November 2004 Top Story Archives



NASA ISS Near-term Assembly Sequence Nov 1 2004 »» NASA ISS Near-term Assembly Sequence Nov 1 2004

[Tuesday, November 02, 2004] This internal NASA planning document shows tentative dates for Soyuz, Progress, Shuttle, and Ariane V/ATV launches. It also shows payloads to be launched and handover dates for upcoming expeditions.

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Expedition Crews Learn Lessons During Space Stations Fourth Year »» Expedition Crews Learn Lessons During Space Stations Fourth Year

[Tuesday, November 02, 2004] Each crew aboard the International Space Station discovers more and more about what it takes to live and work in space for long periods of time. This year has proven to be an exceptional example.

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NAC Exploration Systems Advisory Committee: Notice of Establishment Pursuant to the 
Federal Advisory Committee Act »» NAC Exploration Systems Advisory Committee: Notice of Establishment Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act

[Wednesday, November 03, 2004] "Purpose & Objective: The Committee will advise NASA Administrator on matters related to Exploration Systems. The Committee will draw on the expertise of its members and other sources to provide its advice and recommendations to the Agency."

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NASA Advanced Planning and Integration Office (APIO) Request for Information (RFI) »» NASA Advanced Planning and Integration Office (APIO) Request for Information (RFI)

[Wednesday, November 03, 2004] NASA is currently preparing a set of high-level national roadmaps that will form the foundation of the Agency's strategic plan.

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NEO News: AIAA Position Paper »» NEO News: AIAA Position Paper

[Wednesday, November 03, 2004] "The purpose of this Position Paper is to briefly review what is now known about the threat to Earth posed by close approaching asteroids and comets (called Near Earth Objects or NEOs)."

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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Spots Rare Triple Eclipse on Jupiter »» NASA Hubble Space Telescope Spots Rare Triple Eclipse on Jupiter

[Wednesday, November 03, 2004] Closer inspection by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals that these spots are actually a rare alignment of three of Jupiter's largest moons - Io, Ganymede, and Callisto - across the planet's face.

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Spirit Adds Clues About History of Rocks in Martian Hills »» Spirit Adds Clues About History of Rocks in Martian Hills

[Thursday, November 04, 2004] All the scientific tools on NASA's two Mars Exploration Rovers are still working well, a full 10 months after Spirit's dramatic landing. The ones on Spirit are adding fresh evidence about the history of layered bedrock in a hill the rover is climbing.

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NASA Special Notice: Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Innovative Partnerships Program »» NASA Special Notice: Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Innovative Partnerships Program

[Friday, November 05, 2004] "NASA is considering a more centralized approach to technology transfer in line with the NAPA recommendations and have developed a concept of how that centralized approach might work."

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Radar Image Shows Titan's Surface Live and in Color »» Radar Image Shows Titan's Surface Live and in Color

[Friday, November 05, 2004] Titan's surface lies beneath a thick coat of hazy clouds, but Cassini's radar instrument can peer through to show finer surface features.  Scientists have added color to emphasize finer details on Titan, as shown in the image.

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NASA'S Prize Competition Solicits Ideas and Partners »» NASA'S Prize Competition Solicits Ideas and Partners

[Friday, November 05, 2004] To cast a wide net for supporting future prize competitions, NASA's Centennial Challenges program today issued two Requests for Information (RFI) and one Announcement of Partnership Opportunity (APO).

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X-43A  Launch, Preflight Briefing Rescheduled »» X-43A Launch, Preflight Briefing Rescheduled

[Friday, November 05, 2004] The final flight of NASA's X-43A hypersonic research aircraft has been rescheduled to occur no earlier than Monday, Nov. 15, due to scheduling conflicts for use of the U.S. Navy's test range off the Southern California coast.

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Findings of the Moon-Mars Science Linkage Science Steering Group »» Findings of the Moon-Mars Science Linkage Science Steering Group

[Friday, November 05, 2004] Owing to the proximity of the Moon to Earth, there are important technological and scientific concepts that could be developed on the Moon that will provide valuable insights to be feed-forward to the scientific exploration of Mars.

