April 2005 Top Story Archives



Using Isotopes to Probe the Earliest History of the Solar Nebula »» Using Isotopes to Probe the Earliest History of the Solar Nebula

[Saturday, April 2, 2005] Members of the NAI UCLA team led by Ed Young are using high-precision analysis of tiny grains in meteorites to probe the earliest history of the solar nebula.

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NASA Cassini Image: Titan During Close Flyby »» NASA Cassini Image: Titan During Close Flyby

[Saturday, April 2, 2005] This image was taken on March 31, 2005 and received on Earth April 01, 2005. The camera was pointing toward Titan at approximately 118,009 kilometers away.

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Apollo Times Three: NASA Integrated Space Operations Summit »» Apollo Times Three: NASA Integrated Space Operations Summit

[Sunday, April 3, 2005] NASA's Space Shuttle family recently gathered for a big meeting. Their task: to look at current human space flight capabilities and how they would need to be changed or "transformed" in the coming years to implement the President's new space policy.

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NASA Internal Memo From Wayne Hale: What I learned at ISOS »» NASA Internal Memo From Wayne Hale: What I learned at ISOS

[Sunday, April 3, 2005] "I spent a couple of days at the Integrated Space Operations Systems review.  This meeting of many the leaders in space exploration, both in the government and industry, to provide some clarity as we chart the future work of the agency."

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ISS Panel Report, Integrated Space Operations Summit »» ISS Panel Report, Integrated Space Operations Summit

[Monday, April 4, 2005] "... Based on current requirements, the cargo vehicle flight rate after Shuttle retirement does not meet the projected re-supply and return needs of ISS; additional transportation capabilities will be required..."

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Evidence for a co-moving sub-stellar companion of GQ Lup »» Evidence for a co-moving sub-stellar companion of GQ Lup

[Monday, April 4, 2005] "We present a companion of the young classical T Tauri star GQ Lup in the Lupus star forming region. With direct K-band imaging using VLT/NACO, we detected an object 6 mag fainter than GQ Lup located 0.7 arc sec west of it."

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Chemical guidebook may help Mars rover track extraterrestrial life »» Chemical guidebook may help Mars rover track extraterrestrial life

[Monday, April 4, 2005] To help a NASA rover hunt for life on Mars, scientists are writing a chemical guidebook to aid the search for extraterrestrial life. They're recording the types of subtle chemical changes that Martian microbes may have left on the planet's rocks.

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Using global warming to create conditions for life on Mars »» Using global warming to create conditions for life on Mars

[Monday, April 4, 2005] Injecting synthetic "super" greenhouse gases into the Martian atmosphere could raise the planet's temperature enough to melt its polar ice caps and create conditions suitable for sustaining biological life.

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NASA Cassini Image: New Titan Territory »» NASA Cassini Image: New Titan Territory

[Tuesday, April 5, 2005] Although the Huygens probe has now pierced the murky skies of Titan and landed on its surface, much of the moon remains for the Cassini spacecraft to explore. Titan continues to present exciting puzzles.

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New Horizons: The PI's Perspective April 2005 »» New Horizons: The PI's Perspective April 2005

[Tuesday, April 5, 2005] Additional elements of the spacecraft and instrument payload have been installed on the New Horizons spacecraft: an array of heaters, inertial measurement units, a repaired flight computer, and the Ralph remote sensing instrument package.

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NSF renews Cornell's contract for management of Arecibo Observatory »» NSF renews Cornell's contract for management of Arecibo Observatory

[Tuesday, April 5, 2005] The National Science Foundation has renewed Cornell University's management contract for the operation of Arecibo Observatory, the world's largest and most-sensitive single-dish radio/radar telescope.

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NASA Study Finds Earth's Auroras Are Not Mirror Images »» NASA Study Finds Earth's Auroras Are Not Mirror Images

[Tuesday, April 5, 2005] Scientists looking at Earth's northern and southern auroras were surprised to find they are not mirror images. The main cause behind the differences appears to be the interaction between the Sun's outer atmosphere and Earth's magnetic field.

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NASA's Durable Mars Rovers Get Approval for 18 Additional Months of Exploration »» NASA's Durable Mars Rovers Get Approval for 18 Additional Months of Exploration

[Tuesday, April 5, 2005] NASA has approved up to 18 more months of operations for Spirit and Opportunity, the twin Mars rovers that have already surprised engineers and scientists by continuing active exploration for more than 14 months.

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Case of Sedna's MIssing Moon Solved »» Case of Sedna's MIssing Moon Solved

[Tuesday, April 5, 2005] When the distant planetoid Sedna was discovered on the outer edges of our solar system, it posed a puzzle to scientists. Sedna appeared to be spinning very slowly compared to most solar system objects, completing one rotation every 20 days.

