June 2005 Top Story Archives



Leading theories of cosmic explosions contradicted »» Leading theories of cosmic explosions contradicted

[Wednesday, June 1, 2005] Observations of a cosmic explosion detected on Feb. 15 by two NASA satellites have thrown into doubt one popular explanation for such explosions and have also seriously weakened the argument for yet another.

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NASA Selects New Frontiers Concept Study: Juno Mission to Jupiter »» NASA Selects New Frontiers Concept Study: Juno Mission to Jupiter

[Wednesday, June 1, 2005] NASA today announced a mission to fly to Jupiter will proceed to a preliminary design phase. The mission is called Juno, and it is the second in NASA's New Frontiers Program.

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Spacehab Announces Dismissal of Lloyds of London Complaint »» Spacehab Announces Dismissal of Lloyds of London Complaint

[Thursday, June 2, 2005] Spacehab today announced that Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London have agreed to drop their complaint against the Company and join with Spacehab in pursuit of its claims with NASA for reimbursement of loss for its Research Double Module on STS-107.

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NASA's Space Eyes Focus On Deep Impact Target »» NASA's Space Eyes Focus On Deep Impact Target

[Thursday, June 2, 2005] On July 4, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft will attempt an extraordinarily daring encounter with the far-flung comet Tempel 1 hurtling through space at tens of thousands of miles per hour. As if that is not challenging enough, the comet's size, shape and ot

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Earth as Seen from Mars »» Earth as Seen from Mars

[Thursday, June 2, 2005] On its 449th martian day, or sol (April 29, 2005), NASA's Mars rover Opportunity woke up approximately an hour after sunset and took this picture of the fading twilight as the stars began to come out.

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NASA Mars Rover Spirit Movie of a Dust Devil at Gusev Crater »» NASA Mars Rover Spirit Movie of a Dust Devil at Gusev Crater

[Thursday, June 2, 2005] A dust devil spins across the surface of Gusev Crater just before noon on Mars. NASA's Spirit rover took the series of images in this spectacular 21-frame animation with its navigation camera on the rover's martian day, or sol, 486 (May 15, 2005).

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NASA's Mars Phoenix Mars Mission Begins Launch Preparations »» NASA's Mars Phoenix Mars Mission Begins Launch Preparations

[Thursday, June 2, 2005] NASA has given the goahead to a project to put a lander on the far-northern Martian plains. NASA's Phoenix lander is designed to examine the site for potential habitats for water ice, and to look for possible indicators of life, past or present.

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NASA Spacecraft Measures Unusual 2005 Arctic Ozone Conditions »» NASA Spacecraft Measures Unusual 2005 Arctic Ozone Conditions

[Thursday, June 2, 2005] Despite near-record levels of ozone destruction in the Arctic this winter, Aura showed that other atmospheric processes restored ozone amounts to near average and stopped high levels of harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching Earth's surface.

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MOC's 200,000th Image »» MOC's 200,000th Image

[Friday, June 3, 2005] On 17 May 2005, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) acquired its 200,000th image since the spacecraft began orbiting Mars on 12 September 1997.

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New Horizons - The PI's Perspective: A Nation's Expedition to the Edge of the Solar System »» New Horizons - The PI's Perspective: A Nation's Expedition to the Edge of the Solar System

[Friday, June 3, 2005] "While New Horizons' Maryland roots are deep, the spacecraft could not be built and launched without contributions from every region of the United States."

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NASA Scientists Confirm Liquid Water on Early Earth »» NASA Scientists Confirm Liquid Water on Early Earth

[Friday, June 3, 2005] Scientists have found that the Earth had formed patterns of crust formation, erosion and sediment recycling as early as 4.35 billion years ago. Their findings came during a study of zircon crystals formed during the earliest period of Earth's history.

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NASA Seeks to Develop Shuttle Derived Heavy Launch Vehicle »» NASA Seeks to Develop Shuttle Derived Heavy Launch Vehicle

[Friday, June 3, 2005] According to NASA sources, the Exploration Science Mission Directorate has recommended (internally) that NASA pursue development of a heavy lift launch system based, in part, on the current Space Shuttle.

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NASA Has a Problem Calculating - and Admitting - What Space Missions Really Cost »» NASA Has a Problem Calculating - and Admitting - What Space Missions Really Cost

[Friday, June 3, 2005] Editor's note: "NASA issued a press release yesterday regarding the Mars Phoenix Lander mission. I had some serious issues with what was - and what was not included in the press release with regard to the actual cost of the mission."

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Evidence for extensive, olivine-rich bedrock on Mars »» Evidence for extensive, olivine-rich bedrock on Mars

[Sunday, June 5, 2005] By using new, high spatial resolution infrared data from NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft, researchers have concluded that region on the surface of Mars known to contain olivine-rich rocks is actually 4 times larger than previously estimated.

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NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer Captures Images of Earth Orbiting Satellite »» NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer Captures Images of Earth Orbiting Satellite

[Sunday, June 5, 2005] Galaxies aren't the only objects filling up the view of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. One such streaking object -- possibly an Earth-orbiting satellite -- can be seen here flying across the telescope's sight in this sped-up movie.

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Young, Jupiter-Mass Objects in Ophiuchus »» Young, Jupiter-Mass Objects in Ophiuchus

[Sunday, June 5, 2005] We have used 3.5 - 8 micron data from the Cores to Disks Legacy survey and our own deep IJHKs images of a 0.5 square degree portion of c2d fields in Ophiuchus to produce a sample of candidate objects with probable masses between 1 - 10 Jupiter masses.

