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July 2011 Top Stories


Internal NASA GSFC Report: Weekly Input May 14, 2011- May 21, 2011 Submitted to Code 550 »» Internal NASA GSFC Report: Weekly Input May 14, 2011- May 21, 2011 Submitted to Code 550

[Friday, July 1, 2011] The SRB reported that the new baseline plan for JWST was not viable due to lack of sufficient funding in fy11 and fy12, rapid ramp-up of support planned for fy13 and marginal reserves for the years fy13 fy18.

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Families of Challenger and Chairman of the Board of Challenger Center for Space Science Education Regarding the Future of Human Spaceflight »» Families of Challenger and Chairman of the Board of Challenger Center for Space Science Education Regarding the Future of Human Spaceflight

[Friday, July 1, 2011] Human spaceflight is one of the greatest enterprises America has ever undertaken--making discoveries, creating inventions, producing role models and educational motivations for our youth, and serving as a strong example of US world leadership.

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Message from the Administrator: What's Next for NASA »» Message from the Administrator: What's Next for NASA

[Friday, July 1, 2011] In just a couple of hours, I am delivering an address at the National Press Club to talk about NASA's future, and before I do so, I wanted to share with you what I'm going to be discussing.

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Letter From Astronauts and Apollo Veterans Regarding Space Shuttle Retirement and Risk to ISS Operations »» Letter From Astronauts and Apollo Veterans Regarding Space Shuttle Retirement and Risk to ISS Operations

[Friday, July 1, 2011] We believe that the planned retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet after the flight of STS-135 next month will create an unacceptable flight risk for maintaining safe and reliable operations of the International Space Station (ISS).

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NASA Research Offers New Prospect of Water on Mars »» NASA Research Offers New Prospect of Water on Mars

[Friday, July 1, 2011] NASA scientists are seeing new evidence that suggests traces of water on Mars are under a thin varnish of iron oxide, or rust, similar to conditions found on desert rocks in California's Mojave Desert.

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NASA Invites Public To TEDxNASA@SiliconValley 2011 »» NASA Invites Public To TEDxNASA@SiliconValley 2011

[Friday, July 1, 2011] ASA is inviting reporters and the public to join agency leaders, technologists and innovators from a variety of fields at TEDxNASA@SiliconValley 2011 on Aug. 17.

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University of Wisconsin Students Win Space Habitat Competition »» University of Wisconsin Students Win Space Habitat Competition

[Friday, July 1, 2011] University of Wisconsin students topped two other university teams to win the 2011 NASA eXploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge - a competition to design and build a space habitat.

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Atlantis: The Grand Finale Photo Special at Launch Pad 39A Part 2 »» Atlantis: The Grand Finale Photo Special at Launch Pad 39A Part 2

[Saturday, July 2, 2011] It was both relentlessly breathtaking and surreal to find oneself at a historic crossroads - looking skywards from directly beneath the wings of the very last shuttle orbiter that will soon be orbiting Earth some two hundred miles overhead.

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Astronomers Reveal a Cosmic 'Axis of Evil' »» Astronomers Reveal a Cosmic 'Axis of Evil'

[Sunday, July 3, 2011] Astronomers are puzzled by the announcement that the masses of the largest objects in the Universe appear to depend on which method is used to weigh them.

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Photo: Sunrise on the Moon »» Photo: Sunrise on the Moon

[Sunday, July 3, 2011] On June 10, 2011, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter angled its orbit 65* to the west, allowing the spacecraft's cameras to capture a dramatic sunrise view of the moon's Tycho crater.

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SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Returns to Florida »» SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Returns to Florida

[Sunday, July 3, 2011] On December 8, 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to launch, fly, land and recover a spacecraft from low Earth orbit. That spacecraft will make its first public appearance in Florida since its historic inaugural flight.

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Dawn Status Report 1 July 2011 »» Dawn Status Report 1 July 2011

[Sunday, July 3, 2011] Vesta beckons, and Dawn responds. Now more than halfway through its approach to Vesta, Dawn continues creeping up on the destination it has been pursuing since it began its interplanetary travels.

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First ARTEMIS Spacecraft Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit »» First ARTEMIS Spacecraft Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit

[Sunday, July 3, 2011] The first of two ARTEMIS ("Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon's Interaction with the Sun") spacecraft is now in its lunar orbit.

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STS-135 Astronauts En route to Kennedy Space Center »» STS-135 Astronauts En route to Kennedy Space Center

[Monday, July 4, 2011] The four members of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 crew are en route to Kennedy in two T-38 jets. The astronauts are expected to arrive at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility at approximately 2:45 p.m. EDT.

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Images: STS-135 Crew Arrives in Florida »» Images: STS-135 Crew Arrives in Florida

[Tuesday, July 5, 2011] The Last Space Shuttle Crew jets into the Kennedy Space Center on Independence Day, 2011.

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NASA Announces Prelaunch Events and Countdown Details for Final Shuttle Flight »» NASA Announces Prelaunch Events and Countdown Details for Final Shuttle Flight

[Tuesday, July 5, 2011] News conferences, events and operating hours for the news center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., are set for the final space shuttle launch.

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Image: Okavango Swamp in Botswana, Africa As Seen From Orbit »» Image: Okavango Swamp in Botswana, Africa As Seen From Orbit

[Tuesday, July 5, 2011] Okavango Swamp in Botswana is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station.

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NASA'S Hubble Makes One Millionth Science Observation »» NASA'S Hubble Makes One Millionth Science Observation

[Tuesday, July 5, 2011] On Monday, July 4, the Earth-orbiting observatory logged its one millionth science observation during a search for water in an exoplanet's atmosphere 1,000 light-years away.

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Expert's reentry flap endures hot baptism »» Expert's reentry flap endures hot baptism

[Tuesday, July 5, 2011] A spacecraft control flap designed for the super-heated hypersonic fall through Earth's atmosphere has come through testing in the world's largest plasma wind tunnel to be ready for its first flight next year.

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Hot springs microbe yields record-breaking, heat-tolerant enzyme »» Hot springs microbe yields record-breaking, heat-tolerant enzyme

[Tuesday, July 5, 2011] Bioprospectors from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found a microbe in a Nevada hot spring that happily eats plant material - cellulose - at temperatures near the boiling point of water.

