October 2006 Top Story Archives



Weightless Over Cleveland - Part 1: Floating Teachers »» Weightless Over Cleveland - Part 1: Floating Teachers

[Sunday, October 1, 2006] "A few weeks ago I had an experience - one that I will remember for a lifetime. Along with several dozen teachers, I flew aboard a jet aircraft as it went through a flight profile designed to produce authentic weightlessness."

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Weightless Over Cleveland - Part 2: Learning to Fly »» Weightless Over Cleveland - Part 2: Learning to Fly

[Sunday, October 1, 2006] "I have always found using my personal perspective as a backdrop to be the most effective way to describe things. For this experience I simply cannot fathom how I could describe it and not include my own impressions, emotions, and aspirations."

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Victoria's Secret »» Victoria's Secret

[Monday, October 2, 2006] Opportunity is beginning complex and dangerous science operations 242 million mi. from Earth at the massive Victoria crater, the most spectacular and potentially significant target of the entire $800-million twin-rover Mars surface exploration mission.

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NASA Scientist Shares Nobel Prize for Physics »» NASA Scientist Shares Nobel Prize for Physics

[Tuesday, October 3, 2006] NASA's John Mather and LBL's George Smoot analyzed data from NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), which studied the pattern of radiation from the first few instants after the universe was formed.

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Note on Discontinuation of NASA Mars Picture of the Day »» Note on Discontinuation of NASA Mars Picture of the Day

[Tuesday, October 3, 2006] Owing to changes in funding levels, personnel responsibilities, and a desire to be more flexible and responsive to the announcement of important new MOC findings, the MOC Picture of the Day daily release activity has been suspended.

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Planets Prefer Safe Neighborhoods »» Planets Prefer Safe Neighborhoods

[Tuesday, October 3, 2006] A star must live in a relatively tranquil cosmic neighborhood to foster planet formation, say astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Astronomers Construct Largest-Ever 3D Map of Galaxies and Their Motions Over the Entire Sky »» Astronomers Construct Largest-Ever 3D Map of Galaxies and Their Motions Over the Entire Sky

[Tuesday, October 3, 2006] An international team of American, Australian and British astronomers has released maps from the largest full-sky, three-dimensional survey of galaxies ever conducted.

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Space for Saving Lives: United Nations to Celebrate World Space Week 2006 »» Space for Saving Lives: United Nations to Celebrate World Space Week 2006

[Tuesday, October 3, 2006] The theme of this year's World Space Week is "Space for Saving Lives", highlighting the many ways that space helps to save lives on Earth. This includes disaster management, telemedicine and environmental protection.

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NASA Extends Prize Funding for Space Elevator Challenges to 5 Years »» NASA Extends Prize Funding for Space Elevator Challenges to 5 Years

[Tuesday, October 3, 2006] The Spaceward Foundation in collaboration with NASA today announced a significant expansion of the Power Beaming and Tether Challenges. These two events are collectively known as the Space Elevator Games.

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Partnership in Space Activities - Speech by NASA Administrator Griffin at the International Astronautical Congress 3 October 2006 »» Partnership in Space Activities - Speech by NASA Administrator Griffin at the International Astronautical Congress 3 October 2006

[Tuesday, October 3, 2006] "'Thank you for inviting me to the 57th annual gathering of the IAC. This Congress is just about as old as I am, so obviously the people dedicated to putting this meeting together are in the space business for the long haul."

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Hubble Finds Extrasolar Planets Far Across Galaxy »» Hubble Finds Extrasolar Planets Far Across Galaxy

[Wednesday, October 4, 2006] NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered 16 extrasolar planet candidates orbiting a variety of distant stars in the central region of our Milky Way galaxy.

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Researchers Discover Magnetic Islands Are Enegry Source for Mysterious Super High Speed Electrons »» Researchers Discover Magnetic Islands Are Enegry Source for Mysterious Super High Speed Electrons

[Wednesday, October 4, 2006] Scientists appear to have solved a key remaining mystery about how the interaction of magnetic fields produce the explosive releases of energy seen in solar flares, storms in the Earth's magnetosphere and many other powerful cosmic events.

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New Window of Universe Opens at Griffith; Unprecedented Image from Palomar »» New Window of Universe Opens at Griffith; Unprecedented Image from Palomar

[Wednesday, October 4, 2006] Scientists have produced the largest astronomical image ever so as to inspire the public with the wonders of space exploration. The image has been reproduced as a giant mural in the new exhibit hall of the Griffith Observatory, which will reopen Nov. 3.

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Record ozone loss during 2006 over South Pole »» Record ozone loss during 2006 over South Pole

[Wednesday, October 4, 2006] Ozone measurements made by ESA's Envisat satellite have revealed the ozone loss of 40 million tonnes on 2 October 2006 has exceeded the record ozone loss of about 39 million tonnes for 2000.

