April 2007 Top Story Archives



Hubble Movie:  Saturn aand Rings Tipped Edge-on Toward Earth »» Hubble Movie: Saturn aand Rings Tipped Edge-on Toward Earth

[Sunday, April 1, 2007] This time-lapse sequence shows the moons Titan and Tethys orbiting Saturn when the planet's rings were tilted nearly edge-on toward Earth. This edge-on alignment happens once every 15 years.

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ESA Prepares for a Human Mission to Mars »» ESA Prepares for a Human Mission to Mars

[Monday, April 2, 2007] Starting in spring next year, a crew of six will be sent on a 500 day simulated mission to Mars. In reality the crew will remain in a special isolation facility in Russia. ESA is looking for experiment proposals for research to be carried out during their

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ESA and NASA Extend Ties With Major New Cross-support Agreement »» ESA and NASA Extend Ties With Major New Cross-support Agreement

[Monday, April 2, 2007] On 21 March ESA and NASA signed an agreement in Washington, DC, extending the two agencies' long-standing cooperation in the areas of satellite tracking, spacecraft navigation and mission operations.

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MARSIS Radar Estimates the Volume of Water in the South Pole of Mars »» MARSIS Radar Estimates the Volume of Water in the South Pole of Mars

[Monday, April 2, 2007] For the first time in the history of planetary exploration, topographic maps of the Martian sub-soil have been produced, revealing considerable volumes of ice.

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Two Moons Meet Over Jupiter »» Two Moons Meet Over Jupiter

[Monday, April 2, 2007] This beautiful image of the crescents of volcanic Io and Europa was snapped by New Horizons' color Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC) at 10:34 UT on March 2, 2007, about two days after New Horizons made its closest approach to Jupiter.

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NASA Voyager Mission Operations Status Report Week Ending January 12, 2007 »» NASA Voyager Mission Operations Status Report Week Ending January 12, 2007

[Tuesday, April 3, 2007] Science instrument performance for both spacecraft was nominal for all activities during this period. Voyager 1 is 9,496,000,000 miles (15,283,000,000 km) from Earth and Voyager 2 is 7,671,000,000 miles (12,346,000,000 km) from Earth.

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NASA Image Fusion Will Help Doctors Examine Astronauts' Hearts in Space »» NASA Image Fusion Will Help Doctors Examine Astronauts' Hearts in Space

[Tuesday, April 3, 2007] Practicing medicine on trips to the moon will be harder than on Earth, because spaceships will be far away, and few doctors will be aboard.

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NASA Finds Arctic Replenished Very Little Thick Sea Ice in 2005 »» NASA Finds Arctic Replenished Very Little Thick Sea Ice in 2005

[Tuesday, April 3, 2007] A study has found that in 2005 the Arctic replaced very little of the thick sea ice it normally loses and replenishes each year. Replenishment of perennial sea ice each year is essential to the maintenance and stability of the Arctic summer ice cover.

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Academy Panel Urges NASA to Lead the Way on Multisector Workforce Issues »» Academy Panel Urges NASA to Lead the Way on Multisector Workforce Issues

[Tuesday, April 3, 2007] NASA is undergoing a fundamental mission shift that will require the agency to adopt a knowledge- based, data-driven strategy to better align its workforce, according to a National Academy of Public Administration report.

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Hayabusa to start return trip to Earth in mid April »» Hayabusa to start return trip to Earth in mid April

[Wednesday, April 4, 2007] Since February, JAXA tried a new attitude control method to operate the ion engine, and engine running trials in phases have been underway since late March. It is scheduled to start fully fledged engine operations in mid April to return to Earth.

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X-ray satellites catch magnetar in gigantic stellar 'hiccup' »» X-ray satellites catch magnetar in gigantic stellar 'hiccup'

[Wednesday, April 4, 2007] Astronomers using data from several X-ray satellites have caught a magnetar – the remnant of a massive star with an incredibly strong magnetic field – in a sort of giant cosmic blench.

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Hubble’s view of barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672 »» Hubble’s view of barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672

[Wednesday, April 4, 2007] Hubble has delivered an unrivalled snapshot of the nearby barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672. This remarkable image provides a high definition view of the galaxy’s large bar, its fields of star-forming clouds and dark bands of interstellar dust.

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Evidence for a planetary companion around a nearby young star »» Evidence for a planetary companion around a nearby young star

[Wednesday, April 4, 2007] We report evidence for a planetary companion around the nearby young star HD 70573. The star is a G type dwarf located at a distance of 46 pc with age estimation between 20 and 300 Myrs.

