October 2008 Top Story Archives



NASA Challenges Students To Design Tools For Moon Rovers »» NASA Challenges Students To Design Tools For Moon Rovers

[Wednesday, October 1, 2008] A new NASA contest challenges college-level students to design tools or instrument packages that could be used on the next generation of human-driven moon rovers.

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Infrared Echoes Give NASA's Spitzer a Supernova Flashback »» Infrared Echoes Give NASA's Spitzer a Supernova Flashback

[Wednesday, October 1, 2008] Hot spots near the shattered remains of an exploded star are echoing the blast's first moments, say scientists using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

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NASA'S Messenger Spacecraft Returns To Mercury »» NASA'S Messenger Spacecraft Returns To Mercury

[Wednesday, October 1, 2008] A NASA spacecraft will conduct the second of three flybys of Mercury on Oct. 6 to photograph most of its remaining unseen surface and collect science data.

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When it comes to galaxies, diversity is everywhere »» When it comes to galaxies, diversity is everywhere

[Wednesday, October 1, 2008] A group of galaxies in our cosmic backyard has given astronomers clues about how stars form. A thorough survey using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has observed around 14 million stars in 69 galaxies.

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Hidden Boundaries of Sunspots Pump Out Plasma into Interplanetary Space »» Hidden Boundaries of Sunspots Pump Out Plasma into Interplanetary Space

[Wednesday, October 1, 2008] Complicated networks of magnetic fields power the sun's atmosphere and create both the beautiful structures and violent explosions that scientists study.

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Next-generation adaptive optics produces sharper Jupiter images »» Next-generation adaptive optics produces sharper Jupiter images

[Thursday, October 2, 2008] A two-hour observation of Jupiter using an improved technique to remove atmospheric blur has produced the sharpest whole-planet picture ever taken from the ground.

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First Second Generation Astronaut, Richard Garriott, to Perform Research while in Space in Cooperation with NASA »» First Second Generation Astronaut, Richard Garriott, to Perform Research while in Space in Cooperation with NASA

[Thursday, October 2, 2008] Space Adventures, Ltd., announced today that their orbital spaceflight client, Richard Garriott, will participate in a suite of experiments in cooperation with NASA during his 10-day mission.

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A Celestial Landscape in Celebration of 10 Years of Stunning Hubble Heritage Images »» A Celestial Landscape in Celebration of 10 Years of Stunning Hubble Heritage Images

[Thursday, October 2, 2008] The landmark 10th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's Hubble Heritage Project is being celebrated with a 'landscape' image from the cosmos.

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NASA Selects Science Teams for Astrobiology Institute »» NASA Selects Science Teams for Astrobiology Institute

[Thursday, October 2, 2008] NASA has awarded five-year grants, averaging $7 million each, to 10 research teams from across the country to study the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.

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NASA to Discuss Mission to Explore the Edge of the Solar System »» NASA to Discuss Mission to Explore the Edge of the Solar System

[Thursday, October 2, 2008] NASA will hold a media teleconference on Monday, Oct. 6, at 1 p.m. EDT, to discuss the upcoming launch of the first spacecraft that will image and map the dynamic interactions taking place where the hot solar wind slams into the cold expanse of space.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Anniversaries and Calendars »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Anniversaries and Calendars

[Friday, October 3, 2008] Calendars are funny things. We count time as very important and try to keep track of special days. But the calendars and the seasons don't always match up. For example, every school child knows that Columbus discovered America on October 12.

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Challenger Center Partners with TERC's Windows on Earth Program »» Challenger Center Partners with TERC's Windows on Earth Program

[Friday, October 3, 2008] Challenger Center for Space Science Education is partnering with the new release of TERC's Windows on Earth website that allows students, teachers and the general public to experience in simulated real time the view from the ISS.

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MESSENGER Beams Back First Approach Images of Mercury »» MESSENGER Beams Back First Approach Images of Mercury

[Friday, October 3, 2008] MESSENGER mission operators have received the first optical navigation images from the spacecraft. "We will be taking seven additional sets over the next three days as the spacecraft approaches the planet," said Mission Systems Engineer Eric Finnegan.

