June 2003 Top Story Archives



U.S., Russia Renew Commitment to International Space Station »» U.S., Russia Renew Commitment to International Space Station

[Sunday, June 01, 2003] The U.S.-Russia space partnership has deepened following the loss of the U.S. shuttle Columbia, President Bush and President Putin said in a June 1 joint statement issued in St. Petersburg, Russia, where the two leaders met.

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Potential Problems With X-37 Testing? »» Potential Problems With X-37 Testing?

[Sunday, June 01, 2003] It would seem that a number of people inside NASA have serious concerns about the upcoming test process for the X-37. Instead of drop testing from a B-52, NASA now plans to drop the X-37 from a helicopter. Not everyone is happy with this decision.

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International Gemini Observatory celebrates success of new Canadian-built system »» International Gemini Observatory celebrates success of new Canadian-built system

[Monday, June 02, 2003] The Gemini Observatory has released an image captured using its 8-metre Gemini North Telescope. The new image reveals the core of the globular cluster M13, the Hercules Star Cluster, in unprecedented detail.

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Mars Express en route for the Red Planet »» Mars Express en route for the Red Planet

[Monday, June 02, 2003] The European Mars Express spaceprobe has been placed successfully in a trajectory that will take it beyond the terrestrial environment and on the way to Mars - getting there in late December.

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21 New Satellites for Jupiter (so far) This Year »» 21 New Satellites for Jupiter (so far) This Year

[Tuesday, June 03, 2003] So far this year, Jupiter has gained 21 new distant satellites, with the most recent announcement of satellite S/2003 J 21 on June 3rd at the annual Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) meeting.

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International Space Station Modules Arrive at KSC »» International Space Station Modules Arrive at KSC

[Tuesday, June 03, 2003] NASA's Node 2, built for the agency by ESA in Italy, and the Pressurized Module of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) arrived in Florida and are being transported to the Kennedy Space Center this week.

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Saturn's Equatorial Winds Are Decreasing »» Saturn's Equatorial Winds Are Decreasing

[Wednesday, June 04, 2003] Saturn, one of the windiest planets, has recently had an unexpected and dramatic change in weather: its equatorial winds have subsided from a rapid 1700 km/hr during the Voyager spacecraft flybys in 1980-81 to a modest 990 km/hr from 1996 to 2002.

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NASA Will Send Two Robotic Geologists to Roam on Mars »» NASA Will Send Two Robotic Geologists to Roam on Mars

[Wednesday, June 04, 2003] NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project kicks off by launching the first of two unique robotic geologists on June 8. The second rover mission, bound for a different site on Mars, will launch as soon as June 25.

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Supernova Shock Wave Paints Cosmic Portrait »» Supernova Shock Wave Paints Cosmic Portrait

[Thursday, June 05, 2003] Remnants from a star that exploded thousands of years ago created a celestial abstract portrait, as captured in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Pencil Nebula.

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NASA To Announce Mars Robotic Rover Names on Sunday »» NASA To Announce Mars Robotic Rover Names on Sunday

[Thursday, June 05, 2003] NASA's Sean O'Keefe, LEGO's Brad Justus, and the elementary school student who submitted the rover's names, will participate in the event. The names were selected from more than 10,000 entries in a contest managed for NASA by the LEGO Company.

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Odyssey Thermal Data Reveals a Changing Mars »» Odyssey Thermal Data Reveals a Changing Mars

[Thursday, June 05, 2003] The first overview analysis of a year's worth of infrared data gathered by THEMIS on Mars Odyssey is opening Mars to a new kind of detailed geological analysis and revealing a dynamic planet that has experienced dramatic environmental change.

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New Soyuz TMA spacecraft cleared for next mission with ESA astronaut »» New Soyuz TMA spacecraft cleared for next mission with ESA astronaut

[Thursday, June 05, 2003] The new Soyuz TMA spacecraft, which will carry ESA astronaut Pedro Duque to the ISS and back in October 2003, has been fully approved for operations.

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Earth Has Become Greener »» Earth Has Become Greener

[Thursday, June 05, 2003] A NASA-Department of Energy jointly funded study concludes the Earth has been greening over the past 20 years. As climate changed, plants found it easier to grow.

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Clamps away, Mars Express eases its grip on its lander »» Clamps away, Mars Express eases its grip on its lander

[Thursday, June 05, 2003] Europe's first mission to the Red Planet, continues its successful mission with another successful 'high-risk' post-launch milestone.

