January 2005 Top Story Archives



Opportunity Makes Close-up Survey of its Heat Shield »» Opportunity Makes Close-up Survey of its Heat Shield

[Saturday, January 01, 2005] Opportunity continues to survey the crash site of its heat shield and other associated hardware. In addition to using its navcam, pancam, and hazard cams, it has also used its microscopic imager.

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Rugged Iapetus »» Rugged Iapetus

[Saturday, January 01, 2005] This image of Iapetus was taken on Dec. 31, 2004 at a range of about 71,978 kilometers (44,725 miles) from the icy moon.

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Tulsa Students Talk Directly to Space Station Astronauts »» Tulsa Students Talk Directly to Space Station Astronauts

[Sunday, January 02, 2005] With the help of MANY hours of work and planning there was a successful contact between students at the Tulsa Air & Space Museum and the International Space Station, as it sailed 250 miles above Tulsa on the morning of Wednesday Dec 22nd, 2004.

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Spirit's Tracks Spotted From Orbit »» Spirit's Tracks Spotted From Orbit

[Monday, January 03, 2005] These pictures show the complete rover track from the lander to the Columbia Hills. Spirit's rover track shows up nicely from orbit, because the surfaces disrupted and churned by the wheels are darker than the surrounding, dust-coated plain.

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NASA Rovers' Adventures On Mars Continue »» NASA Rovers' Adventures On Mars Continue

[Monday, January 03, 2005] NASA lit a birthday candle today for its twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The Spirit rover begins its second year on Mars investigating puzzling rocks unlike any found earlier.

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UA Scientist on Deep Impact Mission Ready for Spacecraft's Launch »» UA Scientist on Deep Impact Mission Ready for Spacecraft's Launch

[Tuesday, January 04, 2005] If all goes as planned, Deep Impact will become the first mission to slam into a comet, giving astronomers worldwide something far better than any other fireworks show on July 4, 2005.

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Scientists prepare for Huygens descent on Titan »» Scientists prepare for Huygens descent on Titan

[Tuesday, January 04, 2005] University of Arizona scientists, working on one of the most stunning robotic space missions ever attempted, head for Germany next week.

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Swift X-ray Telescope Sees Its First Light and Captures Its First  Gamma-Ray-Burst Afterglow »» Swift X-ray Telescope Sees Its First Light and Captures Its First Gamma-Ray-Burst Afterglow

[Wednesday, January 05, 2005] The Swift X-ray Telescope (XRT) has seen first light, capturing a dazzling image of Cassiopeia A, a well-known supernova remnant in the Milky Way galaxy, and also has discovered its first gamma-ray-burst afterglow.

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Most powerful eruption in the universe discovered »» Most powerful eruption in the universe discovered

[Wednesday, January 05, 2005] Astronomers have found the most powerful eruption in the universe. A super massive black hole generated this eruption by growing at a remarkable rate - and shows the appetite of large black holes, and the profound impact they have on their surroundings.

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NASA Sets Deep Impact Launch Date »» NASA Sets Deep Impact Launch Date

[Wednesday, January 05, 2005] NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft is scheduled to launch on Jan. 12, 2005, at about 1:48 p.m. EST. Liftoff will occur aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Fla.

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U.S. Space Transportation Policy Fact Sheet 6 January 2005 »» U.S. Space Transportation Policy Fact Sheet 6 January 2005

[Thursday, January 06, 2005] "The fundamental goal of this policy is to ensure the capability to access and use space in support of national and homeland security, civil, scientific, and economic interests. To achieve this goal, the United States Government shall: ..."

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All NASA Elements in Place for Space Shuttle Return to Flight »» All NASA Elements in Place for Space Shuttle Return to Flight

[Thursday, January 06, 2005] NASA marked a major milestone for the Space Shuttle's Return to Flight, as the redesigned External Tank rolled out today from the barge that carried it to the agency's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla.

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NASA and NGA Complete Digital Radar Map of Earth »» NASA and NGA Complete Digital Radar Map of Earth

[Thursday, January 06, 2005] Culminating more than four years of processing data, NASA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) have completed Earth's most extensive global topographic map.

