March 2005 Top Story Archives



UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth »» UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth

[Tuesday, March 1, 2005] New keys to understanding the evolution of life on Earth may be found in the microbes and minerals vented from below the ocean floor, say scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

° Full Story


China to Propose Shenzhou for ISS Duty »» China to Propose Shenzhou for ISS Duty

[Tuesday, March 1, 2005] A representative from the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC has said that he intends to brief the new NASA Administrator (as soon as that announcement is made) about a proposal for U.S. use of China's Shenzhou as a crew/cargo carrier for the ISS program.

° Full Story


NASA Issues Solicitation for Crew Exploration Vehicle »» NASA Issues Solicitation for Crew Exploration Vehicle

[Tuesday, March 1, 2005] NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate today issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). The CEV is the spacecraft that will carry astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit and to the moon by 2020.

° Full Story


Kevin Hand's Antarctic Journal 1 March 2005 »» Kevin Hand's Antarctic Journal 1 March 2005

[Tuesday, March 1, 2005] "Ok, well, this is it folks, one last email and then I'm on a plane back to LA. I've been in New Zealand for a bit and I've finally had a chance to type up my notes for this final update about our work in Antarctica. Here we go..."

° Full Story


The China Card: U.S. now agreeable to space cooperation with China »» The China Card: U.S. now agreeable to space cooperation with China

[Wednesday, March 2, 2005] In a major shift of U. S. policy, the Bush Administration is ready to open more formal discussions with China on space cooperation, according to outgoing NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe.

° Full Story


Chandra probes high-voltage auroras on Jupiter »» Chandra probes high-voltage auroras on Jupiter

[Wednesday, March 2, 2005] Scientists have obtained new insight into the unique power source for many of Jupiter's auroras, the most spectacular and active auroras in the Solar System.

° Full Story


Spitzer Space Telescope finds bright infrared galaxies »» Spitzer Space Telescope finds bright infrared galaxies

[Wednesday, March 2, 2005] A Cornell University-led team has discovered a mysterious population of distant and enormously powerful galaxies radiating in the infrared spectrum with many hundreds of times more power than our Milky Way galaxy.

° Full Story


Investors in space flight industry contribute $3,000,000 to TrekUnited - Money pledged to fund a fifth season of Star Trek: Enterprise »» Investors in space flight industry contribute $3,000,000 to TrekUnited - Money pledged to fund a fifth season of Star Trek: Enterprise

[Wednesday, March 2, 2005] TrekUnited.com today announced that three anonymous contributors have stepped forward with a $3 million pledge toward the campaign to ensure a fifth season for the recently cancelled Star Trek: Enterprise.

° Full Story


New Horizons Mission News: The PI's Perspective »» New Horizons Mission News: The PI's Perspective

[Wednesday, March 2, 2005] "I like to refer to New Horizons as "The First Mission to the Last Planet." Of course, that isn't true - Pluto isn't the last planet at all - it's just the last one recognized by most textbooks."

° Full Story


NASA Mars Rovers Break Driving Records, Examine Salty Soil »» NASA Mars Rovers Break Driving Records, Examine Salty Soil

[Wednesday, March 2, 2005] On three consecutive days, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity accomplished unprecedented feats of martian motion, covering more total ground in that period than either Opportunity or its twin, Spirit, did in their first 70 days on Mars.

° Full Story


Progress Docks with Space Station »» Progress Docks with Space Station

[Wednesday, March 2, 2005] An unpiloted Russian cargo ship linked up to the International Space Station today to deliver more than 2 tons of food, fuel, oxygen, water, supplies and spare parts.

° Full Story


NASA Return to Flight Milestone: External Tank Mates to Boosters »» NASA Return to Flight Milestone: External Tank Mates to Boosters

[Wednesday, March 2, 2005] NASA is marking a major step in assembling the Space Shuttle for its Return to Flight mission. Monday, workers successfully "mated," or attached, the redesigned External Tank and twin Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs).

° Full Story


Newly Seen Force May Help Gravity in Star Formation »» Newly Seen Force May Help Gravity in Star Formation

[Wednesday, March 2, 2005] Scientists have pierced through a dusty stellar nursery to capture the earliest and most detailed view of a collapsing gas cloud turning into a star, analogous to a baby's first ultrasound.