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STS-135 Countdown Is Under Way »» STS-135 Countdown Is Under Way

[Tuesday, July 5, 2011] The countdown for the final space shuttle launch began today at 1 p.m. EDT, beginning at the T-43 hour mark. However, the launch-day weather forecast looks less than favorable for Friday's 11:26 p.m. liftoff.

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Report to Congress on the Solid Rocket Motor Industrial Base Sustainment and Implementation Plan Redacted Version (Excerpt) »» Report to Congress on the Solid Rocket Motor Industrial Base Sustainment and Implementation Plan Redacted Version (Excerpt)

[Tuesday, July 5, 2011] The Department must preserve the scientific, engineering and design skills and production capabilities necessary to support both large- and small-SRMs.

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Countdown Continues Toward Friday's Launch of STS-135 »» Countdown Continues Toward Friday's Launch of STS-135

[Wednesday, July 6, 2011] The countdown for the final space shuttle launch began yesterday at 1 p.m. EDT, starting at the T-43 hour mark.

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Weather a Concern for Friday's Launch of STS-135 »» Weather a Concern for Friday's Launch of STS-135

[Wednesday, July 6, 2011] Space Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters has updated her launch-day forecast, giving Atlantis and crew a 30 percent chance of favorable weather at the 11:26 a.m. EDT liftoff time.

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Last Space Shuttle Flight: Textbook Countdown Threatened Only by Weather »» Last Space Shuttle Flight: Textbook Countdown Threatened Only by Weather

[Wednesday, July 6, 2011] As things stand right now weather is the only thing standing in the way of an otherwise flawless countdown for the last Space Shuttle mission.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6  July 2011 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 6 July 2011

[Wednesday, July 6, 2011] All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below.

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Cassini Spacecraft Captures Images And Sounds Of Big Saturn Storm 						 »» Cassini Spacecraft Captures Images And Sounds Of Big Saturn Storm

[Wednesday, July 6, 2011] Scientists analyzing data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft now have the first-ever, up-close details of a Saturn storm that is eight times the surface area of Earth.

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Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations  »» Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations

[Wednesday, July 6, 2011] The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow.

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STS-135 Countdown in Planned Hold »» STS-135 Countdown in Planned Hold

[Thursday, July 7, 2011] At 5 a.m. EDT, the countdown entered a planned hold at the T-11 hour mark, and will resume at 7:01 p.m. tonight.

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Rotating Service Structure Move Set for Noon »» Rotating Service Structure Move Set for Noon

[Thursday, July 7, 2011] At NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Launch Pad 39A's Rotating Service Structure now is targeted to roll back from space shuttle Atlantis at 12 p.m. EDT, two hours earlier than originally planned.

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NASA Signs Commercial Space Agreement With Sierra Nevada »» NASA Signs Commercial Space Agreement With Sierra Nevada

[Thursday, July 7, 2011] NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is entering into an agreement with Sierra Nevada Space Systems (SNSS) of Sparks, Nev., to offer technical capabilities from the center's uniquely skilled work force.

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Coalition for Space Exploration celebrates space shuttle program »» Coalition for Space Exploration celebrates space shuttle program

[Thursday, July 7, 2011] With the countdown to the final space shuttle launch under way, we salute the accomplishments of the entire shuttle team and celebrate their invaluable contributions to our nation's global leadership in space.

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Shuttle launch team evaluating lightning strike near launch pad - RSS Rollback delayed »» Shuttle launch team evaluating lightning strike near launch pad - RSS Rollback delayed

[Thursday, July 7, 2011] The space shuttle launch team is evaluating a possible lightning strike that occurred within one third of a mile of NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A.

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American Astronomical Society Statement on Proposed Cancellation of Webb Space Telescope »» American Astronomical Society Statement on Proposed Cancellation of Webb Space Telescope

[Thursday, July 7, 2011] The American Astronomical Society (AAS) today issued a strong statement protesting yesterday's proposal from the House Appropriations Committee to cancel the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

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Image of Vesta Captured by Dawn on July 1, 2011 »» Image of Vesta Captured by Dawn on July 1, 2011

[Thursday, July 7, 2011] NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on July 1, 2011.

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STS-135 Update: »» STS-135 Update: "Go" For Tanking, Weather Remains 30% chance of favorable weather

[Friday, July 8, 2011] STS-135 Update: "Go" For Tanking, Weather Remains 30% chance of favorable weather

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Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches on Final Shuttle Flight (With Video) »» Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches on Final Shuttle Flight (With Video)

[Friday, July 8, 2011] With a 70% chance of a weather violation the Space Shuttle Atlantis beat the odds and thrilled close to a million gathered people who waited hours to see the final launch of a Space Shuttle. Watch the final launch again.

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Leaping Above The Sky One Last Time »» Leaping Above The Sky One Last Time

[Friday, July 8, 2011] After a heart-stopping pause at T-31 seconds, Space Shuttle Atlantis left Earth and leapt above the sky this morning. This is the last time a space shuttle will ever do this - and everyone in attendance at the launch site knew it.

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NASA'S Final Space Shuttle Mission Begins With Atlantis' Launch »» NASA'S Final Space Shuttle Mission Begins With Atlantis' Launch

[Saturday, July 9, 2011] Space shuttle Commander Chris Ferguson and his three crewmates are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 11:29 a.m. EDT Friday. STS-135 is the final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program.

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NASA STS-135 MCC Status Report #01 4 p.m. CDT Friday, July 8, 2011 »» NASA STS-135 MCC Status Report #01 4 p.m. CDT Friday, July 8, 2011

[Saturday, July 9, 2011] With a cargo carrier packed with supplies and equipment, Atlantis launched Friday morning to the International Space Station on the final space shuttle mission.

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NASA STS-135 Report #04 Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 2:30 a.m. CDT »» NASA STS-135 Report #04 Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 2:30 a.m. CDT

[Sunday, July 10, 2011] Space shuttle Atlantis' crew began their third day in space at 2:29 a.m., just hours away from the scheduled final docking of a space shuttle with the International Space Station.