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NASA Space Station Commander, Crew to Take a Short Trip »» NASA Space Station Commander, Crew to Take a Short Trip

[Wednesday, October 4, 2006] The International Space Station's residents will take a brief ride around their home on Tuesday, Oct. 10, and NASA TV will provide live coverage of the short journey.

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Rep. Gordon Seeks Answers on NOAA's Cover-Up of Hurricane Report »» Rep. Gordon Seeks Answers on NOAA's Cover-Up of Hurricane Report

[Wednesday, October 4, 2006] U.S. House Committee on Science Ranking Member Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) today asked the NOAA Administrator for all documentation relating to the suppression of a NOAA Hurricane FAQ report.

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Mug Shots of Supernovas Reveal Two Key Findings »» Mug Shots of Supernovas Reveal Two Key Findings

[Wednesday, October 4, 2006] Scientists using NASA's Swift satellite have observed two dozen recent star explosions, called supernovae, quickly after the event and have discovered never-before-seen properties, some of which run counter to prevailing theories.

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NASA Seeks Undergrads to Experiment in Lunar and Zero Gravity »» NASA Seeks Undergrads to Experiment in Lunar and Zero Gravity

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] NASA is calling on college undergraduates interested in performing reduced gravity experiments onboard the agency's "Weightless Wonder" aircraft to submit their proposals by Monday, Oct. 30.

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First Quantum Teleportation between Light and Matter »» First Quantum Teleportation between Light and Matter

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen have succeeded in transferring a quantum state of light to a material object - an ensemble of atoms.

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NASA Performs Headcount of Local Black Holes »» NASA Performs Headcount of Local Black Holes

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] NASA scientists using the Swift satellite have conducted the first complete census of galaxies with active, central black holes, a project that scanned the entire sky several times over a nine-month period.

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Scientists Determine The Nature of Black Hole Jets »» Scientists Determine The Nature of Black Hole Jets

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] NASA and Italian scientists using Swift have for the first time determined what the particle jets streaming from black holes are made of.

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NASA data captures El Niño's return in the Pacific »» NASA data captures El Niño's return in the Pacific

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] Sea surface height anomalies on September 3, 2006, during a weak El Niño event. Yellow and red areas indicate where the waters are relatively higher (warmer) and have expanded above... Click here for more information.

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Chinese Lantern Technique Helps Track Clouds at Saturn »» Chinese Lantern Technique Helps Track Clouds at Saturn

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] A new image of Saturn demonstrates a technique that creates a 'Chinese lantern' effect, showing Saturn's deep clouds silhouetted against the planet’s warm, glowing interior.

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Chandra Reviews Black Hole Musical: Epic But Off-Key »» Chandra Reviews Black Hole Musical: Epic But Off-Key

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] A gigantic sonic boom generated by a supermassive black hole has been found with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, along with evidence for a cacophony of deep sound.

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Supernova radioisotopes show sun was born in star cluster, scientists say »» Supernova radioisotopes show sun was born in star cluster, scientists say

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] The death of a massive nearby star billions of years ago offers evidence the sun was born in a star cluster. Rather than being an only child, the sun could have hundreds or thousands of celestial siblings, now dispersed across the heavens.

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Scientists Nudge Closer to the Edge of a Black Hole »» Scientists Nudge Closer to the Edge of a Black Hole

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] NASA scientists and their international partners using the new Japanese Suzaku satellite have collected a startling new set of black hole observations, revealing details of twisted space and warped time never before seen with such precision.

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Astronomers unite to use Hawaii telescope »» Astronomers unite to use Hawaii telescope

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] Astronomers from several major research institutions around the world have signed an agreement with astronomers at the University of Hawaii to make use of a revolutionary new survey telescope on Haleakala on the island of Maui.

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Australia, South Africa, short-listed for giant telescope »» Australia, South Africa, short-listed for giant telescope

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] Australia and South Africa have been short-listed as the countries to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a giant next-generation radio telescope being developed by scientists in 17 countries.

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NASA Internal Email from Associate Administrator Rex Geveden Re: Mission Focus Review »» NASA Internal Email from Associate Administrator Rex Geveden Re: Mission Focus Review

[Thursday, October 5, 2006] "As a point of philosophy, this is not another exercise about doing more with less .... Rather, this is an exercise about doing less--about literally no longer doing those things that do not contribute to our missions."

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Galaxy Gardening More Than Hobby for Future Moon, Mars Residents »» Galaxy Gardening More Than Hobby for Future Moon, Mars Residents

[Friday, October 6, 2006] Long periods of total darkness and poor soil needn't stop an avid gardener. Lettuce is growing in cylinders designed by Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researchers to mimic conditions on the moon and Mars.

