May 2005 Top Story Archives



Stellar encounters as the origin of distant solar system objects in highly eccentric orbits »» Stellar encounters as the origin of distant solar system objects in highly eccentric orbits

[Monday, May 2, 2005] The discovery of Sedna places new constraints on the origin and evolution of our solar system. We investigate the possibility that a close encounter with a star produced the observed edge of the Kuiper belt and the highly elliptical orbit of Sedna.

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NASA Special Notice: Exploration Systems Mission Directorate FY05 BAA Deferred »» NASA Special Notice: Exploration Systems Mission Directorate FY05 BAA Deferred

[Monday, May 2, 2005] The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate has decided to defer indefinitely the previously planned FY2005 Broad Agency Announcement for the Exploration Systems Research and Technology and Human Systems Research & Technology programs.  

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Boeing, Lockheed Martin to Form Launch Services Joint Venture »» Boeing, Lockheed Martin to Form Launch Services Joint Venture

[Monday, May 2, 2005] Boeing and Lockheed Martin have entered into an agreement to create a joint venture that will combine the production, engineering, test and launch operations associated with U.S. government launches of Boeing Delta and Lockheed Martin Atlas rockets.

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American Astronomical Society Calls Cuts to NASA Science Funding a Threat to US Pre-eminence in Space »» American Astronomical Society Calls Cuts to NASA Science Funding a Threat to US Pre-eminence in Space

[Monday, May 2, 2005] AAS President Robert Kirshner said, "NASA is having a tough time paying for its superb science program. This year's choice to omit support of individual astronomers is very painful for astronomers and could lead to serious damage in the long run.

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NASA's Next Mars Spacecraft Arrives in Florida for Final Checkout »» NASA's Next Mars Spacecraft Arrives in Florida for Final Checkout

[Tuesday, May 3, 2005] NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) arrived at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility on April 30 aboard a C-17 cargo plane and was taken to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility to begin processing.

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Gamma rays from thunderstorms? »» Gamma rays from thunderstorms?

[Tuesday, May 3, 2005] A study by Duke University engineers suggests that gamma radiation fountains upward from starting points surprisingly low in thunderclouds.

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Breakfast with NASA Administrator Mike Griffin »» Breakfast with NASA Administrator Mike Griffin

[Tuesday, May 3, 2005] NASA Administrator Mike Griffin made his first public appearance outside of NASA on Monday. The forum he chose was a breakfast hosted on Capitol Hill by Women in Aerospace (WIA).

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Climatic and Biogeochemical Effects of a Galactic Gamma-Ray Burst »» Climatic and Biogeochemical Effects of a Galactic Gamma-Ray Burst

[Tuesday, May 3, 2005] It is likely that one or more gamma-ray bursts within our galaxy have strongly irradiated the Earth with X-ray and gamma-ray photons in the last billion years. This produces DNA-damaging ultraviolet solar flux reaching the surface for up to a decade.

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Vegetation's Red Edge: A Possible Spectroscopic Biosignature of Extraterrestrial Plants »» Vegetation's Red Edge: A Possible Spectroscopic Biosignature of Extraterrestrial Plants

[Tuesday, May 3, 2005] Strong reflectance of Earth's vegetation suggests that surface biosignatures with sharp spectral features might be detectable in the spectrum of scattered light from a spatially unresolved extrasolar terrestrial planet.

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Rock hounds sleuth rise of Earth's atmosphere »» Rock hounds sleuth rise of Earth's atmosphere

[Tuesday, May 3, 2005] "CSI-like" techniques, used on minerals, are revealing the steps that led to evolution of the atmosphere on Earth.

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Cassini Mission: Ring Watch »» Cassini Mission: Ring Watch

[Wednesday, May 4, 2005] After flybys of the planet's moons since arriving last year, Cassini will begin five months of extensive study of Saturn's magnificent rings. Knowing how the rings form and how long they have been there is a central question for the Cassini mission.

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NASA & NOAA Set to Launch New Environmental Satellite »» NASA & NOAA Set to Launch New Environmental Satellite

[Wednesday, May 4, 2005] NASA is set to launch the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES), another critical link in the development of a global Earth-observation program.

