NASA News: Station Astronauts Capture Stunning Views of U.S., Canada, Northern Lights

HOUSTON -- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station recently
filmed what is among the most spectacular night imagery ever taken
from space of the United States. The video, comprised of hundreds of
sequential still images, will air on NASA Television's video file beginning today.

The imagery also is available on the internet at NASA's Gateway to
Astronaut Photography of Earth:


Taken between Jan. 29-Feb. 3, the images show a continent ablaze with
light, from the electric glow of hundreds of cities to a spectacular
aurora borealis flickering on the northern horizon. The video
includes flights above Mexico showing the entire Gulf Coast and
continuing the length of the East Coast. Other video capture scenes
from Brownsville, Texas, to the Great Lakes and above the St.
Lawrence Seaway. Still another sequence begins in the western U.S.
and continues across the Great Plains.

New imagery also shows the aurora during flights above Canada. The
imagery was taken using a still camera aboard the station, orbiting
240 miles above Earth. For more about the International Space
Station, visit:


For NASA Television schedules, downlink information and streaming
video, visit:



NASA Hosts Events to Celebrate 50 Years of Americans in Orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In celebration of 50 years of Americans in
orbit, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will host several
events Feb. 17 and 18 that will air live on NASA Television.

On Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. EST, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and
Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana will host an employee
presentation on NASA TV with the first two Americans to orbit Earth,
Mercury astronauts John Glenn and Scott Carpenter. On Feb. 20, 1962,
Glenn piloted his Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first U.S. orbital
mission. Three months later, on May 24, Carpenter became the second
American in orbit.

At 3 p.m., NASA TV will air a news conference with Glenn and
Carpenter. The event will take place at the Kennedy Space Center
Visitor Complex in the Mercury Mission Control exhibit.

On Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m., Glenn and Carpenter will participate in a
ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex honoring all who
made NASA's Project Mercury possible. The "On the Shoulders of
Giants" program will include remarks from Cabana, Sen. Bill Nelson
(D-Fla.) and astronaut Steve Robinson, who flew with Glenn on his
second trip into orbit on shuttle Discovery's STS-95 mission in 1998.

Media interested in covering the news conference and ceremony should
contact Andrea Farmer at 321-449-4318 or John Kennedy at 321-449-4273
for access to the visitor complex.

Highlights from the Feb. 17 and 18 events will air on NASA TV's Video
File. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to
streaming video, visit:


For information about the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visit:


For more information about NASA's Project Mercury, visit:



NASA Seeks Game Changing Technology Payloads for Suborbital Research Flights

WASHINGTON -- NASA is seeking proposals for small technology payloads
that could fly on future NASA-sponsored suborbital flights. These
future flights will travel to the edge of space and back, testing the
innovative new technologies before they're sent to work in the harsh
environment of space.

"NASA's Game Changing Development Program focuses on maturing advanced
space technologies that may lead to entirely new approaches for the
agency's future space missions while providing solutions to
significant national needs and adding to our nation's innovation
economy," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology
Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This solicitation offers
an opportunity to develop potentially transformative technologies
that take advantage of our Flight Opportunities Program platforms,
which allow frequent and predictable commercial access to near-space,
with easy recovery of intact payloads."

NASA's Game Changing Opportunities research announcement seeks
proposals for payloads, vehicle enhancements and onboard facilities
for payload integration that will help the agency advance technology
development in the areas of exploration, space operations and other
innovative technology areas relevant to NASA's missions. Sponsored by
NASA's Space Technology Program, the agency expects proposals from
entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, instrument builders,
research managers, and vehicle builders and operators.

"This call for proposals is a great opportunity to develop innovative
technology development payloads for flight on commercial suborbital,
reusable vehicles which have novel ideas and approaches have the
potential to revolutionize future space missions," said Stephen
Gaddis, Game Changing Development program manager at NASA's Langley
Research Center in Hampton, Va.

Special emphasis will be given to proposals that address basic and
applied research as well as development for advanced technologies and
the development of test articles and techniques for evaluating the
articles. Following development, selected payloads will be made
available to NASA's Flight Opportunities Program for pairing with
appropriate suborbital reusable launch service provider flights.

In August 2011, NASA selected seven U.S. companies that can provide
flight services and platforms to test innovative technology payloads
through the Flight Opportunities Program. Under this solicitation,
the selected Flight Opportunities suborbital reusable launch vehicles
could be modified to facilitate integration and payload engineering
of future payloads in support of specific research needs.

Proposals will be accepted from U.S. or non-U.S. organizations
including NASA centers and other government agencies, federally
funded research and development centers, educational institutions,
industry and nonprofit organizations.

NASA expects to make approximately 20 awards this summer, with the
majority of awards ranging between approximately $50,000 and $125,000
each. Several awards may be made for up to $500,000 in the area of
vehicle integration and payload engineering technology enhancements
and onboard research facilities to improve platform capabilities.

The Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development research
announcement is available through the NASA Solicitation and Proposal
Integrated Review and Evaluation System website at:


NASA's Langley Research Center manages the Game Changing Development
Program and NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif.,
manages the Flight Opportunities Program for the agency's Space
Technology Program.

For more information on the Game Changing Development activities and
information on this solicitation for payloads, visit:


For more information about NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, visit:



NASA TV to Broadcast Space Station Spacewalk Feb. 16

HOUSTON -- Two cosmonauts will conduct a five-and-a-half-hour
spacewalk Thursday, Feb. 16, to continue outfitting the International
Space Station. NASA Television will broadcast the spacewalk beginning
at 7:45 a.m. CST.

Expedition 30 Russian Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Anton
Shkaplerov will move one of the two Strela cranes from Pirs, the
oldest Russian airlock and docking module, to the newer Poisk docking
module. The 46-foot boom will be used for future assembly and
maintenance work. The duo also will install five debris shields on
the Zvezda service module and, if time permits, a small experiment on
the forward section of the module, an experiment sample pack on Poisk
and support struts on the Pirs ladder.

Both spacewalkers will wear Russian Orlan suits bearing blue stripes
and equipped with NASA helmet cameras. They will emerge from the Pirs
airlock at about 8:15 a.m.

This spacewalk will be the 162nd in support of space station assembly
and maintenance. The last spacewalk occurred Aug. 3, 2011. For
Kononenko, it will be his third spacewalk following two in July 2008
during Expedition 17. His two previous spacewalks lasted a total of
12 hours and 12 minutes. It will be Shkaplerov's first spacewalk and
the only one scheduled during Expedition 30.

Because of the location of the activities, Expedition 30 Commander Dan
Burbank of NASA and Russian Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin will be
isolated in their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft, which is attached to the
Poisk module, for the duration of the spacewalk. NASA Flight Engineer
Don Pettit of NASA and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre
Kuipers will be free to move about the U.S. segment of the complex.
Their Soyuz TMA-03M is attached to the Rassvet module.

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


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



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