July 2006 Top Story Archives



STS-121 Launch Scrubbed »» STS-121 Launch Scrubbed

[Saturday, July 1, 2006] NASA has decided to scrubb today's launch of the space shuttle Discovery due to weather. They will try again tomorrow at 3:26 pm eastern.

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STS-121 Launch Scrubbed on Saturday »» STS-121 Launch Scrubbed on Saturday

[Saturday, July 1, 2006] Today's launch of Space Shuttle Discovery has been postponed for 24 hours because of weather. The preferred launch time for tomorrow is 3:26 p.m. from Kennedy Space Center.

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International Space Station to Pass Over Washington D.C. on July 4 »» International Space Station to Pass Over Washington D.C. on July 4

[Saturday, July 1, 2006] This year, people gathered to watch fireworks on Washington's National Mall will see one extra light in the sky. If clouds don't obscure it, the International Space Station will be visible for seven minutes as it passes over North America.

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International Space Station Expedition 13 Crew Awaits Shuttle Launch »» International Space Station Expedition 13 Crew Awaits Shuttle Launch

[Saturday, July 1, 2006] ISS crew members must wait at least one more day for the arrival of their new ship mate. Uncooperative weather forced Space Shuttle Program managers to call off Saturday’s launch attempt for Space Shuttle Discovery.

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NASA Scrubs Shuttle Launch For A Second Time »» NASA Scrubs Shuttle Launch For A Second Time

[Sunday, July 2, 2006] For the second day in a row, NASA scrubbed the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery due to weather. The next launch attempt will be Tuesday, July 4th at 2:37 pm EDT.

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The Mars Institute Core Team Arrives in Resolute Bay, Nunavut »» The Mars Institute Core Team Arrives in Resolute Bay, Nunavut

[Sunday, July 2, 2006] The first charter plane arrived in Resolute Bay yesterday on schedule with the initial Mars Institute core team and cargo. Another charter with personnel and cargo is scheduled to arrive in Resolute on Wednesday, July 5th.

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Foam Issue Will Not Delay Shuttle Launch Attempt »» Foam Issue Will Not Delay Shuttle Launch Attempt

[Monday, July 3, 2006] During an inspection of the Shuttle's External Tank it was discovered that an external liquid oxygen line apparently shed a very small piece of foam. NASA has decided that this is not an issue and the countdown continues.

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NASA Announces Space Station Viewing Opportunities for Washington DC Area »» NASA Announces Space Station Viewing Opportunities for Washington DC Area

[Monday, July 3, 2006] The International Space Station will make a visible pass over the Northern, Va. and Washington area. The station will be visible with the naked eye, because it's in low Earth orbit and large enough to reflect sunlight.

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Rhea Behind Saturn's Rings »» Rhea Behind Saturn's Rings

[Monday, July 3, 2006] This image was taken on July 01, 2006 and received on Earth July 01, 2006. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 1,170,687 kilometers away.

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Space Shuttle Discovery Launches »» Space Shuttle Discovery Launches

[Tuesday, July 4, 2006] The Space Shuttle Discovery launched today at 2:37:55 pm EDT with no apparent problems. To follow the events leading up to the launch and post launch click on the full story link below.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #01 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #01

[Tuesday, July 4, 2006] As Discovery lifted off, the ISS was 220 miles above the southern Pacific Ocean, south of Tasmania. Pavel Vinogradov and Jeff Williams watched the launch via a television transmission from Mission Control.

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Space Shuttle Discovery Chases Space Station »» Space Shuttle Discovery Chases Space Station

[Wednesday, July 5, 2006] On the ground, engineers continue to review launch imagery and radar and sensor data. The data collected on launch day and by the crew in orbit will be used to determine if re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere will be safe for Discovery.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #03 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #03

[Wednesday, July 5, 2006] The Astronauts of Space Shuttle Discovery examined their spaceship with the Orbiter Boom Sensor System today and found no evidence of any damage from debris during yesterday's ride to orbit.

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Saturn's Faint Rings Share Some of Their Secrets »» Saturn's Faint Rings Share Some of Their Secrets

[Wednesday, July 5, 2006] NASA Cassini spacecraft images of Saturn's diaphanous G and E rings are yielding new clues about their structure and formation.

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Space shield could help image Earth-like planets, says study »» Space shield could help image Earth-like planets, says study

[Wednesday, July 5, 2006] A gigantic, daisy-shaped space shield could be used to block out pesky starlight and allow astronomers using an orbiting telescope to zero in on Earth-like planets in other solar systems, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder study.

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Astrobiology Journal Teams With Astrobiology.com »» Astrobiology Journal Teams With Astrobiology.com

[Thursday, July 6, 2006] Astrobiology is the leading peer-reviewed journal in its field. To promote this developing field, the Journal has teamed up with The Astrobiology Web to highlight one outstanding paper per issue of Astrobiology.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #04 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #04

[Thursday, July 6, 2006] Discovery, with Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Mark Kelly and Mission Specialists Mike Fossum, Lisa Nowak, Stephanie Wilson, Piers Sellers and Thomas Reiter aboard, is scheduled to dock with the station at 9:52 a.m. CDT.

