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July 2010 Top Stories


CryoSat-2 exceeding expectations »» CryoSat-2 exceeding expectations

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] In orbit for almost three months, the satellite is in excellent health with scientists very encouraged by the first ice-thickness data presented at the symposium.

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NASA Tests Engine Technology to Assist with Future Space Vehicle Landings »» NASA Tests Engine Technology to Assist with Future Space Vehicle Landings

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] The Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine recently completed the fourth and final series of hot-fire tests on a 15,000-pound thrust class cryogenic technology demonstrator rocket engine, increasing the throttling capability by 35% over previous tests.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Welcomes Newly Released National Space Policy »» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Welcomes Newly Released National Space Policy

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomes President Obama's new National Space Policy, which underscores the importance of commercial spaceflight for American economic growth and leadership in space.

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Proba-2 tracks Sun surging into space »» Proba-2 tracks Sun surging into space

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] Proba-2 is a small but innovative member of ESA's spacecraft fleet, crammed with experimental technologies. In its first eight months of life it has already returned more than 90 000 images of the Sun.

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Inauguration of Galileo in-orbit test facilities in Redu »» Inauguration of Galileo in-orbit test facilities in Redu

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] Yesterday ESA's Redu centre in Belgium inaugurated its in-orbit testing facilities for Galileo. This is an important milestone for the in-orbit validation of the satellite navigation system, which is a joint project of the EU and ESA.

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Next International Space Station Residents Hold News Conference »» Next International Space Station Residents Hold News Conference

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] The next trio of International Space Station residents will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 13, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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GOCE giving new insights into Earth's gravity »» GOCE giving new insights into Earth's gravity

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] The first global gravity model based on GOCE satellite data has been presented at ESA's Living Planet Symposium. ESA launched GOCE in March 2009 to map Earth's gravity with unprecedented accuracy and resolution.

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First Directly Imaged Planet Confirmed Around Sun-like Star »» First Directly Imaged Planet Confirmed Around Sun-like Star

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] A planet only about eight times the mass of Jupiter has been confirmed orbiting a Sun-like star at over 300 times farther from the star than the Earth is from our Sun.

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Zero Gravity Corp's statement regarding the Office of Inspector General's Audit Report of NASA's Microgravity Flight Services »» Zero Gravity Corp's statement regarding the Office of Inspector General's Audit Report of NASA's Microgravity Flight Services

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] On June 18, 2010, the Office of Inspector General released an Audit Report of NASA's Microgravity Flight Services as provided by Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G).

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NASA Radar returns first high-resolution view of an unusual crater near Moon’s north pole »» NASA Radar returns first high-resolution view of an unusual crater near Moon’s north pole

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] NASA Radar returns first high-resolution view of an unusual crater near Moon’s north pole Mini-RF, a synthetic aperture radar on board NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, recently imaged a potentially ice-rich crater near the north pole of the Moon.

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NASA Updates Shuttle Target Launch Dates For Final Two Flights »» NASA Updates Shuttle Target Launch Dates For Final Two Flights

[Thursday, July 1, 2010] NASA is targeting approximately 4:33 p.m. EDT on Nov. 1 for the launch of space shuttle Discovery's STS-133 mission and 4:19 p.m. EST on Feb. 26, 2011, for the liftoff of shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Progress 38 Docking With Space Station Delayed Due to Loss of Telemetry »» Progress 38 Docking With Space Station Delayed Due to Loss of Telemetry

[Friday, July 2, 2010] Docking for the ISS Progress 38 has been delayed due to a loss of telemetry. Flight controllers have reported the resupply craft flew past the ISS. Managers are working to determine the next course of action before resuming docking activities.

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Course Correction Keeps New Horizons on Path to Pluto »» Course Correction Keeps New Horizons on Path to Pluto

[Friday, July 2, 2010] A short but important course-correction maneuver kept New Horizons on track to reach the "aim point" for its 2015 encounter with Pluto.

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Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Payload Problem Delays Shuttle Flight »» Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Payload Problem Delays Shuttle Flight

[Friday, July 2, 2010] The shuttle program's final two missions have been delayed in part due to the late delivery of one of the crucial elements of STS-134, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) because of mechanical problems. (With video)

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 4 July 2010 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 4 July 2010

[Sunday, July 4, 2010] At 12:17pm EDT, Progress M-06M(38P) docked successfully to the SM (Service Module) aft port under KURS autopilot control.

