December 2009 Top Story Archives



Development of the Commercial Space Launch Industry Presents Safety Oversight Challenges for FAA & Raises Issues Affecting Federal Roles

Development of the Commercial Space Launch Industry Presents Safety Oversight Challenges for FAA & Raises Issues Affecting Federal Roles

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

Highlights of GAO-10-286T, a testimony before the Subcommittee on Aviation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives




NASA Mars Odyssey Orbiter Puts Itself Into Safe Standby

NASA Mars Odyssey Orbiter Puts Itself Into Safe Standby

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter put itself into a safe standby mode on Saturday, Nov. 28, and the team operating the spacecraft has begun implementing careful steps designed to resume Odyssey's science and relay operations within about a week.




Sailors braving treacherous waters for science

Sailors braving treacherous waters for science

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

Scientists working to validate data from ESA's water mission SMOS, launched in November, will get help from skippers competing in the SolOceans around-the-world single-handed race.




Wayne Hale's Blog: Burgeoning commercial space industry

Wayne Hale's Blog: Burgeoning commercial space industry

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

There are a couple of smaller, entrepreneurial, companies which are making good progress toward medium launch vehicle operations. We applaud them and wish them well and have in fact provided some fiscal support.




Chang'E-1 has blazed a new trail in China's deep space exploration

Chang'E-1 has blazed a new trail in China's deep space exploration

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

A huge amount of scientific data have been accumulated by the CE-1 lunar orbiter.




Blushing dusty nebula

Blushing dusty nebula

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

A recent NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of part of NGC 7023, or the Iris Nebula, highlights a perfect dust laboratory in the sky.




Four 'Butterflynauts' Emerge on Space Station

Four 'Butterflynauts' Emerge on Space Station

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

As of Dec. 1, four Painted Lady butterflies are living aboard the International Space Station. These "butterflynauts" are part of an educational experiment that was launched Nov. 16 on space shuttle Atlantis and transferred to the Space Station.




Data from outer space open new frontiers for researchers

Data from outer space open new frontiers for researchers

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

The latest data delivered back to Earth by the Herschel Space Observatory (HSO)--launched in May by the European Space Agency--has opened a new window on galaxies for researchers at McMaster University.




Suzaku Orbiting X-ray Observatory Spies Treasure Trove of Intergalactic Metal

Suzaku Orbiting X-ray Observatory Spies Treasure Trove of Intergalactic Metal

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

Every cook knows the ingredients for making bread: flour, water, yeast, and time. But what chemical elements are in the recipe of our universe?




Watching A Cannibal Galaxy Dine

Watching A Cannibal Galaxy Dine

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

A new technique using near-infrared images, obtained with ESO's 3.58-meter New Technology Telescope (NTT), allows astronomers to see through the opaque dust lanes of the giant cannibal galaxy Centaurus A, unveiling its "last meal"




Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer Ready for Launch Dec. 9

Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer Ready for Launch Dec. 9

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

The launch of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9.




Deep-Space Maneuver Positions MESSENGER for Mercury Orbit Insertion

Deep-Space Maneuver Positions MESSENGER for Mercury Orbit Insertion

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

The Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft completed its fifth and final deep-space maneuver of the mission today, providing the expected velocity change needed to place the spacecraft on course to enter into orbit about Mercury in March 2011.




Satellite Industry Leaders Establish New Space Association

Satellite Industry Leaders Establish New Space Association

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

Global satellite operators SES S.A., Intelsat, Ltd., and Inmarsat plc announced that they have founded the Space Data Association Ltd. (SDA)




WA physicist's 'Moon Dust' tapes may hold keys to future lunar landings

WA physicist's 'Moon Dust' tapes may hold keys to future lunar landings

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

A set of original NASA data tapes from moon landings in the 1960s now held in Western Australia may hold the keys to overcoming problems associated with the effects of lunar dust on future moon missions.




Cosmic

Cosmic "Dig" Reveals Vestiges of the Milky Way's Building Blocks

[Wednesday, December 2, 2009]

Peering through the thick dust clouds of our galaxy's "bulge" and revealing an amazing amount of detail, a team of astronomers has unveiled an unusual mix of stars in the stellar grouping known as Terzan 5.




SpaceX Hosts Preliminary Training for NASA ISS Astronauts in Preparation for Dragon Spacecraft Rendezvous and Station Berthing

SpaceX Hosts Preliminary Training for NASA ISS Astronauts in Preparation for Dragon Spacecraft Rendezvous and Station Berthing

[Thursday, December 3, 2009]

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) recently conducted its first Dragon spacecraft operations training for a group of NASA astronauts and personnel at its corporate headquarters in Hawthorne, CA.