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Assessment of NASA's Mars Architecture 2007-2016 »» Assessment of NASA's Mars Architecture 2007-2016

[Thursday, July 6, 2006] This assessment by the ad hoc Mars Architecture Assessment Committee (the members of the committee are listed in Appendix 1) was carried out at a meeting held at the National Academies' Keck Center in Washington, D.C., on March 29-31, 2006.

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Mars Institute Core Team Arrives at the HMP Research Station on Devon Island »» Mars Institute Core Team Arrives at the HMP Research Station on Devon Island

[Thursday, July 6, 2006] On Tuesday, July 4th part of the Mars Institute core team arrived at the HMP Research Station on Devon Island. Today, weather permitting, one flight is scheduled to go to Devon Island carrying cargo.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #05 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #05

[Thursday, July 6, 2006] There is a crew of three aboard the International Space Station today for the first time in more than three years, and for the first time ever that crew includes an American, a Russian and a European.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #06 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #06

[Friday, July 7, 2006] The first task of the day will be the relocation of the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) from the shuttle payload bay onto the station's Unity Module.

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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 12 July Edition: The Universe in Theory »» Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 12 July Edition: The Universe in Theory

[Friday, July 7, 2006] There are a few important things we know about the universe - it's 13.7 billion years old, it was once smaller than the head of a pin, and it's expanding at a pace that becomes more breakneck each second.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #07 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #07

[Friday, July 7, 2006] The STS-121 Mission Management Team Friday decided to extend Discovery's flight by an additional day to 13 days after reviewing the rate at which the orbiter's consumables are being used.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #08 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #08

[Saturday, July 8, 2006] The first spacewalk of Discovery's STS-121 mission to the International Space Station will highlight Saturday activities for crews of both docked spacecraft.

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Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 8, 2006 »» Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 8, 2006

[Saturday, July 8, 2006] For the last several days the weather has been good enough to allow us to get nine Twin Otter flights to the HMP Research Station from Resolute Bay.

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NASA Releases Movie of STS-121 Solid Rocket Booster Separation As Viewed From A Camera On A SRB »» NASA Releases Movie of STS-121 Solid Rocket Booster Separation As Viewed From A Camera On A SRB

[Saturday, July 8, 2006] NASA has released a stunning movie taken of Space Shuttle Discovery as it drops its Solid Rocket Boosters taken by a camera located on one of those boosters.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #10 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #10

[Sunday, July 9, 2006] Continued unloading of the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module will be the focus of the Space Shuttle Discovery and International Space Station's crew today. Some preparations for the second spacewalk, on Monday, also are on today's plan.

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Mars Rover Spirit Status Report 6 July 2006 »» Mars Rover Spirit Status Report 6 July 2006

[Sunday, July 9, 2006] With electrical power from Spirit's solar array down to about 300 watt-hours per Martian day, or sol, the science team is able to plan only one major activity per sol and often needs to devote one sol to recharging the rover's batteries.

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NASA Uses Undersea Lab to Prep for Future Space Exploration »» NASA Uses Undersea Lab to Prep for Future Space Exploration

[Sunday, July 9, 2006] NASA will test concepts for future space exploration next month by sending three astronauts and an oceanographer on a mission to an underwater laboratory off the coast of Florida.

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GSLV-F02 Mission Fails »» GSLV-F02 Mission Fails

[Monday, July 10, 2006] India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F02), with INSAT-4C on board, was launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharihota today. However, GSLV-F02 could not complete the mission.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #13 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #13

[Monday, July 10, 2006] A six hour 47 minute spacewalk by astronauts from Space Shuttle Discovery today restored the International Space Station's Mobile Transporter rail car to full operation and delivered a spare pump module for the station's cooling system.

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Supernova leaves behind mysterious object »» Supernova leaves behind mysterious object

[Monday, July 10, 2006] Thanks to data from ESA's XMM-Newton satellite, a team of scientists taking a closer look at an object discovered over 25 years ago have found that it is like none other known in our galaxy.

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Email Memo from Senate Apprpriations Committee Staff Regarding Mikulski - Hutchison Amendment on NASA FY 2007 Budget »» Email Memo from Senate Apprpriations Committee Staff Regarding Mikulski - Hutchison Amendment on NASA FY 2007 Budget

[Tuesday, July 11, 2006] "At the full Committee mark-up on Thursday, Sen. Mikulski and Sen. Hutchison will offer their amendment to pay back NASA for the costs of returning the Space Shuttle to flight ... $2 billion but will do so over two years, instead of one year."

