November 2008 Top Story Archives



Chandrayaan-1 Camera Tested »» Chandrayaan-1 Camera Tested

[Saturday, November 1, 2008] The Terrain Mapping camera on board Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was successfully operated on October 29, 2008 through a series of commands issued from the Spacecraft Control Centre of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network at Bangalore.

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NASA OIG: More Stringent Entrance Criteria Needed for Project Life-Cycle Reviews (Orion Project) »» NASA OIG: More Stringent Entrance Criteria Needed for Project Life-Cycle Reviews (Orion Project)

[Saturday, November 1, 2008] We initiated this audit because of the overall importance of the Orion Project and because it is one of the first space flight projects to implement the revised guidance.

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Ocean Tomo Auctions Announces Impressive $12.8M Results from Fall 2008 Live Intellectual Property Auction »» Ocean Tomo Auctions Announces Impressive $12.8M Results from Fall 2008 Live Intellectual Property Auction

[Monday, November 3, 2008] The sale of exclusive license rights to Lot 56 was a true highlight as it marked the groundbreaking sale of rights to 11 NASA-owned patent assets and the first time government-owned patents have been sold at public auction.

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CBO: An Analysis of NASA's Plans for Continuing Human Spaceflight After Retiring the Space Shuttle »» CBO: An Analysis of NASA's Plans for Continuing Human Spaceflight After Retiring the Space Shuttle

[Monday, November 3, 2008] In 2004, President Bush announced his "Vision for U.S. Space Exploration," which called for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to complete construction of the International Space Station and retire the space shuttle fleet by 2010.

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SpaceX DragonLab, a free-flying, fully-recoverable, reusable spacecraft capable of hosting pressurized and unpressurized payloads »» SpaceX DragonLab, a free-flying, fully-recoverable, reusable spacecraft capable of hosting pressurized and unpressurized payloads

[Monday, November 3, 2008] SpaceX will host a DragonLab Users Workshop on November 6, 2008. This workshop will be an opportunity for potential customers to fully explore DragonLab's capabilities, as well as present customer-specific interests and requirements.

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Tawani 2008 International Science Team Preps for Antarctic Expedition »» Tawani 2008 International Science Team Preps for Antarctic Expedition

[Monday, November 3, 2008] An international team of distinguished scientists, teachers and explorers are about to embark on a six-week expedition to Antarctica to study the icy ecosystems of the Untersee Oasis, including perennially ice-covered Lake Untersee.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Mission Status Report 3 November 2008 »» NASA Mars Phoenix Mission Status Report 3 November 2008

[Tuesday, November 4, 2008] Phoenix has communicated with controllers daily since Oct. 30. Information received over the weekend indicates Phoenix is running out of power each afternoon or evening but reawakening after its solar arrays catch morning sunlight.

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First Rocket Parts Of NASA's New Launch System Arrive In Florida »» First Rocket Parts Of NASA's New Launch System Arrive In Florida

[Tuesday, November 4, 2008] The first major flight hardware of the Ares I-X rocket has arrived in Florida to begin preparation for the inaugural test flight of the agency's next-generation launch system. The test flight is targeted for July 12, 2009.

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NOAA-N Prime Satellite Arrives At Vandenberg For Launch »» NOAA-N Prime Satellite Arrives At Vandenberg For Launch

[Tuesday, November 4, 2008] The latest polar-orbiting operational environmental weather satellite developed by NASA for NOAA called NOAA-N Prime, arrived Tuesday by C-5A military cargo aircraft at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

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Chandrayaan-1 enters Lunar Transfer Trajectory »» Chandrayaan-1 enters Lunar Transfer Trajectory

[Thursday, November 6, 2008] The fifth and final orbit raising manoeuvre of Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft was successfully carried out on 4 Nov at 04:56 am IST. During this manoeuvre, the spacecraft's 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about two and a half minutes.

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Very cold ice films in laboratory reveal mysteries of universe. Could life have started in a lump of ice? »» Very cold ice films in laboratory reveal mysteries of universe. Could life have started in a lump of ice?

