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April 2011 Top Stories


Letter from College Students regarding the Future of Human Spaceflight »» Letter from College Students regarding the Future of Human Spaceflight

[Friday, April 1, 2011] We are the ones who will be most affected by the decisions you make today.

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SpaceX: Something Big Is Coming - Elon Musk to Hold Press Conference in Washington Tuesday »» SpaceX: Something Big Is Coming - Elon Musk to Hold Press Conference in Washington Tuesday

[Friday, April 1, 2011] Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Technology Officer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), will hold a press conference on Tuesday, April 5th at the National Press Club in Washington to discuss his company's latest venture.

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Committee Democrats Concerned that Hearing Fails to Address Scientific Basis for Action on Climate Change »» Committee Democrats Concerned that Hearing Fails to Address Scientific Basis for Action on Climate Change

[Friday, April 1, 2011] On Thursday, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing titled, "Climate Change: Examining the Processes Used to Create Science and Policy".

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Industry Alliance to Advance the Use of Hosted Payloads on Commercial Satellites »» Industry Alliance to Advance the Use of Hosted Payloads on Commercial Satellites

[Friday, April 1, 2011] Seven satellite industry companies have agreed to form an industry alliance to increase awareness of the benefits of hosted government payloads on commercial satellites.

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Searching for comets on the World Wide Web: The orbit of 17P/Holmes from the behavior of photographers »» Searching for comets on the World Wide Web: The orbit of 17P/Holmes from the behavior of photographers

[Saturday, April 2, 2011] We performed an image search on Yahoo for "Comet Holmes" on 2010 April 1. Thousands of images were returned. We astrometrically calibrated---and therefore vetted---the images using the Astrometry.net system.

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Photos: Earth Eclipse of Sun as Seen by SDO »» Photos: Earth Eclipse of Sun as Seen by SDO

[Saturday, April 2, 2011] What happened while SDO exited the eclipse on March 29? The pictures at the left show images in four AIA wavelengths (304, 171, 193, and 335) at about 07:14:50 UT Tuesday.

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Photos: Subtle Ripples in Jupiter's Ring »» Photos: Subtle Ripples in Jupiter's Ring

[Saturday, April 2, 2011] These images, derived from data obtained by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, show the subtle ripples in the ring of Jupiter that scientists have been able to trace back to the impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in July 1994.

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NASA Cassini Significant Events 03/23/11 - 03/29/11 »» NASA Cassini Significant Events 03/23/11 - 03/29/11

[Saturday, April 2, 2011] The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on Mar. 29 from the Deep Space Network tracking complex at Canberra, Australia. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and all subsystems are operating normally

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Photo: Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex As Seen By WISE »» Photo: Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex As Seen By WISE

[Saturday, April 2, 2011] This splash of colors is in fact a busy star-forming complex called Rho Ophiuchi. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Explorer, or WISE, captured the picturesque image of the region, which is one of the closest star-forming complexes to Earth.

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Voting Open for Original Songs to Awaken STS-134 Crew »» Voting Open for Original Songs to Awaken STS-134 Crew

[Saturday, April 2, 2011] NASA is inviting the public to vote for its favorite original song to wake up space shuttle Commander Mark Kelly and his five crewmates during their STS-134 mission to the International Space Station.

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SKA announces Founding Board and selects Jodrell Bank Observatory to host Project Office »» SKA announces Founding Board and selects Jodrell Bank Observatory to host Project Office

[Saturday, April 2, 2011] The SKA is a O1.5 billion global science project to build the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope. The SKA will be capable of answering some of the most fundamental questions about the Universe.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 April 2011 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 3 April 2011

[Sunday, April 3, 2011] All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday - Ahead: Week 4 of Increment 27.

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Photo: China's Tien Shan Mountain Range As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: China's Tien Shan Mountain Range As Seen From Orbit

[Sunday, April 3, 2011] The Tien Shan mountain range is one of the largest continuous mountain ranges in the world, extending approximately 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometers) roughly east-west across Central Asia.

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Photo: Farewell to Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) »» Photo: Farewell to Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2)

[Monday, April 4, 2011] A fish-eye lens attached to an electronic still camera was used to capture this image of the unpiloted Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle, filled with trash and unneeded items, as it departs from the ISS.

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Expedition 27 Prepares to Launch From Yuri Gagarin's Launch Pad »» Expedition 27 Prepares to Launch From Yuri Gagarin's Launch Pad

[Monday, April 4, 2011] The Soyuz, which has been dubbed 'Gagarin,' is launching one week shy of the 50th anniversary of the launch of Yuri Gagarin from the same launch pad in Baikonur on April 12, 1961 to become the first human to fly in space.

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STS-134 Pad Inspections Completed »» STS-134 Pad Inspections Completed

[Monday, April 4, 2011] Only minor damage to space shuttle Endeavour's external fuel tank foam was identified during detailed inspections Saturday by technicians and engineers on Launch Pad 39A. Evaluations indicate there was no damage to the spacecraft.

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NASA Retargets Space Shuttle Endeavour's Launch For April 29 »» NASA Retargets Space Shuttle Endeavour's Launch For April 29

[Monday, April 4, 2011] Following discussions among the International Space Station partners on Sunday, NASA has targeted the launch of space shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission for 3:47 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 29.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Responds to Recent Aerospace Corporation White Paper on NASA's Commercial Crew Program »» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Responds to Recent Aerospace Corporation White Paper on NASA's Commercial Crew Program

[Monday, April 4, 2011] As the authors of the white paper state, "The model and the results cannot validate the detail [sic] financials of any one commercial enterprise."

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Space Station Crew Launches from Birthplace of Human Spaceflight »» Space Station Crew Launches from Birthplace of Human Spaceflight

[Monday, April 4, 2011] One week shy of the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight, NASA astronaut Ron Garan and Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyaev launched to the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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Photo: Mist-capped Volcanoes on Mars »» Photo: Mist-capped Volcanoes on Mars

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] Mars Express has returned images of mist-capped volcanoes located in the northern hemisphere of the red planet. Long after volcanic activity ceased, the area was transformed by meteor impacts that deposited ejected material over the volcanoes.

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Photo: Earth from Space: Central Europe »» Photo: Earth from Space: Central Europe

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] This Envisat image features an almost cloud-free look at a large portion of Europe. The Alps, with its white peaks, stand out in contrast against the vast areas still covered in brownish winter foliage.

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Photo: Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition In Action »» Photo: Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition In Action

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] Inside the Plasma Spray-Physical Vapor Deposition, or PS-PVD, ceramic powder is introduced into the plasma flame, which vaporizes it and then condenses it to form the ceramic coating.

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Soyuz launch site in French Guiana ready for first flight »» Soyuz launch site in French Guiana ready for first flight

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] The Soyuz site at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana is now ready for its first launch. ESA yesterday handed over the complex to Arianespace, marking a major step towards this year's inaugural flight.

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Planet Candidates in Motion: The Kepler Planet Orrery »» Planet Candidates in Motion: The Kepler Planet Orrery

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] An orrery is a moving model of a planetary system. Daniel Fabrycky, University of California at Santa Cruz, created two animated orrerys to display the 1,235 Kepler planet candidates.

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Record loss of ozone over Arctic »» Record loss of ozone over Arctic

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] ESA's Envisat satellite has measured record low levels of ozone over the Euro-Atlantic sector of the northern hemisphere during March.

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Protein adaptation shows that life on early earth lived in a hot, acidic environment »» Protein adaptation shows that life on early earth lived in a hot, acidic environment

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] A new study reveals that a group of ancient enzymes adapted to substantial changes in ocean temperature and acidity during the last four billion years.

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Formaldehyde: Poison could have set the stage for the origins of life »» Formaldehyde: Poison could have set the stage for the origins of life

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] ... Material was not only similar to that found in carbonaceous chondrites, but also similar to organic material found in a comet named 81P/Wild 2, pieces of which were collected in space by NASA's Stardust mission ...

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Mars in Spain »» Mars in Spain

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] The study may shed new light on the origin of these formations and the search for water on the red planet.

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Photo: Janus and Saturn's A Ring »» Photo: Janus and Saturn's A Ring

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] Saturn's moon Janus obscures part of the planet's A ring as the Cassini spacecraft looks toward the main rings and the thin F ring.