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Europe to launch its first polar-orbiting weather satellite »» Europe to launch its first polar-orbiting weather satellite

[Tuesday, July 11, 2006] MetOp-A, the first member of a new family of European satellites designed to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere from low Earth orbit, is to be launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on 17 July.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #15 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #15

[Tuesday, July 11, 2006] Piers Sellers and Mike Fossum, who already have spent 14 hours and 18 minutes outside the Discovery/ISS complex on two spacewalks, devoted much of the day to preparing their spacesuits and tools for the mission's third Extravehicular Activity.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #16 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #16

[Wednesday, July 12, 2006] The third and final spacewalk of the STS-121 space shuttle mission will be the focus of today's space activities.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #17 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #17

[Wednesday, July 12, 2006] Astronauts aboard Space Shuttle Discovery gathered valuable new data during the third spacewalk today as part of an ongoing evaluation of repairing a damaged orbiter.

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Space Station Imagery: Nukuoro Atoll »» Space Station Imagery: Nukuoro Atoll

[Wednesday, July 12, 2006] Nukuoro Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 13 crewmember on the International Space Station.

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Deadline Extended for Pluto Mission Digital Time Capsule »» Deadline Extended for Pluto Mission Digital Time Capsule

[Wednesday, July 12, 2006] New Horizons - launched in January 2006 on a nine-year journey to Pluto - is leaving behind an Earth that will not be the same when the spacecraft arrives at its destination in 2015.

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Lockheed Martin Solar X-Ray Imager on NOAA GOES-13(N) spacecraft sees first light »» Lockheed Martin Solar X-Ray Imager on NOAA GOES-13(N) spacecraft sees first light

[Wednesday, July 12, 2006] The Solar X-ray Imager (SXI) instrument, designed and built by Lockheed Martin at its Space Systems Advanced Technology Center (ATC) has produced its first image.

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Genesis I Mission Update 12 July 2006 »» Genesis I Mission Update 12 July 2006

[Wednesday, July 12, 2006] "Bigelow Aerospace has received confirmation from the Genesis I spacecraft that it has successfully expanded. We have also confirmed that all of the solar arrays have been deployed."

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One therapeutic dose of radiation causes 30 percent spongy bone loss in mice »» One therapeutic dose of radiation causes 30 percent spongy bone loss in mice

[Wednesday, July 12, 2006] Astronauts lose 2% of bone mass for each month they are exposed to microgravity. So far, astronauts have not been exposed to the increased radiation of outer space, but that will change when they undertake a proposed 30-month trip to Mars.

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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 19 July Edition: When Life Began »» Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 19 July Edition: When Life Began

[Thursday, July 13, 2006] When the Earth formed 4.6 billion years ago, it was a red-hot molten sphere and pulverized by meteors. In other words, not the sort of place you'd want to raise kids. In fact, Earth was hostile to life for almost a billion years after its formation.

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GAO Report: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope: Knowledge-Based Acquisition Approach Key to Addressing Program Challenges »» GAO Report: NASA's James Webb Space Telescope: Knowledge-Based Acquisition Approach Key to Addressing Program Challenges

[Thursday, July 13, 2006] Although the JWST program recently revised its acquisition strategy to conform to NASA’s acquisition policies, the program still faces considerable challenges because it has not fully implemented a knowledge-based approach.

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NASA Explains Puzzling Impact of Polluted Skies on Climate »» NASA Explains Puzzling Impact of Polluted Skies on Climate

[Thursday, July 13, 2006] NASA scientists have determined the formation of clouds is affected by the lightness or darkness of air pollution particles. This also impacts Earth's climate.

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Possible Meteorites in the Martian Hills »» Possible Meteorites in the Martian Hills

[Thursday, July 13, 2006] From its winter outpost at "Low Ridge" inside Gusev Crater, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this spectacular, color mosaic of hilly, sandy terrain and two potential iron meteorites.

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Scientists Gaining Clearer Picture of Comet Makeup and Origin »» Scientists Gaining Clearer Picture of Comet Makeup and Origin

[Friday, July 14, 2006] Scientists are getting their best understanding yet of the makeup of comets - not only of the materials inside these planetary building blocks, but also of the way they could have formed around the Sun in the solar system's earliest years.

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NASA'S Space Shuttle Discovery Set to Land Monday »» NASA'S Space Shuttle Discovery Set to Land Monday

[Friday, July 14, 2006] Commander Steve Lindsey and his crew onboard Discovery will complete their mission, STS-121, with a landing at Kennedy Space Center set for 9:07 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 17. Discovery began its 13-day mission to the International Space Station on July 4.

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Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 14, 2006 »» Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 14, 2006

[Friday, July 14, 2006] Everyone at the HMP Research Station is settling in and research activities are ongoing. The weather has been good for several days.

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NASA Marks 30th Anniversary of Mars Viking Mission »» NASA Marks 30th Anniversary of Mars Viking Mission

[Friday, July 14, 2006] Thirty years after the first successful landing on Mars by NASA's Viking spacecraft, the ambitious mission continues to evoke pride and enthusiasm for future space exploration.

