October 2007 Top Story Archives



Lunar Explorer KAGUYA (SELENE)  Successful Image Taking  by the High Definition Television (HDTV) »» Lunar Explorer KAGUYA (SELENE) Successful Image Taking by the High Definition Television (HDTV)

[Monday, October 1, 2007] Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) have successfully taken high definition moving images through the KAGUYA (SELENE) for the first time.

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Shuttle Discovery at Launch Pad; Launch Dress Rehearsal Next »» Shuttle Discovery at Launch Pad; Launch Dress Rehearsal Next

[Monday, October 1, 2007] With space shuttle Discovery now at its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the next major milestone for the upcoming STS-120 mission is a full launch dress rehearsal.

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Sign of 'Embryonic Planets' Forming in Nearby Stellar Systems »» Sign of 'Embryonic Planets' Forming in Nearby Stellar Systems

[Monday, October 1, 2007] Astronomers at the University of Rochester are pointing to three nearby stars they say may hold "embryonic planets"a missing link in planet-formation theories.

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The dark matter of the universe has a long lifetime »» The dark matter of the universe has a long lifetime

[Monday, October 1, 2007] New research from the Niels Bohr Institute presents new information that adds another piece of knowledge to the jigsaw puzzle of the dark mystery of the universe - dark matter.

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NASA Seeks Proposals for Constellation Moon Suit »» NASA Seeks Proposals for Constellation Moon Suit

[Monday, October 1, 2007] NASA has issued a request for proposals from industry for the design, development and production of a new spacesuit system for Constellation Program voyages to the International Space Station and the moon.

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NASA New Horizons Mission: The PI's Prespective: Checking Out New Horizons »» NASA New Horizons Mission: The PI's Prespective: Checking Out New Horizons

[Tuesday, October 2, 2007] New Horizons has already traveled another 100 million kilometers from the Sun, putting us more than 7.5 Astronomical Units out, roughly halfway between Jupiter and Saturn. By the middle of next year, we'll be beyond Saturn's orbit, where Cassini is.

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Star Cluster Bursts Into Life in New Hubble Image »» Star Cluster Bursts Into Life in New Hubble Image

[Tuesday, October 2, 2007] Thousands of sparkling young stars are nestled within the giant nebula NGC 3603. This stellar "jewel box" is one of the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy.

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STEREO Sees Solar Hurricane Detach Comet Tail »» STEREO Sees Solar Hurricane Detach Comet Tail

[Tuesday, October 2, 2007] STEREO has captured the first images of a collision between a comet and a solar hurricane. It is the first time scientists have witnessed such an event on another cosmic body. STEREO recorded the event April 20.

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NASA Examines Arctic Sea Ice Changes Leading to Record Low In 2007 »» NASA Examines Arctic Sea Ice Changes Leading to Record Low In 2007

[Tuesday, October 2, 2007] A new NASA-led study found a 23-percent loss in the extent of the Arctic's thick, year-round sea ice cover during the past two winters.

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Chance encounter with comet nets surprising results »» Chance encounter with comet nets surprising results

[Tuesday, October 2, 2007] A chance encounter between spacecraft Ulysses and Comet McNaught's ion tail has scientists in the University of Michigan's College of Engineering marveling at a stroke of luck and some surprising data.

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NASA Conducts First Test of Main Parachute for Ares I Rocket »» NASA Conducts First Test of Main Parachute for Ares I Rocket

[Tuesday, October 2, 2007] NASA and industry engineers successfully completed the first drop test of the main parachute that will help recover the first stage of the Ares I crew launch vehicle. Ares I will carry the NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle to space.

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Community Letter to NASA and NOAA Regarding Concerns Over NPOESS Preparatory Project VIIRS Sensor »» Community Letter to NASA and NOAA Regarding Concerns Over NPOESS Preparatory Project VIIRS Sensor

[Tuesday, October 2, 2007] "We have become increasingly concerned that VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite), the ocean color sensor on the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) mission, will be incapable of providing imagery for climate science applications."

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NASA Internal Memo From Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley: Avoid Verbal Orders »» NASA Internal Memo From Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley: Avoid Verbal Orders

[Wednesday, October 3, 2007] "Mike G has encouraged me to share the following with the team, in hopes that this helps to clarify his position on how 'governance' explicitly relates to Constellation and the institutions executing our plan..."

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First Contact: Sputnik »» First Contact: Sputnik

[Wednesday, October 3, 2007] "To say the least, it was incredible. The news relayed by the voice on the other end of the phone line hit the president of the San Gabriel Valley Radio Club like a blow to the head. Too incredible, Henry Richter hoped, to be true."