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NASA Astrophysicist Scott Sandford Discusses Stardust Preliminary Findings (Transcript and Podcast) »» NASA Astrophysicist Scott Sandford Discusses Stardust Preliminary Findings (Transcript and Podcast)

[Wednesday, April 4, 2007] "Hi, I'm Jesse Carpenter and you're listening to a podcast presented in three parts. Launched in 1999 the Stardust spacecraft collected dust particles from the tail of the comet Wild 2 in 2004 and returned the samples to Earth in 2006. "

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NASA Hearings Highlight Continuing Funding Problems »» NASA Hearings Highlight Continuing Funding Problems

[Wednesday, April 4, 2007] NASA continues to have too little funding for everything that the space agency, authorizing committees, appropriations committees, and the science community want it to do. This lack of money was a consistent theme at a series of recent hearings.

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Researchers Find Global Positioning System is Significantly Impacted by Powerful Solar Radio Burst »» Researchers Find Global Positioning System is Significantly Impacted by Powerful Solar Radio Burst

[Wednesday, April 4, 2007] During an unprecedented solar eruption last December, researchers at Cornell University confirmed solar radio bursts can have a serious impact on the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other communication technologies using radio waves.

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A Vote for Space - Statement of the National Space Society on the successful Spaceport America vote in New Mexico »» A Vote for Space - Statement of the National Space Society on the successful Spaceport America vote in New Mexico

[Friday, April 6, 2007] "The voters of Southern New Mexico have made a bold step toward an exciting future – putting their own money behind the construction of Spaceport America," said George Whitesides, Executive Director of NSS.

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FAA: Experimental Permits for Reusable Suborbital Rockets »» FAA: Experimental Permits for Reusable Suborbital Rockets

[Friday, April 6, 2007] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is amending its commercial space transportation regulations under the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.

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Search for Habitable Planets Outside Earth's Solar System in Astrobiology »» Search for Habitable Planets Outside Earth's Solar System in Astrobiology

[Friday, April 6, 2007] Which planets outside of our Solar System are most likely to be capable of supporting life is a question that will be the focus of both a workshop later this year and a special collection of papers in the Spring 2007 issue of the journal Astrobiology.

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Grassley calls on NASA to meet its commitment in procurement probe »» Grassley calls on NASA to meet its commitment in procurement probe

[Friday, April 6, 2007] Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking NASA to account for its failure to follow-up on pledges made to independent reviewers about a contract for data management software that violated government procurement procedures.

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NASA Lab on a Chip Works »» NASA Lab on a Chip Works

[Friday, April 6, 2007] LOCAD-PTS (short for Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development–Portable Test System), is a mini-lab detects the presence of bacteria or fungi on the surfaces of a spacecraft far more rapidly than standard methods of culturing.

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NASA Finds Evidence for New Molecular Structure in Space »» NASA Finds Evidence for New Molecular Structure in Space

[Friday, April 6, 2007] NASA scientists have discovered evidence that a mysterious red glow, seen throughout the Milky Way and other galaxies but never on Earth, radiates from extremely fine dust clusters that cause the glow by combining molecular forces that oppose each other.

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Bigelow Reveals Space Business Plan »» Bigelow Reveals Space Business Plan

[Friday, April 6, 2007] The Bigelow Aerospace commercial inflatable manned space module venture intends by 2015 to have three large multi-module outposts in Earth orbit to serve different user communities.

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Fifth American Space Tourist Prepares for Journey to International Station »» Fifth American Space Tourist Prepares for Journey to International Station

[Friday, April 6, 2007] American computer software entrepreneur Charles Simonyi is reportedly paying about $25 million to fulfill his childhood dream of flying in space. He follows in the footsteps of other space tourists who traveled to the ISS aboard Russian rockets.

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NASA Space Station Status Report 7 April 2007 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 7 April 2007

[Saturday, April 7, 2007] Two cosmonauts and a space flight participant launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:31 p.m. CDT Saturday for a two-day flight to the International Space Station.

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Patent for Winged spacecraft Assigned to Burt Rutan »» Patent for Winged spacecraft Assigned to Burt Rutan

[Sunday, April 8, 2007] A rocket-powered spacecraft having a wing which has hinged aft portions which can be elevated about a hinge line. Tail booms extend rearwardly from the outer ends of the aft wing portions, and rudders are mounted at the aft ends of the booms

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3.2 Billion-Year-Old Surprise: Earth Had Strong Magnetic Field »» 3.2 Billion-Year-Old Surprise: Earth Had Strong Magnetic Field

[Sunday, April 8, 2007] Geophysicists at the University of Rochester announce in today's issue of Nature that the Earth's magnetic field was nearly as strong 3.2 billion years ago as it is today.

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Geologist-Moonwalker To Receive Inaugural Shoemaker Memorial Award »» Geologist-Moonwalker To Receive Inaugural Shoemaker Memorial Award

[Sunday, April 8, 2007] Nearly 35 years ago, Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Hagan Schmitt became the 12th and last man to step onto the Moon. He was the lunar module pilot for that mission, and carries the distinction of being the only geologist to ever walk on the lunar surface.

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NASA New Horizons Image: Capturing Callisto »» NASA New Horizons Image: Capturing Callisto

[Sunday, April 8, 2007] The New Horizons captured these two images of Jupiter's outermost large moon, Callisto, as the spacecraft flew past Jupiter in late February. New Horizons' closest approach distance to Jupiter was 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles).