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NASA ARC Solicitation: Micro-Lander Propulsion System »» NASA ARC Solicitation: Micro-Lander Propulsion System

[Friday, July 14, 2006] NASA/ARC has a requirement for detailed information about components which would be suitable for the lander propulsion system. The design calls for a 64 kg total (wet) mass vehicle which will travel on a 5 day trajectory to the moon.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #22 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #22

[Saturday, July 15, 2006] Discovery crew members were awakened at 12:08 a.m. by "Beautiful Day" performed by U2. It was for Discovery Pilot Mark Kelly, on undocking day.

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Your International Space Station photos »» Your International Space Station photos

[Saturday, July 15, 2006] "Although you can't see quite the same detail down here on Earth, many of you were successful in capturing your own image of the Space Station as it passed overhead in the night sky."

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NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective - Nine Years to the Ninth Planet, and Counting »» NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective - Nine Years to the Ninth Planet, and Counting

[Saturday, July 15, 2006] Today, July 14, we stand precisely nine years from our closest approach date with the ninth planet and her moons. Next week, on July 19, we will celebrate the six-month anniversary of our launch. New Horizons has a long way to go, but we're on our way!

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Alpine glaciers could all but disappear within this century »» Alpine glaciers could all but disappear within this century

[Saturday, July 15, 2006] The Alps could lose 80% of their glacier cover by the end of this century, if summer air temperatures rise by three degrees C. And if temperatures increase by five degrees C, the Alps would become almost completely ice-free by 2100.

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First Images From Space Of Genesis 1 Vehicle »» First Images From Space Of Genesis 1 Vehicle

[Saturday, July 15, 2006] "We have extracted from early quick look data a low resolution thumbnail image of the Genesis I vehicle which verifies the success of vehicle inflation and solar array deployment."

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Space Shuttle Discovery Undocks From International Space Station »» Space Shuttle Discovery Undocks From International Space Station

[Saturday, July 15, 2006] Space Shuttle Discovery ended STS-121’s stay at the International Space Station when it undocked at 6:08 a.m. EDT today. Undocking occurred as the two spacecraft flew above the Pacific Ocean north of New Zealand.

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NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #24 »» NASA STS-121 Mission Status Report #24

[Sunday, July 16, 2006] The Space Shuttle Discovery crew is scheduled for their last full day in space today, as they make their final preparations for deorbit and landing tomorrow.

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Space Shuttle Discovery Lands in Florida »» Space Shuttle Discovery Lands in Florida

[Monday, July 17, 2006] The STS-121 astronauts returned home today from a successful mission to the International Space Station when Space Shuttle Discovery touched down at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Landing occurred at 9:14 a.m. EDT.

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New Images from Bigelow Aerospace's Genesis I »» New Images from Bigelow Aerospace's Genesis I

[Monday, July 17, 2006] One image shows Genesis I with the Earth in the background. The module's orbit is coming from the dark side of the Earth into daylight. Another shows the outer surface of the Genesis I's inflatable skin.

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Bigelow Spacecraft Carries NASA 'GeneBox' for Tests in Orbit »» Bigelow Spacecraft Carries NASA 'GeneBox' for Tests in Orbit

[Monday, July 17, 2006] NASA's 'GeneBox' is in orbit inside Bigelow Corporation's one-third scale, inflatable Genesis I test spacecraft. In future flights, it will analyze how the near weightlessness of space affects genes in microscopic cells and other small life forms.

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MIT team envisions exploring Mars with mini probes »» MIT team envisions exploring Mars with mini probes

[Tuesday, July 18, 2006] MIT engineers and scientist colleagues have a new vision for the future of Mars exploration: a swarm of probes, each the size of a baseball, spreading out across the planet in every direction.

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The Missing Word (Astrobiology) »» The Missing Word (Astrobiology)

[Tuesday, July 18, 2006] I do not know who caused the President's budget to halve Astrobiology funds, or why. If the budget does not show the "A-word" explicitly, we can expect that the Astrobiology cut will remain.

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Research Activities in the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse - July 2006 Update »» Research Activities in the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse - July 2006 Update

[Tuesday, July 18, 2006] "This past winter was the first winter where our systems survived the winter and were operational when we arrived at camp. As usual, we learned a lot this past year to help plan for an even more robust system in the future."

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Three-telescope interferometer shows patchy red giants are common fate of stars like Sun »» Three-telescope interferometer shows patchy red giants are common fate of stars like Sun

[Tuesday, July 18, 2006] As astronomers increasingly link two telescopes as interferometers to reveal greater detail of distant stars, a Keck Observatory astronomer is showing the power of linking three or even more telescopes together.

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NASA Cassini Radar Reveals Earth-like Land on Titan »» NASA Cassini Radar Reveals Earth-like Land on Titan

[Wednesday, July 19, 2006] New radar images from Cassini reveal geological features very similar to Earth on an Australia-size, bright region on Saturn's moon Titan. In one radar strip over Cassini provided a virtual goldmine, telling the region's complex geological story.