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Breath of the Earth: Cycling carbon through terrestrial ecosystems »» Breath of the Earth: Cycling carbon through terrestrial ecosystems

[Tuesday, July 6, 2010] Two recent international studies are poised to change the way scientists view the crucial relationship between Earth's climate and the carbon cycle.

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Scientists talk about ESA's 'workhorses' in space »» Scientists talk about ESA's 'workhorses' in space

[Tuesday, July 6, 2010] While much of the focus of ESA's Living Planet Symposium was on the recently launched Earth Explorers, the 19-year heritage of the ERS and Envisat missions served as the scientific backbone throughout the symposium.

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Philae and Rosetta Gear Up for Lutetia »» Philae and Rosetta Gear Up for Lutetia

[Tuesday, July 6, 2010] The Rosetta orbiter, which carries the DLR lander Philae, has completed more than two thirds of its journey to the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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NASA Instrument Will Identify Clues to Martian Past »» NASA Instrument Will Identify Clues to Martian Past

[Tuesday, July 6, 2010] NASA's Curiosity rover, coming together for a late 2011 launch to Mars, has a newly installed component: a key onboard X-ray instrument for helping the mission achieve its goals.

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State Department Daily Press Briefing, NASA Excerpts, 6 July 2010 »» State Department Daily Press Briefing, NASA Excerpts, 6 July 2010

[Wednesday, July 7, 2010] QUESTION: Can you speak to why the NASA administrator was doing outreach to the Muslim community? There was an article over the weekend.

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NASA Art and Design Contestants Create Multi-Media Visions of Lunar Life »» NASA Art and Design Contestants Create Multi-Media Visions of Lunar Life

[Wednesday, July 7, 2010] NASA has selected the winners in the 2010 Life and Work on the Moon Art and Design Contest from more than 200 international student entries.

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Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Passes Key NASA Milestone »» Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Passes Key NASA Milestone

[Wednesday, July 7, 2010] The Orion crew exploration vehicle has successfully completed the Phase 1 Safety Review of NASA's Human Rating Requirements for space exploration in low Earth orbit and beyond.

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Dawn Journal: Dawn 9.0 »» Dawn Journal: Dawn 9.0

[Wednesday, July 7, 2010] For the third time since it left Earth in September 2007, the spacecraft has received an upgrade of the software that runs in its primary computer.

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Herschel Reveals Details of Distant Galaxies and Quasars »» Herschel Reveals Details of Distant Galaxies and Quasars

[Wednesday, July 7, 2010] Amazing new data captured by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory have just been publicly released, allowing the world's astronomers to share in the Herschel SPIRE instrument's observations of distant galaxies

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Man in the Moon has 'Graphite Whiskers' »» Man in the Moon has 'Graphite Whiskers'

[Wednesday, July 7, 2010] In a new analysis of a lunar sample collected by Apollo 17, researchers have detected and dated carbon on the moon in the form of graphite which survived from around 3.8 billion years ago, when the moon was heavily bombarded by meteorites.

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Japanese Scientists Discover Dust Inside Hayabusa Asteroid Capsule »» Japanese Scientists Discover Dust Inside Hayabusa Asteroid Capsule

[Wednesday, July 7, 2010] The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced the exciting discovery of a few minute dust particles found inside the sample return canister from their Hayabusa Asteroid probe which landed on Asteroid Itokawa in 2005.

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Video: A Night Dive in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia »» Video: A Night Dive in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia

[Wednesday, July 7, 2010] During the 2009, Dr. Ian Hawes and I made several night dives. You can see Ian exploring the microbialites, searching for grazers such as amphipods and snails that might have an impact upon the overall growth and morphology of the structures.

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NASA And Partners Assign Crews For Upcoming Space Station Missions »» NASA And Partners Assign Crews For Upcoming Space Station Missions

[Thursday, July 8, 2010] NASA and its international partners, the Russia Federal Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), have assigned four new International Space Station crews.