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Swift Mission Nabs Its First Distance Measurement to Star Explosion »» Swift Mission Nabs Its First Distance Measurement to Star Explosion

[Tuesday, April 5, 2005] The NASA-led Swift mission has measured the distance to two gamma-ray bursts -- back to back, from opposite parts of the sky -- and both were from over nine billion light years away, unleashed billions of years before the Sun and Earth formed.

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Statistical Confirmation of a Stellar Upper Mass Limit »» Statistical Confirmation of a Stellar Upper Mass Limit

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] We statistically demonstrate that the upper IMF of the local massive star census observed thus far in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds clearly exhibits a universal upper mass cutoff around 120 - 200 M_sun.

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Rep. Ken Calvert Calls for New Rules and Tools for the Second Space Age »» Rep. Ken Calvert Calls for New Rules and Tools for the Second Space Age

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] Congressman Ken Calvert yesterday called for a new set of rules and tools to move the United States Space Program forward in the second space age.  Calvert was the featured speaker at the 21st annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, CO.

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Solution Found for Cosmology's Great Pancake Mystery »» Solution Found for Cosmology's Great Pancake Mystery

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] Scientists from the University of Durham may have solved a decades-old puzzle regarding the distribution of the eleven small satellite galaxies that surround the Milky Way. The Milky Way is not alone.

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Solving the Mystery of Solar Flares »» Solving the Mystery of Solar Flares

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] An international group of scientists led by the University College London, has discovered important new evidence that points to the cataclysmic events that trigger a solar flare and the mechanisms that drive its subsequent evolution.

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Concentrated Dark Matter at the Cores of Fossil Galaxies »» Concentrated Dark Matter at the Cores of Fossil Galaxies

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] Researchers at the University of Birmingham have used the new generation of X-ray space observatories to study "fossil galaxies" - ancient galaxy groups in which all of the large galaxies have gradually merged to form one central giant galaxy.

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Era of galaxy and black hole growth spurt discovered »» Era of galaxy and black hole growth spurt discovered

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] Distant galaxies undergoing intense bursts of star formation have been shown by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to be fertile growing grounds for the largest black holes in the Universe.

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Fourth European Conference on Space Debris to address key issues »» Fourth European Conference on Space Debris to address key issues

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] The European Space Agency hosts the 4th European Conference on Space Debris, 18-20 April, at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

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NASA MSFC to Begin Test of Solar Sail »» NASA MSFC to Begin Test of Solar Sail

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] NASA engineers are preparing to test two 20-meter (66-feet) long solar sail propulsion system designs - a critical milestone in development of a unique propulsion technology using the Sun's energy that could lead to future deep space missions.

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Explosions in Space May Have Initiated Ancient Extinction on Earth »» Explosions in Space May Have Initiated Ancient Extinction on Earth

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] Scientists at NASA and the University of Kansas say that a mass extinction on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago could have been triggered by a star explosion called a gamma-ray burst.

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NASA Rolls Space Shuttle Discovery to Launch Complex 39B »» NASA Rolls Space Shuttle Discovery to Launch Complex 39B

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] Blue sky blends with the blue Atlantic Ocean as Space Shuttle Discovery, atop the Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP), crawls toward Launch Complex 39B. First motion out of the Vehicle Assembly Building occurred at 2:04 p.m. EDT.

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Space Station Crew Photographs NASA Shuttle Discovery's Rollout to Launch Complex 39B -  From Orbit »» Space Station Crew Photographs NASA Shuttle Discovery's Rollout to Launch Complex 39B - From Orbit

[Wednesday, April 6, 2005] Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao used a digital camera April 6 to photograph the rollout of the Space Shuttle Discovery at NASA's Kennedy Space Center from an altitude of 220 statute miles.

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Is this a Brown Dwarf or an Exoplanet? »» Is this a Brown Dwarf or an Exoplanet?

[Friday, April 8, 2005] As this photo shows, the series exposures reveal the presence of the tiny companion, located close to the star. This object is only 0.7 arcsecond away, and would have been overlooked without the use of the adaptive optics capabilities of NACO.

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Galaxy Clusters, Near and Far, Have A Lot in Common »» Galaxy Clusters, Near and Far, Have A Lot in Common

[Friday, April 8, 2005] Using two orbiting X-ray telescopes, a team of international astronomers has examined distant galaxy clusters in order to compare them with their counterparts that are relatively close by.

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Old Star's »» Old Star's "Rebirth" Gives Astronomers Surprises

[Friday, April 8, 2005] Astronomers using the Very Large Array radio telescope are taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch an old star suddenly stir back into new activity after coming to the end of its normal life.

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Astronomers Discover Mysterious New Star Clusters »» Astronomers Discover Mysterious New Star Clusters

[Friday, April 8, 2005] A UK-led team of astronomers has discovered a completely new type of star cluster around a neighbouring galaxy.

