August 2008 Top Story Archives



NASA New Horizons Mission: The PI's Perspective: Journeying Beyond Saturn »» NASA New Horizons Mission: The PI's Perspective: Journeying Beyond Saturn

[Friday, August 1, 2008] As avid followers of New Horizons know, our spacecraft has been mostly hibernating since February, and will continue to so do until Sept. 2, when we will wake it to begin its second annual checkout.

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NASA Brings Total Eclipse of the Sun to the Masses »» NASA Brings Total Eclipse of the Sun to the Masses

[Friday, August 1, 2008] On August 1, a total solar eclipse was visible in parts of Canada, northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia and China.

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SpaceX: First 9 Engine Firing of Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle »» SpaceX: First 9 Engine Firing of Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle

[Friday, August 1, 2008] SpaceX conducted the first nine engine firing of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle at its Texas Test Facility outside McGregor on July 31st. A second firing on August 1st completed a major NASA COTS milestone almost two months early.

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White House Briefed On Potential For Mars Life »» White House Briefed On Potential For Mars Life

[Friday, August 1, 2008] The White House has been alerted by NASA about plans to make an announcement soon on major new Phoenix lander discoveries concerning the "potential for life" on Mars, scientists tell Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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Obama Reverses Campaign Stance on Constellation Cuts »» Obama Reverses Campaign Stance on Constellation Cuts

[Saturday, August 2, 2008] During a campaign appearance in Titusville, Sen. Obama said that there had been some earlier campaign statements to the effect that "we were talking about delaying aspects of the Constellation program" to pay for education.

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SpaceX Sets August 2 for Falcon 1 launch »» SpaceX Sets August 2 for Falcon 1 launch

[Saturday, August 2, 2008] Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) has scheduled the launch of the Falcon 1 Flight 3 mission for Saturday, August 2nd. The launch window will open at 4:00 p.m. (PDT) / 7:00 p.m. (EDT) and remain open for five hours

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SpaceX Falcon Flight Ends Prematurely During Ascent »» SpaceX Falcon Flight Ends Prematurely During Ascent

[Saturday, August 2, 2008] The third attempt by SpaceX to launch its Falcon 1 rocket failed this evening several minutes into its flight.

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Take an Interactive Journey Through NASA's First Fifty Years of Exploration »» Take an Interactive Journey Through NASA's First Fifty Years of Exploration

[Sunday, August 3, 2008] This week marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the space act that created NASA. The agency has released an immersive multimedia experience that takes visitors on an interactive tour of its first five decades of exploration.

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Asteroid Steins will be tracked by ESA's Rosetta comet chaser »» Asteroid Steins will be tracked by ESA's Rosetta comet chaser

[Monday, August 4, 2008] Heading toward its first target-asteroid, (2867) Steins, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has started using its cameras to visually track the asteroid and eventually determine its orbit with more accuracy.

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NASA JSC Center Closing Announcement »» NASA JSC Center Closing Announcement

[Monday, August 4, 2008] JSC will close at noon today (except for those employees completing critical closure activities in advance of Tropical Storm Edouard). The center will remain closed tomorrow, Aug. 5, and will resume normal operations on Wednesday, Aug. 6.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Data More Negative On Potential For Life »» NASA Mars Phoenix Data More Negative On Potential For Life

[Monday, August 4, 2008] NASA will announce today that new data from the Phoenix Mars lander indicate that it is looking less conclusive that soil analyzed by the lander's soil chemistry experiment is Earth-like and can support life.

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NASA Phoenix Lander Spacecraft Analyzing Martian Soil Data »» NASA Phoenix Lander Spacecraft Analyzing Martian Soil Data

[Monday, August 4, 2008] Scientists are analyzing results from soil samples delivered several weeks ago to science instruments on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander to understand the landing site's soil chemistry and mineralogy.

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X PRIZE Foundation Announces Ten Teams Vying for Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge »» X PRIZE Foundation Announces Ten Teams Vying for Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

[Tuesday, August 5, 2008] The X PRIZE Foundation today announced that ten teams will compete in the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, which will take place at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico, October 24-25, 2008.