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Substructure Maps Show that Dark Matter Clumps in Galaxies »» Substructure Maps Show that Dark Matter Clumps in Galaxies

[Friday, January 07, 2005] Hubble Space Telescope data, analyzed by a Yale astronomer using gravitational lensing techniques, has generated a spatial map demonstrating the clumped substructure of dark matter inside clusters of galaxies.

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Approaching an Overlook »» Approaching an Overlook

[Friday, January 07, 2005] The path of Spirit through the rover's 354th martian day, or sol (Dec. 31, 2004), plus some future travel options, are indicated on this map of the "Husband Hill" region of the "Columbia Hills" within Mars' Gusev Crater.

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NASA Cassini Image: Iapetus in 3D »» NASA Cassini Image: Iapetus in 3D

[Friday, January 07, 2005] Images returned by NASA's Cassini spacecraft cameras during a New Year's Eve flyby of Saturn's moon Iapetus show startling surface features that are fueling heated scientific discussions about their origin.

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NASA Space Station Status Report 7 January 2005 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 7 January 2005

[Friday, January 07, 2005] The Expedition 10 crew began the New Year by embarking on biomedical experiments, unloading contents from the recently arrived Russian Progress cargo vehicle and troubleshooting the Station's oxygen generator.

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Status 7 January 2005 »» Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Status 7 January 2005

[Friday, January 07, 2005] Even as the Spirit and Opportunity rovers complete a year of successful operation on Mars, the next major step in Mars Exploration is taking shape with preparation of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for launch in just seven months.

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Antarctica's Dome C: Where the sun's rays bounce back better »» Antarctica's Dome C: Where the sun's rays bounce back better

[Saturday, January 08, 2005] Earth's climate is affected by how much sunlight is reflected and how much is absorbed. The regularity of the surface at Dome C allows researchers to measure precisely how much sunlight is reflecting off the snow at a given location and time.

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Titan Touchdown »» Titan Touchdown

[Sunday, January 09, 2005] Huygens will be the furthest object to touchdown on an alien world. The mission will provide information that may help us better understand Saturn's biggest moon, the only moon in the solar system with a thick atmosphere.

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Workforce Challenges at Ames Research Center - and Elsewhere at NASA »» Workforce Challenges at Ames Research Center - and Elsewhere at NASA

[Sunday, January 09, 2005] NASA is once again facing budget pressures that are being translated into changes in its work force. NASA will be doing some new things, but it will also be reducing work in other areas.

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NASA Details Earthquake Effects on the Earth »» NASA Details Earthquake Effects on the Earth

[Monday, January 10, 2005] NASA scientists using data from the Indonesian earthquake calculated it affected Earth's rotation, decreased the length of day, slightly changed the planet's shape, and shifted the North Pole by centimeters.

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Close to a Black Hole's Edge, Scientists Make Two Discoveries »» Close to a Black Hole's Edge, Scientists Make Two Discoveries

[Monday, January 10, 2005] One discovery involves a black hole in our galaxy. Streams of gas that appear to be surfing on a wave of space as the gas falls toward the black hole. The other discovery involves a super massive black hole more than 170 million light years away.

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Spitzer Sees Dusty Aftermath of Pluto-Sized Collision »» Spitzer Sees Dusty Aftermath of Pluto-Sized Collision

[Monday, January 10, 2005] Astronomers say a dusty disc swirling around the nearby star Vega is bigger than earlier thought. It was probably caused by collisions of objects, perhaps as big as the planet Pluto, up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,200 miles) in diameter.

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Chandra Finds Evidence for Swarm of Black Holes Near the Galactic Center »» Chandra Finds Evidence for Swarm of Black Holes Near the Galactic Center

[Monday, January 10, 2005] A swarm of 10,000 or more black holes may be orbiting the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, according to new results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This may represent the highest concentration of black holes anywhere in the Galaxy.

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heic0501: Hubble's infrared eyes home in on suspected extrasolar planet »» heic0501: Hubble's infrared eyes home in on suspected extrasolar planet

[Monday, January 10, 2005] Follow up observations carried out with the Hubble Space Telescope are providing supporting evidence for the existence of a candidate planetary companion to a relatively bright young brown dwarf star located 225 LY away in the constellation Hydra.

