July 2008 Top Story Archives



NewSpace 2008: Creating the Future or Living in the Past? »» NewSpace 2008: Creating the Future or Living in the Past?

[Tuesday, July 1, 2008] A change in the White House administration presents a golden opportunity to fix problems in the nation's space program and push for further government support of entrepreneurial "NewSpace" ventures says William J. Watson, Space Frontier Foundation.

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Galileo Global Navigation System Procurement Begins »» Galileo Global Navigation System Procurement Begins

[Tuesday, July 1, 2008] The European Commission launched the procurement of Galileo today, a global navigation system composed of 30 navigation satellites and a ground infrastructure with the main control centres in Europe and a network of stations deployed around the world.

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Hubble Sees Stars and a Stripe in Celestial Fireworks »» Hubble Sees Stars and a Stripe in Celestial Fireworks

[Tuesday, July 1, 2008] A delicate ribbon of gas floats eerily in our galaxy. A contrail from an alien spaceship? A jet from a black-hole? Actually this image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is a very thin section of a supernova remnant.

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Phoenix Scrapes 'Almost Perfect' Icy Soil for Analysis »» Phoenix Scrapes 'Almost Perfect' Icy Soil for Analysis

[Tuesday, July 1, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander enlarged the "Snow White" trench and scraped up little piles of icy soil on Saturday, June 28, the 33rd Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Scientists say that the scrapings are ideal for the lander's analytical instruments.

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Aviation Week Explores McCain's and Obama's Aerospace and Aviation Plans »» Aviation Week Explores McCain's and Obama's Aerospace and Aviation Plans

[Wednesday, July 2, 2008] This week's Aviation Week & Space Technology zeros in on Senators John McCain and Barack Obama and where they stand on aviation, aerospace and defense issues.

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NASA Considers Development of Student-Led American Student Moon Orbiter (ASMO) Initiative »» NASA Considers Development of Student-Led American Student Moon Orbiter (ASMO) Initiative

[Wednesday, July 2, 2008] NASA is considering the development of a university-based, student-led satellite development initiative to begin passing the space exploration torch to a new generation.

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STEREO Creates First Images of the Solar System's Invisible Frontier »» STEREO Creates First Images of the Solar System's Invisible Frontier

[Wednesday, July 2, 2008] NASA's sun-focused Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, twin spacecraft unexpectedly detected particles from the edge of the solar system last year.

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NASA Debuts Web Site for First Ares Test Flight »» NASA Debuts Web Site for First Ares Test Flight

[Wednesday, July 2, 2008] NASA is developing new spacecraft, the Ares rockets and Orion crew capsule, to deliver astronauts to the ISS and send them on their way to the moon. The first test flight of the spacecraft, Ares I-X, is scheduled to launch in spring 2009.

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Exploding Asteroid Theory Strengthened by New Evidence Located in Ohio, Indiana »» Exploding Asteroid Theory Strengthened by New Evidence Located in Ohio, Indiana

[Wednesday, July 2, 2008] Was the course of life on the planet altered 12,900 years ago by a giant comet exploding over Canada? New evidence found by UC Assistant Professor of Anthropology Ken Tankersley and colleagues suggests the answer is affirmative.

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Instructions on How to Submit Questions for NASA's Lunar Science Conference »» Instructions on How to Submit Questions for NASA's Lunar Science Conference

[Wednesday, July 2, 2008] Here is the place where you can find questions and answers to all of your future of space exploration questions from the younger generations of NASA scientists, engineers, and explorers at the 2008 Lunar Science Conference at NASA Ames Research Center.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Questions and Answers »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Questions and Answers

[Wednesday, July 2, 2008] "I've been LOS for the last few days. LOS means loss of signal and in the lingo of Mission Control that means that you cannot talk with the astronauts because the radio signal is blocked. "

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NASA Spaceward Bound Pavilion Lake Status Report 1 July 2008 »» NASA Spaceward Bound Pavilion Lake Status Report 1 July 2008

[Wednesday, July 2, 2008] "Tuesday AM dive. Deepworkers: Darlene Lim, Mike Gephardt. CapCom: Bernard South, south basin the 15m and 30m contours."

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Extended cyclone relief efforts aided from space »» Extended cyclone relief efforts aided from space

[Thursday, July 3, 2008] Earth observation satellites have provided vital information to relief workers in Myanmar throughout a particularly long crisis response window following the devastating Cyclone Nargis that hit the country on 2 and 3 May 2008.

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Rosetta awakes from hibernation for asteroid encounter »» Rosetta awakes from hibernation for asteroid encounter

[Thursday, July 3, 2008] Spacecraft controllers have just awoken Rosetta from hibernation to prepare for its encounter with asteroid (2867) Steins on 5 September. Rosetta will study the relatively rare asteroid as it flies by on its way to comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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Arthur C. Clarke, A Visionary Astrobiologist »» Arthur C. Clarke, A Visionary Astrobiologist

[Thursday, July 3, 2008] Arthur C. Clarke is best remembered for the saga 2001: A Space Odyssey, published 40 years ago. The driving force behind that novel and the screenplay was Stanley Kubrick, who had developed a fascination for extraterrestrial intelligence.