° Full Story


Astronomers Measure Slowest Motion Across the Sky »» Astronomers Measure Slowest Motion Across the Sky

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] In the March 4th issue of Science, astronomers report that they have measured the slowest ever motion of a galaxy across the plane of the sky.

° Full Story


The Impending Destruction of NGC 1427A »» The Impending Destruction of NGC 1427A

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] Under the gravitational grasp of a large gang of galaxies, called the Fornax cluster, the small bluish galaxy is plunging headlong into the group at 600 km/sec or nearly 400 mi/sec.

° Full Story


NASA Study Suggests Giant Space Clouds Iced Earth »» NASA Study Suggests Giant Space Clouds Iced Earth

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] Eons ago, giant clouds in space may have led to global extinctions, according to two recent technical papers supported by NASA's Astrobiology Institute.

° Full Story


Jupiter's formation linked to that of primitive meteorites »» Jupiter's formation linked to that of primitive meteorites

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] The process that formed the giant planet Jupiter may also have spawned some of the tiniest and oldest members of our solar system -- millimeter-sized spheres called chondrules, the major part of the most primitive meteorites.

° Full Story


NASA Technology Supports Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer »» NASA Technology Supports Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] NASA technology contributed to the safety and success of the mission by enhancing communications between pilot Steve Fossett and his ground control team. NASA's real-time video hookup allowed enthusiasts around the globe to follow the flight.

° Full Story


Surprise Discovery of Highly Developed Structure in the Young Universe »» Surprise Discovery of Highly Developed Structure in the Young Universe

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope and ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory have discovered the most distant, very massive structure in the Universe. It is a remote cluster of galaxies located no less than 9,000 million light-years away.

° Full Story


Undercover Stars Among Exoplanet Candidates - Very Large Telescope Finds Planet-Sized Transiting Star »» Undercover Stars Among Exoplanet Candidates - Very Large Telescope Finds Planet-Sized Transiting Star

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] An international team of astronomers have accurately determined the radius and mass of the smallest core-burning star known until now.

° Full Story


Hydrogen and methane provide raw energy for life at 'Lost City' »» Hydrogen and methane provide raw energy for life at 'Lost City'

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] Scientists who named the spot Lost City knew they were looking at something never seen before when the field was serendipitously discovered in December 2000 during a National Science Foundation expedition to the mid-Atlantic.

° Full Story


UNESCO, NASA sign accord to mitigate disasters, save world heritage »» UNESCO, NASA sign accord to mitigate disasters, save world heritage

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] UNESCO will use state-of-the-art space technology to help it conserve World Heritage sites, monitor biosphere reserves and mitigate natural hazards such as the recent Indian Ocean tsunami under a landmark agreement with the United States space agency.

° Full Story


NASA satellite sees ocean plants increase, coasts greening »» NASA satellite sees ocean plants increase, coasts greening

[Thursday, March 3, 2005] NASA's Watson Gregg published a study showing that phytoplankton had declined in abundance globally by 6 percent between the 1980s and 1990s. A new study suggests that trend may not be continuing, and new patterns are taking place.

° Full Story


NASA's Stealth Downsizing Plans? »» NASA's Stealth Downsizing Plans?

[Friday, March 4, 2005] Someone at NASA left some spreadsheets in a presentation circulated by NASA Watch and SpacRef. One tab "After Two Buyouts" seems to show a plan whereby 7,992 people would exit the agency betweem FY 2006 and FY 2010 as the result of buyouts.

° Full Story


Air Force lifts Boeing suspension »» Air Force lifts Boeing suspension

[Friday, March 4, 2005] Air Force officials removed the suspension of three Boeing Co. units associated with its rocket business March 4.

° Full Story


Rosetta's view of the Moon »» Rosetta's view of the Moon

[Friday, March 4, 2005] Enroute to a fly-by past Earth later this evening, Rosetta turned its navigation camera to the Moon. The first image was taken earlier today at 12:20 UTC, when Rosetta was 445,988 km from the Moon; the second was taken 2 hours and 50 minutes later.

° Full Story


Space Station Status Report 4 March 2005 »» Space Station Status Report 4 March 2005

[Friday, March 4, 2005] The focus for the ISS crew this week was the arrival of the Progress cargo spacecraft. Chiao and Sharipov spent some of the early part of the week preparing for the Wednesday Progress docking, and much of yesterday and today unloading it.