[Thursday, November 6, 2008] The universe is full of water, mostly in the form of very cold ice films deposited on interstellar dust particles, but until recently little was known about the detailed small scale structure.

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New spaceship force field makes Mars trip possible »» New spaceship force field makes Mars trip possible

[Thursday, November 6, 2008] According to the international space agencies, "Space Weather" is the single greatest obstacle to deep space travel. Radiation from the sun and cosmic rays pose a deadly threat to astronauts in space.

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When it comes to sea level changing glaciers, new NASA technique measures up »» When it comes to sea level changing glaciers, new NASA technique measures up

[Thursday, November 6, 2008] A team has used satellite data to make the most precise measurements to date of changes in the mass of mountain glaciers in the Gulf of Alaska, a region expected to be a significant contributor to global sea level rise over the next 50-100 years.

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NASA Mars Opportunity Rover: Shake, Rattle, and Ready to Roll »» NASA Mars Opportunity Rover: Shake, Rattle, and Ready to Roll

[Thursday, November 6, 2008] Opportunity also got into position for the final imaging campaign at "Victoria Crater," driving onto a promontory known as "Cape Agulhas." From here, the rover acquired images of rocks exposed in a promontory known as "Cape Victory."

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Hubble Announces A Major Extrasolar Planet Discovery »» Hubble Announces A Major Extrasolar Planet Discovery

[Friday, November 7, 2008] NASA will hold a Science Update to report on a significant discovery about planets orbiting other stars at 2:30 p.m. EST, Thursday, Nov. 13, in NASA's James E. Webb auditorium.

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Apollo 8 Crew Remembers Historic Mission Live On NASA TV »» Apollo 8 Crew Remembers Historic Mission Live On NASA TV

[Friday, November 7, 2008] Almost 40 years after NASA executed the bold decision to send the first human flight of the gigantic Saturn V rocket to the moon, the crew of Apollo 8 will reunite as part of a special public program produced in cooperation with the Newseum.

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A Pool of Distant Galaxies - the deepest ultraviolet image of the Universe yet »» A Pool of Distant Galaxies - the deepest ultraviolet image of the Universe yet

[Friday, November 7, 2008] Obtained in part with the Very Large Telescope, the image is the deepest ground-based U-band image of the Universe ever obtained.

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NASA Cassini Image: Enceladus Rev 91 Flyby - Skeet Shoot 1-4 Mosaic »» NASA Cassini Image: Enceladus Rev 91 Flyby - Skeet Shoot 1-4 Mosaic

[Saturday, November 8, 2008] Like hunters sighting a clay duck flying fast in the sky, Cassini obtained this mosaic from narrow camera angle 'skeet-shoot' images 1, 2, 3 and 4, all captured during the rapid Oct. 31, 2008, flyby of Saturn's moon Enceladus.

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NASA Cassini Image: Icy Profile »» NASA Cassini Image: Icy Profile

[Saturday, November 8, 2008] The Cassini spacecraft looks toward Rhea's cratered, icy landscape with the dark line of Saturn's ringplane and the planet's murky atmosphere as a background.

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Chandrayaan-1 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit »» Chandrayaan-1 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit

[Saturday, November 8, 2008] Chandrayaan-1, India's first unmanned spacecraft mission to moon, entered lunar orbit today (November 8, 2008).

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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Presidential Transition »» NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Presidential Transition

[Saturday, November 8, 2008] While NASA usually does not factor as a near-term decision for incoming Administrations, this year the General Accounting Office (GAO) highlighted Shuttle retirement as one of its top 13 urgent issues across the government.

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Life's Boiling Point »» Life's Boiling Point

[Monday, November 10, 2008] Heat-loving organisms live where the water is hot but the gene pool is shallow. Genetic analysis has shown that so-called thermophiles have fewer mutations in their protein-coding genes than do their microbial cousins that live at room temperature.