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NASA Science Team Testing Innovative Plasma Technology That Could Propel Future Deep-Space Missions »» NASA Science Team Testing Innovative Plasma Technology That Could Propel Future Deep-Space Missions

[Wednesday, May 4, 2005] A team of engineers and scientists led by NASA have begun investigating the physics and performance of magnetic nozzles -- innovative devices that could support development of plasma-based propulsion systems.

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USAF-NASA Technology Demonstrator Engine for Future Launch Vehicles Successfully Fired During Initial Full Duration Test »» USAF-NASA Technology Demonstrator Engine for Future Launch Vehicles Successfully Fired During Initial Full Duration Test

[Wednesday, May 4, 2005] An engine developed to demonstrate advanced rocket technologies for future launch vehicles was successfully ignited April 28 during its test firing at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss.

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Beam Me to Mars »» Beam Me to Mars

[Wednesday, May 4, 2005] An exciting NASA-funded research project could send astronauts racing to Mars up to six times faster. The solution - proposed by Dr. Robert Winglee of the University of Washington - sounds like science fiction.

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MGS Finds Viking Lander 2 and Mars Polar Lander (Maybe) »» MGS Finds Viking Lander 2 and Mars Polar Lander (Maybe)

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] Observations by MGS MOC in 2004 of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) landing sites provided guidance for a re-examination of the previously identified MPL candidate.

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Studies of adult stem cells expanded with NASA-created techniques indicate the cells do not turn cancerous »» Studies of adult stem cells expanded with NASA-created techniques indicate the cells do not turn cancerous

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] Regenetech works with NASA under its license and Reimbursable Space Act Agreement. The firm uses the patented IntrifugeTM system process to dramatically multiply adult stem cells to a far greater degree than has been demonstrated previously.

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India's PSLV-C6 Successfully Launches Two Satellites »» India's PSLV-C6 Successfully Launches Two Satellites

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C6, successfully launched the 1560 kg Indian Remote Sensing satellite, CARTOSAT-1, and the 42.5 kg HAMSAT into a 632 x 621 km high polar orbit today.

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NASA Gravity Probe B Mission, Testing Einstein's Theory of Gravity Completes First Year in Space »» NASA Gravity Probe B Mission, Testing Einstein's Theory of Gravity Completes First Year in Space

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] Was Einstein Correct? Mac Keiser is not saying. Project policy maintains that the program will not release scientific results obtained during the mission until after the data analysis is completed next year.

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Hats off to Space Day From NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope »» Hats off to Space Day From NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] NASA salutes Space Day, observed this year on May 5, with a new dramatic image of the Sombrero galaxy.  Space Day, held the first Thursday each May, is designed to inspire the next generation of explorers.

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Earth and Moon through Rosetta's eyes »» Earth and Moon through Rosetta's eyes

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] ESA's comet chaser mission Rosetta took these infrared and visible images of Earth and the Moon, during the Earth fly-by of 4/5 March 2005 while on its way to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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New thermometer reveals wet conditions on earliest Earth »» New thermometer reveals wet conditions on earliest Earth

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] Researchers have found new evidence that environmental conditions on early Earth, within 200 million years of solar system formation, were characterized by liquid-water oceans and continental crust similar to those of the present day.

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Earth's reflectivity a great unknown in gauging climate change impacts »» Earth's reflectivity a great unknown in gauging climate change impacts

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] Earth's climate is being changed substantially by a buildup of atmospheric greenhouse gases, but a group of leading climate scientists contends the overall impact is not understood as well as it should be because data are too scarce.

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The 2005 General Meeting of the NASA Astrobiology Institute »» The 2005 General Meeting of the NASA Astrobiology Institute

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] "Unlike most science meetings today, NAI 2005 had no multiple or parallel sessions. This structure encouraged everyone to attend every session, not just those closely related to her or his specialty."

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NASA Plans Dramatic Changes to its Exploration Systems Approach »» NASA Plans Dramatic Changes to its Exploration Systems Approach

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] "NASA has initiated the Exploration Systems Architecture Study in an effort to minimize the gap between the final Space Shuttle mission and the maiden flight of an operational CRew Exploration Vehicle"

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Earth lightens up »» Earth lightens up

[Thursday, May 5, 2005] After 30 years of dimming, the planet's surface is brightening, an international collaboration concludes this week in Science magazine

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NASA Internal Advisory: NASA-Issued Return to Flight Wristbands Contaminated  with Silicone »» NASA Internal Advisory: NASA-Issued Return to Flight Wristbands Contaminated with Silicone

[Friday, May 6, 2005] "Please do not wear these in our facilities and keep your eyes open for others that do not get this message. A Quality Alert has been issued at our Wasatch Facilities due to the serious nature of what silicone can do to our processes."