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Queen's University discovery sheds new light on ancient temperatures »» Queen's University discovery sheds new light on ancient temperatures

[Monday, January 10, 2005] A new discovery by a team of Queen's University scientists suggests that ancient earth was much colder than previously thought - a discovery that has broad implications for those studying the earth's climate.

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Good news from big bad black holes »» Good news from big bad black holes

[Monday, January 10, 2005] Astronomers have discovered how ominous black holes can create life in the form of new stars, proving that jet-induced star formation may have played an important role in the formation of galaxies in the early universe.

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SwRI Researchers Show Giant Kuiper Belt Planetoid Sedna May Have Formed Far Beyond Pluto »» SwRI Researchers Show Giant Kuiper Belt Planetoid Sedna May Have Formed Far Beyond Pluto

[Monday, January 10, 2005] In a report published in the January 2005 issue of The Astronomical Journal, planetary scientist Dr. Alan Stern of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute shows Sedna could have formed far beyond the distance of Pluto.

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A stellar debut for Gemini Observatory's online image gallery »» A stellar debut for Gemini Observatory's online image gallery

[Monday, January 10, 2005] To celebrate the New Year - and to mark the formal debut of its online Image Gallery - the Gemini Observatory has released three striking new images.

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Most changes in Earth's shape are due to changes in climate »» Most changes in Earth's shape are due to changes in climate

[Monday, January 10, 2005] Scientists using NASA satellite data found the shape of the Earth appears to be influenced by big climate events that cause changes in the mass of water stored in oceans, continents and atmosphere.

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New Clues Found in Ongoing Mystery of Giant Galactic Blobs »» New Clues Found in Ongoing Mystery of Giant Galactic Blobs

[Tuesday, January 11, 2005] Astronomers have numerous technical terms and numbering systems for describing the universe, but one type of mysterious object has yet to be classified. For now, these oddities are named for their strange appearance. They are called blobs. 

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NOAA Scientists Able to Measure Tsunami Height From Space »» NOAA Scientists Able to Measure Tsunami Height From Space

[Tuesday, January 11, 2005] After reviewing data from four Earth-orbiting radar satellites, NOAA scientists today announced they were able to measure the height of the devastating tsunami that erupted in the Indian Ocean.

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Astronomers find gravity's signature in galaxy distribution »» Astronomers find gravity's signature in galaxy distribution

[Tuesday, January 11, 2005] In the largest galaxy survey ever, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) confirmed the role of gravity in growing structures in the universe, using the result to precisely measure the geometry of the universe.

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NASA/French Satellite Data Reveal New Details of Tsunami »» NASA/French Satellite Data Reveal New Details of Tsunami

[Tuesday, January 11, 2005] For the first time, orbiting satellites have observed and measured a major tsunami event in open ocean, the Indian Ocean tsunami that resulted from the magnitude 9 earthquake southwest of Sumatra on December 26.

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Spitzer space telescope reads solar system's 'Rosetta Stone' »» Spitzer space telescope reads solar system's 'Rosetta Stone'

[Tuesday, January 11, 2005] A picture taken by Spitzer shows Encke along its bright debris trail, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter as it headed away from the sun. Also visible are sharp twin jets of material coming off the nucleus.

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Go Huygens! Landing Preparations Underway »» Go Huygens! Landing Preparations Underway

[Tuesday, January 11, 2005] This map illustrates the planned imaging coverage for the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer, onboard the European Space Agency's Huygens probe during the probe's descent toward Titan's surface on Jan. 14, 2005.

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Spitzer Finds Stellar Incubators With Massive Star Embryos »» Spitzer Finds Stellar Incubators With Massive Star Embryos

[Wednesday, January 12, 2005] A new striking image from the infrared telescope shows a vibrant cloud called the Trifid Nebula dotted with glowing stellar "incubators." Tucked deep inside these incubators are rapidly growing embryonic stars.

