledge base, skills, infrastructure and personnel.

"This enables the sharing of personnel, resources and practices across
all engine projects, allows flexibility and responsiveness to the SLS
program, and it is more affordable," said Johnny Heflin, RS-25D core
stage engine lead in the SLS Liquid Engines Office at Marshall. "It
also frees up the space, allowing Kennedy to move forward relative to
commercial customers."

The 15 RS-25D engines at Kennedy are being transported on the 700-mile
journey using existing transportation and processing procedures that
were used to move engines between Kennedy and Stennis during the
Space Shuttle Program. They will be relocated one at time by truck.
Built by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif. the RS-25D
engine powered NASA's space shuttle program with 100 percent mission success.

For more information about SLS, visit:



NASA and Students to Announce New Names for Twin Lunar Probes

WASHINGTON -- NASA will host a news conference at 1 p.m. EST, Tuesday,
Jan. 17, to announce the names selected from a nationwide student
contest for twin spacecraft that will study the moon in unprecedented
detail. The event will be held in the James E. Webb Memorial
Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, located at 300 E Street SW, in Washington.

Nine hundred schools and more than 11,000 students from 45 states, as
well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, participated in the
contest that began in October 2011.

The agency's twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL A/B)
spacecraft successfully achieved lunar orbit on New Year's Eve and
New Year's Day, respectively. The status of the spacecraft and
upcoming plans for science operations also will be discussed.

NASA Television and the agency's website will broadcast the live
event. Journalists can participate from NASA centers or join by
phone. To obtain dial-in information, media representatives must
contact Steve Cole at stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov, by noon EST, Tuesday,
Jan. 17.

The participants are:

-- John Grunsfeld, associate administrator, Science Mission
Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
-- Leland Melvin, associate administrator for Education, NASA
-- Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator, Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
-- Sally Ride, president and CEO, Sally Ride Science, San Diego
-- Teacher and students submitting the selected names

The event will be carried live on Ustream, with a live chat box
available, at:


For more information about GRAIL visit:




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



NASA Study Shows Health, Food Security Benefits From Climate Change Actions

WASHINGTON -- A new study led by a NASA scientist highlights 14 key
air pollution control measures that, if implemented, could slow the
pace of global warming, improve health and boost agricultural production.

The research, led by Drew Shindell of NASA's Goddard Institute for
Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, finds that focusing on these
measures could slow mean global warming 0.9 ºF (0.5ºC) by 2050,
increase global crop yields by up to 135 million metric tons per
season and prevent hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each
year. While all regions of the world would benefit, countries in Asia
and the Middle East would see the biggest health and agricultural
gains from emissions reductions.

"We've shown that implementing specific practical emissions reductions
chosen to maximize climate benefits also would have important
'win-win' benefits for human health and agriculture," said Shindell.
The study was published today in the journal Science.

Shindell and an international team considered about 400 control
measures based on technologies evaluated by the International
Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. The new
study focused on 14 measures with the greatest climate benefit. All
14 would curb the release of either black carbon or methane,
pollutants that exacerbate climate change and human or plant health,
either directly or by leading to ozone formation.

Black carbon, a product of burning fossil fuels or biomass such as
wood or dung, can worsen a number of respiratory and cardiovascular
diseases. The small particles also absorb radiation from the sun
causing the atmosphere to warm and rainfall patterns to shift. In
addition, they darken ice and snow, reducing their reflectivity and
hastening global warming.

Methane, a colorless and flammable substance that is a major
constituent of natural gas, is both a potent greenhouse gas and an
important precursor to ground-level ozone. Ozone, a key component of
smog and also a greenhouse gas, damages crops and human health.

While carbon dioxide is the primary driver of global warming over the
long term, limiting black carbon and methane are complementary
actions that would have a more immediate impact because these two
pollutants circulate out of the atmosphere more quickly.

Shindell and his team concluded that these control measures would
provide the greatest protection against global warming to Russia,
Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, countries with large areas of snow or ice
cover. Iran, Pakistan and Jordan would experience the most
improvement in agricultural production. Southern Asia and the Sahel
region of Africa would see the most beneficial changes to
precipitation patterns.

The south Asian countries of India, Bangladesh and Nepal would see the
biggest reductions in premature deaths. The study estimates that
globally between 700,000 and 4.7 million premature deaths could be
prevented each year.

Black carbon and methane have many sources. Reducing emissions would
require that societies make multiple infrastructure upgrades. For
methane, the key strategies the scientists considered were capturing
gas escaping from coal mines and oil and natural gas facilities, as
well as reducing leakage from long-distance pipelines, preventing
emissions from city landfills, updating wastewater treatment plants,
aerating rice paddies more, and limiting emissions from manure on farms.

For black carbon, the strategies analyzed include installing filters
in diesel vehicles, keeping high-emitting vehicles off the road,
upgrading cooking stoves and boilers to cleaner burning types,
installing more efficient kilns for brick production, upgrading coke
ovens and banning agricultural burning.

The scientists used computer models developed at GISS and the Max
Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, to model the
impact of emissions reductions. The models showed widespread benefits
from the methane reduction because it is evenly distributed
throughout the atmosphere. Black carbon falls out of the atmosphere
after a few days so the benefits are stronger in certain regions,
especially ones with large amounts of snow and ice.

"Protecting public health and food supplies may take precedence over
avoiding climate change in most countries, but knowing that these
measures also mitigate climate change may help motivate policies to
put them into practice," Shindell said. The new study builds on a
United Nations Environment Program/World Meteorological Organization
report, also led by Shindell, published last year.

"The scientific case for fast action on these so-called 'short-lived
climate forcers' has been steadily built over more than a decade, and
this study provides further focused and compelling analysis of the
likely benefits at the national and regional level," said United
Nations Environment Program Executive Director Achim Steiner.

To see interactive and embeddable country-by-country graphs and maps
of the impact of emissions reductions, visit:


For related imagery, visit:



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