Moon Work Design Contest Offers NASA Internships to Winners

Moon Work Design Contest Offers NASA Internships to Winners

[Friday, December 4, 2009]

Talented engineering students who have ideas on how future explorers might live on the moon could find themselves working at NASA as paid interns.




"SAPPORO Space Barley" Beer Is Launched Onto The Market For The First Time In The World In Limited Quantities For Charity

[Friday, December 4, 2009]

The "space barley" used to make this beer is the 4th generation descendant of the Haruna Nijo malting barley developed by Sapporo Breweries and kept in space for five months during 2006.




Subcommittees Hold Oversight Hearing to Examine Audit of NASA's Financial Operations

Subcommittees Hold Oversight Hearing to Examine Audit of NASA's Financial Operations

[Friday, December 4, 2009]

The House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight and Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics held a joint hearing to examine the recent results of the independent FY 2009 audit of financial operation NASA.




Sea-floor seismometers open window into Earth's mantle beneath Hawaiian Islands

Sea-floor seismometers open window into Earth's mantle beneath Hawaiian Islands

[Friday, December 4, 2009]

The topography of the Hawaiian Islands is shown in 3-D. Credit and Larger Version December 3, 2009 The Hawaiian Islands are one of the outstanding volcanic features on Earth, but their origins have been shrouded in mystery.




Discovery of an Exoplanet Candidate Orbiting a Sun-like Star

Discovery of an Exoplanet Candidate Orbiting a Sun-like Star

[Friday, December 4, 2009]

The first observations with the world's newest planet-hunter instrument on the Subaru Telescope, HiCIAO have revealed a companion to the Sun-like star GJ 758. With an estimated mass of 10-40 times Jupiter's mass




CPUC Takes Another Step Toward State's Renewable Energy Goal With Approval of PG&E Contract

CPUC Takes Another Step Toward State's Renewable Energy Goal With Approval of PG&E Contract

[Friday, December 4, 2009]

Through its power purchase agreement with Solaren Corporation, PG&E is entitled to generation from a first-of-its kind space-based solar project that uses orbiting satellites equipped with solar cells to convert the sun's energy into electricity.




NASA Solicitation: Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program - CRuSR - Request for Information

NASA Solicitation: Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program - CRuSR - Request for Information

[Sunday, December 6, 2009]

NASA Ames CRuSR Office is requesting technical and programmatic input to improve the government's understanding of flight opportunities to aid potential science investigators in scoping and designing possible future suborbital investigations.




NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective: Farewell 2009

NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective: Farewell 2009

[Sunday, December 6, 2009]

New Horizons is now more than 1,400 days into its 9.5-year journey and well past 15 AU (astronomical units) from the Sun. We still have about 2,050 days ahead of us before we reach the Pluto system.




Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo, the world's first manned commercial spaceship

Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo, the world's first manned commercial spaceship

[Monday, December 7, 2009]

Virgin Founder, Sir Richard Branson and SpaceshipOne (SS1) designer, Burt Rutan, today reveal SS2 to the public for the first time since construction of the world's first manned commercial spaceship began in 2007.




NASA's WISE Sky Surveying Spacecraft Ready for Launch Dec. 11

NASA's WISE Sky Surveying Spacecraft Ready for Launch Dec. 11

[Monday, December 7, 2009]

The launch of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, aboard a Delta II rocket is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 11, between 9:09 a.m. and 9:23 a.m. EST from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.




Brightness Variations of Sun-like Stars: The Mystery Deepens

Brightness Variations of Sun-like Stars: The Mystery Deepens

[Monday, December 7, 2009]

An extensive study made with ESO's Very Large Telescope deepens a long-standing mystery in the study of stars similar to the Sun.




Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: Looking at Boulders on the Moon

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: Looking at Boulders on the Moon

[Monday, December 7, 2009]

As we were flying through a portion of one of the images we came across a boulder field.




Feasibility of Using Constellation Architecture or Robotic Missions for Servicing Existing and Future Spacecraft

Feasibility of Using Constellation Architecture or Robotic Missions for Servicing Existing and Future Spacecraft

[Tuesday, December 8, 2009]

NASA has undertaken a study to assess the feasibility, practicality, and cost of servicing satellites using elements of currently planned and future NASA human spaceflight systems and/or robotic technologies.




Hubble's Deepest Image Unveils Never-Before-Seen Galaxies

Hubble's Deepest Image Unveils Never-Before-Seen Galaxies

[Tuesday, December 8, 2009]

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has made the deepest image of the universe ever taken in near-infrared light. The faintest and reddest objects in the image are galaxies that formed 600 million years after the Big Bang.




Towards an Exquisite Look at Black Holes

Towards an Exquisite Look at Black Holes

[Tuesday, December 8, 2009]

Astronomers have been trying to see directly how the supermassive black hole is eating up the surrounding gas and how the strong jet is being launched around the black hole.