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Naveen Jain, Innovator, Philanthropist, and Entrepreneur, Is Reaching for the Moon as Co-Founder and Chairman of Moon Express, Inc. »» Naveen Jain, Innovator, Philanthropist, and Entrepreneur, Is Reaching for the Moon as Co-Founder and Chairman of Moon Express, Inc.

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] Naveen Jain is a philanthropist, entrepreneur and a technology pioneer. He is founder of Intelius and InfoSpace, as well as Co-Chairman of Education and Global Development at the X Prize Foundation.

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Barney Pell Silicon Valley Entrepreneur & Technology Pioneer Extends His Search as Co-founder Vice-Chariman & Chief Technology Officer of Moon Express »» Barney Pell Silicon Valley Entrepreneur & Technology Pioneer Extends His Search as Co-founder Vice-Chariman & Chief Technology Officer of Moon Express

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] Moon Express is a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company created to establish new avenues for commercial space activities beyond Earth orbit.

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Renewal of a Life and Physical Sciences Research Program at NASA Could Facilitate Longer, Farther Human Space Missions »» Renewal of a Life and Physical Sciences Research Program at NASA Could Facilitate Longer, Farther Human Space Missions

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] By elevating its life and physical sciences research program, NASA could achieve the biological understanding and technical breakthroughs needed to allow humans to be sent deeper into space, including to Mars, says a new NRC report.

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SpaceX Announces Launch Date for the World's Most Powerful Rocket »» SpaceX Announces Launch Date for the World's Most Powerful Rocket

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] Today, Elon Musk, CEO and chief rocket designer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) unveiled the dramatic final specifications and launch date for the Falcon Heavy, the world's largest rocket.

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Space Debris No Threat to Station »» Space Debris No Threat to Station

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] Tracking data now indicates that a piece of orbital debris being monitored by Mission Control will not pass close enough to the International Space Station to warrant the Expedition 27 crew members taking safe haven within their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft.

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NASA Announces Spaced Out Sports Challenge Winners »» NASA Announces Spaced Out Sports Challenge Winners

[Tuesday, April 5, 2011] NASA has announced three winners in the Spaced Out Sports competition, which challenged U.S. students in fifth through eighth grades to create games for astronauts to play aboard the International Space Station.

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Message from the NASA Administrator: Planning for an Orderly Shutdown »» Message from the NASA Administrator: Planning for an Orderly Shutdown

[Wednesday, April 6, 2011] The President and I know that the uncertainty of the current situation puts federal employees in a difficult position, and we're very much aware that a shutdown would impose hardships on many employees as well as the groups and individuals.

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Tests on AMS Ongoing, No External Tank Foam Repairs Needed »» Tests on AMS Ongoing, No External Tank Foam Repairs Needed

[Wednesday, April 6, 2011] Engineers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will continue ground support equipment evaluations at Launch Pad 39A following storms that hit the area late last week.

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NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Marks Milestone With Completion of Huge Assembly Stand for Flight Optics »» NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Marks Milestone With Completion of Huge Assembly Stand for Flight Optics

[Wednesday, April 6, 2011] With this milestone, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems and ITT have completed each of the major elements of equipment required to complete the assembly of the optical flight telescope.

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Students participate virtually in Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory's 1,000th Pisces submersible dive »» Students participate virtually in Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory's 1,000th Pisces submersible dive

[Wednesday, April 6, 2011] Students participating in Creep into the Deep: Virtual Research Mission to the Deep-sea communicated with scientists aboard the Pisces V submersible from classrooms around the country.

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Baruch Samuel Blumberg 1925-2011 »» Baruch Samuel Blumberg 1925-2011

[Wednesday, April 6, 2011] I learned with profound sadness last night that Baruch Blumberg died suddenly yesterday. He was in a small meeting focused upon how to move humanity off this world onto others.

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Newly Discovered Asteroid Is Earth's Companion »» Newly Discovered Asteroid Is Earth's Companion

[Wednesday, April 6, 2011] Astronomers from the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland have found that a recently discovered asteroid has been following the Earth in its motion around the Sun for at least the past 250,000 years.

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Two Dying Stars Reborn as One »» Two Dying Stars Reborn as One

[Wednesday, April 6, 2011] White dwarfs are dead stars that pack a Sun's-worth of matter into an Earth-size ball. Astronomers have just discovered an amazing pair of white dwarfs whirling around each other once every 39 minutes.

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Aerospace Corp Background and Messages: Commercial Crew Financial Feasibility/Reliability White Paper »» Aerospace Corp Background and Messages: Commercial Crew Financial Feasibility/Reliability White Paper

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] A summary of the tool was presented February 28th. The audience of 20-25 people included NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, and Associate Administrator Chris Scolese.

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NASA Telescopes Join Forces to Observe Unprecedented Explosion »» NASA Telescopes Join Forces to Observe Unprecedented Explosion

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] NASA's Swift, Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory have teamed up to study one of the most puzzling cosmic blasts yet observed. More than a week later, high-energy radiation continues to brighten and fade from its location.

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Measurement Computing LGR-5320 High-Speed Data Loggers Announced as NASA Tech Briefs Product of the Year »» Measurement Computing LGR-5320 High-Speed Data Loggers Announced as NASA Tech Briefs Product of the Year

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] Measurement Computing Corporation today announced that the LGR-5320 Series of high-speed, stand-alone data loggers has been chosen by NASA Tech Briefs as Product of the Year for 2010.

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Breakthrough Study Confirms Cause Of Short Gamma-Ray Bursts »» Breakthrough Study Confirms Cause Of Short Gamma-Ray Bursts

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] A new supercomputer simulation shows the collision of two neutron stars can naturally produce the magnetic structures thought to power the high-speed particle jets associated with short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs).

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SOFIA Completes First Flight Of German Science Instrument »» SOFIA Completes First Flight Of German Science Instrument

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, completed its first science flight Wednesday, April 6, using the German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies (GREAT) scientific instrument.

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Project Morpheus To Begin Testing at NASA's Johnson Space Center »» Project Morpheus To Begin Testing at NASA's Johnson Space Center

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] Neighbors of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston may notice some loud noises coming from the 1,600-acre site in the coming weeks.

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STS-134: Weekend Testing of AMS on Tap for the Weekend »» STS-134: Weekend Testing of AMS on Tap for the Weekend

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] At NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A, crews will power up space shuttle Endeavour's payload, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS) today in preparation for testing, which will take place over the weekend.

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Deep-space travel could create heart woes for astronauts (with video) »» Deep-space travel could create heart woes for astronauts (with video)

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] Astronauts anticipate more trips to the moon and manned missions to Mars. But exposure to cosmic radiation outside the Earth's magnetic field could be detrimental to their arterie.

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Richard Branson Launches Virgin Oceanic »» Richard Branson Launches Virgin Oceanic

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] Sir Richard Branson, American sailor, pilot and explorer Chris Welsh, and submarine designer Graham Hawkes has launched Virgin Oceanic, a project to explore "the last frontiers of our own Blue Planet: the very bottom of our seas."

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Notice of Furlough Status for NASA Headquarters Civil Service Employees »» Notice of Furlough Status for NASA Headquarters Civil Service Employees

[Thursday, April 7, 2011] As discussed in Administrator Bolden's message on Tuesday evening, it is possible that the current Continuing Resolution will expire at midnight on April 8, 2011, with no further agreement reached to fund federal agencies.

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New Six-Member Space Station Crew Relaxes After Busy Day »» New Six-Member Space Station Crew Relaxes After Busy Day

[Friday, April 8, 2011] All six crew members will begin standard crew handover and station familiarization activities and transfer cargo from the Soyuz TMA-21. The crew also will resume normal science and maintenance tas

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NASA Telescope Ferrets Out Planet-Hunting Targets »» NASA Telescope Ferrets Out Planet-Hunting Targets

[Friday, April 8, 2011] Astronomers have come up with a new way of identifying close, faint stars with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite.

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Virgin America unveils its Next Generation New SFO Home - Toasts Evolution of Flight With Virgin Galactic »» Virgin America unveils its Next Generation New SFO Home - Toasts Evolution of Flight With Virgin Galactic

[Friday, April 8, 2011] Virgin America unveiled its beautiful and sustainable new home at San Francisco International Airport's (SFO) Terminal 2 (T2) with a series of inaugural flights that celebrate the evolution of travel.

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CSF Welcomes Aerospace Corporation's Clarification on Commercial Crew White Paper »» CSF Welcomes Aerospace Corporation's Clarification on Commercial Crew White Paper

[Friday, April 8, 2011] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomes the Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, California for its decision to release a clarification document yesterday regarding its white paper on the business case for NASA's Commercial Crew program.

