July 2004 Top Story Archives



Cassini Spacecraft Arrives At Saturn »» Cassini Spacecraft Arrives At Saturn

[Thursday, July 01, 2004] At 9:12 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, flight controllers received confirmation that Cassini had completed the engine burn needed to place the spacecraft into the correct orbit around Saturn.

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Hubble studies sequences of star formation in neighbouring galaxy »» Hubble studies sequences of star formation in neighbouring galaxy

[Thursday, July 01, 2004] Our neighbourhood galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) lies in the Constellation of Dorado and is sprinkled with a number of regions harbouring recent and ongoing star formation. One of these star-forming regions, N11B, is shown in this Hubble image.

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NASA Messenger Spacecraft Recieves its Sun Catchers »» NASA Messenger Spacecraft Recieves its Sun Catchers

[Thursday, July 01, 2004] At Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., the two solar arrays from the MESSENGER spacecraft are undergoing cleaning inspections and voltage checks in preparation for installation June 24-25.

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ISS Gyroscope Back Online »» ISS Gyroscope Back Online

[Thursday, July 01, 2004] Flight controllers today fully revved up a gyroscope on the International Space Station that spacewalkers brought back to life Wednesday. They plan to return it to the set of gyroscopes controlling the Station's orientation Friday morning.

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Revisiting the Orion Nebula »» Revisiting the Orion Nebula

[Friday, July 02, 2004] Bright enough to be seen with the naked eye, the nebula, also known as Messier 42, is a wide complex of gas and dust, illuminated by several massive and hot stars at its core, the famous Trapezium stars.

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First 3D view of solar eruptions »» First 3D view of solar eruptions

[Friday, July 02, 2004] Using data from the ESA/NASA SOHO observatory, scientists have produced the first three-dimensional (3D) views of massive solar eruptions, called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs).

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Cassini Images Show Details of Titan's Surface »» Cassini Images Show Details of Titan's Surface

[Friday, July 02, 2004] This image was taken on July 02, 2004 and received on Earth July 02, 2004. The camera was pointing toward TITAN at approximately 339,001 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the IRP0 and CB3 filters.

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A Mishmashed Oil Change »» A Mishmashed Oil Change

[Saturday, July 03, 2004] "[This EVA] was another example of what flight operations has been doing ever since Chuck Matthews charged Chris Kraft to figure out a way to get a man from a launch pad into space and back again."

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Cassini Provides New Views of Titan »» Cassini Provides New Views of Titan

[Saturday, July 03, 2004] The Cassini spacecraft has revealed surface details of Saturn's moon Titan and imaged a huge cloud of gas surrounding the planet-sized moon. Cassini gathered data before and during a distant flyby of the orange moon yesterday.

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Tau Ceti: The Going Gets Tough for Life in Other Solar Systems »» Tau Ceti: The Going Gets Tough for Life in Other Solar Systems

[Tuesday, July 06, 2004] Tau Ceti is similar to the Sun, but any planets it has are unlikely havens for life. Images of the disk of material surrounding Tau Ceti show that it must contain more than ten times as many comets and asteroids than there are in the Solar System.

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NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory Observes Rare Quadruple Quasar »» NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory Observes Rare Quadruple Quasar

[Wednesday, July 07, 2004] A careful analysis of observations by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory of a rare quadruple quasar has uncovered evidence that possibly a single star in a foreground galaxy magnified X-rays coming from the quasar.

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Glimpse at Early Universe Reveals Surprisingly Mature Galaxies »» Glimpse at Early Universe Reveals Surprisingly Mature Galaxies

[Wednesday, July 07, 2004] A rare glimpse back in time into the universe's early evolution has revealed something startling: mature, fully formed galaxies where scientists expected to discover little more than infants.

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NASA Crew Goes Underwater to Study Outer Space »» NASA Crew Goes Underwater to Study Outer Space

[Wednesday, July 07, 2004] Four NASA crewmembers will look to the deep seas this month to help prepare for journeys into deep space. They'll use an undersea laboratory to study what it may be like to live and work in other extreme environments, such as the Moon and Mars.