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Ground-based Telescopes Have An Extremely Large Future »» Ground-based Telescopes Have An Extremely Large Future

[Friday, April 8, 2005] The largest ground-based optical telescopes in use today use mirrors that are 10 m (33 ft) across. But the prospects for future Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) are looking up.

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X-Ray Vision of Violence in Interacting Galaxies »» X-Ray Vision of Violence in Interacting Galaxies

[Friday, April 8, 2005] Ongoing research by an international team of astronomers is providing new insights into cataclysmic cosmic collisions between galaxy clusters.

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Discovery of Giant X-Ray Loop Hints at Cosmic Particle Accelerator »» Discovery of Giant X-Ray Loop Hints at Cosmic Particle Accelerator

[Friday, April 8, 2005] Astronomers have found a vast loop-like structure, 20 light years across, adjacent to the most massive star-forming region known in our galaxy.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory Signs CRADA and License Agreement with Carbon Designs, Inc. »» Los Alamos National Laboratory Signs CRADA and License Agreement with Carbon Designs, Inc.

[Friday, April 8, 2005] Los Alamos National Laboratory and Carbon Designs, Inc. today signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to collaborate on the development of ultra-strong fibers made of carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

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Corrective Action Defined for Delta IV Heavy Demo Early Cut-off Anomaly »» Corrective Action Defined for Delta IV Heavy Demo Early Cut-off Anomaly

[Friday, April 8, 2005] Boeing and the USAF, supported by The Aerospace Corporation, have formally closed the investigation into the root cause of the premature Main Engine Cut-Off on the Delta IV Heavy Lift Vehicle Demonstration mission that was launched December 21, 2004.

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Study shows early Earth atmosphere hydrogen-rich, favorable to life »» Study shows early Earth atmosphere hydrogen-rich, favorable to life

[Saturday, April 9, 2005] A new University of Colorado at Boulder study indicates Earth in its infancy probably had substantial quantities of hydrogen in its atmosphere, a surprising finding that may alter the way many scientists think about how life began on the planet.

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Scientists Track Collision of Powerful Stellar Winds »» Scientists Track Collision of Powerful Stellar Winds

[Monday, April 11, 2005] Astronomers using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope have tracked the motion of a violent region where the powerful winds of two giant stars slam into each other.

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NASA DART Spacecraft to Launch on Pegasus XL Rocket April 15 »» NASA DART Spacecraft to Launch on Pegasus XL Rocket April 15

[Monday, April 11, 2005] DART will demonstrate key technologies required for spacecraft to rendezvous with other craft, such as satellites, without human intervention.

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Letter from NASA Space Missions Operations Directorate AA Bill Readdy to Return to Flight Teammates »» Letter from NASA Space Missions Operations Directorate AA Bill Readdy to Return to Flight Teammates

[Monday, April 11, 2005] This past week was quite an eventful one for the Nation's human space program! At the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, another major milestone on the path to Space Shuttle Return to Flight was accomplished when the STS-114 stack rolled out of the VAB.

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Carbon dioxide role in past climate revealed »» Carbon dioxide role in past climate revealed

[Monday, April 11, 2005] Researchers at the British Antarctic Survey and the University of California, Santa Cruz have discovered that Earth's last great global warming period, 3 million years ago, may have been caused by levels of CO2 in the atmosphere similar to today's.

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Spirit Switchbacking Uphill »» Spirit Switchbacking Uphill

[Monday, April 11, 2005] Spirit continues slipping in sandy terrain but forges ahead using crafty techniques such as switchbacking and creating a zigzag course.

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Senate Seeks to Expedite Vote to Confirm Griffin as NASA Administrator »» Senate Seeks to Expedite Vote to Confirm Griffin as NASA Administrator

[Tuesday, April 12, 2005] Dr. Michael Griffin appeared before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation this morning as President Bush's nominee to be the next Administrator of NASA. The questioning was generally friendly and to the point.

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Prepared Statement of NASA Administrator Nominee Michael Griffin »» Prepared Statement of NASA Administrator Nominee Michael Griffin

[Tuesday, April 12, 2005] "It is a daring move at any time for a national leader to call for the bold exploration of unknown worlds, a major effort at the very limit of the technical state of the art. And it was the same way back in 1492..."

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IKONOS Satellite Photo Advisory: Satellite Image of Space Shuttle Discovery »» IKONOS Satellite Photo Advisory: Satellite Image of Space Shuttle Discovery

[Tuesday, April 12, 2005] Space Imaging has released an IKONOS satellite image showing the Shuttle "stack" - the orbiter, external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters - situated at Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Revised asteroid scale aids understanding of impact risk »» Revised asteroid scale aids understanding of impact risk

[Tuesday, April 12, 2005] Astronomers led by an MIT professor have revised the scale used to assess the threat of asteroids and comets colliding with Earth to better communicate those risks with the public.

