June 2006 Top Story Archives



Chandra X-ray Observatory: The Case of the Neutron Star with a Wayward Wake »» Chandra X-ray Observatory: The Case of the Neutron Star with a Wayward Wake

[Thursday, June 1, 2006] A long observation with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed important new details of a neutron star that is spewing out a wake of high-energy particles as it races through space.

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Thirty Meter Telescope Passes Conceptual Design Review »» Thirty Meter Telescope Passes Conceptual Design Review

[Thursday, June 1, 2006] The detailed design for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) developed by a U.S.-Canadian team is capable of delivering on the full promise of its enormous light-collecting area, according to the findings of an independent panel of experts.

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Hayabusa mission offers an intimate portrait of asteroid Itokawa »» Hayabusa mission offers an intimate portrait of asteroid Itokawa

[Thursday, June 1, 2006] The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa hovered over the near-Earth asteroid Itokawa last fall, taking up-close measurements and photographs. Then it swooped down for a brief landing and the first-ever sample attempt on an asteroid.

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NASA Space Station Status Report 2 June 2006 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 2 June 2006

[Friday, June 2, 2006] The residents of the International Space Station ventured outside their orbital home Thursday night to conduct a 6-hour, 31-minute spacewalk to repair, retrieve and replace hardware on the U.S. and Russian segments of the complex.

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Giant NASA balloon aloft from Esrange Space Center »» Giant NASA balloon aloft from Esrange Space Center

[Friday, June 2, 2006] Last night at 02:08 (UT) the giant balloon borne scientific instrument AESOP was successfully launched from SSC launch facility at Esrange Space Center. The 300 m long balloon and flight train rose up like a gigantic golden bubble lightened by the midnigh

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Big Bang in Antarctica: Killer Crater Found Under Ice »» Big Bang in Antarctica: Killer Crater Found Under Ice

[Friday, June 2, 2006] Planetary scientists have found evidence of a meteor impact much larger and earlier than the one that killed the dinosaurs -- an impact that they believe caused the biggest mass extinction in Earth's history.

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NASA Welcomes European Space Station Module Columbus »» NASA Welcomes European Space Station Module Columbus

[Friday, June 2, 2006] NASA is celebrating the arrival of the Columbus research laboratory. Columbus is the European Space Agency's primary contribution to the station. It arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Tuesday from Germany.

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NASA's Next Space Shuttle Crew Participant in Countdown Test »» NASA's Next Space Shuttle Crew Participant in Countdown Test

[Friday, June 2, 2006] The astronauts and ground crews for Space Shuttle Discovery's upcoming mission, STS-121, will go through a full launch dress rehearsal at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., June 12-15.

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NASA New Horizon's Mission: The PI's Perspective: A Summer's Crossing of the Asteroid Belt »» NASA New Horizon's Mission: The PI's Perspective: A Summer's Crossing of the Asteroid Belt

[Saturday, June 3, 2006] Although we specifically decided not to target any asteroid, after launch we did conduct a thorough search for chance encounters along our trajectory. We found several such opportunities back in February.

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Titan's Atmosphere and Saturn's Rings »» Titan's Atmosphere and Saturn's Rings

[Saturday, June 3, 2006] This image was taken on June 02, 2006 and received on Earth June 03, 2006. The camera was pointing toward Titan at approximately 2,338,094 kilometers away.

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The Carbon-Rich Gas in the Beta Pictoris Circumstellar Disk »» The Carbon-Rich Gas in the Beta Pictoris Circumstellar Disk

[Sunday, June 4, 2006] "Here we report the detection of singly and doubly ionized carbon (CII, CIII) and neutral atomic oxygen (OI) gas in the Beta Pic disk; measurement of these abundant volatile species permits a much more complete gas inventory."

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Russia's Lunar Return »» Russia's Lunar Return

[Sunday, June 4, 2006] Russia, which pioneered and then abandoned robotic exploration of the Moon after loss of the Space Race and collapse of the Soviet Union, is starting the development of its first lunar mission in 30 years.

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NASA Announces Distribution of Constellation Work »» NASA Announces Distribution of Constellation Work

[Monday, June 5, 2006] NASA announced Monday agency center responsibilities associated with the Constellation Program for robotic and human moon and Mars exploration.