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The Path Ahead for NASA: Lewis & Clark and the Settlers »» The Path Ahead for NASA: Lewis & Clark and the Settlers

[Sunday, July 10, 2011] "Can NASA continue to justify operations that use a marching army when the private sector can do it with a sprinting platoon?"

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High Altitude Balloon Photo: Watching Space Shuttle Atlantis Punch a Hole in the Sky »» High Altitude Balloon Photo: Watching Space Shuttle Atlantis Punch a Hole in the Sky

[Sunday, July 10, 2011] This photo shows Space Shuttle Atlantis punching a hole in the sky on its way to orbit. The image was taken on 8 July 2011 from a high altitude balloon flown by students and volunteers at Quest For Stars.

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NASA STS-135 Report #05 Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 4 p.m. CDT »» NASA STS-135 Report #05 Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 4 p.m. CDT

[Sunday, July 10, 2011] Atlantis docked with the International Space Station at 10:07 a.m. CDT Sunday with a cargo-carrying module in its payload bay filled with equipment and supplies for the orbiting laboratory.

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NASA STS-135 Report #05 Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 4 p.m. CDT »» NASA STS-135 Report #05 Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 4 p.m. CDT

[Sunday, July 10, 2011] Atlantis docked with the International Space Station at 10:07 a.m. CDT Sunday with a cargo-carrying module in its payload bay filled with equipment and supplies for the orbiting laboratory.

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Planetary Science Institute Selects XCOR to Fly Atsa Suborbital Observatory »» Planetary Science Institute Selects XCOR to Fly Atsa Suborbital Observatory

[Monday, July 11, 2011] The Planetary Science Institute (PSI) and XCOR Aerospace have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that lays the groundwork for flying the human-operated Atsa Suborbital Observatory aboard XCOR's Lynx spacecraft.

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Explore Mars Presents the Women and Mars Conference »» Explore Mars Presents the Women and Mars Conference

[Monday, July 11, 2011] On November 9-10, 2011, Explore Mars, Inc. will be presenting the Women and Mars Conference at the Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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SpaceX Groundbreaking at Vandenberg Air Force Base Wednesday »» SpaceX Groundbreaking at Vandenberg Air Force Base Wednesday

[Monday, July 11, 2011] In April 2011, SpaceX announced its plans to design, build and launch the Falcon Heavy - the world's largest launch vehicle since the Saturn V moon rocket. The Falcon Heavy should arrive at Vandenberg by the end of 2012 and launch soon thereafter.

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The X PRIZE Foundation Appoints Alexandra Hall to Senior Director of the $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE »» The X PRIZE Foundation Appoints Alexandra Hall to Senior Director of the $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE

[Monday, July 11, 2011] The X PRIZE Foundation announced today that Alexandra Hall has joined the Foundation as the Senior Director of the $30 m Google Lunar X PRIZE, a private race to the moon designed to enable commercial exploration of space while engaging the global public.

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NASA Unveils a New Lunar Book for the Visually Impaired »» NASA Unveils a New Lunar Book for the Visually Impaired

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] NASA will unveil a new book for blind and visually impaired readers at a media event and reception hosted by the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) at 6 p.m. PDT on July 18 at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

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NASA Sets News Conference With Shuttle And Space Station Crews »» NASA Sets News Conference With Shuttle And Space Station Crews

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] The 10 crew members aboard space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station will hold a news conference at 8:24 a.m. CDT on Friday, July 15.

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Challenger Center Honors Shuttle Legacy With Expanded Commitment to Space Science Education »» Challenger Center Honors Shuttle Legacy With Expanded Commitment to Space Science Education

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center) today announced its commitment to inspire and educate millions of students annually.

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Image: Spotting Saturn's Northern Storm »» Image: Spotting Saturn's Northern Storm

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures a composite near-true-color view of the huge storm churning through the atmosphere in Saturn's northern hemisphere.

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Image: A Day in the Life of Saturn »» Image: A Day in the Life of Saturn

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] These false-color images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft chronicle a day in the life of a huge storm that developed from a small spot that appeared 12 weeks earlier in Saturn's northern mid-latitudes.

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Image: Greenland's Kangerdlugssuaq Ice Stream As Seen From Orbit »» Image: Greenland's Kangerdlugssuaq Ice Stream As Seen From Orbit

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] Some of the last images from ESA's ERS-2 satellite have revealed rapidly changing glacial features in Greenland.

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Daily Webcam Images from a Greenhouse on Devon Island »» Daily Webcam Images from a Greenhouse on Devon Island

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] These images are sent back more or less daily at roughly the same time of day. One webcam is pointed north at the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse located at the Haughton Mars Project Research Station on Devon island. Another camera is inside.

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NASA Offers Media Access To Jupiter-Bound Spacecraft »» NASA Offers Media Access To Jupiter-Bound Spacecraft

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] NASA's Juno spacecraft, set to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in August, will be the focus of a media opportunity at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 16, at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Fla.

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Science, Space, and Technology Committee Criticizes Administration for Space Launch System Delays »» Science, Space, and Technology Committee Criticizes Administration for Space Launch System Delays

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] Today the Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing initially intended to examine NASA's selection of a heavy-lift space launch system (SLS) that will be used to launch future crew and cargo flights beyond low Earth orbit.

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Neptune Completes First Orbit Of The Sun Since Its Discovery By Humans »» Neptune Completes First Orbit Of The Sun Since Its Discovery By Humans

[Tuesday, July 12, 2011] Today, Neptune has arrived at the same location in space where it was discovered nearly 165 years ago. To commemorate the event, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken these "anniversary pictures" of the blue-green giant planet.

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NASA STS-135 Report #09 6 p.m. CDT Tuesday, July 12, 2011 »» NASA STS-135 Report #09 6 p.m. CDT Tuesday, July 12, 2011

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] Two International Space Station astronauts completed a six-hour, 31-minute spacewalk at 2:53 p.m. CDT Tuesday, retrieving a failed pump module for return to Earth, installing two experiments and repairing a new base for the station's robotic arm.