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NASA Ceremony Honors Shuttle External Tank Workforce »» NASA Ceremony Honors Shuttle External Tank Workforce

[Thursday, July 8, 2010] NASA and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company paid tribute to the workforce who built the external tanks for the space shuttle fleet on Thursday at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

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USRA Welcomes the First UAE Student Interns to NASA's Education Associates Program »» USRA Welcomes the First UAE Student Interns to NASA's Education Associates Program

[Thursday, July 8, 2010] The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) recently took great pleasure in welcoming the first contingent of students from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to NASA's Education Associates Program (EAP).

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NASA to Fly Into Hurricane Research This Summer »» NASA to Fly Into Hurricane Research This Summer

[Thursday, July 8, 2010] Three NASA aircraft will begin flights to study tropical cyclones on Aug. 15 during the agency's first major U.S.-based hurricane field campaign since 2001.

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NASA's Astronaut Corps: Status of Corrective Actions Related to Health Care Activities »» NASA's Astronaut Corps: Status of Corrective Actions Related to Health Care Activities

[Thursday, July 8, 2010] NASA has established rigorous medical standards for the selection of new astronauts, space mission assignments, and medical and behavioral health to ensure that astronauts can adequately carry out missions in space.

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NASA Takes Gamers on a Lunar Adventure With New Online Video Game »» NASA Takes Gamers on a Lunar Adventure With New Online Video Game

[Friday, July 9, 2010] NASA has given gamers a taste of lunar adventure with release of Moonbase Alpha, an exciting new, free online video game.

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Stratospheric Spain - Soccer Team Shirt on a Balloon »» Stratospheric Spain - Soccer Team Shirt on a Balloon

[Friday, July 9, 2010] zero2infinity is developing bloon, a revolutionary near-space vehicle that will offer breathtaking views of our precious planet so far only available to a privileged few.

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Prospects for Finding New Earths Boosted By Brand New Planet-Finding Technique »» Prospects for Finding New Earths Boosted By Brand New Planet-Finding Technique

[Friday, July 9, 2010] A team of astronomers from Germany, Bulgaria and Poland have used a completely new technique to find an exotic extrasolar planet.

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Hubble Image: Starburst Cluster Shows Celestial Fireworks »» Hubble Image: Starburst Cluster Shows Celestial Fireworks

[Friday, July 9, 2010] Like a July 4 fireworks display, a young, glittering collection of stars looks like an aerial burst. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust.

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Space Florida Receives FAA License for Space Launch Complex 46 »» Space Florida Receives FAA License for Space Launch Complex 46

[Friday, July 9, 2010] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved a Launch Site Operator's License for Space Florida to facilitate commercial launches from Space Launch Complex 46 (SLC-46). The license went into affect July 1, 2010.

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Survival Training for European Astronauts »» Survival Training for European Astronauts

[Saturday, July 10, 2010] At the end of June, ESA's six astronaut candidates were thrown out of a helicopter, left to drift at sea and abandoned under the hot Mediterranean sun - but luckily they were well-trained and under supervision.

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Asteroid Lutetia, As Seen By Rosetta's OSIRIS Imaging System »» Asteroid Lutetia, As Seen By Rosetta's OSIRIS Imaging System

[Saturday, July 10, 2010] On 10 July 2010 at 17:45 CEST, the orbiter flew past asteroid Lutetia on its second and final pass of the asteroid belt at about 15 kilometres per second – 54,000 kilometres per hour – merely 3162 kilometres from the asteroid.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Responds to Recent Misperceptions Related to U.S. Human Spaceflight »» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Responds to Recent Misperceptions Related to U.S. Human Spaceflight

[Monday, July 12, 2010] As a strong supporter of a robust NASA human spaceflight program, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation is releasing the following statement to address topics related to human spaceflight, including commercial human spaceflight.

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Letter from Former Columbia Accident Investigation Board Members Regarding Crew Safety »» Letter from Former Columbia Accident Investigation Board Members Regarding Crew Safety

[Monday, July 12, 2010] As former board members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), we agree with your view that assuring crew safety is an essential element in the discussion of future U.S. crew transportation systems.