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30 Years of Pioneer Spacecraft Data Rescued »» 30 Years of Pioneer Spacecraft Data Rescued

[Monday, June 5, 2006] There's a mystery at the edge of our solar system. Two spacecraft, Pioneers 10 and 11, which were launched to Jupiter and Saturn more than 30 years ago, are hurtling towards the edge of our solar system -- but at a slower than expected rate.

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Jupiter's »» Jupiter's "Big Brother" Has Moon-Forming Dust Disk

[Monday, June 5, 2006] Observations by astronomer Subhanjoy Mohanty of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and his colleagues provide the first direct evidence for a dusty disk around a distant planet that in mass would be Jupiter's "big brother."

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New study suggests 'planemos' may spawn planets and moons »» New study suggests 'planemos' may spawn planets and moons

[Monday, June 5, 2006] Forget our traditional ideas of where a planetary system forms - new research reveals that planetary nurseries can exist not only around stars but also around objects that are themselves not much heftier than Jupiter.

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Galaxy evolution in cyber universe matches astronomical observations in fine detail »» Galaxy evolution in cyber universe matches astronomical observations in fine detail

[Monday, June 5, 2006] Scientists at the University of Chicago have bolstered the case for a popular scenario of the big bang theory that neatly explains the arrangement of galaxies throughout the universe.

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New Gemini images contrast the late evolution of two very different stars »» New Gemini images contrast the late evolution of two very different stars

[Monday, June 5, 2006] Two new images from the Gemini Observatory released today show a pair of beautiful nebulae that were created by two very different types of stars at what may be similar points in their evolutionary timelines.

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'Cosmic telescopes' may have found infant galaxies »» 'Cosmic telescopes' may have found infant galaxies

[Monday, June 5, 2006] Using massive clusters of galaxies as "cosmic telescopes," a research team led by a Johns Hopkins University astronomer has found what may be infant galaxies born in the first billion years after the beginning of the universe.

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Janus, Prometheus, and Saturn's Rings »» Janus, Prometheus, and Saturn's Rings

[Monday, June 5, 2006] From just beneath the ringplane, Cassini stares at Janus (181 kilometers across) on the near side of the rings and Prometheus (102 kilometers) on the far side. The image shows that Prometheus is more elongated than Janus.

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Study shows our ancestors survived 'Snowball Earth' »» Study shows our ancestors survived 'Snowball Earth'

[Tuesday, June 6, 2006] It has been 2.3 billion years since Earth's atmosphere became infused with enough oxygen to support life as we know it. About the same time, the planet became encased in ice that some scientists speculate was more than a half-mile deep.

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United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to Hold 49th Session in Vienna »» United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to Hold 49th Session in Vienna

[Tuesday, June 6, 2006] COPUOS will hold its forty-ninth session in Vienna, Austria, from 7 to 16 June. Topics such as space and water, space and education and the recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society, will be on the agenda.

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First Images from NASA's Cloudsat Reveal New 3D Cloud Details »» First Images from NASA's Cloudsat Reveal New 3D Cloud Details

[Tuesday, June 6, 2006] Mission managers tested the flight and ground system performance of the satellite's Cloud-Profiling Radar in late May, and found it to be working perfectly.

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Do 'Planemos' Have Progeny? Planetary-Mass Objects Found to be Surrounded by Discs »» Do 'Planemos' Have Progeny? Planetary-Mass Objects Found to be Surrounded by Discs

[Tuesday, June 6, 2006] Two new studies show that objects only a few times more massive than Jupiter are born with discs of dust and gas. This suggests that miniature versions of the solar system may circle objects that are some 100 times less massive than our Sun.

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Andromeda Adrift in Sea of Dust in New NASA Image »» Andromeda Adrift in Sea of Dust in New NASA Image

[Tuesday, June 6, 2006] The new false-colored portrait also provides astronomers with the best look yet at the dust-drenched spiral arms that swirl out of the galaxy's center, a region hidden by bright starlight in visible-light images.

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NASA Scientists Find Infant Solar System Awash in Carbon »» NASA Scientists Find Infant Solar System Awash in Carbon

[Wednesday, June 7, 2006] Scientists using NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, or FUSE, have discovered abundant amounts of carbon gas in a dusty disk surrounding a well-studied young star named Beta Pictoris.