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Opportunity Status: Looking For an 'In' »» Opportunity Status: Looking For an 'In'

[Sunday, April 8, 2007] Opportunity is healthy and working on obtaining a long baseline stereo image of the bay "Valley without Peril."

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MESSENGER Completes Forty Percent of Cruise Phase »» MESSENGER Completes Forty Percent of Cruise Phase

[Sunday, April 8, 2007] On March 28, MESSENGER completed 40% of its five-year cruise phase. The probe has completed one-third of its flight distance on its trip to Mercury, and its average cruise speed will continue to increase as it homes in on its ultimate target: Mercury

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Supernova Imposter Goes Supernova »» Supernova Imposter Goes Supernova

[Sunday, April 8, 2007] In a galaxy far, far away, a massive star suffered a nasty double whammy. On Oct. 20, 2004, Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki saw the star let loose an outburst so bright that it was initially mistaken for a supernova.

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NASA Extends Contract With Russia's Federal Space Agency »» NASA Extends Contract With Russia's Federal Space Agency

[Tuesday, April 10, 2007] NASA has signed a $719 million modification to the current International Space Station contract with Russia's Federal Space Agency in Moscow for crew and cargo services through 2011.

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Mystery spiral arms explained? »» Mystery spiral arms explained?

[Tuesday, April 10, 2007] Using a trio of space observatories, astronomers may have cracked a 45-year old mystery surrounding two ghostly spiral arms in the galaxy M106 (NGC 4258).

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Water Identified in Extrasolar Planet Atmosphere »» Water Identified in Extrasolar Planet Atmosphere

[Tuesday, April 10, 2007] For the first time, water has been identified in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet. Through a combination of previously published Hubble Space Telescope measurements and new theoretical model.

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Coalition for Space Exploration to Broadcast the First-Ever Web cast of Yuri's Night »» Coalition for Space Exploration to Broadcast the First-Ever Web cast of Yuri's Night

[Tuesday, April 10, 2007] On Friday, April 13, the Coalition for Space Exploration will bring revelers from across the globe together with the first-ever Web cast of the flagship Yuri's Night celebration at NASA's Ames Research Center.

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NASA Ames to Host Celebration of Humankind's First Flight Into Space »» NASA Ames to Host Celebration of Humankind's First Flight Into Space

[Tuesday, April 10, 2007] NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., will host a major celebration of space exploration commemorating humankind's first flight into space by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

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NASA Targets June Launch for Space Shuttle Atlantis »» NASA Targets June Launch for Space Shuttle Atlantis

[Tuesday, April 10, 2007] NASA is targeting June 8 as the next possible launch opportunity for space shuttle Atlantis' STS-117 mission to the International Space Station.

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Some Earth-like Worlds May Have Foliage of Colors Other Than Green, Researchers Say »» Some Earth-like Worlds May Have Foliage of Colors Other Than Green, Researchers Say

[Wednesday, April 11, 2007] In the next decade, when scientists are able to study Earth-sized worlds around other stars, they may find that foliage on some of the planets is predominantly yellow--or orange, or red.

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Dawn Arrives in Florida -- A Little After Dawn »» Dawn Arrives in Florida -- A Little After Dawn

[Wednesday, April 11, 2007] The Dawn spacecraft arrived at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla. Dawn, NASA's mission into the heart of the asteroid belt, is at the facility for final processing and launch operations. Dawn's launch period opens June 30.

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Ball Aerospace's NextSat Delivers First-Rate Performance »» Ball Aerospace's NextSat Delivers First-Rate Performance

[Wednesday, April 11, 2007] The Ball Aerospace Next Generation Satellite and Commodities Spacecraft has shown excellent performance during pre-separation servicing demonstrations in the first weeks following its March 8 launch with ASTRO.

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Featherweight Celestial Pair Has Uncertain Future Together »» Featherweight Celestial Pair Has Uncertain Future Together

[Wednesday, April 11, 2007] Astronomers have serendipitously discovered a record-breaking pair of low-mass stars with an extreme orbital separation - by more than 5,000 times the distance between the Sun and Earth.

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NASA Shows Future Space Telescopes Could Detect Earth Twin »» NASA Shows Future Space Telescopes Could Detect Earth Twin

[Wednesday, April 11, 2007] For the first time ever, NASA researchers have successfully demonstrated in the laboratory that a space telescope rigged with special masks and mirrors could snap a photo of an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star.

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NOAA, NASA Restore Climate Sensor to Upcoming NPP Satellite »» NOAA, NASA Restore Climate Sensor to Upcoming NPP Satellite

[Wednesday, April 11, 2007] NASA and NOAA Wednesday announced a plan to restore a key ozone layer climate sensor to the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) program.

