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Take us to your leader: NASA takes part in Obama inauguration coverage

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The view of the National Mall from orbit. | NASA Image

From images from orbit to the Curiosity rover in a parade, NASA has a busy day today during the second Obama inauguration.

The space administration has been taking part in activities all weekend. According to a NASA page set up for the inauguration - nasa.gov/news/inauguration - they have a few more things to offer:

NASA will participate in Monday's Inaugural Parade with full-size models of two spacecraft that are boosting America to new heights -- the Curiosity Mars rover and Orion, the multi-purpose capsule that will take our astronauts farther into space than ever.

Walking beside the two spacecraft and greeting spectators along the parade route will be members of the Curiosity team from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and several current and former astronauts. The participating astronauts are Alvin Drew, Serena Aunon, Kate Rubins, Mike Massimino, Lee Morin and Kjell Lindgren, as well as Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator for Education, and John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for Science.

The West Lobby of NASA Headquarters also will be available as a warming center during daylight hours Monday.

NASA got in on the act in 2009 as well. Below is a satellite photo of the Mall when more than 1 million people jammed the Mall. Click to enlarge - all the dark clumps extending from the U.S. Capitol step back through the mall are actually people.

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