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NASA's Congressional Interactions This Week »» NASA's Congressional Interactions This Week

[Monday, June 6, 2005] NASA staff will be meeting with members of congress and their staff this week on a variety of topics.

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NASA's Opportunity Rover Rolls Free On Mars »» NASA's Opportunity Rover Rolls Free On Mars

[Monday, June 6, 2005] NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission engineers and managers cheered when images from the Martian surface confirmed Opportunity successfully escaped from a sand trap.

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Exploding Star Left No Visible Core »» Exploding Star Left No Visible Core

[Monday, June 6, 2005] Astronomers now report that even the sharp eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope failed to locate the black hole or ultracompact neutron star they believe was created by a star's death 18 years ago.

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Z fires objects faster than Earth moves through space - Technique helps compute Jupiter/Saturn mass »» Z fires objects faster than Earth moves through space - Technique helps compute Jupiter/Saturn mass

[Tuesday, June 7, 2005] "By creating states of matter extremely difficult to achieve on Earth, the flyer plates also provide hard data to astrophysicists speculating on the structure and even the formation of planets like Jupiter and Saturn."

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NASA: Earth and Space Sciences at Risk »» NASA: Earth and Space Sciences at Risk

[Tuesday, June 7, 2005] "The cuts proposed to science programs at NASA in the FY 2006 budget will severely affect our ability to understand natural hazards, map changes in Earth's surface, forecast space weather, understand Earth-Sun connections, and explore the solar system."

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Hubble Image: Supernova Remnant Menagerie »» Hubble Image: Supernova Remnant Menagerie

[Tuesday, June 7, 2005] A violent and chaotic-looking mass of gas and dust is seen in this Hubble image of a nearby supernova remnant. Denoted N 63A, the object is the remains of a massive star that exploded, spewing its gaseous layers out into an already turbulent region.

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NASA Announces Update to Shuttle Implementation Plan »» NASA Announces Update to Shuttle Implementation Plan

[Tuesday, June 7, 2005] The latest version of "NASA's Implementation Plan for Space Shuttle Return to Flight and Beyond" will be available at 9 a.m. EDT, Thursday, June 9, 2005.

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Massive Reorganization Underway at NASA; Craig Steidle Resigns »» Massive Reorganization Underway at NASA; Craig Steidle Resigns

[Tuesday, June 7, 2005] A massive reorganization has begun at NASA. NASA Adminstrator Mike Griffin has begun the process by sending out formal notices to more than 50 senior NASA managers aprising them of pending changes in their job titles. Adm. Craig Steidle resigned today.

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U.S. and France to Establish NASA Shuttle Landing Site »» U.S. and France to Establish NASA Shuttle Landing Site

[Tuesday, June 7, 2005] The governments of the United States of America and the French Republic have agreed to establish a Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) site for NASA's Space Shuttle at Istres Air Base 125, in the South of France.

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NASA Internal Memo: Message to ESMD Employees from Craig Steidle »» NASA Internal Memo: Message to ESMD Employees from Craig Steidle

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] "I have held many leadership positions during my career, but I have never led an organization that was as dedicated, intelligent, and hard working as the NASA Exploration team."

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NASA Scientists Collaborate With Russians on Gravity Studies »» NASA Scientists Collaborate With Russians on Gravity Studies

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] NASA scientists are collaborating with Russian colleagues in an effort to learn more about cell growth in space.

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SMART-1 detects calcium on the Moon »» SMART-1 detects calcium on the Moon

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] Thanks to measurements by the D-CIXS X-ray spectrometer, ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft has made the first ever unambiguous remote-sensing detection of calcium on the Moon.

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Return to Flight Task Group Meeting Presentation »» Return to Flight Task Group Meeting Presentation

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] The Return to Flight Task Group held a meeting today in Houston. NASA chartered the Task Group to perform an independent assessment of NASA's implementation of the 15 Return to Flight recommendations made by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

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Scientists Discover Possible Titan Volcano »» Scientists Discover Possible Titan Volcano

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] A recent flyby of Saturn's hazy moon Titan by the Cassini spacecraft has revealed evidence of a possible volcano, which could be a source of methane in Titan's atmosphere.  

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Titan's volcano may release methane »» Titan's volcano may release methane

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] A team of European and US scientists, using Cassini-Huygens data, have found that Saturn's smoggy moon Titan may have volcanoes that release methane in the atmosphere.

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European and U.S. Scientists Find an Aurora on Mars »» European and U.S. Scientists Find an Aurora on Mars

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] The European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter detected the unique phenomenon with its ultraviolet instrument called SPICAM in August 2004. French, U.S. and Russian scientists are reporting the discovery today in Nature.

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Report by the ESA-ESO Working Group on Extra-Solar Planets »» Report by the ESA-ESO Working Group on Extra-Solar Planets

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] This report summarises the direction of exo-planet research over the next 10 years, identifies the roles of the major facilities of the two organisations in the field, and concludes with some recommendations which may assist development of the field.

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The XO Project: Searching for Transiting Extra-solar Planet Candidates »» The XO Project: Searching for Transiting Extra-solar Planet Candidates

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] The XO project's first objective is to find hot Jupiters transiting bright stars, i.e. V < 12, by precision differential photometry. Two XO cameras have been operating since September 2003 on the 10,000-foot Haleakala summit on Maui.