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What is the latest update on NASA's Transportation Architecture? (DIRECT launch vehicle design) »» What is the latest update on NASA's Transportation Architecture? (DIRECT launch vehicle design)

[Thursday, July 3, 2008] Over the last two years, NASA has performed feasibility assessments of the different DIRECT launch vehicle designs that have emerged. These feasibility assessments are summarized in the attached white paper.

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Mercury's MESSENGER Spacecraft Results Provide Surprises »» Mercury's MESSENGER Spacecraft Results Provide Surprises

[Thursday, July 3, 2008] Volcanism has played a more extensive role in shaping the surface of Mercury than scientists had thought. This result comes from multispectral imaging data gathered in January 2008 by MESSENGER, the latest spacecraft to visit the Sun's innermost planet.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Thoughts for Independence Day »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Thoughts for Independence Day

[Friday, July 4, 2008] "Taking a little different tack today -- tomorrow [today] is the official birthday of the United States of America and it is time for Americans - and the rest of the world - to remember why the United States is as it is."

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Earth from Space: California ablaze »» Earth from Space: California ablaze

[Friday, July 4, 2008] Billowing smoke from Northern California wildfires that have burnt more than 1400 km2

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Volcanic Activity Shaped Mercury After All »» Volcanic Activity Shaped Mercury After All

[Friday, July 4, 2008] A research team led by Brown University planetary geologist James Head has determined that volcanism played a central role in forming Mercury's surface.

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Geologists push back date basins formed, supporting frozen Earth theory »» Geologists push back date basins formed, supporting frozen Earth theory

[Friday, July 4, 2008] University of Florida geologists say they have found strong evidence that a half-dozen major basins in India were formed a billion or more years ago, making them at least 500 million years older than commonly thought.

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In Unique Stellar Laboratory, Einstein's Theory Passes Strict, New Test »» In Unique Stellar Laboratory, Einstein's Theory Passes Strict, New Test

[Friday, July 4, 2008] Taking advantage of a unique cosmic configuration, astronomers have measured an effect predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity in the extremely strong gravity of a pair of superdense neutron stars.

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Save Arecibo Observatory »» Save Arecibo Observatory

[Friday, July 4, 2008] The decision to ensure full funding currently rests upon votes in Congress on Senate Bill S. 2862 and House Resolution H.R. 3737. These bills desperately need more support.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Lander to Bake Ice-Rich Soil Next Week »» NASA Mars Phoenix Lander to Bake Ice-Rich Soil Next Week

[Friday, July 4, 2008] The next soil sample delivered to NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander"s Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA) will be ice-rich.

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Hubble Sees Stars and a Stripe in Celestial Fireworks »» Hubble Sees Stars and a Stripe in Celestial Fireworks

[Friday, July 4, 2008] This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is a very thin section of a supernova remnant caused by a stellar explosion that occurred more than 1,000 years ago.

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New Horizons Team Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Charon’s Discovery »» New Horizons Team Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Charon’s Discovery

[Friday, July 4, 2008] This week the New Horizons mission team celebrates the 30th anniversary of the discovery of Pluto's largest and first moon, Charon, by U.S. Naval Observatory astronomers James Christy and Robert Harrington.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 July 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 July 2008

[Sunday, July 6, 2008] All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday -- off-duty for CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko & FE-2 Chamitoff. Ahead: Week 12 of Increment 17.

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NASA Sets Launch Dates for Remaining Space Shuttle Missions »» NASA Sets Launch Dates for Remaining Space Shuttle Missions

[Monday, July 7, 2008] Following a detailed, integrated assessment, NASA selected target launch dates for the remaining eight space shuttle missions on the current manifest in 2009 and 2010.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Serendipity - Part 1 »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Serendipity - Part 1

[Tuesday, July 8, 2008] One of the benefits that space exploration brings to mankind is a happy serendipity. I have several examples of serendipity that we should explore together ... here is a short personal story to illustrate how serendipity works in science.

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Open clusters like Orion have low fertility rate »» Open clusters like Orion have low fertility rate

[Tuesday, July 8, 2008] A detailed survey of stars in the Orion Nebula has found that fewer than 10 percent have enough surrounding dust to make Jupiter-sized planets.

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Boeing Hosts Educators From Around the World for Week-Long Space Journey »» Boeing Hosts Educators From Around the World for Week-Long Space Journey

[Tuesday, July 8, 2008] The Boeing Company this week sent more than 90 teachers from around the world to the 17th Annual Boeing Educators to SPACE CAMP(R) program at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.