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GAO: NASA Needs to Better Assess Contract Termination Liability Risks and Ensure Consistency in Its Practices »» GAO: NASA Needs to Better Assess Contract Termination Liability Risks and Ensure Consistency in Its Practices

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] We found that NASA's acquisition professionals generally do not monitor or track the potential termination liability costs of its contractors nor does the FAR require them to do so.

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Final Countdown for India's PSLV Launch Began on Wednesday »» Final Countdown for India's PSLV Launch Began on Wednesday

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] At sharp 11.48 a.m. on Wednesday, the final 53-hour countdown for the launch of India's four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying the GSAT-12 communication satellite was initiated at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

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Scientists Explore the Deep to Learn More about Life and Science »» Scientists Explore the Deep to Learn More about Life and Science

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] The research project blends science and technology to advance knowledge of astrobiology and study life in an extreme environment using a combination of underwater vehicles and scuba divers.

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NASA Supports Competition To Create Out Of This World T-Shirt Design »» NASA Supports Competition To Create Out Of This World T-Shirt Design

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] NASA, through the Harvard-NASA Tournament Laboratory, is supporting an online challenge for artists to design a T-shirt commemorating the final space shuttle mission and the program's contributions to exploration.

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Scientists model physics of a key dark-energy probe »» Scientists model physics of a key dark-energy probe

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] Ohio State University researchers are leveraging powerful supercomputers to investigate one of the key observational probes of "dark energy," the mysterious energy form that is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate over time.

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Evolved Stars Locked in Fatalistic Dance »» Evolved Stars Locked in Fatalistic Dance

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] White dwarfs are the burned-out cores of stars like our Sun. Astronomers have discovered a pair of white dwarfs spiraling into one another at breakneck speeds.

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What activates a supermassive black hole? »» What activates a supermassive black hole?

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] At the heart of most, if not all, large galaxies lurks a supermassive black hole with a mass millions, or sometimes billions, times greater than that of the Sun.

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NASA Selects Nonprofit to Manage Space Station National Lab Research »» NASA Selects Nonprofit to Manage Space Station National Lab Research

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] NASA has selected the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Inc. (CASIS) to develop and manage the U.S. portion of the International Space Station that will be operated as a national laboratory.

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Senator Hutchison Calls for Immediate Action on Space Launch System »» Senator Hutchison Calls for Immediate Action on Space Launch System

[Wednesday, July 13, 2011] Last year, Congress passed, and the President signed, the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, which directed NASA to develop a new heavy lift launch capability to take astronauts out beyond Earth's orbit in a new multi-purpose crew vehicle.

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Last dinosaur before mass extinction discovered »» Last dinosaur before mass extinction discovered

[Thursday, July 14, 2011] A team of scientists has discovered the youngest dinosaur preserved in the fossil record before the catastrophic meteor impact 65 million years ago.

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NASA Debuts Inspirational Space Station Music Video »» NASA Debuts Inspirational Space Station Music Video

[Thursday, July 14, 2011] NASA today debuts an inspirational video featuring the International Space Station and its crews set to the song "World" by recording artists Five for Fighting.

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Dawn Spacecraft to Enter Orbit Around Asteroid Vesta on July 15 »» Dawn Spacecraft to Enter Orbit Around Asteroid Vesta on July 15

[Thursday, July 14, 2011] On July 15, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will begin a prolonged encounter with the asteroid Vesta, making the mission the first to enter orbit around a main-belt asteroid.

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A Pulsar and Its Mysterious Tail »» A Pulsar and Its Mysterious Tail

[Thursday, July 14, 2011] A spinning neutron star is tied to a mysterious tail. Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have found that this pulsar, known as PSR J0357+3205 (or PSR J0357 for short), apparently has a long, X-ray bright tail streaming away from it.

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Galaxy Twist Pulls Violating Particles Back into Line »» Galaxy Twist Pulls Violating Particles Back into Line

[Thursday, July 14, 2011] A University of Warwick physicist has produced a galaxy sized solution which explains one of the outstanding puzzles of particle physics.

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Two New Brown Dwarf Solar Neighbors Discovered »» Two New Brown Dwarf Solar Neighbors Discovered

[Thursday, July 14, 2011] Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) have discovered two new brown dwarfs at estimated distances of only 15 and 18 light-years from the Sun.

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Photo: Celebrating the Last Shuttle Launch with Food - NASA Style »» Photo: Celebrating the Last Shuttle Launch with Food - NASA Style

[Thursday, July 14, 2011] According to someone@nasa.gov: "The LCS SE&I group celebrated the launch of STS-135 with homemade Italian bread and cold cuts!! Checkout this work of art!!"

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Schiff Amendment to Provide FY 2012 Funding for James Webb Space Telescope Rejected »» Schiff Amendment to Provide FY 2012 Funding for James Webb Space Telescope Rejected

[Thursday, July 14, 2011] This amendment was one of several that sought to transfer money from this budget category to other programs. All were rejected.

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Out-of-This-World' NASA Summer Internship for U.S. Students »» Out-of-This-World' NASA Summer Internship for U.S. Students

[Friday, July 15, 2011] It is not unusual for college students to take lessons learned in the classroom and see how they can be applied out in the real world. But for some exceptional students, their efforts this summer are literally "out-of-this-world" .

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Team to Celebrate Accomplishments of Mars Rover Spirit »» Team to Celebrate Accomplishments of Mars Rover Spirit

[Friday, July 15, 2011] News media representatives are invited to a July 19 event where scientists and engineers will celebrate accomplishments of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit.

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NASA Internship Exposes Teachers To Aerospace Engineering »» NASA Internship Exposes Teachers To Aerospace Engineering

[Friday, July 15, 2011] n innovative summer internship program will give 42 U.S. middle and high school teachers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with NASA's latest aerospace engineering technologies while working closely with agency technical mentors.

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NASA Notice of information collection: NASA's education and outreach activities »» NASA Notice of information collection: NASA's education and outreach activities

[Friday, July 15, 2011] NASA's education and outreach activities are funded by NASA's Office of Education, Mission Directorates, and Offices of Chief Technologist and Communications. NASA's Education Coordinating Council includes representatives from each of NASA's field Centers

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India's PSLV C-17 Rocket Successfully Launches GSAT-12 Telecommunications Satellite »» India's PSLV C-17 Rocket Successfully Launches GSAT-12 Telecommunications Satellite

[Friday, July 15, 2011] It was a giant leap for India's nearly 50-year-old space programme on Friday evening with the successful launch of the advanced version of the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying a 1410 kg communication satellite, GSAT-12.