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NASA Solicitation: Commercial Data Services Related to Satellite to Ground Data Transmission »» NASA Solicitation: Commercial Data Services Related to Satellite to Ground Data Transmission

[Friday, April 8, 2011] The studies are intended to outline commercial solutions to the need to distribute the data for future NASA payloads on commercial communications satellites supporting science and technology missions from geostationary (GEO) orbits

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Senior Indian Researcher Backs Joint US-India Development of Space Solar Power »» Senior Indian Researcher Backs Joint US-India Development of Space Solar Power

[Friday, April 8, 2011] Dr. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, from India's Institute of Security Studies, and Senior Fellow at India's Observer Research Foundation, is urging the U.S. and India to jointly develop an energy alternative that can take us beyond nuclear technology.

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Australian Students Capture Dancing Galaxies »» Australian Students Capture Dancing Galaxies

[Friday, April 8, 2011] For the second consecutive year, high school students from across Australia joined in a competition to obtain scientifically useful (and aesthetically pleasing) images using the Gemini Observatory.

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Scientists Find New Type Of Mineral In Historic Meteorite »» Scientists Find New Type Of Mineral In Historic Meteorite

[Friday, April 8, 2011] NASA and co-researchers from the United States, South Korea and Japan have found a new mineral named "Wassonite" in one of the most historically significant meteorites recovered in Antarctica in December 1969.

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Revised NASA Shutdown Plan Submitted to OMB »» Revised NASA Shutdown Plan Submitted to OMB

[Friday, April 8, 2011] NASA is hereby submitting a revised shutdown plan in the event of a lapse in appropriations, replacing the plan submitted to OMB on December 16, 1995. In this plan, NASA continues to require each NASA Center to provide protection of life and property.

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Memorial Services for Baruch S. Blumberg President of the  American Philosophical Society 2005-2011 »» Memorial Services for Baruch S. Blumberg President of the American Philosophical Society 2005-2011

[Friday, April 8, 2011] Baruch S. Blumberg died on April 5, 2011 at the age of 85. At the time, he was visiting the NASA Ames Research Center in California as a featured speaker at the International Lunar Research Park Exploratory Workshop.

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EU Spaceport Lelystad announced »» EU Spaceport Lelystad announced

[Friday, April 8, 2011] Today at the ISTA Event commemorating the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight, a public-private partnership has announced the initiative to begin the process of bringing commercial spaceflight to The Netherlands and the Amsterdam Region.

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Newly Merged Black Hole Eagerly Shreds Stars »» Newly Merged Black Hole Eagerly Shreds Stars

[Friday, April 8, 2011] A galaxy's core is a busy place, crowded with stars swarming around an enormous black hole. When galaxies collide, it gets even messier as the two black holes spiral toward each other, merging to make an even bigger gravitational monster.

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The shape-shifting southern vortex of Venus »» The shape-shifting southern vortex of Venus

[Friday, April 8, 2011] New analysis of images taken by ESA's Venus Express orbiter has revealed surprising details about the remarkable, shape-shifting collar of clouds that swirls around the planet's South Pole.

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Outer Space Legal Subcommittee Concludes 50th Session in Vienna »» Outer Space Legal Subcommittee Concludes 50th Session in Vienna

[Friday, April 8, 2011] The Subcommittee highlighted the commemorations in 2011 of the 50th anniversary of human space flight and the 50th anniversary of COPUOS.

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New Theory: Titan Shaped By Weather, Not Ice Volcanoes »» New Theory: Titan Shaped By Weather, Not Ice Volcanoes

[Friday, April 8, 2011] Have the surface and belly of Saturn's smog-shrouded moon, Titan, recently simmered like a chilly, bubbling cauldron with ice volcanoes, or has this distant moon gone cold?

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NASA JSC Project Morpheus Update »» NASA JSC Project Morpheus Update

[Friday, April 8, 2011] Out in the open field at the new Morpheus launch pad. West of JSC Building 14. If all goes well and there is no Govt. shutdown, the series of test firings may begin sometime Monday.

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NASA Solicitation: Design-Build Rehabilitation of Hangar 1 at NASA Ames Research Center »» NASA Solicitation: Design-Build Rehabilitation of Hangar 1 at NASA Ames Research Center

[Saturday, April 9, 2011] NASA Ames Research Center is hereby soliciting information about potential sources for the design/build of the rehabilitation of Hangar 1, a historic property located at Moffett Field, California.

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NASA's Jupiter-Bound Juno Spacecraft Arrives in Florida »» NASA's Jupiter-Bound Juno Spacecraft Arrives in Florida

[Saturday, April 9, 2011] NASA's Juno spacecraft has arrived in Florida to begin final preparations for a launch this summer. The spacecraft was shipped from Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, to the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Fla.

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WISE Mission Spots 'Horseshoe' Asteroid »» WISE Mission Spots 'Horseshoe' Asteroid

[Saturday, April 9, 2011] An asteroid recently discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) may be a bit of an oddball. Most near-Earth asteroids have eccentric, or egg- shaped, orbits that take the asteroids right through the inner solar system.

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Photo: Brunt Ice Shelf As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Brunt Ice Shelf As Seen From Orbit

[Saturday, April 9, 2011] This Envisat image features the Brunt Ice Shelf lying against the Weddell Sea on the coast of northern Coats Land in Antarctica. The Brunt Ice Shelf is a 100-m-thick floating area of ice that is fed mainly by ice flowing from Dronning Maud Land.

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Photo: Saturn's Moons Rhea and Dione SIde By Side »» Photo: Saturn's Moons Rhea and Dione SIde By Side

[Saturday, April 9, 2011] Rhea and Dione seem like dark and light fraternal twins in this Cassini spacecraft image, with each of these two Saturnian moons displaying a large crater oriented similarly in the northern hemisphere.

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Two Dying Stars Reborn As One »» Two Dying Stars Reborn As One

[Saturday, April 9, 2011] White dwarfs are dead stars that pack a Sun's-worth of matter into an Earth-size ball. Astronomers have just discovered an amazing pair of white dwarfs whirling around each other once every 39 minutes.

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Frozen comet had a watery past, University of Arizona scientists find »» Frozen comet had a watery past, University of Arizona scientists find

[Saturday, April 9, 2011] The discovery of minerals requiring liquid water for their formation challenges the paradigm of comets as 'dirty snowballs' frozen in time

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Spitzer Discovers Time-Delayed Jets Around Young Star »» Spitzer Discovers Time-Delayed Jets Around Young Star

[Saturday, April 9, 2011] Astronomers have discovered that two symmetrical jets shooting away from opposite sides of a blossoming star are experiencing a time delay: knots of gas and dust from one jet blast off four-and- a-half years later than identical knots from the other jet.

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Boy Scouts of America Introduces Robotics Merit Badge »» Boy Scouts of America Introduces Robotics Merit Badge

[Monday, April 11, 2011] The Robotics merit badge is part of the BSA's new curriculum emphasis on STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math.

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Photo: Crescent Saturn »» Photo: Crescent Saturn

[Monday, April 11, 2011] This image was taken on March 19, 2011 and received on Earth March 21, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Saturn at approximately 551,664 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters.

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Lapland campaign offers new insight into snow »» Lapland campaign offers new insight into snow

[Monday, April 11, 2011] A campaign recently carried out in Finland, has yielded the first images of snow using an airborne radar that operates at the same wavelengths proposed for ESA's CoReH2O satellite.

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Chandra Observes Extraordinary Event »» Chandra Observes Extraordinary Event

[Monday, April 11, 2011] The center of this image contains an extraordinary gamma-ray burst (GRB) called GRB 110328A, observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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NASA's Kepler: Updated Census of Sun-like Stars »» NASA's Kepler: Updated Census of Sun-like Stars

[Monday, April 11, 2011] NASA's Kepler Mission has detected changes in brightness in 500 sun-like stars, giving astronomers a much better idea about the nature and evolution of the stars.

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ESA Arctic ice campaign takes off »» ESA Arctic ice campaign takes off

[Monday, April 11, 2011] To guarantee ESA's CryoSat mission is delivering the best data possible, scientists have set out on a major expedition to the Arctic - part of a collaborative effort between ESA and NASA to gather ice measurements as the satellite orbits above.