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Young, Jupiter-Mass Objects in Ophiuchus »» Young, Jupiter-Mass Objects in Ophiuchus

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] We used 3.5 - 8 micron data from the Cores to Disks Legacy survey and our own deep IJHKs images of a 0.5 square degree portion of the c2d fields in Ophiuchus to produce a sample of candidate young objects with probable masses between 1 - 10 Jupiters.

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Galactic Gradients, Postbiological Evolution and the Apparent Failure of SETI »» Galactic Gradients, Postbiological Evolution and the Apparent Failure of SETI

[Wednesday, June 8, 2005] Motivated by recent developments impacting our view of Fermi's paradox (absence of extraterrestrials), we suggest a reassessment of the problem itself, as well as of strategies employed by SETI projects so far.

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CRS Report: U.S. Space Programs:  Civilian, Military, and Commercial »» CRS Report: U.S. Space Programs: Civilian, Military, and Commercial

[Thursday, June 9, 2005] Updated May 24, 2005, Marcia S. Smith, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress

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NASA's Calipso Leaves France for California Launch »» NASA's Calipso Leaves France for California Launch

[Thursday, June 9, 2005] A NASA and CNES satellite, which will improve worldwide climate predictions and provide a better understanding of how clouds and aerosols affect our atmosphere, has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

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NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery Ready to Roll »» NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery Ready to Roll

[Thursday, June 9, 2005] The Space Shuttle Discovery is set to roll out to Launch Pad 39B at KSC with an upgraded External Tank (ET). First motion is targeted for 3 a.m. EDT, Tuesday, June 14.

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Mars Exploration Rover Status by Steve Squyres 9 June 2005 »» Mars Exploration Rover Status by Steve Squyres 9 June 2005

[Thursday, June 9, 2005] Today is something of a landmarks for us. As of the end of today's MER-B Command Approval Meeting we will have planned one thousand sols on the surface of Mars.

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One View, Multiple Worlds »» One View, Multiple Worlds

[Thursday, June 9, 2005] Three very different worlds crowd the frame in this unique view from the Cassini spacecraft, which although partly overexposed, provides a splendid look at several major targets of interest for the mission.

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Progress M-53 Processing Continues »» Progress M-53 Processing Continues

[Thursday, June 9, 2005] The Progress M-53 spacecraft has been fuelled with propellant and compressed gases and has been delivered to the Spacecraft Assembly and Testing Facility at Baikonur Cosmodrome for final processing. Launch will occur on 16 June at 7:09 p.m. EDT.

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NASA'S Spitzer Captures Echo of Dead Star's Rumblings »» NASA'S Spitzer Captures Echo of Dead Star's Rumblings

[Thursday, June 9, 2005] An enormous light echo etched in the sky by a fitful dead star was spotted by the infrared eyes of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Precursor Measurements of Mars Needed to Reduce the Risk of the First Human Mission to Mars »» Precursor Measurements of Mars Needed to Reduce the Risk of the First Human Mission to Mars

[Thursday, June 9, 2005] "The Steering Group was chartered to analyze the priorities for precursor investigations, measurements, and technology/infrastructure demonstrations that would have a significant effect on the cost and risk of the first human mission to Mars."

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NSF Media Advisory: Scientists Make New Discovery About Planets Outside Our Solar System »» NSF Media Advisory: Scientists Make New Discovery About Planets Outside Our Solar System

[Friday, June 10, 2005] Just within the past 10 years, astronomers have discovered well over a hundred planets in orbit around stars beyond our own Sun. Now the National Science Foundation invites reporters to a media briefing on a major advance in the search for such planets.

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NASA Internal Memo: Message from Mike »» NASA Internal Memo: Message from Mike

[Friday, June 10, 2005] "As I have visited most of NASA's Field Centers over the past few weeks, I thought that now would be a good opportunity to share some of my thoughts with you."

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NASA Mars Exploration Rover Status 10 June 2005 »» NASA Mars Exploration Rover Status 10 June 2005

[Sunday, June 12, 2005] Success! Opportunity made forward progress to free itself from the Purgatory Dune! Another exciting achievement for the week was the healthy return of data from the Mini-TES instrument, which the mission team turned back on for the first time in 47 sols.

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Mars Exploration Rover Status by Steve Squyres 11 June 2005 »» Mars Exploration Rover Status by Steve Squyres 11 June 2005

[Sunday, June 12, 2005] "Exploring Mars, it seems, involves nearly constant peril, and the dust storm season is starting to loom as the next significant one we're going to have to face. We'll see what happens."

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The giant balloon borne telescope BLAST launched from SSC Esrange »» The giant balloon borne telescope BLAST launched from SSC Esrange

[Sunday, June 12, 2005] A giant balloon has been launched carrying BLAST, a large sub-millimetre telescope for studies of star formation. High altitude winds will carry the telescope from Sweden to a landing near the border between Canada and Alaska.

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NASA Internal Memo From Bill Readdy to the Human Space Flight Community »» NASA Internal Memo From Bill Readdy to the Human Space Flight Community

[Monday, June 13, 2005] "The President's Vision for Space Exploration is truly a bold project, most worthy of our efforts. As the new plans and systems begin to take shape for its implementation, new leaders will be asked to step forward to begin this transition."

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NASA Internal Memo From Al Diaz: My Future »» NASA Internal Memo From Al Diaz: My Future

[Monday, June 13, 2005] "Many of you read an article in the Washington Post about leadership changes in NASA. I read it Saturday night on my return from two weeks of vacation and was surprised to see the announcement of my pending departure and dismayed at the context."