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Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, 7/12/2010 - NASA Excerpts »» Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, 7/12/2010 - NASA Excerpts

[Monday, July 12, 2010] Charles Bolden, made a couple weeks back that drew some interest. Why is the NASA Administrator doing that?

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The Kepler Asteroseismic Investigation: Scientific goals and the first results »» The Kepler Asteroseismic Investigation: Scientific goals and the first results

[Monday, July 12, 2010] The first results of the asteroseismic analysis are orders of magnitude better than seen before, and this bodes well for how the future analysis of Kepler data for many types of stars will impact our general understanding of stellar structure and evolutio

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Origin of Key Cosmic Explosions Still a Mystery »» Origin of Key Cosmic Explosions Still a Mystery

[Monday, July 12, 2010] When a star explodes as a supernova, it shines so brightly that it can be seen from millions of light-years away. One particular supernova variety - Type Ia - brightens and dims so predictably that astronomers use them to measure the universe's expansion.

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India's PSLV-C15 successfully launches CARTOSAT - 2B Satellite »» India's PSLV-C15 successfully launches CARTOSAT - 2B Satellite

[Monday, July 12, 2010] India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C15), today (on July 12, 2010) successfully launched CARTOSAT - 2B from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The launch of PSLV - C15 was the sixteenth consecutive successful flight of PSLV.

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Researchers witness overnight breakup, retreat of Greenland glacier »» Researchers witness overnight breakup, retreat of Greenland glacier

[Monday, July 12, 2010] NASA-funded researchers monitoring Greenland's Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier report that a 7 square kilometer (2.7 square mile) section of the glacier broke up on July 6 and 7.

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NASA Announces Three New Centennial Challenges »» NASA Announces Three New Centennial Challenges

[Tuesday, July 13, 2010] NASA announced three new Centennial Challenges Tuesday, with an overall prize purse of $5 million. NASA's Centennial Challenges are prize competitions for technological achievements by independent teams who work without government funding.

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NASA OIG Review of Constellation Program Manager  Jeffrey Hanley's Reassignment »» NASA OIG Review of Constellation Program Manager Jeffrey Hanley's Reassignment

[Tuesday, July 13, 2010] NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released the results of a review examining NASA's May 2010 removal of Jeffrey Hanley from his position as Manager of the Constellation Program.

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NASA and Microsoft Provide Mars 3-D Close Encounter »» NASA and Microsoft Provide Mars 3-D Close Encounter

[Tuesday, July 13, 2010] NASA and Microsoft Research are bringing Mars to life with new features in the WorldWide Telescope software that provides viewers with a high-resolution 3-D map of the Red Planet.

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Eclipse observed during four Proba-2 orbits »» Eclipse observed during four Proba-2 orbits

[Tuesday, July 13, 2010] Astronomers gathered among the stone-carved heads of Easter Island on Sunday to witness a total eclipse of the Sun. Meanwhile, 720 km away in space, ESA's Proba-2 was focused on the same target.

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Extra large galactic survey puts limits on ultralight particles »» Extra large galactic survey puts limits on ultralight particles

[Tuesday, July 13, 2010] Physicists have long known that neutrinos are among the lightest and most evasive fundamental particles. Now a survey of the galaxies is helping to narrow down the neutrino mass even further.

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NASA Selects Student Experiments For International Space Station »» NASA Selects Student Experiments For International Space Station

[Tuesday, July 13, 2010] NASA has selected nine experiments, designed by students at seven schools, for astronauts to perform on the International Space Station this summer. NASA selected the proposals from among 132 received for the new Kids in Micro-g! Program.

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NASA Needs Integrated Strategy to Control Mission Costs »» NASA Needs Integrated Strategy to Control Mission Costs

[Tuesday, July 13, 2010] NASA should develop a broad, integrated strategy to contain costs and maintain schedules as earth and space science missions are planned and designed, says a new report by the National Research Council.

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Letter From Former NASA Astronauts in Support of Commercial Crew Transport »» Letter From Former NASA Astronauts in Support of Commercial Crew Transport

[Wednesday, July 14, 2010] Let us be clear: we believe that that the private sector, working in partnership with NASA, can safely develop and operate crewed space vehicles to low Earth orbit. We have reached this conclusion for a number of reasons.