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APL Astronomer Spies Conditions 'Just Right' for Building an Earth »» APL Astronomer Spies Conditions 'Just Right' for Building an Earth

[Wednesday, October 3, 2007] An Earth-like planet is likely forming 424 light-years away in a star system called HD 113766, say astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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NASA Selects Launch Services Provider for Juno Jupiter Mission »» NASA Selects Launch Services Provider for Juno Jupiter Mission

[Wednesday, October 3, 2007] The $190 million contract award is a competed firm-fixed-price task order. It includes the launch service for an Atlas V model 551 rocket, payload processing, launch vehicle integration, and the necessary tracking, data and telemetry support.

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NASA Spacecraft to Carry Russian Science Instruments »» NASA Spacecraft to Carry Russian Science Instruments

[Wednesday, October 3, 2007] NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos have agreed to fly two Russian scientific instruments on NASA spacecraft that will conduct unprecedented robotic missions to the moon and Mars.

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New Alliance for Space Solar Power to Be Announced »» New Alliance for Space Solar Power to Be Announced

[Wednesday, October 3, 2007] Space Solar Power means gathering energy in space and transmitting it wirelessly for use on Earth. Such technology could be a major solution to humanity's long-term energy needs, providing limitless renewable power with zero carbon emissions.

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NASA Assigns Crew for Space Station Assembly Mission »» NASA Assigns Crew for Space Station Assembly Mission

[Wednesday, October 3, 2007] NASA has assigned the space shuttle crew for Endeavour's STS-126 mission, targeted for launch in September 2008. The flight will deliver equipment to the International Space Station that will enable larger crews to reside aboard the complex.

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Titan's icy climate mimics Earth's tropics »» Titan's icy climate mimics Earth's tropics

[Wednesday, October 3, 2007] If space travelers ever visit Saturn's largest moon, they will find a tropical world where temperatures plunge to minus 274 degrees Fahrenheit, methane rains from the sky and dunes of ice or tar cover the planet's most arid regions.

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HR 3737: To provide for National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration utilization of the Arecibo Observatory »» HR 3737: To provide for National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration utilization of the Arecibo Observatory

[Thursday, October 4, 2007] "Arecibo Observatory's planetary radar has unique abilities worldwide for research on our solar system, including near-Earth asteroids."

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Senate Dear Colleague Letter: Introduction of NASA Restoration Amendment »» Senate Dear Colleague Letter: Introduction of NASA Restoration Amendment

[Thursday, October 4, 2007] "We are writing to urge you to support our amendment to the CJS bill to add $1 billion to NASA's budget to reimburse NASA for costs of safely returning the space shuttle to flight after the Columbia accident."

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Senate Passes Mikulski-Hutchison Amendment to Add $1 Billion in NASA Funding »» Senate Passes Mikulski-Hutchison Amendment to Add $1 Billion in NASA Funding

[Thursday, October 4, 2007] "The funding will reimburse the agency for costs incurred for returning the Space Shuttle to flight status following the Columbia disaster and implementing recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board."

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NASA Scientist Available for Interviews About New Jupiter Findings »» NASA Scientist Available for Interviews About New Jupiter Findings

[Thursday, October 4, 2007] What NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft found when it flew by Jupiter on Feb. 28, 2007, stunned scientists who now are releasing more information in nine journal articles in Science.

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Result of Selene's Lunar Orbit Injection Maneuver »» Result of Selene's Lunar Orbit Injection Maneuver

[Thursday, October 4, 2007] The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) performed the lunar orbit injection maneuver (LOI1) for the "KAGUYA" (SELENE) at 6:20 a.m. on October 4, 2007 (Japan Standard Time, JST.)

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International Space University to Host eBay Auction - Proceeds to Go Towards Scholarships »» International Space University to Host eBay Auction - Proceeds to Go Towards Scholarships

[Friday, October 5, 2007] On October 4, the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, the International Space University (ISU) will be conducting a 10-day auction on eBay of unusual and interesting Space-related and Sputnik/Apollo era items.

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A Colossus Gets its Name »» A Colossus Gets its Name

[Saturday, October 6, 2007] The first of the two ALMA antenna transporters was given its name at a ceremony on the compounds of the manufacturer, the heavy- vehicle specialist Scheuerle Fahrzeugfabrik GmbH, in Baden- Wuerttemberg.

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Fifty times sharper than Hubble - New Image of the Central Region of the Active Galaxy M87 »» Fifty times sharper than Hubble - New Image of the Central Region of the Active Galaxy M87

[Saturday, October 6, 2007] M87, the central galaxy of the Virgo cluster in a distance of only 50 million light years, was observed by Yuri Kovalev from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronony (MPIfR) in Bonn and his colleagues with the VLBA at 2 cm wavelength.

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Giant Magellan Telescope Site Selected »» Giant Magellan Telescope Site Selected

[Saturday, October 6, 2007] The Giant Magellan Telescope will be constructed at Cerro Las Campanas, Chile. This location was selected for its high altitude, dry climate, dark skies, and unsurpassed seeing quality, as well as its access to the southern skies.