Aerojet's Glenn Mahone and Jacobs Technology's Jeannie Kranz to guide the Coalition for Space Exploration Public Affairs Team in 2010

Aerojet's Glenn Mahone and Jacobs Technology's Jeannie Kranz to guide the Coalition for Space Exploration Public Affairs Team in 2010

[Wednesday, December 9, 2009]

Two veteran aerospace communicators will lead the Coalition for Space Exploration's Public Affairs Team in 2010. Aerojet's Glenn Mahone and Jacobs Technology's Jeannie Kranz were recently named the organization's new chair and deputy chair, respectively.




Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: Comparing USGS, LPI, and LOIRP Image Resolution

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: Comparing USGS, LPI, and LOIRP Image Resolution

[Wednesday, December 9, 2009]

These images are taken from Lunar Orbiter II image LOII_092H1 Framelet 522. On the left is the highest resolution scanned version available online at LPI (or USGS).




NASA Making Government More Accessible With Cutting-Edge Use Of New Media

NASA Making Government More Accessible With Cutting-Edge Use Of New Media

[Wednesday, December 9, 2009]

NASA is supporting the White House's Open Government Directive with a number of Internet-based programs designed to make the agency more accessible and create a dialog with the American people about their space program.




Astronaut balancing act: Training to help explorers adapt to a return to gravity

Astronaut balancing act: Training to help explorers adapt to a return to gravity

[Wednesday, December 9, 2009]

Astronauts returning from challenging long-duration missions face one more challenge when they get back to Earth - standing up and walking.




Saturn's Mysterious Hexagon Emerges from Winter Darkness

Saturn's Mysterious Hexagon Emerges from Winter Darkness

[Wednesday, December 9, 2009]

After waiting years for the sun to illuminate Saturn's north pole again, cameras aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft have captured the most detailed images yet of the intriguing hexagon shape crowning the planet.




Fermi Sees Brightest-Ever Blazar Flare

Fermi Sees Brightest-Ever Blazar Flare

[Wednesday, December 9, 2009]

A galaxy located billions of light-years away is commanding the attention of NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and astronomers around the globe.




Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: Boulder Trails On The Moon

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: Boulder Trails On The Moon

[Wednesday, December 9, 2009]

This image was taken on 21 November 1996 by Lunar Orbiter II at an altitude of 44 miles. The image has resolution is 0.98 meters/pixel. As such the large boulder that has left a trail is around 6-7 meters in diameter.




Live Webcast: Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project

Live Webcast: Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project

[Wednesday, December 9, 2009]

On Thursday, 10 December 2009, we'll be doing a live webcast from the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) at "McMoon's" i.e. Building 596 at the NASA Ames Research Park.




Dark side of a Saturnian moon: Iapetus is coated with foreign dust

Dark side of a Saturnian moon: Iapetus is coated with foreign dust

[Thursday, December 10, 2009]

Using pictures taken by Cassini scientists assert that Iapetus' darker half, called Cassini Regio, is the result of the planet's leading side getting bombarded by dusty debris from another Saturnian moon, Phoebe




Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft Out of Safe Mode

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft Out of Safe Mode

[Thursday, December 10, 2009]

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter today has been taken out of the precautionary "safe mode" it had been in since August.




Further Tests Designed for Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's Right-Rear Wheel

Further Tests Designed for Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's Right-Rear Wheel

[Thursday, December 10, 2009]

A series of diagnostic tests on Spirit's right-rear wheel on sols 2104 and 2105 (Dec. 3 and 4) investigated stalls that occurred on Sol 2099 (Nov. 28) and earlier.




Weir in space & dimmed sun creates 200 million mile long lab bench for turbulence research

Weir in space & dimmed sun creates 200 million mile long lab bench for turbulence research

[Friday, December 11, 2009]

Physicists working in space plasmas have made clever use of the Ulysses spacecraft and the solar minimum to create a massive virtual lab bench to provide a unique test for the science underlying turbulent flows.




Phobos and Deimos Seen Together From Orbit For the First Time

Phobos and Deimos Seen Together From Orbit For the First Time

[Friday, December 11, 2009]

ESA's Mars Express orbiter took these pioneering images last month. Apart from their 'wow' factor, these unique images will help the HRSC team validate and refine existing orbit models of the two moons.




Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: The Boulders of Copernicus

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project: The Boulders of Copernicus

[Friday, December 11, 2009]

This image represents a portion of the central uplift within the crater Copernicus. The image, LOV-152-H1, was taken by Lunar Orbiter V on 16 August 1967 at an altitude of 103 km.