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Feather-light touch all that's needed for Darwin's frictionless optics »» Feather-light touch all that's needed for Darwin's frictionless optics

[Thursday, April 12, 2007] Darwin will look for extrasolar planets and signs of life. ESA's Technology Research Program has sponsored the development of critical optical components whose frictionless mechanism can respond to the touch of a feather.

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Envisat results after 5 years of operations »» Envisat results after 5 years of operations

[Thursday, April 12, 2007] From 23 to 27 April in Montreux, Switzerland, over 900 scientists from around the world will attend the Envisat Symposium 2007 to review and present results of ESA's Earth Observation satellites and in particular Envisat.

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Chandra Sees Remarkable Eclipse of Black Hole »» Chandra Sees Remarkable Eclipse of Black Hole

[Thursday, April 12, 2007] A remarkable eclipse of a supermassive black hole and the hot gas disk around it has been observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This eclipse has allowed two key predictions about the effects of supermassive black holes to be tested.

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Report Reveals Likely Causes of Mars Spacecraft Loss »» Report Reveals Likely Causes of Mars Spacecraft Loss

[Friday, April 13, 2007] After studying Mars four times as long as originally planned, NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter appears to have succumbed to battery failure caused by a complex sequence of events involving the onboard computer memory and ground commands.

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Interactive Webcast Brings Shuttle Mission STS-118 Closer to Home »» Interactive Webcast Brings Shuttle Mission STS-118 Closer to Home

[Saturday, April 14, 2007] Wouldn't it be great to be in 10 places at once? That's what Educator Astronaut Joe Acaba will be doing April 19 and 20 - virtually, at least.

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NASA Space Station Status Report 13 April 2007 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 13 April 2007

[Saturday, April 14, 2007] Two Expedition 15 cosmonauts spent much of the week in handover activities with their Expedition 14 predecessors. Their new crewmate, Sunita Williams also is helping them learn the ropes.

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The Blogosphere Reacts to Yuri's Night at NASA Ames Research Center »» The Blogosphere Reacts to Yuri's Night at NASA Ames Research Center

[Sunday, April 15, 2007] "Yuri's Night at Ames Research Center was a resounding successs - I saw things at NASA I never thought I'd see - all carried out with professionalism, precision - and sheer joy."

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A Tale of Two Possible NASA Futures: Yuri's Night and The National Space Symposium »» A Tale of Two Possible NASA Futures: Yuri's Night and The National Space Symposium

[Sunday, April 15, 2007] "I had a somewhat profound experience several days ago in California - at NASA Ames Research Center to be exact. The experience? Yuri's Night."

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New Generation of Space Tether Scheduled for Launch 17 April 2007 »» New Generation of Space Tether Scheduled for Launch 17 April 2007

[Tuesday, April 17, 2007] The Tethers Unlimited, Inc. "Multi-Application Survivable Tether" (MAST) experiment will be launched April 17th to study the dynamics of tethered spacecraft formations and survivability of a new multistrand tether technology in low Earth orbit (LEO).

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Notice of Centennial Challenges Lunar Lander Challenge »» Notice of Centennial Challenges Lunar Lander Challenge

[Tuesday, April 17, 2007] The Lunar Lander Challenge is a prize contest designed to accelerate technology developments supporting the commercial creation of a vehicle capable of ferrying cargo or humans back and forth between lunar orbit and the lunar surface.

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NASA Updates Shuttle Target Launch Dates »» NASA Updates Shuttle Target Launch Dates

[Tuesday, April 17, 2007] During a meeting Monday at NASA's Johnson Space Center, agency officials revised the target launch dates for space shuttle flights during the next 12 months.

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NASA New Horizons Image of Io: The Colors of Night »» NASA New Horizons Image of Io: The Colors of Night

[Tuesday, April 17, 2007] New Horizons took this image of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io at 04:30 Universal Time on February 28, 2007, about one hour before New Horizons' closest approach to Jupiter, from a range of 2.7 million kilometers (1.7 million miles).

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House Committee on Science and Technology Addresses Latest IPCC Report on the Affects of Climate Change »» House Committee on Science and Technology Addresses Latest IPCC Report on the Affects of Climate Change

[Tuesday, April 17, 2007] The U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology today heard from several of the world's leading climate change scientists on the coming affects of the global phenomena. 

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NASA Strategic Management Council Meeting: Strategic Communication Framework »» NASA Strategic Management Council Meeting: Strategic Communication Framework

[Tuesday, April 17, 2007] "Assistant Administrator Robert Hopkins of the Office of Communications Planning presented an overview of his office's efforts to development a framework to guide Agency communications."

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NASA Announces Press Conference on First 3-D Images of the Sun »» NASA Announces Press Conference on First 3-D Images of the Sun

[Tuesday, April 17, 2007] NASA will hold a press conference on Monday, April 23 at 11:00 a.m. EDT to unveil new 3-D images of the sun from the agency's Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO).