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Stellar Explosion Portends Bigger Blast to Come »» Stellar Explosion Portends Bigger Blast to Come

[Wednesday, July 19, 2006] On February 12, 2006, skygazers spotted a nova that appeared when a faint star brightened dramatically. The cause of the brightening was a thermonuclear explosion that blasted off a white dwarf star's outer layers while leaving the core unscathed.

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Remarks by NASA Administrator Griffin at the Space Foundation Dinner, Farnborough International Airshow »» Remarks by NASA Administrator Griffin at the Space Foundation Dinner, Farnborough International Airshow

[Wednesday, July 19, 2006] "I've been asked to talk about space exploration, but since this is the Farnborough Airshow, I think it's important to offer a few remarks in the context of the vital relationship between aeronautics research and space exploration."

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Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 19, 2006 »» Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 19, 2006

[Thursday, July 20, 2006] Another busy day at the Haughton-Mars Project Research Station (HMP RS). As we approach the mid-point in the field season, researchers are making significant strides on a number of fronts for their respective projects.

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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 26 July Edition: Dinos and Carnivorous Kangaroos »» Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 26 July Edition: Dinos and Carnivorous Kangaroos

[Thursday, July 20, 2006] Dinos are still big, even though they vanished from the landscape 65 million years ago: it seems we just can't get enough of these economy-sized lizards.

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Calvert Resolution Commending NASA on the completion of the Space Shuttle's second Return-to-Flight mission passes House »» Calvert Resolution Commending NASA on the completion of the Space Shuttle's second Return-to-Flight mission passes House

[Thursday, July 20, 2006] H.CON.RES.448, Commending the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the completion of the Space Shuttle's second Return-to-Flight mission passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 415 to 0.

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NASA Assigns Crew for Columbus Shuttle Mission »» NASA Assigns Crew for Columbus Shuttle Mission

[Thursday, July 20, 2006] NASA has assigned crew members to the space shuttle mission that will deliver the European Space Agency's Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station.

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Scientists See Storm Before the Storm in Future Supernova »» Scientists See Storm Before the Storm in Future Supernova

[Friday, July 21, 2006] Scientists have found that a nearby two-star system contains a precursor to a Type Ia supernova, an important class of star explosions used to measure the expansion rate of the universe.

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SMART-1 birthday postcard of Apollo 11 landing site »» SMART-1 birthday postcard of Apollo 11 landing site

[Friday, July 21, 2006] This image, taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows the Apollo 11 landing site in the Mare Tranquillitatis on the Moon.

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SOFIA Project Gets Green Light for Go-Ahead »» SOFIA Project Gets Green Light for Go-Ahead

[Friday, July 21, 2006] A major project of NASA and the German aerospace agency DLR to build an airborne astronomical observatory received a go-ahead to complete the nearly finished effort. Meanwhile the project continues to pass crucial milestones in its development.

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Space Station Status Report 21 July 2006 »» Space Station Status Report 21 July 2006

[Friday, July 21, 2006] For the first time since early 2003, the International Space Station is home to three crew members. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter joined Expedition 13 following Space Shuttle Discovery's mission earlier this month.

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Gemini Observatory Captures Close Encounter of Jupiter's Red Spots »» Gemini Observatory Captures Close Encounter of Jupiter's Red Spots

[Friday, July 21, 2006] A high-resolution image released today by the Gemini Observatory shows two giant red spots brushing past one another in Jupiter's southern hemisphere.

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Mars Institute HMP Research Station Astrobiology Update 21 July 2006 »» Mars Institute HMP Research Station Astrobiology Update 21 July 2006

[Friday, July 21, 2006] Dr. Richard Léveillé, Visiting Fellow in astrobiology at the Canadian Space Agency: It's a pleasure to be back for my second year at HMP - the landscapes, geology and biology in and around the Haughton Crater are truly amazing.

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NASA's 3D Guide to the Galaxy lets you interactively explore the Milky Way galaxy on the Web »» NASA's 3D Guide to the Galaxy lets you interactively explore the Milky Way galaxy on the Web

[Sunday, July 23, 2006] Using "plug in free" X3D technology in Demicron's WireFusion, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's PlanetQuest web site is providing visitors with a unique opportunity to interactively explore the Milky Way galaxy.

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Earth Observation satellites contribute to International Polar Year 2007-2008 »» Earth Observation satellites contribute to International Polar Year 2007-2008

[Sunday, July 23, 2006] Scientists from 60 countries will be conducting research during International Polar Year 2007-2008. For the first time during an International Polar Year, they will be armed with satellite measurements.

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Haughton-Mars Project Expedition 2005: Interplanetary Supply Chain Management & Logistics Architectures: Final NASA/MIT Report »» Haughton-Mars Project Expedition 2005: Interplanetary Supply Chain Management & Logistics Architectures: Final NASA/MIT Report

[Sunday, July 23, 2006] The 2005 expedition to theHMP research station on Devon Island was part of a NASA-funded project on Space Logistics. A team from MIT went to the Canadian Arctic to participate in the annual HMP field campaign from July 8 to August 12, 2005.