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The Vega Debris Disk -- A Surprise from Spitzer »» The Vega Debris Disk -- A Surprise from Spitzer

[Wednesday, April 13, 2005] "...we suggest that the disk we imaged is ephemeral and that we are witnessing the aftermath of a large and relatively recent collisional event, and subsequent collisional cascade."

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Organic Molecules in the Hot Corinos and Circumstellar Disks of IRAS 16293-2422 »» Organic Molecules in the Hot Corinos and Circumstellar Disks of IRAS 16293-2422

[Wednesday, April 13, 2005] "Using the recently-commissioned Submillimeter Array (SMA), we have detected several complex organic molecules, including (CH3)2O, C2H5OH, C2H5CN, and tentatively CH2CDCN, toward the protostellar hot cores of IRAS 16293-2422."

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Vulcan Productions Wins First Peabody Award »» Vulcan Productions Wins First Peabody Award

[Wednesday, April 13, 2005] Vulcan Productions, the independent film production company founded by Paul G. Allen, and Discovery Channel today announced its co-production BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE was honored with a 2004 Peabody Award as the best in electronic media.

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Mystery solved: How the orbits of extrasolar planets became so eccentric »» Mystery solved: How the orbits of extrasolar planets became so eccentric

[Wednesday, April 13, 2005] Instead of the nice circular orbits our nine planets enjoy, most of the more than 160 extrasolar planets detected in the last decade have eccentric orbits: so elongated that many come in very close to the central star and then go out much further away.

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Discovery of the Most Metal-Deficient Star Ever Found: Studying Nucleosynthesis Signatures of the First Stars »» Discovery of the Most Metal-Deficient Star Ever Found: Studying Nucleosynthesis Signatures of the First Stars

[Wednesday, April 13, 2005] An international team of astronomers reports the discovery of a star, HE1327-2326, which sets a new record for being the most heavy element-deficient star ever found.

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NASA Performs Space Shuttle Tanking Test for Return to Flight »» NASA Performs Space Shuttle Tanking Test for Return to Flight

[Wednesday, April 13, 2005] NASA Performs Space Shuttle Tanking Test for Return to Flight

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Saturn Seen Through Titan's Clouds »» Saturn Seen Through Titan's Clouds

[Wednesday, April 13, 2005] Less than 20 minutes after Cassini's close approach to Titan on March 31, 2005, its cameras captured this view of Saturn through Titan's upper atmosphere.

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New NASA Administrator Addresses Employees Today »» New NASA Administrator Addresses Employees Today

[Thursday, April 14, 2005] The Administrator will address NASA employees today from 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT during his first NASA Update. He will also answer questions from NASA employees during the Update. The program will be carried live on NASA Television and www.nasa.gov.

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NASA Puts Space Shuttle External Tank to Test »» NASA Puts Space Shuttle External Tank to Test

[Thursday, April 14, 2005] NASA engineers and managers are evaluating the data from today's Space Shuttle Discovery External Tank tanking test at Kennedy Space Center. The tanking test was yet another milestone in NASA's efforts to return the Shuttle safely to flight.

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Soyuz TMA-6 Lifts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome »» Soyuz TMA-6 Lifts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome

[Thursday, April 14, 2005] Launch of Soyuz TMA-6 (Soyuz 10S) carrying the ISS Expedition 11 crew of Sergei Krikalev and John Phillips and ESA astronaut Roberto Vittori occured on time this evening at 8:46 pm EDT.

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Sedna Reveals Pristine Surface in Gemini Near-infrared Spectra »» Sedna Reveals Pristine Surface in Gemini Near-infrared Spectra

[Thursday, April 14, 2005] Recent spectroscopic studies of infrared light reflected from the surface of Sedna reveal that it is probably unlike Pluto and Charon since Sedna's surface does not display evidence for a large amount of either water or methane ice.

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Low oxygen likely made 'Great Dying' worse, greatly delayed recovery »» Low oxygen likely made 'Great Dying' worse, greatly delayed recovery

[Thursday, April 14, 2005] The biggest mass extinction in Earth history some 251 million years ago was preceded by elevated extinction rates before the main event and was followed by a delayed recovery that lasted for millions of years.

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NASA Johnson Space Center Appoints Nine New Flight Directors »» NASA Johnson Space Center Appoints Nine New Flight Directors

[Friday, April 15, 2005] NASA has named nine new flight directors who will join a unique group of individuals that lead human space flights from Mission Control, Houston.

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NASA Seals ISS Raffaello Logistics Module »» NASA Seals ISS Raffaello Logistics Module

[Friday, April 15, 2005] A milestone in preparation for Space Shuttle Discovery's Return to Flight Mission (STS-114) was achieved on April 14 when the hatch was closed on the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, Raffaello, NASA Kennedy Space Center.