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Sharing the Wealth: MESSENGER Team Delivers Mercury Flyby 1 Data to Planetary Data System »» Sharing the Wealth: MESSENGER Team Delivers Mercury Flyby 1 Data to Planetary Data System

[Tuesday, August 5, 2008] Data from MESSENGER's first flyby of Mercury have been released to the public by the Planetary Data System (PDS), an organization that archives and distributes all of NASA's planetary mission data.

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Hubble Space Telescope's Odometer Turns Over 100,000 Orbits on August 11 »» Hubble Space Telescope's Odometer Turns Over 100,000 Orbits on August 11

[Tuesday, August 5, 2008] The odometer on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is about to turn over 100,000. That's not 100,000 miles but the number of orbits it has made around Earth since it was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Team Opens Window on Scientific Process »» NASA Mars Phoenix Team Opens Window on Scientific Process

[Tuesday, August 5, 2008] Phoenix Mars mission scientists spoke today on research in progress concerning an ongoing investigation of perchlorate salts detected in soil analyzed by the wet chemistry laboratory aboard NASA's Phoenix Lander.

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NASA Orion Parachute Test Vehicle Fails Drop Test »» NASA Orion Parachute Test Vehicle Fails Drop Test

[Wednesday, August 6, 2008] All but one of the 18 parachutes inflated. The parachute responsible for getting the mockup to the correct test conditions - called a programmer chute - did not inflate during the test. As a result, the test failed.

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SpaceX Determines Cause of Falcon 1 Launch Failure »» SpaceX Determines Cause of Falcon 1 Launch Failure

[Wednesday, August 6, 2008] According to Elon Musk: "We have a definitive understanding of what went wrong on Flight 3. The problem was due to a design error not a production or quality assurance issue. The thrust transient was longer than it was for the prior flight."

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Google Lunar X PRIZE T-Shirt Design Competition! »» Google Lunar X PRIZE T-Shirt Design Competition!

[Wednesday, August 6, 2008] We've got rockets. We've got rovers. We've got a race. But what we don't have is a creative, original T-Shirt that perfectly captures the spirit of exploration and innovation of the Google Lunar X PRIZE.

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Free Webcast on Aug. 14, 2008: Great Planet Debate »» Free Webcast on Aug. 14, 2008: Great Planet Debate

[Thursday, August 7, 2008] Is Pluto a planet? What defines a planet? Are other planets yet to be discovered? Join Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Dr. Mark Sykes, Planetary Science Institute, as they square off in a debate of these questions during this free, one-hour webcast.

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NASA Cassini Prepares for Flyby of Enceladus »» NASA Cassini Prepares for Flyby of Enceladus

[Thursday, August 7, 2008] Fractures, or "tiger stripes," where icy jets erupt on Saturn's moon Enceladus will be the target of a close flyby by the Cassini spacecraft on Monday, Aug. 11.

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Universally Speaking, Earthlings Share a Nice Neighborhood »» Universally Speaking, Earthlings Share a Nice Neighborhood

[Friday, August 8, 2008] We don't have spacecraft to take us outside our solar system--not yet, at least. Still, astronomers thought they had a pretty good understanding of how our solar system formed and in turn, how others formed.

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NASA Blog: Enceladus August Flyby Preview »» NASA Blog: Enceladus August Flyby Preview

[Friday, August 8, 2008] Well, after the successful and exciting Enceladus flyby in March ... we're doing it again!! Cassini is executing a close pass by the little active moon, on Monday, August 11. Woo hoo!

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Jupiter and Saturn full of liquid metal helium »» Jupiter and Saturn full of liquid metal helium

[Friday, August 8, 2008] A strange, metal brew lies buried deep within Jupiter and Saturn, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and in London.

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Internal Memo Details Failed NASA Orion Parachute Test Vehicle Drop Test »» Internal Memo Details Failed NASA Orion Parachute Test Vehicle Drop Test

[Saturday, August 9, 2008] According to an internal NASA memo initial observations indicated that the programmer parachute did not inflate properly when the Parachute Test Vehicle (PTV) separated from the test pallet.

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Hubble Space Telescope Unveils Colorful and Turbulent Star-Birth Region on 100,000th Orbit Milestone »» Hubble Space Telescope Unveils Colorful and Turbulent Star-Birth Region on 100,000th Orbit Milestone

[Monday, August 11, 2008] In commemoration of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope completing its 100,000th orbit in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists have aimed Hubble to take a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal.