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SETI Radio Telescopes Track New Horizons »» SETI Radio Telescopes Track New Horizons

[Monday, November 10, 2008] In a successful September demonstration of its growing capabilities, the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) detected transmissions from New Horizons while the spacecraft was more than a billion miles from home.

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NASA Unveils 42-Year-old Historic Lunar Image »» NASA Unveils 42-Year-old Historic Lunar Image

[Monday, November 10, 2008] NASA will hold a media briefing at 3 p.m. PST on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008, to unveil a newly restored historic image from the early days of lunar exploration and discuss the innovative processing technique used to retrieve the image.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Finishes Successful Work on Red Planet »» NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Finishes Successful Work on Red Planet

[Monday, November 10, 2008] As anticipated, seasonal decline in sunshine at the robot's arctic landing site is not providing enough sunlight for the solar arrays to collect the power necessary to charge batteries that operate the lander's instruments.

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APEX reveals glowing stellar nurseries »» APEX reveals glowing stellar nurseries

[Tuesday, November 11, 2008] Illustrating the power of submillimetre-wavelength astronomy, an image reveals how an expanding bubble of ionised gas about ten light-years across is causing the surrounding material to collapse into dense clumps that are the birthplaces of new stars.

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Dusty Shock Waves Generate Planet Ingredients »» Dusty Shock Waves Generate Planet Ingredients

[Tuesday, November 11, 2008] Shock waves around dusty, young stars might be creating the raw materials for planets, according to new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Hubble Team Captures First Optical Photos of Exoplanet »» Hubble Team Captures First Optical Photos of Exoplanet

[Thursday, November 13, 2008] After eight years and repeated photographs of a nearby star in hopes of finding planets, University of California, Berkeley, astronomer Paul Kalas finally has his prize: the first visible-light snapshots of a planet outside our solar system.

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NASA Restores Historic Lunar Orbiter Image »» NASA Restores Historic Lunar Orbiter Image

[Thursday, November 13, 2008] NASA released a newly restored 42-year-old image of Earth on Thursday. The Lunar Orbiter 1 spacecraft took the iconic photograph of Earth rising above the lunar surface in 1966.

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NASA HQ Internal Memo: Transition Procedures and Contacts »» NASA HQ Internal Memo: Transition Procedures and Contacts

[Friday, November 14, 2008] NASA HQ Internal Memo: Transition Procedures and Contacts

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Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flight Program for Teachers Reports Dramatic Impact in Student Interest in Science and Math »» Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flight Program for Teachers Reports Dramatic Impact in Student Interest in Science and Math

[Friday, November 14, 2008] The Northrop Grumman Foundation announced today that a poll of more than 200 teachers who participated in its 2006 and 2007 Weightless Flights of Discovery Program reveals the initiative is meeting its goal in driving student interest in STEM education.

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NASA's IBEX Spacecraft Reaches Orbit, SwRI-Led Team Begins Instrument Commissioning »» NASA's IBEX Spacecraft Reaches Orbit, SwRI-Led Team Begins Instrument Commissioning

[Friday, November 14, 2008] NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer spacecraft concluded its orbit-raising phase and is beginning instrument commissioning in preparation to start science observations.

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Mars Rover Team Sets Low-Power Plan for NASA's Spirit »» Mars Rover Team Sets Low-Power Plan for NASA's Spirit

[Friday, November 14, 2008] After assessing data received from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit on Thursday, mission controllers laid out plans for the rover to conserve its modest energy during the next few weeks.

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Indian Tricolour Placed on the Moon  on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's Birthday »» Indian Tricolour Placed on the Moon on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's Birthday

[Friday, November 14, 2008] In a historic event, the Indian space programme achieved a unique feat today (November 14, 2008) with the placing of Indian tricolour on the Moon's surface on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's birthday.

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Complex systems and Mars missions help understand how life began »» Complex systems and Mars missions help understand how life began

[Friday, November 14, 2008] Understanding how life started remains a major challenge for science. At a European Science Foundation (ESF) and COST 'Frontiers of Science' conference in Sicily in October, scientists discussed two new approaches to the problem.

