May 2008 Top Story Archives



McDonald Observatory Astronomers Discover New Type of Pulsating White Dwarf Star »» McDonald Observatory Astronomers Discover New Type of Pulsating White Dwarf Star

[Thursday, May 1, 2008] Aastronomers have predicted and confirmed the existence of a new type of variable star with the help of the 2.1-meter Otto Struve Telescope at McDonald Observatory.

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4D Ionosphere Map Helps Flyers, Soldiers, Ham Radio Operators »» 4D Ionosphere Map Helps Flyers, Soldiers, Ham Radio Operators

[Thursday, May 1, 2008] NASA-funded researchers have released a new "4D" live model of Earth's ionosphere. Without leaving home, anyone can fly through the dynamic layer of ionized gases that encircles Earth at the edge of space itself.

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NASA Satellite Pins Down Timer In Stellar Ticking Time Bomb »» NASA Satellite Pins Down Timer In Stellar Ticking Time Bomb

[Thursday, May 1, 2008] Using observations from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), an international team of astronomers has discovered a timing mechanism that allows them to predict exactly when a superdense star will unleash incredibly powerful explosions.

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'Broken Heart' Image the Last for NASA’s Long-Lived Polar Mission »» 'Broken Heart' Image the Last for NASA’s Long-Lived Polar Mission

[Thursday, May 1, 2008] As far as endings go, this one's a real heart breaker. NASA's Polar satellite concludes its successful mission at the end of April with a breathtaking visible-light image of the colorful dancing lights of the aurora.

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Send Your Name to the Moon With New Lunar Mission »» Send Your Name to the Moon With New Lunar Mission

[Thursday, May 1, 2008] NASA invites people of all ages to join the lunar exploration journey with an opportunity to send their names to the moon aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, spacecraft.

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NASA New Horizons Mission: The PI's Perspective: Green Beacons for a Golden Bird »» NASA New Horizons Mission: The PI's Perspective: Green Beacons for a Golden Bird

[Thursday, May 1, 2008] As you read these words, the New Horizons spacecraft remains in a long period of almost continuous hibernation, which began on Feb. 21 and stretches until Sept. 2.

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Space Shuttle Discovery Arrives at Launch Pad, Countdown Test Set »» Space Shuttle Discovery Arrives at Launch Pad, Countdown Test Set

[Saturday, May 3, 2008] After safely reaching its launch pad Discovery now awaits its next major milestone for the upcoming STS-124 mission. A launch dress rehearsal, known as the terminal countdown demonstration test, is scheduled to take place at Kennedy from May 6 to 9.

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Argonne supercomputer to simulate extreme physics of exploding stars »» Argonne supercomputer to simulate extreme physics of exploding stars

[Monday, May 5, 2008] Robert Fisher and Cal Jordan are among a team of scientists who will expend 22 million computational hours during the next year on one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, simulating an event that takes less than five seconds.

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NASA Calls on APL to Send a Probe to the Sun »» NASA Calls on APL to Send a Probe to the Sun

[Monday, May 5, 2008] The Applied Physics Laboratory is sending a spacecraft closer to the sun than any probe has ever gone - and what it finds could revolutionize what we know about our star and the solar wind that influences everything in our solar system.

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'Dynamic duo' develops framework for Earth's inaccessible interior »» 'Dynamic duo' develops framework for Earth's inaccessible interior

[Monday, May 5, 2008] A new model of inner Earth constructed by Arizona State University researchers pulls past information and hypotheses into a coherent story to clarify mantle motion.

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NRC Report: United States Civil Space Policy: Summary of a Workshop »» NRC Report: United States Civil Space Policy: Summary of a Workshop

[Monday, May 5, 2008] What are the principal purposes, goals, and priorities of the U.S. civil space program? This question was the focus of the workshop on civil space policy held November 29-30, 2007.

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Advice from NASA's Wayne Hale: Leading Your Leaders »» Advice from NASA's Wayne Hale: Leading Your Leaders

[Monday, May 5, 2008] "When I was a new NASA employee, my branch chief put together a training class that has been on my mind recently. Among the other things he taught us new employees was that we had to lead our leaders. That has always been good advice."

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Plan B For Outer Space »» Plan B For Outer Space

[Monday, May 5, 2008] The statement that is in my diary goes "SEI by 1994 or will not happen until after 2004". The person that made this statement was the head of NASA Code X (X for exploration), and his name was Dr. Mike Griffin.

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NASA Kepler Mission Offers Opportunity to Send Names into Space »» NASA Kepler Mission Offers Opportunity to Send Names into Space

[Monday, May 5, 2008] How cool would it be to have your name on board the spacecraft that discovers the first known Earth-like planet beyond our solar system? Well, here's your chance.

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Northrop Grumman Foundation Accepting Teacher Applications For 2008 Weightless Flights of Discovery »» Northrop Grumman Foundation Accepting Teacher Applications For 2008 Weightless Flights of Discovery

[Monday, May 5, 2008] The Northrop Grumman Foundation is accepting teacher applications for the 2008 Weightless Flights of Discovery program, an initiative that places teachers on micro- and zero-gravity flights to energize students in the formative middle-school years.