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Professor Stephen Hawking to Experience Weightlessness Aboard Zero-Gravity Flight Out of Kennedy Space Center on April 26, 2007 »» Professor Stephen Hawking to Experience Weightlessness Aboard Zero-Gravity Flight Out of Kennedy Space Center on April 26, 2007

[Tuesday, April 17, 2007] Zero Gravity, the provider of weightless flight experiences for the general public, will host renowned British cosmologist and best-selling author, Professor Stephen Hawking, aboard a historic Zero-Gravity flight.

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The future starts today - One step closer to shaping Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 »» The future starts today - One step closer to shaping Cosmic Vision 2015-2025

[Tuesday, April 17, 2007] Enthusiasm and a large number of responses from the European scientific community marked the first step in defining ESA's scientific programme for the period 2015-2025.

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Cosmic Weight Loss: The Lowest Mass White Dwarf »» Cosmic Weight Loss: The Lowest Mass White Dwarf

[Wednesday, April 18, 2007] Astronomers have found the lowest mass white dwarf known in our galaxy: a Saturn-sized ball of helium containing only about one-fifth the mass of the Sun.

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Boeing Orbital Express Conducts First Autonomous Spacecraft-to-Spacecraft Fluid and Component Transfer »» Boeing Orbital Express Conducts First Autonomous Spacecraft-to-Spacecraft Fluid and Component Transfer

[Wednesday, April 18, 2007] In its first on-orbit demonstration 300 miles above the Earth, Boeing's Orbital Express system autonomously transferred propellant fuel and a battery from one spacecraft to another, marking industry firsts for the revolutionary system.

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Orbital Express Satellites Successfully Separate, Remate »» Orbital Express Satellites Successfully Separate, Remate

[Wednesday, April 18, 2007] The two Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Orbital Express spacecraft, launched March 8 in a mated configuration, yesterday successfully separated for the first time.

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Radio Active Brown Dwarfs Are A New Class of Pulsar »» Radio Active Brown Dwarfs Are A New Class of Pulsar

[Wednesday, April 18, 2007] A study of brown dwarfs has revealed that these "failed stars" can possess powerful magnetic fields and emit lighthouse beams of radio waves thousands of times brighter than any detected from the Sun.

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Space Station Crew Landing Moved to Saturday »» Space Station Crew Landing Moved to Saturday

[Wednesday, April 18, 2007] The 14th crew of the International Space Station, Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin, along with Spaceflight Participant Charles Simonyi, will land at 8:30 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 21 in Kazakhstan.

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Animation: Highway to the Danger Zone »» Animation: Highway to the Danger Zone

[Wednesday, April 18, 2007] The closer a young, maverick star happens to be to a super hot O-star, the more likely its burgeoning planets will be blasted into space.

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Astronomers Map Out Planetary Danger Zone »» Astronomers Map Out Planetary Danger Zone

[Wednesday, April 18, 2007] Astronomers have laid down the cosmic equivalent of yellow "caution" tape around super hot stars, marking the zones where cooler stars are in danger of having their developing planets blasted away.

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Shield for the Starship Enterprise: A Reality? »» Shield for the Starship Enterprise: A Reality?

[Thursday, April 19, 2007] Scientists at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory plan to mimic nature. They will build a miniature magnetosphere in a laboratory to see if a deflector shield can be used to protect humans living on spacecraft and in bases on the Moon or Mars. 

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Scientists and polar explorers brave the elements in support of CryoSat-2 »» Scientists and polar explorers brave the elements in support of CryoSat-2

[Thursday, April 19, 2007] An international team of scientists stationed in Svalbard, Norway and two polar explorers crossing the North Pole on foot are currently part of a common effort to collect vital data on the ground and from the air in support of CryoSat-2.

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Rocketplane Kistler and Japan Manned Space Systems Corp Sign MOU for Commercial Launch Support of ISS JEM Utilization »» Rocketplane Kistler and Japan Manned Space Systems Corp Sign MOU for Commercial Launch Support of ISS JEM Utilization

[Thursday, April 19, 2007] Rocketplane Kistler, Inc. (RpK) and Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS) announced today that the companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide commercial launch service support to Japanese users to the International Space

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NASA Lawmakers Write Letter to President Calling for Space Summit to Discuss Space Program Future »» NASA Lawmakers Write Letter to President Calling for Space Summit to Discuss Space Program Future

[Thursday, April 19, 2007] "We believe that a balanced, robust space program is in the national interest of the United States. However, we are concerned that America's leadership in space could be threatened by a lack of resources devoted to our space program."

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PSI Scientists Find Migrating Regolith on Tiny Asteroid Itokawa »» PSI Scientists Find Migrating Regolith on Tiny Asteroid Itokawa

[Thursday, April 19, 2007] Unprecedentedly high-resolution images from the Hayabusa spacecraft, the first Japanese asteroid mission, show unexpected evidence of the migration of gravels covering the surface of asteroid Itokawa. 