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Gamma-ray lighthouse at the edge of our universe »» Gamma-ray lighthouse at the edge of our universe

[Saturday, October 6, 2007] There is a gamma-ray lighthouse shining from the edge of our universe. Astronomers have discovered it using ESA's orbiting gamma-ray observatory, Integral. Now, they must work hard to understand it.

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Cassini is on the Trail of a Runaway Mystery »» Cassini is on the Trail of a Runaway Mystery

[Monday, October 8, 2007] NASA scientists are on the trail of Iapetus' mysterious dark side, which seems to be home to a bizarre "runaway" process that is transporting vaporized water ice from the dark areas to the white areas of the Saturnian moon.

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FUSE Space Telescope Comes to Mission's End on 18 October »» FUSE Space Telescope Comes to Mission's End on 18 October

[Monday, October 8, 2007] The intrepid never-say-die space telescope known as FUSE has finally reached its mission's end and will be turned off after more than eight years of discoveries on everything from planets and nearby stars to galaxies and quasars billions of light-years aw

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NASA Internal Memo from Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley: 10/6 Cx Weekly Update »» NASA Internal Memo from Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley: 10/6 Cx Weekly Update

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] "I've recently enjoyed a handful of books on key explorers, such as Magellan, Columbus, and Capt Cook, and am struck and fascinated by their courage and commitment to their task despite incredible odds against their success."

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Detecting Life-bearing Extra-solar Planets with Space Telescopes »» Detecting Life-bearing Extra-solar Planets with Space Telescopes

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] One of the promising methods to search for life on extra-solar planets (exoplanets) is to detect life's signatures in their atmospheres.

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Spirit Experiences Data Backlog »» Spirit Experiences Data Backlog

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] Spirit is in good health and on the move toward an appealing field of boulders at the southwest corner of "Home Plate."

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New Horizons' SWAP instrument reveals complex structure, diverse plasma populations in Jupiter's magnetotail »» New Horizons' SWAP instrument reveals complex structure, diverse plasma populations in Jupiter's magnetotail

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] During the first traversal nearly straight down any planet's magnetotail, the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument aboard New Horizons gathered remarkable new data on the magnetospheric bubble that surrounds Jupiter.

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Yuri's Night celebrates 50th anniversary of Sputnik launch »» Yuri's Night celebrates 50th anniversary of Sputnik launch

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] Fifty years from the launch of Sputnik the space event organizational group Yuri's Night is celebrating with the official start of planning for its 2008 festivities with the launch of its website and the opening of registration for new events.

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Pluto-Bound New Horizons Sees Changes in Jupiter System »» Pluto-Bound New Horizons Sees Changes in Jupiter System

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] The voyage of NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft through the Jupiter system earlier this year provided a bird's-eye view of a dynamic planet that has changed since the last close-up looks by NASA spacecraft.

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Astronomers Find Dust In The Wind of Black Holes »» Astronomers Find Dust In The Wind of Black Holes

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] New findings from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that space dust - the same stuff that makes up living creatures and planets - was manufactured in large quantities in the winds of black holes that populated our early universe.

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A Major Step Toward Knowing The Origin of Cosmic Rays »» A Major Step Toward Knowing The Origin of Cosmic Rays

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] Recent observations from NASA and Japanese X-ray observatories have helped clarify one of the long-standing mysteries in astronomy -- the origin of cosmic rays.

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Minor Planet No. 100,000 Named for Space Age 50th Anniversary »» Minor Planet No. 100,000 Named for Space Age 50th Anniversary

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the start of the Space Age, an asteroid has been named "Astronautica."

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Dawn Mission Status: Spacecraft Tests Ion Engine »» Dawn Mission Status: Spacecraft Tests Ion Engine

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] NASA's Dawn spacecraft successfully completed the first test of its ion propulsion system over the weekend. The system is vital to the success of Dawn's 8-year, 1.6 billion-kilometer (3-billion-mile) journey to asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres.

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Students From 9 Countries Join For Global Celebration Of Space Age's 50th Anniversary And To Inspire Education In Science And Math Worldwide »» Students From 9 Countries Join For Global Celebration Of Space Age's 50th Anniversary And To Inspire Education In Science And Math Worldwide

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] On October 6, students from around the world joined to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the space age and inspire students worldwide to excel in education, demonstrate international cooperation and visibly launch humankind's next 50 years in space.

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NASA Plans To Form New Lunar Science Institute »» NASA Plans To Form New Lunar Science Institute

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] On Tuesday night NASA Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Alan Stern announced that NASA plans to form a NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) patterned on the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI).