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NASA Deep Impact Asteroid Probe Launched »» NASA Deep Impact Asteroid Probe Launched

[Wednesday, January 12, 2005] The Deep Impact spacecraft lifted off on-time aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 1:47:08.574 p.m. EST. Deep Impact has successfully begun its mission to investigate comet Tempel 1.

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Super-star clusters may be born small and grow by coalescing »» Super-star clusters may be born small and grow by coalescing

[Wednesday, January 12, 2005] A trio of massive, young star clusters found embedded in a star cloud may shed light on the formation of super-star clusters and globular clusters.

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Steward Observatory Mirror Lab Awarded Contract for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Mirror »» Steward Observatory Mirror Lab Awarded Contract for Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Mirror

[Wednesday, January 12, 2005] The LSST is a proposed world-class, ground-based telescope that can survey the entire visible sky every 3 nights. It will generate an awesome 30 terabytes of data per night from a 3 billion-pixel digital camera.

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Keck Laser Captures New View of Distant Colliding Galxies »» Keck Laser Captures New View of Distant Colliding Galxies

[Thursday, January 13, 2005] For the first time, astronomers have been able to combine the deepest optical images of the universe, obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope, with equally sharp images in the near-infrared part of the spectrum.

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Diving the Source of the Water Fountain Nebula »» Diving the Source of the Water Fountain Nebula

[Thursday, January 13, 2005] New, very high-resolution images of a dying star IRAS16342-3814 taken with the Keck II Telescope equipped with adaptive optics are helping astronomers understand the extraordinary deaths of ordinary Sun-like stars.

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LSU Physics and Astronomy faculty member discovers long-lost star catalog on Roman statue »» LSU Physics and Astronomy faculty member discovers long-lost star catalog on Roman statue

[Thursday, January 13, 2005] Bradley E. Schaefer has discovered that the long-lost star catalog of Hipparchus, which dates back to 129 B.C., appears on a Roman statue called the Farnese Atlas.

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Measurements at CERN help to re-evaluate the element of life »» Measurements at CERN help to re-evaluate the element of life

[Thursday, January 13, 2005] All the carbon in the Universe, including that needed for carbon-based life forms such as ourselves, has been made in the hearts of stars through what is known as the "triple alpha reaction".

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NASA Deep Impact Spacecraft Status Report January 13, 2005 »» NASA Deep Impact Spacecraft Status Report January 13, 2005

[Thursday, January 13, 2005] NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft is out of safe mode, healthy and on its way to an encounter with comet Tempel 1 on July 4.

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Huygens Landing Information »» Huygens Landing Information

[Thursday, January 13, 2005]

-Huygens ESA
-Huygens NASA
-NASA TV

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Radio astronomers confirm Huygens entry in the atmosphere of Titan »» Radio astronomers confirm Huygens entry in the atmosphere of Titan

[Friday, January 14, 2005] The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, USA, a part of the global network of radio telescopes involved in tracking the Huygens Titan probe, has detected the probe's 'carrier' (tone) signal.

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Europe reaches new frontier - Huygens lands on Titan »» Europe reaches new frontier - Huygens lands on Titan

[Friday, January 14, 2005] Today, after its seven-year journey through the Solar System on board the Cassini spacecraft, ESA's Huygens probe has successfully descended through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and safely landed on its surface.

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The Vision for Space Exploration: A Progress Report »» The Vision for Space Exploration: A Progress Report

[Friday, January 14, 2005] "One year after President Bush visited NASA Headquarters on January 14, 2004 and proposed with the Vision for Space Exploration bold new goals for our nation's space program, I'm pleased to report that our journey to the cosmos is well underway."

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Images of Titan Begin to Arrive from Huygens »» Images of Titan Begin to Arrive from Huygens

[Friday, January 14, 2005] NASA's Cassini has begun to relay data received from the ESA Huygens lander as it descended through Titan's atmosphere. They will be posted here as they become available.

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First Color View of Titan's Surface »» First Color View of Titan's Surface

[Saturday, January 15, 2005] This image was returned by ESA's Huygens probe during its successful descent to land on Titan. This is the colored view, following processing to add reflection spectra data, and gives a better indication of the actual color of the surface.