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Majro Solar Flare Activity Observed »» Majro Solar Flare Activity Observed

[Sunday, November 07, 2004] A large sunspot group, Region 696, was responsible for a series of eruptions on the surface of the Sun, including a significant eruption on 7 Nov. A radiation storm, currently at the moderate level, began soon after the eruption was observed on the Sun.

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Boeing and Northrop Grumman to Announce CEV Teaming Agreement »» Boeing and Northrop Grumman to Announce CEV Teaming Agreement

[Monday, November 08, 2004] Tomorrow morning (9 November) Northrop Grumman and Boeing will announce that they have entered into a teaming arrangement with regard to building hardware for NASA's new exploration programs - the most notable being the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). 

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Cassini Observations Show Dynamic Dance at Saturn »» Cassini Observations Show Dynamic Dance at Saturn

[Monday, November 08, 2004] A University of Colorado at Boulder professor involved with the Cassini-Huygens mission is reporting an ever-changing vista at the frontiers of Saturn, featuring wayward moons, colliding meteoroids, rippling rings and flickering auroras.

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NASA Schedules Swift Spacecraft Launch »» NASA Schedules Swift Spacecraft Launch

[Monday, November 08, 2004] NASA's Swift observatory is scheduled for launch Wednesday, Nov. 17. Liftoff aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket is targeted at 12:09 p.m., EST, the opening of a one-hour launch window.

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New NASA-Japanese Telescope Images Uncharted Wavelengths »» New NASA-Japanese Telescope Images Uncharted Wavelengths

[Monday, November 08, 2004] Scientists using an experimental X-ray telescope suspended from a balloon have captured a unique picture of a pulsar shining in a form of light never before imaged in high-energy "hard" X-rays. The observation marks a milestone in astronomical imaging.

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NASA's Newest Supercomputer Ranked Among World's Fastest »» NASA's Newest Supercomputer Ranked Among World's Fastest

[Monday, November 08, 2004] NASA today announced that its newest supercomputer, 'Columbia,' was named one of the world's most powerful production supercomputers by the TOP500 Project at SC2004, the International Conference of High Performance Computing, Networking, and Storage.

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Astronauts Submit First Medical Research Paper from Space »» Astronauts Submit First Medical Research Paper from Space

[Monday, November 08, 2004] The first medical research paper submitted from the ISS was published online today by the journal Radiology. The report documents the first ultrasound examination of the shoulder performed under the microgravity conditions of space flight.

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NASA'S DART Launch Postponed »» NASA'S DART Launch Postponed

[Monday, November 08, 2004] A review of projected loads data, or the G-forces the payload experiences upon ignition of the Pegasus second stage, is being re-evaluated to ensure mission success.

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Spacehab Files Tort Claim For Losses on Space Shuttle Mission »» Spacehab Files Tort Claim For Losses on Space Shuttle Mission

[Monday, November 08, 2004] Spacehab today announced that it has filed a formal claim against NASA under the Federal Tort Claims Act seeking restitution of its losses totaling in excess of $79.7 million resulting from the tragic destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia.

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Gemini Observes Remains of Massive Star Cluster Near Milky Way's Galactic Center »» Gemini Observes Remains of Massive Star Cluster Near Milky Way's Galactic Center

[Monday, November 08, 2004] Using archived science verification data from the Adaptive Optics system on Gemini North astronomers have confirmed the physical association of a cluster of massive stars in the infrared source IRS 13 near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

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Look at past sea-level rise points to troubling future »» Look at past sea-level rise points to troubling future

[Monday, November 08, 2004] Research presented at this week's annual meeting of the GSA shows that rising sea levels of as little as a half-meter per century have been sufficient to dramatically change the shoreline of the U.S. Gulf Coast within the past 10,000 years.

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A DART Near Miss: Infighting at Orbital - and Deceiving NASA »» A DART Near Miss: Infighting at Orbital - and Deceiving NASA

[Tuesday, November 09, 2004] On Monday NASA issued a release stating tha the launch of DART aboard an Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL scheduled for Tuesday is postponed. NASA Watch has learned that Orbital knew about problems for months and yet they kept that information from NASA.

