WASHINGTON — NASA will hold the annual Desert “RATS,” or Research and
Technology Studies, field test in the Arizona desert this fall,
hosting a media day for journalists on Sept. 15.
Desert RATS will help determine what technologies and capabilities
will be needed when NASA takes future trips beyond Earth. The tests
will include a simulated 14-day mission during which two crew members
— an astronaut and a geologist — will live inside NASA’s prototype
Lunar Electric Rover. They will scout the test area for features of
geological interest and conduct simulated moonwalks to collect
NASA’s heavy-lift rover Tri-ATHLETE, or All-Terrain Hex-Legged
Extra-Terrestrial Explorer, will carry a habitat mockup to which the
lunar rover will dock. The media day will include lunar rover and
Tri-ATHLETE demonstrations and opportunities to interview the
engineers, scientists and astronauts involved in the tests.
Interested reporters should contact Brandi Dean at 281-244-1403 by
Friday, Sept. 11, for the media day agenda and registration
information. Access to the test site is restricted, and reporters
must register in advance. NASA requires a letter of assignment on
company letterhead for credentials.
During the Desert RATS tests, which have been taking place for more
than a decade, engineers from NASA centers work with representatives
from industry and academia.
For more information about NASA’s lunar field tests and links to
follow Desert RATS activities on social media sites, visit:
HOUSTON — The 13 crew members flying aboard space shuttle Discovery
and the International Space Station will hold a news conference at
7:54 p.m. CDT on Friday, Sept. 4.
Reporters may ask questions from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in
Houston, Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Headquarters in
Washington. Journalists from Canada and Sweden also will participate
in the news conference. To take part, U.S. journalists must RSVP by
calling the public affairs office at a participating NASA center by
noon CDT on Sept. 4.
NASA Television will provide live coverage of the 35-minute news
conference. For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video
Discovery’s 13-day STS-128 mission includes three spacewalks. The
flight also is delivering a new station crew member, storage racks,
materials and fluids science racks, a freezer to store research
samples, a new sleeping compartment, an air purification system, and
a treadmill named after comedian Stephen Colbert.
For more information about STS-128 and its crew, visit:
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