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Rapidly Growing Sunspot Group »» Rapidly Growing Sunspot Group

[Saturday, January 15, 2005] On 10 January, a new sunspot group emerged and was assigned NOAA Region number 720. This sunspot group has grown rapidly and currently has an area of 1540 millionths of the size of the Solar disk (about 18 times the size of the Earth).

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Open Source Processing of Hugens Images of Titan »» Open Source Processing of Hugens Images of Titan

[Sunday, January 16, 2005] While ESA slowly releases images from Huygens, full collections of Huygens imagery have already been processed and refined well beyond anything ESA has done - and you can download them yourself.

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Two Large CMEs Heading for Earth »» Two Large CMEs Heading for Earth

[Sunday, January 16, 2005] The geomagnetic field activity is expected to increase to major to severe storm levels within the next several hours with the arrival of the first of at least two expected CMEs generated over the past few days by Region 720.

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Intelsat Reports Loss of IS-804 Satellite »» Intelsat Reports Loss of IS-804 Satellite

[Monday, January 17, 2005] Intelsat, Ltd. has announced that its IS-804 satellite experienced a sudden and unexpected electrical power system anomaly on January 14, 2005, at approximately 5:32 p.m. EST that caused the total loss of the spacecraft.

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More Solar Flares Erupt »» More Solar Flares Erupt

[Monday, January 17, 2005] Sunspot region 720 has produced 5 large solar flares with moderate (R2) to strong (R3) radio blackouts since 15 Jan. The largest of these solar eruptions, an X3.8 on the GOES-12 x-ray sensor, occurred today at 17/0659 UTC

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Astronomy's case of the missing disks »» Astronomy's case of the missing disks

[Monday, January 17, 2005] Astronomers announced Jan. 10 that they have a lead in the case of the missing disks. This lead may account for the missing evidence of red dwarfs forming planetary systems.

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Columbia crew catches a mysterious TIGER in the Indian Ocean »» Columbia crew catches a mysterious TIGER in the Indian Ocean

[Monday, January 17, 2005] An unprecedented flash observed by the space shuttle Columbia crew in 2003 over the Indian Ocean may be a new type of transient luminous event, like lightning sprites, but one that is not necessarily caused by a thunderstorm.

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American Astronomical Society Endorses NRC Report on Hubble Repair »» American Astronomical Society Endorses NRC Report on Hubble Repair

[Tuesday, January 18, 2005] "The committee reiterates the recommendation from its interim report that NASA should commit to a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope that accomplishes the objectives of the originally planned SM-4 mission."

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More of Titan's secrets to be unveiled on 21 January »» More of Titan's secrets to be unveiled on 21 January

[Tuesday, January 18, 2005] One week after the successful completion of Huygens' mission to the atmosphere and surface of Titan, ESA is bringing together some of the probe's scientists to present and discuss the first results obtained from the data collected by the instruments.

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Astronomers: 'Bullet star' shines 350 times brighter than the sun »» Astronomers: 'Bullet star' shines 350 times brighter than the sun

[Tuesday, January 18, 2005] For decades, scientists have observed that Regulus spins much faster than the sun. But thanks to a powerful new telescopic array, astronomers now know with unprecedented clarity what that means to this massive celestial body.

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Images of New Identified Meteorite Adjacent to NASA Mars Opportunity Rover Heatshield Impact Point »» Images of New Identified Meteorite Adjacent to NASA Mars Opportunity Rover Heatshield Impact Point

[Tuesday, January 18, 2005] According to New Scientist Magazine, NASA Mars Rover Principal Investigator Steve Squyres confirmed today that Opportunity has indeed identified a metallic meteorite on the surface of Mars

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Deep Impact seen from Mt. Palomar telescope »» Deep Impact seen from Mt. Palomar telescope

[Wednesday, January 19, 2005] This Jan. 13 photograph was taken by Mt Palomar's 200-inch telescope as the Deep Impact spacecraft was at a distance of about 260,000 kilometers (163,000 miles) from Earth and moving at a speed of about 16,000 kilometers per hour (10,000 miles per hour).