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OSU students build and launch a sensor into space »» OSU students build and launch a sensor into space

[Monday, August 11, 2008] Students from OSU's Radiation Physics Laboratory built and successfully launched a cosmic radiation detector this summer that reached the edge of outer space.

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U.S. Air Force to license Launch Complex 36 to Space Florida »» U.S. Air Force to license Launch Complex 36 to Space Florida

[Monday, August 11, 2008] A landmark announcement by the U.S. Air Force and the state of Florida will fundamentally expand the state's position and prominence in aerospace and the space industry in all three key sectors.

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NASA To Brief Reporters About Constellation Program »» NASA To Brief Reporters About Constellation Program

[Monday, August 11, 2008] NASA will host a media teleconference Monday, Aug. 11, at 3 p.m. EDT, to brief reporters about ongoing assessments regarding the budget and schedule for the Constellation Program.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: NASA Legislative Update »» NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: NASA Legislative Update

[Monday, August 11, 2008] On June 25, 2008, the House Appropriations Committee marked up the FY 2009 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) and Related Appropriations Bill, which provides annual funding for NASA.

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NASA Blog: Cassini Engineering Is Ready for Enceladus! »» NASA Blog: Cassini Engineering Is Ready for Enceladus!

[Monday, August 11, 2008] As most folks on the third rock from the Sun turn their attention toward China and the Summer Olympics, Cassini scientists and engineers at JPL are turning their gaze skyward for some Winter Olympics of our own at Enceladus

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NASA AMASE 2008: Day 2: The Troll Patrol »» NASA AMASE 2008: Day 2: The Troll Patrol

[Monday, August 11, 2008] "Svalbard is one of my most favorite places to be in the world.so it came to the point where I made the decision to concentrate my research project for my dissertation on Svalbard."

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NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Releases Annual Report »» NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Releases Annual Report

[Monday, August 11, 2008] The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, or ASAP, has released its 2007 Annual Report. The report examines NASA's safety performance and advises the agency on ways to better that performance.

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NASA to Realign Constellation Program Milestones »» NASA to Realign Constellation Program Milestones

[Monday, August 11, 2008] NASA managers discussed how the agency will be adjusting the budget, schedule and technical performance milestones for its Constellation Program to ensure the first crewed flight of the Ares I rocket and Orion crew capsule in March 2015.

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NASA Cassini Begins Transmitting Data From Enceladus Flyby »» NASA Cassini Begins Transmitting Data From Enceladus Flyby

[Tuesday, August 12, 2008] Shortly after 9:03 p.m. PDT, the Cassini spacecraft began sending data to Earth following a close flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus. During closest approach, Cassini successfully passed only 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the surface of the tiny moon.

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PSI Director Promotes 13-Planet Solar System During Great Planet Debate »» PSI Director Promotes 13-Planet Solar System During Great Planet Debate

[Tuesday, August 12, 2008] Mark Sykes says that if a non-stellar object is massive enough to be round and orbits a star, it ought to be a planet. The key here is that once an object gets that big, important geophysical processes begin.

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International Space Station Crew on Track With Preparations for Arrivals and Departures »» International Space Station Crew on Track With Preparations for Arrivals and Departures

[Tuesday, August 12, 2008] The Expedition 17 crew of the International Space Station remained on track Tuesday with hardware repairs and preparations for arrivals and departures.

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NASA Cassini Enceladus Rev 80 Flyby Skeet Shoot #4 »» NASA Cassini Enceladus Rev 80 Flyby Skeet Shoot #4

[Tuesday, August 12, 2008] The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Aug. 11, 2008, a distance of approximately 2,621 kilometers (1,629 miles) above the surface of Enceladus. Image scale is approximately 20 meters (66 feet) per pixel.

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Soil Studies Continue at Phoenix Mars Lander Site »» Soil Studies Continue at Phoenix Mars Lander Site

[Tuesday, August 12, 2008] Vibration of the screen above a laboratory oven on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander on Saturday, Aug. 9, succeeded in getting enough soil into the oven to begin analysis.