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Treating the Antarctic blues »» Treating the Antarctic blues

[Tuesday, November 09, 2004] Shepanek, chief of aerospace medicine at NASA headquarters, is in Antarctica to wrap up the third and final year of research into the polar T3 syndrome - a thyroid condition that researchers believe is caused when the body adapts to extreme cold.

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Spitzer Sees Ice and Warm Glows in Dark and Dusty Places »» Spitzer Sees Ice and Warm Glows in Dark and Dusty Places

[Wednesday, November 10, 2004] Two new results from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope released today are helping astronomers better understand how stars form out of thick clouds of gas and dust, and how the molecules in those clouds ultimately become planets.

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Keck Pictures of Uranus Show Best View From the Ground »» Keck Pictures of Uranus Show Best View From the Ground

[Wednesday, November 10, 2004] Observations of Uranus conducted at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii are surprising astronomers with the level of detail they can see from the ground.

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Good News for Pluto: Astronomers Say KBOs May Be Smaller Than Thought »» Good News for Pluto: Astronomers Say KBOs May Be Smaller Than Thought

[Wednesday, November 10, 2004] Pluto's status as our solar system's ninth planet may be safe if a recently discovered Kuiper Belt Object is a typical "KBO" and not just an oddball.

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NASA Seeks Ideas for Missions, Capabilities, and Technologies »» NASA Seeks Ideas for Missions, Capabilities, and Technologies

[Wednesday, November 10, 2004] NASA is looking for the best ideas for missions, capabilities and technologies, as the agency makes plans for the future.

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JAXA President Shuichiro Yamanouchi Resigns, Keiji Tachikawa To Succeed »» JAXA President Shuichiro Yamanouchi Resigns, Keiji Tachikawa To Succeed

[Thursday, November 11, 2004] "However, just after the integration, we faced a series of malfunctions and troubles including the failure of H-IIA launch vehicle No.6, for which I felt personal responsibility."

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SMART-1 - from Earth-bound to Moon-bound »» SMART-1 - from Earth-bound to Moon-bound

[Thursday, November 11, 2004] On 11 November at 10:30 UTC, close to the 331st apogee, SMART-1 will be in the middle of a "weak stability boundary". In this region the spacecraft is neither in an Earth-bound orbit, nor a Moon-bound orbit: it is in no man's land.

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Orbital Recovery Completes the Funding for its CX OLEV Space Tug With a Team of European Space Industry Leaders »» Orbital Recovery Completes the Funding for its CX OLEV Space Tug With a Team of European Space Industry Leaders

[Thursday, November 11, 2004] Orbital Recovery Ltd. has completed its second round financing for the ConeXpress Orbital Life Extension Vehicle marking a major milestone that allows production of the first space tug to begin in early 2005.

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Change in Travel Plans for Opportunity »» Change in Travel Plans for Opportunity

[Thursday, November 11, 2004] The operators of Opportunity have determined that a proposed route eastward out of Endurance Crater is not passable, so the rover will backtrack to leave the crater by a southward route, perhaps by retracing its entry path.

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NASA Advances Water Recycling for Space Travel and Earth Use »» NASA Advances Water Recycling for Space Travel and Earth Use

[Friday, November 12, 2004] Would Columbus have reached the New World if his ships could not carry enough water for their crews? Would Lewis and Clark have made it to the Pacific if they had no fresh water along the way?

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NASA Names Space Veteran Michael Foale as Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Operations »» NASA Names Space Veteran Michael Foale as Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Operations

[Friday, November 12, 2004] NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today appointed astronaut C. Michael Foale as Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Operations reporting to both NASA's Associate Administrators for Exploration Systems and Space Operations.

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Catching Saturn's Ring Waves »» Catching Saturn's Ring Waves

[Friday, November 12, 2004] This false color image of two density waves in Saturn's A ring was made from the stellar occultation observed by Cassini's ultraviolet imaging spectrograph when the spacecraft was 6.8 million kilometers (4.2 million miles) from Saturn.