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Old Galaxies in the Young Universe »» Old Galaxies in the Young Universe

[Wednesday, July 07, 2004] Using the multi-mode FORS2 instrument on the Very Large Telescope, a team of Italian astronomershave identified four remote galaxies, several times more massive than our galaxy, or as massive as the heaviest galaxies in the present-day universe.

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Spacecraft Fleet Tracks Blast Wave Through Solar System »» Spacecraft Fleet Tracks Blast Wave Through Solar System

[Thursday, July 08, 2004] A fleet of spacecraft dispersed throughout the solar system gave the best picture to date of the effects of blast waves from solar storms as they propagate through the solar system.

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Hubble Briefly Enters Safe Mode »» Hubble Briefly Enters Safe Mode

[Thursday, July 08, 2004] "OBSERVATIONS SCHEDULED - No programs executed due to safemode entry. Intercept Science SMS expected @ 190/22:00Z."

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NASA Editorial Response: Solar System Exploration: More to Come »» NASA Editorial Response: Solar System Exploration: More to Come

[Friday, July 09, 2004] "The one aspect the Times misstated is that Cassini "may be the last of its kind, now that a new austerity in space exploration has set in." To the contrary, bold new planetary exploration missions are planned."

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At the Edge of an Alien World »» At the Edge of an Alien World

[Saturday, July 10, 2004] When the Cassini spacecraft launched into space nearly seven years ago, its destination - Saturn - appeared as a speck in a sea of stars. More than a billion miles later, Cassini has at last arrived.

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New Map Reveals Hidden Features of Antarctica's Ice-buried Lake Vostok »» New Map Reveals Hidden Features of Antarctica's Ice-buried Lake Vostok

[Monday, July 12, 2004] The new comprehensive measurements of Lake Vostok indicate it is divided into two distinct basins that may have different water chemistry and other characteristics.

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Report to NASA by the NAS Committee on the Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope »» Report to NASA by the NAS Committee on the Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope

[Tuesday, July 13, 2004] "RECOMMENDATION. The committee urges that NASA 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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Apollo 11 Crew to Receive Moon Rocks Next Week »» Apollo 11 Crew to Receive Moon Rocks Next Week

[Tuesday, July 13, 2004] At a ceremony at the National Air and Space Museum next week the crew of Apollo 11 will each receive a special commemorative award which contains a moon rock.

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Los Alamos computers probe how giant planets formed »» Los Alamos computers probe how giant planets formed

[Tuesday, July 13, 2004] Nearly five billion years ago, the giant gaseous planets Jupiter and Saturn formed, apparently in radically different ways.

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ESA Considers the Next Step in Assessing the Risk from Near-Earth Objects »» ESA Considers the Next Step in Assessing the Risk from Near-Earth Objects

[Wednesday, July 14, 2004] On 9 July 2004, the Near-Earth Object Mission Advisory Panel recommended that ESA place a high priority on developing a mission to actually move an asteroid.

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Asteroid fragments on a fast collision course with Earth »» Asteroid fragments on a fast collision course with Earth

[Wednesday, July 14, 2004] Until now, it has been thought that the asteroid fragments would need several million years to reach the Earth. New measurements from the Noble Gas Laboratory of ETH Zurich show however, that the Earth could be reached much sooner.

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NASA Aura Spacecraft Launched »» NASA Aura Spacecraft Launched

[Thursday, July 15, 2004] Aura, a mission dedicated to the health of the Earth's atmosphere, successfully launched today at 6:01:59 a.m. EDT (3:01:59 a.m. PDT) from the Western Range of Vandenberg Air Force Base, aboard a Delta II rocket

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Termination of Operation of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) »» Termination of Operation of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)

[Thursday, July 15, 2004] It is expected that TRMM will terminate its observation operation during July, followed by the altitude lowering drift down phase. Controlled re-entry and safe ocean disposal will be completed about a year later.

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Crew Changed for Future Shuttle Mission »» Crew Changed for Future Shuttle Mission

[Thursday, July 15, 2004] NASA has named Astronaut Piers J. Sellers to replace Carlos I. Noriega as a mission specialist on STS-121, the second Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station once flights resume.