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Teacher In Space Christa McAuliffe's Original Lessons Now Available Online at Challenger Center »» Teacher In Space Christa McAuliffe's Original Lessons Now Available Online at Challenger Center

[Tuesday, July 8, 2008] Challenger Center for Space Science Education is pleased to announce that Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe's original lessons are now available for teachers on Challenger Center's website.

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Deep-sea Discoveries on Expedition Using NASA Astrobiology ASTEP AUVs »» Deep-sea Discoveries on Expedition Using NASA Astrobiology ASTEP AUVs

[Tuesday, July 8, 2008] The June 26 issue of Nature features a report on the results of underwater research conducted with a pair of NASA Astrobiology-sponsored robotic explorers.

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NASA OIG: Final Memorandum on the Review of NASA's Plan to Build the A-3 Facility for Rocket Propulsion Testing »» NASA OIG: Final Memorandum on the Review of NASA's Plan to Build the A-3 Facility for Rocket Propulsion Testing

[Tuesday, July 8, 2008] The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a review of NASA's plan to build a new rocket propulsion test facility. We initiated this review in response to a complaint forwarded to the NASA OIG from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

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HMP Research Station Status Report for July 9, 2008 »» HMP Research Station Status Report for July 9, 2008

[Wednesday, July 9, 2008] A week after the initial Mars Institute advanced team arrived to setup the research station for this years field season operations are running smoothly. The weather so far has been great and the first researchers are conducting their work.

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Brown-Led Team Finds Evidence of Water in Moon's Interior »» Brown-Led Team Finds Evidence of Water in Moon's Interior

[Wednesday, July 9, 2008] A research team has for the first time discovered evidence of water that came from deep within the Moon, a revelation that strongly suggests water has been a part of the Moon since its early existence.

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Study puts solar spin on asteroid moon formation »» Study puts solar spin on asteroid moon formation

[Wednesday, July 9, 2008] Asteroids with moons, which scientists call binary asteroids, are common in the solar system. A longstanding question has been how the majority of such moons are formed.

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Telescope sees universe through gamma-ray eyes »» Telescope sees universe through gamma-ray eyes

[Wednesday, July 9, 2008] Three weeks after the launch of GLAST, researchers have shaken awake the scientific instruments aboard their $690 million satellite, 350 miles above Earth, for the first time.

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NASA and ESA complete comparative exploration architecture study »» NASA and ESA complete comparative exploration architecture study

[Wednesday, July 9, 2008] Over the last 6 months, representatives from NASA and ESA have been engaged in detailed assessment of potential programs and technologies that when conducted cooperatively could one day support a human outpost on the Moon.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Delivers Soil-Chemistry Sample »» NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Delivers Soil-Chemistry Sample

[Wednesday, July 9, 2008] Phoenix Mars Lander used its robotic arm to deliver a second sample of soil for analysis by the spacecraft's wet chemistry laboratory, data received from Phoenix on Sunday night confirmed.

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House Passes S&T Bills Commemorating NASA's 50th Anniversary and the First American Woman In Space »» House Passes S&T Bills Commemorating NASA's 50th Anniversary and the First American Woman In Space

[Wednesday, July 9, 2008] The House of Representatives today passed bills commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and honoring the first American woman to go into space.

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NASA's Orbiting HiRISE Camera Saw Phoenix Heat Shield in Freefall »» NASA's Orbiting HiRISE Camera Saw Phoenix Heat Shield in Freefall

[Wednesday, July 9, 2008] Scientists running HiRISE, on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have processed more details in an amazing image their camera captured as the Phoenix spacecraft descended through Mars' atmosphere during its landing on May 25, 2008.

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Toward detection of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of our closest neighbor: Proxima Centauri »» Toward detection of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone of our closest neighbor: Proxima Centauri

[Thursday, July 10, 2008] In search of low-mass planetary companions we monitored Proxima Centauri as part of our M dwarf program. In the absence of a significant detection, we use these data to demonstrate the general capability of the RV method in finding terrestrial planets.

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Mystery Star Cluster Has 3 Different Birthdays »» Mystery Star Cluster Has 3 Different Birthdays

[Thursday, July 10, 2008] Astronomers have found the equivalent of three out-of-sync "clocks" in the ancient open star cluster NGC 6791. The dilemma may fundamentally challenge the way astronomers estimate cluster ages, researchers said.

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Discovery of the source of the most common meteorites »» Discovery of the source of the most common meteorites

[Thursday, July 10, 2008] When observing with the GEMINI telescopes, two astronomers from Brazil and the United States discovered for the first time asteroids that are similar to "ordinary chondrites", the most common meteorites found on Earth.

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Sample-Collection Tests by NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Continue »» Sample-Collection Tests by NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Continue

[Thursday, July 10, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's science and engineering teams are testing methods to get an icy sample into the Robotic Arm scoop for delivery to the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer, or TEGA.