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NASA Earth Observatory Imagery: Cyclone Nargis Floods Myanmar (Burma) »» NASA Earth Observatory Imagery: Cyclone Nargis Floods Myanmar (Burma)

[Tuesday, May 6, 2008] The first cyclone of the 2008 season in the northern Indian Ocean was a devastating one for Myanmar (Burma). News reports stated that at least 10,000 people were killed, and thousands more were missing as of May 5.

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Astrobiology Meets the Video Game: Spore »» Astrobiology Meets the Video Game: Spore

[Tuesday, May 6, 2008] The Astrobiology-based game by Electronic Arts is described as "an epic journey that takes you from the origin and evolution of life through the development of civilization and technology, eventually all the way into the deepest reaches of outer space."

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Blending Art and Science: Challenger Center Invites Students to Create Art for Space Flight »» Blending Art and Science: Challenger Center Invites Students to Create Art for Space Flight

[Tuesday, May 6, 2008] Challenger Center for Space Science Education invites students to use their creativity to design an original piece of art for a student mission patch for private space explorer, Richard Garriott.

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STS-124 Crew Arrives for Rehearsal »» STS-124 Crew Arrives for Rehearsal

[Tuesday, May 6, 2008] The STS-124 crew members arrived at Kennedy Space Center this afternoon for the terminal countdown demonstration test. Flying in T-38 training jets, the astronauts touched down on the Shuttle Landing Facility on a warm, clear Central Florida afternoon.

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NASA Earth Observatory Imagery: Chile's Chaiten Volcano Erupts »» NASA Earth Observatory Imagery: Chile's Chaiten Volcano Erupts

[Wednesday, May 7, 2008] Three days after its surprise eruption on May 2, the Chaiten volcano of southern Chile was still pumping out dense clouds of ash. The plume stretches east from the peak in this pair of images, taken on May 5, 2008

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Successful Cooperation Extends Dragon Program »» Successful Cooperation Extends Dragon Program

[Wednesday, May 7, 2008] Following the success of the Dragon Program, 300 leading European and Chinese scientists have gathered from 21 to 25 April 2008 in Beijing in the People's Republic of China to present their results and to kick off the program's second phase,.

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NASA Internal Memo: Weiler Assumes Official Role As NASA Science Chief »» NASA Internal Memo: Weiler Assumes Official Role As NASA Science Chief

[Wednesday, May 7, 2008] Administrator Michael Griffin announced Wednesday that Ed Weiler will remain as NASA's associate administrator for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. Weiler was named interim chief of the directorate March 26.

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Bootstrapping the Moon »» Bootstrapping the Moon

[Wednesday, May 7, 2008] Our mental framework has evolved, in ways not all together positive from the perspective of those of us who believe that the economic development of space is practical and indeed crucial to the continuing development of our planetary civilization.

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Saturn Does the Wave in Upper Atmosphere »» Saturn Does the Wave in Upper Atmosphere

[Wednesday, May 7, 2008] Two decades of scrutinizing Saturn are finally paying off, as scientists have discovered a wave pattern, or oscillation, in Saturn's atmosphere only visible from Earth every 15 years.

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Exhaling for Exploration: Scientists Test Lunar Breathing System »» Exhaling for Exploration: Scientists Test Lunar Breathing System

[Wednesday, May 7, 2008] Imagine yourself hip-to-hip, shoulder-to-shoulder, inside a room the size of a walk-in closet for eight hours with five people you just met. Does that make you sweat? Or maybe make your breathing a little more animated?

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Students Make the Ultimate Long Distance Call to the Space Station »» Students Make the Ultimate Long Distance Call to the Space Station

[Wednesday, May 7, 2008] Students from coast to coast will have the opportunity to make an out of this world call to the International Space Station on Monday, May 12, from 11:20 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. CDT.

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NASA Successfully Complete First Series of Ares Engine Tests »» NASA Successfully Complete First Series of Ares Engine Tests

[Thursday, May 8, 2008] NASA engineers Thursday successfully completed the first series of tests in the early development of the J-2X engine that will power the upper stages of the Ares I and Ares V rockets, key components of NASA's Constellation Program.

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NASA to Update Media About Constellation Program Progress »» NASA to Update Media About Constellation Program Progress

[Thursday, May 8, 2008] NASA will host a media teleconference on Thursday, May 15, at 2 p.m. EDT, to provide an overview of progress made in the last few months and work ahead for NASA's Constellation Program.

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Challenger Center Launches New Audio Blog Forum »» Challenger Center Launches New Audio Blog Forum

[Thursday, May 8, 2008] In April, Richard Garriott, the next civilian to visit the International Space Station, joined Founding Chairman of Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Dr. June Scobee Rogers, for the first in a series of monthly audio blog podcasts.

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Minister of Industry Confirms Initial Decision on Proposed Sale of Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. to Alliant Techsystems Inc. »» Minister of Industry Confirms Initial Decision on Proposed Sale of Macdonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. to Alliant Techsystems Inc.