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Young Low-mass Objects Are Twice as Heavy as Predicted »» Young Low-mass Objects Are Twice as Heavy as Predicted

[Wednesday, January 19, 2005] Although mass is the most important property of stars, it has proved very hard to measure for the lowest mass objects in the universe. Thanks to a powerful new camera, a very rare, low-mass companion has finally been photographed.

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Weighing the Smallest Stars »» Weighing the Smallest Stars

[Wednesday, January 19, 2005] Photos taken by the new high-contrast camera installed at the Very Large Telescope show a low-mass companion very close to a star. This has allowed astronomers to measure directly the mass of a young, very low mass object for the first time.

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NASA's Opportunity Rover Finds an Iron Meteorite on Mars »» NASA's Opportunity Rover Finds an Iron Meteorite on Mars

[Wednesday, January 19, 2005] NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has found an iron meteorite, the first meteorite of any type ever identified on another planet.

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New NASA Tsunami Imagery Released »» New NASA Tsunami Imagery Released

[Wednesday, January 19, 2005] Newly released imagery from three NASA spaceborne instruments/missions sheds valuable insights into the Indian Ocean tsunami that resulted from the magnitude 9 earthquake southwest of Sumatra on December 26.

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Heads of agencies to discuss space station's future »» Heads of agencies to discuss space station's future

[Thursday, January 20, 2005] The NASA administrator and the heads of the Russian, Japanese, European, and Canadian space agencies will meet in Montreal on January 26 to discuss their ongoing cooperation for the International Space Station.

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Kevin Hand's Antarctic Journal 20 January 2005 »» Kevin Hand's Antarctic Journal 20 January 2005

[Thursday, January 20, 2005] Kevin Hand has just arrived in Antarctica. In the coming weeks he will travel to the Dry Valleys where he will be conducting astrobiology research. Kevin will be sending updates back to SpaceRef. This is his first update.

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Strongest Space Radiation Storm Since 1989 »» Strongest Space Radiation Storm Since 1989

[Thursday, January 20, 2005] Active solar Region 720 produced a powerful X7 flare (R3 radio blackout) today at 0701 UTC. This is the largest of seven major flares observed in this large and complex sunspot cluster since it emerged as a major flare producer on 15 January.

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NASA Swift Mission Images the Birth of a Black Hole »» NASA Swift Mission Images the Birth of a Black Hole

[Friday, January 21, 2005] The NASA-led Swift mission has detected and imaged its first gamma-ray burst, likely the birth cry of a brand new black hole.

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Mimas and Saturn »» Mimas and Saturn

[Friday, January 21, 2005] This image was taken on January 18, 2005 and received on Earth January 19, 2005. The camera was pointing toward Mimas, and the image was taken using the P0 and MT2 filters. This image has not been validated or calibrated.

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Seeing, touching and smelling the extraordinarily Earth-like world of Titan »» Seeing, touching and smelling the extraordinarily Earth-like world of Titan

[Friday, January 21, 2005] The first scientific assessments of Huygens' data were presented during a press conference at ESA head office in Paris on 21 January.

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NASA Letter to Potential Offerors to Review The Draft Crew Exploration Vehicle solicitation »» NASA Letter to Potential Offerors to Review The Draft Crew Exploration Vehicle solicitation

[Friday, January 21, 2005] "You are invited to review the draft NASA/Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Crew Exploration Vehicle solicitation. "

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Spacewalkers to Outfit Station's Exterior »» Spacewalkers to Outfit Station's Exterior

[Saturday, January 22, 2005] The Expedition 10 crew is getting set to venture outside the International Space Station for the first of the mission's two spacewalks.

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Cassini Spacecraft »» Cassini Spacecraft "Sandblasted" By Dust From Saturn System In 2004

[Saturday, January 22, 2005] New results from the Cassini mission indicate the spacecraft was pelted with sporadic bursts of interplanetary dust as it approached Saturn last year, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder space scientist.