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Forming super-Earths by ultraviolet stripping »» Forming super-Earths by ultraviolet stripping

[Wednesday, June 7, 2006] A new explanation for forming "super-Earths" suggests that they are more likely to be found orbiting red dwarf stars--the most abundant type of star--than gas giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn.

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NASA GSFC Solicitation: Near Earth Object (NEO) Survey »» NASA GSFC Solicitation: Near Earth Object (NEO) Survey

[Wednesday, June 7, 2006] NASA is congressionally mandated to plan, develop, and implement a program to detect, track, catalogue, and characterize NEOs, and to study alternatives to carry out the survey program and to divert an object on a likely collision course with Earth.

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Revised NPOESS Weather Satellite Program to be Examined at House Science Committee Hearing With Agency Heads »» Revised NPOESS Weather Satellite Program to be Examined at House Science Committee Hearing With Agency Heads

[Wednesday, June 7, 2006] The key program to build new weather satellites for both military and civilian forecasting has just undergone a statutorily required review because the program was more than 25 percent over budget.

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NASA Rocket Carrying Student Experiments Successfully Launched »» NASA Rocket Carrying Student Experiments Successfully Launched

[Thursday, June 8, 2006] The launch of the NASA Orion sounding rocket was successfully conducted this morning. The payload reached an apogee of 51 km. The payload has been recovered and is now making its way back to Wallops.

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Hubble Space Telescope Sees Galaxy on Edge »» Hubble Space Telescope Sees Galaxy on Edge

[Thursday, June 8, 2006] This is a unique view of the disk galaxy NGC 5866 tilted nearly edge-on to our line-of-sight. Hubble Space Telescope's sharp vision reveals a crisp dust lane dividing the galaxy into two halves.

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Mars Express Image: Heavily eroded Aram Chaos »» Mars Express Image: Heavily eroded Aram Chaos

[Thursday, June 8, 2006] These images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show Aram Chaos, 280-km-wide circular structure characterized by chaotic terrain.

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New study shows much of the world emerged from last Ice Age together »» New study shows much of the world emerged from last Ice Age together

[Friday, June 9, 2006] A new study appearing in the upcoming issue of the journal Science suggests that, except for regions of the North Atlantic, most of the Earth did, in fact, begin warming at the same time roughly 17,500 years ago.

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NRC Report: An Assessment of Balance in NASA's Science Programs »» NRC Report: An Assessment of Balance in NASA's Science Programs

[Friday, June 9, 2006] This report presents that last phase with an assessment of the health of the NASA scientific disciplines under the budget requests imposed by the exploration initiative.

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NRC Report: Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce: »» NRC Report: Issues Affecting the Future of the U.S. Space Science and Engineering Workforce:

[Saturday, June 10, 2006] "However, so far NASA has only begun to examine skill distribution and is becoming aware that it has an age distribution problem, but the committee saw no indication that the agency has begun to act on this concern."

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XMM-Newton spots the greatest of great balls of fire »» XMM-Newton spots the greatest of great balls of fire

[Monday, June 12, 2006] Thanks to data from ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray satellite, a team of international scientists found a comet-like ball of gas over a thousand million times the mass of the sun hurling through a distant galaxy cluster over 750 kilometres per second.

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Spirit Finds Possible Meteorite in Columbia Hills (False Color) »» Spirit Finds Possible Meteorite in Columbia Hills (False Color)

[Monday, June 12, 2006] The rock in the center foreground of this picture is suspected of being an iron meteorite. The panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took this image during the rover's 809th Martian day (April 12, 2006).

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NASA's Workforce Challenges to Be Exammined at House Science Committee Hearing »» NASA's Workforce Challenges to Be Exammined at House Science Committee Hearing

[Monday, June 12, 2006] On Tuesday the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics will hold a hearing on NASA's workforce strategy. The hearing will examine whether NASA is taking the steps necessary to ensure that it has the workforce to carry out its plans.

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A Sight to Behold - Saturn and Titan »» A Sight to Behold - Saturn and Titan

[Monday, June 12, 2006] Cassini gazes upon Titan in the distance beyond Saturn and its dark and graceful rings. This view was taken from above the ringplane and looks toward the unlit side of the rings.