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Small Moons and Saturn's Rings »» Small Moons and Saturn's Rings

[Friday, April 15, 2005] This image was taken on April 12, 2005 and received on Earth April 13, 2005. The camera was pointing toward Pan at approximately 1,498,606 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters.

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NASA Launches DART Spacecraft to Demonstrate Automated Rendezvous Capability »» NASA Launches DART Spacecraft to Demonstrate Automated Rendezvous Capability

[Friday, April 15, 2005] DART was successfully launched today at 1:25 p.m. EDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base beginning a 24-hour mission to demonstrate technologies required to locate and autonomously rendezvous with another craft in space using only computers and sensors.

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On Orbit Anomaly Ends NASA DART Mission Early »» On Orbit Anomaly Ends NASA DART Mission Early

[Saturday, April 16, 2005] The Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) spacecraft that was successfully launched Friday at 10:25 a.m. PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., experienced an on orbit anomaly late Friday.

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Accidental Collisions of Cataloged Satellites Identified »» Accidental Collisions of Cataloged Satellites Identified

[Saturday, April 16, 2005] The U.S. Space Surveillance Network has identified two accidental collisions between cataloged objects from different missions. One collision is recent, having occurred in Jan 2005, while the other is a much older event which occurred in late 1991.

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NASA Space Station Status Report 16 April 2005 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 16 April 2005

[Sunday, April 17, 2005] New residents arrived at the International Space Station tonight to begin a six-month mission and to prepare for the arrival of the first Space Shuttle crew to visit the complex since November 2002.

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Scientists model physics of stellar burning »» Scientists model physics of stellar burning

[Monday, April 18, 2005] A University of California scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory working with astronomers from around the world recently validated a computer model that predicts the rebirth and stellar burning and mixing processes of evolved stars.

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Five Giant Impact Basins Reveal the Ancient Equator of Mars »» Five Giant Impact Basins Reveal the Ancient Equator of Mars

[Tuesday, April 19, 2005] A Canadian researcher has calculated the location of Mars' ancient poles, based upon the location of five giant impact basins on the planet's surface.

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Fundamental physical constant has not changed in 7 billion years, DEEP2 team reports »» Fundamental physical constant has not changed in 7 billion years, DEEP2 team reports

[Tuesday, April 19, 2005] A fundamental number that affects the color of light emitted by atoms as well as all chemical interactions has not changed in more than 7 billion years, according to observations by astronomers charting the evolution of galaxies and the universe.

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NASA Administrator Mike Griffin Hits the Ground Running »» NASA Administrator Mike Griffin Hits the Ground Running

[Tuesday, April 19, 2005] Mike Griffin met with the press for the first time on Monday - after only 3 days on the job. The obvious difference between Griffin and his two predecessors is that he had a deep understanding of the issues facing the agency the moment he was sworn in.

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Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Hearing Charter: Future Markets for Commercial Space »» Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Hearing Charter: Future Markets for Commercial Space

[Tuesday, April 19, 2005] On Wednesday, April 20, at 9:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics will hold a hearing to examine the future of the commercial space market and the government's role in that future.

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NASA's Spitzer Telescope Sees Signs of Alien Asteroid Belt »» NASA's Spitzer Telescope Sees Signs of Alien Asteroid Belt

[Wednesday, April 20, 2005] Spitzer has spotted what may be the dusty spray of asteroids banging together in a belt that orbits a star like our sun. The discovery may represent a significant step toward learning if and where other Earths form.

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NASA Announces Key Genesis Science Collectors in Excellent Shape »» NASA Announces Key Genesis Science Collectors in Excellent Shape

[Wednesday, April 20, 2005] Scientists have closely examined four Genesis spacecraft collectors, vital to the mission's top science objective, and found them in excellent shape, despite the spacecraft's hard landing last year.

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Extreme life discovery in Yellowstone bodes well for astrobiologists »» Extreme life discovery in Yellowstone bodes well for astrobiologists

[Wednesday, April 20, 2005] Researchers say a bizarre group of microbes found living inside rocks in an inhospitable geothermal environment at Yellowstone National Park could provide new clues about ancient life on Earth and help steer the hunt for evidence of life on Mars.

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Telecon Notes: 22 May is New NASA Shuttle Launch Target »» Telecon Notes: 22 May is New NASA Shuttle Launch Target

[Wednesday, April 20, 2005] "After DCR, we decided to pick another launch date. 22 May is the new target launch date. Launch time is 1:03 PM EDT - with a 5 minute window."

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Silhouette Reveals Hidden Shape of Young Star's Envelope »» Silhouette Reveals Hidden Shape of Young Star's Envelope

[Wednesday, April 20, 2005] Detailed new images of the starbirth nursery in the Omega Nebula (M17) have revealed a multi component structure in the envelope of dust and gas surrounding a very young star.