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AMS Testing Completed, STS-134 Crew Continues Mission Training »» AMS Testing Completed, STS-134 Crew Continues Mission Training

[Monday, April 11, 2011] Technicians at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A completed final testing of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS) Friday evening.

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Space Station Crew Hosts News Conference To Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of Human Spaceflight And 30th Of Space Shuttle »» Space Station Crew Hosts News Conference To Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of Human Spaceflight And 30th Of Space Shuttle

[Monday, April 11, 2011] The International Space Station partner agencies will commemorate the golden anniversary of human spaceflight and 30 years of space shuttle flights on Tuesday, April 12.

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Challenger Center Webcast Features Astronaut William Readdy »» Challenger Center Webcast Features Astronaut William Readdy

[Monday, April 11, 2011] Join Challenger Center for Space Science Education on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011, 1:00pm (Eastern Time), for a live interactive webcast with former NASA astronaut and Associate Administrator, William F. Readdy.

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Commercial Space Transportation Safety Approval Performance Criteria: NASTAR »» Commercial Space Transportation Safety Approval Performance Criteria: NASTAR

[Monday, April 11, 2011] NASTAR was issued a safety approval, subject to the provisions of Title 51 U.S.C. subtitle V, chapter 509, and the orders, rules and regulations issued under it. This Notice publishes the criteria that were used to evaluate the safety approval application

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GAO: International Space Station: Ongoing Assessments for Life Extension Appear to be Supported »» GAO: International Space Station: Ongoing Assessments for Life Extension Appear to be Supported

[Monday, April 11, 2011] Our work indicates that NASA's assessments appear to be supported by sufficient, accurate and relevant underlying data.

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NASA to Hold 30th Anniversary Ceremony at Kennedy Space Center and Announce Permanent Space Shuttle Locations »» NASA to Hold 30th Anniversary Ceremony at Kennedy Space Center and Announce Permanent Space Shuttle Locations

[Monday, April 11, 2011] NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will participate in a ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Tuesday, April 12 on the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch.

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Mars Rover's 'Gagarin' Moment Applauded Exploration »» Mars Rover's 'Gagarin' Moment Applauded Exploration

[Tuesday, April 12, 2011] A flat, light-toned rock on Mars visited by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover in 2005 informally bears the name of the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin, who rode into orbit in the Soviet Union's Vostok-1 spacecraft on April 12, 1961.

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MESSENGER Image: Bright Rays of Kuiper and Dark Material Near Hitomaro »» MESSENGER Image: Bright Rays of Kuiper and Dark Material Near Hitomaro

[Tuesday, April 12, 2011] The rayed crater in the bottom left corner of this image is Kuiper. The crater Hitomaro, located to the east of Kuiper, has nearby dark material.

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12 April: International Day of Human Space Flight »» 12 April: International Day of Human Space Flight

[Tuesday, April 12, 2011] It was on 12 April 1961 when the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space, orbiting the Earth on Vostok-1 in a flight lasting 108 minutes.

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Coalition for Space Exploration congratulates NASA on 30 years of shuttle »» Coalition for Space Exploration congratulates NASA on 30 years of shuttle

[Tuesday, April 12, 2011] The space shuttle revolutionized space flight, and opened an unprecedented era of broad international cooperation in space. The ISS now circles the Earth as a powerful legacy to the contributions and service of the entire space shuttle team.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation to Make Major Announcement on Wednesday, April 13 »» Commercial Spaceflight Federation to Make Major Announcement on Wednesday, April 13

[Tuesday, April 12, 2011] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, the industry association of leading businesses and organizations working to make commercial human spaceflight a reality, will be making a major announcement on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.

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United Nations: Cold War Space Race Is Over; We All Won »» United Nations: Cold War Space Race Is Over; We All Won

[Tuesday, April 12, 2011] An annual International Day of Human Space Flight was declared by the General Assembly this afternoon, to be celebrated on 12 April, the date of the first manned space flight in 1961.

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Photo: Shebelle River in Ethiopia As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Shebelle River in Ethiopia As Seen From Orbit

[Tuesday, April 12, 2011] Agricultural fields along the Shebelle River in Ethiopia are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 27 crew member on the International Space Station.

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NASA Announces New Homes For Shuttle Orbiters After Retirement »» NASA Announces New Homes For Shuttle Orbiters After Retirement

[Tuesday, April 12, 2011] After 30 years of spaceflight, more than 130 missions, and numerous science and technology firsts, NASA's space shuttle fleet will retire and be on display at institutions across the country to inspire the next generation of explorers and engineers.

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NASA Kepler Reaching into the Stars »» NASA Kepler Reaching into the Stars

[Wednesday, April 13, 2011] We are entering a golden era for "stellar physics" - a term coined to describe research about the formation, evolution, interior and the atmospheres of stars.

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NASA Telescopes Help Discover Surprisingly Young Galaxy »» NASA Telescopes Help Discover Surprisingly Young Galaxy

[Wednesday, April 13, 2011] Astronomers have uncovered one of the youngest galaxies in the distant universe, with stars that formed 13.5 billion years ago, a mere 200 million years after the big bang.

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Rear Admiral Craig Steidle Named President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation »» Rear Admiral Craig Steidle Named President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

[Wednesday, April 13, 2011] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that Rear Admiral Craig E. Steidle (U.S. Navy, Ret.) has been named as President, effective May 15.

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Additional Day Added to STS-134 Mission »» Additional Day Added to STS-134 Mission

[Wednesday, April 13, 2011] Shuttle managers have officially added an additional day to space shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission making it a 15-day flight.

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Celestial fireworks from dying stars »» Celestial fireworks from dying stars

[Wednesday, April 13, 2011] This picture of the star formation region NGC 3582 was taken using the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The image reveals giant loops of gas.

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Herschel links star formation to sonic booms »» Herschel links star formation to sonic booms

[Wednesday, April 13, 2011] ESA's Herschel space observatory has revealed that nearby interstellar clouds contain networks of tangled gaseous filaments. Each filament is approximately the same width, hinting that they may result from interstellar sonic booms.

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Nespoli performs hot-swap of faulty valve on Columbus »» Nespoli performs hot-swap of faulty valve on Columbus

[Wednesday, April 13, 2011] A joint effort is combining sophisticated engineering analysis on the ground with old-fashioned hands-on work in space after ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli undertook the complex installation of a replacement water valve in ESA's Columbus science laboratory.

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Machaut Crater »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Machaut Crater

[Wednesday, April 13, 2011] Machaut is the name of a crater, approximately 100 kilometer (60 mile) in diameter, first seen under high-sun conditions by Mariner 10 in the 1970s.

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NSBRI Announcement Released Soliciting Postdoctoral Fellowship Applications »» NSBRI Announcement Released Soliciting Postdoctoral Fellowship Applications

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) is soliciting applications for its Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. The two-year fellowships are available in any U.S. laboratory carrying out space-related biomedical or biotechnological research.

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Langley Videographers Win Top NASA Honors »» Langley Videographers Win Top NASA Honors

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] Three videographers at the Langley Research Center are among NASA's best, according to the agency's Videographer of the Year 2010 awards.

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Two Kinds of Webb Telescope Mirrors Arrive at NASA GSFC »» Two Kinds of Webb Telescope Mirrors Arrive at NASA GSFC

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] It takes two unique types of mirrors working together to see farther back in time and space than ever before, and engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have just received one of each type.

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Hunting for the Milky Way's Heaviest Stars »» Hunting for the Milky Way's Heaviest Stars

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] Like looking for Easter eggs in a lawn of long grass, the hunt for the Milky Way's most massive stars takes persistence and sharp eyes.

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Far-Future Astronomers Could Still Deduce the Big Bang »» Far-Future Astronomers Could Still Deduce the Big Bang

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] One trillion years from now, alien astronomers in our galaxy will have a difficult time figuring out how the universe began. They won't have the evidence that we enjoy today.

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'Little Ice Age' Resulted from More than Just Solar Calm »» 'Little Ice Age' Resulted from More than Just Solar Calm

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] Total solar irradiance (TSI), essentially a measure of the amount of light the Sun puts out, varies with the 11-year sunspot cycle and influences Earth's climate, especially when TSI is notably higher or lower than its average values.

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Image: Opportunity's Goal: Northwest Endeavour Crater Rim »» Image: Opportunity's Goal: Northwest Endeavour Crater Rim

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] This observation is of the northwest rim of Endeavour Crater, which is the Opportunity rover's immediate driving goal on Mars.