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Astronomers Measure Mass of a Single Star - First Since the Sun »» Astronomers Measure Mass of a Single Star - First Since the Sun

[Thursday, July 15, 2004] Astronomers have directly measured the mass of a single star -- the first time such a feat has been accomplished for any solitary star other than our own Sun.

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Cassini Exposes Saturn's Two-Face Moon Iapetus »» Cassini Exposes Saturn's Two-Face Moon Iapetus

[Thursday, July 15, 2004] One hemisphere of the moon is very dark, while the other is very bright. Scientists do not yet know the origin of the dark material or whether or not it is representative of the interior of Iapetus.

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NASA is Sending a MESSENGER to Mercury »» NASA is Sending a MESSENGER to Mercury

[Thursday, July 15, 2004] NASA's first trip to Mercury in 30 years -- and the closest look ever at the innermost planet -- starts in August with the predawn launch of the MESSENGER spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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Statement of Craig E. Steidle at House Science Committee Hearing on NASA Aerospace Prizes »» Statement of Craig E. Steidle at House Science Committee Hearing on NASA Aerospace Prizes

[Thursday, July 15, 2004] "Recognizing that NASA needs a dynamic mechanism for tapping the ingenuity of our Nation, wherever it may lie, we created Centennial Challenges. "

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NASA Office of Space Exploration 2004 Centennial Challenges Workshop Report »» NASA Office of Space Exploration 2004 Centennial Challenges Workshop Report

[Friday, July 16, 2004] The 2004 Centennial Challenges workshop was held 15 -16 June 2004. In attendance were representatives from big and small industry, aerospace and non-aerospace, universities, government, and interested individuals

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NASA's First Generation of Astronauts and Walter Cronkite Named Ambassadors of Exploration »» NASA's First Generation of Astronauts and Walter Cronkite Named Ambassadors of Exploration

[Friday, July 16, 2004] During a special ceremony to commemorate the 35th anniversary of human exploration of the Moon, Administrator Sean O'Keefe will name NASA's first generation of astronauts and former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite "Ambassadors of Exploration."

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ESA Huygens in perfect health »» ESA Huygens in perfect health

[Friday, July 16, 2004] On the way to its final destination, Titan, ESA's Huygens atmospheric probe underwent an important health check-up yesterday.

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Voyager 1, Prepare for Action »» Voyager 1, Prepare for Action

[Saturday, July 17, 2004] A solar blast wave is heading for the Voyager 1 spacecraft, and "it could arrive at any moment," says Ed Stone, project scientist for the Voyager mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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NASA to Decommission Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission »» NASA to Decommission Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

[Saturday, July 17, 2004] Originally intended to be a three-year mission when launched in 1997, TRMM is now in its seventh year of operation having completed all of its research and technology objectives four years ago.

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NASA's Mars Rovers Roll into Martian Winter »» NASA's Mars Rovers Roll into Martian Winter

[Saturday, July 17, 2004] As winter approaches on Mars, Opportunity continues to inch deeper into crater "Endurance." On the other side of the planet, the Spirit found an intriguing patch of rock outcrop while preparing to climb up the "Columbia Hills" backward.

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Aurora participants approve preparatory phase for European Space Exploration Program »» Aurora participants approve preparatory phase for European Space Exploration Program

[Tuesday, July 20, 2004] At the last meeting of the Aurora Board of Participants, held at ESA's Paris headquarters on Thursday 8 July, the participating states approved the Preparatory Phase of the European Space Exploration Program.

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Having Too Much and Too Little Oxygen on the Space Station »» Having Too Much and Too Little Oxygen on the Space Station

[Tuesday, July 20, 2004] Several Russian Progress spacecraft were allowed to reenter Earth's atmosphere in 2003 carrying unused oxygen supplies. In one case, half of the oxygen being delivered to the ISS could not be used and was thrown away.

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New Martian Meteorite Found in Antarctica »» New Martian Meteorite Found in Antarctica

[Tuesday, July 20, 2004] While rovers and orbiting spacecraft scour Mars searching for clues to its past, researchers have uncovered another piece of the red planet in the most inhospitable place on Earth -- Antarctica.

