October 2004 Top Story Archives



Exploration and History Come Together on NASA Web Portal »» Exploration and History Come Together on NASA Web Portal

[Friday, October 01, 2004] As NASA celebrates its "birthday," reflecting on the past and focusing on the future, we are proud to introduce "Why We Explore," a series of online essays offering historical perspectives on fulfilling the Vision for Space Exploration.

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NASA Mars Rover Status 30 September 2004 »» NASA Mars Rover Status 30 September 2004

[Friday, October 01, 2004] Spirit has successfully transitioned back to normal operations from conjunction operations, when Mars and Earth were on opposite sides of the Sun.

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Prometheus and its Flock of Ring Particles »» Prometheus and its Flock of Ring Particles

[Friday, October 01, 2004] In its own way, the shepherd moon Prometheus is one of the lords of Saturn's rings. The little moon maintains the inner edge of Saturn's thin, knotted F ring, while its slightly smaller cohort Pandora guards the ring's outer edge.

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NASA Leaders Weigh Impact of Hurricanes on Return to Flight Plans »» NASA Leaders Weigh Impact of Hurricanes on Return to Flight Plans

[Friday, October 01, 2004] NASA is working to determine how four hurricanes that affected several centers this year will impact efforts to return the Space Shuttle to flight. The agency has been working toward a launch-planning window that opens in March 2005.

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Can Do Private Space Companies Set Tone for Future Spaceflight »» Can Do Private Space Companies Set Tone for Future Spaceflight

[Saturday, October 02, 2004] On Monday, 47 years to the day after the Russians launched the world’s first satellite Sputnik, Mojave Aerospace, a private space company, will attempt to win the Ansari X Prize ... and demonstrate to the world that America is still the leader in space.

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2nd SpaceShipOne Launch is GO for October 4th »» 2nd SpaceShipOne Launch is GO for October 4th

[Sunday, October 03, 2004] The X PRIZE has just received official notice from Burt Rutan that SpaceShipOne's second flight (X2) will take place Monday morning, October 4th.

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SpaceShipOne Wins X-Prize »» SpaceShipOne Wins X-Prize

[Monday, October 04, 2004] This morning SpaceShipOne made its second flight in less than two weeks. The vehicle passed 100 km and, at a maximum altitude of 368,000 feet, passed an altitude record set by NASA's X-15 forty years ago. Today's flight was flown by pilot Brian Binnie.

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Mt. St. Helens Erupting »» Mt. St. Helens Erupting

[Monday, October 04, 2004] Mt. St. Helens experienced another small eruption today. The volcano released a large plume composed mostly of steam - and only a small amount of ash.

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NASA Mourns Loss of Original Mercury 7 Astronaut Gordon Cooper »» NASA Mourns Loss of Original Mercury 7 Astronaut Gordon Cooper

[Monday, October 04, 2004] Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr., (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) an original Mercury 7 astronaut, died earlier today at his home in Ventura, Calif. He was 77 years old. Cooper piloted the sixth and last flight of the Mercury program and later commanded Gemini V.

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NOAA-N-Prime Satellite Mishap Investigation Report Released »» NOAA-N-Prime Satellite Mishap Investigation Report Released

[Monday, October 04, 2004] On September 6, 2003, the NOAA N-Prime satellite fell to the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company factory floor in Sunnyvale, CA. Technicians were working on the spacecraft, when the accident happened. The spacecraft suffered significant damage.

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Frequent Starbursts Sterilize Center of Milky Way »» Frequent Starbursts Sterilize Center of Milky Way

[Monday, October 04, 2004] Life near the center of our galaxy never had a chance. Every 20 million years on average, gas pours into the galactic center and slams together, creating millions of new stars.

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Hubble Team Receives International Academy of Astronautics Award »» Hubble Team Receives International Academy of Astronautics Award

[Monday, October 04, 2004] The Hubble Space Telescope team was selected by the International Academy of Astronautics to receive the 2004 Laurels for Team Achievement award.

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NASA Infrared Images May Provide Volcano Clues »» NASA Infrared Images May Provide Volcano Clues

[Monday, October 04, 2004] NASA scientists took infrared digital images of Mt. St. Helens last week. The images revealed signs of heat below the surface one day before the volcano erupted last Friday. The images may provide valuable clues as to how the volcano erupted.

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Steering Problems on Spirit »» Steering Problems on Spirit

[Tuesday, October 05, 2004] Engineers on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover team are investigating possible causes and remedies for a problem affecting the steering on Spirit.