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Space shuttle Endeavour Launched on STS-126 Mission »» Space shuttle Endeavour Launched on STS-126 Mission

[Friday, November 14, 2008] Space shuttle Endeavour roared off Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on a spectacular tower of smoke and flames. Video available.

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NASA's Shuttle Endeavour Launches On Home Improvement Mission »» NASA's Shuttle Endeavour Launches On Home Improvement Mission

[Friday, November 14, 2008] Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven-member crew lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 7:55 p.m. EST Friday to repair and remodel the International Space Station.

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NASA'S Carbon-Sniffing Satellite Sleuth Arrives at Launch Site »» NASA'S Carbon-Sniffing Satellite Sleuth Arrives at Launch Site

[Friday, November 14, 2008] NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in Earth's climate, has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to begin final launch preparations.

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NASA STS-126 Report #04  9 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008 »» NASA STS-126 Report #04 9 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008

[Sunday, November 16, 2008] It's arrival day. The space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station a little after 4 p.m. CST.

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Lunar Images From Chandrayaan-1 »» Lunar Images From Chandrayaan-1

[Sunday, November 16, 2008] This is the picture of moon's surface taken from lunar orbit by Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft's Terrain Mapping Camera (TMC) on November 15, 2008. Taken over the polar region of the moon, the picture shows many large and numerous small craters.

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Controllers Cheer as Data Arrive from NASA's Spirit Rover »» Controllers Cheer as Data Arrive from NASA's Spirit Rover

[Sunday, November 16, 2008] NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit communicated via the Mars Odyssey orbiter today right at the time when ground controllers had told it to, prompting shouts of "She's talking!" among the rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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STS-126 Arrives at the International Space Station »» STS-126 Arrives at the International Space Station

[Sunday, November 16, 2008] STS-126 has arrived at the International Space Station. Shuttle Commander Chris Ferguson was at the controls of space shuttle Endeavour docking to the station's Harmony Node at 5:01 p.m. EST.

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights reaches space as the ISS gets ready for crew of six »» Universal Declaration of Human Rights reaches space as the ISS gets ready for crew of six

[Sunday, November 16, 2008] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was carried into space with the successful launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Former NASA Advisory Council Chair Jack Schmitt Quits Planetary Society Over New Roadmap »» Former NASA Advisory Council Chair Jack Schmitt Quits Planetary Society Over New Roadmap

[Monday, November 17, 2008] I am sorry, but I can no longer support the society in its goals as they seem to have gone back to being more political than rational. I want humankind on Mars more than most, but I, at least, feel obligated to look at this goal rationally.

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Gamma-Ray Evidence Suggests Ancient Mars Had Oceans »» Gamma-Ray Evidence Suggests Ancient Mars Had Oceans

[Monday, November 17, 2008] An international team of scientists who analyzed data from the Gamma Ray Spectrometer onboard NASA's Mars Odyssey reports new evidence for the controversial idea that oceans once covered about a third of ancient Mars.

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NASA STS-126 Report #07  Monday, November 17, 2008 - 6 p.m. CST »» NASA STS-126 Report #07 Monday, November 17, 2008 - 6 p.m. CST

[Monday, November 17, 2008] The joint Space Shuttle Endeavour and International Space Station crews today took the first step toward updating the complexs interior by installing a packed logistics module on a docking port.

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Early Warning of Dangerous Asteroids and Comets: Detectors Developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory Deployed in Powerfull Telescope »» Early Warning of Dangerous Asteroids and Comets: Detectors Developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory Deployed in Powerfull Telescope

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] Silicon chips developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory are at the heart of a new survey telescope that will soon provide a more than fivefold improvement in scientists' ability to detect asteroids and comets that could someday pose a threat to the planet.

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NASA Invites Students to Name New Mars Rover »» NASA Invites Students to Name New Mars Rover

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] NASA, in cooperation with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures' movie WALL-E from Pixar Animation Studios, will conduct a naming contest for its car-sized Mars Science Laboratory rover that is scheduled for launch in 2009.