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Shadows and Silhouettes: Looking for Transits »» Shadows and Silhouettes: Looking for Transits

[Friday, October 6, 2006] On November 8, Mercury will transit the Sun. From Earth, we'll see the silhouette of Mercury travel across the disk of the Sun. Transits are uncommon but predictable events.

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NASA's Mars Rover and Orbiter Team Examines Victoria Crater »» NASA's Mars Rover and Orbiter Team Examines Victoria Crater

[Friday, October 6, 2006] While Opportunity spent its first week at the crater, NASA's MRO photographed the rover and its surroundings from above. The level of detail in the photo from the high-resolution camera on MRO will help guide the rover's exploration of Victoria.

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U.S. National Space Policy »» U.S. National Space Policy

[Friday, October 6, 2006] The President authorized a new national space policy on August 31, 2006 that establishes overarching national policy that governs the conduct of U.S. space activities.

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Exploration, Science, and Art: A Book Review of Terra Antarctica and Driving to Mars »» Exploration, Science, and Art: A Book Review of Terra Antarctica and Driving to Mars

[Saturday, October 7, 2006] When it comes to exploration, there's nothing like being there. All explorers need to tell others what they have seen - as well as find a way to understand and recall the experience themselves. Exploration is pointless if it is not shared.

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Hubble Observations Confirm that Planets Form from Disks Around Stars »» Hubble Observations Confirm that Planets Form from Disks Around Stars

[Monday, October 9, 2006] NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, in collaboration with ground-based observatories, has provided definitive evidence for the existence of the nearest extrasolar planet to our solar system.

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Workshop Report: Building and Maintaining the Constituency for  Long-Term Space Exploration »» Workshop Report: Building and Maintaining the Constituency for Long-Term Space Exploration

[Monday, October 9, 2006] This report documents the results of an invitation-only experts' Workshop organized and hosted by the Center for Aerospace Policy Research in the School of Public Policy of George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, VA, July 31-August 3, 2006.

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Communicating Visions »» Communicating Visions

[Monday, October 9, 2006] "How can NASA communicate with the public more effectively - not necessarily just regarding the Vision, but overall? There may be an as-yet untried way for NASA to help get the picture across."

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CBO Report: Alternatives for Future U.S. Space-Launch Capabilities »» CBO Report: Alternatives for Future U.S. Space-Launch Capabilities

[Tuesday, October 10, 2006] In considering manned lunar missions, CBO explored alternatives that would use existing launch vehicles; those that would require minor modifications to the designs of existing launchers); as well as new and much more capable launchers.

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Jupiter's Little Red Spot Growing Stronger »» Jupiter's Little Red Spot Growing Stronger

[Tuesday, October 10, 2006] The highest wind speeds in Jupiter's Little Red Spot have increased and are now equal to those in its older and larger sibling, the Great Red Spot, according to observations with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

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Asteroids, Comets, Planets: Cut From Same Cloth? »» Asteroids, Comets, Planets: Cut From Same Cloth?

[Tuesday, October 10, 2006] Could all of the asteroids, comets, and planets in our Milky Way galaxy be made of a similar mix of dusty components?

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Northrop Grumman to Sponsor Lunar Lander Challenge »» Northrop Grumman to Sponsor Lunar Lander Challenge

[Wednesday, October 11, 2006] The Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge will be staged for the first time on Oct. 20-21 at the Las Cruces International Airport, Las Cruces, N.M. as part of the Wirefly X PRIZE Cup space exposition.

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Near infrared mapping of Ceres surface »» Near infrared mapping of Ceres surface

[Wednesday, October 11, 2006] We used adaptive optics instrumentation available at the Keck observatory, Mauna Kea to image the surface of Ceres with a spatial resolution of ~30km. Our observations were carried out at a wavelength range well adapted to investigate planetary surfaces.

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Cassini Image Shows Saturn Draped in a String of Pearls »» Cassini Image Shows Saturn Draped in a String of Pearls

[Wednesday, October 11, 2006] Saturn appears dressed to the nines, "wearing" a strand of "pearls" in a stunning infrared image from the Cassini spacecraft that showcases a meteorological phenomenon.

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NASA Revives Original Mission Control for Growing Space Station »» NASA Revives Original Mission Control for Growing Space Station

[Wednesday, October 11, 2006] International Space Station flight controllers have a new home with increased technical capabilities, more workspace and a long, distinguished history.

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Some Super-Earths Form in Super Snowstorms »» Some Super-Earths Form in Super Snowstorms

[Wednesday, October 11, 2006] The 200 known planets that orbit other stars exhibit incredible variety. Among them are a handful of worlds that weigh between 5 and 15 times Earth. Astronomers believe these "super-Earths" are rocky iceballs rather than gas giants like Jupiter.