[Friday, May 9, 2008] The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry, today wrote to Alliant Techsystems Inc. to confirm that he is not satisfied that its application to acquire control of the Information Systems Business of MDA is likely to be of net benefit to Canada.

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The Antennae Galaxies move closer »» The Antennae Galaxies move closer

[Friday, May 9, 2008] New research on the Antennae Galaxies using the Hubble Space Telescope shows that this benchmark pair of interacting galaxies is in fact much closer than previously thought - 45 million light-years instead of 65 million light-years.

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Scientists endure Arctic for last campaign prior to CryoSat-2 launch »» Scientists endure Arctic for last campaign prior to CryoSat-2 launch

[Friday, May 9, 2008] Scientists have visited one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet to carry out a challenging field campaign that is seen as the key to ensuring the data delivered by ESA's ice mission CryoSat will be as accurate as possible.

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NASA Earth Observatory Imagery: Flooding in Yangon, Burma (Myanmar) »» NASA Earth Observatory Imagery: Flooding in Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)

[Friday, May 9, 2008] Though Yangon (Rangoon) escaped the total destruction that Cyclone Nargis brought to much of the rest of the Irrawaddy Delta in Burma (Myanmar), its southern suburbs were completely submerged on May 7, 2008.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Information Technology Update »» NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Information Technology Update

[Friday, May 9, 2008] This week at the Operations Management Council (OMC) meeting, a significant portion was dedicated to the work we are doing to improve information technology (IT)

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Explorers Club President to Appear on Good Morning America May 12 »» Explorers Club President to Appear on Good Morning America May 12

[Friday, May 9, 2008] Explorers Club President Daniel A. Bennett will be featured on ABC's Good Morning America on Monday, May 12. President Bennett was interviewed at Explorers Club headquarters in New York as part of a piece that examined the Seven Wonders of America.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Landing Area Viewed by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Color Imager »» NASA Mars Phoenix Landing Area Viewed by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Color Imager

[Saturday, May 10, 2008] On April 20, 2008, the orbiter's Mars Color Imager camera captured this view of a large region of northern Mars that includes the landing target area in the lower right quadrant.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Flying True Enough to Skip One Scheduled Adjustment »» NASA Mars Phoenix Flying True Enough to Skip One Scheduled Adjustment

[Saturday, May 10, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander continues on course for its May 25 arrival at Mars.

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Astronaut and Mountaineer Scott Parazynski Brings Explorers Club Flag to Mount Everest »» Astronaut and Mountaineer Scott Parazynski Brings Explorers Club Flag to Mount Everest

[Sunday, May 11, 2008] When astronaut Scott Parazynski stands atop Mt. Everest in a few days, he will be making note of a number of non-profit and educational organizations - among them the Explorers Club. With him will be a small Explorers Club flag.

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NASA Phoenix Mission Ready for Mars Landing »» NASA Phoenix Mission Ready for Mars Landing

[Tuesday, May 13, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is preparing to end its long journey and begin a three-month mission to taste and sniff fistfuls of Martian soil and buried ice. The lander is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet May 25.

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Scott Parazynski Everest Update: 13 May 2008 - Back at Base Camp - Again »» Scott Parazynski Everest Update: 13 May 2008 - Back at Base Camp - Again

[Tuesday, May 13, 2008] "We're now waiting for camp to be set up on the South Col - Camp 4 (7,920 meters - 26,000 feet) and some fixed lines towards the summit. We're a bit uncertain when the summit window will open - probably some time after 22nd."

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Join the NASA Future Forum in San Jose in Second Life! »» Join the NASA Future Forum in San Jose in Second Life!

[Wednesday, May 14, 2008] The entire event will be streamed into a number of Second Life locations with opportunities for avatars to submit questions to the Panelists throughout the day; the topics for Panel discussion are listed below.

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NASA, NIA Announce NASA Education Television Partnership »» NASA, NIA Announce NASA Education Television Partnership

[Wednesday, May 14, 2008] NASA announced Wednesday the launch of NASA Education TV (NASA eTV), a partnership with the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) to produce new educational television programs for distribution on NASA Television and the Internet.

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Discovery of Most Recent Supernova in Our Galaxy »» Discovery of Most Recent Supernova in Our Galaxy

[Wednesday, May 14, 2008] The most recent supernova in our galaxy has been discovered by tracking the rapid expansion of its remains. This result will help improve our understanding of how often supernovae explode in the Milky Way galaxy.

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NASA Study Links Earth Impacts to Human-Caused Climate Change »» NASA Study Links Earth Impacts to Human-Caused Climate Change

[Wednesday, May 14, 2008] A new NASA-led study shows human-caused climate change has made an impact on a wide range of Earth's natural systems, including permafrost thawing, plants blooming earlier across Europe, and lakes declining in productivity in Africa.