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High School Musical Star Corbin Bleu and LA Teachers Take Part in Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery »» High School Musical Star Corbin Bleu and LA Teachers Take Part in Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights of Discovery

[Tuesday, October 9, 2007] Along for the ride, and helping to send the message to youngsters that science is fun and cool, was Corbin Bleu, star of High School Musical. Bleu, along with the teachers, conducted experiments designed to test Newton's Laws of Motion.

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Expedition 16 in Orbit, Heads to International Space Station »» Expedition 16 in Orbit, Heads to International Space Station

[Wednesday, October 10, 2007] Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko and spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor are in orbit and on their way to the International Space Station.

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Most Powerful Supernova Ever Found with Mini, Monumental McDonald Observatory Telescopes »» Most Powerful Supernova Ever Found with Mini, Monumental McDonald Observatory Telescopes

[Wednesday, October 10, 2007] Astronomer Robert Quimby has done it again. Found the most luminous supernova ever, that is. Quimby discovered the current record holder, supernova 2006gy, last year as part of his Texas Supernova Search project

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New Space Solar Power Organization Announced - The Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy »» New Space Solar Power Organization Announced - The Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy

[Wednesday, October 10, 2007] The Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy (SSAFE), a new organization advocating investment in space-based solar power technologies to address the planet's future energy needs, was announced today at the National Press Club.

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NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Provides Color Views of Mars Landing Site Candidates »» NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Provides Color Views of Mars Landing Site Candidates

[Wednesday, October 10, 2007] Less than a year since beginning the prime science phase of its mission, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has passed a mission-success milestone for the amount of data returned.

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Space Foundation Report Pegs 2006 Global Space Economy at $220 Billion and Growing »» Space Foundation Report Pegs 2006 Global Space Economy at $220 Billion and Growing

[Wednesday, October 10, 2007] Today, the Space Foundation released The Space Report 2007, revealing that in 2006 the global space industry grew to nearly $220 billion in total revenues.

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New isotope molecule may add to Venus' greenhouse effect »» New isotope molecule may add to Venus' greenhouse effect

[Wednesday, October 10, 2007] Planetary scientists on both sides of the Atlantic have tracked down a rare molecule in the atmospheres of both Mars and Venus. The molecule, an exotic form of carbon dioxide, could affect the way the greenhouse mechanism works on Venus.

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NASA Cassini Pinpoints Hot Sources of Jets on Enceladus »» NASA Cassini Pinpoints Hot Sources of Jets on Enceladus

[Thursday, October 11, 2007] A recent analysis of images provides conclusive evidence that the jets of fine, icy particles spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus originate from the hottest spots on the moon's "tiger stripe" fractures that straddle the moon's south polar region.

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Cassini Provides New Views of Titan's Land of Lakes and Seas »» Cassini Provides New Views of Titan's Land of Lakes and Seas

[Thursday, October 11, 2007] Newly assembled radar images from the Cassini spacecraft provide the best view of the hydrocarbon lakes and seas on the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan, while a new radar image reveals that Titan's south polar region also has lakes.

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University of Hawaii Astronomer Takes Sharpest Picture of Pluto System »» University of Hawaii Astronomer Takes Sharpest Picture of Pluto System

[Friday, October 12, 2007] Almost 30 years after the discovery of Pluto's large moon, Charon, a University of Hawaii astronomer has used a ground-based telescope to take an image of the Pluto system that exceeds the sharpness possible with the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Asteroid is »» Asteroid is "practice case" for potential hazards

[Friday, October 12, 2007] In research that could aid decisions about future asteroids on a collision course with Earth, MIT researchers have for the first time determined the composition of a near-Earth asteroid that has a very slight possibility of someday hitting our planet.

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Take an umbrella if you plan to visit Titan! »» Take an umbrella if you plan to visit Titan!

[Friday, October 12, 2007] "Persistent drizzle moving in from the coast clearing late morning" - a phrase frequently used in weather forecasts across the world can now be applied to the weather on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

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Cassini Mission to Saturn Celebrates 10 Years Since Launch »» Cassini Mission to Saturn Celebrates 10 Years Since Launch

[Friday, October 12, 2007] Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its launch from Cape Canaveral, the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn is once again at the center of scientific attention.

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Expedition 16 Arrives at International Space Station »» Expedition 16 Arrives at International Space Station

[Friday, October 12, 2007] Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko and spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor arrived at the International Space Station at 10:50 a.m. EDT Friday.

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First Woman International Space Station Commander Arrives for Historic Spaceflight »» First Woman International Space Station Commander Arrives for Historic Spaceflight

[Friday, October 12, 2007] Peggy Whitson arrived at the International Space Station Friday to begin her tenure as the first woman to command a station mission. Whitson officially will become the station commander after a ceremony Oct. 19, at approximately 3:15 p.m. EDT.