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FAA CST Notice of Availability and Request for Comment on a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Spaceport America Commercial Launch Site »» FAA CST Notice of Availability and Request for Comment on a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Spaceport America Commercial Launch Site

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] Under the Proposed Action, the FAA would issue a Launch Site Operator License to NMSA to operate a launch facility capable of accommodating both horizontal and vertical launches of suborbital launch vehicles (LVs).

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VLT and APEX Team Up to Study Flares from the Black Hole at the Milky Way's Core »» VLT and APEX Team Up to Study Flares from the Black Hole at the Milky Way's Core

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] Astronomers have used two different telescopes simultaneously to study the violent flares from the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way.

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NASA STS-126 Report #08  Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 9:00 a.m. CST »» NASA STS-126 Report #08 Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 9:00 a.m. CST

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] The first of four spacewalks scheduled for Endeavour crew members at the International Space Station will highlight today's activities in orbit.

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NASA Receives First Stage Rocket Hardware For Ares I-X Test Flight »» NASA Receives First Stage Rocket Hardware For Ares I-X Test Flight

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida welcomed the arrival Nov. 10 of important hardware for the Ares I-X rocket's upcoming test flight.

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NSF/NASA 'Firefly' CubeSat Mission to Study Link Between Lightning and Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes »» NSF/NASA 'Firefly' CubeSat Mission to Study Link Between Lightning and Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] A new nano satellite mission, called 'Firefly,' sponsored by the NSF and led by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will explore the relationship between lightning and these sudden bursts, called Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes.

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NASA Aqua Satellite Views of Fires in California »» NASA Aqua Satellite Views of Fires in California

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] Images from NASA satellites give a wider perspective of the full extent and devastation of the wildfires raging in Southern California.

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Nations Around The World Mark 10th Anniversary Of International Space Station »» Nations Around The World Mark 10th Anniversary Of International Space Station

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] Nations around the world will join together to mark a milestone in space exploration this week, celebrating the 10th birthday of a unique research laboratory, the International Space Station.

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NASA Successfully Tests First Deep Space Internet »» NASA Successfully Tests First Deep Space Internet

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] Working as part of a NASA-wide team, engineers from JPL used software called Disruption-Tolerant Networking, or DTN, to transmit dozens of space images to and from a NASA science spacecraft located about 20 million miles from Earth.

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NASA OIG Report: NASA's Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges »» NASA OIG Report: NASA's Most Serious Management and Performance Challenges

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] As required by the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, this memorandum provides our views of the most serious management and performance challenges facing NASA

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Scientists Discover New Planet Orbiting Dangerously Close to Giant Star »» Scientists Discover New Planet Orbiting Dangerously Close to Giant Star

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] A team of astronomers from Penn State and Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland has discovered a new planet that is closely orbiting a red-giant star, HD 102272, which is much older than our own Sun.

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What to do with rotten, smelly garbage when the nearest dumpster is 100 million miles away »» What to do with rotten, smelly garbage when the nearest dumpster is 100 million miles away

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] There has never been a good system for dealing with space waste. On the Russian space station MIR, junk would accumulate in hallways for months before it was sent to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.

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NASA STS-126 Report #09  Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 10:00 p.m. CST »» NASA STS-126 Report #09 Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 10:00 p.m. CST

[Tuesday, November 18, 2008] Astronauts Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen completed the first of four spacewalks scheduled for Endeavour's mission to the International Space Station today. The spacewalk was the 115th in support of ISS construction.

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Site List Narrows For NASA's Next Mars Landing »» Site List Narrows For NASA's Next Mars Landing

[Wednesday, November 19, 2008] Four intriguing places on Mars have risen to the final round as NASA selects a landing site for its next Mars mission, the Mars Science Laboratory.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Black Zones »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Black Zones

[Wednesday, November 19, 2008] In the 1950's it seemed like almost all of our rockets exploded during the launch. As we considered putting a man in a capsule on top of one of those rockets it was obvious that something was needed to get the pilot out of a bad situation in a hurry.