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Surviving and Thriving in the Next 50 Years of Space Exploration: Leading scholars gather on 50th anniversary of Sputnik 1 »» Surviving and Thriving in the Next 50 Years of Space Exploration: Leading scholars gather on 50th anniversary of Sputnik 1

[Friday, April 20, 2007] President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam of India stated that, "the best thing space can do is enhance the quality of life of those on Earth," and that in the long-term, humanity has to "build the way for an alternative habitat in our galaxy."

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NASA Completes Two Important Reviews for Upcoming Hubble Mission »» NASA Completes Two Important Reviews for Upcoming Hubble Mission

[Friday, April 20, 2007] NASA managers this week completed two key program reviews that demonstrated the space shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope is progressing well. The STS- 125 servicing mission to the telescope is targeted for launch in September 2008.

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Space Acquisitions: Actions Needed to Expand and Sustain Use of Best Practices »» Space Acquisitions: Actions Needed to Expand and Sustain Use of Best Practices

[Friday, April 20, 2007] DOD's space system acquisitions have experienced problems over the past several decades that have driven up costs by hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars, stretched schedules by years, and increased performance risks.

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NASA Announces Orion Contract Modification - Delivery Delayed, Tests Added, Cargo Vehicle Dropped »» NASA Announces Orion Contract Modification - Delivery Delayed, Tests Added, Cargo Vehicle Dropped

[Friday, April 20, 2007] Late this afternoon NASA announced that it was making a significant modification to the Orion development contract with Lockheed Martin.

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A Message from NASA Johnson Space Center Director Michael Coats on Today's Shootings »» A Message from NASA Johnson Space Center Director Michael Coats on Today's Shootings

[Friday, April 20, 2007] "While we don't yet understand all that's happened, our hearts and prayers go out to the families and coworkers who lost their loved ones today and to the survivor who endured a tragic ordeal."

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NASA Space Station Status Report 20 April 2007 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 20 April 2007

[Friday, April 20, 2007] The crew members aboard the International Space Station spent this week finalizing handover operations, conducting experiments and preparing for the departure of the Expedition 14 crew.

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NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 20 April 2007 »» NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 20 April 2007

[Friday, April 20, 2007] In high bay No. 1 of the VAB, technicians and engineers continue repairing foam on the hail-damaged STS-117 external fuel tank, ET-124. The poured foam repairs are nearly complete, and technicians are trimming and sanding repair sites.

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World's leading expert in gravity to experience zero-gravity for the first time »» World's leading expert in gravity to experience zero-gravity for the first time

[Friday, April 20, 2007] Zero Gravity Corporation, the provider of weightless flight experiences for the general public, will host renowned British cosmologist and best-selling author, Professor Stephen Hawking, aboard a historic zero-gravity flight.

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NASA Space Station Status Report 21 April 2007 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 21 April 2007

[Saturday, April 21, 2007] The 14th crew of the International Space Station, Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin, along with spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi landed their Soyuz spacecraft in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 7:31 a.m CDT Saturday.

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Black Holes May Fill The Universe With the Seeds of Life »» Black Holes May Fill The Universe With the Seeds of Life

[Sunday, April 22, 2007] New research shows that black holes are not the ultimate destroyers that are often portrayed in popular culture. Instead, warm gas escaping from the clutches of enormous black holes could be one source of the chemical elements that make life possible. 

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Cassini Image: Looking Up »» Cassini Image: Looking Up

[Sunday, April 22, 2007] The Cassini spacecraft gazes upward at the face of giant Saturn, seeing beyond the equator to where ring shadows fall across the bluish northern latitudes.

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NASA Announces Press Conference on First 3-D Images of the Sun »» NASA Announces Press Conference on First 3-D Images of the Sun

[Monday, April 23, 2007] NASA will hold a press conference on Monday, April 23 at 11:00 a.m. EDT to unveil new 3-D images of the sun from the agency's Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO).

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Robotic surgeon to team up with doctors, astronauts on NASA mission »» Robotic surgeon to team up with doctors, astronauts on NASA mission

[Monday, April 23, 2007] The surgical robot Raven, astronauts and surgeons will spend 12 days in the Aquarius habitat, above. The 400-square-foot underwater habitat is used by NASA for space simulation and training.

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NASA Internal Memo From Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale: Life »» NASA Internal Memo From Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale: Life

[Monday, April 23, 2007] "This is a tragedy for all of us.  David Beverly was was instrumental in keeping the shuttle safe, participating frequently in all kinds of technical meetings, and providing professional and accurate information and judgement."

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Iowa State astrophysicists provide the eyes for new gamma ray telescope system »» Iowa State astrophysicists provide the eyes for new gamma ray telescope system

[Monday, April 23, 2007] There's a "First Light Fiesta" in the works at Mt. Hopkins near Amado, Ariz. And Iowa State University astrophysicists will be among those enjoying the celebration of a new telescope system and all the science it will produce.