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NASA Gen Y Presentation Inspires Canadian Space Exploration Presentation »» NASA Gen Y Presentation Inspires Canadian Space Exploration Presentation

[Wednesday, May 14, 2008] "The Gen Y presentation that you posted on your website has influenced three young Canadian engineers in a presentation to the government Industry, Science, and Technology Committee."

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 May 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 May 2008

[Wednesday, May 14, 2008] Kononenko collected air samples in the SM and FGB using the AK-1M sampler kit, recording date, time and location and restowing the kits and pouches. Special AK-1M samples for Freon-218 were also taken in the SM.

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Send Your Thoughts With A NASA Astronaut To The Summit Of Mt. Everest »» Send Your Thoughts With A NASA Astronaut To The Summit Of Mt. Everest

[Wednesday, May 14, 2008] Scott Parazynski will be the first human to fly in space and summit the highest peak on our planet. We won't see a similar combination and alignment of first accomplishments again until someone summits the highest lunar peak - or Olympus Mons on Mars.

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Scott Parazynski Everest Update: 15 May 2008 - Photos of the Khumbu Icefall »» Scott Parazynski Everest Update: 15 May 2008 - Photos of the Khumbu Icefall

[Thursday, May 15, 2008] These photos show Scott's climbing across the Khumbu Icefall, a glacial feature that begins just above Everest Base Camp. This vast field of ice is constantly moving and is considered to be one of the most dangerous parts of climbing the mountain.

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Pluto's Light Curve in 1933-1934 »» Pluto's Light Curve in 1933-1934

[Thursday, May 15, 2008] "We are reporting on a new accurate photographic light curve of Pluto for 1933-1934 when the heliocentric distance was 40 AU. We used 43 B-band and V-band images of Pluto on 32 plates taken on 15 nights from 19 March 1933 to 10 March 1934."

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Key molecule discovered in Venus's atmosphere »» Key molecule discovered in Venus's atmosphere

[Thursday, May 15, 2008] Venus Express has detected the molecule hydroxyl on another planet for the first time. This detection gives scientists an important new tool to unlock the workings of Venus's dense atmosphere.

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Astronomers find that Universe shines twice as bright »» Astronomers find that Universe shines twice as bright

[Thursday, May 15, 2008] Astronomers from UK Universities working with colleagues from Germany and Australia have calculated that the Universe is actually twice as bright as previously thought.

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Letter From Aerospace and Technology Company Leaders to Congressional Leaders Regarding NASA's FY 2009 Budget »» Letter From Aerospace and Technology Company Leaders to Congressional Leaders Regarding NASA's FY 2009 Budget

[Thursday, May 15, 2008] "We write to urge you to enact a top-line increase for NASA's FY 2009 budget. Without this increase, our nation faces the very real risk of losing our uniquely critical industrial base and human space access capability."

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Subcommittee Chairman Udall's Statement on the NASA Authorization Act of 2008 »» Subcommittee Chairman Udall's Statement on the NASA Authorization Act of 2008

[Thursday, May 15, 2008] The House Committee on Science and Technology's Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee introduced the "NASA Authorization Act of 2008" to reauthorize the programs of NASA for Fiscal Year 2009.

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NASA Satellite Finds Interior of Mars is Colder »» NASA Satellite Finds Interior of Mars is Colder

[Thursday, May 15, 2008] New observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter indicate that the crust and upper mantle of Mars are stiffer and colder than previously thought.

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Wandering Poles Left Scars on Europa »» Wandering Poles Left Scars on Europa

[Thursday, May 15, 2008] Curved features on Jupiter's moon Europa may indicate that its poles have wandered by almost 90 deg, report scientists from the Carnegie Institution, Lunar and Planetary Institute, and University of California, Santa Cruz in the 15 May issue of Nature.

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Astronaut Scott Parazynski: Many Small Steps to the Summit of Mt. Everest »» Astronaut Scott Parazynski: Many Small Steps to the Summit of Mt. Everest

[Friday, May 16, 2008] "Scott will soon be will be one of the most extreme environments any human can traverse on our planet - and hopefully live to tell the tale. He is about to walk up to a place where the jet stream often visits - cruising altitude for jet airliners."

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008 »» National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008

[Friday, May 16, 2008] "NASA can contribute to an improved quality of life, economic vitality, United States leadership in peaceful cooperation with other nations on challenging undertakings in science and technology, national security, and the advancement of knowledge."

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NASA / Northrop Agreement Opens Door to Science Investigations »» NASA / Northrop Agreement Opens Door to Science Investigations

[Friday, May 16, 2008] NASA and the Northrop Grumman Corporation have reached an agreement that will enable NASA's Science Mission Directorate to conduct Earth science research with the Northrop Grumman-developed RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system.

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Astronaut Scott Parazynski Everest Podcasts 16 May 2008 »» Astronaut Scott Parazynski Everest Podcasts 16 May 2008

[Friday, May 16, 2008] "This is Scott again. This'll be my last entry until I get back from the summit of the mountain, hopefully here in a few days. But just want to comment on the real expeditionary nature of being here in the wilds for now 54 days and counting."