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Hardy Spirit Rover Continues to Celebrate Milestones »» Hardy Spirit Rover Continues to Celebrate Milestones

[Sunday, October 14, 2007] After enduring seasonal dust storms much stronger than the rover was designed to survive, Spirit has now been exploring the Red Planet for two Martian years.

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Inspiring Views Celebrate Cassini's Diamond Anniversary »» Inspiring Views Celebrate Cassini's Diamond Anniversary

[Monday, October 15, 2007] Ten years ago today, NASA's Cassini spacecraft departed planet Earth from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and embarked on a seven-year long, circuitous journey of several billion miles across the solar system to the planet Saturn.

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New Worlds on the Horizon: Earth-Sized Planets Close to Other Stars »» New Worlds on the Horizon: Earth-Sized Planets Close to Other Stars

[Monday, October 15, 2007] The search for habitable planets like Earth around other stars fulfils an ancient imperative to understand our origins and place in the cosmos. The past decade has seen the discovery of hundreds of planets, but nearly all are gas giants.

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Challenger Center Webcast: Students Help Astronauts to Breathe Easier on the Moon »» Challenger Center Webcast: Students Help Astronauts to Breathe Easier on the Moon

[Monday, October 15, 2007] Join the Challenger Center for Space Science Education and NASA's K-12 Engineering Design Challenge and design a mini-greenhouse for use by future astronauts living and working on the moon.

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NASA Launches Earth Science Expert Directory for Media »» NASA Launches Earth Science Expert Directory for Media

[Tuesday, October 16, 2007] NASA has launched a user-friendly Web site designed to connect media with Earth science experts from across the agency.

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Celestron Encourages Boy Scouts to Let Curiosity 'Take Flight' During 'Ask Astronaut Clayton Anderson' Online Event »» Celestron Encourages Boy Scouts to Let Curiosity 'Take Flight' During 'Ask Astronaut Clayton Anderson' Online Event

[Tuesday, October 16, 2007] Boy Scouts of the Cornhusker Council, in Southeast Nebraska have the opportunity to send questions to NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson, who is currently in space aboard the International Space Station.

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NASA Extends Operations for its Long-Lived Mars Rovers »» NASA Extends Operations for its Long-Lived Mars Rovers

[Tuesday, October 16, 2007] NASA is extending, for a fifth time, the activities of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The decision keeps the trailblazing mobile robotic pioneers active on opposite sides of Mars, possibly through 2009.

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House Passes Legislation Recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Dawn of the Space Age »» House Passes Legislation Recognizing the 50th Anniversary of the Dawn of the Space Age

[Tuesday, October 16, 2007] "We have many competing societal priorities that must be addressed, but it is also vital that we invest in the future. Our space program is an important part of that future".

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NASA Gives »» NASA Gives "Go" for Space Shuttle Launch on Oct. 23

[Tuesday, October 16, 2007] NASA senior managers Tuesday completed a detailed review of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight and selected Oct. 23 as the official launch date.

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Hawaii Reveals Steamy Martian Underground »» Hawaii Reveals Steamy Martian Underground

[Wednesday, October 17, 2007] Is Mars dead, or is it only sleeping? There is evidence, like vast, dried up riverbeds, that Mars once was a warm and wet world that could have supported life. Are the best times over, at least for life, on Mars?

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NASA to Open New Competition for Space Transportation Seed Money »» NASA to Open New Competition for Space Transportation Seed Money

[Thursday, October 18, 2007] NASA announced Thursday it will conduct a new competition for funding that remains in NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Project, known as COTS.

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Finalists for 2007 Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award »» Finalists for 2007 Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award

[Thursday, October 18, 2007] 10 finalists for the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award will have their ideas on display at the 2007 X PRIZE Cup. Teams of high school students from all over the United States proposed ideas that could accelerate the personal spaceflight industry.

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Spaceward Games 2007 Update »» Spaceward Games 2007 Update

[Thursday, October 18, 2007] "This afternoon teams had the opportunity to improve on their qualifying results of yesterday. Because of the bad weather yesterday, provisional qualifying was held indoors."

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Critical Deep-Space Maneuver Targets MESSENGER for Its First Mercury Encounter »» Critical Deep-Space Maneuver Targets MESSENGER for Its First Mercury Encounter

[Thursday, October 18, 2007] The MESSENGER spacecraft delivered a critical deep-space maneuver on Wednesday successfully firing its large bi-propellant engine to change the probe's trajectory and target it for its first flyby of Mercury on January 14, 2008.

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Rosetta Earth swingbys - Boosting the accuracy of Rosetta's Earth approach »» Rosetta Earth swingbys - Boosting the accuracy of Rosetta's Earth approach

[Friday, October 19, 2007] Yesterday the thrusters of Rosetta were fired in a planned, 42-second trajectory correction manoeuvre designed to 'fine tune' the spacecraft's approach to Earth. Rosetta is now approaching Earth for its second planetary swing-by of 2007.