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Small, Rocky Planet Discovered Circling Another Star »» Small, Rocky Planet Discovered Circling Another Star

[Monday, June 13, 2005] Researchers speaking today at the National Science Foundation announced the discovery of the smallest extrasolar planet yet found - one that resembles our own planet much more than any other yet discovered.

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NASA Exploration Systems Associate Administrator Craig Steidle Officially Resigns »» NASA Exploration Systems Associate Administrator Craig Steidle Officially Resigns

[Monday, June 13, 2005] Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Craig E. Steidle officially announced his resignation, effective June 24.

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NASA Announces New Date and Time For Space Shuttle Discovery's Rollout »» NASA Announces New Date and Time For Space Shuttle Discovery's Rollout

[Monday, June 13, 2005] Space Shuttle Discovery is set to roll out to Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla., with an upgraded External Tank. First motion is currently targeted for 12:01 a.m. EDT Wednesday, June 15.

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The Submillimeter Array: Studying the Past, Pioneering the Future »» The Submillimeter Array: Studying the Past, Pioneering the Future

[Monday, June 13, 2005] Astronomers are meeting this week in Cambridge, Mass., to discuss recent advances generated by a new astronomical facility-the Submillimeter Array (SMA) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

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NASA Selects Contractors for Crew Exploration Vehicle Work »» NASA Selects Contractors for Crew Exploration Vehicle Work

[Monday, June 13, 2005] NASA today announced the selection of Lockheed Martin Corp. and the team of Northrop Grumman Corp. and The Boeing Co. that will lead to an award to build the agency's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).

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NASA Mars Rover Sunset: A Moment Frozen in Time »» NASA Mars Rover Sunset: A Moment Frozen in Time

[Monday, June 13, 2005] On May 19th, 2005, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the Sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars.

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The GJ 876 Planetary System -- A Progress Report »» The GJ 876 Planetary System -- A Progress Report

[Monday, June 13, 2005] "We present an updated analysis of the GJ 876 planetary system based on an augmented data set that incorporates 65 new high-precision radial velocities obtained with the Keck telescope from 2001 to 2004."

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Observed Properties of Exoplanets: Masses, Orbits, and Metallicities »» Observed Properties of Exoplanets: Masses, Orbits, and Metallicities

[Monday, June 13, 2005] "We review the observed properties of exoplanets found by the Doppler technique which has revealed 152 exoplanets to date."

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SMA Confirms Protoplanetary Systems Are Common in the Galaxy »» SMA Confirms Protoplanetary Systems Are Common in the Galaxy

[Tuesday, June 14, 2005] Astronomers using the Submillimeter Array on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, confirmed, for the first time, that many of the objects termed "proplyds" found in the Orion Nebula do have sufficient material to form new planetary systems like our own.

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NASA's Shuttle Cargo Ready for Return to Flight »» NASA's Shuttle Cargo Ready for Return to Flight

[Tuesday, June 14, 2005] The cargo for the Space Shuttle Discovery's historic Return to Flight mission (STS-114) arrived yesterday at Launch Pad 39-B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

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t/Space Demonstrates New Air-Launch Technology »» t/Space Demonstrates New Air-Launch Technology

[Tuesday, June 14, 2005] Three weeks of flight tests over the Mojave desert have demonstrated a breakthrough in how to safely launch future passenger-carrying rockets using a carrier aircraft.

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NASA Astronaut Gives First Congressional Testimony From Space »» NASA Astronaut Gives First Congressional Testimony From Space

[Tuesday, June 14, 2005] NASA's astronaut aboard the International Space Station made history today becoming the first to testify before Congress (the House Science Committee, Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics) while in orbit.

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A climatic thermostat making Earth habitable »» A climatic thermostat making Earth habitable

[Tuesday, June 14, 2005] The mean surface temperature on Earth and other planets with atmospheres is determined by the radiative balance between the non-reflected incoming solar radiation and the outgoing long-wave black-body radiation from the atmosphere.

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Identifying Near Earth Object Families »» Identifying Near Earth Object Families

[Tuesday, June 14, 2005] The study of asteroid families has provided tremendous insight into the forces that sculpted the main belt and continue to drive the collisional and dynamical evolution of asteroids.

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How to identify the youngest protostars »» How to identify the youngest protostars

[Tuesday, June 14, 2005] "We study the transition from a prestellar core to a Class 0 protostar, using SPH to simulate the dynamical evolution, and a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code to generate the SED and isophotal maps."

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NASA Investigates Revolutionary Space Exploration Concepts »» NASA Investigates Revolutionary Space Exploration Concepts

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) has selected its 2005 Phase 1 awards. The Phase 1 awards are 12, six-month study proposals beginning in September that could revolutionize space exploration.

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NOAA Announces Impending Launch of GOES-N Spacecraft »» NOAA Announces Impending Launch of GOES-N Spacecraft

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] NOAA officials today announced details of a new geostationary operational environmental satellite that will launch next week. GOES-N, procured in cooperation with NASA, will lift off Friday, June 24, at 6:13 p.m. (EST) from the Kennedy Space Center in Flo

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SETI Institute to Ponder Habitability of M Stars »» SETI Institute to Ponder Habitability of M Stars

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] "It may well be that there are far more habitable planets orbiting M dwarfs than orbiting all other types of stars combined,"explains Frank Drake, Director of the SETI Institute's Center for the Study of Life in the Universe.