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Olympic Swimmers Shattering Records in NASA-Tested Suit »» Olympic Swimmers Shattering Records in NASA-Tested Suit

[Wednesday, August 13, 2008] Swimmers from around the world are setting world and Olympic records in Beijing this month and most are doing it wearing a swimsuit made of fabric tested at NASA.

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NASA Selects LIFEPAK(R) 1000 Defibrillator from Physio-Control as First Automated External Defibrillator in Space »» NASA Selects LIFEPAK(R) 1000 Defibrillator from Physio-Control as First Automated External Defibrillator in Space

[Wednesday, August 13, 2008] Physio-Control of Redmond, Wash., today announced the LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillator has been deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) as the first automated external defibrillator (AED) in space.

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NASA Astronaut Ready To Answer Your Questions From Space »» NASA Astronaut Ready To Answer Your Questions From Space

[Wednesday, August 13, 2008] Flying 220 miles above the Earth aboard the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff is ready to take your questions.

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The Stuff of Life on Titan »» The Stuff of Life on Titan

[Thursday, August 14, 2008] For almost thirty years, scientists have known that complex carbon compounds called tholins exist on comets and in the atmospheres of the outer planets.

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NASA Aeronautics Experiments Hitching a Ride »» NASA Aeronautics Experiments Hitching a Ride

[Thursday, August 14, 2008] Two NASA aeronautics experiments will hitch a ride on a developmental Alliant Techsystems, or ATK, suborbital rocket scheduled to launch from the Eastern Shore of Virginia this summer.

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NASA Cassini Pinpoints Source of Jets on Saturn's Moon Enceladus »» NASA Cassini Pinpoints Source of Jets on Saturn's Moon Enceladus

[Thursday, August 14, 2008] In a feat of interplanetary sharpshooting, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has pinpointed precisely where the icy jets erupt from the surface of Saturn's geologically active moon Enceladus.

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MIT solves puzzle of meteorite-asteroid link »» MIT solves puzzle of meteorite-asteroid link

[Friday, August 15, 2008] For the last few years, astronomers have faced a puzzle: The vast majority of asteroids that come near the Earth are of a type that matches only a tiny fraction of the meteorites that most frequently hit our planet.

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Another successful Arianespace launch: Superbird-7 and AMC-21 in orbit »» Another successful Arianespace launch: Superbird-7 and AMC-21 in orbit

[Friday, August 15, 2008] On Thursday evening, August 14, Arianespace orbited two communications satellites, primarily intended for TV broadcast services.

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NASA study improves ability to predict aerosols' effect on cloud cover »» NASA study improves ability to predict aerosols' effect on cloud cover

[Friday, August 15, 2008] Researchers from NASA and other institutions have identified the common thread that determines how aerosols from human activity, like the particles from burning of vegetation and forests, influence cloud cover and ultimately affect climate.

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Psychologists show new ways to deal with health challenges in space »» Psychologists show new ways to deal with health challenges in space

[Friday, August 15, 2008] As NASA prepares to send humans back to the moon and then on to Mars, psychologists are exploring the challenges astronauts will face on missions that will be much longer and more demanding than previous space flights.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Microscope Takes First Image of Martian Dust Particle »» NASA Mars Phoenix Microscope Takes First Image of Martian Dust Particle

[Friday, August 15, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has taken the first-ever image of a single particle of Mars' ubiquitous dust, using its atomic force microscope.

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United Space Alliance Files Lawsuit Against ATK »» United Space Alliance Files Lawsuit Against ATK

[Friday, August 15, 2008] United Space Alliance (USA), NASA's prime Space Shuttle contractor, filed a lawsuit in Brevard County Circuit Court in Florida today against Alliant Techsystems, Inc., and ATK Launch Systems, Inc., seeking damages for fraud and breach of contract, and see

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NASA To Take Corrective Action In Spacesuit Contract Protest »» NASA To Take Corrective Action In Spacesuit Contract Protest

[Friday, August 15, 2008] NASA anticipates that corrective action will involve reconsideration of its procurement decision. The pending protest litigation is subject to a Government Accountability Office Protective Order.