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Saturn's Rings Show Evidence of a Modern-Day Collision »» Saturn's Rings Show Evidence of a Modern-Day Collision

[Wednesday, October 11, 2006] Scientists with NASA's Cassini mission have spied a new, continuously changing feature that provides circumstantial evidence that a comet or asteroid recently collided with Saturn's innermost ring, the faint D ring.

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NASA Finds Saturn's Moons May Be Creating New Rings »» NASA Finds Saturn's Moons May Be Creating New Rings

[Wednesday, October 11, 2006] Cassini scientists are on the trail of the missing moons of Saturn. A recent observation by the spacecraft leads them to believe that they will find the moons near newly discovered rings around the planet.

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Planet hunters wanted to help astronomers in the search for new worlds »» Planet hunters wanted to help astronomers in the search for new worlds

[Wednesday, October 11, 2006] Astronomers are seeking the public's help to find and understand planets outside our solar system. But you don't need an advanced degree or even a telescope to participate--just a computer, access to the Internet, and an interest in astronomy.

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Spiderweb Galaxy Reveals Star-Forming Satellite Galaxies Merging »» Spiderweb Galaxy Reveals Star-Forming Satellite Galaxies Merging

[Thursday, October 12, 2006] New Hubble images have provided a dramatic glimpse of a large massive galaxy under assembly as smaller galaxies merge. Hubble observations of the galaxy MRC 1138-262, have shown dozens of star-forming satellite galaxies in the actual process of merging.

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NASA's Spitzer Sees Day and Night on Exotic World »» NASA's Spitzer Sees Day and Night on Exotic World

[Thursday, October 12, 2006] The Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed that a Jupiter- like gas giant planet circling very close to its sun is always as hot as fire on one side, and potentially as cold as ice on the other.

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NASA Advisory Council Meeting Notes »» NASA Advisory Council Meeting Notes

[Thursday, October 12, 2006] The NASA Advisory Council met on Thursday, 12 October. During the morning session, reports on space operations, space science and exploration were presented. I had to leave before the aeronautics and workforce presentations were made.

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NASA Student Competition to Name International Space Station Node 2 »» NASA Student Competition to Name International Space Station Node 2

[Thursday, October 12, 2006] The student competition to name the Node 2 module of the International Space Station has begun. NASA Education, which is responsible for the competition, is running the contest via an existing program called NASA Exploring Space Challenges (ESC).

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First detailed pictures of asteroid reveal bizarre system »» First detailed pictures of asteroid reveal bizarre system

[Thursday, October 12, 2006] The first detailed images of a binary asteroid system reveal a bizarre world where the highest points on the surface are actually the lowest, and the two asteroids dance in each other's gravitational pull.

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Interstellar Weather Report: Day and Night Temps Measured on an Extrasolar Planet »» Interstellar Weather Report: Day and Night Temps Measured on an Extrasolar Planet

[Thursday, October 12, 2006] For the first time, astronomers have measured the day and night temperatures of a planet outside our solar system.

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Tristan Guillot provides new insights into the composition of giant planets »» Tristan Guillot provides new insights into the composition of giant planets

[Thursday, October 12, 2006] Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune indeed qualify as ``giant planets'' because they are larger than any terrestrial planet and much more massive than all other objects in the Solar System, except the Sun, put together.

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Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Status Report #2 »» Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Status Report #2

[Friday, October 13, 2006] Early on October 9 engineers sent commands to Hubble to toggle the suspect relay. Telemetry confirmed that the relay cycled open and closed as expected. Engineers determined this action succeeded in restoring the HRC.

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Complex meteorology at Venus »» Complex meteorology at Venus

[Friday, October 13, 2006] In its relentless probing of Venus's atmosphere, ESA's Venus Express keeps revealing new details of the Venusian cloud system. Meteorology at Venus is a complex matter, scientists say.

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NASA Says: 'Build It and Infrared Surprises Will Come' »» NASA Says: 'Build It and Infrared Surprises Will Come'

[Friday, October 13, 2006] NASA has approved the start of construction on a new mission called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which will scan the entire sky in infrared light.

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NASA Space Station Status Report 13 October 2006 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 13 October 2006

[Friday, October 13, 2006] The International Space Station's Expedition 14 crew went for a short ride this week, performed maintenance and experiments aboard the growing outpost and celebrated one crew member's 100th day in space.

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NASA Sets Briefings to Preview Next Space Shuttle Mission »» NASA Sets Briefings to Preview Next Space Shuttle Mission

[Monday, October 16, 2006] NASA will preview the next space shuttle mission during a series of media briefings Nov. 6. The briefings will be broadcast live on NASA TV and include overviews of the ISS and shuttle programs, the mission, spacewalks and a crew news conference.