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 May 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 16 May 2008

[Friday, May 16, 2008] Progress M-64 (29P), approaching from below the station, docked smoothly at the FGB nadir port at 5:39pm EDT

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NASA Solicitation: Request for Information for NASA Innovation Transfusion Developmental Assignments »» NASA Solicitation: Request for Information for NASA Innovation Transfusion Developmental Assignments

[Saturday, May 17, 2008] The goal of the Innovation Transfusion project is to increase the flow of new ideas into NASA by increasing connections between NASA employees and outside organizations that are creative leaders in areas that could benefit NASA missions.

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To ISRU or Not to ISRU, This is the Dumbest Question »» To ISRU or Not to ISRU, This is the Dumbest Question

[Sunday, May 18, 2008] Without ISRU there simply is no long term human space program. Why? We simply cannot afford to take everything with us at prices exceeding two hundred thousand dollars per kilogram for the Moon and even more for Mars.

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Astronaut health on moon may depend on good dusting »» Astronaut health on moon may depend on good dusting

[Monday, May 19, 2008] Lunar dust could be more than a housekeeping issue for astronauts who visit the moon. Their good health may depend on the amount of exposure they have to the tiny particles.

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ESA astronaut recruitment now open »» ESA astronaut recruitment now open

[Monday, May 19, 2008] There has not been a selection campaign since 1992, so this is a rare opportunity to be at the forefront of ESA's human spaceflight programmes including future missions to the ISS, the Moon and beyond.

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NASA TV Airs High-Def Day in the Life of a Space Station Astronaut »» NASA TV Airs High-Def Day in the Life of a Space Station Astronaut

[Monday, May 19, 2008] NASA Television will provide a high-definition glimpse of life in space with a special Video File to be broadcast beginning May 22.

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NASA Gives 'Go' for Space Shuttle Launch on May 31 »» NASA Gives 'Go' for Space Shuttle Launch on May 31

[Monday, May 19, 2008] NASA senior managers completed a review Monday of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight and selected May 31 as the official launch date for the STS-124 mission.

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NASA Announces Opportunities to View International Space Station »» NASA Announces Opportunities to View International Space Station

[Tuesday, May 20, 2008] If you've never seen the International Space Station flying 220 miles overhead, this is the week to do so. The station will be in almost constant sunlight from Wednesday through Friday, offering an incredible view to sky gazers across the country.

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Hubble Survey Finds Missing Matter, Probes Intergalactic Web »» Hubble Survey Finds Missing Matter, Probes Intergalactic Web

[Tuesday, May 20, 2008] Although the universe contains billions of galaxies, only a small amount of its matter is locked up in these behemoths. Most of the universe's matter that was created during and just after the Big Bang must be found elsewhere.

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NASA's Cassini Maps Of Saturn Moons Provide Guideposts for Future Explorers »» NASA's Cassini Maps Of Saturn Moons Provide Guideposts for Future Explorers

[Tuesday, May 20, 2008] Like the ancient cartographers of old, scientists working with images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft of Saturn's icy, airless moons have carefully crafted detailed maps that one day may guide future explorers across the surfaces of these remote bodies.

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Joint NASA-French Satellite to Track Trends in Sea Level, Climate »» Joint NASA-French Satellite to Track Trends in Sea Level, Climate

[Tuesday, May 20, 2008] A satellite that will help better monitor and understand rises in global sea level, study the world's ocean circulation and its links to Earth's climate, and improve weather and climate forecasts, is undergoing final preparations for a June 15 launch.

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House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Passes NASA Authorization Act »» House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Passes NASA Authorization Act

[Tuesday, May 20, 2008] Today, the House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics unanimously passed HR 6063, the NASA Authorization Act of 2008 without amendment.

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X-48B Blended Wing Body Flight Tests Enter Second Phase »» X-48B Blended Wing Body Flight Tests Enter Second Phase

[Wednesday, May 21, 2008] NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and The Boeing Co. are expanding the flight envelope for the X-48B blended wing body research aircraft.

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Storm Winds Blow In Jupiter's Little Red Spot »» Storm Winds Blow In Jupiter's Little Red Spot

[Wednesday, May 21, 2008] Using data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft and two telescopes at Earth, an international team of scientists has found that one of the solar system's largest and newest storms - Jupiter's Little Red Spot - has some of the highest wind speeds ever detec

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NASA's SWIFT Satellite Catches FIrst Supernova in the Act of Exploding »» NASA's SWIFT Satellite Catches FIrst Supernova in the Act of Exploding

[Wednesday, May 21, 2008] Aastronomers for the first time have caught a star in the act of exploding. Astronomers have previously observed thousands of stellar explosions, known as supernovae, but they have always seen them after the fireworks were well underway.

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X PRIZE Foundation Holds Team Summit, Introduces Official Contenders in Private Moon Race »» X PRIZE Foundation Holds Team Summit, Introduces Official Contenders in Private Moon Race

[Wednesday, May 21, 2008] The X PRIZE Foundation today announced four new teams in the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a remarkable $30 million in prizes, bringing the total number of registered teams to 14.