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NASA Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) Meeting Report May 4-5th 2006 »» NASA Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) Meeting Report May 4-5th 2006

[Monday, June 12, 2006] The Outer Planets Assessment Group is a NASA-supported forum for scientists and engineers to discuss exploration of the outer solar system and to enhance communication between community and NASA.

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Spaceward Bound program in Atacama Desert »» Spaceward Bound program in Atacama Desert

[Monday, June 12, 2006] What are seven NASA Explorer School teachers doing in the Atacama desert in Chile? They are studying side-by-side with NASA scientists who search for life in extreme environments, closely approximating what they expect to find on other planets.

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How Did A Confederate Flag Get Aboard the International Space Station? »» How Did A Confederate Flag Get Aboard the International Space Station?

[Tuesday, June 13, 2006] A seller on Ebay is currently offering confederate flags which have flown aboard the International Space Station. The question many are asking is why NASA would allow the flying of a symbol many people find to be offensive.

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Genesis Mishap Report - Executive Summary »» Genesis Mishap Report - Executive Summary

[Tuesday, June 13, 2006] On September 8, 2004 the Genesis sample return capsule drogue parachute did not deploy during entry, descent, and landing operations over the Utah Test and Training Range.

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Arctic expedition will investigate alien-like glacier »» Arctic expedition will investigate alien-like glacier

[Tuesday, June 13, 2006] A scientific expedition to a remote glacier field in Canada's High Arctic may help researchers unlock the secrets about the beginning of life and provide insights for future exploration of our solar system.

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New satellite set to collect most-detailed data yet about atmospheric particles »» New satellite set to collect most-detailed data yet about atmospheric particles

[Tuesday, June 13, 2006] A new satellite that last week began gathering data from the Earth's atmosphere could be a key tool in unraveling just how much effect the reflectivity of clouds and tiny particles called aerosols are having on the planet's changing climate.

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NASA STS-121 Launch Date Announcement »» NASA STS-121 Launch Date Announcement

[Tuesday, June 13, 2006] NASA officials will host a news conference no earlier than 2 p.m. EDT, Saturday, June 17, following a two-day detailed assessment of the readiness of Space Shuttle Discovery for launch. The briefing will air live on NASA TV from the Kennedy Space Center,

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Hubble Space Telescope Eyes Star Birth in the Extreme »» Hubble Space Telescope Eyes Star Birth in the Extreme

[Tuesday, June 13, 2006] Staring into the crowded, dusty core of two merging galaxies, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a region where star formation has gone wild. The interacting galaxies appear as a single, odd-looking galaxy called Arp 220.

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A History and Informal Assessment of the Slacker Astronomy Podcast »» A History and Informal Assessment of the Slacker Astronomy Podcast

[Tuesday, June 13, 2006] Slacker Astronomy is a weekly podcast that covers a recent astronomical news event or discovery. The show has a unique style consisting of irreverent, over-the-top humor combined with a healthy dose of hard science.

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Milky Way's Sister Galaxy Shines in New Portrait »» Milky Way's Sister Galaxy Shines in New Portrait

[Wednesday, June 14, 2006] In this new image from the MMT Observatory's 6.5-meter telescope the Triangulum galaxy emerges from the shadows to reveal stunning swirls of stars and dust dotted with brilliant pink nebulae.

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Mars Picture of the Day: Waning Polar Cap »» Mars Picture of the Day: Waning Polar Cap

[Wednesday, June 14, 2006] This image shows the outer edge of the south polar residual cap of Mars. During summer, the scarps that delineate the sides of the mesas, retreat (on average) by about 3 meters owing to the sublimation of solid carbon dioxide.

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First Primary Mirror Segment for James Webb Space Telescope Delivered »» First Primary Mirror Segment for James Webb Space Telescope Delivered

[Wednesday, June 14, 2006] Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has begun calibration and assembly of the first flight primary mirror segment for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the cryogenic infrared observatory scheduled to launch in 2013.

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NASA Gravity Probe B Mission Update 7 June 2006 »» NASA Gravity Probe B Mission Update 7 June 2006

[Wednesday, June 14, 2006] Over this past month, our telescope team completed a careful analysis of data collected from the science telescope over the course of the mission. We now have a thorough understanding of the telescope system performance.

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Ancient rock carving linked to astronomical event? »» Ancient rock carving linked to astronomical event?