° Full Story


Moonbeams Shine on Einstein, Galileo and Newton »» Moonbeams Shine on Einstein, Galileo and Newton

[Friday, March 4, 2005] Thirty-five years after Moon-walking astronauts placed special reflectors on the lunar surface, scientists have used these devices to test Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity to unprecedented accuracy.

° Full Story


Jupiter: A cloudy mirror for the Sun? »» Jupiter: A cloudy mirror for the Sun?

[Monday, March 7, 2005] Astronomers using the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton telescope have discovered that observing the giant planet Jupiter may actually give them an insight in to solar activity on the far side of the Sun!

° Full Story


Simulations reveal surprising news about black holes »» Simulations reveal surprising news about black holes

[Tuesday, March 8, 2005] Until recently, the mechanisms that bring matter close to black holes have been poorly understood, leaving researchers puzzled about many of the details of the process.

° Full Story


NASA Scientists Create a Gene Map for Healthier Kidneys »» NASA Scientists Create a Gene Map for Healthier Kidneys

[Tuesday, March 8, 2005] NASA scientists and academic colleagues are studying tiny hairs inside microorganisms to find clues about kidney disease.

° Full Story


Context for the Origin of Life on Earth »» Context for the Origin of Life on Earth

[Wednesday, March 9, 2005] The origins of life is one of the major mysteries of astrobiology. The first of the three theme-questions in astrobiology - Where did we come from? - deals in part with origins, whether the process took place on the ancient Earth or elsewhere.

° Full Story


AAS Calls Servicing Hubble Important for Astronomy,  Urges NASA to Stick with the Decade Plan »» AAS Calls Servicing Hubble Important for Astronomy, Urges NASA to Stick with the Decade Plan

[Wednesday, March 9, 2005] Today the American Astronomical Society, the major professional organization for professional astronomy and space science researchers in the United States, released a policy statement on the servicing of the Hubble Space Telescope.

° Full Story


NASA'S Hubble Weighs in on the Heaviest Stars in the Galaxy »» NASA'S Hubble Weighs in on the Heaviest Stars in the Galaxy

[Wednesday, March 9, 2005] Astronomers have taken a step toward establishing an upper limit to the masses of stars. Using Hubble Space Telescope, they made the first direct measurement and concluded stars cannot get any larger than about 150 times the sun's mass.

° Full Story


Rhea and Tethys »» Rhea and Tethys

[Wednesday, March 9, 2005] This image was taken on March 07, 2005 and received on Earth March 07, 2005. The camera was pointing toward Tethys at approximately 1,460,637 kilometers away.

° Full Story


Rhea »» Rhea

[Wednesday, March 9, 2005] This image was taken on March 06, 2005 and received on Earth March 06, 2005. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 2,046,249 kilometers away.

° Full Story


Young Universe Looks Like Vegetable Soup »» Young Universe Looks Like Vegetable Soup

[Wednesday, March 9, 2005] What did the universe look like when it was only 2 to 3 billion years old? Astronomers used to think it was a pretty simple place containing relatively small, young star-forming galaxies.

° Full Story


Enceladus Up Close »» Enceladus Up Close

[Wednesday, March 9, 2005] Cassini conducts a successful close flyby of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus at 500 kilometers (310 miles) from its surface today. Enceladus is the coldest of the Saturnian moons and the brightest object in the solar system.

° Full Story


Superglue of planet formation: sticky ice »» Superglue of planet formation: sticky ice

[Wednesday, March 9, 2005] Pacific Northwest National Lab experiments point to clingy grains of ice to solve age-old mystery of how primordial dust pulled together to form planets

° Full Story


Scientists solve mystery of Meteor Crater's missing melted rocks »» Scientists solve mystery of Meteor Crater's missing melted rocks

[Wednesday, March 9, 2005] The iron meteorite that blasted out Meteor Crater almost 50,000 years ago was traveling much slower than has been assumed, University of Arizona researchers report in the cover article of Nature.

° Full Story


Enceladus and Saturn »» Enceladus and Saturn

[Thursday, March 10, 2005] This image was taken on March 09, 2005 and received on Earth March 09, 2005. The camera was pointing toward Enceladus at approximately 93,869 kilometers away

° Full Story


Burt Rutan, Paul G. Allen, and the SpaceShipOne Team are honored for creating and flying the first privately developed reusable spacecraft. »» Burt Rutan, Paul G. Allen, and the SpaceShipOne Team are honored for creating and flying the first privately developed reusable spacecraft.