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STS-134 Launch Countdown Preps Begin Today »» STS-134 Launch Countdown Preps Begin Today

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] The Flight Readiness Review for Endeavour's flight to the International Space Station will be held on Tuesday, April 19. NASA managers will announce the official launch date during a briefing at the conclusion of the meeting.

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Drug potency - what happens in space? »» Drug potency - what happens in space?

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] Some of the Pharmaceuticals intended for the treatment of minor illnesses of astronauts in space may require special packaging and reformulation to remain stable for long periods in the space environment.

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MESSENGER Image: Dark Material on Mercury »» MESSENGER Image: Dark Material on Mercury

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] The bright rays from Hokusai can be seen extending across this image, but also clearly visible near the center of this image is a small patch of material that is considerably darker than the surrounding terrain.

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Search for Dark Matter Narrowed by New Data From XENON100 »» Search for Dark Matter Narrowed by New Data From XENON100

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] After analyzing one hundred days of data taken with the XENON100 experiment, they see no evidence for the existence of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), the leading candidates for the mysterious dark matter.

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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's Statement On The 2011 Spending Bill »» NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's Statement On The 2011 Spending Bill

[Thursday, April 14, 2011] Among other things, this bill lifts funding restrictions that limited our flexibility to carry out our shared vision for the future.

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Photo: Space Station Crew Celebrates Yuri's Night On Orbit »» Photo: Space Station Crew Celebrates Yuri's Night On Orbit

[Friday, April 15, 2011] Expedition 27 crew members pose for a photo near the galley in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station in honor of the 50th anniversary of the spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin, the first human launched in space on April 12, 1961.

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Astrobiologists Discover Strange Benthic Microbial Mats in Antarctica »» Astrobiologists Discover Strange Benthic Microbial Mats in Antarctica

[Friday, April 15, 2011] Photosynthetic microbial mats forming large conical structures up to half a meter tall have been discovered by astrobiologists in Lake Untersee, Antarctica. This research is described in a forthcoming article in the journal Geobiology.

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WISE Unveils a Treasure Trove of Beauty »» WISE Unveils a Treasure Trove of Beauty

[Friday, April 15, 2011] A rich collection of colorful astronomical objects is revealed in this picturesque image of the Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Explorer, or WISE.

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STS-134 Preparations: Aft Section Closeouts Continue Today »» STS-134 Preparations: Aft Section Closeouts Continue Today

[Friday, April 15, 2011] Technicians at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A will continue closing out space shuttle Endeavour's aft section. Launch preparations are in work. Launch countdown preparations are in work.

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MESSENGER Image: Mercury's Colorful Limb »» MESSENGER Image: Mercury's Colorful Limb

[Friday, April 15, 2011] This color image, with the central wavelengths of 1000 nm, 750 nm, and 430 nm displayed in red, green, and blue, respectively, also highlights some of the subtle color variations observed on Mercury.

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NASA's Next Generation Space Telescope Marks Key Milestone »» NASA's Next Generation Space Telescope Marks Key Milestone

[Friday, April 15, 2011] The first six of 18 segments that will form NASA's James Webb Space Telescope's primary mirror for space observations will begin final round-the-clock cryogenic testing this week.

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Fast-Rotating Asteroid Winks for Amateur Astronomer's Camera »» Fast-Rotating Asteroid Winks for Amateur Astronomer's Camera

[Friday, April 15, 2011] 2011 GP59 was discovered the night of April 8/9 by astronomers with the Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca in Andalusia, Spain.

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Zeta Ophiuchi -- Runaway Star Plowing Through Space Dust »» Zeta Ophiuchi -- Runaway Star Plowing Through Space Dust

[Friday, April 15, 2011] The blue star near the center of this image is Zeta Ophiuchi. When seen in visible light it appears as a relatively dim red star surrounded by other dim stars and no dust.

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NASA Releases Status On Open Government Initiatives »» NASA Releases Status On Open Government Initiatives

[Saturday, April 16, 2011] On the one year anniversary of NASA's Open Government Initiative, the agency is releasing a detailed assessment on the status of its projects to increase transparency and accountability to the American public.

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NASA Bioreactor Inducted Into Space Technology Hall Of Fame »» NASA Bioreactor Inducted Into Space Technology Hall Of Fame

[Saturday, April 16, 2011] A rotating device developed by NASA inventors to grow better living tissue specimens was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame Thursday, April 14.

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STS-134 Flight Planning Returns to a 14-Day Mission »» STS-134 Flight Planning Returns to a 14-Day Mission

[Saturday, April 16, 2011] Space shuttle managers have decided to keep shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission as a 14-day flight and possibly extend the mission as many as two days while Endeavour is in space.

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Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation People's Choice Awards - Everyone Has a Chance to Vote »» Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation People's Choice Awards - Everyone Has a Chance to Vote

[Saturday, April 16, 2011] The Summit, April 28 - May 1st, is the culmination of the Spirit of Innovation Awards as the student teams present their products to entrepreneurs, scientists, and industry professionals, and compete for $5,000 Next Step Grants.

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USA Announces End-of-Program Workforce Reduction »» USA Announces End-of-Program Workforce Reduction

[Sunday, April 17, 2011] United Space Alliance announced today tha the company will implement a major workforce reduction in late July and early August due to the completion of tasks related to day-to-day operations of the Shuttle fleet.

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Users, Uses, and Value of Landsat and Other Moderate-Resolution Satellite Imagery in the U.S. Executive Report »» Users, Uses, and Value of Landsat and Other Moderate-Resolution Satellite Imagery in the U.S. Executive Report

[Sunday, April 17, 2011] Exactly who uses Landsat satellite imagery and what value do they derive from the information? In the first study of its kind, U.S. Geological Survey investigators surveyed a broad cross section of Landsat users to answer such questions.

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Earth from Space: Antarctic Peninsula »» Earth from Space: Antarctic Peninsula

[Sunday, April 17, 2011] This Envisat image features the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches beyond the Antarctic Circle to within 1050 km to the southern tip of South America.

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Earth from Space: Dust and plankton »» Earth from Space: Dust and plankton

[Sunday, April 17, 2011] This Envisat image features the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches beyond the Antarctic Circle to within 1050 km to the southern tip of South America.

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Webcast: Makers in Space: Developing Experiments for the NASA Make Challenge »» Webcast: Makers in Space: Developing Experiments for the NASA Make Challenge

[Sunday, April 17, 2011] The NASA Make Challenge is an invitation for makers to participate in the exploration of space and give students an opportunity to build an experimental kit that can be flown on a future space flight.

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Letter from Texas House Delegation to NASA Administrator Bolden About Shuttle Decision »» Letter from Texas House Delegation to NASA Administrator Bolden About Shuttle Decision

[Sunday, April 17, 2011] We can find no logical explanation for this decision, and request that you explain the rationale behind the decision to Congress, the people of Houston, and the American taxpayer.

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NASA Open Government: Tools For The Citizen Scientist »» NASA Open Government: Tools For The Citizen Scientist

[Monday, April 18, 2011] As part of the NASA Open Government plan released on April 7,201 0, NASA announced more than 150 milestones related to integrating Open Government into the agencies programs and projects.

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NASA To Announce Awards For Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) »» NASA To Announce Awards For Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2)

[Monday, April 18, 2011] NASA will host a media teleconference at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 18, to announce awards for the second round of the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) effort.

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Endeavour's Ordnance Installation Scheduled »» Endeavour's Ordnance Installation Scheduled

[Monday, April 18, 2011] Technicians at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A will continue preparations for space shuttle Endeavour's launch countdown. Tonight, teams will install the final ordinances needed for liftoff.

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South African Minister of Science and Technology Launches the IAU Global Office of Astronomy for Development »» South African Minister of Science and Technology Launches the IAU Global Office of Astronomy for Development

[Monday, April 18, 2011] On 16 April in Cape Town, the South African Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs. Naledi Pandor, launched the IAU Global Office of Astronomy for Development at the headquarters of the South African Astronomical Observatory.

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WISE Delivers Millions of Galaxies, Stars, Asteroids »» WISE Delivers Millions of Galaxies, Stars, Asteroids

[Monday, April 18, 2011] Astronomers across the globe can now sift through hundreds of millions of galaxies, stars and asteroids collected in the first bundle of data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.