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Human Mission to Mars: the Second Aurora Working Meeting »» Human Mission to Mars: the Second Aurora Working Meeting

[Friday, June 06, 2003] By combining expertise in space technologies with earlier human mission studies, ESA will be able to identify the essential 'trade-offs' for such an expedition, before beginning the first tentative studies of mission architecture.

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Foam Impact Test Breaks Reinforced Carbon-Carbon Panel »» Foam Impact Test Breaks Reinforced Carbon-Carbon Panel

[Friday, June 06, 2003] An initial impact test on a section of an orbiter reinforced carbon-carbon left-wing leading edge showed significant damage on RCC panel 6 and the T-seal between RCC panels 6 and 7, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board reported today.

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Launch of MER-A »» Launch of MER-A "Spirit" Delayed for 24 Hours

[Sunday, June 08, 2003] Launch of the MER-A spacecraft aboard a Boeing Delta II vehicle scheduled for June 8 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. has been postponed for 24 hours.

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Girl with Dreams Names Mars Rovers 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity' »» Girl with Dreams Names Mars Rovers 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity'

[Sunday, June 08, 2003] Twin robotic geologists NASA is sending to Mars will embody in their newly chosen names -- Spirit and Opportunity -- two cherished attributes that guide humans to explore.

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Spirit Lifts Off for Mars »» Spirit Lifts Off for Mars

[Tuesday, June 10, 2003] A Boeing Delta II carrying the Mars Exploration Rover (MER-A) Spirit successfully lifted off for Mars today at 1:58:47 p.m. EDT (1758:47 GMT).

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Flattest Star Ever Seen »» Flattest Star Ever Seen

[Wednesday, June 11, 2003] Recent observations at the ESO Paranal Observatory have allowed a group of astronomers to obtain by far the most detailed view of the general shape of a fast-spinning hot star, Achernar, the brightest in the southern constellation Eridanus.

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Headless Comets Survive Plunge Through Sun's Atmosphere »» Headless Comets Survive Plunge Through Sun's Atmosphere

[Wednesday, June 11, 2003] On May 24, 2003, a pair of comets arced in tandem towards the Sun, their paths taking them to just 0.1 solar radii above the Sun's surface, deep within the searing multimillion-degree solar atmosphere.

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First soybeans grown in space similar to Earth-grown crops »» First soybeans grown in space similar to Earth-grown crops

[Wednesday, June 11, 2003] DuPont scientists have discovered that soybeans grown in space are similar to earth-grown crops - unleashing the ability to sustainably grow vegetation to support long-term human presence in space.

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ESA's XMM-Newton Makes the First Measurement of a Dead Star's Magnetism »» ESA's XMM-Newton Makes the First Measurement of a Dead Star's Magnetism

[Wednesday, June 11, 2003] Using the superior sensitivity of ESA's X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, a team of European astronomers has made the first direct measurement of a neutron star's magnetic field.

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Columbia Accident Investigation Crawls Toward The Finish Line »» Columbia Accident Investigation Crawls Toward The Finish Line

[Thursday, June 12, 2003] The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) held its first sessions in Washington, DC today. What follows are highlight's of some of today's major themes.

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Opportunities to conduct research at the Concordia station in Antarctica »» Opportunities to conduct research at the Concordia station in Antarctica

[Friday, June 13, 2003] ESA, in cooperation with CNES, NASA and two Antarctic research organizations, is seeking proposals from scientists wishing to participate in two pioneering ground-based studies to simulate some of the side effects of extended periods of space flight.

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Space Station Astronaut Leads NASA Aquanauts on 14-Day NOAA Aquarius Undersea Mission »» Space Station Astronaut Leads NASA Aquanauts on 14-Day NOAA Aquarius Undersea Mission

[Friday, June 13, 2003] The June mission of NOAA's Aquarius Undersea Laboratory will include NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who lived and conducted research aboard the International Space Station for 190 days in 2002.

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Mars Odyssey THEMIS Image: Canyon Walls »» Mars Odyssey THEMIS Image: Canyon Walls

[Friday, June 13, 2003] The high canyon walls of Valles Marineris make for a striking 3-D THEMIS image. Geologic materials that are more resistant to erosion produce cliff forming units while landslides and streaks are observed on slope units.

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Space Station Science Officer Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #3 »» Space Station Science Officer Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #3

[Friday, June 13, 2003] This week I thought I'd write about a subject near and dear to my heart -- food. You are what you eat after all. First off, let me say I actually like the food here.

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Green Paper on European Space Policy: An added dimension for Europe in space »» Green Paper on European Space Policy: An added dimension for Europe in space

[Friday, June 13, 2003] The Green Paper on European Space Policy is a strategy document which opens up a new era for Europe in space. To foster debate on the issues it has raised, the European Commission and ESA jointly arranged broad consultation across Europe.