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Radio observations of Orion Nebula indicate small fraction of sun-like stars can harbor Jupiter-sized planets »» Radio observations of Orion Nebula indicate small fraction of sun-like stars can harbor Jupiter-sized planets

[Thursday, July 10, 2008] A detailed survey of stars in the Orion Nebula has found that fewer than 10 percent have enough surrounding dust to make Jupiter-sized planets, according to a report by astronomers.

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NASA ROSES-08 Amendment 17:  New proposal opportunity for Concept Studies for Human Tended Suborbital Science »» NASA ROSES-08 Amendment 17: New proposal opportunity for Concept Studies for Human Tended Suborbital Science

[Thursday, July 10, 2008] NASA is soliciting research concept studies to inform the formulation phase of a possible program to fly government-sponsored payloads and researchers on commercial suborbital systems with the intent of advancing SMD's science goals and objectives.

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NASA: Ocean Wind Power Maps Reveal Possible Wind Energy Sources »» NASA: Ocean Wind Power Maps Reveal Possible Wind Energy Sources

[Thursday, July 10, 2008] Efforts to harness the energy potential of Earth's ocean winds could soon gain an important new tool: global satellite maps from NASA.

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Space Station Crew Performs EVA To Remove Explosive Soyuz Bolt »» Space Station Crew Performs EVA To Remove Explosive Soyuz Bolt

[Thursday, July 10, 2008] International Space Station Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko began a spacewalk at 2:48 p.m. EDT Thursday to inspect and retrieve an explosive bolt from their Soyuz TMA-12. The bolt will be returned to Earth for examination.

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NASA Notice: National Environmental Policy Act: Disposition of Space Shuttle Program's Real and Personal Property »» NASA Notice: National Environmental Policy Act: Disposition of Space Shuttle Program's Real and Personal Property

[Friday, July 11, 2008] "NASA has made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to the disposition of the Space Shuttle Program's (SSP's) real and personal property using a structured process consisting of a coordinated series of actions."

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 July 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 10 July 2008

[Friday, July 11, 2008] The Orlan spacewalk EVA-20A by CDR Volkov and FE-1 Kononenko from the DC1 (Docking Compartment) airlock lasted 6 hrs 18 min. For both it was the first EVA.

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NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Uses Soil Probe and Swiss Scope »» NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Uses Soil Probe and Swiss Scope

[Saturday, July 12, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has touched Martian soil with a fork-like probe for the first time and begun using a microscope that examines shapes of tiny particles by touching them.

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NASA Mars Rover Spirit: Biding Time sol 1594-1600, June 27-July 03, 2008 »» NASA Mars Rover Spirit: Biding Time sol 1594-1600, June 27-July 03, 2008

[Saturday, July 12, 2008] Spirit continues to ride out the winter by doing minimal activities to conserve power. The rover conducts very light science activities and relays data to NASA's Odyssey orbiter for transmission to Earth. The rest of the time, Spirit mostly sleeps.

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NASA Mars Opportunity: Photos of Scenic View - sol 1574-1580, June 28-July 04, 2008 »» NASA Mars Opportunity: Photos of Scenic View - sol 1574-1580, June 28-July 04, 2008

[Saturday, July 12, 2008] Opportunity has completed work on the stand-off portion of the full-color panorama of the layered cliff known as "Cape Verde."

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International Space Station Imagery: Hurricane Bertha »» International Space Station Imagery: Hurricane Bertha

[Saturday, July 12, 2008] Hurricane Bertha was traveling northward at 10 knots across the eastern part of the central Atlantic Ocean when this image was taken on July 9 by one of the Expedition 17 crewmembers aboard the ISS 220 statute miles above the Earth.

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Review of NASA's Human Research Program : A Letter Report »» Review of NASA's Human Research Program : A Letter Report

[Saturday, July 12, 2008] Planning for long-duration space flights requires consideration of complex disease prevention, behavioral health, and clinical treatment issues issues resulting from the hazards of the space environment and from limitations to in-mission medical care.

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Gov. Schwarzenegger to Discuss Role of NASA's Remotely Piloted Aircraft to California's Firefight »» Gov. Schwarzenegger to Discuss Role of NASA's Remotely Piloted Aircraft to California's Firefight

[Monday, July 14, 2008] The Governor will join NASA and federal and state fire officials at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field to tour the facility and discuss the important role of NASA's remotely piloted aircraft to California's firefight.

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NASA Responds to California Wildfire Emergency Imaging Request »» NASA Responds to California Wildfire Emergency Imaging Request

[Monday, July 14, 2008] A remotely piloted aircraft carrying a NASA sensor flew over much of California earlier this week, gathering information that will be used to help fight more than 300 wildfires burning within the state. Additional flights are planned for next week.