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Image: Orion's Big Head Revealed in Infrared »» Image: Orion's Big Head Revealed in Infrared

[Monday, April 18, 2011] Lambda Orionis is a hot, massive star that is surrounded by several other hot, massive stars, all of which are creating radiation that excites a ring of dust, creating the "Lambda Orionis molecular ring."

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Scientists Discover Mechanism That Could Feed Solar Explosions »» Scientists Discover Mechanism That Could Feed Solar Explosions

[Monday, April 18, 2011] Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are violent solar explosions that can propel up to 10 billion tons of the Sun's atmosphere -- at a million miles an hour -- out through the corona and into space.

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Case Studies of Habitable Trojan Planets in the System of HD 23079 »» Case Studies of Habitable Trojan Planets in the System of HD 23079

[Monday, April 18, 2011] We investigate the possibility of habitable Trojan planets in the HD 23079 star-planet system. This system consists of a solar-type star and a Jupiter-type planet, which orbits the star near the outer edge of the stellar habitable zone.

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Titan's Obliquity as evidence for a subsurface ocean? »» Titan's Obliquity as evidence for a subsurface ocean?

[Monday, April 18, 2011] We propose a new Cassini state model for Titan in which we assume the presence of a liquid water ocean beneath an ice shell and consider the gravitational and pressure torques arising between the different layers of the satellite.

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NASA Awards Next Set Of Commercial Crew Development Agreements »» NASA Awards Next Set Of Commercial Crew Development Agreements

[Monday, April 18, 2011] Each company will receive between $22 million and $92.3 million to advance commercial crew space transportation system concepts and mature the design and development of elements of their systems, such as launch vehicles and spacecraft.

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Selection Statement  For Commercial Crew Development Round 2  (Announcement Number NASA-CCDev-2) »» Selection Statement For Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (Announcement Number NASA-CCDev-2)

[Monday, April 18, 2011] On March 25, 2011, along with other senior officials of NASA, I met with the Participant Evaluation Panel (PEP] appointed to evaluate proposals submitted in response to the CCDev 2 Announcement (Announcement Number NASA-CCDev-2).

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Blue Origin Crew Transportation System Description for NASA CCDev-2 »» Blue Origin Crew Transportation System Description for NASA CCDev-2

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] Blue Origin is developing a Crew Transportation System, comprised of a Space Vehicle (SV) launched first on an Atlas V launch vehicle and then on Blue Origin's own Reusable Booster System (RES).

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Astronomers Can Tune In To Radio Auroras to Find Exoplanets »» Astronomers Can Tune In To Radio Auroras to Find Exoplanets

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] Scientists at the University of Leicester have shown that emissions from the radio aurora of planets like Jupiter should be detectable by radio telescopes such as LOFAR.

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The Shocking Environment of Hot Jupiters »» The Shocking Environment of Hot Jupiters

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] Jupiter-like worlds around other stars push shock waves ahead of them, according to a team of U.K. astronomers.

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Large Galaxies Stopped Growing 7 Billion Years Ago »» Large Galaxies Stopped Growing 7 Billion Years Ago

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] Galaxies are thought to develop by the gravitational attraction between and merger of smaller 'sub-galaxies', a process that standard cosmological ideas suggest should be ongoing.

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Zoom-up star photos poke holes in century-old astronomical theory »» Zoom-up star photos poke holes in century-old astronomical theory

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] The hottest stars in the universe spin so fast that they get a bit squished at their poles and dimmer around their middle.

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Physics Lesson from 75,000 Feet »» Physics Lesson from 75,000 Feet

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] Physics teachers from Bergen County Technical High School - Paramus campus, NJ, along with Project Aether's Ben Longmier (ProjectAether), hold a physics lesson from 75,000 ft

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STS-134 Flight Readiness Review Today »» STS-134 Flight Readiness Review Today

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] NASA managers are meeting at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida today to discuss all aspects of the STS-134 mission and will officially set the date for space shuttle Endeavour's final scheduled launch.

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Could Black Trees Blossom On A World With Two Suns? »» Could Black Trees Blossom On A World With Two Suns?

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] A sky with two suns is a favorite image for science fiction films, but how would a binary star system affect life evolving on an orbiting planet?

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New Tools To Tackle a Solar Data Storm »» New Tools To Tackle a Solar Data Storm

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] So great is the wealth of data about the Sun now being gathered by space missions such as SOHO, STEREO and the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) that scientists back on Earth can struggle to keep pace.

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NASA Sets Launch Date For Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission »» NASA Sets Launch Date For Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] Space shuttle Commander Mark Kelly and his five crewmates are scheduled to begin a 14-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 3:47 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 29.

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Noctilucent Clouds As Seen From Orbit »» Noctilucent Clouds As Seen From Orbit

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] High up in the sky near the poles some 50 miles above the ground, silvery blue clouds sometimes appear, shining brightly in the night. First noticed in 1885, these clouds are known as noctilucent, or "night shining," clouds.

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ESA-NASA collaboration furthers sea-ice research »» ESA-NASA collaboration furthers sea-ice research

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] A carefully executed operation to validate data from CryoSat has shown what can be accomplished when ESA, NASA and others join forces to further our understanding of how the fragile polar environment is responding to climate change.

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Hydrocarbons in the deep Earth »» Hydrocarbons in the deep Earth

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] A computer modeling study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that at deep Earth pressures and temperatures, longer hydrocarbons may be formed from the simplest one, the methane molecule.

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NASA Releases Scorecard on Energy and Sustainability Goals »» NASA Releases Scorecard on Energy and Sustainability Goals

[Tuesday, April 19, 2011] NASA has released its fiscal year 2010 scorecard on sustainability and energy performance. The agency exceeded the 5 percent target on renewable energy use for federal agencies last year.

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NASA Small Business Technology Transfers Address Critical Needs »» NASA Small Business Technology Transfers Address Critical Needs

[Wednesday, April 20, 2011] NASA has selected 27 small business proposals that address critical research and technology needs for agency programs and projects for final contract negotiations.

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Singapore's first locally made satellite launched into space »» Singapore's first locally made satellite launched into space

[Wednesday, April 20, 2011] Singapore's first indigenous micro-satellite, X-SAT, lifted off on board India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C16 at 10.12am Indian Standard Time (12.42pm, Singapore time) on 20 April 2011.

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NASA Marks Earth Day With Online Activities, Center Programs »» NASA Marks Earth Day With Online Activities, Center Programs

[Wednesday, April 20, 2011] NASA is celebrating the 41st anniversary of Earth Day this week with several online activities to engage the public in the agency's mission to use the vantage point of space to explore and protect our home planet.

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Endeavour's Launch Preps Continue »» Endeavour's Launch Preps Continue

[Wednesday, April 20, 2011] Yesterday, NASA managers announced that space shuttle Endeavour is ready to launch next week on its final flight to the International Space Station following a daylong Flight Readiness Review.

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NASA's Hubble Celebrates 21st Anniversary With »» NASA's Hubble Celebrates 21st Anniversary With "Rose" Of Galaxies

[Wednesday, April 20, 2011] To celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's deployment into space, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore pointed Hubble's eye at an especially photogenic pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.

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Cassini Probe Sees Electric Link With Saturn And One Of Its Moons »» Cassini Probe Sees Electric Link With Saturn And One Of Its Moons

[Wednesday, April 20, 2011] NASA is releasing the first images and sounds of an electrical connection between Saturn and one of its moons.

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Startup America: New Commitments Fueling America's Entrepreneurs »» Startup America: New Commitments Fueling America's Entrepreneurs

[Wednesday, April 20, 2011] In his State of the Union address, the President reminded us that "America was born to win the future." He believes that entrepreneurs will be architects of that future and central to America's ability to compete and prosper in the 21st century.

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GOES-13 sees an extraordinarily early Atlantic low in the tropics »» GOES-13 sees an extraordinarily early Atlantic low in the tropics

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] Hurricane season doesn't start in the Northern Atlantic Ocean until June 1, but a low pressure system in doesn't seem to want to follow the calendar.

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Cascading Material Pours onto a Young Star »» Cascading Material Pours onto a Young Star

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] Astronomer Joel Green of The University of Texas at Austin has been following a rare massive flare from a nascent star similar to the early Sun using the European Space Agency's infrared Herschel Space Observatory and a cadre of other telescopes.