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40th Anniversary of Valentina Tereshkova's Flight »» 40th Anniversary of Valentina Tereshkova's Flight

[Monday, June 16, 2003] "Dear Valentina Vladimirovna: S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia staff and management congratulate you on the fortieth anniversary of the flight of the first woman in space."

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A Rare Glimpse into a Massive Star Factory »» A Rare Glimpse into a Massive Star Factory

[Monday, June 16, 2003] Based on a vast observational effort with different telescopes and instruments, ESO-astronomer Dieter Nuernberger has obtained a first glimpse of the very first stages in the formation of heavy stars.

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Scientists Image the Three-Dimensional Surface of the Sun »» Scientists Image the Three-Dimensional Surface of the Sun

[Tuesday, June 17, 2003] Solar physicists have analyzed the highest resolution images ever taken near the solar limb (or visible edge of the sun), and found a surprising variety of structure.

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Object Outside Space Station Tentatively Identified »» Object Outside Space Station Tentatively Identified

[Tuesday, June 17, 2003] After the ISS attitude transition on 6/12, the crew noticed a small, shiny, free-floating metallic object about 30 m (100 ft) from the Lab nadir window, moving very slowly away from the ISS. The leading theory was that the object is a cable label.

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Mars Exploration Rover Targetted for Launch June 26 »» Mars Exploration Rover Targetted for Launch June 26

[Tuesday, June 17, 2003] The second of two Mars Exploration Rovers, Opportunity, is targeted for launch on Thursday, June 26 at 12:27:31 a.m. EDT. Liftoff will occur aboard the Boeing Delta II Heavy launch vehicle from Pad B at Space Launch Complex 17 on Cape Canaveral Air Force

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First Mars, then Venus! »» First Mars, then Venus!

[Wednesday, June 18, 2003] Fifteen days after the launch of Mars Express, Europe has reaffirmed its trust in Soyuz: next stop Venus in 2005.

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The universe just became a little simpler »» The universe just became a little simpler

[Wednesday, June 18, 2003] Using images from the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have concluded that two of the most common types of galaxies in the universe are in reality different versions of the same thing.

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NASA to Showcase Space Biotechnology »» NASA to Showcase Space Biotechnology

[Wednesday, June 18, 2003] NASA personnel, industry scientists, and astronauts will highlight research advancing human exploration of space and enhancing health on Earth during Healthfest 2003 and at the BIO 2003 International Convention.

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Spacecraft Trio Peeks at Secret Recipe for Stormy Solar Weather »» Spacecraft Trio Peeks at Secret Recipe for Stormy Solar Weather

[Wednesday, June 18, 2003] A three-spacecraft collaboration recorded for the first time the entire initiation process of a high-speed eruption of electrified gas from the Sun, providing clues about the Sun's secret recipe for stormy weather.

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Rosetta Stone Decodes Gamma-Ray Burst Mystery »» Rosetta Stone Decodes Gamma-Ray Burst Mystery

[Wednesday, June 18, 2003] Scientists have pieced together the key elements of a gamma-ray burst, from star death to dramatic black hole birth, thanks to a "Rosetta stone" found on March 29, 2003.

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Sally's Ride, 20 Years On »» Sally's Ride, 20 Years On

[Wednesday, June 18, 2003] On June 18, 1983, a young physicist from California took her seat aboard the Space Shuttle and prepared to launch into history. Dr. Sally Ride was about to become the first American woman in space.

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SOHO Experiences High Gain Antenna Problem »» SOHO Experiences High Gain Antenna Problem

[Wednesday, June 18, 2003] "If we are unable to drive the antenna any further back toward the center of its E-W range, we will probably lose high-rate (i.e., scientific) telemetry this weekend or early next week."

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A First Look at the Doughnut Around a Giant Black Hole »» A First Look at the Doughnut Around a Giant Black Hole

[Thursday, June 19, 2003] Using the new and powerful VLT Interferometer astronomers have succeeded for the first time in resolving structures in the dusty torus of the prototype AGN, the famous galaxy NGC 1068.

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Powerful 'Conveyor Belts' Drive Sun's 11-Year Cycle, New Evidence Suggests »» Powerful 'Conveyor Belts' Drive Sun's 11-Year Cycle, New Evidence Suggests

[Thursday, June 19, 2003] NASA and university astronomers have found evidence that the 11-year sunspot cycle is driven in part by a giant conveyor belt-like, circulating current within the Sun.