[Thursday, March 10, 2005] Ingenious. Tireless. Masterful. Aerospace engineer and entrepreneur Burt Rutan turns ideas into winged vehicles that soar, take powered flight, and now rocket into space, safely returning to land under a pilot's control.

° Full Story


NEO News (03/10/05) Impact Hazard Summary for UN »» NEO News (03/10/05) Impact Hazard Summary for UN

[Thursday, March 10, 2005] The following summary of the status of international programs dealing with the NEO impact hazard was presented at a recent meeting in Vienna of the UN Committee of the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

° Full Story


Physiological effects of reduced gravity on bacteria »» Physiological effects of reduced gravity on bacteria

[Thursday, March 10, 2005] An article in Journal of Applied Microbiology investigates how bacteria respond when they are subjected to environmental alterations, such as those of space stations, which feature lowered effects of gravity.

° Full Story


NASA Cassini Images Reveal an Active, Earth-like World »» NASA Cassini Images Reveal an Active, Earth-like World

[Thursday, March 10, 2005] Saturn's hazy largest moon, Titan – a body long held to be a frozen analog of early Earth – has a surface shaped largely by an Earth-like interplay of tectonics, erosion by fluids, winds, and perhaps volcanism.

° Full Story


A Tale of Two El Niños »» A Tale of Two El Niños

[Friday, March 11, 2005] "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." The same event can have dramatically different outcomes. For some, an El Niño means a welcome respite from bitter winter weather. For others, it can bring lashing rains and devastating floods.

° Full Story


Michael Griffin to be Next NASA Adminstrator »» Michael Griffin to be Next NASA Adminstrator

[Friday, March 11, 2005] The White House will announce that the President intends to nominate Michael Griffin to be the next Administrator. Details to follow.

° Full Story


Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report »» Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report

[Friday, March 11, 2005] Congress directed NASA to request a study from the National Research Council (NRC) of the robotic and shuttle servicing options for extending the life of Hubble. This report presents an assessment of those two options.

° Full Story


NASA ISS Flight Program Launch Schedule 3 March 2005 »» NASA ISS Flight Program Launch Schedule 3 March 2005

[Monday, March 14, 2005] The following chart is the updated ISS Flight Program Launch graphic.  This chart addresses the launches to the ISS during the next 20 months per CR 9183 (Reference Assembly Sequence) and the OZ Working Launch Dates (dated 3/3/05).

° Full Story


The Iran Nonproliferation Act and the International Space Station: Issues and Options »» The Iran Nonproliferation Act and the International Space Station: Issues and Options

[Monday, March 14, 2005] "Section 6 of the The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 bans U.S. payments to Russia in connection with the International Space Station unless the U.S. President determines that Russia is taking steps to prevent such proliferation."

° Full Story


NASA Releasing Updated International Space Station Plan »» NASA Releasing Updated International Space Station Plan

[Tuesday, March 15, 2005] "NASA's Implementation Plan for International Space Station Continuing Flight" will be released on Thursday, March 17. The release will be followed by an afternoon media teleconference.

° Full Story


Robot-Based System Developed at Carnegie Mellon Detects Life in Chile's Atacama Desert »» Robot-Based System Developed at Carnegie Mellon Detects Life in Chile's Atacama Desert

[Tuesday, March 15, 2005] A unique rover-based life detection system developed by Carnegie Mellon University scientists has found signs of life in Chile's Atacama Desert.

° Full Story


Biologists identify chemicals affecting plant growth in response to gravity »» Biologists identify chemicals affecting plant growth in response to gravity

[Wednesday, March 16, 2005] A team of biologists from the University of California, Riverside has used chemical genomics to identify novel compounds that affect the ability of plants to alter their direction of growth in response to gravity, a phenomenon known as gravitropism.

° Full Story


Cassini Finds an Atmosphere on Saturn's Moon Enceladus »» Cassini Finds an Atmosphere on Saturn's Moon Enceladus

[Wednesday, March 16, 2005] Cassini's two close flybys of Enceladus have revealed that the moon has a significant atmosphere. Scientists, using Cassini's magnetometer instrument, say the source may be volcanism, geysers, or gases escaping from the surface or the interior.

