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June 2011 Top Stories


Camera Duo on Mars Rover Mast Will Shoot Color Views »» Camera Duo on Mars Rover Mast Will Shoot Color Views

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] Two digital color cameras riding high on the mast of NASA's next Mars rover will complement each other in showing the surface of Mars in exquisite detail.

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Looking at the volatile side of the Moon »» Looking at the volatile side of the Moon

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] Four decades after the first Moon landing, our only natural satellite remains a fascinating enigma. Specialists from Europe and the US have been looking at ESA's proposed Lunar Lander mission to find out how to seek water and other volatile resources.

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Take part in ESA's Cool Comet Campaign »» Take part in ESA's Cool Comet Campaign

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] Do you use Twitter? Are you as intrigued by comets as we are? Then tell us 'Why comets are cool' and you might win a trip to ESA's operations centre in Germany on 15 June to celebrate 25 years of cometary science at ESA.

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Photo: Titan And Another Moon Set Against Saturn's Rings »» Photo: Titan And Another Moon Set Against Saturn's Rings

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] This image was taken on May 21, 2011 and received on Earth May 22, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Titan at approximately 2,313,374 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and GRN filters.

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Photo: California's Salton Sea As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: California's Salton Sea As Seen From Orbit

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] One of the Expedition 28 crew members shooting Earth images onboard the space shuttle/International Space Station, a joint complex flying at an altitude of just under 220 miles, photographed this frame of the Salton Sea.

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Starfighters Ready to Launch Research, Satellites »» Starfighters Ready to Launch Research, Satellites

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] F-104 jet fighters will become a more regular part of the skyscape as a private company expands its fleet of jets with plans to conduct more research flights, launch very small satellites into space and even take paying passengers into the stratosphere.

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Space Shuttle Endeavour Sails To Home Port For Final Time »» Space Shuttle Endeavour Sails To Home Port For Final Time

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] Space shuttle Endeavour and its six-astronaut crew sailed home for the final time, ending a 16-day journey of more than 6.5 million miles with a landing at 2:35 a.m. EDT on Wednesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florid

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A Postcard from Extragalactic Space? A spiral galaxy that resembles our Milky Way »» A Postcard from Extragalactic Space? A spiral galaxy that resembles our Milky Way

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] ESO astronomers have used the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope to capture an image of NGC 6744. This impressive spiral galaxy lies about 30 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Pavo (The Peacock).

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LOFAR Makes Deeper Images of the Universe than Ever Before »» LOFAR Makes Deeper Images of the Universe than Ever Before

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] An international team have used the LOFAR telescope, designed and constructed by ASTRON, to make the deepest wide-field images of the sky in the relatively unexplored part of the spectrum around 150 MHz.

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NASA'S Shuttle Atlantis At Launch Pad, Liftoff Practice Set »» NASA'S Shuttle Atlantis At Launch Pad, Liftoff Practice Set

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] After safely reaching its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Atlantis awaits the next major milestone for its upcoming STS-135 mission to the International Space Station, the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program.

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Photos: Inside and Outside The Space Station's Cupola »» Photos: Inside and Outside The Space Station's Cupola

[Wednesday, June 1, 2011] The International Space Station's Tranquility node and Cupola are featured in this image photographed by a spacewalker during the STS-134 mission's third session of extravehicular activity (EVA).

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NASA OIG: NASA's Management of the NPOESS Preparatory Project »» NASA OIG: NASA's Management of the NPOESS Preparatory Project

[Thursday, June 2, 2011] OIG today released a report that found NASA has incurred approximately $304 m in additional costs for an important meteorological satellite due to failures by NOAA and USAF to deliver instruments and other critical components to NASA in a timely manner.

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NASA X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge 2011: Inflatable Loft Competition »» NASA X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge 2011: Inflatable Loft Competition

[Thursday, June 2, 2011] The three competing universities are (1) Oklahoma State University; (2) University of Maryland; and (3) University of Wisconsin. All three have been in a year-long design, build, and test curriculum that produced this product.

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NASA: Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under E.O. 13563 »» NASA: Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under E.O. 13563

[Thursday, June 2, 2011] NASA is seeking comments on the Agency's preliminary plan to conduct an analysis of its existing regulations. The purpose of this analysis is to make NASA's regulatory program more effective and less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives.

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Science Educators Honored as »» Science Educators Honored as "Teacher of the Year" - Challenger Center Names Four Educators as 2011 Award Recipients

[Thursday, June 2, 2011] Four elementary and middle school teachers were named as recipients, which recognizes educators who exemplify the spirit of Challenger Center's education mission and share a commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning.

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South Pole Telescope repair ensures experiment will continue to probe mysteries of the universe »» South Pole Telescope repair ensures experiment will continue to probe mysteries of the universe

[Thursday, June 2, 2011] The South Pole Telescope is a bold experiment attempting to answer some of the big questions in cosmology, such as the nature of dark energy, a mysterious force that pervades the universe.

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Cropping up: the South Pole growth chamber »» Cropping up: the South Pole growth chamber

[Thursday, June 2, 2011] Commercial food growth chambers (a.k.a., greenhouses) are optimized to favor the growth of one particular crop. But the SPFGC instead provides a large variety of crops by using a generalized mix of nutrients, humidity, temperature and light.

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MESSENGER Image: A Crescent Mercury »» MESSENGER Image: A Crescent Mercury

[Thursday, June 2, 2011] Of Interest: Mercury forms a beautiful crescent shape in this image, acquired as the MESSENGER spacecraft was high above Mercury's southern hemisphere. On the right side is the sunlit limb, separating Mercury from the darkness of space.

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Microscopic worms could help open up travel into deep space »» Microscopic worms could help open up travel into deep space

[Thursday, June 2, 2011] A space flight by millions of microscopic worms could help us overcome the numerous threats posed to human health by space travel.

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Letter to Charles Bolden from Senators Feinstein and Boxer Re: Sole Source for the Space Launch System »» Letter to Charles Bolden from Senators Feinstein and Boxer Re: Sole Source for the Space Launch System

[Thursday, June 2, 2011] We write to ask that NASA quickly open a competitive bidding process or the propulsion component of the new Space Launch System (SLS). A competitive process will allow NASA to procure better technology at lower initial and lifecycle costs.

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Teledyne Brown Engineering and Aerojet to Form Strategic Alliance to Build Rocket Engines »» Teledyne Brown Engineering and Aerojet to Form Strategic Alliance to Build Rocket Engines

[Friday, June 3, 2011] The agreement states that Teledyne Brown and Aerojet will cooperatively develop, manufacture and market liquid propellant rocket engines for customers such as NASA and other aerospace companies.

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NASA, NSBRI Select 12 Proposals to Support Crew Health on Missions »» NASA, NSBRI Select 12 Proposals to Support Crew Health on Missions

[Friday, June 3, 2011] NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) of Houston will fund 12 proposals to help investigate questions about astronaut health and performance on future space exploration missions.

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One year in isolation »» One year in isolation

[Friday, June 3, 2011] The six men in the Mars500 facility near Moscow have been in isolation now 365 days. The European crewmembers have been writing in their latest letters home about the highlights, monotonous life, team spirit and determination to go on.

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Photo: Endeavour Above And Italy Below »» Photo: Endeavour Above And Italy Below

[Friday, June 3, 2011] Backdropped against a scene showing part of Italy, this image featuring an aft section of Endeavour in the foreground was photographed by an Expedition 27 crew member aboard the International Space Station while the two spacecraft were docked.