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Mystery Object Neither Star Nor Brown Dwarf »» Mystery Object Neither Star Nor Brown Dwarf

[Tuesday, October 05, 2004] Astronomers have peered inside a violent binary star system to find that one of the interacting stars has lost so much mass to its partner that it has regressed to a strange, inert body resembling no known star type.

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NASA Studies Space Railway to Explore Origins of Planets, Stars, and Galaxies »» NASA Studies Space Railway to Explore Origins of Planets, Stars, and Galaxies

[Tuesday, October 05, 2004] A NASA-led team is studying the construction of a railway in space for a pair of telescopes that will provide views of planet, star, and galaxy formation in unprecedented detail.

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NOAA Satellites, Scientists Monitor Mt. St. Helens for Possible Eruption »» NOAA Satellites, Scientists Monitor Mt. St. Helens for Possible Eruption

[Wednesday, October 06, 2004] If Mount St. Helens erupts, NOAA is ready to respond -- from satellite images and models that track the dispersion of ash clouds, to warning pilots flying too close to the plumes.

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Arianespace to launch 50 nanosatellites in historic mission »» Arianespace to launch 50 nanosatellites in historic mission

[Wednesday, October 06, 2004] To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first man-made satellite, Arianespace will launch a cluster of 50 nanosatellites for the International Astronautical Federation in 2007.

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NASA Award Notice: Hubble Robotic Vehicle Deorbit Module (HRVDM) »» NASA Award Notice: Hubble Robotic Vehicle Deorbit Module (HRVDM)

[Wednesday, October 06, 2004] Contract Award Date: Sep 24, 2004
Contract Award Number: NNG05EA01C
Contract Award Amount: $330,578,914

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Spacehab Receives Response from NASA Regarding Claim for Losses on Space Shuttle Mission »» Spacehab Receives Response from NASA Regarding Claim for Losses on Space Shuttle Mission

[Wednesday, October 06, 2004] NASA's determination states that its liability is limited to the contractually-stipulated $8.0 million contract provision. The Company is pursuing receipt of the $8.0 million plus interest from NASA in this fiscal quarter.

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Celebrating 20 years of Canadians in Space »» Celebrating 20 years of Canadians in Space

[Wednesday, October 06, 2004] Twenty years ago, on October 5, 1984, all eyes in Canada were drawn the launch and pride swelled, as Marc Garneau became the first Canadian to lift off and travel into space.

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SpaceX Transfers Falcon Rocket to Vandenberg Launch Complex »» SpaceX Transfers Falcon Rocket to Vandenberg Launch Complex

[Wednesday, October 06, 2004] Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) has transferred the Falcon I flight vehicle to its launch complex at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The vehicle will now undergo a series of pre-launch tests.

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Sopping salts could reveal history of water on Mars »» Sopping salts could reveal history of water on Mars

[Thursday, October 07, 2004] Epsom-like salts believed to be common on Mars may be a major source of water there. In a report in this week's Nature, scientists also speculate that the salts will provide a chemical record of water on the Red Planet.

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NASA Approves Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Mission To Seek Nearest Stars, Brightest Galaxies »» NASA Approves Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Mission To Seek Nearest Stars, Brightest Galaxies

[Thursday, October 07, 2004] A new NASA mission will scan the entire sky in infrared light in search of nearby cool stars, planetary construction zones and the brightest galaxies in the universe.

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NASA Study Shows Potential for Antarctic Climate Change »» NASA Study Shows Potential for Antarctic Climate Change

[Thursday, October 07, 2004] While Antarctica has mostly cooled over the last 30 years, the trend is likely to rapidly reverse, according to a computer model study by NASA researchers.

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NASA's Great Observatories May Unravel 400 Year Old Supernova Mystery »» NASA's Great Observatories May Unravel 400 Year Old Supernova Mystery

[Thursday, October 07, 2004] Modern astronomers using NASA's three orbiting Great Observatories are unraveling the mysteries of the expanding remains of Kepler's supernova, the last such object seen to explode in our Milky Way galaxy.

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Truly an Image of Another World »» Truly an Image of Another World

[Thursday, October 07, 2004] This image was taken by Rover Opportunity's Navcam inside Endeavour Crater, Meridiani, Mars on 6 October 2004.

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Canadian Space Agency marks launch of breakthrough satellite services for Canadians »» Canadian Space Agency marks launch of breakthrough satellite services for Canadians

[Friday, October 08, 2004] The world's largest commercial communications satellite, Telesat's Anik F2, became fully operational this week following final in-orbit testing.

