Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
NASA Administrator, Interior Secretary to Attend LANDSAT Launch
Last edited 4/27/2016
WASHINGTON -- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will attend the launch of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Monday, Feb. 11. The launch is scheduled for 10:02 a.m. PST.
LDCM is a collaboration between NASA and the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey. The mission will continue the Landsat program's 40-year continuous data record by Earth's landscapes by satellite from space. LDCM will expand and improve on that record with observations that advance a wide range of Earth sciences and contribute to the management of agriculture, water and forest resources.
Administrator Bolden and Interior's Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle will meet with news media Sunday, Feb. 10, at Vandenberg's Atlas V/LDCM launch pad for interviews and a photo opportunity. The Atlas V rocket carrying the satellite will be visible within the gantry. A media escort will depart Vandenberg's South Base gate on Highway 246 and Arguello Boulevard for Space Launch Complex-3 at 2:45 p.m. on Sunday.
After launch Monday, Bolden and Salazar will meet with reporters at 11:30 a.m. at the NASA complex on the southern area of Vandenberg. Journalists interested in participating in this post-launch event and the televised news conference to follow will be escorted to NASA Building 840. The news conference will begin at noon.
Following the post-launch news conference, Bolden will visit the SpaceX launch pad at 1:30 p.m. The launch pad, which is being built at Space Launch Complex-4, will support the SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. In 2015, a Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Jason-3 sea surface monitoring mission from Vandenberg.
Media interested in attending these events must contact Lt. Kaylee Ausbun at 805-606-6159 or Kaylee.Ausbun@us.af.mil by noon Friday, Feb. 8.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the LDCM Project. Orbital Sciences Corp. built, integrated, and tested the spacecraft. NASA's Launch Services Program at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is managing the launch. United Launch Alliance supplied the Atlas V rocket. After launch and the initial checkout phase, the U.S. Geological Survey will take operational control of the satellite, and LDCM will be renamed Landsat 8.