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Internal Letter from NASA Administrator Griffin: Exploration Systems Architecture Study Support »» Internal Letter from NASA Administrator Griffin: Exploration Systems Architecture Study Support

[Friday, May 6, 2005] "As a critical component of the Agency replanning effort, I have initiated an Exploration Systems Architecture Study. The study team will begin immediately and must complete its activities by mid-July to support a number of key Agency decisions."

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Scientists Discover Pluto Kin is a Member of Saturn Family »» Scientists Discover Pluto Kin is a Member of Saturn Family

[Friday, May 6, 2005] Saturn's battered little moon Phoebe is an interloper to the Saturn system from the deep outer solar system, scientists have concluded.  The new findings appear in the May 5 issue of the journal Nature. 

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Secret Imaging of NASA Shuttle Discovery During STS-114 Mission »» Secret Imaging of NASA Shuttle Discovery During STS-114 Mission

[Sunday, May 8, 2005] Safety-and engineering-related pictures of the shuttle Discovery in orbit will include imagery by secret DoD ground-based high-resolution systems and, where possible, one or more USAF/NRO imaging reconnaissance satellites already in orbit.

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Envisat making sharpest ever global Earth map »» Envisat making sharpest ever global Earth map

[Sunday, May 8, 2005] The most detailed portrait ever of the Earth's land surface is being created with ESA's Envisat environmental satellite. The GLOBCOVER project aims at producing a global land cover map to a resolution three times sharper than any previous satellite map.

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The PI's Perspective: New Horizons Indeed »» The PI's Perspective: New Horizons Indeed

[Sunday, May 8, 2005] April was a memorable month for the New Horizons spacecraft team: the completion of spacecraft assembly and the accomplishment of a thorough Comprehensive Performance Test that put the spacecraft and its 7 instruments through functional testing.

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Lithopanspermia in Star Forming Clusters »» Lithopanspermia in Star Forming Clusters

[Sunday, May 8, 2005] "This paper considers the chances of biological material spreading from one solar system to another is greatly enhanced due to the close proximity of the systems and lower relative velocities."

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Search for Extra-Terrestrial planets: The DARWIN mission - Target Stars and Array Architectures »» Search for Extra-Terrestrial planets: The DARWIN mission - Target Stars and Array Architectures

[Sunday, May 8, 2005] The DARWIN mission is an Infrared free flying interferometer mission whose main objective is to detect and characterize other Earth-like planets, analyze the composition of their atmospheres and their capability to sustain life, as we know it.

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General Astrophysics and Comparative Planetology with the Terrestrial Planet Finder Missions »» General Astrophysics and Comparative Planetology with the Terrestrial Planet Finder Missions

[Sunday, May 8, 2005] The two Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) missions aim to perform spectroscopy on extrasolar Earths; TPF-C will operate in visible light, and TPF-I will operate in the mid-infrared.

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On detecting terrestrial planets with timing of giant planet transits »» On detecting terrestrial planets with timing of giant planet transits

[Sunday, May 8, 2005] "Transit timing measurements may be used to constrain the masses and radii of the planetary system and, when combined with radial velocity measurements, to break the degeneracy between mass and radius of the host star."

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Deployment of second MARSIS boom delayed »» Deployment of second MARSIS boom delayed

[Monday, May 9, 2005] The deployment of the second antenna boom of the Mars Express Sub-Surface Sounding Radar Altimeter (MARSIS) science experiment has been delayed pending investigation of an anomaly found during deployment of the first antenna boom.

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Discovery and Atlantis to Swap External Tanks »» Discovery and Atlantis to Swap External Tanks

[Monday, May 9, 2005] Following the tanking test, technicians will begin preparations for rolling Space Shuttle Discovery back to the VAB. Once in the VAB, Discovery most likely will be destacked from its External Tank and lowered into the transfer aisle.

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Major Solar Storm Underway »» Major Solar Storm Underway

[Monday, May 9, 2005] Geophysical Activity Summary 07/2100Z to 08/2100Z: The geomagnetic field ranged from active to major storm levels during the past 24 hours with a severe storm period at high latitudes from 1200-1500 UTC.