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NASA's Mars Rovers Probing Water History at Two Sites »» NASA's Mars Rovers Probing Water History at Two Sites

[Friday, October 08, 2004] Spirit and Opportunity have been exploring Mars about three times as long as originally scheduled. The more they look, the more evidence of past liquid water on Mars these robots discover.

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Air Force Space Command officials unveil new space badge »» Air Force Space Command officials unveil new space badge

[Friday, October 08, 2004] The new badge replaces the current space and missile functional badge worn by space and missile operations professionals. It is part of AFSPC's senior leaders' continuing vision to unite the command's missions and specialties.

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What Is Life - and How Do We Search for It in Other Worlds? »» What Is Life - and How Do We Search for It in Other Worlds?

[Friday, October 08, 2004] I need a tricorder - a hand-held device that can detect life forms even from orbit. Unfortunately, we don't have a clue how a tricorder might work, since life forms don't seem to have any observable property that distinguishes them from inanimate matter.

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NASA KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building Back in Business »» NASA KSC's Vehicle Assembly Building Back in Business

[Friday, October 08, 2004] The Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC sports a patchwork façade after the holes created by recent hurricanes were covered with corrugated steel panels.

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Study Suggests Component of Volcanic Gas May Have Played a Significant Role in the Origins of Life on Earth »» Study Suggests Component of Volcanic Gas May Have Played a Significant Role in the Origins of Life on Earth

[Friday, October 08, 2004] Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies are reporting a possible answer to a longstanding question in research on the origins of life on Earth -- how did the first amino acids form the first peptides?

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Astronomers Demonstrate a Global Internet Telescope »» Astronomers Demonstrate a Global Internet Telescope

[Friday, October 08, 2004] Researchers have managed to observe a distant star by using the world's research networks to create a giant virtual telescope. The process has allowed them to image the object with unprecedented detail, in real-time.

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House Passes Bill Extending Protection for Satellite Launches »» House Passes Bill Extending Protection for Satellite Launches

[Friday, October 08, 2004] The House tonight passed, by unanimous consent, a bill (H.R. 5245) 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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Latest Images of Venus Express »» Latest Images of Venus Express

[Saturday, October 09, 2004] Venus Express shas been assembled at Alenia, Torino over the past 5 months. At the time of these photographs, the satellite was in its "open" configuration, to allow testing of individual units and subsystems once mounted on the spacecraft structure

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NASA'S New Astronauts Get Weightless »» NASA'S New Astronauts Get Weightless

[Saturday, October 09, 2004] Fresh from flight training in Houston and their first head-over-heels sample of weightlessness, NASA's astronaut candidates are available to meet with the media at 2 p.m. CDT, Thursday, Oct. 14 at Ellington Field.

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The Flow of Interstellar Helium in the Solar System »» The Flow of Interstellar Helium in the Solar System

[Saturday, October 09, 2004] Through observations with instruments on several ESA and NASA spacecraft scientists have compiled for the first time a consistent set of the physical parameters of helium in the very local interstellar gas cloud the surrounds the solar system.

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Russian delegation at International Astronautical Federation in Vancouver »» Russian delegation at International Astronautical Federation in Vancouver

[Saturday, October 09, 2004] The leader of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) Anatoly Permoniv took part in the 55th International Astronautical Congress in Vancouver, Canada, organized by the International Astronautical Federation.

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Legendary NASA Spacecraft Designer Dr. Maxime A. Faget Dies at 83 »» Legendary NASA Spacecraft Designer Dr. Maxime A. Faget Dies at 83

[Sunday, October 10, 2004] The man who designed the original spacecraft for Project Mercury and is credited with contributing to the designs of every U.S. human spacecraft from Mercury to the Space Shuttle has died.

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Spirit Rover Panorama of Columbia Hills »» Spirit Rover Panorama of Columbia Hills

[Sunday, October 10, 2004] This stunning image mosaic of the "Columbia Hills" is the first 360-degree panorama taken since the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit arrived at the hills over a month ago.

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Max Faget: Master Builder »» Max Faget: Master Builder

[Sunday, October 10, 2004] The cosmonauts would have perished in the blaze if their capsule had not been hurled clear by an ingenious escape system designed by a NASA engineer named Max Faget. Knowing a good thing when they saw one, the Soviets had copied the system.

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Extrasolar Planets: A Matter of Metallicity »» Extrasolar Planets: A Matter of Metallicity

[Monday, October 11, 2004] 130 planets have been discovered orbiting nearby stars. By studying the planets that have been found - their masses, their orbits and their stars - they are uncovering intriguing hints that our galaxy may be brimming with solar systems like our own.