[Wednesday, June 14, 2006] John Barentine and Gilbert A. Esquerdo believe an early rock carving, or petroglyph, found in the White Tanks Regional Park in Arizona depicts the well-known supernova of A.D. 1006.

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SwRI researchers offer first explanation for the near constant scale of the gas planet satellite systems »» SwRI researchers offer first explanation for the near constant scale of the gas planet satellite systems

[Wednesday, June 14, 2006] Research by SwRI proposes an explanation as to why the gaseous planets display this consistency, and why the satellites of gas planets are so much smaller compared to their planet than the principal satellites of solid planets.

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NASA ARC Presolicitation Notice: Biomedical Studies »» NASA ARC Presolicitation Notice: Biomedical Studies

[Thursday, June 15, 2006] NASA/ARC has a requirement for biomedical studies related to the flight of Russia's 2007 Foton-M3 free-flyer spacecraft. These studies would be performed through pre- and post-flight ground-based investigations conducted in Russia and the U.S.

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Three new 'Trojan' asteroids found sharing Neptune's orbit »» Three new 'Trojan' asteroids found sharing Neptune's orbit

[Thursday, June 15, 2006] Three new objects locked into roughly the same orbit as Neptune--called "Trojan" asteroids--have been found by researchers from the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM) and the Gemini Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii.

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NASA Wallops Flight Facility Trip Report: Cameron Wade »» NASA Wallops Flight Facility Trip Report: Cameron Wade

[Thursday, June 15, 2006] I want to thank everyone who helped me go on this trip. I am going to study hard, do all my work, and get help when I need it. I want to do this when I am an adult.

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New Horizons Tracks an Asteroid »» New Horizons Tracks an Asteroid

[Friday, June 16, 2006] It's a small object with big news for the New Horizons team: the first spacecraft to Pluto tested its tracking and imaging capabilities this week on asteroid 2002 JF56, a relatively tiny space rock orbiting in the asteroid belt.

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The magnetic nature of disk accretion onto black holes »» The magnetic nature of disk accretion onto black holes

[Friday, June 16, 2006] Here we report that an X-ray-absorbing wind discovered in an observation of the stellar-mass black hole binary GRO J1655-40 must be powered by a magnetic process that can also drive accretion through the disk.

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Question For NASA: Why Are There Party Balloons on the International Space Station? »» Question For NASA: Why Are There Party Balloons on the International Space Station?

[Friday, June 16, 2006] Check out this image from the ISS inside Destiny Module. Look at the upper left hand corner of the image - at high resolution.

Is that a bunch of party balloons?

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Despite Objections, NASA Decides to Launch the Space Shuttle on July First »» Despite Objections, NASA Decides to Launch the Space Shuttle on July First

[Saturday, June 17, 2006] NASA has set 1 July as the target launch date for STS-121. The announcement was made from Kennedy Space Center this afternoon. The decision was not unanimous, however.

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NASA Cassini Image: Rhea Eclipses Titan »» NASA Cassini Image: Rhea Eclipses Titan

[Sunday, June 18, 2006] This image was taken on June 11, 2006 and received on Earth June 12, 2006. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 3,617,689 kilometers away.

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Pace Quickens for NASA Spacecraft Orbiting Mars »» Pace Quickens for NASA Spacecraft Orbiting Mars

[Monday, June 19, 2006] NASA's newest spacecraft at Mars has already cut the size and duration of each orbit by more than half, just 11 weeks into a 23-week process of shrinking its orbit. By other indicators, the lion's share of the job lies ahead.

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NASA Assigns Crew for Space Shuttle Mission STS-120 »» NASA Assigns Crew for Space Shuttle Mission STS-120

[Monday, June 19, 2006] NASA has assigned crew members to the space shuttle flight that will launch an Italian-built U.S. module for the International Space Station.

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New State of the Art Software Will Safeguard ATV Rendezvous »» New State of the Art Software Will Safeguard ATV Rendezvous

[Monday, June 19, 2006] If Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) encounters difficulties during rendezvous with the International Space Station, some highly sophisticated software will be on-hand to take over operations and avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

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Cluster makes an effervescent discovery »» Cluster makes an effervescent discovery

[Tuesday, June 20, 2006] Space is fizzing. Above our heads, where the Earth's magnetic field meets the constant stream of gas from the Sun, thousands of bubbles of superheated gas are constantly growing and popping.