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Historic Gamma-Ray Burst Discovery »» Historic Gamma-Ray Burst Discovery

[Thursday, June 19, 2003] Data supporting the April 10 announcement first linking the discovery of the March 29 gamma-ray burst to a supernova 2,650 million light-years away will be published in the July 1 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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The Secret Lives of Galaxies Unveiled »» The Secret Lives of Galaxies Unveiled

[Friday, June 20, 2003] Two of NASA's Great Observatories, bolstered by the largest ground-based telescopes around the world, are beginning to harvest new clues to the origin and evolution of galaxies.

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Stardust Completes Third Deep Space Maneuver »» Stardust Completes Third Deep Space Maneuver

[Friday, June 20, 2003] 198 days before its historic rendezvous with a comet, NASA's Stardust spacecraft successfully completed it's third deep space maneuver. This critical maneuver modified the spacecraft's trajectory, placing it on a path to comet Wild 2 in January 2004.

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Space Station Science Officer Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #4: Progress »» Space Station Science Officer Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #4: Progress

[Friday, June 20, 2003] "Yesterday was a big day here on the ISS. The Progress freighter arrived bringing supplies, spare parts, water, food, and goodies from home."

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NASA's Spirit Spacecraft Performs Trajectory Correction Maneuver »» NASA's Spirit Spacecraft Performs Trajectory Correction Maneuver

[Friday, June 20, 2003] Following commands from the Mars Exploration Rover flight team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., the spacecraft first performed a calibration and check of its eight thrusters, then fired the thrusters to fine-tune its flight pat

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MER-B »» MER-B "Opportunity" Launch Postponed

[Saturday, June 21, 2003] The Flight Readiness Review was held today for the MER-B launch of the "Opportunity" Mars Exploration Rover. Afterward, a decision was made to postpone the launch by at least a couple of days.

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25th Anniversary of the Discovery of Pluto's Moon Charon »» 25th Anniversary of the Discovery of Pluto's Moon Charon

[Sunday, June 22, 2003] On 22 June 1978, an astronomer was making routine measurements of photographic plates taken with the 1.55-meter Kaj Strand Astrometric Reflector at the USNO Flagstaff Station in Arizona. The purpose of these images was to refine the orbit of Pluto.

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Science, Maintenance and Cargo Transfers for Space Station Crew »» Science, Maintenance and Cargo Transfers for Space Station Crew

[Sunday, June 22, 2003] Science continues onboard the ISS as the Expedition 7 crewmembers photographed selected targets on Earth.

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Phobos Over the Martian Limb »» Phobos Over the Martian Limb

[Monday, June 23, 2003] On 1 June 2003, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) captured these views of Phobos. This is a part of Phobos that was not seen by MGS in 1998, when MGS made several close flybys of the tiny moon.

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Europeans Say »» Europeans Say "Yes !" to a strong Europe in Space

[Monday, June 23, 2003] A four-month EU-wide consultation on Europe's future in space came to a close in Paris today, with leading players in the space sector calling for a significant increase in European efforts in space research and an upgraded institutional framework.

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NASA's Launch of  Mars Rover »» NASA's Launch of Mars Rover "Opportunity" Targeted for June 28

[Monday, June 23, 2003] Launch managers continue to plan toward Saturday, June 28 as the launch date for MER-B with the "Opportunity" Mars Exploration Rover. The launch time is 11:56:16 p.m. EDT with a second time available at 12:37:59 a.m. EDT on June 29.

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Beagle 2 'Cruise Check-out' Tests Rescheduled »» Beagle 2 'Cruise Check-out' Tests Rescheduled

[Tuesday, June 24, 2003] The instruments on board Mars Express are in the process of being tested to verify that they have survived launch and will work properly. One of these tests on the Beagle 2 lander has been postponed to the first week of July.

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New Space Shuttle Columbia Images Released »» New Space Shuttle Columbia Images Released

[Tuesday, June 24, 2003] NASA today released recovered photographs and video taken by the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia during its scientific research mission in January. The imagery was found during search efforts since the loss of Columbia Feb. 1.

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Antenna Anomaly May Affect SOHO Scientific Data Transmission »» Antenna Anomaly May Affect SOHO Scientific Data Transmission

[Tuesday, June 24, 2003] The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft expects to experience a blackout in the transmission of its scientific data during the week of 22 June 2003. This is estimated to last for about two and a half to three weeks.

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NASA Astrobiology Institute Announces New Teams »» NASA Astrobiology Institute Announces New Teams

[Tuesday, June 24, 2003] NASA today announced 12 new teams would join the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), a national and international research consortium that studies the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life on Earth and in the universe.