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Green ice, Ravens, Ice Caves and the Movie »» Green ice, Ravens, Ice Caves and the Movie "Contact"

[Sunday, July 23, 2006] Toward the end of our summer expedition while flying from our camp, I spotted a lake with what appeared to be green ice on it. Seeing ice this color is particularly interesting since the color green tends to make an aquatic ecologist think of life.

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Planet-Forming Disks Might Put the Brakes on Stars »» Planet-Forming Disks Might Put the Brakes on Stars

[Monday, July 24, 2006] Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have found evidence that dusty disks of planet-forming material tug on and slow down the young, whirling stars they surround.

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Models show one nearby star system could host Earth-like planet »» Models show one nearby star system could host Earth-like planet

[Monday, July 24, 2006] Researchers running computer simulations for four nearby systems that contain giant planets about the size of Jupiter have found one that could have formed an Earth-like planet with the right conditions to support life.

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NEEMO 10 Topside Support: Splashdown! 22 July 2006 »» NEEMO 10 Topside Support: Splashdown! 22 July 2006

[Monday, July 24, 2006] An intense training week for the 10th NEEMO mission has concluded successfully with our crewmembers graduating from "Aquanaut Candidate" status to being officially signed off to start the mission today, Saturday July 22.

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NASA Releases Initial Images From CALIPSO »» NASA Releases Initial Images From CALIPSO

[Monday, July 24, 2006] The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation spacecraft known as CALIPSO is returning never-before-seen images of clouds and aerosols, tiny particles suspended in the air.

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House Commends Employees of NASA's Michoud Facility for Dedicated Service During Katrina »» House Commends Employees of NASA's Michoud Facility for Dedicated Service During Katrina

[Monday, July 24, 2006] The House of Representatives today passed a resolution commending the dedicated employees of NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, the "Michoud Hurricane Ride-Out Team", who risked their lives during Hurricane Katrina's assault on southeast Louisiana.

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Mars Picture of the Day: Gullied Recesses »» Mars Picture of the Day: Gullied Recesses

[Monday, July 24, 2006] This image shows gullies in a martian south mid-latitude impact crater. The channels in each gully head beneath an eroding overhang of layered rock, providing support for the hypothesis that some gullies result from release of groundwater to the surface.

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NASA Cassini Radar Finds Hydrocarbon Lakes on Titan »» NASA Cassini Radar Finds Hydrocarbon Lakes on Titan

[Tuesday, July 25, 2006] The Cassini spacecraft, using its radar system, has discovered very strong evidence for hydrocarbon lakes on Titan. Dark patches, which resemble terrestrial lakes, seem to be sprinkled all over the high latitudes surrounding Titan's north pole.

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NASA Experiment FInds Possible Trigger for Radio-bursting Bubbles »» NASA Experiment FInds Possible Trigger for Radio-bursting Bubbles

[Tuesday, July 25, 2006] NASA-funded researchers have identified a possible cause of giant bubbles that often form above the equator in the electrically charged upper atmosphere.

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New Picture of Quasar Emerges »» New Picture of Quasar Emerges

[Tuesday, July 25, 2006] In the distant, young universe, quasars shine with a brilliance unmatched by anything in the cosmos. Although they appear starlike in optical telescopes, quasars are actually the bright centers of galaxies located billions of light-years from Earth.

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Images from Inside Bigelow Aerospace's Genesis I Released »» Images from Inside Bigelow Aerospace's Genesis I Released

[Tuesday, July 25, 2006] These are interior photos from a portion of the Genesis I spacecraft currently in orbit. The images are a small sample of what we hope to produce in the "Fly Your Stuff" program. The blurred images are actual photos and items in flight.

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Unaffordable and Unsustainable: NASA's Failing Earth-to-orbit Transportation Strategy - A Policy White Paper of the Space Frontier Foundation »» Unaffordable and Unsustainable: NASA's Failing Earth-to-orbit Transportation Strategy - A Policy White Paper of the Space Frontier Foundation

[Tuesday, July 25, 2006] "Over the past 30 months, NASA has made fundamental errors in its implementation of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), errors which can be fixed today but will be fatal if left uncorrected."

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NASA NEEMO 10 Mission Day 1 Crew Journal Saturday, July 22, 2006 »» NASA NEEMO 10 Mission Day 1 Crew Journal Saturday, July 22, 2006

[Tuesday, July 25, 2006] "The first order of business for all Aquarius aquanauts is a full safety and familiarization tour. We learned the habitat's important valves, switches (red shunt trip breaker) and procedures."

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NASA Space Simulation and Training Project: NEEMO 10 »» NASA Space Simulation and Training Project: NEEMO 10

[Tuesday, July 25, 2006] "When NASA returns to the moon, one of the first tasks of the crew will be to perform a survey of the immediate area surrounding the lunar base. This will be performed by EVA crew, but may be aided with the use of remotely operated vehicles."