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Slow-frozen people? Latest research supports possibility of cyropreservation »» Slow-frozen people? Latest research supports possibility of cyropreservation

[Tuesday, June 20, 2006] The latest research on water seems to support the possibility that cells, tissues and even the entire human body could be cyropreserved without formation of damaging ice crystals

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

[Wednesday, June 21, 2006] The implementation plan is periodically updated and demonstrates NASA's progress in safely returning space shuttles to flight. This edition includes information about decisions regarding the shuttle's external fuel tank.

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NASA Space Shuttle Flight Readiness Review Teleconference Scheduled »» NASA Space Shuttle Flight Readiness Review Teleconference Scheduled

[Wednesday, June 21, 2006] NASA will host a media teleconference at 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday, June 21, to discuss the results of last week's Flight Readiness Review meeting for the next space shuttle mission, STS-121 .

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NASA Wallops Flight Facility Trip Report: Billy Shannon »» NASA Wallops Flight Facility Trip Report: Billy Shannon

[Wednesday, June 21, 2006] The adventure was unbelievable. It was great. It was really worth it. It was definitely worth writing an essay to go. I am going to send Mrs. Ghaffarian some of my essays from middle school next year. She should like that.

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NASA Sends Flies Into Space to Test Changes in Immune System »» NASA Sends Flies Into Space to Test Changes in Immune System

[Wednesday, June 21, 2006] Thousands of tiny fruit flies soon will journey into space to help NASA scientists better understand changes in the human immune system caused by space flight.

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Report: NASA Research and Utilization Plan for the International Space Station »» Report: NASA Research and Utilization Plan for the International Space Station

[Wednesday, June 21, 2006] This plan was prepared in response to Congressional direction (Public Law No: 109-155) for a "research plan for NASA utilization of the ISS and the proposed final configuration of the ISS

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Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Concludes 49th Session in Vienna »» Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Concludes 49th Session in Vienna

[Wednesday, June 21, 2006] During its 49th session COPUOS agreed that a platform for space-based information for disaster management and emergency response should be implemented as a programme of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA).

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NASA's Chandra Solves Black Hole Paradox »» NASA's Chandra Solves Black Hole Paradox

[Wednesday, June 21, 2006] Black holes light up the universe and astronomers may finally know how. New data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory show for the first time powerful magnetic fields are the key to these brilliant and startling light shows.

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Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys Suspends Operations »» Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys Suspends Operations

[Thursday, June 22, 2006] At this point, the ACS is in a safe configuration, and further analysis is ongoing. Preliminary reviews of the telemetry and technical details about possibly affected components of ACS have been carried out.

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MESSENGER Flips Sunshade Toward the Sun »» MESSENGER Flips Sunshade Toward the Sun

[Thursday, June 22, 2006] The 16-minute maneuver, designed to keep MESSENGER operating at safe temperatures as it moves closer to the Sun, wrapped up at 9:34 a.m. EDT, with successful reacquisition of signal from MESSENGER's front-side antenna.

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Pluto's Two Small Moons Christened Nix and Hydra »» Pluto's Two Small Moons Christened Nix and Hydra

[Thursday, June 22, 2006] The names Nix and Hydra have been approved for the two small satellites of Pluto discovered in May 2005. The IAU, the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies, approved the names this week.

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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 28 June Edition: No Free Launch »» Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 28 June Edition: No Free Launch

[Thursday, June 22, 2006] "The lesson that you first learned in Economics 101 is alive and kicking at NASA; there's no such thing as a free launch."

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NASA's Implementation Plan for Space Shuttle  Return to Flight and Beyond »» NASA's Implementation Plan for Space Shuttle Return to Flight and Beyond

[Thursday, June 22, 2006] "When the first edition was released nearly three years ago, its purpose was to provide a clear path for returning the Space Shuttle to flight and to ensure full transparency and accountability during that process."

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NASA Mars Rover Spirit Status 21 June 2006 »» NASA Mars Rover Spirit Status 21 June 2006

[Thursday, June 22, 2006] Spirit continues to be productive, even as winter conditions harshen. Spirit now receives about one-third as much solar energy as the rover received in mid-2005 while on "Husband Hill."