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HMP Research Station Status Report for July 13, 2008 »» HMP Research Station Status Report for July 13, 2008

[Monday, July 14, 2008] New HMP participants flew to Devon Island today. Participants include Katsak Manik and James Hunter, both from Resolute, who will be helping with many tasks at base camp, Nadeem Ghafoor of MDA Space Missions, and Elaine Walker, EPO, Mars Institute.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Old Flight Director War Stories »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Old Flight Director War Stories

[Monday, July 14, 2008] Right now, by popular demand, I thought I'd tell a story about what happened to me when I was a brand new shuttle Flight Director. It sorta ties into some of last week's blog and I promise it won't be pithy or pontificate . . .

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Transneptunian Dwarf Planet (136472) 2005 FY9 Named Makemake »» Transneptunian Dwarf Planet (136472) 2005 FY9 Named Makemake

[Tuesday, July 15, 2008] The name Makemake has been approved for the transneptunian dwarf planet (136472) 2005 FY9. Makemake is a creator god of Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

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Association of Space Explorers Committee Lecture at COSPAR on Near Earth Objects »» Association of Space Explorers Committee Lecture at COSPAR on Near Earth Objects

[Tuesday, July 15, 2008] At an address at the 37th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, the Chairman of the ASE's Committee on NEOs, Rusty Schweickart, advised the gathering of scientists that their political colleagues would soon be turning to them for advice on asteroid impacts.

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NASA Innovative Partnerships Program: Small Businesses to Fly New Technologies on Zero-Gravity Flights »» NASA Innovative Partnerships Program: Small Businesses to Fly New Technologies on Zero-Gravity Flights

[Tuesday, July 15, 2008] NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program has selected seven Small Business Innovation Research program, or SBIR, companies to participate in reduced-gravity test flights in early September.

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Brightest Star in the Galaxy Has New Competition »» Brightest Star in the Galaxy Has New Competition

[Tuesday, July 15, 2008] A contender for the title of brightest star in our Milky Way galaxy has been unearthed in the dusty metropolis of the galaxy's center.

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Space Agencies Continue Talks on Global Exploration Strategy »» Space Agencies Continue Talks on Global Exploration Strategy

[Tuesday, July 15, 2008] Representatives of 11 space agencies from around the world gathered in Montreal July 10 - 12 to continue the coordination of programs to extend human and robotic presence throughout the solar system.

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NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Extending Trench »» NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Extending Trench

[Tuesday, July 15, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is using its Robotic Arm to enlarge an exposure of hard subsurface material expected to yield a sample of ice-rich soil for analysis in one of the lander's ovens.

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Signals from an Infant Earth »» Signals from an Infant Earth

[Tuesday, July 15, 2008] The oldest rocks so far identified on Earth are one-half billion years younger than the planet itself, so geologists have relied on certain crystals as micro-messengers from ancient times.

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NASA Directs Contractor To Adopt Ares and Orion Launch Date Postponements »» NASA Directs Contractor To Adopt Ares and Orion Launch Date Postponements

[Tuesday, July 15, 2008] NASA has asked its main contractor for its new Orion spacecraft to prepare estimates for what it would cost to shift a number of important program milestones for the initial Ares 1 rocket and Orion spacecraft missions.

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NASA Internal Presentation: CxMPR, Orion Project Office, 2 July 2008 »» NASA Internal Presentation: CxMPR, Orion Project Office, 2 July 2008

[Wednesday, July 16, 2008] This internal NASA presentation provides a snapshot of progress and issues associated with the Orion Project.

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NASA MRO Image: Phoenix Lander and Hardware »» NASA MRO Image: Phoenix Lander and Hardware

[Wednesday, July 16, 2008] As the Phoenix Lander investigates the Martian surface, HiRISE continues to image it and its surroundings. This scene is oriented with north located approximately down. Illumination is from the upper right.

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Mars Express to rendezvous with Martian moon Phobos »» Mars Express to rendezvous with Martian moon Phobos

[Wednesday, July 16, 2008] Scientists and engineers are preparing ESA's Mars Express for a pair of close fly-bys of the Martian moon Phobos. Passing within 100 km of the surface, Mars Express will conduct some of the most detailed investigations of the moon to date.

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New Findings Show Diverse, Wet Environments on Ancient Mars »» New Findings Show Diverse, Wet Environments on Ancient Mars

[Wednesday, July 16, 2008] Mars once hosted vast lakes, flowing rivers and a variety of other wet environments that had the potential to support life, according to two new studies based on data from the CRISM and other instruments on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

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A New Way To Weigh Giant Black Holes »» A New Way To Weigh Giant Black Holes

[Wednesday, July 16, 2008] How do you weigh the biggest black holes in the universe? One answer now comes from a completely new and independent technique that astronomers have developed using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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Phoenix Mars Lander Rasps Frozen Layer, Collects Sample »» Phoenix Mars Lander Rasps Frozen Layer, Collects Sample

[Wednesday, July 16, 2008] A powered rasp on the back of the robotic arm scoop of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander successfully drilled into cement-hard frozen soil and loosened material that was collected in the lander's scoop.