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A Short Chat With Someone Offworld »» A Short Chat With Someone Offworld

[Friday, July 15, 2011] I had a chance to participate in a live press conference with orbiting crews of Space Shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station this morning from NASA Headquarters.

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When minor planets Ceres and Vesta rock the Earth into chaos »» When minor planets Ceres and Vesta rock the Earth into chaos

[Friday, July 15, 2011] Although small, Ceres and Vesta gravitationally interact together and with the other planets of the Solar System. Because of these interactions, they are continuously pulled or pushed slightly out of their initial orbit.

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New ways to measure magnetism around the sun »» New ways to measure magnetism around the sun

[Friday, July 15, 2011] Those who study the sun face an unavoidable hurdle in their research - their observations must be done from afar.

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President Obama: Playing Capture The Flag In Outer Space »» President Obama: Playing Capture The Flag In Outer Space

[Friday, July 15, 2011] During his call to the orbiting Atlantis and International Space Station crews today, President Obama mentioned that a special American Flag had been carried to orbit on board Atlantis - a flag that had been carried aboard Columbia during STS-1.

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NASA Commercial Crew Program Forum »» NASA Commercial Crew Program Forum

[Friday, July 15, 2011] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will present a status of the Commercial Crew Program strategy on Wednesday, July 20, 2011.

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NASA, United Launch Alliance Announce New Commercial Crew Agreement »» NASA, United Launch Alliance Announce New Commercial Crew Agreement

[Saturday, July 16, 2011] NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) managers will hold a news conference on Monday, July 18, at ULA headquarters in Centennial, Colo., to announce a new Commercial Crew Development agreement.

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AIP Number 90: FY 2012 House Funding Bill: NASA »» AIP Number 90: FY 2012 House Funding Bill: NASA

[Saturday, July 16, 2011] There are 14 pages of text pertaining to NASA in the committee report accompanying the FY 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill that was passed by the House on July 13.

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Transcript of President Obama's Call to the International Space Station (with video) »» Transcript of President Obama's Call to the International Space Station (with video)

[Saturday, July 16, 2011] Below are notes from President Barack Obama's call to all 10 crew members of space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station's Expedition 28.

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NASA STS-135 Report #17 12 p.m. CDT Saturday, July 16, 2011 »» NASA STS-135 Report #17 12 p.m. CDT Saturday, July 16, 2011

[Sunday, July 17, 2011] All four Atlantis crew members worked Saturday to move equipment and supplies between the International Space Station and the multi-purpose logistics module Raffaello.

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NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around Asteroid Vesta »» NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around Asteroid Vesta

[Sunday, July 17, 2011] NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Saturday became the first probe ever to enter orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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NASA Dawn Spacecraft Returns Close-Up Image of Asteroid Vesta »» NASA Dawn Spacecraft Returns Close-Up Image of Asteroid Vesta

[Monday, July 18, 2011] NASA's Dawn spacecraft has returned the first close-up image after beginning its orbit around the giant asteroid Vesta. On Friday, July 15, Dawn became the first probe to enter orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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NASA Begins Commercial Partnership With United Launch Alliance »» NASA Begins Commercial Partnership With United Launch Alliance

[Monday, July 18, 2011] Through a new agreement, United Launch Alliance (ULA) will provide technical information to NASA about using the Atlas V rocket to launch astronauts into space.

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NASA Announcing Landing Site For New Mars Rover »» NASA Announcing Landing Site For New Mars Rover

[Monday, July 18, 2011] NASA and the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will host a news conference at 10 a.m. EDT, Friday, July 22 to announce the selected landing site for the agency's latest Mars rover.

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NASA STS-135 MCC Status: Atlantis Separates From International Space Station »» NASA STS-135 MCC Status: Atlantis Separates From International Space Station

[Tuesday, July 19, 2011] At 4:18 a.m. EDT, space shuttle Atlantis fired its jets, separating a space shuttle from the International Space Station for the last time.

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Two NASA Probes Tackle New Mission: Studying The Moon »» Two NASA Probes Tackle New Mission: Studying The Moon

[Tuesday, July 19, 2011] Two small NASA probes that had been used to study space weather now are orbiting the moon to study its interior and surface composition.

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NASA Book Available for Visually Impaired to Learn About Moon »» NASA Book Available for Visually Impaired to Learn About Moon

[Tuesday, July 19, 2011] NASA has released a new book for visually impaired people to experience the wonders of the moon. Called "Getting a Feel for Lunar Craters," the 17-page book features Braille and tactile diagrams of the lunar surface, craters and peaks.

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Space Research: Content and Coordination of Space Science and Technology Strategy Need to Be More Robust »» Space Research: Content and Coordination of Space Science and Technology Strategy Need to Be More Robust

[Tuesday, July 19, 2011] Moreover, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) together with the intelligence community, conduct a significant amount of space S&T.

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NASA's Space Shuttle Scheduled to Return to Earth for Final Time Thursday »» NASA's Space Shuttle Scheduled to Return to Earth for Final Time Thursday

[Wednesday, July 20, 2011] The final flight of NASA's 30-year-old space shuttle program is scheduled to end on Thursday, July 21, when Atlantis and its STS-135 crew return to Earth.

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NASA'S Hubble Discovers Another Moon Around Pluto »» NASA'S Hubble Discovers Another Moon Around Pluto

[Wednesday, July 20, 2011] Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The tiny, new satellite, temporarily designated P4, was uncovered in a Hubble survey searching for rings around the dwarf planet.

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American Astronautical Society Statement on Space Program Cutbacks »» American Astronautical Society Statement on Space Program Cutbacks

[Wednesday, July 20, 2011] For the past 54 years, investments in America's space program have yielded tremendous benefits* for American taxpayers, but looming cutbacks to science and technology (S&T) investments -especially in the space program - seriously threaten future benefits.