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Searching for Transiting Planets in Stellar Systems »» Searching for Transiting Planets in Stellar Systems

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] "We analyze the properties of searches devoted to finding planetary transits by observing simple stellar systems, such as globular clusters, open clusters, and the Galactic bulge."

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Extrasolar Carbon Planets »» Extrasolar Carbon Planets

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] "We suggest that some extrasolar planets ~ 60 Earth masses will formfrom silicon carbide and other carbon compounds." ... "These objects could also conceivably form around stars like the Sun."

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Biologically Enhanced Energy and Carbon Cycling on Titan? »» Biologically Enhanced Energy and Carbon Cycling on Titan?

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] "Life may have originated on Titan during its warmer early history and then developed adaptation strategies to cope with the increasingly cold conditions."

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Utilizing Minor Planets to Assess the Gravitational Field in the Outer Solar System »» Utilizing Minor Planets to Assess the Gravitational Field in the Outer Solar System

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] "Pioneer 10 and 11 have been precisely tracked for over thirty years as they have crossed and then departed the solar system. When they passed a distance of 20 AU from the sun, both probes exhibited a systematic error in their trajectories."

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The Planetary Society Launches Cosmic Guessing Game: The Great Comet Crater Contest »» The Planetary Society Launches Cosmic Guessing Game: The Great Comet Crater Contest

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] The Planetary Society invites you to make your best guess on how big the hole will be when NASA's Deep Impact mission releases an impactor projectile in the path of Comet Tempel 1 for a planned collision on July 4, 2005.

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Star Explosions on the Half Shell »» Star Explosions on the Half Shell

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] Researchers at the University of Manitoba have solved a decades-old mystery of why some star explosions create shells around them from the ashes that fly off into space, while other explosions appear not to.

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NASA Study Finds Snow Melt Causes Large Ocean Plant Blooms »» NASA Study Finds Snow Melt Causes Large Ocean Plant Blooms

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] A NASA funded study has found a decline in winter and spring snow cover over Southwest Asia and the Himalayan mountain range is creating conditions for more widespread blooms of ocean plants in the Arabian Sea.

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Bush Science Chief: Griffin Is Solution to NASA Human Space Flight »» Bush Science Chief: Griffin Is Solution to NASA Human Space Flight "Gap"

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] When asked how the Bush administration plans to address the looming 4 year gap from the retirement of the space shuttle in 2010 to the first manned flight of the Crew Exploration Vehicle in 2014, its chief scientist had a two-word answer. Mike Griffin.

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Chip-scale refrigerators cool bulk objects »» Chip-scale refrigerators cool bulk objects

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] Chip-scale refrigerators capable of reaching temperatures as low as 100 milliKelvin have been used to cool bulk objects for the first time, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report.

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Another NAVSTAR PAM-D Recovered after Reentry »» Another NAVSTAR PAM-D Recovered after Reentry

[Thursday, April 21, 2005] For the third time in four years, a PAMD (Payload Assist Module - Delta) solid rocket motor casing has been recovered after an uncontrolled atmospheric reentry.

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Annual United Nations Meeting on Space Debris »» Annual United Nations Meeting on Space Debris

[Friday, April 22, 2005] The Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nation's Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space held its annual discussions on space debris at the UN complex in Vienna, Austria, during 28 February – 4 March 2005.

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The Blob, the Very Rare Massive Star and the Two Populations - Striking Image of Nebula N214C taken with ESO's NTT at La Silla »» The Blob, the Very Rare Massive Star and the Two Populations - Striking Image of Nebula N214C taken with ESO's NTT at La Silla

[Friday, April 22, 2005] The nebula N214, a large region of gas and dust located in a remote part of our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, is a quite remarkable site were massive stars are forming.

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NASA Announces DART Mishap Investigation Board Members »» NASA Announces DART Mishap Investigation Board Members

[Friday, April 22, 2005] NASA selected the mishap investigation board to determine why the Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) spacecraft did not complete its mission on April 15.

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Mars Rover Movie Clip Shows Whirlwinds Carrying Dust »» Mars Rover Movie Clip Shows Whirlwinds Carrying Dust

[Friday, April 22, 2005] NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is taking movies of dust devils -- whirlwinds carrying dust -- scooting across a plain on Mars.

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Cassini's View of Titan »» Cassini's View of Titan

[Friday, April 22, 2005] This false-color composite was created with images taken during the Cassini spacecraft's closest flyby of Titan on April 16, 2005. It was created by combining two infrared images (taken at 938 and 889 nm) with a visible light image (taken at 420 nm).

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The Fall 2004 SDSS Supernova Survey »» The Fall 2004 SDSS Supernova Survey

[Saturday, April 23, 2005] "In preparation for the Supernova Survey of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) II, a proposed 3-year extension to the SDSS, we have conducted an early engineering and science run during the fall of 2004."