° Full Story


Space Biology Advocates Join Forces in Talks with Capitol Hill »» Space Biology Advocates Join Forces in Talks with Capitol Hill

[Wednesday, March 16, 2005] Space Biologists have been making the rounds in Congress over the last two weeks, carrying a common message: The Moon and Mars Missions under the Vision for Space Exploration will require continued investments in robust life sciences R&D at NASA.

° Full Story


Robotic Astrobiology Expedition Yields Significant Science Findings »» Robotic Astrobiology Expedition Yields Significant Science Findings

[Wednesday, March 16, 2005] A group of scientists announced today that they identified habitats and microbial life using a rover in Chile's arid Atacama desert, one of the harshest environments on Earth, and that their findings may bode well for future missions to Mars.

° Full Story


Researchers find evidence of dark energy in our galactic neighborhood »» Researchers find evidence of dark energy in our galactic neighborhood

[Wednesday, March 16, 2005] Astrophysicists in recent years have found evidence for a force they call dark energy in observations from the farthest reaches of the universe, billions of light years away.

° Full Story


Diagnostic Tests Planned for Instrument on NASA Mars Rover Opportunity »» Diagnostic Tests Planned for Instrument on NASA Mars Rover Opportunity

[Wednesday, March 16, 2005] NASA has suspended use of one of the mineral-identifying tools on the Opportunity Mars rover while experts troubleshoot a problem with getting data from the instrument, the robot's miniature thermal emission spectrometer.

° Full Story


Space Shuttle Return to Flight Provides for Space Station Resupply, Science »» Space Shuttle Return to Flight Provides for Space Station Resupply, Science

[Wednesday, March 16, 2005] The module that will deliver food, clothing, spare parts and research equipment to the International Space Station is being prepared for the Space Shuttle Return to Flight mission.

° Full Story


Fire and Ice: Mars Images Reveal Recent Volcanic and Glacial Activity »» Fire and Ice: Mars Images Reveal Recent Volcanic and Glacial Activity

[Wednesday, March 16, 2005] Shifting glaciers and exploding volcanoes aren't confined to Mars' distant past, according two new reports in the journal Nature.

° Full Story


Happy St. Patrick's Day from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory »» Happy St. Patrick's Day from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

[Thursday, March 17, 2005] There's not a leprechaun, shamrock, pot o' gold or Blarney's Stone in sight. This shaded relief map of Ireland from NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission reveals the topography of St. Patrick's island home in shades of glorious green.

° Full Story


Moons, Rings, and Saturn »» Moons, Rings, and Saturn

[Friday, March 18, 2005] This image was taken on March 11, 2005 and received on Earth March 12, 2005. The camera was pointing toward Saturn at approximately 1,216,378 kilometers away.

° Full Story


Opportunity Reaches Vostok Crater »» Opportunity Reaches Vostok Crater

[Friday, March 18, 2005] After a long, sustained series of traverses (with a few stops along the way to see the sights) Opportunity has reached "Vostok Crater." The rover began a set of in-situ measurements on the soil and rock of Vostok.

° Full Story


Space Shuttle Discovery Processing Continues »» Space Shuttle Discovery Processing Continues

[Friday, March 18, 2005] In Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) bay 3, final processing work continues on Discovery in preparation for its rollover to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and mating, or attaching, to its Solid Rocket Boosters and External Tank.

° Full Story


Mars Express Image: ‘Hourglass’ shaped craters filled with traces of glacier »» Mars Express Image: ‘Hourglass’ shaped craters filled with traces of glacier

[Friday, March 18, 2005] This image, taken by MarsExpress, shows flow features most likely formed by glaciers or 'block' glaciers. This unusual 'hourglass'-shaped structure is located in Promethei Terra at the eastern rim of the Hellas Basin.

° Full Story


NASA Shuttle Crew Checks Out Equipment for Return to Flight MIssion »» NASA Shuttle Crew Checks Out Equipment for Return to Flight MIssion

[Friday, March 18, 2005] The astronauts of the Space Shuttle Discovery got a chance today to work with some of the equipment they will be taking to space. Flight commander Eileen Collins and her crew were at Kennedy Space Center for the Payload Crew Equipment Interface Test.

