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'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.
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.
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.
A huge amount of scientific data have been accumulated by the CE-1 lunar orbiter.
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.
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.
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.
Every cook knows the ingredients for making bread: flour, water, yeast, and time. But what chemical elements are in the recipe of our universe?
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"
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.
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.
Global satellite operators SES S.A., Intelsat, Ltd., and Inmarsat plc announced that they have founded the Space Data Association Ltd. (SDA)
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.
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[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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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[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.
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 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.
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.
An extensive study made with ESO's Very Large Telescope deepens a long-standing mystery in the study of stars similar to the Sun.
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[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.
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.
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[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.
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 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.
Astronauts returning from challenging long-duration missions face one more challenge when they get back to Earth - standing up and walking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter today has been taken out of the precautionary "safe mode" it had been in since August.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world.
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[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.
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.
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.
Catherine Weitz, a senior scientist at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute, has reported new evidence for multiple, water-related geologic processes on Mars.
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 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.
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
In this week's issue of Nature, astronomers announce the discovery of a planet around the nearby, low-mass star GJ1214
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.
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.
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.
The Yecheon Astro Space Center announced today that it has selected XCOR Aerospace as its preferred supplier of suborbital space launch services.
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.
The European Space Agency has released a preview of the first science results from the Herschel Space Observatory, including the UK-led SPIRE instrument.
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.
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.
With NASA's Kepler mission showing the potential to detect Earth-sized objects, habitable moons may soon become science fact.
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.
Astronomers have announced that they have discovered a "super-Earth" orbiting a red dwarf star only 40 light-years from Earth.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Like sugar plum fairies in "The Nutcracker," the moons of Saturn performed a celestial ballet before the eyes of NASA's Cassini spacecraft.
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".
Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have uncovered two distinct kinds of "rejuvenated" stars in the globular cluster Messier 30.
For almost 50 years, astronomers have puzzled over the youthful appearance of stars known as blue stragglers.
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.
.. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 recently launched Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer opened its eyes to the starry sky today, after ejecting its protective cover.
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 has selected three proposals as candidates for the agency's next space venture to another celestial body in our solar system.
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.
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
Kepler Mission scientists will reveal the space telescope's latest discoveries at a news briefing in Washington on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010.
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.
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.