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Arctic sea ice annual freeze-up underway »» Arctic sea ice annual freeze-up underway

[Friday, October 3, 2008] After reaching the second-lowest extent ever recorded last month, sea ice in the Arctic has begun to refreeze in the face of autumn temperatures, closing both the Northern Sea Route and the direct route through the Northwest Passage.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 4 October 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 4 October 2008

[Saturday, October 4, 2008] All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Saturday - off duty day for CDR Volkov, FE-1 Kononenko & FE-2 Chamitoff.

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MESSENGER Instruments Take Aim at Mercury »» MESSENGER Instruments Take Aim at Mercury

[Sunday, October 5, 2008] "All spacecraft sub-systems and instruments reported nominal operations indicating that MESSENGER is ready for its second encounter with Mercury," said MESSENGER Systems Engineer Eric Finnegan of APL.

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NASA IBEX Spacecraft Ready to Explore Outer Solar System »» NASA IBEX Spacecraft Ready to Explore Outer Solar System

[Monday, October 6, 2008] The first NASA spacecraft to image and map the dynamic interactions taking place where the hot solar wind slams into the cold expanse of space is ready for launch Oct. 19.

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Langley Reaches Milestone, Completes Orion Crew Module Test Article »» Langley Reaches Milestone, Completes Orion Crew Module Test Article

[Monday, October 6, 2008] NASA's Langley Research Center has completed construction of the Orion crew module flight test article pathfinder that will be used for the first full-scale flight test of Orion's launch abort system, Pad Abort-1.

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NASA Cassini Plans Doubleheader Flybys of Saturn's Geyser Moon Enceladus »» NASA Cassini Plans Doubleheader Flybys of Saturn's Geyser Moon Enceladus

[Monday, October 6, 2008] As major league baseball readies for the World Series, NASA's Cassini team will come to bat twice this month when the spacecraft flies by Saturn's geyser moon, Enceladus.

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MESSENGER Flyby of Mercury »» MESSENGER Flyby of Mercury

[Monday, October 6, 2008] At a little after 4:40 a.m. EDT, MESSENGER skimmed 200 kilometers (124 miles) above the surface of Mercury in the second of three flybys of the planet.

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COROT discovery stirs exoplanet classification rethink »» COROT discovery stirs exoplanet classification rethink

[Monday, October 6, 2008] COROT has discovered a massive planet-sized object orbiting its parent star closely, unlike anything ever spotted before. It is so exotic, that scientists are unsure as to whether this oddity is actually a planet or a failed star.

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Boulder-sized Asteroid Will Burn Up In Eath's Atmosphere Tonight »» Boulder-sized Asteroid Will Burn Up In Eath's Atmosphere Tonight

[Monday, October 6, 2008] A tiny asteroid discovered just hours ago at an Arizona observatory will enter Earth's atmosphere harmlessly at approximately 10:46 p.m. Eastern time tonight (2:46 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time).

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NASA Solicitation: Altair Request for Information »» NASA Solicitation: Altair Request for Information

[Monday, October 6, 2008] NASA is in the conceptual phase of identifying key performance indicators for the successful design and production of the "Altair" (Lunar Lander) vehicle. Our goal is to meet NASA's Lunar Exploration requirements safely and at the lowest life cycle cost.

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NASA Internal Memo: New Controls on NASA Conference Participation in FY 09 »» NASA Internal Memo: New Controls on NASA Conference Participation in FY 09

[Tuesday, October 7, 2008] The NASA Authorization Act, H.R. 6063, which has passed both the House and the Senate, is awaiting signature by the President. It contains a new provision restricting NASA total authorized spending on conferences to $5 million in FY 09.

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NASA MESSENGER Image: Mercury as Never Seen Before »» NASA MESSENGER Image: Mercury as Never Seen Before

[Tuesday, October 7, 2008] For most of the terrain east of Kuiper, toward the limb (edge) of the planet, the departing images are the first spacecraft views of that portion of Mercury’s surface.

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NASA Mars Rover Opportunity: Road Trip Gets Under Way »» NASA Mars Rover Opportunity: Road Trip Gets Under Way

[Tuesday, October 7, 2008] Opportunity has embarked on the next great challenge -- a journey of 12 km southeast to a huge hole in the ground nicknamed "Endeavour Crater." Measuring 22 km from rim to rim.

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Live Challenger Center Broadcast with the ISS: Kids Ask Citizen Cosmonaut »» Live Challenger Center Broadcast with the ISS: Kids Ask Citizen Cosmonaut "What Are You Looking For in Space"?