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NASA'S Chandra S-ray observatory catches x-ray super-flares »» NASA'S Chandra S-ray observatory catches x-ray super-flares

[Tuesday, May 10, 2005] New results from about the Orion Nebula imply super-flares torched our young solar system. Such X-ray flares likely affected the planet-forming disk around the early sun, and may have enhanced the survival chances of Earth.

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Cassini Finds New Saturn Moon That Makes Waves »» Cassini Finds New Saturn Moon That Makes Waves

[Wednesday, May 11, 2005] In a spectacular kick-off to its first season of prime ring viewing, which began last month, the Cassini spacecraft has confirmed earlier suspicions of an unseen moon hidden in a gap in Saturn's outer A ring.

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Robotic Telescope Penetrates Heart of Universe's Most Powerful Explosion »» Robotic Telescope Penetrates Heart of Universe's Most Powerful Explosion

[Wednesday, May 11, 2005] Reporting in the May 12th issue of Nature, astronomers announced that they have penetrated the heart of the universe's most powerful explosion - a gamma-ray burst (GRB).

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Iapetus: Details in the Dark »» Iapetus: Details in the Dark

[Wednesday, May 11, 2005] This view shows one of the huge impact basins on the terminator of Iapetus and a smaller, but still fairly large, crater near the southern bright-dark boundary. Just visible near the western limb is the moon's mysterious equatorial ridge.

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Titan's Atmosphere Revealed by New NASA Observation »» Titan's Atmosphere Revealed by New NASA Observation

[Friday, May 13, 2005] Titan's winds, temperature and mixing have been revealed by new observations from Cassini. The thick atmosphere of Titan is rich in organic compounds, whose chemistry may be similar to that which occurred on Earth before the emergence of life.

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NOAA Issues Space Weather Warning »» NOAA Issues Space Weather Warning

[Monday, May 16, 2005] Forecasters at the NOAA Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo., observed a geomagnetic storm on Sunday, May 15, which they classified as an extreme event, measuring G-5—the highest level—on the NOAA Space Weather Scales.

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NASA Deep Impact Mission Status Report 13 May 2005 »» NASA Deep Impact Mission Status Report 13 May 2005

[Tuesday, May 17, 2005] Fifty-nine days before going head-to-head with comet Tempel 1, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft successfully executed the second trajectory correction maneuver of the mission.

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Miscellaneous Changes to Commercial Space Transportation Regulations Proposed Rule »» Miscellaneous Changes to Commercial Space Transportation Regulations Proposed Rule

[Thursday, May 19, 2005] "This proposal would prohibit obtrusive space advertising and make other minor changes to the regulations governing commercial space transportation. The proposed changes are necessary to reflect a statutory change, capture current practice ..."

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NASA Mars Exploration Rover Update 17 May 2005 »» NASA Mars Exploration Rover Update 17 May 2005

[Friday, May 20, 2005] On Opportunity's first three drives to get out of the sand trap, the rover has advanced a total of 7.4 centimeters (2.9 inches) in getting off the dune.

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NASA Announces New Centennial Challenge »» NASA Announces New Centennial Challenge

[Friday, May 20, 2005] The MoonROx (Moon Regolith Oxygen) challenge will award $250,000 to the first team that can extract breathable oxygen from simulated lunar soil before the prize expires on June 1, 2008.

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One Mars Orbiter Takes First Photos of Other Orbiters »» One Mars Orbiter Takes First Photos of Other Orbiters

[Friday, May 20, 2005] Photographs from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft released today are the first pictures ever taken of a spacecraft orbiting a foreign planet by another spacecraft orbiting that planet.

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NASA's Exploration Mission: And the Children Shall Reach Out - and Lead »» NASA's Exploration Mission: And the Children Shall Reach Out - and Lead

[Friday, May 20, 2005] Every now and again even the most cynical of us stumble across something so simple - and yet profound - as to take one's breath away - and remind us of why we are so captivated with space exploration's broader ramifications.

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NASA Successfully Launches NOAA-N Environmental Satellite »» NASA Successfully Launches NOAA-N Environmental Satellite

[Saturday, May 21, 2005] NASA successfully launched a new environmental satellite today for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world.