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Tunguska catastrophe: Evidence of acid rain supports meteorite theory »» Tunguska catastrophe: Evidence of acid rain supports meteorite theory

[Wednesday, July 16, 2008] The Tunguska catastrophe in 1908 evidently led to high levels of acid rain. This is the conclusion reached by Russian, Italian and German researchers based on the results of analyses of peat profiles taken from the disaster region.

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For toy-like NASA robots in Arctic, ice research is child's play »» For toy-like NASA robots in Arctic, ice research is child's play

[Wednesday, July 16, 2008] Several snowmobiles navigated speedily over arctic ice and snow in Alaska's outback in late June. This scene might seem ordinary except that the recently unveiled snowmobiles are unmanned, autonomous, toy-size robots called SnoMotes.

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The NASA-ESA Comparative Architecture  Assessment »» The NASA-ESA Comparative Architecture Assessment

[Wednesday, July 16, 2008] In January 2008, NASA and ESA agreed to conduct a comparative architecture assessment to determine if their respective lunar architecture concepts could complement, augment, or enhance the exploration plans of the other.

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Three Red Spots Mix it Up on Jupiter »» Three Red Spots Mix it Up on Jupiter

[Thursday, July 17, 2008] A new sequence of Hubble Space Telescope images offers an unprecedented view of a planetary game of Pac-Man among three red spots clustered together in Jupiter's atmosphere.

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

[Thursday, July 17, 2008] The heads of the International Space Station (ISS) agencies from Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the United States met at European Space Agency (ESA) Headquarters in Paris on July 17, 2008, to review ISS cooperation.

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Ocean Surface a Boon for Extreme Event Forecasts, Warnings »» Ocean Surface a Boon for Extreme Event Forecasts, Warnings

[Thursday, July 17, 2008] For humans in the path of destructive hurricanes and tsunamis, an accurate warning of the pending event is critical for damage control and survival. Such warnings require a solid base of scientific observations, and a new satellite is ready for the job.

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NASA OIG: Actions Needed to Ensure Scientific and Technical Information is Adequately Reviewed at GSFC, JSC, LaRC, and MSFC »» NASA OIG: Actions Needed to Ensure Scientific and Technical Information is Adequately Reviewed at GSFC, JSC, LaRC, and MSFC

[Thursday, July 17, 2008] This audit was initiated in response to a hotline complaint regarding the review, approval, and release of scientific and technical information (STI) at Johnson Space Center.

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NASA's Use of Human Cadavers In Testing the Design of the Orion Spacecraft »» NASA's Use of Human Cadavers In Testing the Design of the Orion Spacecraft

[Thursday, July 17, 2008] I recently learned that NASA has made some limited use of human cadavers in testing during the development of the Orion spacecraft. As you will see, there is a practical reason for using this approach.

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NASA's Deep Impact Films Earth as an Alien World »» NASA's Deep Impact Films Earth as an Alien World

[Thursday, July 17, 2008] NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has created a video of the moon transiting (passing in front of) Earth as seen from the spacecraft's point of view 31 million miles away. Scientists are using the video to develop techniques to study alien worlds.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Competitiveness in the Space Economy »» NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Competitiveness in the Space Economy

[Saturday, July 19, 2008] To encourage a new commercial space sector, the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) developed a Commercial Development Policy in November 2007. This policy is consistent with guidelines already written into law (P.L. 102-588).

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NASA Conducts Full Scale Test Firing of Orion Jettison Motor »» NASA Conducts Full Scale Test Firing of Orion Jettison Motor

[Saturday, July 19, 2008] NASA completed a full-scale rocket motor test on Thursday, July 17, to further development of the Orion jettison motor, which will separate the spacecraft's launch abort system from the crew module during launch.

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NASA Announces Competitive Grant Programs »» NASA Announces Competitive Grant Programs

[Saturday, July 19, 2008] NASA's Office of Education at headquarters in Washington has announced three new extramural funding opportunities that could result in the award of grants or cooperative agreements.

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International Lunar Observatory Dual Function Instrument Bound for the Moon Aboard Odyssey Moon's Google Lunar X PRIZE Mission »» International Lunar Observatory Dual Function Instrument Bound for the Moon Aboard Odyssey Moon's Google Lunar X PRIZE Mission

[Sunday, July 20, 2008] The world's first astronomical observatory bound for the Moon was announced today as a joint venture between the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) and Google Lunar X PRIZE contender Odyssey Moon Limited.

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NASA Statement on Inaccurate Reports About Japanese Cargo Services »» NASA Statement on Inaccurate Reports About Japanese Cargo Services

[Monday, July 21, 2008] Contrary to news reports, NASA has not officially or unofficially been discussing the purchase of H-II Transfer Vehicles (HTV) -- uninhabited resupply cargo ships for the space station -- from the Japanese Space Agency, or JAXA.

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New Project to Develop GPS-Like System for the Moon »» New Project to Develop GPS-Like System for the Moon

[Monday, July 21, 2008] The same Ohio State University researcher who is helping rovers navigate on Mars is leading a new effort to help humans navigate on the moon.