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NASA Space Station Status Report 23 June 2006 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 23 June 2006

[Friday, June 23, 2006] The International Space Station crew this week bid farewell to one cargo craft and prepared for the arrival of another. The crew also continued to prepare for the arrival of the Space Shuttle Discovery, which is set for launch July 1.

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Planetary Society Helps Explore Europa on Earth: The Expedition to the Sulfur Springs of Ellesmere Island »» Planetary Society Helps Explore Europa on Earth: The Expedition to the Sulfur Springs of Ellesmere Island

[Friday, June 23, 2006] If you're looking for life beyond Earth, Europa, beckons as one of the solar system's most promising destinations. If you're looking for a possible analog to Europa on Earth, then head for frigid Ellesmere Island above the Arctic Circle.

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House Report 109-520 - To accompany H.R. 5672 - NASA »» House Report 109-520 - To accompany H.R. 5672 - NASA

[Friday, June 23, 2006] "The Committee recommends a total of $16,709,000,000 for NASA, which is $83,227,000 below the request, and an increase of $462,386,000 above the fiscal year 2006 level not including emergency supplemental funding."

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Double vortex at Venus South Pole unveiled »» Double vortex at Venus South Pole unveiled

[Tuesday, June 27, 2006] Venus Express data undoubtedly confirm for the first time the presence of a huge atmospheric vortex at the planet's south pole. This striking result comes from analysis of the data gathered by the spacecraft during the first orbit around the planet.

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NASA Exploration Systems Progress Report 18 May 2006 »» NASA Exploration Systems Progress Report 18 May 2006

[Tuesday, June 27, 2006] NASA engineers are in the midst of a new series of tests that will aid development of the agency's future space transportation systems.

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Blue Origin West Texas Commercial Launch Site Environmental Assessment »» Blue Origin West Texas Commercial Launch Site Environmental Assessment

[Tuesday, June 27, 2006] "The proposed action is for AST to issue one or more experimental permits and/or licenses to Blue Origin. Blue Origin proposes to launch reusable launch vehicleson suborbital, ballistic trajectories to altitudes in excess of 99,060 meters."

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NASA Space Station Status Report 26 June 2006 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 26 June 2006

[Tuesday, June 27, 2006] New supplies arrived at the International Space Station Monday as an unpiloted Russian cargo spacecraft linked up to the station's Pirs Docking Compartment.

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NASA Hubble Space Telescope: Update on Suspension of ACS Operations »» NASA Hubble Space Telescope: Update on Suspension of ACS Operations

[Tuesday, June 27, 2006] As of 12:00 PM, Tuesday June 27, Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) remains inactive due to a problem that caused the camera to suspend operations on June 19.

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Hubble Reveals Two Dust Disks Around Nearby Start Beta Pictoris »» Hubble Reveals Two Dust Disks Around Nearby Start Beta Pictoris

[Tuesday, June 27, 2006] The images confirm a decade of scientific speculation that a warp in the young star's dust disk may actually be a second inclined disk, which is evidence for the possibility of at least one Jupiter-size planet orbiting the star.

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NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Marks Mission Halfway Point »» NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Marks Mission Halfway Point

[Tuesday, June 27, 2006] As the Cassini spacecraft reaches the halfway mark in its four-year tour of the Saturn system, discoveries made during the first half of the mission have scientists revved up to find out what's in store for the second act.

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Spirit Status 23 June 2006 »» Spirit Status 23 June 2006

[Tuesday, June 27, 2006] For the first time on either rover, Spirit's battery heaters turned on at 8:15 a.m. local solar time on Mars on Sol 865 (June 9, 2006). The heaters activate automatically when local temperatures drop to about -19 C.

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Boeing Completes First Delta IV West Coast Launch »» Boeing Completes First Delta IV West Coast Launch

[Wednesday, June 28, 2006] Boeing completed the first flight of a Delta IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., yesterday with the successful launch of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) satellite, NROL-22.

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NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 28 June 2006 »» NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 28 June 2006

[Wednesday, June 28, 2006] U.S. Air Force weather officers are forecasting a 60-percent chance of weather prohibiting a launch attempt on Saturday. The forecast is similar in the event of a 24-hour delay.