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SMA Stares Into The Throat of a Cosmic Jet »» SMA Stares Into The Throat of a Cosmic Jet

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] Astronomers find jets everywhere when they look into space. Small jets spout from newborn stars, while huge jets blast out of the centers of galaxies. Yet despite their commonness, the processes that drive them remain shrouded in mystery.

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Ripples in Cosmic Neutrino Background Measured for the First Time »» Ripples in Cosmic Neutrino Background Measured for the First Time

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] Astrophysicists have for the first time found evidence of ripples in the Universe's primordial sea of neutrinos, confirming the predictions of both Big Bang theory and the Standard Model of particle physics.

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Are Meteor Showers Misunderstood? »» Are Meteor Showers Misunderstood?

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] NASA's Deep Impact mission is about to smash into comet 9P/Tempel 1 to excavate a crater and probe the comet's internal structure. It's possible that the comet will break into fragments, creating a cloud of meteoroids. That may not be unnatural.

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NASA Internal Memo From Wayne Hale - Subject: Waivers »» NASA Internal Memo From Wayne Hale - Subject: Waivers

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] "Recently there has been some confusion about the status and processing of waivers in the Space Shuttle Program, and I would appreciate the opportunity to put some of the concerns and confusion to rest."

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NASA's Space SHuttle Discovery Successfully Rolls Back to Launch Pad »» NASA's Space SHuttle Discovery Successfully Rolls Back to Launch Pad

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] With new safety modifications, the Space Shuttle Discovery is back at Launch Pad 39B. Carried by a giant Crawler Transporter, Discovery arrived at the pad at 12:17 p.m. EDT today.

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Lucky Spirit and even luckier Opportunity continue their odyssey beyond 1,000 Martian days »» Lucky Spirit and even luckier Opportunity continue their odyssey beyond 1,000 Martian days

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] Luck, it has been said, favors the well prepared. That explains, perhaps, the fortune of the plucky Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity -- and their creators, including Cornell Professor Steve Squyres, scientific leader of the NASA mission, back on Earth.

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Just How »» Just How "Earth-like" is the Newest Planet?

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] In the land rush known as extrasolar planet hunting, the most prized real estate is advertised as "Earth-like." On Monday, June 13, scientists raced to plant their flag on a burning hunk of rock orbiting a red star.

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Ready for dinner on Mars? »» Ready for dinner on Mars?

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] 'Martian bread and green tomato jam', 'Spirulina gnocchis' and 'Potato and tomato mille-feuilles' are three delicious recipes that two French companies have created for ESA and future space explorers to Mars and other planets.

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Join Us for the Launch of Cosmos 1 the World's First Solar Sail Spacecraft »» Join Us for the Launch of Cosmos 1 the World's First Solar Sail Spacecraft

[Wednesday, June 15, 2005] On June 21, Cosmos 1 - the world's first solar sail spacecraft - is set to launch atop a converted ICBM from a submerged Russian submarine in the Barents Sea. 

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Hot volcanic eruptions could lead to a cooler Earth »» Hot volcanic eruptions could lead to a cooler Earth

[Thursday, June 16, 2005] Volcanic eruptions may be an agent of rapid and long-term climate change, according to new research by British scientists.

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Extreme melting event defines Earth's early history »» Extreme melting event defines Earth's early history

[Thursday, June 16, 2005] Could Earth have had an even more violent infancy than previously imagined? New isotope data suggest that the Earth not only had a very violent beginning but also point to new information about our planet's chemical evolution.

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NCAR climate expert: Hurricanes to intensify as Earth warms »» NCAR climate expert: Hurricanes to intensify as Earth warms

[Thursday, June 16, 2005] Warmer oceans, more moisture in the atmosphere, and other factors suggest that human-induced climate change will increase hurricane intensity and rainfall, according to climate expert Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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An Infrared Coronagraphic Survey for Substellar Companions »» An Infrared Coronagraphic Survey for Substellar Companions

[Thursday, June 16, 2005] "Results of the entire survey include the proper motion verification of five low-mass stellar companions, two brown dwarfs (HR7329B and TWA5B) and one possible brown dwarf binary (Gl 577B/C)"

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Annotated Press Release: CAGW: Moon, Mars Missions Not a Priority for Taxpayers »» Annotated Press Release: CAGW: Moon, Mars Missions Not a Priority for Taxpayers

[Thursday, June 16, 2005] "This press release by CAGW is a classic example of grabbing numbers out of thin air - selectively - and then weaving them together to tell a story - one that is based on a particular point of view."

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Progress M-53 Launched to ISS »» Progress M-53 Launched to ISS

[Friday, June 17, 2005] Yesterday, the Progress M-53 cargo vehicle was launched by at Soyuz-U rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Launch occurred on time at 03:09:33 Moscow Time.

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NASA Deep Impact MRI Image of Tempel 1 - June 13, 2005 »» NASA Deep Impact MRI Image of Tempel 1 - June 13, 2005

[Friday, June 17, 2005] This image is a compilation of 4 images that were taken on June 13, 2005, through the clear filter of the Medium Resolution Imager (MRI) camera.

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Numerical Modelling of Dusty Debris Disks »» Numerical Modelling of Dusty Debris Disks

[Friday, June 17, 2005] Observations of nearby Vega-like stars have revealed a number of clumpy, asymmetric dust debris disks. Previous studies have suggested planetary companions of various mass as the likely cause of most examples of disk asymmetry.