Space agencies join forces to systematically observe climate variables

Space agencies join forces to systematically observe climate variables

[Saturday, December 12, 2009]

Over 30 000 people from 190 nations are gathered at the two-week UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. On Thursday about 150 guests attended an ESA-hosted side event entitled 'Global Monitoring of our Climate: the Essential Climate Variables'.




Deconstruction of the Dome - Iconic South Pole building to come down during 2009-10 season

Deconstruction of the Dome - Iconic South Pole building to come down during 2009-10 season

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

The new station, a two-story structure built atop stilts on a moving ice sheet, officially entered into service on Jan. 12, 2008. But even before then the geodesic dome, erected by U.S. Naval Construction Battalion 71, had been relieved of duty.




Scarlet Knight Makes Landfall in Spain

Scarlet Knight Makes Landfall in Spain

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

The Scarlet Knight, the first submersible robot glider to cross the Atlantic, made its formal entrance into the port of Baiona today, received by Spanish and American government officials, school children and the people of the town.




NASA to Spotlight Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice and Unprecedented Glacier Study at Copenhagen

NASA to Spotlight Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice and Unprecedented Glacier Study at Copenhagen

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

NASA will take its Earth science research and educational programs before a world-wide audience Dec. 7-18 during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.




Space Station 2010 Calendar Celebrates a Decade of Research

Space Station 2010 Calendar Celebrates a Decade of Research

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of people continuously living aboard the International Space Station, NASA is providing a special 2010 calendar to teachers and the public.




NASA Interactive Guide to International Space Station Laboratory Racks

NASA Interactive Guide to International Space Station Laboratory Racks

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

While the space station is the most advanced spacecraft ever built, its coordinate system is labeled like any sea-faring vessel on Earth using traditional nautical terms.




Williams, Suraev Await Three New Crew Members Aboard ISS

Williams, Suraev Await Three New Crew Members Aboard ISS

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

Expedition 22 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev are currently the sole residents on the ISS. Three new crew members are preparing to join them when the Soyuz TMA-17 launches on Dec. 20 from Baikonur Cosmodrome.




Expedition to Robertson Glacier, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

Expedition to Robertson Glacier, Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

Eric Boyd of the Montana State University Astrobiology Biogeocatalysis Research Center (MSUABRC) recently led an expedition to Robertson Glacier to examine the microbiology and geochemistry of subglacial environments as it applies to Mars exploration.




VISTA: Pioneering New Survey Telescope Starts Work

VISTA: Pioneering New Survey Telescope Starts Work

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

A new telescope -- VISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) -- has just started work at ESO's Paranal Observatory and has made its first release of pictures.




Stellar Family Portrait Takes Imaging Technique to New Extremes

Stellar Family Portrait Takes Imaging Technique to New Extremes

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

The amount of exquisite detail seen in this portrait, which beautifully reveals the life of a large family of stars, is due to the Multi-conjugate Adaptive optics Demonstrator (MAD) on ESO's Very Large Telescope.




ENVISAT Image: Multitude of mountains in Western North America

ENVISAT Image: Multitude of mountains in Western North America

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

This image, acquired by Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument on 3 November 2009, features western North America, one of the most extensive mountainous regions on Earth.




NASA Nebula: Enabling Participatory Exploration Through Open Data APIs

NASA Nebula: Enabling Participatory Exploration Through Open Data APIs

[Sunday, December 13, 2009]

One of the projects Nebula has been very excited to support enables the public to view and explore the surfaces of the Moon and Mars in unprecedented resolution in both Google Earth and Microsoft World Wide Telescope.




NASA's WISE Eye on the Universe Begins All-Sky Survey Mission

NASA's WISE Eye on the Universe Begins All-Sky Survey Mission

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, lifted off over the Pacific Ocean this morning on its way to map the entire sky in infrared light.




NASA Education Announces Job Opening at Ames Research Center

NASA Education Announces Job Opening at Ames Research Center

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

The Education and Public Outreach Branch of the Strategic Communications and Education Division at NASA ARC, currently is seeking interested applicants for the position of Supervisory Education Programs and Outreach Officer.




New Planet Discoveries Suggest Low-Mass Planets are Common Around Nearby Stars

New Planet Discoveries Suggest Low-Mass Planets are Common Around Nearby Stars

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

An international team of planet hunters has discovered as many as six low-mass planets around two nearby Sun-like stars, including two "super-Earths" with masses 5 and 7.5 times the mass of Earth.




Born in Beauty - Proplyds in the Orion Nebula

Born in Beauty - Proplyds in the Orion Nebula

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

A collection of 30 never-before-released images of embryonic planetary systems in the Orion Nebula are the highlight of the longest single Hubble Space Telescope project ever dedicated to the topic of star and planet formation.