[Tuesday, October 7, 2008] Richard Garriott plans to talk with students through a NASA sponsored live video teleconference, broadcast via the Internet on October 20th at 1:00pm ET during his flight to the International Space Station.

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Discovery Education and 3M Announce America's Top Young Scientist and Top Science Teacher »» Discovery Education and 3M Announce America's Top Young Scientist and Top Science Teacher

[Tuesday, October 7, 2008] On October 5-6, 2008, ten students and five teachers were challenged to defy gravity, bend light and more at the YSC finals held at NASA's world-renowned Goddard Space Flight Center located near Washington, D.C.

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Report: Historical Exploration: Learning Lessons from the Past to Inform the Future »» Report: Historical Exploration: Learning Lessons from the Past to Inform the Future

[Tuesday, October 7, 2008] This report examines a number of exploration campaigns that have taken place during the last 700 years, and considers them from a risk perspective.

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NASA Mars Rover and Earth Stick Together »» NASA Mars Rover and Earth Stick Together

[Tuesday, October 7, 2008] Spirit is poised to begin making more "phone calls" to Earth and engineers are preparing to contact Spirit more frequently as a result of improving solar power input on Mars.

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SpaceX Falcon 1 Flight 4 Launch Update »» SpaceX Falcon 1 Flight 4 Launch Update

[Wednesday, October 8, 2008] A week spent reviewing data has confirmed that the flight went really well, including the coast and restart. The mood here at SpaceX is just ecstatic! This is the culmination of six years of hard work by a very talented team.

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NASA Issues Space Shuttle To Constellation Work Force Transition Report »» NASA Issues Space Shuttle To Constellation Work Force Transition Report

[Wednesday, October 8, 2008] NASA is releasing an updated version of the Work Force Transition Strategy Report, which was delivered to Congress on Wednesday. The report details the agency's plan to minimize job losses while transitioning from the Shuttle to Constellation.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Exploration is all about the unexpected »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Exploration is all about the unexpected

[Wednesday, October 8, 2008] I had great hopes for this paper. After I read it, I felt disappointment. I slept on it. I read it again this morning. I am still disappointed. The Strathclyde study said that Columbus's voyages were a tactical failure and a strategic success. Really?

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NASA MESSENGER Sets Record for Accuracy of Planetary Flyby »» NASA MESSENGER Sets Record for Accuracy of Planetary Flyby

[Wednesday, October 8, 2008] By using solar sailing MESSENGER navigators have achieved a new record for the smallest miss distance between the intended and actual closest approach distance during a flyby of a planet other than Earth.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Digging and Analyzing Soil as Darkness Gathers »» NASA Mars Phoenix Lander Digging and Analyzing Soil as Darkness Gathers

[Wednesday, October 8, 2008] As fall approaches Mars' northern plains, NASA's Phoenix Lander continues to dig into the red planet's soil and deliver samples to its onboard science instruments for analysis.

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NASA to Provide Mars Science Laboratory Launch Update »» NASA to Provide Mars Science Laboratory Launch Update

[Thursday, October 9, 2008] NASA will host a media teleconference at 3 p.m. EDT, Friday, Oct. 10, to brief reporters after a meeting held by the agency's administrator concerning the Mars Science Laboratory, or MSL. The meeting is to discuss technical and budget issues.

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Spinoff 2008 Highlights NASA Innovations In Everyday Life »» Spinoff 2008 Highlights NASA Innovations In Everyday Life

[Thursday, October 9, 2008] The 2008 edition of NASA's annual Spinoff publication celebrates the agency's 50th anniversary and highlights 50 new examples of how NASA technology is being put to use in everyday life.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Legislative Wrap-Up for the 110th Congress »» NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale's Blog: Legislative Wrap-Up for the 110th Congress

[Thursday, October 9, 2008] From a legislative perspective, the last nine weeks have been a whirlwind.

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Apollo Heat Shield Uncrated After 35 Years, Helps New Crew Vehicle Design »» Apollo Heat Shield Uncrated After 35 Years, Helps New Crew Vehicle Design

[Thursday, October 9, 2008] NASA scientists developing the next generation of exploration vehicles and heat shields for NASA's Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle experienced "Christmas in July" when they uncrated the heat shields used on the Apollo missions some 35 years ago.