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Image of Fomalhaut Dust Ring at 350 Microns: Relative Column Density Map Shows Pericenter-Apocenter Asymmetry »» Image of Fomalhaut Dust Ring at 350 Microns: Relative Column Density Map Shows Pericenter-Apocenter Asymmetry

[Friday, June 17, 2005] "We have imaged the circumstellar disk of Fomalhaut at 350 microns wavelength at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. The spatial resolution of the raw images has been enhanced by a factor of three using the HiRes deconvolution procedure."

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Exploring Terrestrial Planet Formation in the TW Hydrae Association »» Exploring Terrestrial Planet Formation in the TW Hydrae Association

[Friday, June 17, 2005] Spitzer Space Telescope infrared measurements are presented for 24 members of the TW Hydrae association (TWA). High signal-to-noise 24-micron (um) photometry is presented for all of these stars, including 20 stars that were not detected by IRAS.

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NASA TV Covering Progress Docking to International Space Station »» NASA TV Covering Progress Docking to International Space Station

[Friday, June 17, 2005] When a fresh shipment of supplies arrives at the International Space Station, NASA TV will broadcast it live. Coverage begins Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT.

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Exploration, Discovery, and Science »» Exploration, Discovery, and Science

[Saturday, June 18, 2005] The terms "exploration" and "discovery" have been headlined since President Bush announced new goals for NASA and the nation in 2004. The renewed emphasis on exploration raises the question of the relation between exploration, discovery and science.

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Progress Cargo Craft Docks With International Space Station »» Progress Cargo Craft Docks With International Space Station

[Saturday, June 18, 2005] An unpiloted Russian cargo craft with more than two tons of supplies and equipment docked Saturday evening with the International Space Station.

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Mars Express Images: Coprates Chasma and Coprates Catena »» Mars Express Images: Coprates Chasma and Coprates Catena

[Sunday, June 19, 2005] These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft, show Coprates Chasma, a major trough in the Valles Marineris canyon system.

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Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Concludes 48th Session in Vienna »» Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Concludes 48th Session in Vienna

[Monday, June 20, 2005] During its 48th session in Vienna, COPUOS agreed on a text that could be transmitted to the President of the UN General Assembly for incorporation into the draft outcome document of the 2005 World Summit, to be held from 14 to 16 September 2005.

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NASA Astrobiology Institute: In Search of Diversity »» NASA Astrobiology Institute: In Search of Diversity

[Monday, June 20, 2005] At a recent meeting of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, molecular evolutionist Mitch Sogin explained how understanding the diversity of microbial life on Earth could help scientists in the search for life on other worlds.

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Balloon Borne Telescope BLAST Lands in Canada »» Balloon Borne Telescope BLAST Lands in Canada

[Monday, June 20, 2005] After a most successful balloon flight, BLAST finally landed on 16 June on Victoria Island in Canada. The submillimeter telescope obtained over four days of data in near space that will help scientists understand the evolution of the universe.

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Watch the First Solar Sail Fly Overhead! »» Watch the First Solar Sail Fly Overhead!

[Monday, June 20, 2005] On June 21, 2005, Cosmos 1, a project of The Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios, is launching  a breakthrough mission to assist the world community in developing future solar sail technologies. 

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Rosetta monitors Deep Impact »» Rosetta monitors Deep Impact

[Monday, June 20, 2005] ESA's comet chaser Rosetta will take part in one of the world's largest astronomical observation campaigns - the Deep Impact event - while on its cruise to Comet 69P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta will be watching from 29 June to 14 July 2005.

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Does life exist on other planets? »» Does life exist on other planets?

[Monday, June 20, 2005] Recent research argues that an atmosphere rich in oxygen is the most likely source of energy for complex life to exist anywhere in the Universe, thereby limiting the number of places life may exist.

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Physicists clarify exotic force, but no 'Theory of Everything' yet »» Physicists clarify exotic force, but no 'Theory of Everything' yet

[Monday, June 20, 2005] The quest for a single theory that unites all of the universe's fundamental forces has thus far eluded physicists, but that has not stopped a team of them from clearing the way for nanotechnologists while they look for it.

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Sen. Hutchison Introduces NASA Authorization Bill »» Sen. Hutchison Introduces NASA Authorization Bill

[Tuesday, June 21, 2005] Later today, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, will file the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act of 2005.

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Deep Impact Detects Comet Nucleus »» Deep Impact Detects Comet Nucleus

[Tuesday, June 21, 2005] Scientists have processed images from Deep Impact and clearly seen the nucleus of the comet through the vast cloud of dust and gas that surrounds it. The new images provide important information about the mission's target: the "heart" of comet Tempel 1.

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Mike Griffin Reveals His Commercialization Vision for NASA: Part 1 »» Mike Griffin Reveals His Commercialization Vision for NASA: Part 1

[Tuesday, June 21, 2005] "Mike Griffin chose the occasion to address NASA commercialization policy. He advised the audience that as the summer progresses that some of the things he'd discuss would be transformed into action."

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Cosmos 1 Solar Sail Update - Spacecraft Signal May Have Been Detected »» Cosmos 1 Solar Sail Update - Spacecraft Signal May Have Been Detected

[Tuesday, June 21, 2005] "We have reviewed our telemetry recordings and have found what we believe are spacecraft signals in the data recorded at the tracking stations in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka and Majuro, Marshall Islands."