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Image: Updrafts of Large Ammonia Crystals in Saturn Storm »» Image: Updrafts of Large Ammonia Crystals in Saturn Storm

[Friday, June 3, 2011] This false-color infrared image, obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, shows clouds of large ammonia ice particles dredged up by a powerful storm in Saturn's northern hemisphere.

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NASA Announces Lunabotics Mining Competition Winners »» NASA Announces Lunabotics Mining Competition Winners

[Friday, June 3, 2011] Thirty-six teams of undergraduate and graduate students from around the globe tested their robot designs in a challenge at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida from May 26-28.

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Lee Scherer »» Lee Scherer

[Friday, June 3, 2011] We were beyond thrilled to have Lee Scherer visit our Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) operation at NASA Ames in November 2008.

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NASA Announcement of Partnership Opportunity for Notification Tool for International Space Station Sightings »» NASA Announcement of Partnership Opportunity for Notification Tool for International Space Station Sightings

[Saturday, June 4, 2011] NASA seeks to increase public awareness of the ISS, its visibility, and mission by making ISS sighting information, including personalized notifications, readily available to the general public in an easily accessible and understandable way.

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NASA Opportunity for Participation in NASA's Disruption-Tolerant Networking Project »» NASA Opportunity for Participation in NASA's Disruption-Tolerant Networking Project

[Saturday, June 4, 2011] To support upcoming robotic and human exploration needs NASA anticipates that it and others will need to implement a unified architecture for internetworked communication and navigation services that span the solar system.

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NASA Request for Information for Reviews of Human Health and Performance Risks in Space Exploration »» NASA Request for Information for Reviews of Human Health and Performance Risks in Space Exploration

[Saturday, June 4, 2011] This notice is issued by NASA/JSC to post a draft statement of work (SOW) via the internet and solicit information from interested parties. This document is for information and planning purposes as well as to promote competition.

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USRA Part of Team Selected by the National Science Foundation to Manage Arecibo Observatory »» USRA Part of Team Selected by the National Science Foundation to Manage Arecibo Observatory

[Saturday, June 4, 2011] USRA is part of a multi-organization team led by SRI International that has been awarded a five-year cooperative agreement by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to manage, operate and maintain the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

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GOES-13 Movie Shows Tornadic Storms Move Through Massachusetts »» GOES-13 Movie Shows Tornadic Storms Move Through Massachusetts

[Saturday, June 4, 2011] Bubbling, severe thunderstorms that generated three tornadoes that struck Massachusetts on June 1 can be seen in a new animation of GOES-13 satellite images.

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Videos and Imagery: NASA Ames Imaging Experts Create Unique Views of STS-134 Launch »» Videos and Imagery: NASA Ames Imaging Experts Create Unique Views of STS-134 Launch

[Saturday, June 4, 2011] Imaging experts funded by the Space Shuttle Program and located at NASA's Ames Research Center prepared this image using fusion software to combine six simultaneously captured images they took of the STS-134 launch on May 16, 2011.

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Global Community Experts and Volunteers Tackle Development Problems Through Random Hacks of Kindness »» Global Community Experts and Volunteers Tackle Development Problems Through Random Hacks of Kindness

[Sunday, June 5, 2011] "RHoK is embracing the concept of 'open innovation', the idea of bringing together thousands of people from around the world to crowd source some of our toughest challenges," said Deborah Diaz, Deputy Chief Information Officer at NASA.

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Image: Eruption at the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Volcanic Complex As Seen From Orbit »» Image: Eruption at the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Volcanic Complex As Seen From Orbit

[Sunday, June 5, 2011] An eruption at the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Volcanic Complex (PCCVC) in Chile began on 4 June 2011. You can see the plume rising from the eastern border of Chile and spreading to the southeast over Argentina with the prevailing wind.

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Photos: Night Becomes Day As Endeavour Orbits »» Photos: Night Becomes Day As Endeavour Orbits

[Sunday, June 5, 2011] The docked space shuttle Endeavour is featured in this image photographed by an STS-134 crew member onboard the International Space Station during flight day six activities.

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Caltech-led team debunks theory on end of 'Snowball Earth' ice age »» Caltech-led team debunks theory on end of 'Snowball Earth' ice age

[Sunday, June 5, 2011] There's a theory about how the Marinoan ice age--also known as the "Snowball Earth" ice age because of its extreme low temperatures--came to an abrupt end some 600 million years ago.

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Faint Young Sun Paradox Remains »» Faint Young Sun Paradox Remains

[Sunday, June 5, 2011] We show that, even with the strongest plausible assumptions, reducing cloud and surface albedos falls short by a factor of two of resolving the paradox.

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Small Mass of Mars Could Be Due to Planetary Orbital Migration »» Small Mass of Mars Could Be Due to Planetary Orbital Migration

[Monday, June 6, 2011] A long-ago inward migration by Jupiter during the formation of our solar system could explain why Mars is small in relation to Earth and Venus, according to a paper published in Nature.

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Video: On orbit Intro for U2's »» Video: On orbit Intro for U2's "Its a Beautiful Day"

[Monday, June 6, 2011] U2 delivered a surprise to the crowds at Quest Field, Seattle last night with a video message from Commander Mark E. Kelly. Bono dedicated 'Beautiful Day' to Gabby Giffords.

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NASA Mars Opportunity Rover Update: Opportunity Studies Rock Outcrop »» NASA Mars Opportunity Rover Update: Opportunity Studies Rock Outcrop

[Monday, June 6, 2011] Opportunity has exceeded 30 kilometers (nearly 19 miles) of odometry! The rover spent the last few sols investigating some exposed rock outcrop en route to Endeavour crater, now just a few kilometers away.

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NASA Holds Teleconference About Conditions At Edge Of Solar System »» NASA Holds Teleconference About Conditions At Edge Of Solar System

[Monday, June 6, 2011] NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 9, to discuss a new computer model that shows the edge of our solar system is not smooth, but filled with a turbulent sea of magnetic bubbles.

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Excalibur Almaz to showcase space stations, spaceship on Isle of Man »» Excalibur Almaz to showcase space stations, spaceship on Isle of Man

[Monday, June 6, 2011] For the first time since arriving on the Isle of Man, Excalibur Almaz Limited will showcase its two space stations and Reusable Return Vehicle (RRV) to the general public June 18.

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Jupiter's youthful travels redefined solar system »» Jupiter's youthful travels redefined solar system

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] Jupiter, long settled in its position as the fifth planet from our sun, was a rolling stone in its youth. Over the eons, the giant planet roamed toward the center of the solar system and back out again, at one point moving in about as close as Mars is now

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Europe's new way to experiment in partial gravity »» Europe's new way to experiment in partial gravity

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] A new way to fly experiments takes off tomorrow with the first campaign dedicated to research in 'partial' gravity. Scientists on Europe's 'Zero-G' Airbus will experiment with gravity conditions like those on the Moon and Mars.

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Fly Your Thesis! 2011 campaign »» Fly Your Thesis! 2011 campaign

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] The second series of flights in ESA's 'Fly Your Thesis!' programme concluded recently. After many months of preparation, the 10-day campaign culminated with four student experiments making three parabolic flights aboard the Airbus A300 Zero-G aircraft.

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Opportunity Passes Small Crater and Big Milestone »» Opportunity Passes Small Crater and Big Milestone

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] A drive of 482 feet (146.8 meters) on June 1, 2011, took NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity past 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) in total odometry during 88 months of driving on Mars.