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Record-Breaking X-ray Blast Briefly Blinds Space Observatory »» Record-Breaking X-ray Blast Briefly Blinds Space Observatory

[Wednesday, July 14, 2010] A blast of the brightest X-rays ever detected from beyond our Milky Way galaxy's neighborhood temporarily blinded the X-ray eye on NASA's Swift space observatory earlier this summer, astronomers now report.

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Unravelling the mystery of massive star birth -- all stars are born the same way »» Unravelling the mystery of massive star birth -- all stars are born the same way

[Wednesday, July 14, 2010] "Our observations show a disc surrounding an embryonic young, massive star, which is now fully formed," says Stefan Kraus, who led the study. "One can say that the baby is about to hatch!"

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NASA Awards Rapid Response Space Works Contract »» NASA Awards Rapid Response Space Works Contract

[Wednesday, July 14, 2010] Serving as a contracting agent for the Department of Defense's Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office, NASA has selected Millennium Engineering and Integration Co., of Arlington, Va., to receive a contract for Rapid Response Space Works (RRSW).

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NASA Finds Super Hot Planet With Unique Comet-Like Tail »» NASA Finds Super Hot Planet With Unique Comet-Like Tail

[Thursday, July 15, 2010] Astronomers using Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the existence of a baked object that could be called a "cometary planet." The planet, named HD 209458b, is orbiting so close to its star that its heated atmosphere is escaping into space.

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CSF Lauds Senators Warner, Boxer, Tom Udall, and Brownback for Support of Commercial Spaceflight »» CSF Lauds Senators Warner, Boxer, Tom Udall, and Brownback for Support of Commercial Spaceflight

[Thursday, July 15, 2010] Following today's executive session of the Senate Commerce Committee, the President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Bretton Alexander, stated, "Thanks to Senators Warner, Boxer, Udall, and Brownback, American industry won a victory today.

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MESSENGER Spacecraft Reveals New Information About Mercury »» MESSENGER Spacecraft Reveals New Information About Mercury

[Thursday, July 15, 2010] The first spacecraft designed by NASA to orbit Mercury is giving scientists a new perspective on the planet's atmosphere and evolution.

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ATK Hopeful as they Prepare Ares DM-2 Test »» ATK Hopeful as they Prepare Ares DM-2 Test

[Friday, July 16, 2010] Building on the success of their first static-fire, Alliant Techsystems (ATK) and NASA are preparing for the second Ares I first stage five-segment Development Motor (DM-2) test.

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NASA's WISE Mission to Complete Extensive Sky Survey »» NASA's WISE Mission to Complete Extensive Sky Survey

[Saturday, July 17, 2010] NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will complete its first survey of the entire sky on July 17, 2010. The mission has generated more than one million images so far, of everything from asteroids to distant galaxies.

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Herschel: The first science highlights »» Herschel: The first science highlights

[Saturday, July 17, 2010] This week, Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature devoted to the first science results obtained with Herschel.

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Cluster's Decade of Discovery »» Cluster's Decade of Discovery

[Saturday, July 17, 2010] ESA's pioneering Cluster mission is celebrating its 10th anniversary. During the past decade, Cluster's four satellites have provided extraordinary insights into the largely invisible interaction between the Sun and Earth.

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Astronomers Discover an Unusual Cosmic Lens »» Astronomers Discover an Unusual Cosmic Lens

[Saturday, July 17, 2010] Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have discovered the first known case of a distant galaxy being magnified by a quasar acting as a gravitational lens.

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The Senate NASA Compromise: A Hinge of History? »» The Senate NASA Compromise: A Hinge of History?

[Sunday, July 18, 2010] Last week, the Senate Commerce, Science and Space Committee marked up a draft of a proposed FY2011 Authorization bill for NASA.

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NASA's Nebula Cloud Computing Technology To Play Key Role In New Open Source Initiative »» NASA's Nebula Cloud Computing Technology To Play Key Role In New Open Source Initiative

[Monday, July 19, 2010] The core technology developed for NASA's Nebula cloud computing platform has been selected as a contributor for OpenStack, a newly-launched open source cloud computing initiative.