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Mike Griffin Reveals His Commercialization Vision for NASA: Part 2 »» Mike Griffin Reveals His Commercialization Vision for NASA: Part 2

[Wednesday, June 22, 2005] Following his remarks to the Space Transportation Association on Tuesday, Mike Griffin took questions from the audience.

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Mars Express Radar Ready to Work »» Mars Express Radar Ready to Work

[Wednesday, June 22, 2005] MARSIS, the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding onboard ESA's Mars Express orbiter, is now fully deployed, has undergone its first checkout and is ready to start operations around the Red Planet.

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Dust Ring Around Fomalhaut Disrupted by Planet »» Dust Ring Around Fomalhaut Disrupted by Planet

[Wednesday, June 22, 2005] A detailed image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope offers the strongest evidence yet that an unruly and unseen planet may be gravitationally tugging on a dusty ring around the nearby star Fomalhaut (HD 216956).

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NASA, Entrepreneurs to Develop Biotechnology Plan for Space Station »» NASA, Entrepreneurs to Develop Biotechnology Plan for Space Station

[Wednesday, June 22, 2005] NASA scientists and space service providers are meeting on June 21 and June 22 to develop a new entrepreneurial paradigm for the International Space Station (ISS) focusing on biotechnology applications.

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Mikulski Includes $250 Million for Hubble in Federal Spending Bill »» Mikulski Includes $250 Million for Hubble in Federal Spending Bill

[Wednesday, June 22, 2005] Senator Barbara A. Mikulski announced today that the Senate version of the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill includes $250 million for a Hubble servicing mission.

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Elusive Earths »» Elusive Earths

[Wednesday, June 22, 2005] In this interview with Astrobiology Magazine, Professor of Astronomy Geoff Marcy, one of the world's leading planet-hunters, reflects on recent other-worldly discoveries and speculates on what surprises may lay in store.

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Report Warns of Challenges to U.S. Leadership in Space »» Report Warns of Challenges to U.S. Leadership in Space

[Thursday, June 23, 2005] The U.S. must bolster the competitiveness of its commercial space industry, expand international cooperation, and refocus on basic science in order to hold on to its traditional leadership position in space, according to the authors of a new paper.

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Cornell grad Dan Maas creates Deep Impact animations for NASA »» Cornell grad Dan Maas creates Deep Impact animations for NASA

[Thursday, June 23, 2005] Thanks to meticulous research and hours of conversations with mission engineers and scientists, Maas can envision every detail -- from the precise structure of the spacecraft to the celestial bodies its cameras will capture along the way.

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'Bumpy Space Dust' Explains Origin of Most Common Molecule in Universe »» 'Bumpy Space Dust' Explains Origin of Most Common Molecule in Universe

[Friday, June 24, 2005] "Why is much of the hydrogen in molecular form - with two hydrogen atoms bonded together - rather than its single atomic form? Where did all that molecular hydrogen come from?"

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NASA, Xerox to Demonstrate 'Virtual Crew Assistant' »» NASA, Xerox to Demonstrate 'Virtual Crew Assistant'

[Friday, June 24, 2005] Intelligent conversation with robots - long the bread and butter of science fiction authors - soon may take another step closer to reality for astronauts on the International Space Station.

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Detour: Planetary Construction Zone Ahead »» Detour: Planetary Construction Zone Ahead

[Friday, June 24, 2005] Astronomer David Wilner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and his colleagues have discovered that the gaseous protoplanetary disk surrounding TW Hydrae holds vast swaths of pebbles extending outward for at least 1 billion miles.

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NASA Space Station Status Report 24 June 2005 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 24 June 2005

[Friday, June 24, 2005] The crew members also began preparing the Station for a visit by the Space Shuttle on its Return to Flight mission that is targeted to launch in a window that opens in less than three weeks.

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NASA's Shuttle Program Moves One Step Closer to Launch »» NASA's Shuttle Program Moves One Step Closer to Launch

[Friday, June 24, 2005] NASA held a media teleconference this afternoon to discuss the status of preparations for the STS -114 mission.

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NASA to Announce Key Decisions About Shuttle Return to Flight »» NASA to Announce Key Decisions About Shuttle Return to Flight

[Saturday, June 25, 2005] NASA officials will update the media Thursday, June 30, after two days of meetings to determine the Space Shuttle Discovery's readiness for launch. The news conference will immediately follow the Flight Readiness Review (FRR) meeting.

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Critical Call: Rigorous Quality Control at NASA Isolates Space Shuttle Main Engine Flaws »» Critical Call: Rigorous Quality Control at NASA Isolates Space Shuttle Main Engine Flaws

[Sunday, June 26, 2005] The NASA/Boeing-Rocketdyne Space Shuttle Main Engine project is correcting flaws in critical Honeywell SSME electronic components that could have caused a potentially dangerous launch pad abort.

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Conditions for the Age of Space »» Conditions for the Age of Space

[Sunday, June 26, 2005] "In this essay we continue our discussion of the Age of Discovery as an interpretive framework of the Age of Space. Both the Age of Discovery and the Age of Space had their motivations, although very different."

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Hubble captures outburst from comet targeted by Deep Impact »» Hubble captures outburst from comet targeted by Deep Impact

[Monday, June 27, 2005] In a dress rehearsal for the rendezvous between NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft and comet 9P/Tempel 1, the Hubble Space Telescope captured dramatic images of a new jet of dust streaming from the icy comet.