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Doughnut-shaped Cloud Surrounds Black Hole »» Doughnut-shaped Cloud Surrounds Black Hole

[Tuesday, July 20, 2004] Using ESA’s Integral and XMM-Newton observatories, an international team of astronomers has found more evidence that massive black holes are surrounded by a doughnut-shaped gas cloud, called a torus.

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Nostalgia and Anticipation Follow Apollo 11 Anniversary »» Nostalgia and Anticipation Follow Apollo 11 Anniversary

[Tuesday, July 20, 2004] Today, NASA commemorates the 35th anniversary of the landmark day in 1969 when humans first set foot on another celestial body. This year, the Apollo 11 moon landing evokes anticipation along with nostalgia.

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Lunar Sample Laboratory Turns 25 »» Lunar Sample Laboratory Turns 25

[Tuesday, July 20, 2004] The Lunar Sample Laboratory Facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston is NASA's chief repository for materials returned from the moon during the Apollo era. Dedicated on July 20, 1979, the facility marks its 25th anniversary this month.

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Aurora - to join or not to join »» Aurora - to join or not to join

[Wednesday, July 21, 2004] The question as to whether the UK should participate in ESA's future Exploration Programme [Aurora] will be debated further today when leading scientists and industrialists present their case to a distinguished audience of government officials.

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X-Ray Outburst from Young Star in McNeil's Nebula »» X-Ray Outburst from Young Star in McNeil's Nebula

[Thursday, July 22, 2004] Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory captured an X-ray outburst from a young star, revealing a probable scenario for the intermittent brightening of the recently discovered McNeil's Nebula.

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Saturn's Rings Offer A Fresco Of Color »» Saturn's Rings Offer A Fresco Of Color

[Thursday, July 22, 2004] With shimmering pinks, hues of gray and a hint of brown, a newly released image of Saturn's rings resembles a fresco where nature is the painter.

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A Day in the Lives of Galaxies »» A Day in the Lives of Galaxies

[Thursday, July 22, 2004] Like a photographer clicking random snapshots of a crowd of people, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken a view of an eclectic mix of galaxies. In taking this picture, Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys was not looking at any particular target.

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NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe Urges Full Funding of Budget »» NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe Urges Full Funding of Budget

[Thursday, July 22, 2004] Sean O'Keefe today acknowledged the tough financial decisions that have to be made by Congress in passing the fiscal year 2005 budget, but asked the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations to restore more than $1 billion of cuts.

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Space Agency Heads Agree on new International Space Station Configuration »» Space Agency Heads Agree on new International Space Station Configuration

[Friday, July 23, 2004] The space agency leaders from the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe and Canada met today and agreed on a new International Space Station configuration that is planned for completion by the end of the decade.

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Mars Express Shows Yardangs on Mars »» Mars Express Shows Yardangs on Mars

[Friday, July 23, 2004] These images of ‘yardangs’, features sculpted by wind-blown sand seen here near Olympus Mons on Mars, were obtained by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board the ESA Mars Express spacecraft.

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Space researchers gather in Paris »» Space researchers gather in Paris

[Sunday, July 25, 2004] At the invitation of ESA and CNES, the Committee on Space Research is holding its 35th Scientific Assembly in Paris from 19-25 July. As happens every two years, scientists from all over the world are attending to take stock of their research finding

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International cooperation key to future success in space »» International cooperation key to future success in space

[Sunday, July 25, 2004] UK Science Minister Lord Sainsbury joined with NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to promote a future of close co-operation to achieve diverse goals in space.

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Major Solar Activity »» Major Solar Activity

[Monday, July 26, 2004] Solar activity reached high levels today. Region 652 (N08W35) produced four M-class events, the largest - an M7/2B flare at 25/0551Z. This flare had associated moderate centimetric bursts, including an 819 sfu Tenflare.

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John Kerry on Space 2004 »» John Kerry on Space 2004

[Monday, July 26, 2004] John Kerry has a supportive view of NASA as long as he doesn't have to get nailed down to specifics. This is not to say that he would not support the agency overall. But when it comes to the International Space Station, his voting record speaks clearly.