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A cosmic superbubble »» A cosmic superbubble

[Wednesday, July 20, 2011] The Large Magellanic Cloud is a small neighbouring galaxy to the Milky Way. It contains many regions where clouds of gas and dust are forming new stars.

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Photo: A Window on the Planet Below »» Photo: A Window on the Planet Below

[Wednesday, July 20, 2011] This is a high angle view showing the Cupola, backdropped against a solar array panel, on the International Space Station.

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Photo: Great Salt Lake As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Great Salt Lake As Seen From Orbit

[Wednesday, July 20, 2011] As in the case of many previous space missions, the Great Salt Lake in Utah serves as a striking visual marker for the STS-135 astronauts orbiting over North America in the space shuttle Atlantis.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Is Keynote Speaker At NewSpace 2011 »» NASA Deputy Administrator Is Keynote Speaker At NewSpace 2011

[Wednesday, July 20, 2011] NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will provide opening keynote remarks at the Space Frontier Foundation's annual NewSpace Conference at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 28.

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NASA Internal Memo: Official Overarching Messages Regarding Shuttle Retirement »» NASA Internal Memo: Official Overarching Messages Regarding Shuttle Retirement

[Wednesday, July 20, 2011] The Bush Administration in 2004 made the decision to end the Space Shuttle program. President Obama extended the program's life by adding two Space Shuttle launches to the manifest.

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NASA KSC Solicitation: Commercial Crew Program Integrated Design »» NASA KSC Solicitation: Commercial Crew Program Integrated Design

[Wednesday, July 20, 2011] NASA is seeking capability statements from all interested parties for the purposes of determining the appropriate level of competition and/or small business subcontracting goals for potential Commercial Crew Program Integrated Design Contracts.

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NASA STS-135 Report #26 Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 8:30 p.m. CDT »» NASA STS-135 Report #26 Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 8:30 p.m. CDT

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] Preparations are now underway for Atlantis' 33rd and final landing, scheduled for 4:56 a.m., just before dawn in Florida.

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Wheels Stop - As Atlantis Lands the Shuttle Era Comes to an End »» Wheels Stop - As Atlantis Lands the Shuttle Era Comes to an End

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] At 5:57:54 a.m EDT the orbiter Atlantis came to a wheels stop at the Kennedy Space Center marking the end of the Space Shuttle era.

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NASA Administrator Commemorates Final Space Shuttle Landing »» NASA Administrator Commemorates Final Space Shuttle Landing

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] "At today's final landing of the space shuttle, we had the rare opportunity to witness history. We turned the page on a remarkable era and began the next chapter in our nation's extraordinary story of exploration."

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NASA's Proud Space Shuttle Program Ends With Atlantis Landing »» NASA's Proud Space Shuttle Program Ends With Atlantis Landing

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] Wrapping up 30 years of unmatched achievements and blazing a trail for the next era of U.S. human spaceflight, NASA's storied Space Shuttle Program came to a "wheels stop" on Thursday at the conclusion of its 135th mission.

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Photo: Baja California and the Gulf of Cortez as seen from Orbit »» Photo: Baja California and the Gulf of Cortez as seen from Orbit

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] A crewmember on the joint STS-135/Expediton 28 aggregation photographed this image of parts of Mexico, including Baja California the Gulf of Cortez.

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Northrop Grumman Honored by IEEE for Development of Lunar Module »» Northrop Grumman Honored by IEEE for Development of Lunar Module

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] The Apollo lunar module, America's first vehicle to enable astronauts to land on the moon and return safely to earth, was designed, developed and built by Grumman Corporation on Long Island.

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NASA Managers Reflect on Mission, Shuttle Program »» NASA Managers Reflect on Mission, Shuttle Program

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] "It is great to have Atlantis safely home after a tremendously successful mission -- and home to stay," said Bob Cabana, Kennedy Space Center director, referencing Atlantis' retirement at Kennedy's Visitor Complex.

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4 unusual views of the Andromeda Galaxy »» 4 unusual views of the Andromeda Galaxy

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] These four observations made by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys give a close up view of the Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31 (M 31).

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Are Elliptical Galaxies Much Younger Than Previously Thought? »» Are Elliptical Galaxies Much Younger Than Previously Thought?

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] The standard model for elliptical galaxies formation is challenged by a new result uncovered by an international team of astronomers from the Atlas3D collaboration.

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Photo: Last Space Shuttle Re-entry As Seen By Humans Still in Orbit »» Photo: Last Space Shuttle Re-entry As Seen By Humans Still in Orbit

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew of the International Space Station.

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Exoplanet Aurora: An Out-of-this-World Sight »» Exoplanet Aurora: An Out-of-this-World Sight

[Thursday, July 21, 2011] Earth's aurorae, or Northern and Southern Lights, provide a dazzling light show to people living in the polar regions. Shimmering curtains of green and red undulate across the sky like a living thing.

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GIOVE missions serving as Galileo's radiation watchdogs »» GIOVE missions serving as Galileo's radiation watchdogs

[Friday, July 22, 2011] Many experts forecast the space weather to be stormy. After years of inactivity, the Sun is waking up, perhaps profoundly affecting Earth's space environment and the satellites orbiting through it - including the imminent Galileo constellation.

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FAA Launch Safety: Lightning Criteria for Expendable Launch Vehicles »» FAA Launch Safety: Lightning Criteria for Expendable Launch Vehicles

[Friday, July 22, 2011] This action amends flight criteria for mitigating against naturally occurring lightning and lightning triggered by the flight of an expendable launch vehicle through or near an electrified environment in or near a cloud.

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Space and Missile Defense Acquisitions: Periodic Assessment Needed to Correct Parts Quality Problems in Major Programs »» Space and Missile Defense Acquisitions: Periodic Assessment Needed to Correct Parts Quality Problems in Major Programs

[Friday, July 22, 2011] For space and missile defense acquisitions, GAO was asked to examine quality problems related to parts and manufacturing processes and materials across DOD and NASA.

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Crew Heads Home After Final Shuttle Mission »» Crew Heads Home After Final Shuttle Mission

[Friday, July 22, 2011] The four STS-135 astronauts and their family members who came to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for yesterday's landing and completion of the Space Shuttle Program's final mission will return home to Houston this afternoon.