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NASA Keeps Atlantis Target Launch Date, Moves Up Milestones »» NASA Keeps Atlantis Target Launch Date, Moves Up Milestones

[Saturday, August 16, 2008] After thoroughly reviewing an option to accelerate the upcoming launch dates of space shuttle Atlantis and Endeavour by a few days, shuttle program managers decided Thursday to keep the current target launch dates.

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»» "Cosmic Ghost" Discovered by Volunteer Astronomer

[Saturday, August 16, 2008] When Yale astrophysicist Kevin Schawinski and his colleagues at Oxford University enlisted public support in cataloguing galaxies, they never envisioned the strange object Hanny van Arkel found in archived images of the night sky.

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Globular clusters tell tale of star formation in nearby galaxy metropolis »» Globular clusters tell tale of star formation in nearby galaxy metropolis

[Saturday, August 16, 2008] Hubble Space Telescope has identified thousands of more than 5 billion years old globular clusters in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. These discoveries allow astronomers to understand more about the life and evolution of cannibal galaxies.

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NASA data show some African drought linked to warmer Indian Ocean »» NASA data show some African drought linked to warmer Indian Ocean

[Saturday, August 16, 2008] A new study, co-funded by NASA, has identified a link between a warming Indian Ocean and less rainfall in eastern and southern Africa. Computer models and observations show a decline in rainfall, with implications for the region's food security.

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Open Call for One Millimeter Square Space Art »» Open Call for One Millimeter Square Space Art

[Saturday, August 16, 2008] To take part in this exhibition you are invited to submit monochrome digital pictures, which we will shrink to a size of 1mm squares and fabricate on a silicon wafer using photolithography technology arranged as a mosaic.

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Ancient Bacteria Uses Arsenic to Grow »» Ancient Bacteria Uses Arsenic to Grow

[Saturday, August 16, 2008] Scientists have discovered ancient bacteria that rely on arsenic, rather than water, to grow during photosynthesis. Analysis indicates that this process probably dates back a few billion years.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Camera Sees Morning Frost at the Landing Site »» NASA Mars Phoenix Camera Sees Morning Frost at the Landing Site

[Saturday, August 16, 2008] Water frost appears in an image the SSI took on Aug. 14, 2008, at 6 a.m. local Mars time on Sol 79, the 79th Martian day after landing. The frost begins to disappear shortly after 6 a.m. as the sun rises on the landing site.

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Barack Obama: Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration »» Barack Obama: Advancing the Frontiers of Space Exploration

[Saturday, August 16, 2008] " I believe NASA needs an inspirational vision for the 21st Century. My vision will build on the great goals set forth in recent years, to maintain a robust program of human space exploration and ensure the fulfillment of NASA's mission. "

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

[Monday, August 18, 2008] 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 Managers Set Target Launch Date for Atlantis »» NASA Managers Set Target Launch Date for Atlantis

[Monday, August 18, 2008] After thoroughly reviewing the potential to move up space shuttle Atlantis' and Endeavour's upcoming launch dates by a few days, shuttle program managers decided Thursday to stay with original target launch dates.

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NASA To Brief Media About Ares I Thrust Oscillation Plans »» NASA To Brief Media About Ares I Thrust Oscillation Plans

[Monday, August 18, 2008] NASA will host a media teleconference on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 11:30 a.m. EDT, to discuss results and recommendations from the Ares I thrust oscillation focus team.

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NASA AMASE 2008: Day 5 - Better Living Through Caffeination »» NASA AMASE 2008: Day 5 - Better Living Through Caffeination

[Monday, August 18, 2008] We are finished with the day's "rover operations". We got in three Sols' worth of operations, looked at many a rock and drove the rover a whiplash-inducing, NASCAR-ish 1.5 meters!

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New Space Robotics Blog for Students - Challenger Center Teams Up With Gen Y NASA Robotics Engineer »» New Space Robotics Blog for Students - Challenger Center Teams Up With Gen Y NASA Robotics Engineer

[Monday, August 18, 2008] Challenger Center for Space Science Education is pleased to announce a new space robotics blog for students interested in science, technology and engineering.