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Seeking Collaborators to Assist NASA in Inspiring a New Generation of Scientists, Engineers, Explorers, Educators, Innovators »» Seeking Collaborators to Assist NASA in Inspiring a New Generation of Scientists, Engineers, Explorers, Educators, Innovators

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) seeks unfunded collaborations with organizations to enhance its ability to achieve its strategic goals, outcomes and objectives as they relate to education.

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Challenger Center Commemorates 25 Years of Inspiring Students through Space Science Exploration »» Challenger Center Commemorates 25 Years of Inspiring Students through Space Science Exploration

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] Challenger Center, the nation's premier provider of science education inspiration, is marking its 25th anniversary with the launch of its "Challenger Changed My Life" program to highlight its life-transforming benefits for students.

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Calling all candidates for Concordia »» Calling all candidates for Concordia

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] They are more cut off than the crew of the International Space Station. They are at Concordia in Antarctica, and one of them is ESA researcher Eoin Macdonald-Nethercott. If you want to follow in his footsteps, ESA is looking for his successor.

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Endeavour's System Pressurization Wraps Up Today »» Endeavour's System Pressurization Wraps Up Today

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] Technicians on Kennedy's Launch Pad 39A wrap up pressurization of space shuttle Endeavour's Orbital Maneuvering System, Reaction Control System, Main Propulsion System and shuttle main engines today

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Photo: Alaska's Susitna Glacier As Seen Fron Orbit »» Photo: Alaska's Susitna Glacier As Seen Fron Orbit

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] Like rivers of liquid water, glaciers flow downhill, with tributaries joining to form larger rivers. But where water rushes, ice crawls. As a result, glaciers gather dust and dirt, and bear long-lasting evidence of past movements.

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Image: ESO's Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert - and the Mily Way »» Image: ESO's Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert - and the Mily Way

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] Deep in the Chilean Atacama Desert, far from sources of light pollution and other people-related disturbances, there is a tranquil sky like few others on Earth.

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NASA Spacecraft Reveals Dramatic Changes In Mars' Atmosphere »» NASA Spacecraft Reveals Dramatic Changes In Mars' Atmosphere

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has discovered the total amount of atmosphere on Mars changes dramatically as the tilt of the planet's axis varies.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 April 2011 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 21 April 2011

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] Elektron Failure: RSC-Energia reported this morning that the Elektron oxygen generator failed yesterday when reactivated after the REGUL-OS repair activities.

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Drought and Heat Create Hazardous Fire Conditions in Texas »» Drought and Heat Create Hazardous Fire Conditions in Texas

[Thursday, April 21, 2011] So far in 2011, more than 1.4 million acres have burned in Texas. Some 800 fires have occurred throughout the state, burning 401 structures and costing two firefighters their lives.

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NASA Invites Public to Take a Journey Toward Interstellar Space »» NASA Invites Public to Take a Journey Toward Interstellar Space

[Friday, April 22, 2011] NASA will hold a special Science Update at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 28, to discuss the unprecedented journey of NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft to the edge of our solar system.

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Endeavour's Launch Countdown Preps Continue »» Endeavour's Launch Countdown Preps Continue

[Friday, April 22, 2011] Technicians on Kennedy's Launch Pad 39A carry out the final testing of systems in space shuttle Endeavour's aft section today for its schedule launch in one week.

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NASA And Partners Fund New Climate Impact Studies On Species And Ecosystems »» NASA And Partners Fund New Climate Impact Studies On Species And Ecosystems

[Friday, April 22, 2011] NASA is partnering with other federal agencies to fund new research and applications efforts that will bring the global view of climate from space down to Earth to benefit wildlife and key ecosystems.

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STEREO Discovers New Eclipsing Binary Stars »» STEREO Discovers New Eclipsing Binary Stars

[Friday, April 22, 2011] Researchers have discovered 122 new eclipsing binary stars and observed hundreds more variable stars in an innovative survey using NASA's Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory, or STEREO.

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Ultraviolet Spotlight on Plump Stars in Tiny Galaxies »» Ultraviolet Spotlight on Plump Stars in Tiny Galaxies

[Friday, April 22, 2011] Astronomers using NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer may be closer to knowing why some of the most massive stellar explosions ever observed occur in the tiniest of galaxies.

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Inflation at South Pole: New telescopes search universe for signs of rapid expansion after the Big Bang »» Inflation at South Pole: New telescopes search universe for signs of rapid expansion after the Big Bang

[Friday, April 22, 2011] The theory of inflation holds that just a fraction of a second after the universe exploded into existence, it expanded exponentially, a burst of energy at a scale almost unfathomable to the human imagination.

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Ariane 5's second launch of 2011 »» Ariane 5's second launch of 2011

[Friday, April 22, 2011] [Friday], an Ariane 5 launcher lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two telecommunications satellites, Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn, into their planned transfer orbits.

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MESSENGER Image: Unnamed Peaks on Mercury »» MESSENGER Image: Unnamed Peaks on Mercury

[Friday, April 22, 2011] The mounds in this image are the central peak of an unnamed crater approximately 47 km in diameter, imaged at such high resolution (18 meters/pixel) that only the crater's interior can be seen.

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Cassini Image: Saturn's Rings Edge On »» Cassini Image: Saturn's Rings Edge On

[Saturday, April 23, 2011] This image was taken on April 22, 2011 and received on Earth April 23, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Saturn at approximately 2,182,231 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CB2 and CL2 filters

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Photo: Dressing for Dirty Work Aboard the International Space Station »» Photo: Dressing for Dirty Work Aboard the International Space Station

[Monday, April 25, 2011] Russian cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev, Expedition 27 flight engineer, wearing in a work apron, is pictured in the Unity node of the International Space Station.

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Photo: Bassas da India As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Bassas da India As Seen From Orbit

[Monday, April 25, 2011] Bassas da India is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 27 crew member on the International Space Station. The vantage point of crew members onboard the space station provides many dramatic views of Earth's surface.

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Photo: Wildfires in Texas As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Wildfires in Texas As Seen From Orbit

[Monday, April 25, 2011] This image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite, shows conditions on April 15, 2011.

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MESSENGER image of Mercury: Craters Kuiper, Calvino, and Rudaki »» MESSENGER image of Mercury: Craters Kuiper, Calvino, and Rudaki

[Monday, April 25, 2011] First seen in Mariner 10 images, and again during MESSENGER's second flyby of Mercury, the bright-rayed crater Kuiper (62 km in diameter) provides an important stratigraphic marker in Mercury's history

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Launch Week Begins at Kennedy for STS-134 »» Launch Week Begins at Kennedy for STS-134

[Monday, April 25, 2011] Teams at NASA's Kennedy Space Center have begun preparations for space shuttle Endeavour's launch countdown which will begin tomorrow at 2 p.m. EDT.

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NASA And USAID Pledge To Advance International Development With Science And Technology »» NASA And USAID Pledge To Advance International Development With Science And Technology

[Monday, April 25, 2011] NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have agreed to expand their joint efforts to overcome international development challenges such as food security, climate change, and energy and environmental management.

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NASA Joining Forces With Military Families For Education Programs »» NASA Joining Forces With Military Families For Education Programs

[Monday, April 25, 2011] NASA's Office of Education will kick off a new campaign focused on reaching out to America's military families and engaging them in agency activities to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

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NASA Hosts Conrad Foundation's 2011 Spirit of Innovation Awards »» NASA Hosts Conrad Foundation's 2011 Spirit of Innovation Awards

[Monday, April 25, 2011] Young innovators from across America are invited to solve the challenges of the 21st century by creating breakthrough technologies at the Conrad Foundation's 2011 Innovation Summit. The Summit will be held at NASA's Ames Research Center.

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See you on the International Space Station, said the spider to the fly »» See you on the International Space Station, said the spider to the fly

[Tuesday, April 26, 2011] Thousands of K-12 students will be paying close attention when NASA's space shuttle Endeavour rumbles off the launch pad April 29 from Florida on its final flight, which will be toting a payload containing spiders, flies and seeds.

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Expedition 27 Group Portrait »» Expedition 27 Group Portrait

[Tuesday, April 26, 2011] Ron Garana, Cady Coleman, Paolo Nespoli, and Alexander Samokutyaev, all Expedition 27 flight engineers, pose for a photo in the Harmony node of the International Space Station.

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Photo: Durrat Al Bahrain, Persian Gulf As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Durrat Al Bahrain, Persian Gulf As Seen From Orbit

[Tuesday, April 26, 2011] At the southern end of Bahrain Island, at the furthest point from the cities of the kingdom, a new complex of 14 artificial islands has risen out of the sea.