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Tulips on the Moon »» Tulips on the Moon

[Monday, June 27, 2005] In this essay, Bernard Foing ponders what steps will need to be taken to establish future human bases on the Moon. The difficulties of living there could be eased by something as beautiful and delicate as a flower.

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The Search for Life »» The Search for Life

[Monday, June 27, 2005] "Why do we explore? As this essay series suggests, there are many answers. But since the beginning of the Space Age one of the chief drivers has been the search for life beyond Earth."

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XMM-Newton to observe Deep Impact »» XMM-Newton to observe Deep Impact

[Monday, June 27, 2005] ESA's orbiting X-ray observatory XMM-Newton joins the fleet of spacecraft taking part in one of the world's largest astronomical observation campaigns - the Deep Impact event - on 4 July 2005.

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Return to Flight Task Group Plenary and Public Meeting »» Return to Flight Task Group Plenary and Public Meeting

[Monday, June 27, 2005] The Return to Flight Task Force held its final meeting in Washington, DC today during which it presented the remainder of its recommendations on the space shuttle to NASA.

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Inaugural SpaceX Falcon 1 Flight Moved to Kwajalein »» Inaugural SpaceX Falcon 1 Flight Moved to Kwajalein

[Monday, June 27, 2005] We were just informed that the Titan IV flight will launch no earlier than September and may very well be delayed until October or November, depending upon what issues arise (due to overflight concerns, Falcon I is required to launch after Titan IV)

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Cassini Reveals Lake-Like Feature on Titan »» Cassini Reveals Lake-Like Feature on Titan

[Tuesday, June 28, 2005] Scientists are fascinated by a feature recently observed on Titan. Cassini has captured images showing a marking, darker than anything else around it. It is remarkably lake-like, with smooth, shore-like boundaries unlike any seen previously on Titan.

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Return to Flight Task Group Executive Summary »» Return to Flight Task Group Executive Summary

[Tuesday, June 28, 2005] "Spaceflight is a demanding pursuit, and the President, Congress, NASA, and the American public must provide the proper resources and environment to ensure it is conducted in the safest and most efficient manner possible."

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Opening Statement by Michael Griffin at a House Science Committee Hearing on The Future of NASA »» Opening Statement by Michael Griffin at a House Science Committee Hearing on The Future of NASA

[Wednesday, June 29, 2005] "In presenting the Vision for Space Exploration last year, the President defined a focus for our nation's space program in a journey of exploration that will be carried out over the next several decades."

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How to See NASA's Comet Crash in the Sky »» How to See NASA's Comet Crash in the Sky

[Wednesday, June 29, 2005] If you have a telescope or binoculars, you can watch to see if the comet brightens after the probe's kamikaze plunge. Contrary to optimistic predictions, you're unlikely to see anything of this event with your unaided eye.

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NASA Authorization Bill Passes House Subcommittee - Full Committee to Consider the Bill in July »» NASA Authorization Bill Passes House Subcommittee - Full Committee to Consider the Bill in July

[Wednesday, June 29, 2005] The Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics today passed H.R. 3070, NASA Authorization Act of 2005, clearing the measure for the full Science Committee, which will consider the bill after the Independence Day recess.

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Scientist refines cosmic clock to determine age of Milky Way »» Scientist refines cosmic clock to determine age of Milky Way

[Wednesday, June 29, 2005] The University of Chicago's Nicolas Dauphas has developed a new way to calculate the age of the Milky Way that is free of the unvalidated assumptions that have plagued previous methods.

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Hibernating Spacecraft Awakens for Comet Impact Mission »» Hibernating Spacecraft Awakens for Comet Impact Mission

[Wednesday, June 29, 2005] The Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite has been asleep on orbit for the past 11 months. SWAS operators have awakened SWAS again for the first-ever opportunity to study a comet on a collision course with a U.S. space probe.

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Geophysicists Image Rock Layers Under Himalaya »» Geophysicists Image Rock Layers Under Himalaya

[Wednesday, June 29, 2005] Geophysicists at the University of Colorado at Boulder have developed a new technique to visualize the colliding rock bodies beneath the Himalaya with unprecedented detail.

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NASA Instrument Launches on Japanese Observatory »» NASA Instrument Launches on Japanese Observatory

[Thursday, June 30, 2005] A pioneering X-ray detector developed at NASA'S Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md. will launch on board the new Astro-E2 space observatory.

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NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective - Two for the Price of One »» NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective - Two for the Price of One

[Thursday, June 30, 2005] New Horizons finished its testing at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) last month. On June 13, the New Horizons spacecraft left its birthplace, APL, for space-environment testing at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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NASA Researchers Discover Planet With Largest Solid Core »» NASA Researchers Discover Planet With Largest Solid Core

[Thursday, June 30, 2005] NASA researchers recently discovered the largest solid core ever found in an extrasolar planet, and their discovery confirms a planet formation theory.

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Scientists Discover Mineral That Comes from Ancient Supernova »» Scientists Discover Mineral That Comes from Ancient Supernova

[Thursday, June 30, 2005] NASA and University of Arizona researchers have discovered pristine mineral grains that formed in an ancient supernova explosion.

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NASA Gives Go for Space Shuttle Return to Flight »» NASA Gives Go for Space Shuttle Return to Flight

[Thursday, June 30, 2005] NASA has cleared the Space Shuttle to Return to Flight. After a two-day Flight Readiness Review meeting at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, senior managers approved a July 13 launch date for Discovery.

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