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NASA NEEMO Topside Team: Mission Day 3: Tuesday, July 25th, 2006 »» NASA NEEMO Topside Team: Mission Day 3: Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] "We envision that one of the first tasks for a crew returning to the Moon to live will be to survey and map the immediate area around their new home."

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Global coral reef assessment built on NASA images »» Global coral reef assessment built on NASA images

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] A team of international researchers using NASA satellite images compiled an updated inventory of all "marine protected areas" containing coral reefs and compared it with the most detailed and comprehensive satellite inventory of coral reefs.

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NASA to Partner With AirLaunch LLC on Small Satellite Development »» NASA to Partner With AirLaunch LLC on Small Satellite Development

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] NASA announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with AirLaunch LLC, Kirkland, Wash., to explore collaborations in space launch systems and payloads launched from aircraft.

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GAO Report: NASA:  Long-Term Commitment to and Investment in Space Exploration Requires More Knowledge »» GAO Report: NASA: Long-Term Commitment to and Investment in Space Exploration Requires More Knowledge

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] "Despite many successes in the exploration of space the loss of life, unsuccessful missions, and cost overruns have increased the level of concern over the benefits of such exploration, particularly with regard to human spaceflight activities."

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NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Prepares to Roll To Launch Pad »» NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Prepares to Roll To Launch Pad

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] Atlantis is set to embark on a four-mile journey to Launch Pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center on Monday, July 31. First motion is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. EDT. Atlantis' launch window begins Aug. 28 for an 11-day mission to the International Space Station.

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Boosting the Signal: The ice jets of Enceladus »» Boosting the Signal: The ice jets of Enceladus

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] The ice jets of Enceladus send particles streaming into space hundreds of kilometers above the south pole of this spectacularly active moon. Some of the particles escape to form the diffuse E ring around Saturn.

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Titan's pebbles 'seen' by Huygens radio »» Titan's pebbles 'seen' by Huygens radio

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] An unexpected radio reflection from the surface of Titan has allowed ESA scientists to deduce the average size of stones and pebbles close to the Huygens' landing site. The technique could be used on other lander missions to analyse planetary surfaces.

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NASA Scientists Conduct Census of Nearby Hidden Black Holes »» NASA Scientists Conduct Census of Nearby Hidden Black Holes

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] Scientists on a quest to find hidden black holes in the local universe have found surprisingly few. The observation implies that if these hidden black holes exist they must be from the more distant, earlier universe.

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NASA Africa Mission Investigates Origin, Development of Hurricanes »» NASA Africa Mission Investigates Origin, Development of Hurricanes

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] Scientists from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, universities and international agencies will study how winds and dust conditions from Africa influence the birth of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Island Universes with a Twist - VLT Images of Perturbed Galaxies »» Island Universes with a Twist - VLT Images of Perturbed Galaxies

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] If life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you will get – the Universe, with its immensely large variety of galaxies, must be a real candy store! ESO's VLT has taken images of three different Island Universes, each amazing in their own way

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National Students' Space Policy Proposal 2006 »» National Students' Space Policy Proposal 2006

[Wednesday, July 26, 2006] "I am proud to announce our first ever National Students' Space Policy Proposal. This document was created to inspire [others] to consider the future generation's views and opinions on space development when supporting and implementing policy."

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NASA Considers Space Station Science Cuts to Save Money »» NASA Considers Space Station Science Cuts to Save Money

[Thursday, July 27, 2006] NASA is considering shutting down all U.S. science aboard the ISS for a year or more for budgetary reasons. The underlying reason: to fix the funding shortfall of $100 million that exists from losing funds to Katrina and other funding pressures at NASA.

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Cassini Reveals Titan's Xanadu Region To Be an Earth-like Land »» Cassini Reveals Titan's Xanadu Region To Be an Earth-like Land

[Thursday, July 27, 2006] New radar images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed geological features similar to Earth on Xanadu, an Australia-sized, bright region on Saturn's moon Titan.

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NASA Reports That Methane Drizzles on Saturn's Moon, Titan »» NASA Reports That Methane Drizzles on Saturn's Moon, Titan

[Thursday, July 27, 2006] Liquid methane drizzles on the surface of Titan, a moon of Saturn, according to a paper by NASA and university scientists that appears in today's issue of the journal, Nature.

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Giant Gas Clouds Illuminate Universe's Largest Structure »» Giant Gas Clouds Illuminate Universe's Largest Structure

[Thursday, July 27, 2006] A team of astronomers using the Subaru and Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea has discovered giant, three-dimensional filaments of galaxies extending across 200 million light-years of space.

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NASA Exploration Systems Progress Report 27 July 2006 »» NASA Exploration Systems Progress Report 27 July 2006

[Thursday, July 27, 2006] NASA engineers around the country recently completed tests associated with rocket engines, heat protection systems and spacesuits destined for use in the Constellation Program of moon and Mars missions.