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Columbus hatch closed for last time »» Columbus hatch closed for last time

[Friday, October 19, 2007] Preparations of the European Columbus laboratory took an important step earlier this week with the final closure of the module's hatch ahead of the December launch to the International Space Station.

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Earth from Space: Birth of an iceberg »» Earth from Space: Birth of an iceberg

[Friday, October 19, 2007] This animation, comprised of images acquired by Envisats Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) instrument, shows the breaking away of a giant iceberg from the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica.

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NASA Sets Space Shuttle Discovery Prelaunch Events »» NASA Sets Space Shuttle Discovery Prelaunch Events

[Friday, October 19, 2007] News conferences, events and operating hours for NASA's Kennedy Space Center News Center are set for the upcoming launch of space shuttle Discovery. The STS-120 mission to the International Space Station is set to lift off at 11:38 a.m. EDT on Oct. 23.

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Heaviest Stellar Black Hole Discovered »» Heaviest Stellar Black Hole Discovered

[Friday, October 19, 2007] Astronomers have located an exceptionally massive black hole in orbit around a huge companion star. This result has intriguing implications for the evolution and ultimate fate of massive stars.

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NASA Concludes FUSE Mission After Eight Years »» NASA Concludes FUSE Mission After Eight Years

[Friday, October 19, 2007] After an eight-year run that gave astronomers a completely new perspective on the universe, NASA has concluded the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer mission.

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NASA JSC Solicitation: Commerical Space Transportation Services Phase 1 Demonstration »» NASA JSC Solicitation: Commerical Space Transportation Services Phase 1 Demonstration

[Friday, October 19, 2007] As a continuation of the COTS Phase 1 project, NASA/JSC plans to solicit proposals from all interested industry participants for Earth to orbit space flight demonstrations of any combination of the following mission capabilities: ...

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Challenger Center at Department of Labor: Inspiring a New Generation of Aerospace Engineers »» Challenger Center at Department of Labor: Inspiring a New Generation of Aerospace Engineers

[Friday, October 19, 2007] On October 18th, the Department of Labor (DOL) invited the Challenger Center for Space Science to participate in a conference with state lieutenant governors, NASA and leaders in aerospace education and industry.

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NASA Assigns Crew for Final Solar Array Delivery to Station »» NASA Assigns Crew for Final Solar Array Delivery to Station

[Friday, October 19, 2007] NASA has assigned the space shuttle crew for Discovery's STS-119 mission, targeted for launch in the fall of 2008. The flight will deliver the final pair of power- generating solar array wings and truss element to the International Space Station.

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Expedition 15 Returns Home »» Expedition 15 Returns Home

[Sunday, October 21, 2007] The crew undocked from the station around 3:14 a.m. EDT Sunday and landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 6:36 a.m.

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Unexpected growth in atmospheric CO2 »» Unexpected growth in atmospheric CO2

[Monday, October 22, 2007] A team of scientists has found that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) growth has increased 35 percent faster than expected since 2000. The findings are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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Successful Ariane 5 upper stage engine re-ignition experiment »» Successful Ariane 5 upper stage engine re-ignition experiment

[Monday, October 22, 2007] A successful re-ignition of the Ariane 5 upper stage engine performed during the most recent mission has consolidated Ariane 5's readiness for the launch of the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle.

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Cluster monitors convection cells over the polar caps »» Cluster monitors convection cells over the polar caps

[Monday, October 22, 2007] Scientists have fully mapped convection cells in Earth's magnetic field for the first time using Cluster data. Results show that the behaviour of the cells is heavily linked to solar activity.

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NASA Satellite Images Show Rapid Growth Of California Wildfires »» NASA Satellite Images Show Rapid Growth Of California Wildfires

[Monday, October 22, 2007] Images from NASA satellites illustrate how quickly wildfires have spread throughout Southern California. Powerful Santa Ana winds have fueled more than 10 large wildfires stretching from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

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KAGUYA (SELENE) Placed in Science Orbit Around the Moon »» KAGUYA (SELENE) Placed in Science Orbit Around the Moon

[Tuesday, October 23, 2007] The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) injected the KAGUYA main satellite in its scheduled orbit and shifted its operation mode to the regular control mode.

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NASA's Shuttle Discovery Begins Mission to the Space Station »» NASA's Shuttle Discovery Begins Mission to the Space Station

[Tuesday, October 23, 2007] The space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew lifted off Tuesday, Oct. 23, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 11:38 a.m. EDT to continue construction of the International Space Station.