Sen. Shelby Asks NASA Inspector General To Investigate Augustine Commission Staff and Members

Sen. Shelby Asks NASA Inspector General To Investigate Augustine Commission Staff and Members

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

It has come to my attention that several members are, in fact, federally registered lobbyists and that some of these individuals have taken direct advantage of their temporary roles on the Commission to further their personal business.




Prussian blue linked to the origin of life

Prussian blue linked to the origin of life

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

A team of researchers from the Astrobiology Centre (INTA-CSIC) has shown that hydrogen cyanide, urea and other substances considered essential to the formation of the most basic biological molecules can be obtained from the salt Prussian blue.




NASA Solicitation: SPHERES Facility Aboard The ISS for STEM Educational Purposes

NASA Solicitation: SPHERES Facility Aboard The ISS for STEM Educational Purposes

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

NASA/HQ has a requirement for Support Services for the ZERO Robotics competition. The ZERO Robotics competition enables high-school students to participate in the SPHERES program.




Kansas scientists probe mysterious possible comet strikes on Earth

Kansas scientists probe mysterious possible comet strikes on Earth

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

It's the stuff of a Hollywood disaster epic: A comet plunges from outer space into the Earth's atmosphere, splitting the sky with a devastating shock wave that flattens forests and shakes the countryside.




Black carbon deposits on Himalayan ice threaten Earth's 'Third Pole'

Black carbon deposits on Himalayan ice threaten Earth's 'Third Pole'

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

Black soot deposited on Tibetan glaciers has contributed significantly to the retreat of the world's largest non-polar ice masses, according to new research by scientists from NASA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.




NASA Launches Mission:Science Web Site for Teenagers

NASA Launches Mission:Science Web Site for Teenagers

[Monday, December 14, 2009]

Called "Mission:Science," the site is designed to showcase NASA's educational science resources and encourage students to study and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.




Close-up Photos of Dying Star Show Our Sun's Fate

Close-up Photos of Dying Star Show Our Sun's Fate

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

About 550 light-years from Earth, a star like our Sun is writhing in its death throes. Chi Cygni has swollen in size to become a red giant star so large that it would swallow every planet out to Mars in our solar system.




PHARAO Atomic Clock Agreement Signed by ESA and CNES

PHARAO Atomic Clock Agreement Signed by ESA and CNES

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

The PHARAO atomic clock, which will be combined with another atomic clock, SHM, to form ESA's Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space (ACES), will have an accuracy of 1x10-16, corresponding to a time error of about one second over 300 million years.




NASA Partners with Saudi Arabia on Moon and Asteroid Research

NASA Partners with Saudi Arabia on Moon and Asteroid Research

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

NASA and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) have signed a joint statement that allows for collaboration in lunar and asteroid science research.




ESA and World Bank move towards closer collaboration

ESA and World Bank move towards closer collaboration

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world.




NASA Making Government More Accessible With Cutting-Edge Use Of New Media

NASA Making Government More Accessible With Cutting-Edge Use Of New Media

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

NASA is supporting the White House's Open Government Directive with a number of Internet-based programs designed to make the agency more accessible and create a dialog with the American people about their space program.




NASA Unveils Latest Results From Lunar Mission, Helps Prepare for Next Stage of Scientific Discovery

NASA Unveils Latest Results From Lunar Mission, Helps Prepare for Next Stage of Scientific Discovery

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

NASA's current mission in orbit around the moon, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has been providing crucial insights about our nearest celestial neighbor since its launch in June.




Solar Storms and Radiation Exposure on Commercial Flights

Solar Storms and Radiation Exposure on Commercial Flights

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

Scientists at NASA's Langley Research Center have completed a first attempt to accurately calculate the level of damaging radiation flight crews and passengers are exposed to on commercial airline flights.




NASA Outlines Recent Breakthroughs in Greenhouse Gas Research

NASA Outlines Recent Breakthroughs in Greenhouse Gas Research

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

Researchers studying carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas and a key driver of global climate change, now have a new tool at their disposal: daily global measurements of carbon dioxide in a key part of our atmosphere.




Trough Deposits on Mars Point to Complex Hydrologic Past

Trough Deposits on Mars Point to Complex Hydrologic Past

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

Catherine Weitz, a senior scientist at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, has reported new evidence for multiple, water-related geologic processes on Mars.




Classroom Learning Takes Off With NASA-Funded Education Projects

Classroom Learning Takes Off With NASA-Funded Education Projects

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

Next-generation interactive moon mission simulations, social networking curricula centered on missions to Mars, and engineering design challenges are among 13 education projects NASA has selected for funding.




NASA Buys Additional Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motors

NASA Buys Additional Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motors

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

NASA has purchased two reusable solid rocket motors from ATK Launch Systems Inc. of Brigham City, Utah, to provide a "launch on need" rescue capability for the final planned space shuttle mission, targeted for September 2010.