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Amazing Ground-Based Images and Video of Endeavour and the ISS (3D too!) »» Amazing Ground-Based Images and Video of Endeavour and the ISS (3D too!)

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] Passage of the International Space Station and Endeavour, taken on May 29th 2011 at 3:55UT from the area of Pau, France, after installation of the AMS (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer).

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IT Reform at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration »» IT Reform at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the goals of President Obama's administration as it relates to improving how IT is managed in the Federal Government.

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Live Challenger Center Webcast Features Astronaut Bob Crippen »» Live Challenger Center Webcast Features Astronaut Bob Crippen

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] Join Challenger Center for Space Science Education on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011, 1:00pm (Eastern Time) for a live interactive webcast with former NASA astronaut, Bob Crippen.

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Rosetta to sleep through loneliest leg of comet mission »» Rosetta to sleep through loneliest leg of comet mission

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] On 8 June, mission controllers will have the first opportunity to switch ESA's Rosetta comet-hunter into deep-space hibernation for 31 months. During this loneliest leg of its decade-long mission.

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Preparations Move Forward for STS-135 »» Preparations Move Forward for STS-135

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] Today at NASA KSC, launch pad technicians are loading oxidizer into space shuttle Atlantis' forward and aft reaction control systems. Both solid rocket booster hydraulic power units have been filled with hydrazine and the tanks have been pressurized.

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NASA Internal Memo: Federal Plain Language Guidelines - IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED »» NASA Internal Memo: Federal Plain Language Guidelines - IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] The subject guidelines endorses doing away with the term "shall" to mandate requirements and using the term "must" instead. These guidelines were reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel.

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NASA Finally Releases Photos of Endeavour Docked at ISS »» NASA Finally Releases Photos of Endeavour Docked at ISS

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] This image of the International Space Station and the docked Space Shuttle Endeavour, flying at an altitude of approximately 220 miles, was taken by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 following its undocking.

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Soyuz TMA-02M Leaves Earth »» Soyuz TMA-02M Leaves Earth

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] Soyuz TMA-02M/27S was launched on time at 4:12:45 pm EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and is on its way to orbit.

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Video: Sun Unleashes Powerful Coronal Mass Ejection »» Video: Sun Unleashes Powerful Coronal Mass Ejection

[Tuesday, June 7, 2011] The Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class (minor) radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7, 2011 from sunspot complex 1226-1227.

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NASA Videographer/Editor Nominated for Daytime Emmy Award »» NASA Videographer/Editor Nominated for Daytime Emmy Award

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] A NASA TV program that shows how NASA technology contributes to our daily lives is up for a national Emmy award for TV editing.

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Springtime at Mars' South Pole »» Springtime at Mars' South Pole

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] ESA's Mars Express celebrates eight years in space with a new view of ice in the southern polar region of Mars. The poles are closely linked to the planet's climate and constantly change with the seasons.

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Photo: Tornado Track near Sturbridge, Massachusetts As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Tornado Track near Sturbridge, Massachusetts As Seen From Orbit

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] The Thematic Mapper on the Landsat 5 satellite captured this natural-color image on June 5, 2011, showing part of the tornado track including damage in Sturbridge.

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Solar Dynamics Observatory Catches 'Surfer' Waves on the Sun (Images and Video) »» Solar Dynamics Observatory Catches 'Surfer' Waves on the Sun (Images and Video)

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] Cue the surfing music. Scientists have spotted the iconic surfer's wave rolling through the atmosphere of the sun. This makes for more than just a nice photo-op: the waves hold clues as to how energy moves through that atmosphere, known as the corona.

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NASA OIG: Final Report: NASA's Management of the Mars Science Laboratory Project »» NASA OIG: Final Report: NASA's Management of the Mars Science Laboratory Project

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] NASA Inspector General Paul Martin today released a report that examines the significant technical, schedule, and fiscal challenges NASA must resolve prior to November's scheduled launch of the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory.

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NASA Internal Memo: Transformation of Agency Information Technology (IT) Services »» NASA Internal Memo: Transformation of Agency Information Technology (IT) Services

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is integrating and consolidating many IT services throughout the Agency. This new effort is called the IT Infrastructure Integration Program, or I3P.

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An Open Letter to Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, and James Lovell »» An Open Letter to Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, and James Lovell

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] While it may be that the current administration's plans are not perfect - and a new national debate on space appropriate - these plans stand head and shoulders over the plan that was the latter implementation of the Constellation program.

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Rosetta's First Glimpse of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko »» Rosetta's First Glimpse of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] Approximately 163 million kilometers still separate ESA's spacecraft Rosetta from comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, its 2014 target. Scientists have succeeded in obtaining the first images of the remote destination using the onboard camera system OSIRIS.

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Rosetta Comet Probe Enters Hibernation in Deep Space »» Rosetta Comet Probe Enters Hibernation in Deep Space

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] The final command placing ESA's Rosetta comet-chaser into deep-space hibernation was sent earlier today. With virtually all systems shut down, the probe will now coast for 31 months until waking up in 2014 for arrival at its comet destination.

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Atlantis Gets Propellants as STS-135 Astronauts Prep for Mission »» Atlantis Gets Propellants as STS-135 Astronauts Prep for Mission

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] Early this morning at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, teams at Launch Pad 39A began loading propellant into space shuttle Atlantis' auxiliary power unit. The fuel loading will continue through the day.

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NASA Offers Grants For 2012 University Competitions »» NASA Offers Grants For 2012 University Competitions

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] The NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute (MICI) is offering opportunities for minority serving institutions to apply for a $5,000 grant to enter the 2012 University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) or Lunabotics Mining Competition.

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Video: Shuttle Endeavour and ISS As Seen From Departing Soyuz »» Video: Shuttle Endeavour and ISS As Seen From Departing Soyuz

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] After the Soyuz TMA-20 carrying Expedition 27 Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli undocked from the International Space Station on May 23, Nespoli captured this video of shuttle Endeavour.

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NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees 10 Mile-High Thunderstorms in Arabian Sea Weather System »» NASA's TRMM Satellite Sees 10 Mile-High Thunderstorms in Arabian Sea Weather System

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] NASA satellite data revealed 10 mile high thunderstorms on System 98A, a low pressure areas lingering in the eastern Arabian Sea, off the central western India coastline that continues to generate heavy rainfall.

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Image: NASA's CALIPSO Satellite Sees Wallow Fire Plume 3 Miles High »» Image: NASA's CALIPSO Satellite Sees Wallow Fire Plume 3 Miles High

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] A CALIPSO vertical profile from space shows the smoke plume on June 3, 2011 from the wildfires currently raging in Arizona.

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NASA Spending Shift to Benefit Centers Focused on Science & Technology »» NASA Spending Shift to Benefit Centers Focused on Science & Technology

[Wednesday, June 8, 2011] Euroconsult, along with the consulting firm Omnis, today announced the findings of a study today foreseeing a significant shift in NASA spending toward Earth science and R&D programs and away from legacy spaceflight activities.

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NASA's Aquarius/Sac-D Launch Rescheduled »» NASA's Aquarius/Sac-D Launch Rescheduled

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] The launch of the international Aquarius/SAC-D mission is postponed 24 hours until Friday, June 10, from NASA's Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The 5-minute launch window opens at 10:20 a.m. EDT (7:20 a.m. PDT).

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NASA Dawn Journal May 27, 2011 »» NASA Dawn Journal May 27, 2011

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] Dawn remains healthy and on course as it continues to approach Vesta. Thrusting with its ion propulsion system the spacecraft is gradually matching its solar orbit to that of the protoplanet just ahead.