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Next Space Station Crew to Launch on Oct. 13 »» Next Space Station Crew to Launch on Oct. 13

[Monday, October 11, 2004] The 10th crew of the International Space Station is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Oct. 13 at 11:06 p.m. EDT for a six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory.

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UK astronomers Scan the Skies for Threat from Space »» UK astronomers Scan the Skies for Threat from Space

[Wednesday, October 13, 2004] British astronomers are providing a vital component to the world-wide effort of identifying and monitoring rogue asteroids and comets. From this month, the UK Astrometry and Photometry Programme will track NEOs.

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NASA Begins Full-scale Rehearsals for Shuttle's Return to Flight »» NASA Begins Full-scale Rehearsals for Shuttle's Return to Flight

[Wednesday, October 13, 2004] Training for the Space Shuttle's return to flight entered a new phase today as the astronauts and Mission Control began full-scale rehearsals that will continue until days before launch.

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Space Station Cupola Arrives at NASA KSC From Italy »» Space Station Cupola Arrives at NASA KSC From Italy

[Wednesday, October 13, 2004] The world's ultimate observation deck, a control tower for robotics in space, and a sunroom like no other, has arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

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Newfound Star Cluster may be Final Milky Way 'Fossil' »» Newfound Star Cluster may be Final Milky Way 'Fossil'

[Wednesday, October 13, 2004] Just when astronomers thought they might have dug up the last of our galaxy's "fossils," they've discovered a new one in the galactic equivalent of our own backyard.

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Expedition 10 Launches, Heads to Space Station »» Expedition 10 Launches, Heads to Space Station

[Wednesday, October 13, 2004] The ISS Expedition 10 crew is on its way. The ISS Soyuz 9 spacecraft carrying Commander Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:06 p.m. CDT Wednesday (0306 GMT Thursday).

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Photo Report: Launch of Soyuz TMA-5 Carry Expedition 10 Crew »» Photo Report: Launch of Soyuz TMA-5 Carry Expedition 10 Crew

[Thursday, October 14, 2004] Soyuz TMA-5 launched at 10:06 p.m. CDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan and is on course to catch up and dock with the Station at 11:25 p.m. CDT Friday, Oct. 15.

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Debating Space: A Tale of Two Policies - One Real, One TBD »» Debating Space: A Tale of Two Policies - One Real, One TBD

[Thursday, October 14, 2004] A hundred or so space professionals gathered in Washington, DC to hear a debate between representatives of the Bush and Kerry campaigns on space policy. One campaign talked about what it was doing in space - the other talked about what it might do.

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New propulsion concept could make 90-day Mars round trip possible »» New propulsion concept could make 90-day Mars round trip possible

[Thursday, October 14, 2004] A new means of propelling spacecraft being developed at the University of Washington could dramatically cut the time needed for astronauts to travel to and from Mars and could make humans a permanent fixture in space.

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OECD Develops Policy Recommendations for a New Generation of Large Projects in Astronomy »» OECD Develops Policy Recommendations for a New Generation of Large Projects in Astronomy

[Friday, October 15, 2004] The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Science Forum has developed findings and recommendations regarding future large projects in astronomy. It urges scientists to present a unified coherent vision for large, expensive projects.

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Magnetic Stars Puzzle Solved by Astrophysicists »» Magnetic Stars Puzzle Solved by Astrophysicists

[Friday, October 15, 2004] How does one explain the enormous magnetic field strengths of the so-called magnetic stars? This question concerning magnetic fields in the cosmos, first posed half a century ago, has now been answered by scientists of the Max Planck Institute.

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Crawler's New Shoes to Help Space Shuttle Move Toward Return to Flight »» Crawler's New Shoes to Help Space Shuttle Move Toward Return to Flight

[Friday, October 15, 2004] NASA’s two crawler transporter vehicles soon will sport new “shoes.” A $10 million project to replace the 456 tread belt shoes, weighing more than one ton each, on both crawlers at Kennedy Space Center begins mid-October.

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Tense Manual Docking Required as Replacement Crew Arrives at the Space Station »» Tense Manual Docking Required as Replacement Crew Arrives at the Space Station

[Saturday, October 16, 2004] Russian Cosmonaut Sharipov was forced to guide the Soyuz to a manual docking after the automated Kurs rendezvous system failed. While the situation was tense, the crew is trained to perform a manual approach, and the docking proceeded without incident.

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Deep Impact Arrives in Florida to Prepare for Launch »» Deep Impact Arrives in Florida to Prepare for Launch

[Monday, October 18, 2004] NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has arrived in Florida to begin final preparations for a launch on Dec. 30. Deep Impact is designed to launch a copper projectile into the surface of Comet Tempel 1 July 4, 2005 when the comet is 83 million miles from Earth.