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NASA STS-120 Report #03  1 a.m. CDT Wednesday, October 24, 2007 »» NASA STS-120 Report #03 1 a.m. CDT Wednesday, October 24, 2007

[Wednesday, October 24, 2007] The astronauts on board Space Shuttle Discovery have begun their first full day in space on a two-week mission to set the stage for delivery of new laboratory modules from two more of the International Space Station's partner agencies.

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Chang'e-1 - new mission to Moon lifts off »» Chang'e-1 - new mission to Moon lifts off

[Wednesday, October 24, 2007] A bold new mission to the Moon was launched today by the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA). Chang'e-1 blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, Sichuan, atop a Long March 3A rocket.

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Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Progress Has Been Made, but Improvements Are Needed to Effectively Manage Risks »» Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Progress Has Been Made, but Improvements Are Needed to Effectively Manage Risks

[Wednesday, October 24, 2007] NOAA has made progress in planning its GOES-R procurement--which is estimated to cost $7 billion and scheduled to have the first satellite ready for launch in 2014--but cost and schedules are likely to grow.

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Home Computers to Help Researchers Better Undestand Universe »» Home Computers to Help Researchers Better Undestand Universe

[Wednesday, October 24, 2007] A new distributed computing project designed by a University of Illinois researcher allows people around the world to participate in cutting-edge cosmology research by donating their unused computing cycles.

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Jumbo Balloon Lofts Solar Telescope to 120,000 feet »» Jumbo Balloon Lofts Solar Telescope to 120,000 feet

[Wednesday, October 24, 2007] In a landmark test flight, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and a team of research partners this month successfully launched a solar telescope to an altitude of 120,000 feet, borne by a balloon larger than a Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

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Jovian magnetosphere circulation differs from Earth's »» Jovian magnetosphere circulation differs from Earth's

[Wednesday, October 24, 2007] The large size of the Jovian magnetosphere means that the time it takes for material that reconnects in the magnetotail and moves back up to Earth is only about 10 hours, less than half a day. However, the process at Jupiter takes 750 to 1,000 hours.

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NASA Offers $2 Million Lunar Lander Competition Prize »» NASA Offers $2 Million Lunar Lander Competition Prize

[Wednesday, October 24, 2007] During the X PRIZE Cup Oct. 27-28, NASA's Centennial Challenges Program will offer prizes totaling $2 million if competing teams successfully meet the requirements of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

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Stellar Forensics With Striking New Image From NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory »» Stellar Forensics With Striking New Image From NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory

[Wednesday, October 24, 2007] A spectacular new image shows how complex a star's afterlife can be. By studying the details of this image astronomers can better understand how some stars die and disperse elements like oxygen into the next generation of stars and planets.

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CNN's Miles O'Brien to Speak at LSU's Upcoming Risk Symposium »» CNN's Miles O'Brien to Speak at LSU's Upcoming Risk Symposium

[Wednesday, October 24, 2007] CNN anchor and Emmy winner Miles O'Brien will join an impressive list of speakers at LSU's upcoming international symposium on risk and exploration, Oct. 28-30.

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Expedition 16 Welcomes STS-120 Crew Aboard International Space Station »» Expedition 16 Welcomes STS-120 Crew Aboard International Space Station

[Thursday, October 25, 2007] Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Clay Anderson welcomed the seven-member STS-120 crew aboard the station at 10:39 a.m. EDT.

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SpaceRef Editor Keith Cowing on CNN to Discuss Chang'e Mission to the Moon »» SpaceRef Editor Keith Cowing on CNN to Discuss Chang'e Mission to the Moon

[Thursday, October 25, 2007] On 24/25 October 2007 (depending on where you were) SpaceRef.com and NASA Watch.com editor Keith Cowing appeared live on CNN Asia to talk about China's launch of its Chang'e mission to the moon.

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Seismologists see Earth's interior as interplay between temperature, pressure and chemistry »» Seismologists see Earth's interior as interplay between temperature, pressure and chemistry

[Thursday, October 25, 2007] Seismologists in recent years have recast their understanding of the inner workings of Earth from a relatively benign homogeneous environment to one that is highly dynamic and chemically diverse.

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Mystery Comet Explodes Into Brightness »» Mystery Comet Explodes Into Brightness

[Thursday, October 25, 2007] A once-faint comet has made a sudden leap from obscurity to center stage. Comet 17P Holmes, now visible to northern hemisphere residents, increased its brightness by a factor of one million this week, going from magnitude 17 to 2.

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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Spies Shells of Sparkling Stars Around Quasar »» NASA Hubble Space Telescope Spies Shells of Sparkling Stars Around Quasar

[Thursday, October 25, 2007] What has appeared as a mild-mannered elliptical galaxy in previous studies is revealing its wild side in new images taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

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NASA's James Web Space Telescope Gets Spacewired »» NASA's James Web Space Telescope Gets Spacewired

[Thursday, October 25, 2007] NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will use a new advanced technology network interface called "SpaceWire" that enables the components on the telescope to work more efficiently and more reliably with each other.