° Full Story


NASA MOD Internal Memo - Subject: Message to our partners »» NASA MOD Internal Memo - Subject: Message to our partners

[Saturday, March 19, 2005] "As many of you are aware, over the course of the last several months we have taken steps to refresh the symbols or our operations culture. Specifically, both ISS and Space Shuttle are now represented on our MOD emblem ...

° Full Story


Remarks at the funeral of NASA's Get Away Special Program - An open letter to Dr. Michael Griffin »» Remarks at the funeral of NASA's Get Away Special Program - An open letter to Dr. Michael Griffin

[Sunday, March 20, 2005] "But now, without so much as a "by your leave," the Get Away Special and Hitchhiker programs have officially been relegated to the trash heap by NASA, there to join the highly successful but short-lived Shuttle Student Involvement Program."

° Full Story


Movie: Mimas Occults Janus »» Movie: Mimas Occults Janus

[Monday, March 21, 2005] Saturn's icy, impact-riddled moon Mimas slips briefly in front of Saturn's moon Janus in this movie from Cassini. Mimas is 397 kilometers (247 miles) across, while Janus is 181 kilometers (113 miles) across.

° Full Story


Exotic physics finds black holes could be most 'perfect,' low-viscosity fluid »» Exotic physics finds black holes could be most 'perfect,' low-viscosity fluid

[Monday, March 21, 2005] In three spatial dimensions, it is a close relative of the quark-gluon plasma, the super-hot state of matter that hasn't existed since the tiniest fraction of a second after the big bang that started the universe.

° Full Story


Fossil Records Show Biodiversity Comes and Goes »» Fossil Records Show Biodiversity Comes and Goes

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] A new analysis of the fossil records of marine animals over the past 542 million years has yielded a stunning surprise. Biodiversity appears to rise and fall in mysterious cycles of 62 million years for which science has no satisfactory explanation.

° Full Story


Iridium Satellite Constellation Passes Milestone for Longevity »» Iridium Satellite Constellation Passes Milestone for Longevity

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] Iridium Satellite today announced that its constellation of low-earth-orbit communication satellites has achieved a world record of more than 500 satellite-years of in-orbit performance.

° Full Story


TrES-1: The Transiting Planet of a Bright K0V Star »» TrES-1: The Transiting Planet of a Bright K0V Star

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] We report the detection of a transiting Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a relatively bright (V=11.79) K0V star. We designate the planet TrES-1; its inferred mass is 0.75 +/- 0.07 Jupiter masses.

° Full Story


Young and Exotic Stellar Zoo -  ESO's Telescopes Uncover Super Star Cluster in the Milky Way »» Young and Exotic Stellar Zoo - ESO's Telescopes Uncover Super Star Cluster in the Milky Way

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] Super star clusters are groups of hundreds of thousands of very young stars packed into an unbelievably small volume. They represent the most extreme environments in which stars and planets can form.

° Full Story


X-Rays Signal Presence of Elusive Intermediate Mass Black Hole »» X-Rays Signal Presence of Elusive Intermediate Mass Black Hole

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] There is evidence for the existence of stellar black holes that are about 10 times as massive as the Sun. They have also discovered that supermassive black holes with masses as large as billions of Suns exist in the centers of most galaxies.

° Full Story


OAA, NASA Announce New Relationship to Acquire Advanced Geostationary Satellites »» OAA, NASA Announce New Relationship to Acquire Advanced Geostationary Satellites

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] NOAA announced today its acquisition management strategy for the upcoming GOES-R Program. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

° Full Story


Space debris: assessing the risk »» Space debris: assessing the risk

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] Assessing the risk that space debris pose to operational spacecraft and satellites is a challenge and depends on whether you are worried about being hit by a known, tracked debris object or by an unknown object.

° Full Story


NASA'S Spitzer Marks Beginning of New Age of Planetary Science »» NASA'S Spitzer Marks Beginning of New Age of Planetary Science

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] In the new studies, Spitzer has directly observed the warm infrared glows of two previously detected "hot Jupiter" planets, designated HD 209458b and TrES-1. Hot Jupiters are extrasolar gas giants that zip closely around their parent stars.