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NASA'S Phoenix Mars Lander Works Through the Night »» NASA'S Phoenix Mars Lander Works Through the Night

[Monday, July 21, 2008] To coordinate with observations made by an orbiter flying repeatedly overhead, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is working a schedule Monday that includes staying awake all night for the first time.

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NASA Spitzer Telescope Reveals No Organics Zone Around Pinwheel Galaxy »» NASA Spitzer Telescope Reveals No Organics Zone Around Pinwheel Galaxy

[Tuesday, July 22, 2008] The Pinwheel galaxy is gussied up in infrared light in a new picture from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Microbes beneath sea floor genetically distinct »» Microbes beneath sea floor genetically distinct

[Tuesday, July 22, 2008] Tiny microbes beneath the sea floor, distinct from life on the Earth's surface, may account for one-tenth of the Earth's living biomass, but many of these minute creatures are living on a geologic timescale.

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Dr. Paul Spudis Announced as Chief Scientist of Google Lunar X PRIZE Contender Odyssey Moon Limited »» Dr. Paul Spudis Announced as Chief Scientist of Google Lunar X PRIZE Contender Odyssey Moon Limited

[Wednesday, July 23, 2008] Dr. Paul D. Spudis has been named Chief Scientist of Odyssey Moon Limited, the first official contender for the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE.

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Mars Sample Return: bridging robotic and human exploration »» Mars Sample Return: bridging robotic and human exploration

[Wednesday, July 23, 2008] The first robotic mission to return samples to Earth from Mars took a further step toward realisation with the recent publication of a mission design report by the iMARS Working Group.

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NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Prepares For Next Sample Analysis »» NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Prepares For Next Sample Analysis

[Wednesday, July 23, 2008] The latest activities of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander have moved the mission closer to analyzing a sample of material, possibly icy soil, from a hard layer at the bottom of a shallow trench beside the lander.

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NASA, USDA Sign Space Station Research Agreement »» NASA, USDA Sign Space Station Research Agreement

[Wednesday, July 23, 2008] Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison hosted NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and Secretary of Agriculture Edward T. Schafer during the signing of a MOU to enable the USDA ARS to conduct plant related research on the International Space Station.

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COROT's new find orbits Sun-like star »» COROT's new find orbits Sun-like star

[Thursday, July 24, 2008] A team of European scientists working with COROT have discovered an exoplanet orbiting a star slightly more massive than the Sun.

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NASA Satellites Discover What Powers Northern Lights »» NASA Satellites Discover What Powers Northern Lights

[Thursday, July 24, 2008] Researchers using a fleet of five NASA satellites have discovered that explosions of magnetic energy a third of the way to the moon power substorms that cause sudden brightenings and rapid movements of the aurora borealis, called the Northern Lights.

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NASA Successfully Tests Parachute for Ares Rocket »» NASA Successfully Tests Parachute for Ares Rocket

[Friday, July 25, 2008] NASA and industry engineers have successfully completed the first drop test of a drogue parachute for the Ares I rocket. The drogue parachute is designed to slow the rapid descent of the spent first-stage motor.

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Speech by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin before the Parliamentary Group on Space, French National Assembly »» Speech by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin before the Parliamentary Group on Space, French National Assembly

[Friday, July 25, 2008] "As has been the case with CNES, we have enjoyed excellent relations and have had the privilege of robust civil space cooperation with ESA, DLR and ASI."

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Remarks by NASA Adminstrator Michael Griffin: What the Hubble Space Telescope Teaches Us about Ourselves »» Remarks by NASA Adminstrator Michael Griffin: What the Hubble Space Telescope Teaches Us about Ourselves

[Friday, July 25, 2008] "I thought it appropriate to speak tonight about the Hubble Space Telescope, one of the greatest machines ever built, and about our relationship with that machine and what it has taught us about our universe and, more importantly, ourselves."

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NASA Mars Phoenix  Lander Collects Icy Soil But Needs To Work On Delivery »» NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Collects Icy Soil But Needs To Work On Delivery

[Sunday, July 27, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Landers robotic arm collected a more than adequate amount of icy soil for baking in one of the landers ovens but will need to adjust how it delivers samples.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Revises Method To Deliver Icy Sample »» NASA Mars Phoenix Revises Method To Deliver Icy Sample

[Sunday, July 27, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander's robotic arm will use a revised collection-and-delivery sequence overnight Sunday with the goal of depositing an icy soil sample in the lander's ove

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Robotic Moon Excavation Teams Compete for NASA Technology Prize »» Robotic Moon Excavation Teams Compete for NASA Technology Prize

[Sunday, July 27, 2008] NASA's Regolith Excavation Challenge is scheduled for Aug. 2-3, 2008, on the campus of the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

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AIP FYI #83: Mickelson, Ride Bring STEM to the Hill »» AIP FYI #83: Mickelson, Ride Bring STEM to the Hill

[Monday, July 28, 2008] A recent House Committee on Education and Labor hearing on "Innovation in Education through Business and Education STEM Partnerships" included witnesses PGA golfer Phil Mickelson and Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

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Lenses galore – Hubble finds large sample of very distant galaxies »» Lenses galore – Hubble finds large sample of very distant galaxies

[Monday, July 28, 2008] New Hubble Space Telescope observations of six spectacular galaxy clusters acting as gravitational lenses have given significant insights into the early stages of the Universe.