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International Space Station Imagery: Polar Mesospheric Clouds »» International Space Station Imagery: Polar Mesospheric Clouds

[Tuesday, August 19, 2008] Polar Mesospheric Clouds (also known as noctilucent clouds) are transient, upper atmospheric phenomena observed usually in the summer months at high latitudes (greater than 50 degrees) of both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

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Join Challenger Center's Live Webcast With Astronaut Soyeon Yi and Richard Garriott »» Join Challenger Center's Live Webcast With Astronaut Soyeon Yi and Richard Garriott

[Tuesday, August 19, 2008] oin Richard Garriott, the next civilian to fly into space, and Korean astronaut Soyeon Yi station for a live interactive webcast from Star City Moscow and the South Korea Challenger Learning Center on August 20th at 10:00am ET.

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NASA Tests Launch Abort Parachute System - Releases Crash Photos »» NASA Tests Launch Abort Parachute System - Releases Crash Photos

[Tuesday, August 19, 2008] NASA tested the parachutes for the recovery system on its Orion crew exploration vehicle above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona on July 31. The test proved unsuccessful when a test set-up parachute failed.

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NASA Seeks Input For Commercial Lunar Communications and Navigation »» NASA Seeks Input For Commercial Lunar Communications and Navigation

[Tuesday, August 19, 2008] NASA has issued a RFI to gauge interest and solicit ideas from private companies in providing communications and navigation services that would support the development of exploration, scientific and commercial capabilities on the moon.

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Key advance toward 'micro-spacecraft' »» Key advance toward 'micro-spacecraft'

[Wednesday, August 20, 2008] Researchers describe a new, razor thin temperature-regulating film that brings this sci-fi vision of "micro-spacecraft" weighing barely 50 pounds and 10-pound "nano-spacecraft" closer to reality.

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NASA to Announce New Name for GLAST, First Light Findings »» NASA to Announce New Name for GLAST, First Light Findings

[Wednesday, August 20, 2008] NASA will hold a media teleconference on Tuesday, August 26, at 2 p.m. EDT, to announce the first results from NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope and the observatory's new name.

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Hermes Spacecraft Looking to Bring Personal Space Travel to the Masses »» Hermes Spacecraft Looking to Bring Personal Space Travel to the Masses

[Wednesday, August 20, 2008] Like many Americans during the time of the Apollo missions, Morris Jarvis dreamed of someday blasting off into space. As a child he sat glued to the television set as man walked on the moon, and he later studied aerospace engineering in college.

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ISU Student Survey Request: Google Lunar X-prize »» ISU Student Survey Request: Google Lunar X-prize

[Wednesday, August 20, 2008] ..."One the the activities that the student team is pursuing is an online survey to try to get a market feel for the more/most important stakeholders which the teams and the foundation can then use to focus the efforts."

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Hubble Sees Magnetic Monster in Erupting Galaxy »» Hubble Sees Magnetic Monster in Erupting Galaxy

[Wednesday, August 20, 2008] NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found an answer to a long-standing puzzle by resolving giant but delicate filaments shaped by a strong magnetic field around the active galaxy NGC 1275.

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Cracking the Question of Extraterrestrial Life »» Cracking the Question of Extraterrestrial Life

[Wednesday, August 20, 2008] With average temperatures of minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit, an almost nonexistent atmosphere and a complex web of cracks in a layer of ice encompassing the entire surface, the environment on Jupiter's moon Europa is about as alien as they come.

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Astronomers find an unusual new denizen of the Solar System »» Astronomers find an unusual new denizen of the Solar System

[Wednesday, August 20, 2008] A "minor planet" with the prosaic name 2006 SQ372 is just over two billion miles from Earth, a bit closer than the planet Neptune.

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NRC Report: A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program »» NRC Report: A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program

[Thursday, August 21, 2008] NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) is designed to support, develop, and ultimately provide the necessary technologies for the agency's new Constellation flight program.

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Worlds Beyond: A Strategy for the Detection and Characterization of Exoplanets »» Worlds Beyond: A Strategy for the Detection and Characterization of Exoplanets

[Thursday, August 21, 2008] This is a scientific strategy for the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets; that is, planets orbiting other stars.

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NASA Blog: From Gobies to BBots: Hubble's Marriage of Convenience »» NASA Blog: From Gobies to BBots: Hubble's Marriage of Convenience

[Thursday, August 21, 2008] Could the lack of one thing make this Hubble repair mission impossible? Kaput, never to be?