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Bold traveler's journey toward the center of the Earth »» Bold traveler's journey toward the center of the Earth

[Thursday, October 9, 2008] The first ecosystem ever found having only a single biological species has been discovered 2.8 km beneath the surface of the earth in the Mponeng gold mine near Johannesburg, South Africa.

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NASA Science Mission Directorate Cost Overrun Coverup »» NASA Science Mission Directorate Cost Overrun Coverup

[Friday, October 10, 2008] Last year, before Ed Weiler came back to NASA Headquarters to be the Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, an internal cost study was done to see how much SMD overruns every year on its various projects and missions.

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SpaceDev Founder Jim Benson Dies »» SpaceDev Founder Jim Benson Dies

[Friday, October 10, 2008] SpaceDev, Inc. announced today that SpaceDev Founder and Board Member James Benson, 63, died peacefully in his home.

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Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Continuing the discussion »» Wayne Hale's NASA Blog: Continuing the discussion

[Friday, October 10, 2008] About 48 hours after having posted a short example on Columbus, I hope you have reached some conclusions. I'd like to continue this discussion just a bit longer.

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Venus Express searching for life - on Earth »» Venus Express searching for life - on Earth

[Friday, October 10, 2008] The images of Earth cover both visible and near-infrared regions of the spectrum and can be split into spectra, in order to search for the signature of molecules in the Earth's atmosphere.

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NASA: Briefing on Hubble Problem Status »» NASA: Briefing on Hubble Problem Status

[Friday, October 10, 2008] NASA will host a media teleconference at 12:30 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, Oct. 14, to brief reporters about the status of efforts to revive the data handling unit that failed on the Hubble Space Telescope in late-September.

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Photo Report: Soyuz TMA-13 Primary Crew »» Photo Report: Soyuz TMA-13 Primary Crew

[Saturday, October 11, 2008] Photo In the assembly/test building primary (Yury Lonchakov (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Russia), Michael Fincke (NASA, USA), Richard Garriott (USA)).

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Photo Report: Soyuz TM-13 Moved to Launch Site »» Photo Report: Soyuz TM-13 Moved to Launch Site

[Saturday, October 11, 2008] Rollout of the Soyuz spacecraft from the assembly-test facility to the launch site has been completed. Launch is planned for October 12, 2008 at 11:01 Moscow time.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 October 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 11 October 2008

[Saturday, October 11, 2008] Overnight on 10/9-10, the Russian BITS2-12 onboard telemetry measurement system failed, resulting in a shutdown of RS (Russian Segment) SOZh/ECLSS equipment.

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Space Adventures Client, Private Astronaut Richard Garriott, Successfully Launches to the International Space Station »» Space Adventures Client, Private Astronaut Richard Garriott, Successfully Launches to the International Space Station

[Sunday, October 12, 2008] Space Adventures, Ltd., announced that its orbital client Richard Garriott and his crew successfully launched aboard a Soyuz TMA spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan en route to the International Space Station (ISS).

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 October 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 12 October 2008

[Sunday, October 12, 2008] Soyuz TMA-13 (17S) launched flawlessly this morning on time at 3:01:38am EDT carrying ISS-18 CDR Michael Fincke (first American to launch twice on a Soyuz), Soyuz CDR/ISS-18 FE-1 Yuri Lonchakov, and SFP/VC15 Richard Garriott.

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New Images Yield Clues to Seasons of Uranus »» New Images Yield Clues to Seasons of Uranus

[Monday, October 13, 2008] With an 84-year orbit around the sun, it isn't often that planetary scientists have an opportunity to observe the change of seasons on Uranus, a planet some 19 times farther from the sun than the Earth.

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Moist Convection Can Drive Jet Streams on All Giant Planets »» Moist Convection Can Drive Jet Streams on All Giant Planets

[Monday, October 13, 2008] Turbulence generated by thunderstorms can drive the multiple east-west jet streams on the giant planets and explain a long-standing conundrum concerning the puzzling differences between the innermost two planets and the outermost two.

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Giant Cyclones at Saturn's Poles Create a Swirl of Mystery »» Giant Cyclones at Saturn's Poles Create a Swirl of Mystery

[Monday, October 13, 2008] New images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveal a giant cyclone at Saturn's north pole, and show that a similarly monstrous cyclone churning at Saturn's south pole is powered by Earth-like storm patterns.

