NASA Sets Station, Shuttle Briefings and Spacewalk Coverage

world anomalies 2007 -larger image belowNASA Sets Station, Shuttle Briefings and Spacewalk Coverage HOUSTON – (RUSHPRNEWS) January 25, 2008 - NASA will hold four media briefings next week to discuss International Space Station activities and provide a status of launch preparations for space shuttle mission STS-122. NASA Television also will provide live coverage of a Jan. 30 space station spacewalk, featuring Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Dan Tani.

The first briefing at 1 p.m. CST on Monday, Jan. 28, will preview the spacewalk. NASA TV coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 3 a.m. on Jan. 30 and after its completion, a briefing will be held at approximately 1 p.m. During the spacewalk astronauts will replace a motor that enables one of the station’s solar arrays to pivot toward the sun. The motor experienced electrical failures in early December 2007.

Also on Jan. 30, space shuttle managers will hold a briefing no earlier than 2 p.m., following a meeting that will set an official launch date for shuttle Atlantis’ STS-122 flight. Liftoff currently is targeted for Feb. 7.

On Thursday, Jan. 31, officials from NASA and the European Space Agency will preview the maiden launch and docking of the new European “Jules Verne” Automated Transfer Vehicle. The ATV is an unmanned cargo ship for the space station. It is scheduled to lift off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, no earlier than Feb. 22. The Jan. 31 briefing will follow an ATV readiness review by officials gathered at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The ATV will augment the Russian Progress ships that deliver supplies to the space station.

All of the space station briefings will originate from Johnson. The space shuttle status briefing on Jan. 30 will originate from NASA Headquarters in Washington. Questions will be taken from media at participating NASA locations.

Briefing schedule, all times CST:

Monday, Jan. 28:
1 p.m. Spacewalk preview briefing
Kirk Shireman, International Space Station deputy program manager
Holly Ridings, Expedition 16 lead flight director
Kieth Johnson, International Space Station spacewalk officer

Wednesday, Jan. 30:
3 a.m. Expedition 16 spacewalk coverage begins

1 p.m. Post-spacewalk briefing
Kwatsi Alibaruho, International Space Station flight director
Kieth Johnson, International Space Station spacewalk officer

2 p.m. Space shuttle status briefing
Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations
Wayne Hale, Space Shuttle Program manager

Thursday, Jan. 31:
3 p.m. Automated Transfer Vehicle preflight briefing
Mike Suffredini, International Space Station Program manager
Alan Thirkettle, ESA International Space Station Program manager
John Ellwood, ESA ATV mission manager
Bob Chesson, head, ESA Human Spaceflight and Exploration Operations

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

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For information about the upcoming STS-122 mission and its crew, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
For information about the space station and the Expedition 16 crew, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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Global Temperature Anomalies: 2007

In 2007, a moderately strong La Niña event put a chill on the eastern Pacific Ocean, and the Sun was near the low spot in its 11-year cycle of variability. Nevertheless, global average surface temperature in 2007 was still tied for the second warmest year in the instrumental record compiled by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which goes back to 1880. The record warmest year was 2005, with 1998—now tied with 2007—in second place. The global average temperature anomaly for 2007 was 0.57 degrees Celsius (about 1 degree Fahrenheit) above the 1950-1980 baseline.

This image shows the spatial patterns of temperature anomalies across the planet in 2007. Warm anomalies (compared to the baseline) are red, places where temperatures were the same as the baseline are white, and cold anomalies are blue. The cold anomaly in the Pacific Ocean shows the impact of La Niña, which was particularly strong in the second half of 2007. During La Niña events, the trade winds that blow steadily westward across the Pacific near the equator get stronger. These strong winds drag the sun-warmed surface water into the Western Pacific. Cold water from deep in the ocean wells up off the coast of South America and spreads westward along the equator. The cold anomaly over part of Antarctica is also linked to La Niña through a regional climate phenomenon called the Antarctic Oscillation.

A single year of data on its own can’t be used to either prove or disprove a trend like global warming. However, as the NASA GISS scientists point out in their summary for 2007, the temperature anomaly of 2007 “continues the strong warming trend of the past thirty years that has been confidently attributed to the effect of increasing human-made greenhouse gases. The eight warmest years in the GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990.”

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of GISS Surface Temperature Analysis team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.