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UK Government Response to the NEO Task Force Recommendations Update January 2005 »» UK Government Response to the NEO Task Force Recommendations Update January 2005

[Sunday, January 23, 2005] "The Government takes the threat from Near Earth Objects (asteroids, comets) very seriously. Lord Sainsbury set up a Task Force (TF) to consider what part the UK could play in the international effort. "

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New evidence indicates biggest extinction wasn't caused by asteroid or comet »» New evidence indicates biggest extinction wasn't caused by asteroid or comet

[Sunday, January 23, 2005] For the last three years evidence has been building that the impact of a comet or asteroid triggered the biggest mass extinction in Earth history, but new research from a team headed by a University of Washington scientist disputes that notion.

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Delta IV Heavy Demo Mission Update »» Delta IV Heavy Demo Mission Update

[Monday, January 24, 2005] The Boeing Company and the Air Force continue to make solid progress in their investigation into the premature Main Engine Cut-Off (MECO) on the Delta IV Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV) demonstration mission that was launched Dec. 21, 2004.

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Opportunity Rover As Seen From Orbit »» Opportunity Rover As Seen From Orbit

[Monday, January 24, 2005] This is a sub-frame of MOC image R16-02188. It was acquired on 26 April 2004, during Opportunity's 91st sol--the first day of the MER-B Extended Mission.

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Glossary - NASA Crew Exploration Vehicle, SOL NNT05AA01J, Attachment J-6 »» Glossary - NASA Crew Exploration Vehicle, SOL NNT05AA01J, Attachment J-6

[Monday, January 24, 2005] As part of NASA's recent Crew Exploration Vehicle solicitation, a glossary is included which not only defines terms but also serves as a guide to the concepts that will direct how work is done by the contractor(s) who actually build the CEV.

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NASA Day of Remembrance Scheduled Jan. 27 »» NASA Day of Remembrance Scheduled Jan. 27

[Monday, January 24, 2005] A Day of Remembrance observance honoring those members of the NASA Family who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery will take place Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. from NASA Headquarters in Washington.

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NASA To Use Outer Planets Data Analysis Funds for Other Purposes »» NASA To Use Outer Planets Data Analysis Funds for Other Purposes

[Monday, January 24, 2005] Fiscal Year 2005 funds for NASA's Outer Planets Data Analyis solicitation have been reallocated. In 2004, 142 proposals were submitted in response to this solicitation. 55 proposals were selected accounting for $4.8 million of the $5 million available.

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Evidence builds for supernova's role in solar system creation »» Evidence builds for supernova's role in solar system creation

[Tuesday, January 25, 2005] Clear evidence in a Chinese meteorite for the past presence of chlorine-36, a short-lived radioactive isotope, lends further support to the controversial concept that a nearby supernova blast was involved in the formation of our solar system.

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Space Station Heads of Agencies Schedule Press Conference »» Space Station Heads of Agencies Schedule Press Conference

[Tuesday, January 25, 2005] Space agency leaders from the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada meet in Montreal tomorrow to review the status of the International Space Station program.

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Study resolves doubt about origin of Earth's oldest rocks, possibility of finding traces of ancient life »» Study resolves doubt about origin of Earth's oldest rocks, possibility of finding traces of ancient life

[Tuesday, January 25, 2005] Experiments led by Nicolas Dauphas of the University of Chicago and Chicago's Field Museum have validated some controversial rocks from Greenland as the potential site for the earliest evidence of life on Earth.

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GAO High Risk Series: An Update (NASA Excerpts) »» GAO High Risk Series: An Update (NASA Excerpts)

[Tuesday, January 25, 2005] NASA's success largely depends on the work of its contractors—on which NASA spends about 85 percent of its annual budget. In 1990, GAO designated NASA's contract management as high risk.

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Student Competition to Name Node 2 »» Student Competition to Name Node 2

[Wednesday, January 26, 2005] NASA seeks an unfunded collaboration with a commercial or non-profit organization to define, organize and execute a nationwide project-oriented competition for K-12 students in U.S. schools to select a name for the ISS Node 2 element.