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Media Invited for Demo of NASA Lunar Surface Manipulator Concept »» Media Invited for Demo of NASA Lunar Surface Manipulator Concept

[Monday, July 28, 2008] A NASA concept for lifting and manipulating materials on the lunar surface will be demonstrated for reporters at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., on Friday, Aug. 1.

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NASA Awards Contracts for Concepts of Lunar Surface Systems »» NASA Awards Contracts for Concepts of Lunar Surface Systems

[Monday, July 28, 2008] NASA's Constellation Program has selected 11 companies and one university to independently develop concepts that contribute to how astronauts will live and work on the moon.

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Virgin Galactic Rolls Out Mothership »» Virgin Galactic Rolls Out Mothership "Eve"

[Monday, July 28, 2008] Virgin Founder, Sir Richard Branson and SpaceShipOne designer, Burt Rutan, today pulled back the hangar doors on the new WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft.

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NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Working With Sticky Soil »» NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander Working With Sticky Soil

[Monday, July 28, 2008] Scientists and engineers on NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission spent the weekend examining how the icy soil on Mars interacts with the scoop on the lander's robotic arm, while trying different techniques to deliver a sample to one of the instruments.

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NASA Hosts International Meeting for Lunar Science Discussions »» NASA Hosts International Meeting for Lunar Science Discussions

[Wednesday, July 30, 2008] NASA hosted a meeting of space agencies from nine countries last week to discuss the next steps in the ongoing scientific exploration of the moon. The meeting laid the groundwork for a new generation of lunar science.

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Barred Spiral Galaxies Are Latecomers to the Universe »» Barred Spiral Galaxies Are Latecomers to the Universe

[Wednesday, July 30, 2008] A frequent sign of the maturity of a spiral galaxy is the formation of a ribbon of stars and gas that slices across the nucleus, like the slash across a "no smoking" sign.

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Mars Express acquires sharpest images of martian moon Phobos »» Mars Express acquires sharpest images of martian moon Phobos

[Wednesday, July 30, 2008] Mars Express closed in on the intriguing martian moon Phobos at 6:49 CEST on 23 July, flying past at 3 km/s, only 93 km from the moon. The ESA spacecraft's fly-bys of the moon have returned its most detailed full-disc images ever.

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High Schoolers Help NASA Take One Small Step Back To The Moon »» High Schoolers Help NASA Take One Small Step Back To The Moon

[Wednesday, July 30, 2008] High school students from 35 Florida schools recently experienced what it might be like to land a rocket on the moon or excavate the lunar surface.

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NASA Cassini Instrument Confirms Liquid Surface Lake on Titan »» NASA Cassini Instrument Confirms Liquid Surface Lake on Titan

[Wednesday, July 30, 2008] Using an instrument on NASA's Cassini orbiter, scientists have discovered that a lake-like feature in the south polar region of Saturn's moon, Titan, is truly wet. The lake is about 235 kilometers, or 150 miles, long.

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GLAST Burst Monitor Team Hard at Work Fine Tuning Instrument and Operations »» GLAST Burst Monitor Team Hard at Work Fine Tuning Instrument and Operations

[Wednesday, July 30, 2008] While only on orbit for 40 days and still in the process of a two-month checkout, NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Telescope (GLAST) has already detected 12 powerful gamma-ray bursts, an encouraging harbinger of good things to come for this mission.

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Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2 Begins Mapping Oceans »» Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2 Begins Mapping Oceans

[Wednesday, July 30, 2008] Less than a month after launch, the NASA-French space agency Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason 2 oceanography satellite has produced its first complete maps of global ocean surface topography, surface wave height and wind speed.

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House Committee on Science and Technology Recognizes NASA's Accomplishments on 50th Anniversary »» House Committee on Science and Technology Recognizes NASA's Accomplishments on 50th Anniversary

[Wednesday, July 30, 2008] Today, the House Committee on Science and Technology held a hearing to celebrate the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's 50th anniversary by reviewing its accomplishments and examining its future opportunities and challenges.

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NASA Lunar Science Institute Names First International Partner: Canada's University of Western Ontario	»» NASA Lunar Science Institute Names First International Partner: Canada's University of Western Ontario

[Wednesday, July 30, 2008] NASA's Lunar Science Institute at Moffett Field, Calif., has announced its first international affiliate partner for conducting lunar science activities: Canada's University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.

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