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NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Explores Site By Trenching »» NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Explores Site By Trenching

[Thursday, August 21, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander scientists and engineers are continuing to dig into the area around the lander with the spacecraft's robotic arm, looking for new materials to analyze and examining the soil and ice subsurface structure.

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NASA Internal Memo: Badge Holder Safety »» NASA Internal Memo: Badge Holder Safety

[Thursday, August 21, 2008] "The current issue with the badge holder is the possibility of the badge holder becoming a Foreign Object Damage (FOD) hazard to flight hardware, or a projectile hazard under certain circumstances."

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Why Is Space Exploration Important? In 12 Seconds, please. »» Why Is Space Exploration Important? In 12 Seconds, please.

[Thursday, August 21, 2008] Join up and send us your links for your 12 second videos as to why space exploration is important, why your job matters, or whatever you think needs to be said.

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Mars Express VMC: An ordinary camera in an extraordinary place! »» Mars Express VMC: An ordinary camera in an extraordinary place!

[Friday, August 22, 2008] The Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) is mounted on Mars Express, ESA's deep-space probe now orbiting the Red Planet. It originally provided simple, low-tech images of Beagle lander separation, and is now back in action as the 'Mars Webcam'.

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Video: Astrobiology Rap »» Video: Astrobiology Rap

[Friday, August 22, 2008] Tune in for the all new 'Astrobiology Rap', written by Jonathan Chase for the latest Astrobiology Magazine European Edition (AMEE) -- the Nordic Invasion.

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AIP FYI #85: Senate Bill Would Provide Additional Science Funding »» AIP FYI #85: Senate Bill Would Provide Additional Science Funding

[Friday, August 22, 2008] Under this draft legislation, Department of Energy science programs would receive $150 million. An additional $250 million would be slated for NASA to speed production of a replacement for the space shuttle.

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Generations of Stars Pose for Family Portrait »» Generations of Stars Pose for Family Portrait

[Friday, August 22, 2008] A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells a tale of life and death amidst a rich family history. The striking infrared picture shows a colorful cosmic cloud, called W5, studded with multiple generations of blazing stars.

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Rosetta spacecraft meets asteroid Steins »» Rosetta spacecraft meets asteroid Steins

[Monday, August 25, 2008] ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will make a historic encounter with asteroid (2867) Steins on 5 September 2008.

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XMM-Newton's massive discovery »» XMM-Newton's massive discovery

[Monday, August 25, 2008] ESA's orbiting X-ray observatory XMM-Newton has discovered the most massive cluster of galaxies seen in the distant Universe until now.

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NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis To Move To Launch Pad Saturday »» NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis To Move To Launch Pad Saturday

[Monday, August 25, 2008] Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, Aug. 30. Atlantis is targeted to lift off Oct. 8 to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

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NASA Discovers Computer Virus Aboard the International Space Station »» NASA Discovers Computer Virus Aboard the International Space Station

[Monday, August 25, 2008] Reader note: This information was discussed at the ISS 30P SORR last week. Is this the first known ISS computer virus?

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NASA Unveils first sky image from newly renamed Fermi satellite »» NASA Unveils first sky image from newly renamed Fermi satellite

[Wednesday, August 27, 2008] NASA's newest observatory, the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, has begun its mission of exploring the universe in high-energy gamma rays. The spacecraft and its revolutionary instruments passed their orbital checkout with flying colors.

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NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity Climbing Out Of Victoria Crater »» NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity Climbing Out Of Victoria Crater

[Wednesday, August 27, 2008] NASA's Mars Exploration rover Opportunity is heading back out to the Red Planet's surrounding plains nearly a year after descending into a large Martian crater to examine exposed ancient rock layers.

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NASA Dawn Status Report 24 August 2008 »» NASA Dawn Status Report 24 August 2008

[Wednesday, August 27, 2008] The Dawn spacecraft continues to make good progress on its adventure to unlock scientific secrets hidden deep in the main asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupite

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Clash of clusters provides new dark matter clue »» Clash of clusters provides new dark matter clue

[Wednesday, August 27, 2008] A powerful collision between galaxy clusters has been captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's Chandra X- ray Observatory. This clash of clusters provides striking evidence for dark matter and insight into its properties.