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NASA STEREO Spacecraft Make First 3-D Images of Sun »» NASA STEREO Spacecraft Make First 3-D Images of Sun

[Monday, April 23, 2007] NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft have made the first three-dimensional images of the sun. The new view will greatly aid scientists' ability to understand solar physics and thereby improve space weather forecasting.

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Space Studies Board News - January - March 2007: Comments from Lennard Fisk »» Space Studies Board News - January - March 2007: Comments from Lennard Fisk

[Tuesday, April 24, 2007] "NASA has made it clear that its number one priority is to build the Ares rocket and its Orion spacecraft to replace the Shuttle and serve as the vehicle to return us to the Moon."

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Hubble's 17th anniversary – extreme star birth in the Carina Nebula »» Hubble's 17th anniversary – extreme star birth in the Carina Nebula

[Tuesday, April 24, 2007] One of the largest panoramic images ever taken with Hubble's cameras has been released to celebrate the 17th anniversary of the launch and deployment of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

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Astronomers find first habitable Earth-like planet »» Astronomers find first habitable Earth-like planet

[Tuesday, April 24, 2007] Astronomers have discovered the most Earth-like planet outside our Solar System to date, an exoplanet with a radius only 50% larger than the Earth and capable of having liquid water.

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Satellites offer sunny outlook on understanding polar climate, with help of cloudy skies »» Satellites offer sunny outlook on understanding polar climate, with help of cloudy skies

[Tuesday, April 24, 2007] A team of researchers recently completed a project to confirm what NASA satellites are telling us about how changes in clouds can affect climate in the coldest regions on Earth.

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How Old are Stars?  Enter Gyrochronology - a Powerful New Method to Determine Stellar Ages »» How Old are Stars? Enter Gyrochronology - a Powerful New Method to Determine Stellar Ages

[Tuesday, April 24, 2007] Gyrochronology, a new method for accurately determining the ages of field stars based on their rotational rates, is being announced today by Sydney Barnes, Lowell Observatory astronomer.

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Out of This World Weightless Flights By Zero Gravity Corporation Lift Off From Las Vegas »» Out of This World Weightless Flights By Zero Gravity Corporation Lift Off From Las Vegas

[Tuesday, April 24, 2007] Zero Gravity Corporation, the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights, has officially launched regular service from Signature Air Terminal at McCarran International Airport.

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Message From the Administrator - April 24, 2007: David Beverly and Fran Crenshaw »» Message From the Administrator - April 24, 2007: David Beverly and Fran Crenshaw

[Tuesday, April 24, 2007] "What most of you will not know, but should, is the kind of man who was lost in this sad event, and how David and Fran behaved as they struggled to defend themselves and each other."

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Progressive Plant Growing is a Blooming Business »» Progressive Plant Growing is a Blooming Business

[Tuesday, April 24, 2007] Plants have been to space since 1960, but NASA's plant growth experiments began in earnest during the 1990s. Experiments aboard the space shuttle and International Space Station have exposed plants to the effects of microgravity.

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Did William Herschel Discover The Rings of Uranus in the 18th Century? »» Did William Herschel Discover The Rings of Uranus in the 18th Century?

[Tuesday, April 24, 2007] In a paper presented at the National Astronomy Meeting, Dr Stuart Eves of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited will challenge the orthodox view that the rings around the planet Uranus were first detected during an occultation experiment in 1977.

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NASA Science Update to Discuss New Data From Jupiter Flyby »» NASA Science Update to Discuss New Data From Jupiter Flyby

[Wednesday, April 25, 2007] A NASA Science Update will discuss new views of the Jupiter system. The Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft is returning these images as it flies past the solar system's largest planet during the initial stages of a planned six-month encounter.

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First high quality wide field LOFAR image »» First high quality wide field LOFAR image

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) will be the largest radio telescope ever built, currently under construction by a consortium led by ASTRON, the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy.

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Florida Science Student Stand-In for Professor Stephen Hawking During Test-Run Weightless Flight on April 25, 2007 »» Florida Science Student Stand-In for Professor Stephen Hawking During Test-Run Weightless Flight on April 25, 2007

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] Ted Straight (center), an 8th grader at Stone Middle School in Melbourne, FL, served as a stand-in for Hawking on the test flight held yesterday.

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Climate catastrophes in the Solar System »» Climate catastrophes in the Solar System

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] Earth sits between two worlds that have been devastated by climate catastrophes. In the effort to combat global warming, our neighbours can provide valuable insights into the way climate catastrophes affect planets.

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The X PRIZE Foundation and Holloman AFB Announce Partnership to Present World's Largest Air & Space Flight Demonstration »» The X PRIZE Foundation and Holloman AFB Announce Partnership to Present World's Largest Air & Space Flight Demonstration

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] This year's expanded Wirefly X PRIZE Cup activities are expected to result in an 8-fold increase in competing teams and crowds. The flights and ground events will be held in Las Cruces, N.M. and HAFB in Alamagordo from October 24 – 28th, 2007.