NASA Takes a Rare Look at Warming Arctic

NASA Takes a Rare Look at Warming Arctic

[Tuesday, December 15, 2009]

A NASA field campaign to study man-made and natural influences on the Arctic atmosphere delivered a collection of rare data that is illuminating the impact of industrial pollution from Europe and Asia, and smoke and soot from agricultural and forest fires




Astronomers find world with thick, inhospitable atmosphere and an icy heart

Astronomers find world with thick, inhospitable atmosphere and an icy heart

[Wednesday, December 16, 2009]

In this week's issue of Nature, astronomers announce the discovery of a planet around the nearby, low-mass star GJ1214




Hubble Finds Smallest Kuiper Belt Object Ever Seen

Hubble Finds Smallest Kuiper Belt Object Ever Seen

[Wednesday, December 16, 2009]

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the smallest object ever seen in visible light in the Kuiper Belt, a vast ring of icy debris that is encircling the outer rim of the solar system just beyond Neptune.




Inside the dark heart of the Eagle

Inside the dark heart of the Eagle

[Thursday, December 17, 2009]

An unseen stellar nursery comes into view in this Herschel image. Some 700 newly-forming stars are estimated to be crowded into these colourful filaments of dust. The complex is part of a mysterious ring of stars called Gould's Belt.




First Direct Imaging of a Young Binary System

First Direct Imaging of a Young Binary System

[Thursday, December 17, 2009]

A team of astronomers from The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, and other universities have captured the first direct image of a young binary star system.




XCOR wins South Korean Space Center Contract

XCOR wins South Korean Space Center Contract

[Thursday, December 17, 2009]

The Yecheon Astro Space Center announced today that it has selected XCOR Aerospace as its preferred supplier of suborbital space launch services.




Supernova Explosions Stay in Shape

Supernova Explosions Stay in Shape

[Friday, December 18, 2009]

At a very early age, children learn how to classify objects according to their shape. Now, new research suggests studying the shape of the aftermath of supernovas may allow astronomers to do the same.




Herschel Space Observatory Captures the Birth of Stars

Herschel Space Observatory Captures the Birth of Stars

[Friday, December 18, 2009]

The European Space Agency has released a preview of the first science results from the Herschel Space Observatory, including the UK-led SPIRE instrument.




NASA Astronauts and Managers to Discuss the First of Five Remaining Shuttle Flights

NASA Astronauts and Managers to Discuss the First of Five Remaining Shuttle Flights

[Friday, December 18, 2009]

Space shuttle Endeavour will deliver the final module of the U.S. portion of the International Space Station on the STS-130 mission, now targeted to launch Feb. 7.




Glint on Sunlight Confirms Liquid in Northern Lake District of Titan

Glint on Sunlight Confirms Liquid in Northern Lake District of Titan

[Friday, December 18, 2009]

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured the first flash of sunlight reflected off a lake on Saturn's moon Titan, confirming the presence of liquid on the part of the moon dotted with many large, lake-shaped basins.




Avatar's Moon Pandora Could Be Real

Avatar's Moon Pandora Could Be Real

[Friday, December 18, 2009]

With NASA's Kepler mission showing the potential to detect Earth-sized objects, habitable moons may soon become science fact.




Caltech scientists discover fog on Titan

Caltech scientists discover fog on Titan

[Friday, December 18, 2009]

The presence of fog provides the first direct evidence for the exchange of material between the surface and the atmosphere, and thus of an active hydrological cycle, which previously had only been known to exist on Earth.




Waterworld Discovered Transiting a Nearby Star

Waterworld Discovered Transiting a Nearby Star

[Friday, December 18, 2009]

Astronomers have announced that they have discovered a "super-Earth" orbiting a red dwarf star only 40 light-years from Earth.




Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation Public Meeting

Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation Public Meeting

[Friday, December 18, 2009]

New COE for Commercial Space Transportation Public Meeting February 9, 2010 The FAA Administrator has concurred with the request to establish a new Center of Excellence (COE) for Commercial Space Transportation (CST) in 2010.




Holiday Launch to the Space Station to Further Science and Construction Work

Holiday Launch to the Space Station to Further Science and Construction Work

[Monday, December 21, 2009]

A Soyuz TMA-17 rocket launched NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi towards the International Space Station Sunday. (With video)




ESA Human Spaceflight and Human Exploration Achievements in 2009

ESA Human Spaceflight and Human Exploration Achievements in 2009

[Monday, December 21, 2009]

This has been a significant year for ESA's Directorate of Human Spaceflight and, in particular, for the International Space Station. During 2009, ESA astronaut Frank De Winne became the first European Commander of the station.