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X-43A Mach 10 Flight on Schedule For Nov. 15 »» X-43A Mach 10 Flight on Schedule For Nov. 15

[Friday, November 12, 2004] The final X-43A mission is also expected to be the last research mission for NASA's venerable B-52B "mothership" heavy launch aircraft, which is due to be retired in the near future after almost 50 years of service.

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Europe reaches the Moon - SMART-1 entering lunar orbit »» Europe reaches the Moon - SMART-1 entering lunar orbit

[Tuesday, November 16, 2004] ESA's SMART-1 is successfully making its first orbit of the Moon, a significant milestone for the first of Europe's Small Missions for Advanced Research in Technology (SMART) spacecraft.

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NASA Selects Exploration Systems Proposals »» NASA Selects Exploration Systems Proposals

[Tuesday, November 16, 2004] NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) selected 70 proposals to support the research and technology goals and objectives of the Vision for Space Exploration. The total value of the work is more than $1 billion through fiscal year 2009.

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NASA's X-43A Scramjet Breaks Speed Record »» NASA's X-43A Scramjet Breaks Speed Record

[Tuesday, November 16, 2004] NASA's X-43A research vehicle screamed into the record books today. Preliminary data show its revolutionary engine worked successfully at approximately Mach 10, nearly 7000 mph, as it flew at an altitude of approximately 110,000 feet.

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NASA's Swift Launch Delayed 24 Hours »» NASA's Swift Launch Delayed 24 Hours

[Wednesday, November 17, 2004] Launch of NASA’s Swift spacecraft aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket has been delayed at least 24 hours due to a concern with Range Command-Receiver Decoder equipment on the launch vehicle.

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Senate Gives Final Passage to Bill Extending Protection for Satellite Launches - House Committee Kills Commercial Space Bill Deal »» Senate Gives Final Passage to Bill Extending Protection for Satellite Launches - House Committee Kills Commercial Space Bill Deal

[Wednesday, November 17, 2004] The Senate last night passed a Science Committee bill to extend the law under which the U.S. government insures companies that launch satellites for damages or deaths sustained by individuals who were not involved in the launch.

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Progress Fails to Raise ISS Orbit According to Plan »» Progress Fails to Raise ISS Orbit According to Plan

[Wednesday, November 17, 2004] Station reboost occurred at 9:12am EST as scheduled, producing a delta-V of 1.6 m/s, against an expected value of 2.6 m/s.  Resulting altitude increase was 2.9 km instead of 4.4 km expected.  MCC-Moscow (TsUP) is investigating the underburn of the Progres

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Notice of Establishment of the NASA Robotic and Human Exploration of Mars Strategic Roadmapping Committee »» Notice of Establishment of the NASA Robotic and Human Exploration of Mars Strategic Roadmapping Committee

[Thursday, November 18, 2004] "The Committee will advise NASA Administrator on Mars exploration, including robotic exploration of Mars to search for evidence of life, to understand the history of the solar system, and to prepare for future human exploration."

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NASA Swift Launch Set for No Earlier Than Saturday, 20 November »» NASA Swift Launch Set for No Earlier Than Saturday, 20 November

[Thursday, November 18, 2004] Overnight, workers determined the Range Command-Receiver Decoder equipment on the launch vehicle is the likely reason for the voltage variance seen earlier in the week. Workers will gain access to the equipment today and replace the necessary parts.

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NASA Satellite Data to Aid Global Conservation »» NASA Satellite Data to Aid Global Conservation

[Thursday, November 18, 2004] NASA and IUCN - The World Conservation Union, the world's largest environmental knowledge network, signed a joint declaration today in Bangkok, Thailand, to use NASA satellite data to help in worldwide conservation efforts.

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Director James Cameron Guest Edits WIRED Magazine, Unveils the New Age of Space & Deep Sea Exploration in December Issue »» Director James Cameron Guest Edits WIRED Magazine, Unveils the New Age of Space & Deep Sea Exploration in December Issue

[Thursday, November 18, 2004] WIRED Magazine today announced that James Cameron, the blockbuster filmmaker whose work has won 18 Academy Awards, is the guest editor of the December issue, which examines the dynamic challenges and possibility in a new age of exploration. 