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ESA COROT: Exoplanet Hunt Update »» ESA COROT: Exoplanet Hunt Update

[Wednesday, May 21, 2008] Two new exoplanets and an unknown celestial object are the latest findings of the COROT mission. These discoveries mean that the mission has now found a total of four new exoplanets.

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Astronaut Scott Parazynski Update 22 May 2008: Summit so close, yet so far... »» Astronaut Scott Parazynski Update 22 May 2008: Summit so close, yet so far...

[Thursday, May 22, 2008] "There I was, just 24 hours from standing atop the world's tallest mountain. The radio call from Casey had just come in, indicating that they had actually done it. I gave my pack a hoist, wincing in sharp pain in the process."

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Conference to Grapple with Planet Definitions »» Conference to Grapple with Planet Definitions

[Thursday, May 22, 2008] Top scientists and educators will convene in Maryland this summer to explore a basic, but controversial, question: What is a planet?

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Mars 24 Sunclock Upgrade Released »» Mars 24 Sunclock Upgrade Released

[Thursday, May 22, 2008] Mars24 is a Java program which displays a Mars sunclock, a graphical representation of the planet Mars showing its current sun- and nightsides, along with a numerical readout of the time in 24-hour format.

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Astronaut Scott Parazynski Everest Update: 22 May 2008: Resting at Base Camp »» Astronaut Scott Parazynski Everest Update: 22 May 2008: Resting at Base Camp

[Thursday, May 22, 2008] "I just got a satphone call from Scott Parazynski at Everest Base Camp. The word I'd use to describe his mood is "contemplative". Otherwise, Scott is Scott, and he just always seems to be able to find a positive way to look at things."

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NASA Mars Phoenix Spacecraft on Course for May 25 Landing »» NASA Mars Phoenix Spacecraft on Course for May 25 Landing

[Friday, May 23, 2008] With three days and 3 million miles left to fly before arriving at Mars, NASA's Phoenix spacecraft is on track for its destination in the Martian arctic.

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Foot-Dragging Mars Rover Finds Yellowstone-Like Hot Spring Deposits »» Foot-Dragging Mars Rover Finds Yellowstone-Like Hot Spring Deposits

[Friday, May 23, 2008] A mineral-scouting camera designed at ASU pointed scientists toward an ancient Martian hydrothermal system like those in Yellowstone National Park.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Update: No Saturday Night Maneuver May 24, 2008 »» NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Update: No Saturday Night Maneuver May 24, 2008

[Saturday, May 24, 2008] Mission controllers for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander decided Saturday afternoon, May 24, to forgo the second-to-last opportunity for adjusting the spacecraft's flight path.

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Ernst Stuhlinger, One of the Last Von Braun Rocket Team Members, Dies »» Ernst Stuhlinger, One of the Last Von Braun Rocket Team Members, Dies

[Sunday, May 25, 2008] Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger, one of the last surviving members of the 126 German rocket scientists brought over to the United States after world war II has passed away quietly in Huntsville Alabama. Dr. Stuhlinger was 94 years old.

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Mars Pulls Phoenix In »» Mars Pulls Phoenix In

[Sunday, May 25, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander sped on Sunday morning toward its arrival at Mars, as the tug of the Red Planet's gravity accelerated the craft during the final day of its trip from Earth to Mars.

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The NASA Phoenix Spacecraft Has Landed on Mars »» The NASA Phoenix Spacecraft Has Landed on Mars

[Sunday, May 25, 2008] NASA's Phoenix spacecraft landed in the northern polar region of Mars today to begin three months of examining a site chosen for its likelihood of having frozen water within reach of the lander's robotic arm.

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Astronaut Scott Parazynski Everest Update: 25 May 2008: Homeward Bound »» Astronaut Scott Parazynski Everest Update: 25 May 2008: Homeward Bound

[Sunday, May 25, 2008] "My last 24 hours at Everest Base Camp were a blur. After guardedly muscling my way down the Khumbu icefall for the last time, I immediately began thinking about what it would take to get back home."

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NASA's Phoenix Spacecraft Reports Good Health After Mars Landing »» NASA's Phoenix Spacecraft Reports Good Health After Mars Landing

[Monday, May 26, 2008] A NASA spacecraft today sent pictures showing itself in good condition after making the first successful landing in a polar region of Mars.

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Camera On NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Snaps Phoenix During Landing »» Camera On NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Snaps Phoenix During Landing

[Monday, May 26, 2008] A telescopic camera in orbit around Mars caught a view of NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander suspended from its parachute during the lander's successful arrival at Mars Sunday evening, May 25.

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Satellites Illuminate Pollution's Influence On Clouds »» Satellites Illuminate Pollution's Influence On Clouds

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] Clouds have typically posed a problem to scientists using satellites to observe the lowest part of the atmosphere, where humans live and breathe, because they block the satellite's ability to capture a clear, unobstructed view of Earth's surface.