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Photo: Pyroclastic Flow Remnants at Shiveluch Volcano As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Pyroclastic Flow Remnants at Shiveluch Volcano As Seen From Orbit

[Tuesday, April 26, 2011] Pyroclastic flows are some of the most fearsome hazards posed by erupting volcanoes. These avalanches of superheated ash, gas, and rock are responsible for some of the most famous volcanic disasters in history.

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NASA Pre-Countdown Update only has Weather as a Potential Issue »» NASA Pre-Countdown Update only has Weather as a Potential Issue

[Tuesday, April 26, 2011] At today's NASA pre-countdown briefing NASA Test Director Jeremy Graeber said that there currently is no technical issues while a potential severe thunder storm coming through Thursday is the only issue at this time that could delay the shuttle launch.

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STS-134 Astronauts Arrive at Kennedy for Launch »» STS-134 Astronauts Arrive at Kennedy for Launch

[Tuesday, April 26, 2011] The six astronauts for space shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission to the International Space Station now are at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for their prelaunch preparations.

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S-134 Prelaunch Update »» S-134 Prelaunch Update

[Tuesday, April 26, 2011] At today's pre-launch countdown status briefing held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, managers reported space shuttle Endeavour, its payload and crew are ready for launch at 3:47 p.m. EDT Friday.

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NASA Solicitation: Flight and Payload Intergation Services for Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles »» NASA Solicitation: Flight and Payload Intergation Services for Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] This document is for information and planning purposes and to allow industry the opportunity to verify reasonableness and feasibility of the requirement, as well as promote competition

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NASA'S Chandra Finds New Evidence on Origin of Supernovas »» NASA'S Chandra Finds New Evidence on Origin of Supernovas

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] Astronomers may now know the cause of an historic supernova explosion that is an important type of object for investigating dark energy in the universe.

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Siberian hot springs reveal ancient ecology »» Siberian hot springs reveal ancient ecology

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] Exotic bacteria that do not rely on oxygen may have played an important role in determining the composition of Earth's early atmosphere.

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Endeavour's Final Launch Inspires Hands-on Public Engagement: High Altitude Balloon Mission »» Endeavour's Final Launch Inspires Hands-on Public Engagement: High Altitude Balloon Mission

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] When Space Shuttle Endeavour makes its final trip into space it will be under the watchful eye of a high altitude balloon built and flown by students and volunteers from across the U.S.

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It's a Unanimous »» It's a Unanimous "Go" for Endeavour

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] The Space Shuttle Program Mission Management Team voted unanimously to proceed toward Endeavour's scheduled liftoff at 3:47 p.m. EDT Friday.

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NASA Briefing With Commercial Crew Development Award Winners »» NASA Briefing With Commercial Crew Development Award Winners

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] NASA will host a media briefing at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, April 28, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to highlight the four companies selected for the second round of the agency's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev2) efforts.

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NASA Receives European Commitment To Continue Space Station »» NASA Receives European Commitment To Continue Space Station

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] The Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) for the International Space Station partner agencies met Wednesday, April 27, to discuss increased efforts to use the station as a test-bed for exploration.

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NASA Explorer Schools Symposium Showcases Student Research »» NASA Explorer Schools Symposium Showcases Student Research

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] Students from across the nation will gather at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida May 4-7 for the NASA Explorer Schools symposium.

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As President Obama Marks Final Launch of Endeavour, Nation Looks to Commercial Space for the Future »» As President Obama Marks Final Launch of Endeavour, Nation Looks to Commercial Space for the Future

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] As President Obama and Americans nationwide honor the historic accomplishments of the retiring Space Shuttle, an exciting new era of commercial spaceflight is being readied.

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LIFE Launches Aboard Endeavour's Last Flight »» LIFE Launches Aboard Endeavour's Last Flight

[Wednesday, April 27, 2011] In addition to astronauts, Endeavour will carry a legion of microscopic passengers in the Planetary Society's Shuttle LIFE experiment when the space shuttle launches on its last flight on April 29.

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ChipSats Designed to Flutter in Solar Wind Will Fly on Endeavour »» ChipSats Designed to Flutter in Solar Wind Will Fly on Endeavour

[Thursday, April 28, 2011] Three prototype Cornell-developed, fingernail-sized satellites -- collecting the solar wind's chemistry, radiation and particle-impact data -- will be mounted on the International Space Station.

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MESSENGER image of Mercury: Crater Bek »» MESSENGER image of Mercury: Crater Bek

[Thursday, April 28, 2011] This oblique image of Bek (32 km in diameter) is a higher-resolution NAC complement to yesterday's WAC image.

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Photo: Saharan Dust off Portugal As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Saharan Dust off Portugal As Seen From Orbit

[Thursday, April 28, 2011] A thick plume of dust hangs over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal in this image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite on April 6, 2011.

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Photo: Running on COLBERT in Space »» Photo: Running on COLBERT in Space

[Thursday, April 28, 2011] NASA astronaut Ron Garan, Expedition 27 flight engineer, equipped with a bungee harness, exercises on the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station.

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Hosted Payload Alliance Shares Perspectives in First Organizational Meeting »» Hosted Payload Alliance Shares Perspectives in First Organizational Meeting

[Thursday, April 28, 2011] More than 120 representatives from industry and government recently attended the first meeting of the Hosted Payload Alliance (HPA), an organization formed earlier this year to advance the use of hosted payloads on commercial satellites

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STS-134 Launch Preparations on Track; RSS Rollback Scheduled for Tonight 	»» STS-134 Launch Preparations on Track; RSS Rollback Scheduled for Tonight

[Thursday, April 28, 2011] Preparations for space shuttle Endeavour's launch are continuing as planned at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A.

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Voyager Set to Enter Interstellar Space »» Voyager Set to Enter Interstellar Space

[Thursday, April 28, 2011] More than 30 years after they left Earth, NASA's Voyager probes are now at the edge of the solar system - and they're still working. And with each passing day they are beaming back a message that, to scientists, is both unsettling and thrilling.

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Space Adventures to Announce Lunar Mission Developments and Orbital Spaceflight Outlook »» Space Adventures to Announce Lunar Mission Developments and Orbital Spaceflight Outlook

[Thursday, April 28, 2011] Please join Eric Anderson and Richard Garriott as they outline the future of private exploration and announce new developments regarding the company's circumlunar mission.

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STS-134 Status: RSS Retract Now Targeted for 11:45 p.m. EDT »» STS-134 Status: RSS Retract Now Targeted for 11:45 p.m. EDT

[Friday, April 29, 2011] Teams at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A now expect to begin moving the rotating service structure away from space shuttle Endeavour at 11:45 p.m. EDT, which still would support a launch attempt tomorrow at 3:47 p.m. EDT.

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NASA Commercial Crew Program Requirements Workshop »» NASA Commercial Crew Program Requirements Workshop

[Friday, April 29, 2011] The workshop purpose is to introduce the Commercial Crew Program's requirement set and to discuss the key features of each of the documents.

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Astronomers unveil portrait of 'super-exotic super-Earth:' Densest known rocky planet »» Astronomers unveil portrait of 'super-exotic super-Earth:' Densest known rocky planet

[Friday, April 29, 2011] An international team of astronomers today revealed details of a "super-exotic" exoplanet that would make the planet Pandora in the movie Avatar pale in comparison.

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STS-134: Launch on Target, Fueling Complete, OMS Issue Resolved »» STS-134: Launch on Target, Fueling Complete, OMS Issue Resolved

[Friday, April 29, 2011] The Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) crossfeed valve procedure worked to alleviate the right OMS pressure issue. Both left and right tanks are balanced and are below pressure limits and there are no technical concerns for today's launch.

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NASA Scrubs Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch at Least 72 Hours »» NASA Scrubs Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch at Least 72 Hours

[Friday, April 29, 2011] NASA has scrubbed the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour at least 72 hours due to a failure in one of two heater circuits. Endeavour's launch will be no earlier than Monday at 2:33 p.m. EDT.

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NASA To Work Issue Over the Weekend and Targets Monday for Launch of Endeavour »» NASA To Work Issue Over the Weekend and Targets Monday for Launch of Endeavour

[Friday, April 29, 2011] At the post-scrub press briefing NASA launch director Mike Leinbach said they called the scrub at 12:15 pm EDT and that they will work through the issue this weekend and have set Monday as the next earliest launch attempt.

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