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Bright Ice, Dirty Ice on Enceladus »» Bright Ice, Dirty Ice on Enceladus

[Saturday, May 21, 2005] Enceladus hovers above Saturn's exquisite rings in this color view. The rings, made of nearly pure water ice, have also become somewhat contaminated by meteoritic dust during their history, which may span several hundred million years.

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NASA AcrimSat - Solar Spacecraft Completes Five-Year Mission »» NASA AcrimSat - Solar Spacecraft Completes Five-Year Mission

[Saturday, May 21, 2005] A NASA satellite that measures the variability in the amount of the Sun's energy that reaches Earth's atmosphere and impacts our winds, land and oceans has successfully accomplished its five-year primary mission.

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Amateur and Professional Astronomers Team to Find a New Planet »» Amateur and Professional Astronomers Team to Find a New Planet

[Monday, May 23, 2005] For the first time, amateur and professional astronomers have teamed up to discover a new planet circling a distant star. The planet was detected by looking for the effect of its gravitational field on light from a more distant star.

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Cosmos 1 Ships in Preparation for June Launch - First Solar Sail Spacecraft Ready for Daring Flight »» Cosmos 1 Ships in Preparation for June Launch - First Solar Sail Spacecraft Ready for Daring Flight

[Monday, May 23, 2005] Cosmos 1, the world's first solar sail spacecraft, has shipped in preparation for a launch window that opens on June 21, 2005, traveling from the test facility of Lavochkin Association in Moscow to Severomorsk, Russia.

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Cassini Radio Signals Decipher Saturn Ring Structure »» Cassini Radio Signals Decipher Saturn Ring Structure

[Monday, May 23, 2005] The Cassini spacecraft has obtained the most detailed look ever at Saturn's rings, including the B ring, which has eluded previous robotic explorers.  Its structure seems remarkably different from its two neighbors, rings A and C. 

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Clues to planet formation revealed »» Clues to planet formation revealed

[Monday, May 23, 2005] The most detailed measurements to date of the dusty disks around young stars confirm a new theory that the region where rocky planets such as Earth form is much farther away from the star than originally thought.

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A Call to (Considered) Action »» A Call to (Considered) Action

[Tuesday, May 24, 2005] The purpose of this paper is to call upon the U.S. Congress to initiate, via the National Research Council or other appropriate body, a formal analysis of the circumstances presented by the close encounter between the Earth and asteroid 2004MN4.

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NASA Voyager Spacecraft Enters Solar System's Final Frontier »» NASA Voyager Spacecraft Enters Solar System's Final Frontier

[Tuesday, May 24, 2005] NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered the solar system's final frontier. It is entering a vast, turbulent expanse, where the sun's influence ends and the solar wind crashes into the thin gas between stars.

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Solar Fireworks Signal New Space Weather Mystery »» Solar Fireworks Signal New Space Weather Mystery

[Tuesday, May 24, 2005] The most intense burst of solar radiation in five decades accompanied a large solar flare on January 20. It shook space weather theory and highlighted the need for new forecasting techniques.

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NASA's Rovers Continue Martian Missions »» NASA's Rovers Continue Martian Missions

[Tuesday, May 24, 2005] NASA's Mars rover Opportunity is trying to escape from a sand trap, while its twin, Spirit, has been busy finding new clues to a wet and violent early Martian history.

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Summary of the Office of Inspector General's Reviews on Aspects of NASA's Response to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report »» Summary of the Office of Inspector General's Reviews on Aspects of NASA's Response to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report

[Tuesday, May 24, 2005] During our reviews, performed from September 2003 through May 2005, we identified no significant issues or problems that would indicate an unnacceptable risk for returning the space shuttle to flight that the SSP is not already engaged in solving.

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Constraints on the Orbital Evolution of Triton »» Constraints on the Orbital Evolution of Triton

[Tuesday, May 24, 2005] "We present simulations of Triton's post-capture orbit that confirm the importance of Kozai-type oscillations in its orbital elements."

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Gamma-Ray Bursts and the Earth: Exploration of Atmospheric, Biological, Climatic and Biogeochemical Effects »» Gamma-Ray Bursts and the Earth: Exploration of Atmospheric, Biological, Climatic and Biogeochemical Effects

[Tuesday, May 24, 2005] "Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are likely to have made a number of significant impacts on the Earth during the last billion years."