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Astronauts, scientists, cultural thought leaders to  announce formation of the Overview Institute »» Astronauts, scientists, cultural thought leaders to announce formation of the Overview Institute

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] More than 20 renowned experts have joined forces to raise public awareness of the Overview Effect, a term used to describe the experience astronauts have when seeing Earth firsthand from outer space.

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NASA Inspires Students to Center the Earth With Eccentrics »» NASA Inspires Students to Center the Earth With Eccentrics

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] Students from all over the world will gather to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind's 29th World Finals, a creative problem-solving competition, at the University of Maryland, College Park, Md., May 31 through June 3.

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NASA Solicitation: Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Lunar Surface Systems Concept Studies »» NASA Solicitation: Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Lunar Surface Systems Concept Studies

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] In close coordination with the EESMD, the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office at the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC), plans to issue a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for ESMD Lunar Surface Systems (LSS) Concept Studies.

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HiRISE Images Phoenix Lander Hardware on Mars »» HiRISE Images Phoenix Lander Hardware on Mars

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] The HiRISE camera has acquired this image of the Phoenix landing site 22 hours after landing. The image shows 3 unusual features, which were not present in the earlier HiRISE imag s.

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NASA Mars Lander Prepares to Move Arm »» NASA Mars Lander Prepares to Move Arm

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] NASA's Phoenix Lander is ready to begin moving its robotic arm, first unlatching its wrist and then flexing its elbow.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Descending To Mars with Crater in the Background »» NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Descending To Mars with Crater in the Background

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera acquired this image of Phoenix hanging from its parachute as it descended to the Martian surface.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 May 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 27 May 2008

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] Troubleshooting continues on the Russian ASU toilet facility. Almost all system components have been changed out at this time, including the separator with no improvement in function.

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Robots Go Where Scientists Fear to Tread »» Robots Go Where Scientists Fear to Tread

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] To help scientists collect the more detailed data they need without risking scientists' safety, researchers have created specially designed robots called SnoMotes to traverse these potentially dangerous ice environments.

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ESO celebrates 10 years since First Light of the VLT »» ESO celebrates 10 years since First Light of the VLT

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] Today marks the 10th anniversary since First Light with ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), the most advanced optical telescope in the world.

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VLT images two nebulae in Carina »» VLT images two nebulae in Carina

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Very Large Telescope's First Light, ESO is releasing two stunning images of different kinds of nebulae, located towards the Carina constellation.

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Astronomers resolve torus around star in another galaxy »» Astronomers resolve torus around star in another galaxy

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] By resolving, for the first time, features of an individual star in a neighbouring galaxy, ESO's VLT has allowed astronomers to determine that it weighs almost half of what was previously thought, thereby solving the mystery of its existence.

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Solar Eruption Seen in Unprecedented Detail »» Solar Eruption Seen in Unprecedented Detail

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] On April 9, the Sun erupted and blasted a bubble of hot gas into the solar system. The eruption was observed in unprecedented detail by a fleet of spacecraft, revealing new features that are predicted by computer models but difficult to see in practice.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: California Outreach Effort »» NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: California Outreach Effort

[Tuesday, May 27, 2008] Wednesday, I was in San Jose for the fifth NASA Future Forum. The San Jose Tech Museum was a terrific venue for the Future Forum and the officials at the museum provided a week's worth of space-related educational activities to the local community.

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All in a spin – record breaking asteroid discovered »» All in a spin – record breaking asteroid discovered

[Wednesday, May 28, 2008] A British amateur astronomer has discovered the fastest rotating natural object known in our Solar System.

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Relays Second-Day Information From NASA Mars Lander »» Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Relays Second-Day Information From NASA Mars Lander

[Wednesday, May 28, 2008] MRO successfully received information from the Phoenix Mars Lander Tuesday evening and relayed the information to Earth. The relayed transmission included images and other data collected by Phoenix during the mission's second day after landing on Mars.

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Listen to Mars Phoenix descend »» Listen to Mars Phoenix descend

[Wednesday, May 28, 2008] With data recorded on board Mars Express, you can hear Phoenix descend on to the surface of the Red Planet. After being processed by the Mars Express Flight Control Team, the sounds of Phoenix descending are audible, loud and clear.

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NASA Sets Briefing On New Space Station National Lab Partners »» NASA Sets Briefing On New Space Station National Lab Partners

[Wednesday, May 28, 2008] NASA will hold a briefing at 11 a.m. EDT, Friday, May 30, to discuss new opportunities to use the International Space Station's unique research environment. The briefing will originate from NASA KSC and be broadcast live on NASA Television.

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NASA's Phoenix Spacecraft Commanded to Unstow Arm »» NASA's Phoenix Spacecraft Commanded to Unstow Arm

[Wednesday, May 28, 2008] Scientists leading NASA's Phoenix Mars mission from the University of Arizona in Tucson sent commands to unstow its robotic arm and take more images of its landing site early today.