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Pulsar Pair Gives Scientists Magneto-Pause for Thought »» Pulsar Pair Gives Scientists Magneto-Pause for Thought

[Wednesday, January 26, 2005] A study of the first double-pulsar binary system to be discovered shows that magnetic interactions between the pulsars are strikingly similar to those between the Sun and the Earth.

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Space Station Crew Conducts EVA »» Space Station Crew Conducts EVA

[Wednesday, January 26, 2005] The residents of the International Space Station ventured outside today for a 5-hour, 28-minute spacewalk to install a work platform, cables and robotic and scientific experiments on the exterior of the Zvezda Service Module.

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Integral rolls back history of Milky Way's super-massive black hole »» Integral rolls back history of Milky Way's super-massive black hole

[Wednesday, January 26, 2005] The center of our galaxy has been known for years to host a black hole, a 'super-massive' yet very quiet one. New observations with Integral, ESA's gamma-ray observatory, have now revealed that 350 years ago the black hole was much more active.

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Joint Statement by International Space Station Heads of Agency »» Joint Statement by International Space Station Heads of Agency

[Wednesday, January 26, 2005] The heads of space agencies from the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada met in Montreal today to review and further advance International Space Station (ISS) cooperation.

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'Moss In Space' Project Shows How Some Plants Grow Without Gravity »» 'Moss In Space' Project Shows How Some Plants Grow Without Gravity

[Wednesday, January 26, 2005] Experiments on moss grown aboard two space shuttle Columbia missions showed that the plants didn't behave as scientists expected them to in the near-absence of gravity.

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Message to Outer Planet Research Community by NASA Mission Directorate's Solar System Division »» Message to Outer Planet Research Community by NASA Mission Directorate's Solar System Division

[Thursday, January 27, 2005] "I am writing regarding the email you received January 24 from Curt Niebur, the Outer Planets Discipline Scientist, regarding your FY05 Outer Planets Research Program funding.  That email to you requires clarification."

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International Science Team Measures Arctic's Atmosphere »» International Science Team Measures Arctic's Atmosphere

[Thursday, January 27, 2005] An international team of scientists embarked this week on a journey to improve modeling of global-scale air quality and climate change predictions by conducting high quality measurements of the Arctic region's atmosphere.

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Magnetic Mystery Solved »» Magnetic Mystery Solved

[Thursday, January 27, 2005] Magnetars stars with magnetic fields a thousand million million times stronger than Earth's are formed when some of the biggest stars in the cosmos explode, says a team led by Bryan Gaensler of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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NASA Sends First Genesis Early-Science Sample to Researchers »» NASA Sends First Genesis Early-Science Sample to Researchers

[Thursday, January 27, 2005] NASA scientists have sent to academic researchers an unprecedented piece of the sun gathered by the Genesis spacecraft, enabling the start of studies to achieve the mission's initial science objectives.

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Third Interim Report - Return to Flight Task Group »» Third Interim Report - Return to Flight Task Group

[Friday, January 28, 2005] NASA has made substantial progress on meeting the CAIB recommendations for return to flight. The panels recommended, and the RTF TG approved, the complete closure of six recommendations and the conditional closure of one additional recommendation.

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Biggest Stars Produce Strongest Magnets »» Biggest Stars Produce Strongest Magnets

[Friday, January 28, 2005] Magnetars spit out bursts of high-energy X-rays or gamma rays. Normal pulsars emit beams of low-energy radio waves. Only about 10 magnetars are known, while astronomers have found more than 1500 pulsars.

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NASA Research Balloon Makes Record Breaking Flight Over Antarctica »» NASA Research Balloon Makes Record Breaking Flight Over Antarctica

[Friday, January 28, 2005] Flying near the edge of space, a NASA scientific balloon broke the flight record for duration and distance. It soared for nearly 42 days, making three orbits around the South Pole.

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NASA Mars Rover Status Report 27 January 2005 »» NASA Mars Rover Status Report 27 January 2005

[Saturday, January 29, 2005] Spirit is healthy, but reduced sunlight has been reaching the rover through the atmosphere due to a possible dust storm. After spending 25 sols at the heat shield and nearby meteorite, Opportunity has started a long migration south.

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