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Hubble Resolves Puzzle About Loner Starbust Galaxy »» Hubble Resolves Puzzle About Loner Starbust Galaxy

[Thursday, November 20, 2008] Astronomers have long puzzled over why a small, nearby, isolated galaxy is pumping out new stars faster than any galaxy in our local neighborhood.

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Space science missions possible through Constellation »» Space science missions possible through Constellation

[Thursday, November 20, 2008] A new report from the National Research Council reviews science missions that would be uniquely suited to the new Constellation system of spacecraft being developed by NASA for human space exploration beyond low Earth orbit.

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NASA Plans Test of 'Electronic Nose' on International Space Station »» NASA Plans Test of 'Electronic Nose' on International Space Station

[Thursday, November 20, 2008] NASA astronauts on space shuttle Endeavour's STS-126 mission will install an instrument on the International Space Station that can "smell" dangerous chemicals in the air.

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NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft Detects Buried Glaciers on Mars »» NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Spacecraft Detects Buried Glaciers on Mars

[Thursday, November 20, 2008] NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed vast Martian glaciers of water ice under protective blankets of rocky debris at much lower latitudes than any ice previously identified on the Red Planet.

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NASA, ATK Successfully Test First Orion Launch Abort Motor »» NASA, ATK Successfully Test First Orion Launch Abort Motor

[Thursday, November 20, 2008] Flames shot more than 100 feet high in a successful 5.5-second ground test firing Thursday, Nov. 20, of a launch abort motor for NASA's next generation spacecraft, the Orion crew exploration vehicle.

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Dawn Glides Into New Year »» Dawn Glides Into New Year

[Thursday, November 20, 2008] JPL's Dawn spacecraft shut down its ion propulsion system today as scheduled. The spacecraft is now gliding toward a Mars flyby in February of next year.

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NASA and USAID Bring Earth-Observation Benefits to Africa »» NASA and USAID Bring Earth-Observation Benefits to Africa

[Friday, November 21, 2008] NASA, USAID and their international partners cut the ribbon Friday in Nairobi, Kenya, for SERVIR-Africa. The SERVIR-Africa system integrates the satellite resources of the United States and other countries into a Web-based Earth information system.

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Conrad Foundation Renews Call for Entries for the Pete Conrad »» Conrad Foundation Renews Call for Entries for the Pete Conrad "Spirit of Innovation" Awards

[Friday, November 21, 2008] Officials with The Conrad Foundation today announced there are only a few weeks left to register for the Pete Conrad "Spirit of Innovation" Awards.

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Mars Express observes aurorae on the Red Planet »» Mars Express observes aurorae on the Red Planet

[Friday, November 21, 2008] Scientists using ESA's Mars Express have produced the first crude map of aurorae on Mars. These displays of ultraviolet light appear to be located close to the residual magnetic fields generated by Mars's crustal rocks.

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Beta Pictoris planet finally imaged? »» Beta Pictoris planet finally imaged?

[Friday, November 21, 2008] A team of French astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have discovered an object located very close to the star Beta Pictoris, and which apparently lies inside its disc.

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NASA Assigns Space Station Crews, Updates Expedition Numbering »» NASA Assigns Space Station Crews, Updates Expedition Numbering

[Friday, November 21, 2008] NASA and its international partners have assigned the International Space Station's crew members through 2010. The numbering sequence of expeditions was modified to reflect the start of six-person crews.

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NASA STS-126 Report #18  Sunday, November 23, 2008 - 10 a.m. CST »» NASA STS-126 Report #18 Sunday, November 23, 2008 - 10 a.m. CST

[Sunday, November 23, 2008] Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke will continue work Sunday on a system in the International Space Station's Destiny lab that converts urine and condensate into potable water.