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NASA'S Chandra Finds that Saturn Reflects X-rays from the Sun »» NASA'S Chandra Finds that Saturn Reflects X-rays from the Sun

[Wednesday, May 25, 2005] When it comes to mysterious X-rays from Saturn, the ringed planet may act as a mirror, reflecting explosive activity from the sun, according to scientists using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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Lunar »» Lunar "dark spots" point to an upheaval in planetary orbits long after the formation of the solar system

[Wednesday, May 25, 2005] People of every culture have been fascinated by the dark "spots" on the Moon. With the Apollo missions, scientists found that these features are actually huge impact basins that were flooded with now-solidified lava.

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NASA TV Migrating To Digital Format: Additional Receiver Required »» NASA TV Migrating To Digital Format: Additional Receiver Required

[Thursday, May 26, 2005] NASA TV is moving forward with its July 1 plans to convert from a single analog NTSC channel to four channels of Standard Definition MPEG-2 digital video, including a dedicated Media Services channel.

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Titan's Odd Spot Baffles Scientists »» Titan's Odd Spot Baffles Scientists

[Thursday, May 26, 2005] The recently discovered infrared-bright spot on Titan (see Red Spot on Titan) is the type of enigmatic feature that is best investigated by putting together as many different types of complementary information as possible.

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NASA Science Strategic Roadmap: Universe Exploration: From the Big Bang to Life »» NASA Science Strategic Roadmap: Universe Exploration: From the Big Bang to Life

[Thursday, May 26, 2005] Science is now poised to answer some of humanity's deepest questions, such as how the universe came into being; how it formed the galaxies, stars, and planets that set the stage for life; and whether there is life on other worlds.

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NASA Earth Science and Applications from Space Strategic Roadmap: Exploring our Planet for the Benefit of Society »» NASA Earth Science and Applications from Space Strategic Roadmap: Exploring our Planet for the Benefit of Society

[Thursday, May 26, 2005] With the successful deployment of the Earth Observing System (EOS), a long-term plan for the future of Earth system science is needed. This Earth Science and Applications from Space roadmap provides a framework for such a plan spanning three decades.

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NASA Roadmap for the Robotic and Human Exploration of Mars »» NASA Roadmap for the Robotic and Human Exploration of Mars

[Thursday, May 26, 2005] The Vision for Space Exploration provides new impetus and specific goals for the nation's Mars exploration program. These have been adopted as NASA's strategic objectives and constitute the charter of the Mars roadmap.

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NASA Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap »» NASA Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap

[Thursday, May 26, 2005] The solar system is humankind's cosmic backyard. Small by factors of millions compared to interstellar distances, the spaces between the planets are daunting but surmountable stepping stones toward the human dream of interstellar flight.

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NASA Strategic Roadmap: The Search for Earth-like Planets »» NASA Strategic Roadmap: The Search for Earth-like Planets

[Thursday, May 26, 2005] "Is there life elsewhere in the Universe?", "Are there other planetary systems like our own?, "How do planets and stars come into being?", "Are we alone?". In the vast blackness of the Universe, our home planet is a sparkling oasis of life.

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NASA Strategic Roadmap: Sun - Solar System Connection »» NASA Strategic Roadmap: Sun - Solar System Connection

[Thursday, May 26, 2005] The goal of the Sun-Solar System Connection program is to observe and understand the complex phenomena associated with space weather by studying the Sun, the heliosphere and planetary environments as a single, inter-connected system.

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Meeting #2 Minutes NASA International Space Station Strategic Roadmap Committee April 7–8, 2005 DRAFT »» Meeting #2 Minutes NASA International Space Station Strategic Roadmap Committee April 7–8, 2005 DRAFT

[Thursday, May 26, 2005] The purpose of the ISS SRM Committee, Col. Cabana said in reviewing the agenda, is to determine the uses of the ISS. The first day's effort at this meeting is primarily informational, with the committee receiving briefings.

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A Perspective on Roadmapping and Development of the Integrated Strategic Architecture for NASA's Vision for Space Exploration »» A Perspective on Roadmapping and Development of the Integrated Strategic Architecture for NASA's Vision for Space Exploration

[Friday, May 27, 2005] Signaling a major change in U.S. space policy, in January 2004 the President committed the United States to a long-term human and robotic program to explore the solar system.