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NASA Names New Director for Lunar Science Institute »» NASA Names New Director for Lunar Science Institute

[Monday, July 19, 2010] Yvonne Pendleton has been named director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) headquartered at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Joins the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Endorses NASA's New Direction »» Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Joins the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Endorses NASA's New Direction

[Monday, July 19, 2010] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has joined the Federation as an Associate Member.

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NASA Authorization Act of 2010 - House of Representatives Draft »» NASA Authorization Act of 2010 - House of Representatives Draft

[Monday, July 19, 2010] NASA is and should remain a multimission agency with a balanced and robust set of core missions in science, aeronautics, and human space flight and explorati

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Scientists receive first CryoSat-2 data »» Scientists receive first CryoSat-2 data

[Tuesday, July 20, 2010] A better understanding of how Earth's ice fields are changing has come another step closer as the first data from ESA's ice mission are released to selected scientists around the world for fine-tuning.

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Cassini Sees Moon Building Giant Snowballs in Saturn Ring »» Cassini Sees Moon Building Giant Snowballs in Saturn Ring

[Tuesday, July 20, 2010] While orbiting Saturn for the last six years, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has kept a close eye on the collisions and disturbances in the gas giant's rings.

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Letter to Senators Mikulski and Shelby from Apollo Astronauts Neil Armstrong, James Lovell, and Eugene Cernan, 20 July 2010 »» Letter to Senators Mikulski and Shelby from Apollo Astronauts Neil Armstrong, James Lovell, and Eugene Cernan, 20 July 2010

[Tuesday, July 20, 2010] Nearly a half century ago, President Kennedy explained, "The exploration of space ... is one of the great adventures of all time.

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'Benford Beacons' Mark New Approach to Find Frugal Aliens »» 'Benford Beacons' Mark New Approach to Find Frugal Aliens

[Wednesday, July 21, 2010] For 50 years, humans have scanned the skies with radio telescopes for distant electronic signals indicating the existence of intelligent alien life.

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First Map Of Global Forest Heights Created From NASA Data »» First Map Of Global Forest Heights Created From NASA Data

[Wednesday, July 21, 2010] Scientists have produced a first-of-its kind map of the height of the world's forests by combining data from three NASA satellites

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Stars Just Got Bigger: 300 Solar Mass Star Uncovered »» Stars Just Got Bigger: 300 Solar Mass Star Uncovered

[Wednesday, July 21, 2010] Using a combination of instruments on ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered the most massive stars to date.

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Media alert: Florida, Texas trying end-run for space shuttle »» Media alert: Florida, Texas trying end-run for space shuttle

[Wednesday, July 21, 2010] Florida and Texas are trying to make an end run around NASA's competitive process to decide where to give the retired space shuttles by getting Congress to weigh the decision in their favor.

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NASA Honors Lunar Science Trailblazer Don Wilhelms »» NASA Honors Lunar Science Trailblazer Don Wilhelms

[Wednesday, July 21, 2010] Don Edward Wilhelms received the Shoemaker Distinguished Lunar Scientist Award last night during a ceremony of the Lunar Science Forum at NASA's Ames Research Center.

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NASA Announces Three New Centennial Challenges and Seeks Partners to Manage Each Challenge »» NASA Announces Three New Centennial Challenges and Seeks Partners to Manage Each Challenge

[Wednesday, July 21, 2010] NASA has announced three new Centennial Challenges with an overall prize purse of $5 million. NASA's Centennial Challenges are prize competitions for technological achievements by independent teams who work without government funding.

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Black Hole Jerked Around Twice »» Black Hole Jerked Around Twice

[Wednesday, July 21, 2010] Scientists have found evidence that a giant black hole has been jerked around twice, causing its spin axis to point in a different direction from before.

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Caltech Team Finds Evidence of Water in Moon Minerals »» Caltech Team Finds Evidence of Water in Moon Minerals

[Wednesday, July 21, 2010] That dry, dusty Moon overhead? Seems it isn't quite as dry as it's long been thought to be.

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Letter From California House Members to Rep. Bart Gordon Regarding NASA's FY 2011 Budget »» Letter From California House Members to Rep. Bart Gordon Regarding NASA's FY 2011 Budget

[Thursday, July 22, 2010] We write today to express our strong support for key portions of the President's 2011 proposal for NASA's budget.