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Computer Simulations Unveil The Exotic Weather on Distant Worlds »» Computer Simulations Unveil The Exotic Weather on Distant Worlds

[Monday, October 13, 2008] Computer simulations of the atmospheric circulation on Jupiter-like planets around other stars can explain temperature observations of these planets and shed light on the exotic weather experienced by these far-away worlds.

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Smaller and More Recent Features on Mars Can Now Be Dated »» Smaller and More Recent Features on Mars Can Now Be Dated

[Monday, October 13, 2008] The crater-counting system that scientists have used since the 1970s to determine the age of large geologic features on Mars will also allow them to date small features, such as riverbeds and lava flows.

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The First Far-Side Gravity of the Moon and Global Topography by KAGUYA (SELENE) »» The First Far-Side Gravity of the Moon and Global Topography by KAGUYA (SELENE)

[Monday, October 13, 2008] Astronomers are announcing today that the precise gravity field of the lunar far side and the global lunar topography map were obtained by KAGUYA spacecraft.

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Tides Have Major Impact on Planet Habitability »» Tides Have Major Impact on Planet Habitability

[Monday, October 13, 2008] Astronomers searching for rocky planets that could support life in other solar systems should look outside, as well as within, the so-called "habitable zone," University of Arizona planetary scientists say.

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ASU Mars instrument gets new lease on life as NASA extends Mars Odyssey mission »» ASU Mars instrument gets new lease on life as NASA extends Mars Odyssey mission

[Monday, October 13, 2008] A six-minute rocket firing on September 30 has put NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft on track for a new orbit around the Red Planet.

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NASA Supercomputer Shows How Dust Rings Point to Exo-Earths »» NASA Supercomputer Shows How Dust Rings Point to Exo-Earths

[Monday, October 13, 2008] Supercomputer simulations of dusty disks around sunlike stars show that planets nearly as small as Mars can create patterns that future telescopes may be able to detect. The research points to a new avenue in the search for habitable planets.

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NASA's Spitzer Gets Sneak Peak Inside Comet Holmes »» NASA's Spitzer Gets Sneak Peak Inside Comet Holmes

[Monday, October 13, 2008] When comet Holmes unexpectedly erupted in 2007, professional and amateur astronomers around the world turned their telescopes toward the spectacular event. Their quest was to find out why the comet had suddenly exploded.

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The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap »» The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap

[Monday, October 13, 2008] The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap provides guidance for research and technology development across the NASA enterprises that encompass the space, Earth, and biological sciences.

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Private Astronaut Richard Garriott, Arrives At International Space Station »» Private Astronaut Richard Garriott, Arrives At International Space Station

[Tuesday, October 14, 2008] Space Adventures, Ltd., announced today that its orbital client Richard Garriott and his crew successfully arrived at the ISS after launching onboard the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 12.

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Richard Garriott, Private Space Explorer, Talks to Students Live from the International Space Station »» Richard Garriott, Private Space Explorer, Talks to Students Live from the International Space Station

[Tuesday, October 14, 2008] Richard Garriott, the next civilian to fly into space and son of NASA's Skylab Astronaut Owen Garriott, plans to talk to students through live amateur radio downlinks during his October flight to the International Space Station.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 October 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 14 October 2008

[Tuesday, October 14, 2008] Soyuz TMA-13/17S docked smoothly at the FGB nadir port at 4:26am EDT, seven minutes ahead of time, with Expedition 18 crewmembers CDR-18 Michael Fincke, Soyuz CDR/FE-1-18 Yuri Lonchakov, and SFP Richard Garriott.

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Lunar Prospecting Robot To Be Field Tested on Hawaii's Mauna Kea »» Lunar Prospecting Robot To Be Field Tested on Hawaii's Mauna Kea

[Tuesday, October 14, 2008] The cool, rocky slopes of Mauna Kea, a dormant Hawaiian volcano, will serve as a stand-in for the moon as researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, NASA and other organizations test a robot designed for lunar prospecting.