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Mars Science Laboratory Rover »» Mars Science Laboratory Rover "Curiosity" Will Land at Gale Crater in 2012

[Friday, July 22, 2011] NASA's next Mars rover will land at the foot of a layered mountain inside the planet's Gale Crater. The car-sized Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, is scheduled to launch late this year and land in August 2012.

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NASA IT Summit Reaches For »» NASA IT Summit Reaches For "Stellar" Results

[Friday, July 22, 2011] NASA is gearing up for a conference in San Francisco that aims to improve the quality of Information Technology (IT) at the agency, while drawing on the expertise and innovative spirit of California's Silicon Valley.

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Imagery: Horn of Africa Drought As Seen From Orbit »» Imagery: Horn of Africa Drought As Seen From Orbit

[Friday, July 22, 2011] Drought in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti is pushing tens of thousands of people from their homes as millions face food insecurity in a crisis visible from space. ESA's SMOS satellite shows that the region's soil is too dry to grow crops.

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Image: Patagonia As Seen From Orbit »» Image: Patagonia As Seen From Orbit

[Friday, July 22, 2011] This Envisat image is dominated by southern Argentina, with the mountainous terrain of the Andes in Chile to the west (left).

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MAVEN Mission Completes Major Milestone »» MAVEN Mission Completes Major Milestone

[Friday, July 22, 2011] The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission reached a major milestone last week when it successfully completed its Mission Critical Design Review (CDR).

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NASA Selects Four Universities For 2012 X-Hab Innovation Challenge »» NASA Selects Four Universities For 2012 X-Hab Innovation Challenge

[Friday, July 22, 2011] NASA has selected four universities to design habitat and science concepts that could be used by future deep space explorers. The teams will participate in the second X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge.

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Astronomers Find Largest, Most Distant Reservoir of Water »» Astronomers Find Largest, Most Distant Reservoir of Water

[Friday, July 22, 2011] Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.

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NASA Tests Orion MPCV Capsule For Water Landings »» NASA Tests Orion MPCV Capsule For Water Landings

[Friday, July 22, 2011] Testing began this month at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., in the new Hydro Impact Basin to certify the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) for water landings.

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NASA Briefing To Preview Upcoming Mission To Jupiter »» NASA Briefing To Preview Upcoming Mission To Jupiter

[Friday, July 22, 2011] NASA will hold a news briefing at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 27, at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to discuss preparations for the upcoming Juno mission to Jupiter.

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NASA Announces Launch Tweetup For GRAIL Moon Mission »» NASA Announces Launch Tweetup For GRAIL Moon Mission

[Friday, July 22, 2011] NASA will host a two-day launch Tweetup for 150 of its Twitter followers on Sept. 7-8 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Photo: Robotics Refueling Mission Payload Being Installed »» Photo: Robotics Refueling Mission Payload Being Installed

[Saturday, July 23, 2011] With his feet secured on a restraint on the space station remote manipulator system's robotic arm or Canadarm2, NASA astronaut Mike Fossum (frame center) holds the Robotics Refueling Mission payload.

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Photo: Tongue of the Ocean As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Tongue of the Ocean As Seen From Orbit

[Saturday, July 23, 2011] The "Tongue of the Ocean" and several of the 2700 islands in the Bahamas chain and part of peninsular Florida, including Cape Canaveral, the location of the Kennedy Space Center, are easily recognized in this scene.

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AbGradCon 2011 »» AbGradCon 2011

[Saturday, July 23, 2011] The eighth annual Astrobiology Graduate Conference (AbGradCon) was held at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman, MT from June 5-8, 2011.

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Photo: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario As Seen From Orbit

[Sunday, July 24, 2011] Sault Ste Marie, Ontario and Michigan are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station.

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Image: Vesta's South Pole As Seen From Orbit »» Image: Vesta's South Pole As Seen From Orbit

[Sunday, July 24, 2011] Dawn took this image while it was orbiting around Vesta, traveling from the day side to the night side. The large structure near the south pole that showed up so prominently in previous images is visible in the center of the illuminated surface.

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Notice of Availability/RFI: Potential Industry Interest: Use of NASA JSC Facility for Purpose of Establishing a JSC Acceleration Center »» Notice of Availability/RFI: Potential Industry Interest: Use of NASA JSC Facility for Purpose of Establishing a JSC Acceleration Center

[Monday, July 25, 2011] This announcement describes a NASA asset that is currently underutilized as a result of the transition from the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) to the future mission activities authorized by Congress in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010.

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Statement of Intent to Release a Cooperative Agreement Notice for the NASA Astrobiology Institute »» Statement of Intent to Release a Cooperative Agreement Notice for the NASA Astrobiology Institute

[Monday, July 25, 2011] Proposals will be due not less than 90 days after release of the solicitation and no earlier than January 31, 2012.

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SwRI suborbital astronaut payload specialists move to flight planning phase, release mission patch »» SwRI suborbital astronaut payload specialists move to flight planning phase, release mission patch

[Monday, July 25, 2011] Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) announced in February that it had contracted multiple suborbital flights for its own astronaut payload specialists as part of a larger effort to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight.

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The key to life on land »» The key to life on land

[Monday, July 25, 2011] A chance discovery of a genetic mutation in wild barley that grows in Israel's Judean Desert, in the course of a doctoral study at the University of Haifa, has led to an international study deciphering evolution of life on land.

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Gemini Image Captures Elegant Beauty of Planetary Nebula Discovered by Amateur Astronomer »» Gemini Image Captures Elegant Beauty of Planetary Nebula Discovered by Amateur Astronomer

[Monday, July 25, 2011] In a partnership between amateur and professional astronomers, the recent discovery of a dying star's last gasps could help resolve a debate among astronomers. That is, are stellar companions key to the formation and structure of planetary nebulae?

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Unique volcanic complex discovered on Moon's far side »» Unique volcanic complex discovered on Moon's far side

[Monday, July 25, 2011] Analysis of new images of a curious "hot spot" on the far side of the Moon reveal it to be a small volcanic province created by the upwelling of silicic magma.