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Image: Heat Shield Work on Orion »» Image: Heat Shield Work on Orion

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] Work on the heat shield and thermal protection backshell of the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle ground test article, or GTA, was completed in preparation for environmental testing.

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Sample Return Robot Challenge: NASA Centennial Challenge for an autonomous exploration robot »» Sample Return Robot Challenge: NASA Centennial Challenge for an autonomous exploration robot

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] To demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control. The prize purse is $1.5 million

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Night Rover Challenge: NASA Centennial Challenge for energy storage technology »» Night Rover Challenge: NASA Centennial Challenge for energy storage technology

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] To demonstrate a solar-powered exploration vehicle that can operate in darkness using its own stored energy. The prize purse is $1.5 million.

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MODIS Image: Smoke from the Wallow North fire, Arizona »» MODIS Image: Smoke from the Wallow North fire, Arizona

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] Plumes of smoke cover parts of eastern Arizona, as the Wallow North fire continues to grow. It has expanded by more than 100,000 acres over the last few days and the Horseshoe Two fire also by a couple thousand of acres, according to Inciweb.

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NASA Probes Suggest Magnetic Bubbles Reside At Solar System Edge »» NASA Probes Suggest Magnetic Bubbles Reside At Solar System Edge

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] Observations from NASA's Voyager spacecraft, humanity's farthest deep space sentinels, suggest the edge of our solar system may not be smooth, but filled with a turbulent sea of magnetic bubbles.

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NASTAR Center Completes First FAA Safety Approval Audit - Space Training Simulator Centrifuge »» NASTAR Center Completes First FAA Safety Approval Audit - Space Training Simulator Centrifuge

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] The NASTAR Center, the premier commercial aerospace training and research center, completed its first annual FAA Safety Approval audit and inspection for the continued use of the Space Training Simulator centrifuge for its Space Training Programs.

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Asteroid Served Up »» Asteroid Served Up "Custom Orders" of Life's Ingredients

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] Some asteroids may have been like "molecular factories" cranking out life's ingredients and shipping them to Earth via meteorite impacts.

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New Supernova Remnant Lights Up »» New Supernova Remnant Lights Up

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] In 1987, light from an exploding star in a neighboring galaxy reached Earth. Named Supernova 1987A, it was the closest supernova explosion witnessed in almost 400 years, allowing astronomers to study it in unprecedented detail as it evolves.

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NBC Nightly News showcases »» NBC Nightly News showcases "New Space Race"

[Thursday, June 9, 2011] NBC Nightly News recently featured the commercial spaceflight industry in a piece examining the future of spaceflight following retirement of the Space Shuttle.

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Aquarius/SAC-D Launched »» Aquarius/SAC-D Launched

[Friday, June 10, 2011] With a burst of light, the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carrying the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft lifted off June 10, 2011 at 7:20 a.m. PDT (10:20 a.m. EDT) from NASA's Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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New Expedition 28 Crew Members Arrive at International Space Station »» New Expedition 28 Crew Members Arrive at International Space Station

[Friday, June 10, 2011] The Expedition 28 crew has expanded to six members with the arrival of Flight Engineers Mike Fossum, Sergei Volkov and Satoshi Furukawa. The new trio docked to the ISS in the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft Thursday at 5:18 p.m. EDT.

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Major Result on the Future of the 11-year Sunspot Cycle to be Announced »» Major Result on the Future of the 11-year Sunspot Cycle to be Announced

[Friday, June 10, 2011] A major result on the future of the 11-year sunspot cycle will be announced at a news briefing on Tuesday, 14 June 2011, at 11 a.m. MDT (17:00 UTC) by scientists at the 2011 meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society.

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Sustainable Future of Outer Space Activities discussed at the Outer Space Committee »» Sustainable Future of Outer Space Activities discussed at the Outer Space Committee

[Friday, June 10, 2011] UNCOPUOS concluded its fifty-fourth session and its deliberations over ways and means to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes and to ensure that space technology and its applications continue to benefit many areas critical to all humanity.

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Raising the ISS: ATV Johannes Kepler conducts the 'Big Boost' »» Raising the ISS: ATV Johannes Kepler conducts the 'Big Boost'

[Friday, June 10, 2011] It's the International Space Station's biggest increase in altitude to date, and, thanks to ESA's ATV Johannes Kepler, it will significantly improve the 417-tonne Station's orbital mileage through the next decade of scientific research.

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NASA Releasing Orbital Views Of Mercury »» NASA Releasing Orbital Views Of Mercury

[Friday, June 10, 2011] NASA will host a news conference at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 16, to reveal new images and science findings from the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury.

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Nearby galaxy boasts 2 monster black holes, both active »» Nearby galaxy boasts 2 monster black holes, both active

[Friday, June 10, 2011] A study using NASA's Swift satellite and the Chandra X-ray Observatory has found a second supersized black hole at the heart of an unusual nearby galaxy already known to be sporting one.

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NASA's New Upper Stage Rocket Engine Ready For Testing »» NASA's New Upper Stage Rocket Engine Ready For Testing

[Monday, June 13, 2011] NASA's new J-2X rocket engine, which could power the upper stage of the nation's future heavy-lift launch vehicle, is ready for its first round of testing.

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Vesta's Surface Comes into View »» Vesta's Surface Comes into View

[Monday, June 13, 2011] This movie shows surface details beginning to resolve as NASA's Dawn spacecraft closes in on the giant asteroid Vesta. The framing camera aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained the images used for this animation on June 1, 2011.

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MESSENGER Endures Its First Hot Season »» MESSENGER Endures Its First Hot Season

[Monday, June 13, 2011] Yesterday the MESSENGER spacecraft successfully completed the first of four "hot seasons" expected to occur during its one-year primary mission in orbit about Mercury.

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New Insights on How Solar Minimums Affect Earth »» New Insights on How Solar Minimums Affect Earth

[Tuesday, June 14, 2011] Since 1611, humans have recorded the comings and goings of black spots on the sun. The number of these sunspots waxes and wanes over approximately an 11-year cycle -- more sunspots generally mean more activity and eruptions on the sun and vice versa.

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Scientists Predict Major Drop in the Sun's Activity »» Scientists Predict Major Drop in the Sun's Activity

[Tuesday, June 14, 2011] A missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles say that our Sun is heading for a rest period even as it is acting up for the first time in years, according to scientists.

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10 New Exoplanets Discovered by Europe's CoRoT »» 10 New Exoplanets Discovered by Europe's CoRoT

[Tuesday, June 14, 2011] Ten new exoplanets have been discovered by the European satellite, CoRoT. Confirmed via meticulous, ground-based observations, these exoplanets exhibit a wide variety of masses, densities, orbital parameters and other properties.

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SMOS Gains Clearer View as Illegal Transmitters Shut Down »» SMOS Gains Clearer View as Illegal Transmitters Shut Down

[Tuesday, June 14, 2011] A major international effort to shut down radio signals that have, at times, been blinding the instrument on ESA's SMOS water satellite is producing a marked improvement in the quality of the mission's data.