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Kosmas Successful in Fight for Additional Shuttle Mission »» Kosmas Successful in Fight for Additional Shuttle Mission

[Thursday, July 22, 2010] oday, Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24), during a meeting of the House Science & Technology Committee, successfully amended the House NASA Reauthorization Bill to add an additional Shuttle mission to the current manifest.

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Pounding particles to create Neptune's water in the lab »» Pounding particles to create Neptune's water in the lab

[Thursday, July 22, 2010] We know 'icy' Neptune is partially comprised of water molecules but until now we have had little means to test how water behaves in the extreme conditions that Neptune presents.

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Detector Technology Could Help NASA Find Earth-like Exoplanets »» Detector Technology Could Help NASA Find Earth-like Exoplanets

[Thursday, July 22, 2010] The hunt is on for Earth-like planets outside of our solar system. Since the 1990s, astronomers have detected more than 450 extrasolar planets -- mostly large Jupiter-sized bodies -- around nearby stars

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Hyperfast Star Was Booted from Milky Way »» Hyperfast Star Was Booted from Milky Way

[Thursday, July 22, 2010] A hundred million years ago, a triple-star system was traveling through the bustling center of our Milky Way galaxy when it made a life-changing misstep.

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Final instruments on NASA climate/weather satellite integrated »» Final instruments on NASA climate/weather satellite integrated

[Thursday, July 22, 2010] The last of five instruments slated to fly on the upcoming NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) climate and weather satellite have been successfully integrated, according to NASA officials. The polar-orbiting satellite is scheduled to launch in late 2011.

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NASA Spacecraft Camera Yields Most Accurate Mars Map Ever »» NASA Spacecraft Camera Yields Most Accurate Mars Map Ever

[Friday, July 23, 2010] A camera aboard NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has helped develop the most accurate global Martian map ever. Researchers and the public can access the map via several websites and explore and survey the entire surface of the Red Planet.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Trip Reports »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Trip Reports

[Sunday, July 25, 2010] The last couple of weeks have been very busy for me, so pardon my lack of blog posts. I have been on travel for several days and you should have a report on three trips.

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NASA Astronaut Sends First Signed Message from Orbit »» NASA Astronaut Sends First Signed Message from Orbit

[Sunday, July 25, 2010] The number of languages used on the International Space Station has recently increased.

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Kepler Co-Investigator Spills The Beans: Lots of Earth-like Planets »» Kepler Co-Investigator Spills The Beans: Lots of Earth-like Planets

[Sunday, July 25, 2010] Looks like Fox News, The Australian, and the Daily Mail have jumped the gun again. To read their headlines and their short stories, you'd think that a bunch of Earthlike planets have been confirmed circling other stars with "both land and water".

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GAO: NASA Constellation Program and Appropriations Restrictions, Part II B-320091, July 23, 2010 »» GAO: NASA Constellation Program and Appropriations Restrictions, Part II B-320091, July 23, 2010

[Monday, July 26, 2010] NASA's actions to date with regard to the Constellation program have not violated either the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 or the provision in the fiscal year 2010 Exploration appropriation.

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Getting Out of the Gravity Well on One Thin Dime »» Getting Out of the Gravity Well on One Thin Dime

[Monday, July 26, 2010] As of this writing no dissent has been heard from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, so the cuts might stick. It might be useful to review what the Obama Administration originally asked for - and why.

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Conrad Foundation & ManSat Limited Expand the Spirit and Innovation Awards program on International Stage »» Conrad Foundation & ManSat Limited Expand the Spirit and Innovation Awards program on International Stage

[Tuesday, July 27, 2010] The Conrad Foundation today announced ManSat Limited has joined with the Conrad Foundation to expand the 2010-2011 Spirit of Innovation Awards program on the international stage.

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Clyde Space to Build UK's First CubeSat »» Clyde Space to Build UK's First CubeSat

[Tuesday, July 27, 2010] The UK Space Agency has announced a one year pilot programme to design and launch a CubeSat - a miniature, cube-shaped satellite that will allow the UK to test new space technologies and carry out new space research 'cheaply' and quickly.