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On the Size Distribution of Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets »» On the Size Distribution of Close-In Extrasolar Giant Planets

[Saturday, April 23, 2005] "Care must be taken to account for selection effects in the transit surveys that detect the transiting planets for which radius measurements are possible."

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Origins of Brown Dwarfs »» Origins of Brown Dwarfs

[Saturday, April 23, 2005] "The formation of objects below or close to the hydrogen burning limit is currently vividly discussed and is one of the main open issues in the field of the origins of stars and planets."

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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 April 2005 »» NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 24 April 2005

[Sunday, April 24, 2005] Day 8 of joint Exp.10/Exp.11 operations. When their Soyuz capsule lands tonight at 6:08pm EDT, Leroy Chiao and Salizhan Sharipov will have spent 192d 19h in space, and ~190d aboard ISS). Roberto Vittori's time in space will have been 9d 21h 22m.

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Buying time through 'hibernation on demand' »» Buying time through 'hibernation on demand'

[Sunday, April 24, 2005] Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have, for the first time, induced a state of reversible metabolic hibernation in mice. This is the first demonstration of "hibernation on demand" in a mammal.

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Soyuz 9 Lands Safely in Kazakhstan »» Soyuz 9 Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

[Sunday, April 24, 2005] The Expedition 10 crew, Leroy Chiao and Salizhan Sharipov, returned to Earth today. With them was European Space Agency Astronaut Roberto Vittori, who had spent eight days aboard the orbiting complex doing research.

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LiftPort Group, the Space Elevator Companies, to Open Its First Carbon Nanotube Manufacturing Facility »» LiftPort Group, the Space Elevator Companies, to Open Its First Carbon Nanotube Manufacturing Facility

[Monday, April 25, 2005] LiftPort Group, the space elevator companies, today announced plans for a carbon nanotube manufacturing plant, the company's first formal facility for production of the material on a commercial scale.

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XMM-Newton sees 'hot spots' on neutron stars »» XMM-Newton sees 'hot spots' on neutron stars

[Monday, April 25, 2005] Thanks to data from ESA's XMM-Newton spacecraft, European astronomers have observed for the first time rotating 'hot spots' on the surfaces of three nearby neutron stars.

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Cassini Identifies Organic Materials High Above Titan's Surface »» Cassini Identifies Organic Materials High Above Titan's Surface

[Monday, April 25, 2005] During its closest flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on April 16, the Cassini spacecraft came within 1,027 kilometers (638 miles) of the moon's surface and found that the outer layer of the thick, hazy atmosphere is brimming with complex hydrocarbons.

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Earth's gravity scar »» Earth's gravity scar

[Monday, April 25, 2005] A new ESA study predicts that the devastating Sumatran earthquake, which resulted in the tragic tsunami of 26 December 2004, will have left a 'scar' on Earth's gravity that could be detected by a sensitive new satellite, due for launch next year.

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McDonald's Honors NASA Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao for Mission Accomplished »» McDonald's Honors NASA Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao for Mission Accomplished

[Monday, April 25, 2005] Upon his return to Earth, McDonald's will present Dr. Chiao the flagship Big Mac sandwich and French fries in Star City, Russia. The McDonald's meal will be one of the first meals on Earth Dr. Chiao will enjoy in nearly 200 days.

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Hubble Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Spectacular New Images »» Hubble Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Spectacular New Images

[Monday, April 25, 2005] During the 15 years NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has orbited the Earth, it has taken more than 750,000 photos of the cosmos; images that have awed, astounded and even confounded astronomers and the public.

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Hubble Image: The Eagle Has Risen: Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula »» Hubble Image: The Eagle Has Risen: Stellar Spire in the Eagle Nebula

[Monday, April 25, 2005] Appearing like a winged fairy-tale creature poised on a pedestal, this object is actually a billowing tower of cold gas and dust rising from a stellar nursery called the Eagle Nebula.

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Hubble Image: The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy »» Hubble Image: The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy

[Monday, April 25, 2005] The graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 (NGC 5194) appear like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space. They are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust.

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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 April 2005 »» NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 25 April 2005

[Tuesday, April 26, 2005] Underway: Week 1 for Increment 11. On their first day alone, the new station crew of CDR Sergei Krikalev and FE/SO John Phillips was off-duty today, after yesterday's demanding schedule.

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Low level of extinction during ice age linked to adaptability »» Low level of extinction during ice age linked to adaptability

[Tuesday, April 26, 2005] A graduate student may have figured out why rates of extinction were so low for many of the major groups of marine life during one of the greatest ice ages of them all, which occurred from about 330 to 290 million years ago, late in the Paleozoic Era.