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Last Ion Engine Thrust Puts SMART-1 on the Right Track for its Moon Encounter »» Last Ion Engine Thrust Puts SMART-1 on the Right Track for its Moon Encounter

[Monday, October 18, 2004] From 10 to 14 October the ion engine of ESA’s SMART-1 carried out a continuous thrust manoeuvre in a last major push that will get the spacecraft to the Moon capture point on 13 November.

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Gourmet Cooking on the way to Mars »» Gourmet Cooking on the way to Mars

[Monday, October 18, 2004] Technologies from space provide new solutions for food handling on Earth. In exchange travellers in space will get gourmet menus from Earth to cheer them up during long space missions, including recipes for travellers to Mars.

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Astronomers Discover Planet Building is Big Mess »» Astronomers Discover Planet Building is Big Mess

[Monday, October 18, 2004] Planets are built over a long period of massive collisions between rocky bodies as big as mountain ranges, astronomers announced today. New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal surprisingly large dust clouds around several stars.

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NASA: Taking the Vision to the Next Step »» NASA: Taking the Vision to the Next Step

[Monday, October 18, 2004] NASA is taking the next steps in moving The Vision for Space Exploration from concept to reality. The agency is already exploring and refining the concepts that will help America return to the Moon, and ultimately travel to Mars and beyond.

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Ralph is late for NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto »» Ralph is late for NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto

[Tuesday, October 19, 2004] One of the instruments slated to fly aboard the New Horizons mission to Pluto is late and threatens to affect the entire mission.

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NASA Announces DART Launch Schedule »» NASA Announces DART Launch Schedule

[Tuesday, October 19, 2004] NASA's Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) spacecraft is scheduled to launch Oct. 26, at 2:13 p.m. EDT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif.

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NASA Announces Cassini Titan Flyby Coverage »» NASA Announces Cassini Titan Flyby Coverage

[Tuesday, October 19, 2004] Titan will be examined up close by the Cassini spacecraft next Tuesday. Cassini will fly by Titan at 1,200 kilometers (745 miles). Cassini's radar will also be used for the first time to image Titan.

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Background on Space Shuttle Launch Date Changes »» Background on Space Shuttle Launch Date Changes

[Tuesday, October 19, 2004] NASA's Shuttle program has proposed that launch dates for STS-114, STS-121 and STS-115 be pushed back to accomodate issues associated with returning the Space Shuttle fleet to service. This presentation details the rationale behind these shifts.

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Transcript of a NASAWatch.com Interview with ISS Astronauts Fincke and Chiao »» Transcript of a NASAWatch.com Interview with ISS Astronauts Fincke and Chiao

[Tuesday, October 19, 2004] "... we are 225 miles closer to the stars. We are humanity's only outpost at this time. That is something very special. This is definitely an expedition - and I am very proud to have been a part of Expedition 9. Wow. What a trip!"

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ESA's Hipparcos finds rebels with a cause »» ESA's Hipparcos finds rebels with a cause

[Wednesday, October 20, 2004] Based on data from ESA's Hipparcos observatory, our stellar neighbourhood is the crossroads of streams of stars coming from several directions. Some of the stars hosting planetary systems could be immigrants from more central regions of the Milky Way.

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Scientists complete experiments in the Arctic before CryoSat launch »» Scientists complete experiments in the Arctic before CryoSat launch

[Wednesday, October 20, 2004] Scientists from the UK, Canada and Germany spent August and September isolated on vast ice-sheets in the Arctic in order to complete the last in a series of crucial pre-launch validation measurements for ESA's CryoSat mission.

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NRAO Project Releases New Sky View Made with VLA »» NRAO Project Releases New Sky View Made with VLA

[Wednesday, October 20, 2004] Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) have overcome longstanding technical hurdles to map the sky at little-explored radio frequencies that may provide a tantalizing look deep into the early Universe.

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Solar Minimum Is Coming Sooner Than Expected »» Solar Minimum Is Coming Sooner Than Expected

[Wednesday, October 20, 2004] Something strange happened on the sun last week: all the sunspots vanished. This is a sign, say scientists, that solar minimum is coming sooner than expected.

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Columbus Control Centre inaugurated in Oberpfaffenhofen »» Columbus Control Centre inaugurated in Oberpfaffenhofen

[Wednesday, October 20, 2004] On 19 October 2004, ESA and DLR officially inaugurated the Columbus Control Centre. The Columbus Control Centre is now ready to take up operations of the European elements of the International Space Station.

