NASA today announced a team from Troy, Mich., is the winner of the first nationwide science contest that provides students a unique opportunity to conduct their own research using one of NASA’s state-of-the-art, ground-based hypergravity facilities.

NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate officials named the “Centrifu-G’s” the Hyper-G contest’s main prizewinner. The team will visit NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., in May. The team will conduct research at Ames using the International Space Station Test Bed Centrifuge, a hypergravity centrifuge.
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Useful life of UO-22 satellite appears over

According to AMSAT-UK, the UO-22 satellite is not in good shape and its useful life may be over. The Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) Ground Station control center has tried several times in recent weeks to reactivate the satellite, AMSAT-UK reports. The satellite did come back to life briefly following one attempt, but other tries have failed completely.
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Echo satellite reopens

The Echo (AO-51) command team says that because no tsunami relief-related emergency message traffic has been seen on the AO-51 Packsat Broadcast Protocol BBS (PBBS), it’s configured the satellite to permit normal FM repeater and 9k6 digital operation.

“The plan is to run in this mode until the end of January, unless word is received from the disaster area that a different setup would be useful,” said the AO-51 command team’s Mike Kingery, KE4AZN. “Anyone who can help contact those in the disaster area and inform them of the satellite resource is encouraged to do so.”
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A free NASA global climate model is available for high school and university desktop computers.

The Educational Global Climate Model (EdGCM), available for both Windows and Mac platforms, incorporates a 3-D climate model developed at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), New York. It wraps complex computer modeling programs with a graphical interface familiar to most PC users.
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Huygens lands in Titanian mud

Although Huygens landed on Titan’s surface on 14 January, activity at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, continues at a furious pace. Scientists are still working to refine the exact location of the probe’s landing site.

The full story, landing site image and animation of the descent are available at:

International Tsunami Relief Efforts

Canada’s Space community is collaborating with space nations to provide satellite images critical to rescue and humanitarian efforts. Images taken before and after south Asia’s devastating earthquake and tsunami on December 26 clearly show the consequences that have claimed over 150,000 lives and ravaged coastlines in several countries.

“Canada’s RADARSAT images are providing critical data to emergency rescue and humanitarian agencies to help them better assess the impact of the tsunami and speed relief to those most in need. Through participation in the International Charter, Canada has dedicated RADARSAT and expertise in service to humanity,” said Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President Marc Garneau.
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Ham-Astronaut accepts WAC certificate

During his International Space Station Expedition 9 duty tour, astronaut Mike Fincke, KE5AIT, became the first ISS crew member to contact all seven of the world’s continents via Amateur Radio. Now he has the International Amateur Radio Union’s Worked All Continents (WAC) certificate for his wall. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Ham Radio Technical Coordinator Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO (right in photo) presented the award to Fincke recently at Johnson Space Center.
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The Expedition 10 crewmembers are marking their 100th day in space today, ending a workweek focused on preparations for their first spacewalk Jan. 26.

Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov are scheduled to leave the Pirs Docking Compartment airlock at 2:25 a.m. EST Wednesday. Most of their spacewalk tasks involve outfitting the outside of the Zvezda Service Module.

They will install a work platform, mount a robotics experiment, check vents on systems that help control the Station’s atmosphere and install a scientific experiment. After completing the work outside Zvezda, they will move back to Pirs. Outside the docking compartment, they will install an experiment that examines the impact of spaceflight on microorganisms. They are expected to re-enter Pirs and close the hatch about 8 a.m. EST.
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