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SpaceX Successfully Conducts Full Mission-Length Firing of its Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle (with video) »» SpaceX Successfully Conducts Full Mission-Length Firing of its Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle (with video)

[Sunday, November 23, 2008] Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) successfully conducted a full mission-length firing of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle's first stage at its McGregor Test Facility in Texas, on November 22.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 23 November 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 23 November 2008

[Sunday, November 23, 2008] All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Sunday Flight Day 10 (FD10) of STS-126/ULF-2. ISS crew work cycle today: Wake 8:55am EST; sleep 12:25am; Shuttle crew: 12:55am (both until 8:55am tomorrow).

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NASA STS-126 Report #20  Monday, November 24, 2008 - 9:00 a.m. CST »» NASA STS-126 Report #20 Monday, November 24, 2008 - 9:00 a.m. CST

[Monday, November 24, 2008] The fourth spacewalk by Endeavour astronauts outside the International Space Station will be the focus of today's activities in space.

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NASA's Astrobiology Origins »» NASA's Astrobiology Origins

[Monday, November 24, 2008] Because Astrobiology draws from both physics and biology (as well as other fields of science such as geology, chemistry and paleontology), Goldin thought the perfect way to achieve his goal would be to create an Astrobiology Institute.

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Confirmation of Political Appointees:  Eliciting Nominees' Views on Management Challenges within Agencies and across Government (NASA Excerpt) »» Confirmation of Political Appointees: Eliciting Nominees' Views on Management Challenges within Agencies and across Government (NASA Excerpt)

[Monday, November 24, 2008] NASA is currently at a crossroad. In response to President Bush's Vision for Space Exploration, the agency is in the midst of phasing out the Space Shuttle Program and beginning another major undertaking, the Constellation Program.

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Joe Six Pack and NASA »» Joe Six Pack and NASA

[Monday, November 24, 2008] We all know by now that STS-126 astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper let go of a tool bag the other day during an EVA in space.

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Chang'e 1 Lunar Map Released »» Chang'e 1 Lunar Map Released

[Tuesday, November 25, 2008] China has published its first map of the entire lunar surface. The map was created using imagery obtained by the China's Chang'e 1 lunar orbiting spacecraft.

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NASA STS-126 Report #22  Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 10:00 a.m. CST »» NASA STS-126 Report #22 Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 10:00 a.m. CST

[Tuesday, November 25, 2008] Crew members aboard Endeavour and the International Space Station got good news on two fronts when they were awakened for a day to be devoted largely to transfer of materials from the station to be returned to Earth.

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NASA Calls for Comment on Draft Ares V Request for Proposals »» NASA Calls for Comment on Draft Ares V Request for Proposals

[Tuesday, November 25, 2008] NASA has released a draft request for proposals, or RFP, regarding Phase I of its Ares V launch vehicle. The rocket will perform heavy lift and cargo functions as part of the next generation of spacecraft that will return humans to the moon.

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NASA Selects 382 Small Business Research and Technology Projects »» NASA Selects 382 Small Business Research and Technology Projects

[Tuesday, November 25, 2008] NASA has awarded contracts to 382 small business proposals that address critical research and technology needs for agency programs and projects.

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NASA Prepares for New Juno Mission to Jupiter »» NASA Prepares for New Juno Mission to Jupiter

[Tuesday, November 25, 2008] NASA is officially moving forward on a mission to conduct an unprecedented, in-depth study of Jupiter. Called Juno, the mission will seek to understand its formation, evolution and structure.

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Shuttle and Station Astronauts Send Special Greetings to Military »» Shuttle and Station Astronauts Send Special Greetings to Military

[Tuesday, November 25, 2008] The combined crews of shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station have sent a special greeting to members of the American military in time for the upcoming holiday season.

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Extension Day Pays Off For Shuttle and Station Crews »» Extension Day Pays Off For Shuttle and Station Crews

[Tuesday, November 25, 2008] The mission extension day has paid off for the shuttle and station crews as well as the ground teams Tuesday. The crews are ahead of schedule with transfer activity.