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Meteorite Crater Drilling Provides Extensive Samples -- and a Mystery »» Meteorite Crater Drilling Provides Extensive Samples -- and a Mystery

[Wednesday, October 20, 2004] Drillings made in the Bosumtwi crater in Ghana, one of the youngest meteorite craters in the world, led to yet another mysterious finding -- the rock formation caused by the heat of the meteoric impact is only half as thick as expected.

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I, Robotic Telescope »» I, Robotic Telescope

[Wednesday, October 20, 2004] Today, the world of astronomy meets the science fiction world with the commissioning of a new robotic telescope. This robot will aid in humanity's quest to understand the early universe by observing the most distant and powerful explosions known.

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Dittmar Associates' Market Study for the Space Exploration Program »» Dittmar Associates' Market Study for the Space Exploration Program

[Wednesday, October 20, 2004] On the eve of the Presidential election, Americans continue to support human space flight and endorse the Space Exploration plan to return to the Moon and to Mars, but they also question the relationship of NASA to its constituents.

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Officials activate National Security Space Institute »» Officials activate National Security Space Institute

[Wednesday, October 20, 2004] Air Force Space Command officials stood up a space education and training organization here recently that they said will provide the foundation to creating a new generation of space professionals.

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NASA Administrator Names New Chief Scientist »» NASA Administrator Names New Chief Scientist

[Thursday, October 21, 2004] Sean O'Keefe has announced that Chief Scientist and astronaut John Grunsfeld will return to NASA JSC. O'Keefe appointed Dr. James Garvin, chief scientist for NASA's Mars and lunar exploration programs, as the new Chief Scientist, effective immediately.

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As The World Turns, It Drags Space and Time »» As The World Turns, It Drags Space and Time

[Thursday, October 21, 2004] An international team of NASA and university researchers has found the first direct evidence the Earth is dragging space and time around itself as it rotates.

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Where There's a Will to Vote, There's a Way - Even in Space »» Where There's a Will to Vote, There's a Way - Even in Space

[Thursday, October 21, 2004] Floating around the Earth 230 miles up, NASA Astronaut Leroy Chiao is not too far from the polls to stand up and be counted on Election Day.

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Strong Earth Tides Can Trigger Earthquakes, UCLA Scientists Report »» Strong Earth Tides Can Trigger Earthquakes, UCLA Scientists Report

[Thursday, October 21, 2004] Earthquakes can be triggered by the Earth's tides. Earth tides are produced by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun on the Earth, causing the ocean's waters to slosh, which in turn raise and lower stress on faults roughly twice a day.

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New scholarship for the International Space University »» New scholarship for the International Space University

[Thursday, October 21, 2004] The National Space Society, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, and the Space Generation Foundation today announced a new scholarship for the International Space University.  The scholarship, worth $12,000.

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NASA Helps Find Lifelong Gene Activity in Live Organisms »» NASA Helps Find Lifelong Gene Activity in Live Organisms

[Friday, October 22, 2004] NASA scientists and their academic colleagues are providing valuable insights into how DNA encodes instructions for control of basic biological functions. Their research may change the understanding of human diseases.

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More Steering Problems for Spirit »» More Steering Problems for Spirit

[Friday, October 22, 2004] A problem that affects the steering on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has recurred after disappearing for nearly two weeks.

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Sloan Digital Sky Survey Finds Mysterious New Milky Way Companion »» Sloan Digital Sky Survey Finds Mysterious New Milky Way Companion

[Friday, October 22, 2004] Most of the stars in our galaxy lie in a very flat, pinwheel-shaped disk. Although this disk is prominent in galaxies similar to the Milky Way, there is also a very diffuse spherical "halo" of stars surrounding and enclosing the disks of such galaxies.

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Cassini Titan Flyby Mission Description »» Cassini Titan Flyby Mission Description

[Friday, October 22, 2004] Cassini's first flyby of Titan occurs on October 26, 2004 at 15:30 UTC (8:30 am PDT). Cassini's closest approach to Titan is at an altitude of 1200 km (746 miles) above the surface at a speed of 6.1 kilometers per second (14,000 mph).

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Expedition 10 Takes Over Space Station »» Expedition 10 Takes Over Space Station

[Friday, October 22, 2004] The traditional ceremony of Change-of-Command from Expedition 9 (Gennady Padalka, Michael Fincke) to Expedition 10 (Leroy Chiao, Salizhan Sharipov) took place at 11:10am EDT, transmitted to the ground via Ku- and S-band and aired live on NASA TV.

