A NASA-funded project has created an archive of approximately 1,500 images of worldwide coral reefs. The archive is a tool international researchers will use, as they track reef health.

The collection of coral reef images is the basis for a new Internet-based library for the Millennium Coral Reef Project. It was created in a partnership between NASA and the University of South Florida (USF), Tampa, Fla. Additional contributors, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, international agencies and other universities, shared data, so natural resource managers could have a comprehensive world data resource on coral reefs and adjacent land areas.
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NASA scientists recently found the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the main driver of the change in rain patterns all around the world.

The NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite has enabled scientists to look around the globe and determine where the year-to-year changes in rainfall are greatest. The TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and JAXA designed to monitor and study tropical rainfall.

Researchers Ziad Haddad and Jonathan Meagher of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Robert Adler and Eric Smith of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., used TRMM data to identify areas where the year-to-year change in rainfall between 1998 and 2003 was greatest.
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NASA is simulating conditions typical of Space Shuttle launch days to see what kinds of ice and frost form on the foam insulation of the super-cooled External Tank. Engineers are trying to understand better how much ice can safely accumulate on the tank without becoming a debris hazard. The tests are under way at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Because debris from the Space Shuttle Columbia’s External Tank led to the loss of the orbiter, NASA initiated an effort to determine sources of debris that could impact the Shuttle orbiters and cause critical damage. Data from all the tests at Stennis will be used in that analysis and, in turn, will also be used in making launch day decisions, beginning with next year’s Return to Flight mission, STS-114.
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RADARSAT-1 Nine Years Old

Longueuil, November 4, 2004 – RADARSAT-1, Canada’s “eye-in-the-sky,” today completes its ninth year of operation-well beyond its five-year nominal lifetime. Over the years, it has delivered precision images and garnered 15% of the world’s Earth observation market for Canada. Canadian Space Agency satellite operations engineers continue to innovate and extend the life of the world’s first commercial microwave radar satellite.

“A clear example of Canadian space innovation, ingenuity, and expertise, RADARSAT-1 has greatly surpassed its life expectancy and continues to deliver images with pinpoint accuracy to clients in Canada and around the world,” said Marc Garneau, President of the Canadian Space Agency.
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Data Deficit AMSR-E

Nov. 5, 2004 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

At 16:47 on 4 Nov. 2004 (JST), a data deficit (all data was 0 level) in one of the observation channels of JAXA’s Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) was found. AMSR-E is mounted on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) earth observation satellite “Aqua.” After the analysis of this phenomenon, it was ascertained that receiver A for one of 6 observation frequency bands (89GHz), operated with receiver B in parallel to assure observation field of view, has been defective to output observation data after15:02 (the same day).
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NASA’s Swift observatory is scheduled for launch Wednesday, Nov. 17. Liftoff aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket is targeted at 12:09 p.m., EST, the opening of a one-hour launch window. Liftoff is from Pad 17-A on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Fla. If postponed the next launch opportunity is 12:09 p.m. EST, Nov. 18.

Swift is a NASA spacecraft designed to pinpoint the location of gamma-ray bursts. It can quickly turn and point its instruments to catch the gamma-ray burst. Swift can study both the burst and its afterglow. Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions known in the universe, distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes.

The bursts last from only a few milliseconds to a few minutes. They emit more than 100 billion times as much energy. as the sun annually, never to appear in the same spot again. The afterglow following the initial gamma-ray flash can linger in X-ray light, visible light and radio waves for hours or weeks, providing detailed information about the burst.

Canadian Students Attend Training at NASA

Longueuil, Quebec, November 4, 2004 – Ms. Alison Organek, a medical student from the University of Toronto and Dr. Michael Payne, a medical resident at the University of Ottawa, have just completed a four-week aerospace medicine training session at NASA. The two Canadian medical students each received a $6,000 grant from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to cover their travel and living expenses.
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Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov are picking up the pace of scientific, maintenance and familiarization activities aboard the International Space Station.

A highlight of the week’s scientific activities was work with an advanced diagnostic method that could be important to medical care of future crewmembers on long spaceflights. It also could improve medical care in remote areas and emergency medical care on Earth.

The crew devoted considerable time yesterday and today to the Advanced Diagnostic Ultrasound in Microgravity (ADUM) experiment. The experiment looks at whether crewmembers can perform advanced ultrasound examinations after undergoing computer-based training. Data is sent as the scan is done in space to physicians on the ground, who use it in making a diagnosis.
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The Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. The order the Space Shuttles are listed in this report does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of future missions.

Discovery (OV-103)

As Discovery continues to be processed for its launch planning window of May 12 to June 3, 2005, technicians are progressing with important orbiter power-up system testing. This testing is required prior to the vehicle rolling over to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Once in the VAB, the orbiter will be mated to its twin Solid Rocket Boosters and External Tank.

Checkout of the new Multi-functional Electronic Display System, or “glass cockpit,” was successfully completed. Orbiter drag chute door instrumentation testing is complete. Closeout inspections and photos of the drag chute door continue. Main landing gear tire pressure strain gauge installation and monitoring system checkout are complete.
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