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NASTAR Center Completes First ATSA Suborbital Scientist Observatory Training »» NASTAR Center Completes First ATSA Suborbital Scientist Observatory Training

[Monday, July 25, 2011] The NASTAR Center, the premier commercial aerospace training and research center in the world, completed the first dedicated NASTAR Suborbital Scientist Training Program for the Atsa Suborbital Observatory project.

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Enceladus rains water onto Saturn »» Enceladus rains water onto Saturn

[Tuesday, July 26, 2011] ESA's Herschel space observatory has shown that water expelled from the moon Enceladus forms a giant torus of water vapour around Saturn. The discovery solves a 14-year mystery by identifying the source of the water in Saturn's upper atmosphere.

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NASA Cassini Image: Southern Iapetus »» NASA Cassini Image: Southern Iapetus

[Tuesday, July 26, 2011] This view looks toward the south pole of Iapetus (1,471 kilometers, or 914 miles across), and lit terrain seen here is in the southern latitudes of the trailing hemisphere.

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Photo: The Boot of Italy As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: The Boot of Italy As Seen From Orbit

[Tuesday, July 26, 2011] An almost vertical view from the Earth-orbiting space shuttle Atlantis, photographed by one of four STS-135 crewmembers, shows the southernmost part of Italy, referred to as the "boot."

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NASA and International Partners Discuss New Uses for Space Station »» NASA and International Partners Discuss New Uses for Space Station

[Tuesday, July 26, 2011] The Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB) for the International Space Station partner agencies met Tuesday, July 26, to discuss how to use the space station as a test bed for technologies that will enable missions beyond low Earth orbit.

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NASA's Jupiter-Bound Juno Spacecraft Mated to Its Rocket »» NASA's Jupiter-Bound Juno Spacecraft Mated to Its Rocket

[Wednesday, July 27, 2011] NASA's Juno spacecraft completed its last significant terrestrial journey on Wednesday, with a 15-mile (25-kilometer) trip from Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Fla., to its launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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Earth's First Trojan Asteroid Discovered »» Earth's First Trojan Asteroid Discovered

[Wednesday, July 27, 2011] The Trojan, called 2010 TK7, was first tentatively identified by the team from 2010 TK7 discovery observations made with the NASA's WISE satellite and the follow-up observations made with ground-based telescopes, all back in October 2010.

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VST looks at the Leo Triplet -- and beyond »» VST looks at the Leo Triplet -- and beyond

[Wednesday, July 27, 2011] The Leo Triplet is a magnificent group of interacting galaxies about 35 million light-years from Earth. All three of them are spirals like our own Milky Way galaxy, even though this may not be immediately obvious in this image.

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NASA's Chandra Observatory Images Gas Flowing Toward Black Hole »» NASA's Chandra Observatory Images Gas Flowing Toward Black Hole

[Wednesday, July 27, 2011] The flow of hot gas toward a black hole has been clearly imaged for the first time in X-rays. The observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory will help tackle two of the most fundamental problems in modern astrophysics.

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NASA To Unveil Full-Frame Image Of Vesta At News Conference »» NASA To Unveil Full-Frame Image Of Vesta At News Conference

[Wednesday, July 27, 2011] NASA will host a news conference on Monday, Aug. 1, at 2 p.m. EDT, to discuss the Dawn spacecraft's successful orbit insertion around Vesta on July 15 and unveil the first full-frame images from Dawn's framing camera.

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SDO Spots Extra Energy in the Sun's Corona »» SDO Spots Extra Energy in the Sun's Corona

[Wednesday, July 27, 2011] These jets, known as spicules, were captured in an SDO image. Combined with the energy from ripples in the magnetic field, they may contain enough energy to power the solar wind that streams from the sun toward Earth at 1.5 million miles per hour.

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Reservoirs of ancient lava shaped Earth »» Reservoirs of ancient lava shaped Earth

[Thursday, July 28, 2011] Geological history has periodically featured giant lava eruptions that coat large swaths of land or ocean floor with basaltic lava, which hardens into rock formations called flood basalt.

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Penultimate Space Shuttle Crew Discusses Recent Mission »» Penultimate Space Shuttle Crew Discusses Recent Mission

[Thursday, July 28, 2011] The last crew to fly aboard space shuttle Endeavour will discuss its mission to the International Space Station will be in the Washington area on Thursday, Aug. 4.

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Senate Issues Subpoena to NASA for SLS Materials (Update) »» Senate Issues Subpoena to NASA for SLS Materials (Update)

[Thursday, July 28, 2011] Sources are reporting that the Senate Commerce Committee has finally made good on its threat and has issued a subpoena to NASA regarding materials related to the SLS decision

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IBOPE Zogby Poll: 6 in 10 Disagree With Ending Space Shuttle & Fear Others Will Surpass U.S. in Exploration »» IBOPE Zogby Poll: 6 in 10 Disagree With Ending Space Shuttle & Fear Others Will Surpass U.S. in Exploration

[Friday, July 29, 2011] Majorities of voters disagree with the decision to end shuttle missions and fear other nations might surpass the US in space exploration. Future space exploration through both NASA and private companies is seen as preferable to either going it alone.

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New Webb Telescope Technologies Already Helping Human Eyes »» New Webb Telescope Technologies Already Helping Human Eyes

[Friday, July 29, 2011] Even while construction of the James Webb Space Telescope is underway on the most advanced infrared vision of any space observatory, its technologies are already proving useful to human eye health here on Earth.

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Oblique view of the lower mound in Mars' Gale Crater »» Oblique view of the lower mound in Mars' Gale Crater

[Friday, July 29, 2011] This oblique view of the lower mound in Gale Crater shows layers of rock that preserve a record of environments on Mars.

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SOHO Watches A Comet Fading Away »» SOHO Watches A Comet Fading Away

[Friday, July 29, 2011] On Nov. 4, 2010, NASA's EPOXI spacecraft came within 450 miles of Comet Hartley 2, a small comet not even a mile in diameter, which takes about six and a half years to orbit the Sun.

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Wave Power Can Drive Sun's Intense Heat »» Wave Power Can Drive Sun's Intense Heat

[Friday, July 29, 2011] A new study sheds light on why the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, is more than 20 times hotter than its surface.

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