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NASA Orbiter Reveals New Details of Mars, Young and Old »» NASA Orbiter Reveals New Details of Mars, Young and Old

[Monday, October 16, 2006] During its first week of observations from low orbit, NASA's newest Mars spacecraft is already revealing new clues about both recent and ancient environments on the red planet.

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Mars Express and the story of water on Mars »» Mars Express and the story of water on Mars

[Monday, October 16, 2006] For a number of decades now, astronomers have wondered about water on Mars. Thanks to ESA's Mars Express, much of the speculation has been replaced with facts. Launched on 2 June 2003, Mars Express has changed the way we think of Mars.

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Combing the Cosmos at High Speed: The Allen Telescope Array »» Combing the Cosmos at High Speed: The Allen Telescope Array

[Tuesday, October 17, 2006] SETI is akin to discovery science, despite its obvious presumption that the extraterrestrials exist, because that hypothesis is not falsifiable.

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China's Space Activities in 2006 »» China's Space Activities in 2006

[Tuesday, October 17, 2006] "It has been 50 splendid years since China embarked on the road to develop its space industry. It has made eye-catching achievements, and ranks among the world's most advanced countries in some important fields of space technology."

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Carl Sagan Center Formed to Study Life in the Universe »» Carl Sagan Center Formed to Study Life in the Universe

[Tuesday, October 17, 2006] The Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe is being established at the SETI Institute in Silicon Valley to sustain a long-term commitment for research into age-old questions such as, "Are we Alone?"

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STEREO Solar Observatories Launching Aboard Delta II on Oct. 25 »» STEREO Solar Observatories Launching Aboard Delta II on Oct. 25

[Tuesday, October 17, 2006] Launch of NASA's STEREO spacecraft is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 25, aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket from Pad 17-B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The launch window is 8:38 to 8:53 p.m. EDT.

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NASA Hubble Image: Colliding galaxies make love, not war »» NASA Hubble Image: Colliding galaxies make love, not war

[Tuesday, October 17, 2006] A new Hubble image of the Antennae galaxies is the sharpest yet of this merging pair of galaxies. As the two galaxies smash together, billions of stars are born, mostly in groups and clusters of stars.

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Cosmic Bubble Image Wins NRAO Contest »» Cosmic Bubble Image Wins NRAO Contest

[Tuesday, October 17, 2006] A striking image of an enormous bubble blown into the dusty gas disk of our own Milky Way galaxy has won first place in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's second annual Radio Astronomy Image Contest.

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USGS and NASA Select Landsat Science Team »» USGS and NASA Select Landsat Science Team

[Tuesday, October 17, 2006] USGS, in cooperation with NASA, announces the selection of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) Science Team. These scientists and engineers will advise the USGS and NASA on issues critical to the success of the LDCM.

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Images of Dwarf Planet Ceres »» Images of Dwarf Planet Ceres

[Tuesday, October 17, 2006] Although Ceres is the largest main-belt asteroid and was the first to be discovered, its physical properties are still not well understood. Many questions about the composition of its surface and sub-surface layers remain unanswered.

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More Than a Meteor Likely Killed Dinosaurs 65 Million Years Ago »» More Than a Meteor Likely Killed Dinosaurs 65 Million Years Ago

[Wednesday, October 18, 2006] Growing evidence shows that the dinosaurs and their contemporaries were not wiped out by the famed Chicxulub meteor impact alone. Multiple meteor impacts, massive volcanism in India and climate changes culminated in the end of the Cretaceous Period.

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The moon's south pole: Very high resolution, radar images find rocks abundant, but no ice sheets »» The moon's south pole: Very high resolution, radar images find rocks abundant, but no ice sheets

[Wednesday, October 18, 2006] Using the highest resolution radar-signal images ever made of the moon – images from the Arecibo Telescope and the Robert C. Byrd Telescope – planetary astronomers have found no evidence for ice in craters at the lunar south pole.

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Director's Corner - Message from NASA Astrobiology Institute Director Carl Pilcher »» Director's Corner - Message from NASA Astrobiology Institute Director Carl Pilcher

[Wednesday, October 18, 2006] ".. my pitch to Mike Griffin was "yes, the questions of astrobiology have been vaguer than those in some older disciplines, but we've spent a decade defining the questions and we've made a lot of progress."

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Expect a Warmer, Wetter World this Century, Computer Models Agree »» Expect a Warmer, Wetter World this Century, Computer Models Agree

[Thursday, October 19, 2006] Much of the world will face an enhanced risk of heat waves, intense precipitation, and other weather extremes, conclude scientists from the NCAR, Texas Tech University, and Australia's Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre.