The Apollo 11 Telemetry Data Recordings: A Final Report

The Apollo 11 Telemetry Data Recordings: A Final Report

[Tuesday, December 22, 2009]

ll that can be said with any certainty is that NASA and the Goddard Space Flight Center followed all procedures in storing the Apollo telemetry tapes, the search team has concluded.




GAO Report: International Space Station: Significant Challenges May Limit Onboard Research

GAO Report: International Space Station: Significant Challenges May Limit Onboard Research

[Tuesday, December 22, 2009]

The ISS has been continuously staffed since 2000 and now has a six-member crew. The primary objective for the ISS through 2010 is construction, so research utilization has not been the priority.




Three New Space Station Crew Members to Arrive Today

Three New Space Station Crew Members to Arrive Today

[Tuesday, December 22, 2009]

Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev are tackling a busy workload today as they await the docking of a Soyuz spacecraft carrying the remaining three Expedition 22 crew members this evening.




NASA Showcases Next International Space Station Component

NASA Showcases Next International Space Station Component

[Tuesday, December 22, 2009]

NASA's Kennedy Space Center will host a media event at 10 a.m. EST on Friday, Jan. 8, to highlight the next pressurized element to be launched to the International Space Station.




Extreme outreach: CU-Boulder grad students head to Antarctica for research and education

Extreme outreach: CU-Boulder grad students head to Antarctica for research and education

[Tuesday, December 22, 2009]

Project EXTREMES puts University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder) graduate students into the classroom to help develop curriculum and teach underserved students about concepts in science, mathematics, engineering and technology.




State of the Antarctic: New SCAR report shows continent undergoing major changes

State of the Antarctic: New SCAR report shows continent undergoing major changes

[Tuesday, December 22, 2009]

A week before world leaders sat down in Copenhagen this month, an international scientific body released the first comprehensive report on the current state of Antarctica's climate and its relationship to the rest of the globe.




Undergraduate Students Fly High for Weightless Science

Undergraduate Students Fly High for Weightless Science

[Tuesday, December 22, 2009]

NASA has selected 28 undergraduate student teams to test their science experiments in simulated weightlessness. The teams were selected to fly in the summer of 2010 with NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities and SEED programs.




Brown dwarf pair mystifies astronomers

Brown dwarf pair mystifies astronomers

[Tuesday, December 22, 2009]

Two brown dwarf-sized objects orbiting a giant old star show that planets may assemble around stars more quickly and efficiently than anyone thought possible, according to an international team of astronomers.




MESSENGER Team Releases First Global Map of Mercury

MESSENGER Team Releases First Global Map of Mercury

[Wednesday, December 23, 2009]

NASA's MESSENGER mission team and cartographic experts from the U. S. Geological Survey have created a critical tool for planning the first orbital observations of the planet Mercury.




Soyuz TMA-17 Docks With The International Space Station

Soyuz TMA-17 Docks With The International Space Station

[Wednesday, December 23, 2009]

T.J. Creamer, Oleg Kotov, and Soichi Noguchi docked with their new home at 5:48 p.m. EST Tuesday. The trio launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft at 4:52 p.m. Sunday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.




Image: New Impact Crater on Mars Formed between Jan 2006 and May 2008

Image: New Impact Crater on Mars Formed between Jan 2006 and May 2008

[Wednesday, December 23, 2009]

This impact crater is only about 5.5 meters (18 feet) across - tiny compared to the giant basins that scar most planetary bodies. This type of bowl-shaped crater is called a simple crater.




Cassini Holiday Movies Showcase Dance of Saturn's Moons

Cassini Holiday Movies Showcase Dance of Saturn's Moons

[Wednesday, December 23, 2009]

Like sugar plum fairies in "The Nutcracker," the moons of Saturn performed a celestial ballet before the eyes of NASA's Cassini spacecraft.




Send Your Name or Message to Venus on Japan's Akatsuki Mission

Send Your Name or Message to Venus on Japan's Akatsuki Mission

[Wednesday, December 23, 2009]

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been holding the "AKATSUKI Message Campaign" in order to enhance people's interest in Venus and to make people feel familiar with the Venus Climate Orbiter "AKATSUKI".




Vampires And Collisions Rejuvenate Stars

Vampires And Collisions Rejuvenate Stars

[Wednesday, December 23, 2009]

Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have uncovered two distinct kinds of "rejuvenated" stars in the globular cluster Messier 30.




Stellar Mosh Pit Complete With Crashing Stars, Resolves a Mystery

Stellar Mosh Pit Complete With Crashing Stars, Resolves a Mystery

[Wednesday, December 23, 2009]

For almost 50 years, astronomers have puzzled over the youthful appearance of stars known as blue stragglers.




Dancing in the Dark Podcast

Dancing in the Dark Podcast

[Thursday, December 24, 2009]

The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is a project that will publish one podcast per day, for all 365 days of 2009. The podcast episodes are written, recorded and produced by people around the world.