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Controlled Antihydrogen Propulsion for NASA's Future in Very Deep Space »» Controlled Antihydrogen Propulsion for NASA's Future in Very Deep Space

[Saturday, October 23, 2004] "We briefly discuss the history of antimatter research and focus on the technologies that must be developed to allow a future use of controlled, condensed antihydrogen for propulsion purposes."

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Expedition 9 Returns to Earth »» Expedition 9 Returns to Earth

[Saturday, October 23, 2004] The Expedition 9 crew -Commander Gennady Padalka and NASA ISS Science Officer Mike Fincke - and Russian Space Forces Test Cosmonaut Yuri Shargin have returned to Earth. Landing occured without incident at 8:36 p.m. EDT (0036 GMT).

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Draft Paper Provides Insight Into NASA Space Policy Options »» Draft Paper Provides Insight Into NASA Space Policy Options

[Sunday, October 24, 2004] A draft policy paper circulating around Washington provides some insight into what some space watchers and NASA employees think NASA should be doing in space - especially when it comes to the risks inherent in NASA's current human launch systems.

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Cassini Closes in on Titan »» Cassini Closes in on Titan

[Sunday, October 24, 2004] This Cassini image was taken on October 23, 2004 and received on Earth October 24, 2004. The camera was pointing toward Titan at approximately 1,544,962 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CB3 filters.

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Planetesimal belts are discovered around beta Pictoris - revealing an early  extrasolar planetary system »» Planetesimal belts are discovered around beta Pictoris - revealing an early extrasolar planetary system

[Monday, October 25, 2004] Beta Pic is a young main-sequence star with an edge-on circumstellar disk. The dust in this ring is not the remains from the protoplanetary disk and must be replenished by planetesimal collisions and/or evaporation from comets.

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First Close Encounter of Saturn's Hazy Moon Titan »» First Close Encounter of Saturn's Hazy Moon Titan

[Monday, October 25, 2004] Titan, the only known moon with an atmosphere, is ready for its close-up on Oct. 26.  This visit by Cassinimay settle intense speculation about whether this moon of Saturn harbors oceans of liquid methane and ethane beneath its coat of clouds. 

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Martian meteorite measurements give information on planet evolution »» Martian meteorite measurements give information on planet evolution

[Monday, October 25, 2004] Scientists at Yale University have devised a method to precisely date the timing and temperature of a meteorite impact on Mars that led to ejection of a piece of the planet into space and its eventual impact on Earth.

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Kerry Campaign Statement on Space »» Kerry Campaign Statement on Space

[Monday, October 25, 2004] "Americans are justifiably proud of this nation's past aeronautics and space accomplishments. John Kerry and John Edwards believe that maintaining and increasing America's leadership in aerospace is more important now than ever."

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NASA's DART launch Postponed »» NASA's DART launch Postponed

[Tuesday, October 26, 2004] NASA and Orbital Sciences Corp. have postponed today's launch of the Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) spacecraft because the target satellite had a temporary loss of Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) reception.

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Chandra's Find of Lonely Halo Raises Questions About Dark Matter »» Chandra's Find of Lonely Halo Raises Questions About Dark Matter

[Tuesday, October 26, 2004] Dark matter continues to confound astronomers, as NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory demonstrated with the detection of an extensive envelope of dark matter around an isolated elliptical galaxy.

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NASA Begins Full-Scale Rehearsals for Shuttle's Return to Flight »» NASA Begins Full-Scale Rehearsals for Shuttle's Return to Flight

[Tuesday, October 26, 2004] Training for the Space Shuttle's return to flight entered a new phase today as the astronauts and Mission Control began full-scale rehearsals that will continue until days before launch.

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Letter to the NASA Space Shuttle Team From Wayne Hale on Risk »» Letter to the NASA Space Shuttle Team From Wayne Hale on Risk

[Tuesday, October 26, 2004] This week I will attending the NASA Risk Management Conference.  It is my intention to understand this process better and apply it in program decision making as my personal contribution to improved safety in the Space Shuttle Program.

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Gigantic Cosmic Corkscrew Reveals New Details About Mysterious Microquasar »» Gigantic Cosmic Corkscrew Reveals New Details About Mysterious Microquasar

[Tuesday, October 26, 2004] Astrophysicists have used the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to capture the faintest details yet seen in the plasma jets emerging from the microquasar SS 433, an object once dubbed the "enigma of the century."

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First Close-up Images of Titan's Surface »» First Close-up Images of Titan's Surface

[Tuesday, October 26, 2004] The Cassini spacecraft which flew by Titan earlier today has started to return has started to return detailed images of Titan and its surface. These are the best images of Titan we have ever seen.