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NASA Adds Crew Members to Second Shuttle Return to Flight Mission »» NASA Adds Crew Members to Second Shuttle Return to Flight Mission

[Thursday, November 18, 2004] NASA astronauts Lisa Nowak (Cmdr., U.S. Navy) and Stephanie Wilson are joining the crew of the second Space Shuttle Return to Flight mission (STS-121) planned for launch in 2005.

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Not finding life? Dig deeper »» Not finding life? Dig deeper

[Thursday, November 18, 2004] A place so barren that NASA uses it as a model for the Martian environment, Chile's Atacama desert gets rain maybe once a decade. In 2003, scientists reported that the driest Atacama soils were sterile. Not so, reports a team of Arizona scientists.

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NASA International Workshop on Exploration Day 3 Report Outs, Summaries »» NASA International Workshop on Exploration Day 3 Report Outs, Summaries

[Thursday, November 18, 2004] NASA held a three-day meeting in Washington DC this week where representatives from space agencies around the world exchanged ideas regarding future exploration - and looked for possible modes of cooperation.

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300 Martian Days for Spirit »» 300 Martian Days for Spirit

[Friday, November 19, 2004] Spirit remains in excellent health and has survived more than 300 martian days on the red planet.

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NASA's Human and Robotic Programs Share Lessons Learned for Success »» NASA's Human and Robotic Programs Share Lessons Learned for Success

[Friday, November 19, 2004] This week, JPL managers took part in a practice session by Shuttle mission managers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. It's part of a continuing exchange of best practices.

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NASA Successfully Launches Swift Satellite »» NASA Successfully Launches Swift Satellite

[Saturday, November 20, 2004] NASA's Swift satellite successfully launched today aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The satellite will pinpoint the location of distant yet fleeting explosions that appear to signal the births of black holes.

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House Passes Commercial Space Bill »» House Passes Commercial Space Bill

[Saturday, November 20, 2004] By a vote of 269 to 120, the House of Representatives today passed legislation that seeks to promote the nascent commercial human space flight industry while establishing a clear and balanced regulatory framework for space tourism.

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MESSENGER Status Report November 18, 2004 »» MESSENGER Status Report November 18, 2004

[Sunday, November 21, 2004] MESSENGER completed its third trajectory correction maneuver since launch - and its last of 2004 - trimming its speed and tweaking its course toward the Earth flyby next August.

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SMART-1 completes its first orbit around the Moon »» SMART-1 completes its first orbit around the Moon

[Sunday, November 21, 2004] On 19 November 2004, at 10:58 UTC, SMART-1 passed its second perilune and successfully completed its first orbit around the Moon. The first orbit started on 15 November at 17:47 UTC when SMART-1 passed its first perilune.

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News From Antarctica: Personal web sites share Ice with world »» News From Antarctica: Personal web sites share Ice with world

[Sunday, November 21, 2004] There are dozens of unofficial web sites spawned each season by Antarctic program participants. These sites typically include journals with daily entries and photo galleries. Some feature poetry and music inspired by experiences on the Ice.

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Precocious Supermassive Black Holes Challenge Theories »» Precocious Supermassive Black Holes Challenge Theories

[Monday, November 22, 2004] NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has obtained definitive evidence that a distant quasar formed less than a billion years after the Big Bang contains a fully-grown supermassive black hole generating energy at the rate of twenty trillion Suns.

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Next International Space Station Crew Named »» Next International Space Station Crew Named

[Tuesday, November 23, 2004] Veteran NASA astronaut John Phillips and seasoned Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev are the next crew of the International Space Station. Their six-month mission is set for launch in April 2005.

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Cassini Shows Grandeur of Two Saturn Moons »» Cassini Shows Grandeur of Two Saturn Moons

[Tuesday, November 23, 2004] New views of  two of  Saturn's moons, Titan and Tethys, represent the most detailed look at these moons to date and show a sharp contrast between them -- one is foggy and one is cratered. 