° Full Story


NASA Announces First Two Centennial Challenges »» NASA Announces First Two Centennial Challenges

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] The first two Centennial Challenges competitions will be released by NASA and its partner, the Spaceward Foundation, on Wednesday, March 23 at 7:45 p.m. EST at Flight School '05, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel, Scottsdale, Ariz.

° Full Story


NASA's Mars Rover Spirit Gets a Burst of Power »» NASA's Mars Rover Spirit Gets a Burst of Power

[Tuesday, March 22, 2005] After some accumulated dust was blown off of Spirit's solar panels on sol 420 (March 9, 2005), the rover has been producing over 800 watt-hours of energy per sol, about twice as much as before the solar-array cleaning event.

° Full Story


GAO Report: NASA'S SPACE VISION: Business Case for Prometheus 1 Needed to Ensure Requirements Match Available Resources »» GAO Report: NASA'S SPACE VISION: Business Case for Prometheus 1 Needed to Ensure Requirements Match Available Resources

[Wednesday, March 23, 2005] "While development of the Prometheus 1 technologies is under way, each will require extensive advancement before they are mature enough to support reliable cost estimates."

° Full Story


NASA Announces First Centennial Challenges Prizes »» NASA Announces First Centennial Challenges Prizes

[Wednesday, March 23, 2005] NASA and its partner, the Spaceward Foundation, today announced prizes totaling $400,000 for four prize competitions, the first under the agency's Centennial Challenges program.

° Full Story


NASA Scientists to Discuss Risks of Moon Dust »» NASA Scientists to Discuss Risks of Moon Dust

[Wednesday, March 23, 2005] During a workshop entitled "Biological Effects of Lunar Dust," scientists and physicians will review current knowledge about lunar dust and its medical risks, and recommend strategies to obtain new information needed for lunar exploration.

° Full Story


Mystery minerals formed in fireball from colliding asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs »» Mystery minerals formed in fireball from colliding asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs

[Wednesday, March 23, 2005] Scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and the University of Chicago have explained how a globe-encircling residue formed in the aftermath of the asteroid impact that triggered the extinction of the dinosaurs.

° Full Story


Discovery to Make Final Moves for Return to Flight »» Discovery to Make Final Moves for Return to Flight

[Thursday, March 24, 2005] Currently scheduled for Monday, March 28, orbiter Discovery, which is housed in its hangar, the Orbiter Processing Facility, will be moved to the VAB, to be attached to its redesigned External Tank and twin Solid Rocket Boosters.

° Full Story


Winner of Volvo Sweepstakes for Space Flight Revealed at New York Auto Show »» Winner of Volvo Sweepstakes for Space Flight Revealed at New York Auto Show

[Thursday, March 24, 2005] Doug Ramsburg of Northglenn, CO, is expected to be among the first people to travel on a commercial flight to space. He was among the more than 135,000 aspiring astronauts who registered to win a trip to space as part of a promotional effort by Volvo.

° Full Story


GAO Report: Space Shuttle: Actions Needed to Better Position NASA to Sustain Its Workforce through Retirement »» GAO Report: Space Shuttle: Actions Needed to Better Position NASA to Sustain Its Workforce through Retirement

[Thursday, March 24, 2005] "Several factors hamper the Space Shuttle Program's ability to develop a detailed long-term strategy to sustain the critically skilled workforce necessary to support safe space shuttle operations through retirement."

° Full Story


An Infrared View of Mount St. Helens »» An Infrared View of Mount St. Helens

[Thursday, March 24, 2005] This ASTER image of Mount St. Helens was captured one week after the March 8 ash and steam eruption, the latest activity since the volcano's reawakening in September 2004.

° Full Story


New NASA Image of Earth Seen Through Gamma-Ray Eyes »» New NASA Image of Earth Seen Through Gamma-Ray Eyes

[Thursday, March 24, 2005] A new type of picture of the Earth from space complements the familiar image of our "blue marble". This is the first detailed image of our planet radiating gamma rays.

° Full Story


Minor Damage to SpaceX Engine Test Stand »» Minor Damage to SpaceX Engine Test Stand

[Friday, March 25, 2005] SpaceX was running a Merlin engine acceptance test earlier this week at their test site in Texas. At one point some hot gas blowback burned test stand pressure sensor wiring

° Full Story


Practicing for Europa: Robot Sub Spray to Cross Atlantic »» Practicing for Europa: Robot Sub Spray to Cross Atlantic

[Friday, March 25, 2005] An autonomous underwater vehicle named Spray was launched yesterday southeast of Bermuda. Spray will slowly make its way northwest, crossing the Gulf Stream and reaching the continental shelf on the other side, turn around, and head back to Bermuda.