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Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to Host International Conference on Low-Cost Planetary Missions »» Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to Host International Conference on Low-Cost Planetary Missions

[Tuesday, June 14, 2011] Devising ways to explore space in tight fiscal times tops the agenda of the 9th International Conference on Low-Cost Planetary Missions, set for June 21-23, 2011, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

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Last Ever Shuttle to Haul Raffaello Logistics Module to the International Space Station »» Last Ever Shuttle to Haul Raffaello Logistics Module to the International Space Station

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] The Space Shuttle Era will soon come to a bittersweet close with the final scheduled flight by shuttle Atlantis, dubbed the STS-135 mission. Atlantis is slated to blastoff on July 8 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at about 11:38 a.m EDT.

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NASA Spacecraft to Make Cross Country Voyage »» NASA Spacecraft to Make Cross Country Voyage

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] NASA is inviting the public to view a test version of the agency's next spacecraft that will carry humans into deep space.

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Webcast: 25 Years of Comet Science »» Webcast: 25 Years of Comet Science

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] A retrospective of ESA's historic Giotto mission with highlights of past comet science and featuring Rosetta and its ambitious goal to land on a comet in 2014.

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Astronomical Society of the Pacific 2011 Award Winners in Astronomy Research & Education »» Astronomical Society of the Pacific 2011 Award Winners in Astronomy Research & Education

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) today announces the winners of its 2011 awards for excellence in astronomy research and education

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Scientists Prove Existence of 'Magnetic Ropes' that Cause Solar Storms »» Scientists Prove Existence of 'Magnetic Ropes' that Cause Solar Storms

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] George Mason University scientists discovered recently that a phenomenon called a giant magnetic rope is the cause of solar storms.

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Astronomers Discover Earliest Black Holes at Dawn of the Universe »» Astronomers Discover Earliest Black Holes at Dawn of the Universe

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] A team of astronomers has discovered the earliest black holes ever detected, despite the fact that they are hidden from view by their host galaxies.

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Senator Shelby Letter Expressing Concern to NASA About Shuttle Derived Booster Space Launch System »» Senator Shelby Letter Expressing Concern to NASA About Shuttle Derived Booster Space Launch System

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] SpaceRef has obtained the following letter from Senator Richard Shelby to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden expressing concern that NASA is considering a Space Launch System that would be derived from Shuttle booster technology.

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NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Detects Superfast Solar Waves Moving at 2,000 KM Per Second »» NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Detects Superfast Solar Waves Moving at 2,000 KM Per Second

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] Scientists using the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) instrument on board NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), have detected quasi-periodic waves in the low solar corona that travel at speeds as high as 2,000 kilometers per second.

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NASA Spacecraft Help Recalculate the Distance to Interstellar Space »» NASA Spacecraft Help Recalculate the Distance to Interstellar Space

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] Scientists analyzing recent data from NASA's Voyager and Cassini spacecraft have calculated that Voyager 1 could cross over into the frontier of interstellar space at any time and much earlier than previously thought.

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MESSENGER Adjusts Its Orbit around Mercury »» MESSENGER Adjusts Its Orbit around Mercury

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] The MESSENGER spacecraft successfully completed its first orbit-correction maneuver today to reset its periapsis altitude - the lowest point of MESSENGER's orbit about Mercury relative to the planet's surface - from 506 KM to approximately 200 KM.

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X-Ray Telescope Finds New Voracious Black Holes in Early Universe »» X-Ray Telescope Finds New Voracious Black Holes in Early Universe

[Wednesday, June 15, 2011] Using the deepest X-ray image ever taken, a University of Michigan astronomer and her colleagues have found the first direct evidence that massive black holes were common in the early universe.

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Remarks by Mark L. Uhran Assistant Associate Administrator, International Space Station at STA Luncheon »» Remarks by Mark L. Uhran Assistant Associate Administrator, International Space Station at STA Luncheon

[Thursday, June 16, 2011] Government is almost exclusively the buyer of civil space infrastructure, with the notable exception of telecommunications satellites, which are very good example of a successfully sustained space economy in geostationary Earth orbit.

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Space Shuttle Atlantis Payload Readied for Trip to the Pad as Tanking Test Wraps Up »» Space Shuttle Atlantis Payload Readied for Trip to the Pad as Tanking Test Wraps Up

[Thursday, June 16, 2011] The STS-135 payload canister's move to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is expected to begin at 9 p.m. EDT tonight with the canister's lift up the pad structure is set for early Friday morning.

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DARPA Encourages Individuals and Organizations to Look to the Stars - Issues Call for Papers for 100 Year Starship Study Public Symposium »» DARPA Encourages Individuals and Organizations to Look to the Stars - Issues Call for Papers for 100 Year Starship Study Public Symposium

[Thursday, June 16, 2011] DARPA and NASA Ames Research Center are soliciting abstracts for papers and/or topics/members for discussion panels, to be presented at the 100 Year Starship Study Symposium to be held in Orlando, Florida from September 30 through October 2, 2011.

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Payload Readied for Trip to the Pad as Tanking Test Wraps Up »» Payload Readied for Trip to the Pad as Tanking Test Wraps Up

[Thursday, June 16, 2011] The STS-135 payload canister's move to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is expected to begin at 9 p.m. EDT tonight with the canister's lift up the pad structure is set for early Friday morning.

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NASA Spacecraft Confirms Theories, Sees Surprises at Mercury »» NASA Spacecraft Confirms Theories, Sees Surprises at Mercury

[Thursday, June 16, 2011] Data from MESSENGER, the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, is giving scientists important clues to the origin of the planet and its geological history and helping them better understand its dynamic interior and exterior processes.

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Spectacular Hubble view of Centaurus A »» Spectacular Hubble view of Centaurus A

[Thursday, June 16, 2011] Centaurus A, also known as NGC 5128, is well known for its dramatic dusty lanes of dark material. Hubble's observations, using its most advanced instrument, the Wide Field Camera 3, are the most detailed ever made of this galaxy.

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NASA Television Covers Station Cargo Craft Departure And Arrival »» NASA Television Covers Station Cargo Craft Departure And Arrival

[Friday, June 17, 2011] NASA Television will provide live coverage during a busy International Space Station traffic pattern, when one cargo spacecraft departs and another arrives.

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NASA Schedules Telecon To Highlight Lunar Mission Results »» NASA Schedules Telecon To Highlight Lunar Mission Results

[Friday, June 17, 2011] NASA will host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 21, to highlight the results of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. A panel will summarize the spacecraft's science findings and discuss the agency's plans for LRO's future.

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STS-135 Payload at the Launch Pad »» STS-135 Payload at the Launch Pad

[Friday, June 17, 2011] The transport canister containing the payload for space shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 mission arrived at Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 11:25 p.m. EDT last night.

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NASA Issues Announcement For Solar Electric Propulsion Studies »» NASA Issues Announcement For Solar Electric Propulsion Studies

[Friday, June 17, 2011] NASA issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) seeking proposals for mission concept studies of a solar electric propulsion system demonstration to test and validate key capabilities and technologies for future exploration missions.

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NASA Invites News Media To Space Weather Enterprise Forum »» NASA Invites News Media To Space Weather Enterprise Forum

[Saturday, June 18, 2011] Journalists are invited to attend and interview NASA officials participating in the annual Space Weather Enterprise Forum on June 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT in the National Press Club Ballroom on the 13th Floor, 529 14th St. NW, Washington.

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NASA'S 2011 Innovations In Global Climate Change Education Awards »» NASA'S 2011 Innovations In Global Climate Change Education Awards

[Saturday, June 18, 2011] NASA has awarded $7.2 million in cooperative agreements to 14 minority-serving organizations across the United States to enhance learning through the use of the agency's Earth Science resources.