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NASA Approves New Design for Shuttle External Tank Fitting »» NASA Approves New Design for Shuttle External Tank Fitting

[Monday, July 26, 2004] NASA is moving ahead with plans to redesign a part of the Space Shuttle external fuel tank that investigators believe played a critical role in the Space Shuttle Columbia accident.

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NASA MESSENGER Spacecraft to be launched on August 2nd »» NASA MESSENGER Spacecraft to be launched on August 2nd

[Tuesday, July 27, 2004] The launch of MESSENGER, a NASA space probe set to conduct the first scientific investigation of Mercury as it orbits the planet, will be launched aboard a Boeing Delta II Heavy expendable launch vehicle Monday, Aug. 2.

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New theory links neutrino's slight mass to accelerating universe expansion »» New theory links neutrino's slight mass to accelerating universe expansion

[Wednesday, July 28, 2004] Two of the biggest physics breakthroughs during the last decade are the discovery that wispy subatomic particles called neutrinos actually have a small amount of mass and the detection that the expansion of the universe is actually picking up speed.

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NASA Plays Key Role in Largest Environmental Experiment in History »» NASA Plays Key Role in Largest Environmental Experiment in History

[Wednesday, July 28, 2004] Researchers from around the globe participating in the world's largest environmental science experiment, the Large- Scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), will, fittingly, convene in Brazil this week.

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Right Stuff, Wrong Staff: John Kerry Visits NASA and Blows a Photo Op »» Right Stuff, Wrong Staff: John Kerry Visits NASA and Blows a Photo Op

[Wednesday, July 28, 2004] Bumbling by John Kerry's staff, and a press corps itching for something to make fun of, and a perfect photo opportunity turns into a media nightmare. The net loser? NASA.

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SMART-1 views Middle East and Mediterranean »» SMART-1 views Middle East and Mediterranean

[Wednesday, July 28, 2004] Now more than 100 000 kilometres away from Earth, ESA's Moon-bound spacecraft SMART-1 looked back at Earth and returned this planetary perspective of the Middle East and Mediterranean Sea.

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Webcam Images of Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse on Devon Island »» Webcam Images of Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse on Devon Island

[Friday, July 30, 2004] These two images of the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse were taken on 29 July 2004 by webcams set up by the NASA Haughton Mars Project on Devon Island. The left image taken from the outdoor webcam and the right image from one of the indoor webcams.

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Meteorite from Oman records its lunar origins, history »» Meteorite from Oman records its lunar origins, history

[Friday, July 30, 2004] Scientists have pinpointed the source of a meteorite from the moon for the first time. Their unique meteorite records four separate lunar impacts.

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Titan's Purple Haze Points To A Fuzzy Past »» Titan's Purple Haze Points To A Fuzzy Past

[Friday, July 30, 2004] This UV view of Titan has been falsely colored. The main body is colored pale orange as seen in true color images. Above the orange disc are two layers of atmospheric haze that have been brightened and falsely colored violet to enhance visibility.

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Advanced Electric Propulsion Technologies R&D Teams Selected by NASA »» Advanced Electric Propulsion Technologies R&D Teams Selected by NASA

[Friday, July 30, 2004] NASA announced the selection of one industry- and one academic-led team to conduct advanced electric-propulsion technologies research in support of the Vision for Space Exploration.

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NASA Releases Broad Agency Announcement for Exploration »» NASA Releases Broad Agency Announcement for Exploration

[Saturday, July 31, 2004] NASA's Office of Exploration Systems has released a Broad Agency Announcement for Human and Robotic Technology system-of-systems that will seek research and technology development proposals in support of the nation's Vision for Space Exploration.

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NASA Photos Unearthed: George H.W. Bush Wore a Bunny Suit Too »» NASA Photos Unearthed: George H.W. Bush Wore a Bunny Suit Too

[Saturday, July 31, 2004] In 1981 Vice President George H.W. Bush visited Kennedy Space Center and toured Space Shuttle Columbia with the two astronauts who flew it on its first mission - John Young and Bob Crippen. Bush also wore a bunny suit.

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