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Return to Flight Task Group Plans Final Public Meeting & Briefing »» Return to Flight Task Group Plans Final Public Meeting & Briefing

[Tuesday, April 26, 2005] The Stafford-Covey Return to Flight Task Group final public meeting is at 8:30 a.m. EDT, Friday, May 6. It will be followed by an afternoon news conference.

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Cassini Finds Particles Near Saturn's Moon Enceladus »» Cassini Finds Particles Near Saturn's Moon Enceladus

[Tuesday, April 26, 2005] Cassini has discovered intriguing dust particles around Enceladus.  The particles might indicate the existence of a dust cloud around Enceladus, or they may have originated from Saturn's outermost ring, the E-ring.

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NASA Special Notice: Policy Statement Concerning the ESMD Systems Engineering and Integrated Services Procurement »» NASA Special Notice: Policy Statement Concerning the ESMD Systems Engineering and Integrated Services Procurement

[Wednesday, April 27, 2005] Exploration Systems Mission Directorate will not be releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Industry systems engineering and integration contractor.

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Epimetheus: Up-Close and Colorful »» Epimetheus: Up-Close and Colorful

[Wednesday, April 27, 2005] With this false-color view, Cassini presents the closest look yet at Saturn's small moon Epimetheus. This false color view combines images obtained using filters sensitive to ultraviolet, polarized green and infrared light.

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NASA's Deep Impact Spacecraft Spots Its Quarry, Stalking Begins »» NASA's Deep Impact Spacecraft Spots Its Quarry, Stalking Begins

[Wednesday, April 27, 2005] Sixty-nine days before it gets up-close-and-personal with a comet, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully photographed its quarry, comet Tempel 1, at a distance of 39.7 million miles.

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NASA Delays STS-114 Mission to July »» NASA Delays STS-114 Mission to July

[Thursday, April 28, 2005] Around 6:00 pm EDT Thursday evening NASA decided to delay the launch of STS-114 until July. The new launch window extends from 13 - 31 July.

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Space Shuttle Return to Flight Task Group Postpones Meeting »» Space Shuttle Return to Flight Task Group Postpones Meeting

[Friday, April 29, 2005] The Stafford-Covey Return to Flight Task Group is postponing its public meeting and news conference scheduled for Friday, May 6, in Houston. New dates for a public meeting and media briefing have not been set.

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NASA Scientists Confirm Earth's Energy is Out of Balance »» NASA Scientists Confirm Earth's Energy is Out of Balance

[Friday, April 29, 2005] Scientists have concluded more energy is being absorbed from the sun than is emitted back to space, throwing the Earth's energy "out of balance" and warming the globe.

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Mars Rover Panorama Shows Vista From 'Lookout' Point »» Mars Rover Panorama Shows Vista From 'Lookout' Point

[Friday, April 29, 2005] From a ridgeline vantage point overlooking slopes, valleys and plains, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has returned its latest color panorama of the martian landscape.

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Spirit Approaches »» Spirit Approaches "Methuselah" Outcrop on Mars

[Friday, April 29, 2005] This false-color rendering shows the scene acquired by NASA's Spirit rover on martian day, or sol, 454 (April 13, 2005), using its panoramic camera filters at 750-, 530-, and 430-nanometer wavelengths.

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Opportunity Rover Discovers Tiny Craters on Mars »» Opportunity Rover Discovers Tiny Craters on Mars

[Friday, April 29, 2005] These two craters, each smaller than a foot in diameter and less than one-half inch deep, were found intact by NASA's Mars rover Opportunity.

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NASA Announces New Window for Shuttle Return to Flight »» NASA Announces New Window for Shuttle Return to Flight

[Friday, April 29, 2005] NASA announced today July 13 to 31 is the new launch planning window for the Space Shuttle Discovery mission. The new window gives the agency time to do additional work to ensure a safe Return to Flight for Discovery and its crew.

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Mars Express radar to be deployed in May »» Mars Express radar to be deployed in May

[Friday, April 29, 2005] Following green light for the deployment of ESA's Mars Express radar, given in February this year, the radar booms are now planned to be deployed in the first half of May.

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NASA Gives Artificial Gravity a Spin »» NASA Gives Artificial Gravity a Spin

[Friday, April 29, 2005] NASA will use a new human centrifuge to explore artificial gravity as a way to counter the physiologic effects of extended weightlessness for future space exploration.

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Astronomers Confirm the First Image of a Planet Outside of Our Solar System »» Astronomers Confirm the First Image of a Planet Outside of Our Solar System

[Saturday, April 30, 2005] An international team of astronomers reports today confirmation of the discovery of a giant planet, approximately five times the mass of Jupiter, that is gravitationally bound to a young brown dwarf.

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'Wonderful' star reveals its hot nature »» 'Wonderful' star reveals its hot nature

[Saturday, April 30, 2005] For the first time an X-ray image of a pair of interacting stars has been made by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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