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NASA to Rotate Station Astronauts on Next Shuttle Mission »» NASA to Rotate Station Astronauts on Next Shuttle Mission

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] After several months aboard the ISS, Suni Williams will come back to Earth aboard the Atlantis, targeted for launch June 8. STS-117 will carry her successor, astronaut Clay Anderson, to the station to begin his duty as an Expedition 15 flight engineer.

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NASA SOFIA Airborne Observatory Completes First Test Flight »» NASA SOFIA Airborne Observatory Completes First Test Flight

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), completed its first test flight following extensive aircraft modification and telescope integration at the L-3 Integrated Systems (L-3 IS) Waco, Texas facility.

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Primary Science Phase Image Release 25 April 2007 »» Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Primary Science Phase Image Release 25 April 2007

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] Launched in August of 2005, the MRO High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) will investigate deposits and landforms resulting from geologic and climatic processes and assist in the evaluation of candidate landing sites.

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Send your playlist to space with ATV! »» Send your playlist to space with ATV!

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] The winner's playlist will be downloaded onto an iPod and sent to the ISS in ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), which will be making its maiden flight later this year.

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Satellites play vital role in understanding the carbon cycle »» Satellites play vital role in understanding the carbon cycle

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] The global carbon cycle plays a vital role in climate change and is of intense importance to policy makers, but significant knowledge gaps remain in our understanding of it.

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Professor Stephen Hawking Experiences the Freedom of Weightlessness During Historic Zero-Gravity Flight Out of Kennedy Space Center »» Professor Stephen Hawking Experiences the Freedom of Weightlessness During Historic Zero-Gravity Flight Out of Kennedy Space Center

[Thursday, April 26, 2007] Zero Gravity Corporation, and its sponsors, Space Florida and The Sharper Image, successfully flew Professor Stephen Hawking into weightlessness today, performing eight parabolas, out of the Kennedy Space Center.

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NASA's Centennial Challenge for Improved Astronaut Gloves Set »» NASA's Centennial Challenge for Improved Astronaut Gloves Set

[Friday, April 27, 2007] NASA is offering a total of $200,000 for the team that can design and manufacture the best astronaut glove that exceeds minimum requirements. An additional $50,000 goes to the team that best demonstrates Mechanical Counter Pressure gloves.

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NASA JSC Solicitation: Outdoor Leadership and Teambuilding Expedition Training »» NASA JSC Solicitation: Outdoor Leadership and Teambuilding Expedition Training

[Friday, April 27, 2007] NOLS offers teamwork and leadership training in a challenging outdoor environment and has the desired level of knowledge, expertise, and experience to conduct expedition and outdoor leadership training.

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NASA Science Statement on Stephen Hawking's Zero Gravity Flight »» NASA Science Statement on Stephen Hawking's Zero Gravity Flight

[Friday, April 27, 2007] "Space is as much a place for scientists, I believe, as the arctic, Antarctic, and the deep ocean. And Dr. Hawking is showing the way."

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New ISS Crew Completes First Week Alone »» New ISS Crew Completes First Week Alone

[Saturday, April 28, 2007] The Expedition 15 crew members completed their first full week alone aboard the International Space Station since the departure of the previous crew on April 21.

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Research on »» Research on "extremophiles" is redefining the limits of life on Earth

[Saturday, April 28, 2007] On Wednesday, April 25, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Web site will debut a new, fully illustrated, multimedia Special Report describing research on strange organisms that can live in ferocious extremes of cold, heat, pressure, acidity and more.

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Cloudsat, World's Most Sensitive Cloud-profiling Radar in Orbit Celebrates One Year Above Earth »» Cloudsat, World's Most Sensitive Cloud-profiling Radar in Orbit Celebrates One Year Above Earth

[Saturday, April 28, 2007] CloudSat, a satellite mission conceived by Colorado State University scientist Graeme Stephens, will celebrate its first anniversary on Saturday as the world's most sensitive cloud-profiling radar in orbit.

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Satellites shed light on global warming »» Satellites shed light on global warming

[Saturday, April 28, 2007] Envisat Symposium this week are hearing how Earth observation satellites allow scientists to better understand the parameters involved in global warming and how this is impacting the planet.

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Students Brave Stormy Weather and 'Lunar' Terrain During NASA's 14th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race »» Students Brave Stormy Weather and 'Lunar' Terrain During NASA's 14th Annual Great Moonbuggy Race

[Saturday, April 28, 2007] Braving wet weather and a space-age terrain, a total of 47 high school and college teams participated in NASA's 14th annual Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center April 13-14 in Huntsville, Ala.

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Ocean Recons Readied - NRO readies sea surveillance flight, optical satellite procurement »» Ocean Recons Readied - NRO readies sea surveillance flight, optical satellite procurement

[Sunday, April 29, 2007] Secret National Reconnaissance Office dual satellite ocean surveillance mission to track potential terrorist movements at sea and Chinese and Iranian ship tactics is being readied for liftoff June 14 here on an Atlas V, say intelligence sources.

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