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First Directly Imaged Brown Dwarf Companion to an Exoplanet Host Star »» First Directly Imaged Brown Dwarf Companion to an Exoplanet Host Star

[Thursday, October 19, 2006] Astronomers have detected a new faint companion to the star HD 3651, already known to host a planet. This companion, a brown dwarf, is the faintest known companion of an exoplanet host star imaged directly.

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Cassini Image: F Ring Dynamism »» Cassini Image: F Ring Dynamism

[Thursday, October 19, 2006] The Cassini spacecraft has revealed a never-before-seen level of detail in Saturn's F ring, including evidence for the perturbing effect of small moonlets orbiting in or close to the ring's bright core.

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NASA Announces New International Space Station Crew »» NASA Announces New International Space Station Crew

[Thursday, October 19, 2006] Astronauts Clayton C. Anderson and Daniel M. Tani will travel to the station next year and work as flight engineers. Cosmonauts Fyodor N. Yurchikhin and Dr. Oleg V. Kotov will spend six months aboard the orbiting laboratory.

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Mars May Be A Cozy Place for Hardy Microbes »» Mars May Be A Cozy Place for Hardy Microbes

[Thursday, October 19, 2006] A class of especially hardy microbes that live in some of the harshest Earthly environments could flourish on cold Mars and other chilly planets, according to a research team of astronomers and microbiologists.

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NASA and NOAA Announce Antarctic Ozone Hole Is a Record Breaker »» NASA and NOAA Announce Antarctic Ozone Hole Is a Record Breaker

[Thursday, October 19, 2006] NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists report this year's ozone hole in the polar region of the Southern Hemisphere has broken records for area and depth.

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Greenland Ice Sheet on a Downward Slide »» Greenland Ice Sheet on a Downward Slide

[Thursday, October 19, 2006] For the first time NASA scientists have analyzed data from direct, detailed satellite measurements to show that ice losses now far surpass ice gains in the shrinking Greenland ice sheet.

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University Students are Helping NASA with GeneSat Mission »» University Students are Helping NASA with GeneSat Mission

[Thursday, October 19, 2006] NASA's GeneSat-1 satellite is scheduled to ride aboard an Air Force rocket on Dec. 11, 2006. The small satellite will carry bacteria that researchers will analyze to determine the effects of space flight on microscopic living things.

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Agreement between NASA and The X Prize Foundation for the Lunar Analog Challenge »» Agreement between NASA and The X Prize Foundation for the Lunar Analog Challenge

[Friday, October 20, 2006] "The purpose of this Agreement is to establish collaboration between the Parties to conduct the Lunar Lander Analog Vehicle Challenge, a technology demonstration competition resulting in monetary awards to the winning participants."

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New biochip helps study living cells, may speed drug development »» New biochip helps study living cells, may speed drug development

[Friday, October 20, 2006] "We conducted research with the chip while we were flying in parabolas, going from two times Earth's gravity to zero gravity again and again. There is absolutely no way this experiment could have been done without this chip."

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Two miles underground, strange bacteria are found thriving »» Two miles underground, strange bacteria are found thriving

[Friday, October 20, 2006] Researchers have discovered bacteria nearly two miles underground that derives all of its energy from the decay of radioactive rocks rather than from sunlight. The finding suggests life might exist in similarly extreme conditions even on other worlds.

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Space Elevator Games Update from Dr. Brad Edwards »» Space Elevator Games Update from Dr. Brad Edwards

[Sunday, October 22, 2006] 20 October: "After a week of qualifying activities and lots of work, the space elevator games opened at the X-Prize Cup today. Six teams qualified for the climber competition though it is possible that another may qualify tonight."

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Space Station Status Report 23 October 2006 »» Space Station Status Report 23 October 2006

[Monday, October 23, 2006] A shipment of supplies began its journey to the International Space Station today as the ISS Progress 23 cargo ship was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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NASA Notice of proposed rulemaking: Cross-Waiver of Liability »» NASA Notice of proposed rulemaking: Cross-Waiver of Liability

[Monday, October 23, 2006] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is proposing to amend part 1266 of Title 14 to update and ensure consistency in the use of cross-waiver of liability provisions in NASA agreements.

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Space Elevator Games 2006 Wrap-up by Dr. Brad Edwards »» Space Elevator Games 2006 Wrap-up by Dr. Brad Edwards

[Monday, October 23, 2006] The Space Elevator games just finished up today and it was quite an event. In this post I would like to summarize the games, both the results and the behind the scenes, what it implies and what we can expect in the future.

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Cydonia - the Face on Mars movie »» Cydonia - the Face on Mars movie

[Monday, October 23, 2006] Recently, Mars Express delivered photos of the famous 'Face on Mars' in the Cydonia region. The High Resolution Stereo Camera images are some of the most spectacular views of the Red Planet ever taken. Now, there's a stunning 3D animation of the area.