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Bacteria »» Bacteria "Feed" on Earth's Ocean-Bottom Crust

[Wednesday, May 28, 2008] Seafloor bacteria on ocean-bottom rocks are more abundant and diverse than previously thought, appearing to "feed" on the planet's oceanic crust, according to results of a study reported in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

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National Space Society Space Ambassador to Fly on a Virgin Galactic Flight »» National Space Society Space Ambassador to Fly on a Virgin Galactic Flight

[Thursday, May 29, 2008] The National Space Society (NSS) and Virgin Galactic announced today the NSS Space Ambassadors Program, which for one person will lead to a trip to space on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo.

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Khrunichev Purchases Majority Interest in International Launch Services »» Khrunichev Purchases Majority Interest in International Launch Services

[Thursday, May 29, 2008] ILS International Launch Services Inc., announced today that Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center acquired the shares of ILS owned by majority shareholder, Space Transport Inc. Financial details were not disclosed.

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NASA Seeks Ideas, Hosts Meeting on Lunar Surface Systems Concepts »» NASA Seeks Ideas, Hosts Meeting on Lunar Surface Systems Concepts

[Thursday, May 29, 2008] On June 6, NASA will release a broad agency announcement soliciting lunar surface systems concept study proposals to help the agency develop plans for a return to the moon by 2020.

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Buzz Lightyear Joins STS-124 Crew »» Buzz Lightyear Joins STS-124 Crew

[Thursday, May 29, 2008] Buzz Lightyear will blast off aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-124. Lift-off from Kennedy Space Center is scheduled for 5:02 p.m. ET on May 31.

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NASA Scientists' Model Reveals How Plasma From Superstorms Affects Near-Earth Space »» NASA Scientists' Model Reveals How Plasma From Superstorms Affects Near-Earth Space

[Thursday, May 29, 2008] NASA scientists uncovered new details about how plasma from superstorms interacts with Earth's magnetosphere.

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Proposal Opportunity: NASA Lunar Science Institute »» Proposal Opportunity: NASA Lunar Science Institute

[Thursday, May 29, 2008] On June 2, 2008, NASA SMD, in cooperation with the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), is releasing a Cooperative Agreement Notice (NNH08ZDA008C) soliciting proposals for the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI).

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NASA Phoenix Mars Lander Puts Arm and Other Tools to Work »» NASA Phoenix Mars Lander Puts Arm and Other Tools to Work

[Thursday, May 29, 2008] NASA’s Mars lander is returning more detailed images from the Martian surface and is now preparing its instruments for science operations.

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Strange Ring Found Circling Dead Star »» Strange Ring Found Circling Dead Star

[Thursday, May 29, 2008] NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found a bizarre ring of material around the magnetic remains of a star that blasted to smithereens.

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ESA's roadmap to Earth-like planets »» ESA's roadmap to Earth-like planets

[Friday, May 30, 2008] ESA is launching a new initiative to develop a roadmap for finding Earth-like planets. Searching for rocky planets around other stars, in the hopes of finding an Earth-like world, is a top scientific goal in ESA's Cosmic Vision programme.

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New details on venusian clouds revealed »» New details on venusian clouds revealed

[Friday, May 30, 2008] As ESA's Venus Express orbits our sister planet, new images of the cloud structure of one of the most enigmatic atmospheres of the Solar System reveal brand-new details.

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Famous Supernovae Still Echo Across The Milky Way »» Famous Supernovae Still Echo Across The Milky Way

[Friday, May 30, 2008] While walking home on November 11, 1572, astronomer Tycho Brahe idly glanced at the sky. He was surprised to see a bright star in the constellation Cassiopeia that hadn't been there before.

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Warm Coronal Loops Offer Clue to Mysteriously Hot Solar Atmosphere »» Warm Coronal Loops Offer Clue to Mysteriously Hot Solar Atmosphere

[Friday, May 30, 2008] Scientists at NASA reveal a new understanding of the mysterious mechanism responsible for heating the outer part of the solar atmosphere, the corona, to million degree temperatures.

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Milestones Ahead: New Horizons Set to Cross Saturn's Orbit »» Milestones Ahead: New Horizons Set to Cross Saturn's Orbit

[Friday, May 30, 2008] Since 1981 Last week, New Horizons woke up from its longest electronic hibernation period to date -- 89 days. And over the next 10 days, the New Horizons team will celebrate a trio of milestones on the spacecraft's long journey to explore Pluto in 2015.

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NASA'S Phoenix Lander Robotic Arm Camera Sees Possible Ice »» NASA'S Phoenix Lander Robotic Arm Camera Sees Possible Ice

[Friday, May 30, 2008] Scientists have discovered what may be ice that was exposed when soil was blown away as NASA's Phoenix spacecraft landed on Mars last Sunday, May 25. The possible ice appears in an image the robotic arm camera took underneath the lander, near a footpad.

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NASA Selects Small Explorer Investigations for Concept Studies »» NASA Selects Small Explorer Investigations for Concept Studies

[Friday, May 30, 2008] NASA has selected six candidate mission proposals for further evaluation as part of the agency's Small Explorer (SMEX) Program.

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