OSTP Releases Assessment of U.S. Space Launch Vehicle Engine Production Capacity

OSTP Releases Assessment of U.S. Space Launch Vehicle Engine Production Capacity

[Monday, December 28, 2009]

.. this report incorporates information and insights provided by representatives of 9 companies, including all of the domestic propulsion and launch vehicle companies cited in the report plus additional firms.




Sun and moon trigger deep tremors on San Andreas Fault

Sun and moon trigger deep tremors on San Andreas Fault

[Monday, December 28, 2009]

The faint tug of the sun and moon on the San Andreas Fault stimulates tremors deep underground, suggesting that the rock 15 miles below is lubricated with highly pressurized water.




Cassini Spacecraft to Monitor North Pole on Titan

Cassini Spacecraft to Monitor North Pole on Titan

[Monday, December 28, 2009]

Though there are no plans to investigate whether Saturn's moon Titan has a Santa Claus, NASA's Cassini will zoom close to Titan's north pole this weekend.




Keck Telescopes Gaze into Young Star's 'Life Zone'

Keck Telescopes Gaze into Young Star's 'Life Zone'

[Monday, December 28, 2009]

Astronomers using the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii have measured the properties of a young solar system at distances closer to the star than Venus is from our sun.




Voyager Makes an Interstellar Discovery

Voyager Makes an Interstellar Discovery

[Monday, December 28, 2009]

The solar system is passing through an interstellar cloud that physics says should not exist. In the Dec. 24th issue of Nature, a team of scientists reveal how NASA's Voyager spacecraft have solved the mystery.




Prepping WISE to Pop Its Lens Cap

Prepping WISE to Pop Its Lens Cap

[Monday, December 28, 2009]

All systems are behaving as expected on NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which rocketed into the sky just before dawn on Dec. 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.




CU Students to Build Tiny Spacecraft to Observe 'Space Weather' Environment

CU Students to Build Tiny Spacecraft to Observe 'Space Weather' Environment

[Tuesday, December 29, 2009]

UC Boulder has been awarded $840,000 from the NSF for students to build a tiny spacecraft to observe energetic particles in space that should give scientists a better understanding of solar flares and their interaction with Earth's atmosphere.




NASA's WISE Space Telescope Jettisons Its Cover

NASA's WISE Space Telescope Jettisons Its Cover

[Wednesday, December 30, 2009]

NASA's recently launched Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer opened its eyes to the starry sky today, after ejecting its protective cover.




NASA Awards $3.3 Million to Study Mission to Venus

NASA Awards $3.3 Million to Study Mission to Venus

[Wednesday, December 30, 2009]

NASA has awarded the University of Colorado at Boulder $3.3 million for a detailed, one-year concept study for a lander mission to Venus to study the history of its surface, climate and atmosphere and to predict its ultimate fate in the solar system.




NASA Chooses Three Finalists for Future Space Science Mission to Venus, an Asteroid or the Moon

NASA Chooses Three Finalists for Future Space Science Mission to Venus, an Asteroid or the Moon

[Wednesday, December 30, 2009]

NASA has selected three proposals as candidates for the agency's next space venture to another celestial body in our solar system.




New Video Reveals Secrets of Webb Telescope's MIRI

New Video Reveals Secrets of Webb Telescope's MIRI

[Wednesday, December 30, 2009]

It's going to take infrared eyes to see farther back in time than even the Hubble Space Telescope, and that's what the James Webb Space Telescope's MIRI or Mid-Infrared Instrument detectors will do.




NASA and the Summer of Innovation

NASA and the Summer of Innovation

[Wednesday, December 30, 2009]

President Obama will soon unveil a large, interesting educational event targeted for the summer of 2010. Titled "Summer of Innovation" this project is aimed at reaching 1 million students and working to raise their STEM skills through a variety of activit




NASA to Unveil Kepler Space Telescope Discoveries

NASA to Unveil Kepler Space Telescope Discoveries

[Thursday, December 31, 2009]

Kepler Mission scientists will reveal the space telescope's latest discoveries at a news briefing in Washington on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010.




Mars Rover Has Uncertain Future as 6th Anniversary Nears

Mars Rover Has Uncertain Future as 6th Anniversary Nears

[Thursday, December 31, 2009]

NASA's Mars rover Spirit will mark six years of unprecedented science exploration and inspiration for the American public on Sunday. However, the upcoming Martian winter could end the roving career of the beloved, scrappy robot.




List of Speakers Announced for the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in February

List of Speakers Announced for the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in February

[Thursday, December 31, 2009]

The 2010 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, which is being convened by the Southwest Research Institute, the Universities Space Research Association, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.