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Meteorite search update - 10-ton rock responsible for fireball in Western Canada last week »» Meteorite search update - 10-ton rock responsible for fireball in Western Canada last week

[Tuesday, November 25, 2008] Investigation of the fireball that lit up the skies of Alberta and Saskatchewan on November 20 has determined that an asteroid fragment weighing approximately 10 tonnes entered the Earth's atmosphere over the prairie provinces last Thursday evening.

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NASA JSC Solicitation: Altair Conceptual Design Contract »» NASA JSC Solicitation: Altair Conceptual Design Contract

[Tuesday, November 25, 2008] The Altair Project Office is looking to build on the knowledge gained through the Broad Area Announcement (BAA) Lunar Lander Study Contracts.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Last Entry - November 26,2008 »» NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Last Entry - November 26,2008

[Wednesday, November 26, 2008] This will be my last entry on this blog as I prepare to transition out of NASA in January 2009. So, it's been a great ride and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the people of NASA and the broader aerospace community.

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XCOR Aerospace to Announce Ticket Sales for Suborbital Space Flights on December 2nd »» XCOR Aerospace to Announce Ticket Sales for Suborbital Space Flights on December 2nd

[Wednesday, November 26, 2008] On December 2, XCOR Aerospace, builder of the 2-seat Lynx rocket-powered suborbital launch vehicle, is introducing its General Sales Agent for ticket sales and will announce a price that is substantially lower than prices quoted by leading competitors.

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NASA Uses iTunes to Share Development Progress of Ares Rocket »» NASA Uses iTunes to Share Development Progress of Ares Rocket

[Wednesday, November 26, 2008] Video updates reporting progress made on NASA's newest family of exploration vehicles -- the Ares I crew launch vehicle and Ares V heavy cargo launch vehicle -- are now featured on iTunes.

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New simulation indicates Jupiter has large, rocky core surrounded by layer of ice »» New simulation indicates Jupiter has large, rocky core surrounded by layer of ice

[Wednesday, November 26, 2008] Jupiter has a rocky core that is more than twice as large as previously thought, according to computer calculations by a geophysicist who simulated conditions inside the planet on the scale of individual hydrogen and helium atoms.

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NASA Presidental Transition Action Item Log »» NASA Presidental Transition Action Item Log

[Wednesday, November 26, 2008] The following is an amalgam of several different versions of a document titled "Presidential Transition Action Item Log" provided by NASA sources this week. More than 80 specific requests to NASA by the Obama Transition Team are listed.

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NASA STS-126 Report #26 Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 8:00 a.m. CST »» NASA STS-126 Report #26 Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 8:00 a.m. CST

[Thursday, November 27, 2008] After Thanksgiving dinner with their hosts on the International Space Station, the seven members of the space shuttle Endeavour crew will board their spacecraft, close its hatches and make final preparations for Friday's undocking.

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Space Shuttle Endeavour Undocks from International Space Station »» Space Shuttle Endeavour Undocks from International Space Station

[Friday, November 28, 2008] The crew of space shuttle Endeavour has left the International Space Station. STS-126 undocked from the station at 9:47 a.m. Friday.

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Source of Geysers on Saturn's Moon May Be Underground Water »» Source of Geysers on Saturn's Moon May Be Underground Water

[Friday, November 28, 2008] Scientists at Jet Propulsion Lab in California, the University of Colorado and the University of Central Florida in Orlando teamed up to analyze the plumes of water vapor and ice particles spewing from the moon.

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Dec. 1 Antarctic Videoconference Bridges Past and Future of Polar Science and Exploration »» Dec. 1 Antarctic Videoconference Bridges Past and Future of Polar Science and Exploration

[Friday, November 28, 2008] Students at Matthew Henson Elementary School will see, speak with and pose questions to Shakira Brown, a teacher at New York's Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy, during a videoconference scheduled for Monday, Dec. 1 at 11:30 a.m.

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NASA STS-126 Report #31 5 p.m. CST Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008 »» NASA STS-126 Report #31 5 p.m. CST Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008

[Saturday, November 29, 2008] As Endeavour's crew prepares for landing, mission managers are closely monitoring a cold front that could affect Sunday's entry and landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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