TRICARE ends walk-in admin services at 189 facilities

TRICARE military health plan service centers will end administrative walk-in services in the U.S. on April 1, Pentagon officials said Jan. 13.

While the 189 facilities will stop taking walk-ins, beneficiaries can accomplish any administrative task online or by phone, said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren.

TRICARE service centers overseas are not affected, Warren said.

"The change will not -- let me repeat that --will not affect any TRICARE medical benefit or health care service," he said. "What it will do is allow the department to save $250 million over the next five years, allowing TRICARE to invest in more important services."

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Troops for Teens connects Airmen and students

Troops for Teens, a mentoring and tutoring partnership between 24th Air Force and South San Antonio Independent School District, officially kicked off Feb. 22 with an event for students and mentors. 

"This is an important partnership between the South San Antonio ISD and 24th Air Force to mentor and tutor these students," said Capt. Dacia Sexton, 24th AF A8/9 senior cyber analyst and head of volunteers for the 24th AF staff.  "We have an opportunity to make a difference in these students passing their standardized tests, moving to the next grade level, making positive career choices and even staying in school."


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NASA Astronaut Steve Swanson Available for Interviews Before Space Station Mission

NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, who is making final preparations for a March launch to the International Space Station, is available for live satellite interviews from 8 -9 a.m. EST Friday, March 7.

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NASA Commercial Crew Partners Complete Space System Milestones

NASA's aerospace industry partners continue to meet milestones under agreements with the agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), as they move forward in their development of spacecraft and rockets that will transport humans to destinations in low-Earth orbit.

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Deploying a Set of CubeSats From the International Space Station

A set of NanoRacks CubeSats is photographed by an Expedition 38 crew member after deployment by the NanoRacks Launcher attached to the end of the Japanese robotic arm. The CubeSats program contains a variety of experiments such as Earth observations and advanced electronics testing. International Space Station solar array panels are at left. Earth's horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the scene. Two sets of CubeSats were deployed late Wednesday, Feb. 26 and early Thursday, Feb. 27, leaving just two more launches to go of the 33 CubeSats that were delivered to the station in January by Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo ship. The latest CubeSats were sent on their way at 8:50 p.m. EST Wednesday and 2:40 a.m. Thursday. CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites and have small, standardized sizes to reduce costs. Two final batches of CubeSats are set for deployment at 11:20 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 a.m. Friday, but more are scheduled to be delivered to the station on the second Orbital commercial resupply mission in May. > Read more Image Credit: NASA

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Ecuador’s highlands

Ecuador’s northern highlands are pictured in this image from Envisat.

Near the top left of the image, the southern outskirts of Ecuador’s capital, Quito, appear as white dots. Quito is one of the highest capital cities in the world, at an elevation of 2850 m above sea level.

This area is part of the northern zone of the Andean Volcanic Belt. The belt was formed as a result of the Nazca and Antarctic tectonic plates moving under the South American plate – a geological process called ‘subduction’.

Near the bottom-left corner is the Cotopaxi stratovolcano. It is the second highest summit in the country at about 5900 m and one of Ecuador’s most active volcanoes, erupting more than 50 times since the early 1700s.

On the centre-right side of the image is the Antisana volcano.

What look like white glaciers at the peaks of these mountains are actually artefacts of the radar echo – the surfaces of the summits are more or less directly facing the satellite, so the radar signal reflects straight back to the antenna.

This image was created by combining three Envisat radar passes from 4 June 2006, 20 January 2008 and 24 January 2010 over the same area.

Colours represent changes in the land’s surface between the three radar scans that make up this composite image. Some of the changes are distinct, such as the patchwork showing changes in agricultural plots near the top left. From Antisana to the west, the area is generally colourful, indicating ground movement.

East of Antisana, however, the area is less colourful, and therefore more stable. 

This image is featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

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