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Missing Black Hole Report: Hundreds Found! »» Missing Black Hole Report: Hundreds Found!

[Thursday, October 25, 2007] Astronomers have unmasked hundreds of black holes hiding deep inside dusty galaxies billions of light-years away.

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NASA STS-120 Report #09  1 a.m. CDT Saturday, October 27, 2007 »» NASA STS-120 Report #09 1 a.m. CDT Saturday, October 27, 2007

[Saturday, October 27, 2007] Today is the grand opening of the International Space Station's newest module, a connecting node that will host new laboratory complexes from around the world.

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NASA STS-120 Report #13  12:45 a.m. CDT Monday, October 29, 2007 »» NASA STS-120 Report #13 12:45 a.m. CDT Monday, October 29, 2007

[Monday, October 29, 2007] With two successful spacewalks completed in three days, the crews on Space Shuttle Discovery and the ISS have some time to relax today while also completing a big handoff and getting prepared for another EVA on Tuesday.

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Comet 17/P Holmes May have a Short Tail »» Comet 17/P Holmes May have a Short Tail

[Monday, October 29, 2007] The recent brightening of comet Holmes has spurred a frenzy of observations both by amateurs and professionals astronomers alike. All these observations reveal a tailless round yellowish fuzzball in the constellation Perseus.

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NASA to Announce Field Center Work Assignments to Enable Lunar Exploration »» NASA to Announce Field Center Work Assignments to Enable Lunar Exploration

[Monday, October 29, 2007] Tomorrow NASA will take another important step toward returning astronauts to the moon by assigning key future Constellation Program work to its field centers. The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate will host the meeting at NASA Headquarters.

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Risk and Exploration: Earth as a Classroom »» Risk and Exploration: Earth as a Classroom

[Monday, October 29, 2007] Between 27-30 October a symposium will be held at LSU titled "Risk and Exploration: Earth As A Classroom". This event is being webcast live.

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Challenger Center for Space Science Education Adds New Members to Board of Directors »» Challenger Center for Space Science Education Adds New Members to Board of Directors

[Monday, October 29, 2007] The Challenger Center for Space Science Education has added three new members to its board of Directors. Meeting in Alexandria, Virginia last week, the Challenger Center's sitting board welcomed its new members aboard for three year terms.

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NASA STS-120 Report #14  Monday, Oct. 29, 2007 - 5 p.m. CDT »» NASA STS-120 Report #14 Monday, Oct. 29, 2007 - 5 p.m. CDT

[Tuesday, October 30, 2007] As crewmembers aboard the International Space Station and space shuttle Discovery prepared for the third spacewalk, they learned that the shuttle will spend an extra day in space, with landing now scheduled for just after 4 a.m. Nov. 7.

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Challenger Center for Space  Education Founder Speaks at LSU Risk and Exploration Symposium »» Challenger Center for Space Education Founder Speaks at LSU Risk and Exploration Symposium

[Tuesday, October 30, 2007] Exploration reaps benefits for all involved - whether they go on the trip - or stay at home. Yet there are risks inherent in all forms of exploration that accompany these benefits. No one knows this better than June Scobee Rodgers.

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Massive Black Hole Smashes Record »» Massive Black Hole Smashes Record

[Tuesday, October 30, 2007] Using two NASA satellites, astronomers have discovered a black hole that obliterates a record announced just two weeks ago. The new black hole, with a mass 24 to 33 times that of our Sun, is the heftiest known black hole that orbits another star.

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Dancing with the Stars Takes on a Whole New Twist »» Dancing with the Stars Takes on a Whole New Twist

[Tuesday, October 30, 2007] Two galaxies perform an intricate dance in this new Hubble Space Telescope image. The galaxies, containing a vast number of stars, swing past each other in a graceful performance choreographed by gravity.

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NASA to Establish Nationwide Lunar Science Institute »» NASA to Establish Nationwide Lunar Science Institute

[Tuesday, October 30, 2007] NASA has announced its intent to establish a new lunar science institute. This effort, with dispersed teams across the nation, will help lead the agency's research activities for future lunar science missions related to NASA's exploration goals.

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NASA Announces New Center Assignments for Moon Exploration »» NASA Announces New Center Assignments for Moon Exploration

[Tuesday, October 30, 2007] NASA announced Tuesday which agency centers will take responsibility for specific work to enable astronauts to explore the moon. The new assignments cover elements of the lunar lander and lunar surface operations.

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NASA STS-120 Report #17  12:15 a.m. CDT Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007 »» NASA STS-120 Report #17 12:15 a.m. CDT Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007

[Wednesday, October 31, 2007] Crewmembers on space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station will spend today preparing for a spacewalk designed to learn more about the joint that rotates the starboard side solar arrays.

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