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Canadian Arrow to Introduce Astronauts »» Canadian Arrow to Introduce Astronauts

[Wednesday, June 25, 2003] The Canadian Arrow Team has selected six individuals who will train to become X PRIZE astronauts. The six individuals will be introduced at a news conference on Thursday, June 26th.

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Astronomers Detect »» Astronomers Detect "Domino" Model of Star Formation in M83 Galaxy

[Thursday, June 26, 2003] Astronomers used the Gemini South Telescope to determine star age across the center of galaxy M83. Preliminary results hint at a domino model of star formation where star formation is driven by the movements of gas and stars in the central bar.

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Sedimentary Rocks in Martian Crater Schiaparelli »» Sedimentary Rocks in Martian Crater Schiaparelli

[Thursday, June 26, 2003] Some of the most important high resolution imaging results of the Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera experiment center on discoveries about the presence and nature of the sedimentary rock record on Mars.

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Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #5: Watching the World Go By »» Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #5: Watching the World Go By

[Thursday, June 26, 2003] "One of my favorite things to do when I have time off is to just watch the world go by. Whenever I get a chance, I spend time just observing the planet below. It turns out you can see a lot more from up here than you might expect."

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Odyssey Watches a Frosty Planet »» Odyssey Watches a Frosty Planet

[Thursday, June 26, 2003] Mars Odyssey is revealing new details about the dynamic character of the frozen layers now known to dominate the high northern latitudes of Mars. The implications have a bearing on science strategies for future missions in the search of habitats.

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SOHO Telemetry Lost by NASA »» SOHO Telemetry Lost by NASA

[Thursday, June 26, 2003] Scientific telemetry from SOHO was lost at approximately 01:50 UT today, during a contact through the DSS-46 26-meter antenna of the Deep Space Network (DSN).

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It's Noisy Out In Space »» It's Noisy Out In Space

[Thursday, June 26, 2003] Images of the Expedition 7 crew aboard the International Space Station show both of them wearing earplugs. The reason: chronic noise.

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CAIB Preliminary Recommendation: On-Orbit/On-Station TPS Inspection and Repair Capability »» CAIB Preliminary Recommendation: On-Orbit/On-Station TPS Inspection and Repair Capability

[Friday, June 27, 2003] The Columbia Accident Investigation Board today issued its third preliminary recommendation to NASA, in advance of its appearance in the final report regarding in-flight TPS inspection and repair capability.

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NASA's Helios Prototype Aricraft Lost in Flight Mishap »» NASA's Helios Prototype Aricraft Lost in Flight Mishap

[Friday, June 27, 2003] The remotely operated Helios Prototype aircraft was destroyed when it crashed into the Pacific Ocean, June 26. No property damage, other than the prototype, or injuries occurred as a result of the mishap.

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State-Of-The-Art Solar Model Fits Massive 2002 Eruption »» State-Of-The-Art Solar Model Fits Massive 2002 Eruption

[Friday, June 27, 2003] The powerful computer model developed by Lin and Forbes simulates the evolution of coronal mass ejections. Of particular importance, the model calculates the final configuration of the CME's magnetic field.

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IFMP: Balancing NASA's Checkbook »» IFMP: Balancing NASA's Checkbook

[Sunday, June 29, 2003] NASA has embarked on a path toward a total overhaul of its accounting system. While a lot of progress has been made, much more lies ahead. Of course, not everyone is happy with these changes.

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An Unusual Jet From the Vela Pulsar »» An Unusual Jet From the Vela Pulsar

[Monday, June 30, 2003] An X-ray movie of the Vela pulsar, made from a series of observations by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, reveals a spectacularly erratic jet that varies in a way never seen before.

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NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Layers in Terby Crater »» NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Layers in Terby Crater

[Monday, June 30, 2003] Terby Crater exhibits hundreds of layers of similar thickness and physical properties--some have speculated these may be the record of an ancient lake or sea.

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Images from New Gemini Spectorgraph Rival Views From Space »» Images from New Gemini Spectorgraph Rival Views From Space

[Monday, June 30, 2003] Gemini Observatory's new imaging spectrograph, without the help of adaptive optics, recently captured images that are among the sharpest ever obtained of astronomical objects from the ground.

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Launch of NASA's Mars Rover »» Launch of NASA's Mars Rover "Opportunity" Delayed until July 5

[Monday, June 30, 2003] A decision was made today to take additional time to perform tests on the process used to bond the cork insulation to the surface of the Delta II launch vehicle. These tests should be complete late on Wednesday.

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