° Full Story


Discovery Prepared for Rollover »» Discovery Prepared for Rollover

[Friday, March 25, 2005] Technicians in Orbiter Processing Facility bay 3 make final preparations for Discovery's rollover to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) on Monday, March 28.

° Full Story


Deep Impact Status Report »» Deep Impact Status Report

[Friday, March 25, 2005] Deep Impact has completed the commissioning phase and has moved into cruise phase. Mission planners have separated flight operations into five mission phases. Cruise phase will continue until about 60 days before encounter with Tempel 1 on July 4, 2005.

° Full Story


NASA Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) #13 Chairman's Report »» NASA Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) #13 Chairman's Report

[Friday, March 25, 2005] "On behalf of the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) Executive Committee, I am reporting to you on the results from the MEPAG meeting held in Arlington, VA, on 16-17 February 2005."

° Full Story


ISS Crew Performs EVA and Deploys Small Satellite »» ISS Crew Performs EVA and Deploys Small Satellite

[Monday, March 28, 2005] The residents of the International Space Station ventured outside today for a 4-hour, 30-minute spacewalk to install communications equipment on the exterior of the Zvezda Service Module and deploy a small satellite experiment.

° Full Story


Dying Stars May Bring Life to Frozen Worlds »» Dying Stars May Bring Life to Frozen Worlds

[Monday, March 28, 2005] Dying stars may warm previously frozen worlds around them to the point where liquid water temperature exists long enough for life to form, according to a new analysis of the evolution of habitable zones around stars.

° Full Story


NASA's Discovery Rolls to Major Return to Flight Milestone »» NASA's Discovery Rolls to Major Return to Flight Milestone

[Tuesday, March 29, 2005] NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery is one important step closer to launch. Discovery was rolled from its hangar early this morning to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).

° Full Story


Changes in Earth's tilt control when glacial cycles end »» Changes in Earth's tilt control when glacial cycles end

[Wednesday, March 30, 2005] A new study reported in the March 24 issue of Nature finds that glacial cycles are paced by variations in the tilt of Earth's axis, and that glaciations end when Earth's tilt is large.

° Full Story


NASA tests shape-shifting robot pyramid for nanotech swarms »» NASA tests shape-shifting robot pyramid for nanotech swarms

[Wednesday, March 30, 2005] NASA tests shape-shifting robot pyramid for nanotech swarms

° Full Story


Final Stafford/Covey Recommendations for Return to Flight Delayed »» Final Stafford/Covey Recommendations for Return to Flight Delayed

[Wednesday, March 30, 2005] The Stafford/Covey RTF Task Force is not going to be releasing its final recommendations tomorrow as had been planned. The fact finding that needs to go into the formulation of final decisions and recommendations has not been completed.

° Full Story


Multi-Year Space Elevator Competition Roadmap Released »» Multi-Year Space Elevator Competition Roadmap Released

[Wednesday, March 30, 2005] Following last week's $400,000 prize purse announcement by NASA, the Spaceward Foundation has released details of its Space Elevator competitions for 2005 and 2006, as well as a long-term roadmap.

° Full Story


Notes from the NASA Integrated Space Operations Summit 2005 »» Notes from the NASA Integrated Space Operations Summit 2005

[Wednesday, March 30, 2005] NASA is planning to fly no more than 28 Space Shuttle Flights between now and 2010 at a rate of roughly 5 per year. This will lead to some tough decisions - some of them coming rather soon.

° Full Story


Hubble Spies Cosmic Dust Bunnies »» Hubble Spies Cosmic Dust Bunnies

[Thursday, March 31, 2005] Like dust bunnies that lurk in corners and under beds, surprisingly complex loops and blobs of cosmic dust lie hidden in the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1316.

° Full Story


Epimetheus Close Up »» Epimetheus Close Up

[Thursday, March 31, 2005] This image was taken on March 30, 2005 and received on Earth March 30, 2005. The camera was pointing toward Epimetheus at approximately 74,782 kilometers away.

° Full Story