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Speech by NASA Administrator Griffin at the NASA Langley Colloquium Series Sigma Public Lecture Series »» Speech by NASA Administrator Griffin at the NASA Langley Colloquium Series Sigma Public Lecture Series

[Tuesday, October 24, 2006] "This lecture series dates back to 1971, with the inaugural address by Wernher von Braun, and many other luminaries from our industry have followed him, so I have big shoes to fill."

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MESSENGER Completes Venus Flyby »» MESSENGER Completes Venus Flyby

[Tuesday, October 24, 2006] MESSENGER came within 2,990 kilometers of the surface of Venus early this morning during its second planetary encounter. The spacecraft used the planet's gravity to shrink the radius of its orbit around the Sun and bringing it closer to Mercury.

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Hubble Yields Direct Proof of Star Sorting in Globular Cluster »» Hubble Yields Direct Proof of Star Sorting in Globular Cluster

[Tuesday, October 24, 2006] Hubble has provided astronomers with the best observational evidence to date that globular clusters sort out stars according to their mass, governed by a gravitational billiard ball game between stars.

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New theory for mass extinctions »» New theory for mass extinctions

[Tuesday, October 24, 2006] The new Press/Pulse theory gets around the controversy by rejecting the all-or-nothing approach to mass extinction, calling instead on a combination of deadly sudden catastrophes - "pulses" - with longer, steadier pressures on species - "presses."

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Comments by NAS Space Studies Board Chair Lennard Fisk »» Comments by NAS Space Studies Board Chair Lennard Fisk

[Tuesday, October 24, 2006] There is consternation these days between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its external science community. In August, three senior science advisors were dismissed from the NASA Advisory Council (NAC).

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Star Ends Infancy Abruptly »» Star Ends Infancy Abruptly

[Tuesday, October 24, 2006] Zooming in on a nearby young star called HD 141569A, astronomers used the Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, to discover a hole in a disk of gas and dust encircling the star.

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How Safe is Travel to Mars? »» How Safe is Travel to Mars?

[Tuesday, October 24, 2006] A new study should force renewed attention on one of the most intractable dangers of space travel: radiation. The review identified major radiation hazards that must be solved before the safe completion of a human Mars mission.

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NASA's First 3-D Solar Imaging Mission Soars Into Space »» NASA's First 3-D Solar Imaging Mission Soars Into Space

[Wednesday, October 25, 2006] NASA's twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatories mission, known as STEREO, successfully launched Wednesday at 8:52 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

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Astronomers weigh 200-million-year-old baby galaxies »» Astronomers weigh 200-million-year-old baby galaxies

[Wednesday, October 25, 2006] Astronomers have taken amazing pictures of two of the most distant galaxies ever seen. The ultradeep images, taken at infrared wavelengths, confirm for the first time that these celestial cherubs are real.

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FAA Needs Continued Planning and Monitoring to Oversee the Safety of the Emerging Space Tourism Industry »» FAA Needs Continued Planning and Monitoring to Oversee the Safety of the Emerging Space Tourism Industry

[Wednesday, October 25, 2006] "FAA believes it has minimized compliance costs by basing its regulations on common safety standards and has allowed for flexibility by taking a case-by- case approach to licensing and by providing waivers in certain circumstances."

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NASA Posts Panorama To Celebrate Rover's 1,000th Martian Day »» NASA Posts Panorama To Celebrate Rover's 1,000th Martian Day

[Wednesday, October 25, 2006] NASA's long-lived Mars Exploration Rover Spirit will finish its 1,000th Martian day Thursday, continuing a successful mission originally planned for 90 Martian days.

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Europe goes searching for rocky planets »» Europe goes searching for rocky planets

[Thursday, October 26, 2006] The COROT space telescope is proceeding smoothly towards its launch in December 2006. Once in orbit, COROT will become the first spacecraft devoted to the search for rocky planets, similar to our own Earth.

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Space Radiation Threats To Astronauts Addressed in Federal Research Study »» Space Radiation Threats To Astronauts Addressed in Federal Research Study

[Thursday, October 26, 2006] A better understanding of solar storms and how best to protect astronauts from space radiation is needed as NASA pushes toward manned missions to the moon and Mars in the coming decades, according to a new National Research Council report.

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NASA Space Station Status Report 26 October 2006 »» NASA Space Station Status Report 26 October 2006

[Thursday, October 26, 2006] New supplies arrived at the International Space Station Thursday as an unpiloted Russian cargo spacecraft docked to the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module.

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New code reconciles discrepancies with the Big Bang »» New code reconciles discrepancies with the Big Bang

[Friday, October 27, 2006] Using 3D models run on some of the fastest computers in the world, Laboratory physicists have created a mathematical code that cracks a mystery surrounding stellar evolution.