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Naked carbon/oxygen stars may produce gamma-ray bursts when their core goes supernova »» Naked carbon/oxygen stars may produce gamma-ray bursts when their core goes supernova

[Friday, May 27, 2005] Observations by two of the world's largest telescopes provide strong evidence that a peculiar type of exploding star may be the origin of elusive gamma-ray bursts that have puzzled scientists for more than 30 years.

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NASA Returns Shuttle Discovery to Vehicle Assembly Building »» NASA Returns Shuttle Discovery to Vehicle Assembly Building

[Friday, May 27, 2005] Space Shuttle Discovery is back in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The Shuttle will get a new, modified external fuel tank.

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AIP FYI #79: NASA's Plans for Earth Science Challenged at Hearing »» AIP FYI #79: NASA's Plans for Earth Science Challenged at Hearing

[Saturday, May 28, 2005] Members of the science community and leaders of the House Science Committee warned NASA at an April 28 hearing that efforts to cut Earth science funding and missions at the space agency would not be taken lightly.

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SpaceX Test Fires Falcon 1 Engine (Movie) »» SpaceX Test Fires Falcon 1 Engine (Movie)

[Saturday, May 28, 2005] SpaceX conducted a successfull test firing of its Falcon 1 rocket on Friday at Vandenberg Air Force Base. While the engines were running for only 5 seconds - this milestone represented a big step for the new rocket maker none the less.

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NASA Sees Orbiting Stars Flooding Space With Gravitational Waves »» NASA Sees Orbiting Stars Flooding Space With Gravitational Waves

[Monday, May 30, 2005] A scientist using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has found evidence that two white dwarf stars are orbiting each other in a death grip, destined to merge.

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Astronomers find new evidence for the violent demise of sun-like stars »» Astronomers find new evidence for the violent demise of sun-like stars

[Monday, May 30, 2005] Two astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover a shell of superheated gas around a dying star in the Milky Way galaxy.

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ESO Telescopes Take Snapshot of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 in Readiness for Major Observation Campaign »» ESO Telescopes Take Snapshot of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 in Readiness for Major Observation Campaign

[Monday, May 30, 2005] On July 4, 2005, the NASA Deep Impact spacecraft will visit Comet 9P/Tempel 1. It will launch a 360 kg impactor that should produce a crater on the surface of the comet and a plume of gas and dust.

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Carina Nebula dust pillars harbor embedded stars, says research team »» Carina Nebula dust pillars harbor embedded stars, says research team

[Monday, May 30, 2005] Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have imaged a giant molecular cloud being shredded by howling stellar winds and searing radiation, exposing a group of towering dust pillars harboring infant stars.

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Traces of stowaway Algae Could Survive on Mars, Study Finds »» Traces of stowaway Algae Could Survive on Mars, Study Finds

[Monday, May 30, 2005] Some hardy Earth microbes could survive long enough on Mars to complicate the search for alien life, according to a new study co-authored by University of Florida researchers.

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GAO Report: NASA - More Knowledge Needed to Determine Best Alternatives to Provide Space Station Logistics Support »» GAO Report: NASA - More Knowledge Needed to Determine Best Alternatives to Provide Space Station Logistics Support

[Tuesday, May 31, 2005] "According to previous studies and our discussions with industry representatives, these challenges would likely preclude using alternative vehicles for ISS assembly missions."

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MESSENGER Peeks at Earth »» MESSENGER Peeks at Earth

[Tuesday, May 31, 2005] NASA's Mercury-bound MESSENGER spacecraft - less than three months from an Earth flyby that will slingshot it toward the inner solar system - successfully tested its main camera by snapping distant approach shots of Earth and the Moon.

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ESA turns 30! A successful track record for Europe in space »» ESA turns 30! A successful track record for Europe in space

[Tuesday, May 31, 2005] On 31 May 2005, the European Space Agency turned 30. Thanks to an impressive mission record, the Agency has placed Europe and European industry at the forefront of space activities around the world.

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Icy Jupiter Moon Throws a Curve Ball at Formation Theories »» Icy Jupiter Moon Throws a Curve Ball at Formation Theories

[Tuesday, May 31, 2005] Scientists studying data from NASA's Galileo spacecraft have found that Jupiter's moon Amalthea is a pile of icy rubble less dense than water. Scientists expected moons closer to the planet to be rocky and not icy.

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