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Stellar Survivor From 1572 A.D. Explosion Supports Supernova Theory »» Stellar Survivor From 1572 A.D. Explosion Supports Supernova Theory

[Wednesday, October 27, 2004] An international team of astronomers announced today that they have identified the probable surviving companion star to a titanic supernova explosion witnessed in the year 1572 by the great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era.

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Titan in False Color »» Titan in False Color

[Wednesday, October 27, 2004] This image shows Titan in ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. It was taken by Cassini's imaging science subsystem on Oct. 26, 2004, and is constructed from four images acquired through different color filters.

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Hugyens' Landing Site »» Hugyens' Landing Site

[Wednesday, October 27, 2004] Shown here are two images of the expected landing site of Cassini's Huygens probe which will seperate from the Cassini spacecraft on December 24. It will then take 22 days before Huygens begins its descent through Titan's atmosphere landing on January 15.

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DART Launch Postponed Again »» DART Launch Postponed Again

[Thursday, October 28, 2004] NASA and Orbital Sciences Corp. have postponed today's launch of the Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) spacecraft due to the discovery of particulate contamination found inside the fairing of the Pegasus launch vehicle.

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The Sun is More Active Now than Over the Last 8000 Years »» The Sun is More Active Now than Over the Last 8000 Years

[Thursday, October 28, 2004] An international team of scientists has reconstructed the Sun's activity over the last 11 millennia and forecasts decreased activity within a few decades.

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Does Detecting Methane Lead to Life on Mars? »» Does Detecting Methane Lead to Life on Mars?

[Thursday, October 28, 2004] University of Michigan Professor Sushil Atreya suggests that methane gas detected on Mars is the clearest indicator yet that there could be life there.

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NASA NEO News: Impact Hyperbole »» NASA NEO News: Impact Hyperbole

[Thursday, October 28, 2004] Many observers of the science press have noted an increasing tendency for both press releases and printed stories to exaggerate the uniqueness and impact of new research. The field of impacts (and impact hazards) is not immune to these trends.

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NASA Cassini's Radar Shows Titan's Young Active Surface »» NASA Cassini's Radar Shows Titan's Young Active Surface

[Friday, October 29, 2004] The first radar images of Saturn's moon Titan show a very complex geological surface that may be relatively young.  Previously, Titan's surface was hidden behind a veil of thick haze.

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NASA Provides Update on Return to Flight for the Space Shuttle Fleet »» NASA Provides Update on Return to Flight for the Space Shuttle Fleet

[Friday, October 29, 2004] A press telecon was held today with NASA Space Operations Mission Directorate Associate Administrator William Readdy, Deputy AA Michael Kostelnik, and Walter Cantrell who is co-chair with Readdy of the Space Flight Leadership Council.

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Travelling to Mars and hibernating like a brown bear »» Travelling to Mars and hibernating like a brown bear

[Friday, October 29, 2004] With automatic systems in control, astronauts would face the challenge of living in a confined space with not much to do for an extremely long period. "Might as well sleep it off!"

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NASA'S Mars Rovers Pass the 50,000-Picture Mark »» NASA'S Mars Rovers Pass the 50,000-Picture Mark

[Friday, October 29, 2004] A view of the sundial-like calibration target on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, with a bit of martian terrain in the background, is the 50,000th image from the twin rovers that have been exploring Mars since January.

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NASA and U.S. Navy Join to Celebrate Spirit of Exploration »» NASA and U.S. Navy Join to Celebrate Spirit of Exploration

[Saturday, October 30, 2004] NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe acknowledged past acts of discovery and heroism, while challenging future generations to continue the American spirit of exploration.

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NASA Cassini Image: F Ring (and Satellite?) »» NASA Cassini Image: F Ring (and Satellite?)

[Sunday, October 31, 2004] This image was taken on October 29, 2004. The camera was pointing toward Saturn's rings at approximately 790,933 kilometers away.

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Scientists zero in on why time flows in one direction »» Scientists zero in on why time flows in one direction

[Sunday, October 31, 2004] The big bang could be a normal event in the natural evolution of the universe that will happen repeatedly over incredibly vast time scales as the universe expands, empties out and cools off, according to two University of Chicago physicists.

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Antarctic meteorites: Chip off the red planet »» Antarctic meteorites: Chip off the red planet

[Sunday, October 31, 2004] The Antarctic meteorite hunters knew they'd found something good when they spotted the crusty black rock on a Miller Range ice field last year."The field notes said, 'this is very, very, very sexy.' Three verys," said Ralph Harvey, head of ANSMET.

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