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Cosmic dust in Terrestrial Ice »» Cosmic dust in Terrestrial Ice

[Thursday, July 27, 2006] For the last 30,000 years, our planet has been hit by a constant rain of cosmic dust particles. Scientists have reached this conclusion after investigating the amount of the helium isotope 3He in cosmic dust particles preserved in an Antarctic ice core.

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Pre-life Molecules Are Present in Comets »» Pre-life Molecules Are Present in Comets

[Thursday, July 27, 2006] Evidence of atomic nitrogen in interstellar gas clouds suggests that pre-life molecules may be present in comets, a discovery that gives a clue about the early conditions that gave rise to life.

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Cosmic dust in ice cores sheds light on Earth's past climate »» Cosmic dust in ice cores sheds light on Earth's past climate

[Thursday, July 27, 2006] A chronological study of extraterrestrial dust in Antarctic ice has shown that this amount has remained constant over the past 30,000 years, a finding that could help refine efforts to understand the effects of changes in the Earth's past climate.

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NASA NEEMO Crew Journal - Mission Day 5 Wednesday, July 26, 2006 »» NASA NEEMO Crew Journal - Mission Day 5 Wednesday, July 26, 2006

[Thursday, July 27, 2006] The aquanauts took advantage of an extra hour of sleep and then got ready for their last dive of the mission. For K2 and Drew, it was also the longest at four hours. The dive started a little late because of helmet communications problems.

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Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse Webcams Online on Devon Island »» Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse Webcams Online on Devon Island

[Friday, July 28, 2006] The Mars Institute's Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse on Devon Island now has two webcams online. One camera shows a view of the greenhouse and surroundings from the outside and the other shows some of the internal plant growth trays.

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8th ILEWG International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon - Lunar Beijing Declaration »» 8th ILEWG International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon - Lunar Beijing Declaration

[Friday, July 28, 2006] More than 240 experts and 300 students from 18 countries met in Beijing from 23 to 27 July 2006 for the 8th ILEWG Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon. The participants have prepared the Lunar Beijing Declaration.

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A Closer Look at NASA's GeneBox Payload »» A Closer Look at NASA's GeneBox Payload

[Sunday, July 30, 2006] GeneBox was developed to test out new ways to perform in-flight genomic analysis of living systems. Much of what is being flown aboard this satellite is cutting edge biotech - the likes of which have yet to fly aboard the International Space Station.

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Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 29, 2006 »» Mars Institute HMP Research Station Update for July 29, 2006

[Sunday, July 30, 2006] With the Greenhouse and DAME research efforts now complete, the focus at the HMP RS is now turning towards preparations for the third major activity of the season: a simulated medical rescue Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA).

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Spokes Sighted Again! »» Spokes Sighted Again!

[Sunday, July 30, 2006] This image from the Cassini spacecraft shows a ghostly white streak, called a spoke, in Saturn's B ring. This is the first sighting of a spoke in nearly a year, and the first spoke seen by Cassini on the sunlit side of the rings.

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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 2 August 2006 Edition: Skeptical Sunday: Meet a Psychic »» Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 2 August 2006 Edition: Skeptical Sunday: Meet a Psychic

[Sunday, July 30, 2006] "Also, whether the plan to nudge Earth from its current orbit could help counter global warming, and our Hollywood skeptic raises an eyebrow at energy healers. Plus, are aliens falling to earth drop by drop? The phenomenon of red rain."

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Scientists Suggest Solution to 30 Year Old Mystery Over Viking Mission Results »» Scientists Suggest Solution to 30 Year Old Mystery Over Viking Mission Results

[Monday, July 31, 2006] Electricity generated in dust storms on Mars may produce reactive chemicals that build up in the Martian soil, according to NASA-funded research.

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NASA Selects Teams for Space Weather Mission and Studies »» NASA Selects Teams for Space Weather Mission and Studies

[Monday, July 31, 2006] Four university teams will provide experiments and supporting hardware for a future NASA mission to study near-Earth space radiation. This type of radiation is hazardous to astronauts, orbiting satellites and aircraft flying high altitude polar routes.

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Stardust@home: Calling All Dust Hunters »» Stardust@home: Calling All Dust Hunters

[Monday, July 31, 2006] The Planetary Society, in conjunction with UC Berkeley, is looking for good dust-spotters to join Stardust@home, a project where internet users search for microscopic interstellar dust particles captured by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.

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NASA's Next Space Shuttle Crew Ready for Countdown Test »» NASA's Next Space Shuttle Crew Ready for Countdown Test

[Monday, July 31, 2006] The astronauts and ground crews for Space Shuttle Atlantis' upcoming mission, STS-115, will participate in a full launch dress rehearsal Aug. 7-10 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

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Keck telescope captures Jupiter's Red Spot Jr. as it zips past planet's Great Red Spot »» Keck telescope captures Jupiter's Red Spot Jr. as it zips past planet's Great Red Spot

[Monday, July 31, 2006] Astronomers snapped high-resolution near-infrared images of the Great Red Spot, a persistent, high-pressure storm on Jupiter, as a smaller storm, Red Spot Jr., breezed by it on its race around the planet.

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