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Official NASA Communication 02-260

Official NASA Communication 02-260

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Published by: NASAdocuments on Oct 05, 2007
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Robert MirelsonHeadquarters, Washington Dec. 23, 2002(Phone: 202/358-1600)RELEASE: 02-260NASA'S YEAR OF CHALLENGES, CHANGES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTSNASA completed a monumental and comprehensiveshift in management philosophy and structure during abusy and exciting year. NASA is flourishing with thevision of exploration and discovery, as the agencycontinues to strive to understand and protect theEarth; explore the Universe and search for life; andinspire the next generation of explorers, as only NASAcan.Sean O'Keefe, the former Deputy Director of the Officeof Management and Budget, became the agency's 10thAdministrator, and former Space Shuttle Commander,Frederick Gregory, was appointed as NASA's firstAfrican American Deputy Administrator.The agency is realigning strategically and emphasizingthe "One NASA" management philosophy. The philosophy isrobust, flexible, and research driven. "One NASA"focuses all agency elements on collaborative and commonmissions."The NASA family has much to be proud of as we reflecton the agency's accomplishments in 2002," saidAdministrator O'Keefe. "We are facing the most excitingperiod of challenges, changes and expanding scientificaccomplishment since the early days of space flight.The new Integrated Space Transportation Plan and 'OneNASA' philosophy provides us with a systematic approachto address future space transportation needs. It willguide our role as the leader of space-based scientificresearch and exploration," he said.PROTECTING AND UNDERSTANDING EARTHNASA is conducting research that may allow publichealth officials to better track and predict the spreadof West Nile Virus or similar diseases. NASA's goal isto provide people on the front lines of public healthwith innovative technologies and data from the uniquevantage point of space. NASA's products are tailoredinto useful tools and databases for streamliningefforts to combat disease. NASA observed the AntarcticLarsen Ice Shelf and the seasonal acceleration of the
Greenland ice sheet.The study indicated glaciers could dramatically affectglobal ocean currents, marine life, terrestrialproductivity, and the ocean food chain. NASA airborneand spaceborne observations are helping to improveprediction of hurricane tracks and to increase warningtime. NASA is using data to improve our knowledge of how clouds insulate the Earth and reflect heat in andout of our atmosphere. NASA continues to developcutting-edge technologies that will increase ourweather forecasting capability from the current three-to-five-day accuracy level up to a seven-to-ten-daylevel within this decade.BETTER LIVING THROUGH SPACE AGE TECHNOLOGYNASA scientists helped develop several potentially lifesaving devices. The Child Presence Sensor usesprecision materials and electronics to alert parentswhen a child, seated in an automobile infant or boosterseat, is left in the vehicle. Other technology wasadapted to create a portable, non-invasive fetal heartmonitor. NASA researchers demonstrated a prototypedevice to automatically and continuously monitor theair for the presence of bacterial spores. The device,about the size of a home smoke detector, may be used todetect biohazards, such as anthrax. A new high-strengthaluminum-silicon alloy promises to lower engineemissions, which will improve air quality.INTEGRATED SPACE TRANSPORTATION PLAN (ISTP)NASA launched a new and historic ISTP dramaticallychanging the way the agency does business. Usingexisting funds, NASA revised the ISTP to match its newmanagement philosophy. The new ISTP restructures andimproves the existing Space Launch Initiative. It willbenefit the International Space Station, Space Shuttle,Orbital Space Plane Program, NASA's science andresearch objectives.INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARYThe International Space Station, the largest and mostsophisticated spacecraft ever built, celebrated asecond year of continuous human habitation. During2002, the Space Shuttle fleet turned 21 andsuccessfully flew five missions, four to supportStation expansion and one unique mission to upgrade theHubble Space Telescope (HST). Astronaut John B.Herrington, on the Shuttle Endeavour (STS-113), becamethe first Native American to walk in space.
CONTINUOUS PRESENCE...CONTINUOUS RESULTSAstronaut Peggy Whitson, the first NASA Space StationScience Officer, reflected the agency's increasedresearch tempo. Approximately 48 research andtechnology development experiments were conducted.Crewmembers conducted the first materials scienceresearch, which tested medical procedures forcontrolling the negative effects of space flight andincreased our understanding of changes to bone and thecentral nervous system that occur in space. Astronautsconducted advanced cell culturing research, broke newground in the study of dynamic systems, made up of tinyparticles mixed in a liquid (colloids), and theyinstalled three new Station experiment equipment racks.OUR QUEST TO GO FASTER AND FARTHERA new program to develop the future of spacecraftpropulsion and power, the Nuclear Systems Initiative,was announced in the FY 2003 budget request. Theapproximate $1 billion, five-year program supportsresearch into nuclear reactor technology, nuclearelectric propulsion and other advanced power systemsfor deep space exploration.HUBBLE GETS UPGRADE... 250 MILES FROM HOMEThe crew of the Shuttle Columbia (STS-109) installednew solar panels, a better central power unit, and anew camera that increased Hubble's "vision" tenfold.The new Advanced Camera for Surveys sent backspectacular images. The HST provided data to helpmeasure of the age of the Universe by uncovering theoldest stars. The new measurements confirmed othermethods of measuring the age of the Universe.INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATIONBarbara Morgan was named NASA's first EducatorAstronaut and assigned as a crewmember on Space ShuttleColumbia (STS-118), a November 2003 mission. Herassignment fulfills the commitment to send an educatorinto space to help inspire a new generation of explorers. Educator Astronauts will be fully trainedShuttle crewmembers. They will perform mission tasks,such as coordinating resupply operations andspacewalks, as well as interacting with students fromspace to encourage interest in science, mathematics andthe space program.NASA CONTINUES TO RECORD MAJOR DISCOVERIESNASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft measured enormous

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