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Successful Huygens test: last before separation »» Successful Huygens test: last before separation

[Wednesday, November 24, 2004] ESA's Huygens probe, now orbiting Saturn on board the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft, is in good health and successfully passed its sixteenth In-Flight Checkout on 23 November 2004.

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NASA Reaches Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Milestone »» NASA Reaches Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Milestone

[Wednesday, November 24, 2004] An important milestone was achieved Monday, when technicians began stacking Space Shuttle Discovery's right Solid Rocket Booster in the Vehicle Assembly Building.

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Young Stars Poised for Production of Rocky Planets »» Young Stars Poised for Production of Rocky Planets

[Wednesday, November 24, 2004] One of the currently hottest astrophysical topics - the hunt for Earth-like planets around other stars - has just received an important impetus from new spectral observations with the MIDI instrument at the ESO VLT Interferometer

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AIP FYI #150: NASA Gets Funding Increase for Space Exploration Initiative »» AIP FYI #150: NASA Gets Funding Increase for Space Exploration Initiative

[Wednesday, November 24, 2004] Under the omnibus bill funding the remaining FY 2005 appropriations (H.R. 4818), the House and Senate conferees gave NASA a substantial downpayment on the President's Space Exploration Initiative.

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Time for Opportunity to Turn Around »» Time for Opportunity to Turn Around

[Thursday, November 25, 2004] Opportunity has now reached the furthest point east in its travels inside "Endurance Crater." Rover drivers have determined that there is no safe path beyond the current position.

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First ever 'Space Council' paves the way for a European space programme »» First ever 'Space Council' paves the way for a European space programme

[Thursday, November 25, 2004] The first ever European 'Space Council' was held in Brussels today. This is a major political milestone for Europe in Space.

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Seismic Shaking Erased Small Impact Craters on Asteroid Eros »» Seismic Shaking Erased Small Impact Craters on Asteroid Eros

[Friday, November 26, 2004] When the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission orbited Eros from February 2000 to February 2001, it revealed an asteroid covered with regolith -- a loose layer of rocks, gravel and dust -- and embedded with numerous large boulders.

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Water is not an essential ingredient for Life, scientists now claim »» Water is not an essential ingredient for Life, scientists now claim

[Friday, November 26, 2004] Billions of dollars are pumped into extraterrestrial exploration each year in the search for the ultimate prize - the discovery of life on other planets. But are we looking in all the right places?

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Thanksgiving Completed, Soyuz Move Up Next »» Thanksgiving Completed, Soyuz Move Up Next

[Friday, November 26, 2004] Just like many Earth-bound travelers, the International Space Station crew observed Thanksgiving this week and prepared for a short trip planned for Monday.

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Expedition 10 Relocates Soyuz »» Expedition 10 Relocates Soyuz

[Monday, November 29, 2004] The Expedition 10 crewmembers successfully relocated a Soyuz spacecraft at the International Space Station this morning, setting the stage for their upcoming spacewalks.

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Nature's Canvas - Mimas and Saturn's Rings »» Nature's Canvas - Mimas and Saturn's Rings

[Monday, November 29, 2004] In a portrait created by light and gravity, Saturn's moon Mimas is seen against the cool, blue-streaked backdrop of Saturn's northern hemisphere. Shadows cast by the rings arc gracefully across the planet, fading into darkness on Saturn's night side.

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Intelsat Reports Loss of Intelsat Americas-7 »» Intelsat Reports Loss of Intelsat Americas-7

[Monday, November 29, 2004] Intelsat, Ltd. today said that its Intelsat Americas™-7 satellite experienced a sudden and unexpected electrical distribution anomaly that caused the permanent loss of the spacecraft on November 28, 2004 at approximately 2:30 am EST.

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NASA Mars Picture of the Day: East Candor cPROTO »» NASA Mars Picture of the Day: East Candor cPROTO

[Tuesday, November 30, 2004] This Mars Global Surveyor picture was obtained by MOC with a resolution that is better than 1 meter per pixel (better than 3 feet per pixel).

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