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Latest views of the V838 Monocerotis light echo from Hubble »» Latest views of the V838 Monocerotis light echo from Hubble

[Friday, October 27, 2006] Hubble has returned to the intriguing V838 Monocerotis many times since its initial outburst in 2002 to follow the evolution of its light echo. Two new images provide the most astonishing views of V838 to date.

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NASA's Spitzer Peels Back Layers of Star's Explosion »» NASA's Spitzer Peels Back Layers of Star's Explosion

[Friday, October 27, 2006] Astronomers using NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered that an exploded star, named Cassiopeia A, blew up in a somewhat orderly fashion, retaining much of its original onion-like layering.

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NASA and SETI Explorers Search for Planetary Evolution Clues on Earth »» NASA and SETI Explorers Search for Planetary Evolution Clues on Earth

[Sunday, October 29, 2006] To go where few people have gone before, a team of expert scientists, mountain-climbers, and divers will explore the ecosystems of three high-altitude summit lakes to understand microbial life's adaptation to these challenging environments.

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The International Astronomical Union announces the International Year of Astronomy 2009 »» The International Astronomical Union announces the International Year of Astronomy 2009

[Sunday, October 29, 2006] The International Astronomical Union will be coordinating the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. This initiative is an opportunity for the citizens of Earth to gain a deeper insight into astronomy’s role in enriching all human cultures.

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Superb Janus »» Superb Janus

[Sunday, October 29, 2006] The Cassini spacecraft provides this dramatic portrait of Janus against the cloud-streaked backdrop of Saturn. The view was acquired on Sept. 25, 2006 at a distance of approximately 145,000 kilometers from Janus.

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Findings of the NASA Mars Forward Lunar Objectives Science Analysis Group (Draft) »» Findings of the NASA Mars Forward Lunar Objectives Science Analysis Group (Draft)

[Sunday, October 29, 2006] "The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) has completed a preliminary analysis of the June, 2006 draft list of possible lunar objectives from the perspective of its relevance to preparation for human missions to Mars."

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The Astrobiology Primer: An Outline of General Knowledge - Version 1, 2006 »» The Astrobiology Primer: An Outline of General Knowledge - Version 1, 2006

[Sunday, October 29, 2006] The Astrobiology Primer has been created as a reference tool for those who are interested in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology.

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Sex in Space: bizarre reactions »» Sex in Space: bizarre reactions

[Monday, October 30, 2006] "I am amazed how many people in the United States are so intimidated by the word "sex" and are unwilling to discuss its consequences. My latest book, Sex in Space, tackles both the fun and serious sides of this currently neglected topic."

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NASA Announces Discovery Program Selections »» NASA Announces Discovery Program Selections

[Monday, October 30, 2006] NASA Monday selected concept studies for missions that would return a sample of an enigmatic asteroid, probe the chemistry of Venus' atmosphere and reveal the interior structure and history of the Earth's moon.

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Fly Your Name on NASA's Phoenix Mission to Mars »» Fly Your Name on NASA's Phoenix Mission to Mars

[Monday, October 30, 2006] In 2007, The Planetary Society will send a specialized silica-glass DVD to Mars aboard Phoenix, NASA's newest Scout mission, led by Principal Investigator Peter Smith at the University of Arizona. 

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Only Five More Days for Your Name to Rise With the Dawn »» Only Five More Days for Your Name to Rise With the Dawn

[Monday, October 30, 2006] NASA's campaign to send the nom de plumes of people from around the world into the heart of the asteroid belt ends Sat., Nov. 4.

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Ozone hole breaks two records »» Ozone hole breaks two records

[Monday, October 30, 2006] Scientists from various agencies and universities measuring ozone depletion over Antarctica say this year's annual ozone hole not only matches the largest hole in area on record, but it is also the deepest that's ever formed.

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NASA Approves Mission and Names Crew for Return to Hubble »» NASA Approves Mission and Names Crew for Return to Hubble

[Tuesday, October 31, 2006] Shuttle astronauts will make one final house call to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope as part of a mission to extend and improve the observatory's capabilities through 2013.

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Oxygen Problems Concern Space Station Managers »» Oxygen Problems Concern Space Station Managers

[Tuesday, October 31, 2006] The Expedition 14 crew has been unable to get the Russian Elektron Oxygen generation unit to operate normally. As can be seen below this has been an ongoing problem with serious issues arising more than a month ago.

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NASA International Space Station De-crewing and Re-crewing Plan SSP 50715 »» NASA International Space Station De-crewing and Re-crewing Plan SSP 50715

[Tuesday, October 31, 2006] The purpose of this document is to define the program process requirements, milestones and general station configuration requirements should it become necessary to de-crew the ISS and later re-crew and return to normal operations.

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