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How Do Galaxies Grow? Assembling the Most Massive Galaxies in the Universe »» How Do Galaxies Grow? Assembling the Most Massive Galaxies in the Universe

[Wednesday, August 27, 2008] Astronomers have caught multiple massive galaxies in the act of merging 4 billion years ago. This discovery, made possible by combining the power of the best ground- and space-based telescopes, uniquely supports the favoured theory of how galaxies form.

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NASA and Challenger Center Combining Efforts for Students »» NASA and Challenger Center Combining Efforts for Students

[Thursday, August 28, 2008] NASA and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, announced Thursday a cooperative Space Act Agreement to work together to encourage students to focus more on science, technology, engineering and mathematic studies and programs.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Shutting Down the Shuttle »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Shutting Down the Shuttle

[Thursday, August 28, 2008] "Hey, I am the biggest shuttle hugger there is. I think it is the best spacecraft ever built. But I also deal in the real world."

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NASA Internal Email: Shuttle Extension Assessment »» NASA Internal Email: Shuttle Extension Assessment

[Friday, August 29, 2008] "The SSP program in conjunction with Cx and ISS have been asked by the administrator to put together some manifest options to assess extending shuttle flights to 2015."

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NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Ascends to Level Ground »» NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Ascends to Level Ground

[Friday, August 29, 2008] NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has climbed out of the large crater that it had been examining from the inside since last September.

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GeoEye to Launch World's Highest Resolution Commercial Earth-Imaging Satellite »» GeoEye to Launch World's Highest Resolution Commercial Earth-Imaging Satellite

[Friday, August 29, 2008] GeoEye, Inc. announced today the launch of the world's highest resolution, commercial Earth-imaging satellite is scheduled for Sept. 4, 2008, from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

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NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility Closes For Hurricane Gustav »» NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility Closes For Hurricane Gustav

[Friday, August 29, 2008] NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans will close at midnight Saturday, Aug. 30, to all but essential support personnel because of the approach and expected landfall of tropical storm Gustav, which is expected to strengthen into a hurricane.

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Cluster watches Earth's leaky atmosphere »» Cluster watches Earth's leaky atmosphere

[Friday, August 29, 2008] Oxygen is constantly leaking out of Earth's atmosphere and into space. Now, ESA's formation-flying quartet of satellites,

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Arctic ice on the verge of another all-time low »» Arctic ice on the verge of another all-time low

[Friday, August 29, 2008] Following last summer's record minimum ice cover in the Arctic, current observations from ESA's Envisat satellite suggest that the extent of polar sea-ice may again shrink to a level very close to that of last year.

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Antarctic research helps shed light on climate change on Mars »» Antarctic research helps shed light on climate change on Mars

[Friday, August 29, 2008] Researchers examining images of gullies on the flanks of craters on Mars say they formed in sites once occupied by glaciers. The features are eerily reminiscent of gullies formed in Antarctica's mars-like McMurdo Dry Valleys.

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NASA Phoenix Mission Conducting Extended Activities on Mars »» NASA Phoenix Mission Conducting Extended Activities on Mars

[Friday, August 29, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, having completed its 90-day primary mission, is continuing its science collection activities. Science and engineering teams are looking forward to at least another month of Martian exploration.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Mission: Ice Cold Sunrise on Mars »» NASA Mars Phoenix Mission: Ice Cold Sunrise on Mars

[Friday, August 29, 2008] This red-filter image taken by the lander's Surface Stereo Imager, shows the sun rising on the morning of sol 90, Aug. 25, 2008, the last day of the Phoenix nominal mission.

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International Space Station Imagery: Dry Tortugas »» International Space Station Imagery: Dry Tortugas

[Saturday, August 30, 2008] The Dry Tortugas are a group of islands located approximately 75 miles west of Key West, Florida; they form the western end of the Florida Keys in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Preliminary Design Review for NASA's Orion Spacecraft Likely To Be Delayed Until 2009 »» Preliminary Design Review for NASA's Orion Spacecraft Likely To Be Delayed Until 2009

[Saturday, August 30, 2008] NASA sources report that the Orion PDR (Preliminary Design Review), which was originally planned for September 2008 and then slipped to November, will be delayed much further - perhaps as far as mid-Summer 2009.

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