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STS-135: Busy Shuttle Preparations Weekend »» STS-135: Busy Shuttle Preparations Weekend

[Saturday, June 18, 2011] With space shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 mission payload now secured inside the pad's rotating service structure, the RSS was closed Saturday morning, and Atlantis' payload bay doors are scheduled to be opened Saturday night.

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NASA Ames to Host Tribute to Nobel Prize Winner Baruch Blumberg »» NASA Ames to Host Tribute to Nobel Prize Winner Baruch Blumberg

[Saturday, June 18, 2011] News media are invited to attend a tribute celebrating the life of Baruch "Barry" Blumberg, the first director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

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Proposal Deadline Approaching: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Contact Opportunity »» Proposal Deadline Approaching: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Contact Opportunity

[Saturday, June 18, 2011] NASA is seeking U.S. formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, or ARISS, contact between the dates of Jan. 15 and July 15, 2012.

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The importance of mixing »» The importance of mixing

[Sunday, June 19, 2011] It was a good flight back in 2007: an unmanned Foton-M3 spacecraft flew around Earth for 12 days with 43 scientific and technological experiments on board.

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Life after 'Snowball Earth' »» Life after 'Snowball Earth'

[Sunday, June 19, 2011] The first organisms to emerge after an ancient worldwide glaciation likely evolved hardy survival skills, arming themselves with tough exteriors to weather a frozen climate.

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Carbon Monoxide Pollution over the United States and Canada »» Carbon Monoxide Pollution over the United States and Canada

[Monday, June 20, 2011] Hazy skies greeted many Americans on June 8, 2011, as poor air quality dominated from the Midwest to the Atlantic Seaboard. There were several causes, but Arizona's Wallow Fire was a major contributor.

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Landsat 5 Satellite Helps Emergency Managers Fight Largest Fire in Arizona History »» Landsat 5 Satellite Helps Emergency Managers Fight Largest Fire in Arizona History

[Monday, June 20, 2011] This Landsat 5 satellite image of the Wallow North Fire in east central Arizona was taken on June 15, 2011 at 19:54:23 Zulu (3:54 p.m. EDT).

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Image: Rhea and Titan as Seen By Cassini »» Image: Rhea and Titan as Seen By Cassini

[Monday, June 20, 2011] This image was taken on June 16, 2011 and received on Earth June 17, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 1,827,898 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the RED and CL2 filters.

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NASA Mission Manager Update: Kepler Spacecraft Status Report »» NASA Mission Manager Update: Kepler Spacecraft Status Report

[Monday, June 20, 2011] This Mission Manager Update will focus on flight segment performance of the Kepler spacecraft. In other words, how is Kepler performing while trailing Earth around the sun?

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Black hole kills star and blasts 3.8 billion light year beam at Earth »» Black hole kills star and blasts 3.8 billion light year beam at Earth

[Monday, June 20, 2011] Observations led by astronomers at the University of Warwick have shown that the flash from one of the biggest and brightest bangs yet recorded by astronomers comes from a massive black hole at the centre of a distant galaxy.

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NASA PDS Release 6 of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Data »» NASA PDS Release 6 of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Data

[Monday, June 20, 2011] The NASA Planetary Data System is pleased to announce a new delivery of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) data for the following instruments: CRaTER, DLRE, LAMP, LEND, LOLA, LROC and Mini-RF.

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ATV Johannes Kepler Has Departed From The International Space Station »» ATV Johannes Kepler Has Departed From The International Space Station

[Monday, June 20, 2011] Europe's Johannes Kepler ATV cargo ferry undocked from the International Space Station today at 14:46:30 GMT (16:46:30 CEST).

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Image: Cassini Captures Ice Queen Helene »» Image: Cassini Captures Ice Queen Helene

[Monday, June 20, 2011] NASA's Cassini spacecraft successfully completed its second-closest encounter with Saturn's icy moon Helene on June 18, 2011, beaming down raw images of the small moon.

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STS-135 Crew Heads to Florida for Countdown Test »» STS-135 Crew Heads to Florida for Countdown Test

[Monday, June 20, 2011] The four veteran astronauts for space shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 mission are on their way to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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NASA Exobiology 2010 Update #3 »» NASA Exobiology 2010 Update #3

[Monday, June 20, 2011] I had hoped by now to have selection recommendations complete. However, as I was working through the reviews, a budget reduction to Exobiology was unexpectedly announced.

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IceHunters Website Challenges Public to Find Icy Worlds »» IceHunters Website Challenges Public to Find Icy Worlds

[Tuesday, June 21, 2011] A team at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has developed a new website, IceHunters, to challenge the public to discover Kuiper Belt objects in the outer solar system.

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ESA reentry vehicle on track for flight in 2013 »» ESA reentry vehicle on track for flight in 2013

[Tuesday, June 21, 2011] ESA and Thales Alenia Space Italia announced an agreement today at the Paris Air & Space Show to begin building the IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle for its mission into space in 2013.

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Fastest Sea-Level Rise in Two Millennia Linked to Increasing Global Temperatures »» Fastest Sea-Level Rise in Two Millennia Linked to Increasing Global Temperatures

[Tuesday, June 21, 2011] The rate of sea level rise along the U.S. Atlantic coast is greater now than at any time in the past 2,000 years--and has shown a consistent link between changes in global mean surface temperature and sea level

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NASA Details Achievements Of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter »» NASA Details Achievements Of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

[Tuesday, June 21, 2011] NASA has declared full mission success for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). LRO changed our view of the entire moon and brought it into sharper focus with unprecedented detail.

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STS-135 Crew Trains in Florida »» STS-135 Crew Trains in Florida

[Tuesday, June 21, 2011] At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida today, the four Atlantis astronauts set to fly the STS-135 mission begin their launch countdown rehearsal and related training.

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Galileo's Soyuz launchers arrive at French Guiana »» Galileo's Soyuz launchers arrive at French Guiana

[Tuesday, June 21, 2011] The two Soyuz launchers that will fly the first four satellites of Europe's Galileo navigation system into orbit have arrived at Kourou harbour in French Guiana, completing a journey that took them halfway round the world.

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New ice thickness map of the Arctic unveiled »» New ice thickness map of the Arctic unveiled

[Tuesday, June 21, 2011] The first map of sea-ice thickness from ESA's CryoSat mission was revealed today at the Paris Air and Space Show. This new information is set to change our understanding of the complex relationship between ice and climate.

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NASA Sets Sail on Second Leg of Arctic Ocean Research Voyage »» NASA Sets Sail on Second Leg of Arctic Ocean Research Voyage

[Tuesday, June 21, 2011] Scientists embark this week from Alaska on the second and final campaign of a NASA field campaign to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems.

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ESA Releases iPad and iPhone Apps »» ESA Releases iPad and iPhone Apps

[Tuesday, June 21, 2011] The ESA App provides an easy and interesting way for the public to experience space exploration. It collects, customises and delivers a wide selection of up-to-date information from various online ESA sources.

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Astronaut Mark Kelly Announces Plans To Retire From NASA »» Astronaut Mark Kelly Announces Plans To Retire From NASA

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly has announced his plans to retire from the agency on Oct. 1. He is a veteran of four space shuttle missions.

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NASA OIG Final Report: NASA's Hangar One Re-Siding Project »» NASA OIG Final Report: NASA's Hangar One Re-Siding Project

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] NASA Inspector General Paul Martin today released a report that examines the $32.8 million re-siding project for Hangar One - one of the world's largest freestanding structures - at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California.