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The Hooked Galaxy - ESO's VLT Image of Supernova in Interacting Galaxy »» The Hooked Galaxy - ESO's VLT Image of Supernova in Interacting Galaxy

[Wednesday, June 28, 2006] Life is not easy, even for galaxies. Some indeed get so close to their neighbours that they get rather distorted. But such encounters between galaxies have another effect: they spawn new generations of stars, some of which explode.

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Tracking Earth's wobbles down to the size of a cell phone »» Tracking Earth's wobbles down to the size of a cell phone

[Wednesday, June 28, 2006] New technologies are enabling scientists to determine precisely the extent and causes of Earth's short-term wobbling. Earth wobbles as it rotates on its axis and displays many different motions, ranging in period from a few minutes to billions of years.

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Boston university researchers develop new model of ice volume change based on Earth's orbit »» Boston university researchers develop new model of ice volume change based on Earth's orbit

[Wednesday, June 28, 2006] Through dated geological records scientists have known for decades that variations in the Earth's orbit around the sun - subtle changes in the distance between the two - control ice ages.

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Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 5 July Edition: Monsters and Mutations »» Are We Alone? SETI Institute Science Radio: 5 July Edition: Monsters and Mutations

[Thursday, June 29, 2006] "We'll look at the role of mutations in evolution from what wooly mammoth DNA reveals about the elephant family tree to the few tweaks in viral DNA that could turn avian flu into a human pandemic."

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NASA HST Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Status Update »» NASA HST Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Status Update

[Thursday, June 29, 2006] On Thursday afternoon, June 29, the HST's senior managers attended the Flight Readiness Review (FRR) of the activities required to install flight software into, and transition the ACS to its Side 2 (redundant) electronics.

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Scientists Find Antarctic Ozone Hole to Recover Later Than Expected »» Scientists Find Antarctic Ozone Hole to Recover Later Than Expected

[Thursday, June 29, 2006] Scientists from NASA and other agencies have concluded that the ozone hole over the Antarctic will recover around 2068, nearly 20 years later than previously believed.

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NASA To Name New Exploration Launch Vehicles »» NASA To Name New Exploration Launch Vehicles "Ares"

[Friday, June 30, 2006] According to Rory Cooper, Director of Outreach and Intergovernmental Affairs at NASA's Office of Legislative Affairs, at 2:30 pm this afternoon NASA will formally announce that the names of its new launch vehicles.

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Pluto-Bound, Student-Built Dust Detector Renamed »» Pluto-Bound, Student-Built Dust Detector Renamed "Venetia," Honoring Girl Who Named Ninth Planet

[Friday, June 30, 2006] The student-built science instrument on NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto has been renamed to honor one of astronomy's most famous students the "little girl" who named the ninth planet more than 75 years ago.

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NASA Names New Rockets, Saluting The Future, Honoring the Past »» NASA Names New Rockets, Saluting The Future, Honoring the Past

[Friday, June 30, 2006] NASA announced the names of the next generation of launch vehicles that will return humans to the moon and later take them to Mars and other destinations. The crew launch vehicle will be called Ares I, and the cargo launch vehicle, Ares V.

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NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 30 June 2006 »» NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 30 June 2006

[Friday, June 30, 2006] U.S. Air Force weather officers are forecasting a 60-percent chance of weather prohibiting a launch attempt on Saturday. The forecast is similar in the event of a 24-hour delay.

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NEO News (06/30/06) XP14 and NASA NEO Workshop »» NEO News (06/30/06) XP14 and NASA NEO Workshop

[Friday, June 30, 2006] This edition of NEO News briefly discusses asteroid 2004 XP14, which on July 3 will be the best NEO radar target ever and the NASA NEO Workshop held this week in Colorado.

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NASA's Micro-Satellites Complete Technology Validation Mission (ST5) »» NASA's Micro-Satellites Complete Technology Validation Mission (ST5)

[Friday, June 30, 2006] NASA's three orbiting micro-satellites known as Space Technology 5 have completed their planned 90-day mission. The mission team is shutting down the spacecraft to conclude operations on Friday, June 30.

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Was there life on Mars? Shiny rock coating may hold the answer »» Was there life on Mars? Shiny rock coating may hold the answer

[Friday, June 30, 2006] A mysterious shiny coating found on rocks in many of Earth's arid environments could reveal whether there was once life on Mars, according to new research.

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