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James Webb Space Telescope Completes Cryogenic Mirror Test »» James Webb Space Telescope Completes Cryogenic Mirror Test

[Tuesday, July 27, 2010] Recently, six James Webb Space Telescope beryllium mirror segments completed a series of cryogenic tests at the X-ray & Cryogenic Facility at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

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CSF Welcomes New Members »» CSF Welcomes New Members

[Tuesday, July 27, 2010] CSF is pleased to announce that Andrews Space, Inc., DCI Services and Consulting, MEI Technologies, Special Aerospace Services, and SRA International have joined the Federation as Associate Members

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NASA Opens Online Voting For Next Desert RATS Exploration Site »» NASA Opens Online Voting For Next Desert RATS Exploration Site

[Tuesday, July 27, 2010] NASA is inviting the public to choose an area in northern Arizona where explorers will conduct part of the annual Desert Research and Technology Studies, known as Desert RATS.

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New Horizons Images: LORRI Looks Back at »» New Horizons Images: LORRI Looks Back at "Old Friend" Jupiter

[Tuesday, July 27, 2010] In early 2007 New Horizons flew through the Jupiter system snapping stunning, close-up images of Jupiter and its largest moons. Fast forward to 2010 and New Horizons has given us another glimpse of old friend Jupiter.

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NASA Blog: Planets Large and Small: Dimitar Sasselov: the Kepler Planetary Candidates in My TED Talk »» NASA Blog: Planets Large and Small: Dimitar Sasselov: the Kepler Planetary Candidates in My TED Talk

[Wednesday, July 28, 2010] Two weeks ago I gave a talk at TED Global 2010 which was very well received, but caused confusion. I referred to past results from the NASA Kepler mission.

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Challenger Center Is Ready To Return to NASA Desert RATS »» Challenger Center Is Ready To Return to NASA Desert RATS

[Wednesday, July 28, 2010] NASA will conduct its annual Desert RATS activity in northern Arizona later this summer. Challenger Center will be participating once again as it did last year.

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Brilliant Star in a Colorful Neighborhood »» Brilliant Star in a Colorful Neighborhood

[Wednesday, July 28, 2010] A spectacular new image from ESO's Wide Field Imager at the La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the brilliant and unusual star WR 22 and its colorful surroundings.

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Curiosity Rover Grows by Leaps and Bounds »» Curiosity Rover Grows by Leaps and Bounds

[Wednesday, July 28, 2010] Talk about a growth-spurt. In one week, Curiosity grew by approximately 1 meter (3.5 feet) when spacecraft technicians and engineers attached the rover's neck and head (called the Remote Sensing Mast) to its body.

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Brown Dwarf Found Orbiting a Young Sun-Like Star »» Brown Dwarf Found Orbiting a Young Sun-Like Star

[Thursday, July 29, 2010] Astronomers have imaged a very young brown dwarf, or failed star, in a tight orbit around a young nearby sun-like star.

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GRAIL Spacecraft Takes Shape »» GRAIL Spacecraft Takes Shape

[Thursday, July 29, 2010] Engineers have conducted a fuel tank check of one of NASA's GRAIL mission spacecraft (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory), scheduled for launch in 2011.

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Martian Dust Devil Whirls Into Opportunity's View »» Martian Dust Devil Whirls Into Opportunity's View

[Thursday, July 29, 2010] In its six-and-a-half years on Mars, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity had never seen a dust devil before this month, despite some systematic searches in past years and the fact that its twin rover, Spirit, has seen dozens of dust devils.

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Opportunity in Good Health and Continues to Drive, Despite Lack of Downlink »» Opportunity in Good Health and Continues to Drive, Despite Lack of Downlink

[Thursday, July 29, 2010] Due to Odyssey's safing event none of the planned Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) downlink passes for this period occurred.

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Your Help Urgently Needed to Save the Future of Human Spaceflight »» Your Help Urgently Needed to Save the Future of Human Spaceflight

[Thursday, July 29, 2010] If you care about the future of American space exploration, your urgent help is necessary. The only hope for the average citizen to one day travel to space is in danger due to the actions of certain members of Congress.

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