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SETI Needs Your Help to Resume Search for Extraterrestrial Life »» SETI Needs Your Help to Resume Search for Extraterrestrial Life

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] We are discovering more Earth-like planets every day, so now is more critical than ever to look for extraterrestrial life. A contribution from you, today, will fund telescope scans for signs of intelligence beyond our solar system.

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STS-135 Astronauts Continue Prelaunch Training in Florida »» STS-135 Astronauts Continue Prelaunch Training in Florida

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the four Atlantis astronauts are training at Launch Pad 39A this morning as they practice emergency escape procedures and inspect the payloads inside Atlantis' cargo bay.

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Alphabus ready to offer new opportunities »» Alphabus ready to offer new opportunities

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] Alphabus, the world's largest communication satellite platform, is ready to offer new opportunities for satellite operators worldwide.

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A galactic crash investigation »» A galactic crash investigation

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] By investigating one of the most complex and unusual colliding clusters in the sky, an international team of astronomers has pieced together the history of a cosmic crash that took place over a period of 350 million years.

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ESAs high-thrust engine takes next step »» ESAs high-thrust engine takes next step

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] The new main engine to power Europes successor to its Ariane 5 space launcher was brought a step closer today when ESA signed a 60 million contract with a propulsion consortium at the Paris Air & Space Show.

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NASA/NOAA GOES Project Releases 2 Week Movie of Chilean Volcanic Eruption »» NASA/NOAA GOES Project Releases 2 Week Movie of Chilean Volcanic Eruption

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] This visible image from GOES-13 on June 6, 2011 at 10:45 a.m. EDT and shows the ash plume from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile

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NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Completes First Round of Cryogenic Mirror Test »» NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Completes First Round of Cryogenic Mirror Test

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] Engineers and technicians guide six James Webb Space Telescope's mirror segments off the rails after completing final cryogenic testing this week at Marshall.

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Image: Iapetus as Seen By Cassini »» Image: Iapetus as Seen By Cassini

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] This image was taken on June 09, 2011 and received on Earth June 11, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Iapetus at approximately 988,094 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters

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Image: Yukon Delta As Seen From Orbit »» Image: Yukon Delta As Seen From Orbit

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] This Envisat image features Alaska's Yukon Delta, where the Yukon River, North America's fifth-longest river system, fans out into a labyrinth of distributaries before emptying into the Bering Sea.

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Cassini Image: Ocean-Like Spray Into Space From Encealdus »» Cassini Image: Ocean-Like Spray Into Space From Encealdus

[Wednesday, June 22, 2011] Cassini has discovered the best evidence yet for a large-scale saltwater reservoir beneath the icy crust of Saturn's moon Enceladus. The data came from the spacecraft's direct analysis of salt-rich ice grains close to the jets ejected from the moon.

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STS-135 Countdown Rehearsal Today »» STS-135 Countdown Rehearsal Today

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] The crew members will wrap up their on-site training today at Kennedy before departing from the Shuttle Landing Facility for the flight back to their home base at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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Image: Flames in Microgravity »» Image: Flames in Microgravity

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] Fire acts differently in space than on Earth. Sandra Olson, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center, demonstrates just how differently in her art. This artwork is comprised of multiple overlays of three separate microgravity flame images.

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Image: Estuaries on the northwestern coast of Madagascar As Seen From Orbit »» Image: Estuaries on the northwestern coast of Madagascar As Seen From Orbit

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] Estuaries on the northwestern coast of Madagascar are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station.

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UND space based ag camera captures its first successful image »» UND space based ag camera captures its first successful image

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] The University of North Dakota's International Space Station Agricultural Camera (ISSAC) has successfully captured its first high-resolution image from space.

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TEA Party Space Platform »» TEA Party Space Platform

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] "Whether it's timidity from the White House or Congress' earmark-laden 'compromises', our space dreams will be stuck on this planet unless someone articulates a vision based on economic and technical reality, so that's what we've done."

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NASA Commercial Spaceflight Status Briefing to the AIA Space Council June 16, 2011 »» NASA Commercial Spaceflight Status Briefing to the AIA Space Council June 16, 2011

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] "For the first time in history, we have a long

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STS-135 Countdown Rehearsal Complete »» STS-135 Countdown Rehearsal Complete

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] Work at the launch pad continues as technicians are scanning the bottom portions of the stringers on Atlantis' external fuel tank, and no issues have been found.

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NASA Flights Seek To Improve View Of Air Pollution From Space »» NASA Flights Seek To Improve View Of Air Pollution From Space

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] Two NASA research airplanes will fly over the Baltimore-Washington region and northeast Maryland this summer as part of a mission to enhance the capability of satellites to measure ground-level air quality from space.

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NASA Mars Science Laboratory Rover Arrives In Florida »» NASA Mars Science Laboratory Rover Arrives In Florida

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] NASA's next Mars rover has completed the journey from its California birthplace to Florida in preparation for launch this fall.

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Study Shows Interference with GPS Poses Major Threat to U.S. Economy »» Study Shows Interference with GPS Poses Major Threat to U.S. Economy

[Thursday, June 23, 2011] More than 3.3 million U.S. jobs in agriculture and industries rely heavily on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and the disruption of interference with GPS posed by LightSquared's planned deployment of 40,000 ground stations...

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NASA Announces Education Research Program Award Recipients »» NASA Announces Education Research Program Award Recipients

[Friday, June 24, 2011] NASA has awarded $20 million to colleges and universities nationwide to conduct research and technology development in areas important to the agency's mission. The awards also enable faculty development and support students.

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NASA Mission Suggests Sun and Planets Constructed Differently »» NASA Mission Suggests Sun and Planets Constructed Differently

[Friday, June 24, 2011] Researchers analyzing samples returned by NASA's 2004 Genesis mission have discovered that our sun and its inner planets may have formed differently than previously thought.

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UrtheCast Announces New Space Venture »» UrtheCast Announces New Space Venture

[Friday, June 24, 2011] UrtheCast is building, launching, and operating the world's first and only high definition streaming video cameras being installed on the International Space Station (ISS).

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Letter from Sens. Rockefeller and Hutchison Regarding Earlier NASA Document Request »» Letter from Sens. Rockefeller and Hutchison Regarding Earlier NASA Document Request

[Friday, June 24, 2011] We are writing to inform you that if you do not provide these documents to us by 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 27, 2011, Chairman Rockefeller will issue a subpoena requiring the production of these documents.

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Shuttle and Crew Preparations Under Way for Final Flight »» Shuttle and Crew Preparations Under Way for Final Flight

[Friday, June 24, 2011] The STS-135 astronauts are back at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston following the completion of their countdown dress rehearsal and training activities at Kennedy this week.

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First TV Image of Mars From Mariner IV in 1964 - Hand Colored »» First TV Image of Mars From Mariner IV in 1964 - Hand Colored

[Friday, June 24, 2011] A 'real-time data translator' machine converted a Mariner 4 digital image data into numbers printed on strips of paper. Employees attached these strips side by side to a display panel and hand colored the numbers like a paint-by-numbers picture.

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The Flames of Betelgeuse - New image reveals vast nebula around famous supergiant star »» The Flames of Betelgeuse - New image reveals vast nebula around famous supergiant star

[Friday, June 24, 2011] Using the VISIR instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have imaged a complex and bright nebula around the supergiant star Betelgeuse in greater detail than ever before.

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Dawn Nears Start of Year-Long Stay at Giant Asteroid Vesta »» Dawn Nears Start of Year-Long Stay at Giant Asteroid Vesta

[Friday, June 24, 2011] NASA's Dawn spacecraft is on track to begin the first extended visit to a large asteroid. The mission expects to go into orbit around Vesta on July 16 and begin gathering science data in early August.

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What's Next for America after the Space Shuttle? »» What's Next for America after the Space Shuttle?

[Friday, June 24, 2011] Rear Admiral Craig E Steidle, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation will be at the Kennedy Space Center on July 7-8 to discuss the legacy of the Space Shuttle and to help answer the question "what's next for American human spaceflight?"

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New Video: Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Animation »» New Video: Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Animation

[Saturday, June 25, 2011] This 11-minute animation depicts key events of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, which will launch in late 2011 and land a rover, Curiosity, on Mars in August 2012.

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NASA Cassini Image: Bright Moons »» NASA Cassini Image: Bright Moons

[Monday, June 27, 2011] The Cassini spacecraft observes three of Saturn's moons set against the darkened night side of the planet. Saturn is present on the left this image but is too dark to see.

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Do you want to call to Andre in space? »» Do you want to call to Andre in space?

[Monday, June 27, 2011] Are you a science centre, a science museum, a planetarium or a science festival, engaging the public on science and space? Then ESA is offering you a rare opportunity to call Europe's next astronaut, Andre Kuipers, on the International Space Station.

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Atlantis' Closeouts Under Way »» Atlantis' Closeouts Under Way

[Monday, June 27, 2011] Today at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians at Launch Pad 39A will begin the week-long process of closing space shuttle Atlantis' aft section in preparation for its liftoff on the STS-135 mission to the International Space Station.

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NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update »» NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Update

[Monday, June 27, 2011] Opportunity continues to make excellent progress towards Endeavour crater with under 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) to go before the first landfall on the rim.

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NASA Open Source Summit Proceedings Online »» NASA Open Source Summit Proceedings Online

[Monday, June 27, 2011] The event brought engineers and policy makers from across NASA together with well-respected members of the open source community together to discuss current challenges with NASA's open source policy framework.

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McMurdo Station Cosmic Ray Observatory: 50 years and counting »» McMurdo Station Cosmic Ray Observatory: 50 years and counting

[Monday, June 27, 2011] he U.S. Antarctic Program's longest running experiment, which helps keeps an eye on the activity of the solar system's hottest object, will soon be working in the cold.

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Image: Seaside Sunrise With Space Shuttle Discovery on the Pad »» Image: Seaside Sunrise With Space Shuttle Discovery on the Pad

[Monday, June 27, 2011] The sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean silhouetting space shuttle Atlantis' external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the image taken on June 23, 2011.

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Neutron star bites off more than it can chew »» Neutron star bites off more than it can chew

[Tuesday, June 28, 2011] ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory has watched a faint star flare up at X-ray wavelengths to almost 10 000 times its normal brightness. Astronomers believe the outburst was caused by the star trying to eat a giant clump of matter.

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Antarctic stations exchange greetings, look forward to the return of the sun »» Antarctic stations exchange greetings, look forward to the return of the sun

[Tuesday, June 28, 2011] Antarctica's most revered holiday was celebrated around the continent today. June 21, 2011 (local time), marks the winter solstice, the shortest "day" of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Letter from NASA Administrator Bolden to Sen. Rockefeller Regarding Congressional Document Request »» Letter from NASA Administrator Bolden to Sen. Rockefeller Regarding Congressional Document Request

[Tuesday, June 28, 2011] This is in response to your letter regarding the Committee's request for various documents and records concerning NASA's implementation of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and asserting that NASA has refused to provide the documents

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NASA Sets Launch Date For Final Space Shuttle Mission »» NASA Sets Launch Date For Final Space Shuttle Mission

[Tuesday, June 28, 2011] Space shuttle Atlantis' Commander Chris Ferguson and his three crewmates are scheduled to begin a 12-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 11:26 a.m. EDT on July 8, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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End of the Shuttle Program Final Flight of Atlantis: Canada's Contribution »» End of the Shuttle Program Final Flight of Atlantis: Canada's Contribution

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] The final flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for July 8, 2011, at 11:26 a.m. EDT. This will be the last mission of the Space Shuttle program.

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Astronomers Observe Pluto & Its Moons »» Astronomers Observe Pluto & Its Moons

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] A Williams College team of astronomers, headed by Bryce Babcock and Jay Pasachoff, have been in Hawaii, near Honolulu, to observe a rare double-double event about Pluto.

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Volunteer Star Gazers Needed for Space Mission »» Volunteer Star Gazers Needed for Space Mission

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] A team from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville has developed the website IceHunters which challenges the public to discover potential destinations for a NASA mission at the very edge of the solar system set to happen around 2015.

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Image: Extravehicular Mobility Unit Training for Expedition 28 »» Image: Extravehicular Mobility Unit Training for Expedition 28

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] Attired in a training version of his Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuit, NASA astronaut Mike Fossum participated in spacewalk training in the waters of the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near NASA's Johnson Space Center.

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NASA'S Partners Meet Milestones For Developing Future Commercial Spacecraft »» NASA'S Partners Meet Milestones For Developing Future Commercial Spacecraft

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] NASA's industry partners have met all their initial milestones in developing commercial crew transportation capabilities to reduce the gap in U.S. human spaceflight capability.

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Landsat Satellite Images Reveal Extent of Historic North Dakota Flooding »» Landsat Satellite Images Reveal Extent of Historic North Dakota Flooding

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] Heavy rains in Canada caused historic flooding in Minot, N.D. Landsat satellite images taken before and during the flooding reveal the water's extent.

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Cassini Image: Titan and Saturn's Rings »» Cassini Image: Titan and Saturn's Rings

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] Saturn's rings cut across this view of the planet's largest moon, Titan. Dark albedo features on Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) and the moon's north polar hood are visible here.

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Atlantis: The Grand Finale Photo Special at Launch Pad 39A Part 1 »» Atlantis: The Grand Finale Photo Special at Launch Pad 39A Part 1

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] The Grand Finale of NASA's three decade long Space Shuttle program is less than two weeks away. Recently NASA allowed reporters unprecedented access to photograph the Space Shuttle Atlantis while it waits on the pad. Here is part one.

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NASA Invites 150 Lucky Twitter Followers To Final Space Shuttle Launch »» NASA Invites 150 Lucky Twitter Followers To Final Space Shuttle Launch

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] The final launch of the space shuttle program is scheduled for 11:26 a.m. EDT on July 8, and NASA has invited 150 followers of the agency's Twitter account to be there.

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Most Distant Quasar Found »» Most Distant Quasar Found

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] This quasar is a vital probe of the early Universe. It is a very rare object that will help us to understand how supermassive black holes grew a few hundred million years after the Big Bang," says Stephen Warren, the study's team leader.

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Image: Puyehue-Cordon volcano Eruption As Seen From Orbit »» Image: Puyehue-Cordon volcano Eruption As Seen From Orbit

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] Satellite data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites called GOES-13 and GOES-11, both managed by NOAA, have been providing images of the volcanic plume since the eruption began on June 4, 2011.

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Odd Couple Binary Makes Dual Gamma-Ray Flares »» Odd Couple Binary Makes Dual Gamma-Ray Flares

[Wednesday, June 29, 2011] n December 2010, a pair of mismatched stars in the southern constellation Crux whisked past each other at a distance closer than Venus orbits the Sun. The system possesses a so-far unique blend of a hot and massive star with a compact fast-spinning pulsar

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