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NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Rolls Off Launch Pad Monday »» NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Rolls Off Launch Pad Monday

[Tuesday, October 14, 2008] Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to roll back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday, Oct. 20, to await launch on its mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Splashy Portrait Helps Explain How Stars Form »» Splashy Portrait Helps Explain How Stars Form

[Tuesday, October 14, 2008] Different wavelengths of light swirl together like watercolors in a new, ethereal portrait of a bright, star-forming region.

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NASA to Webcast IBEX Spacecraft Launch on Pegasus Rocket Oct. 19 »» NASA to Webcast IBEX Spacecraft Launch on Pegasus Rocket Oct. 19

[Tuesday, October 14, 2008] The first NASA spacecraft to image and map the dynamic interactions taking place where the hot solar wind slams into the cold expanse of space will be launched on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 1:48 p.m. EDT

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NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective 1,000 Days on the Road to Pluto »» NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective 1,000 Days on the Road to Pluto

[Tuesday, October 14, 2008] It's hard to believe, but Oct. 15 will be the 1,000th day of flight for New Horizons. And in that time we've traveled so far that only four other spacecraft - Pioneers 10 and 11 and Voyagers 1 and 2 - have ventured farther.

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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Status Update #1 »» NASA Hubble Space Telescope Status Update #1

[Wednesday, October 15, 2008] The Hubble Space Telescope team completed switching the required hardware modules to their B-sides about 9:30 a.m. this morning and received telemetry that verified they had good data. Everything at this point looks good.

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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Status Update #2 »» NASA Hubble Space Telescope Status Update #2

[Thursday, October 16, 2008] Around Noon today commands to recover Hubble's science instruments from their safe modes will begin and internal exposures and calibrations of the telescope's science instruments will occur before midnight Thursday.

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Schmitt Completes NASA Advisory Council Service; Ford Named Chairman »» Schmitt Completes NASA Advisory Council Service; Ford Named Chairman

[Thursday, October 16, 2008] NASA Advisory Council Chairman Harrison "Jack" H. Schmitt announced Thursday he was leaving the council. Fellow council member Kenneth Ford will succeed him as chairman effective immediately.

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Young planets stay hotter longer »» Young planets stay hotter longer

[Thursday, October 16, 2008] Hot, young planets may be easier to spot because they stay that way longer than astronomers have thought, according to new work by MIT planetary scientist Linda Elkins-Tanton.

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Volcanoes May Have Provided Sparks of First Life »» Volcanoes May Have Provided Sparks of First Life

[Thursday, October 16, 2008] New research suggests that lightening and volcanoes may have sparked early life on Earth.

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ESA closes in on the origin of Mars' larger moon »» ESA closes in on the origin of Mars' larger moon

[Thursday, October 16, 2008] Thanks to a series of close encounters by ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, the moon looks almost certain to be a 'rubble pile', rather than a single solid object. However, mysteries remain about where the rubble came from.

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Hubble Science Operations Deferred While Engineers Examine New Issues »» Hubble Science Operations Deferred While Engineers Examine New Issues

[Friday, October 17, 2008] Activation of Hubble Space Telescope science instruments and resumption of science observations has been suspended following two anomalies seen in systems onboard the telescope yesterday.

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Lunar Lander Teams to Compete for $2 Million NASA Prize »» Lunar Lander Teams to Compete for $2 Million NASA Prize

[Friday, October 17, 2008] Nine teams with rocket-powered vehicles will compete for $2 million in NASA prize money during the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, Oct. 24-25, at Las Cruces International Airport in New Mexico.

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Richard Garriott Live Video Conference with Students From Space »» Richard Garriott Live Video Conference with Students From Space

[Friday, October 17, 2008] Richard Garriott, private space explorer and son of NASA's Skylab Astronaut Dr. Owen Garriott, plans to talk with students through a NASA sponsored live video teleconference, broadcast via the Internet scheduled for Monday, October 20th.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 October 2008 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 18 October 2008

[Saturday, October 18, 2008] All ISS systems continue to function nominally, except those noted previously or below. Day 5 of joint E17/18 operations.

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NASA Launches IBEX Mission to Outer Solar System »» NASA Launches IBEX Mission to Outer Solar System

[Sunday, October 19, 2008] NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission successfully launched from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean at 1:47 p.m. EDT, Sunday. IBEX will be the first spacecraft to image and map dynamic interactions taking place in the outer solar system.

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U.S.-Led, International AGAP Team Poised to Probe One of Antarctica's Last Unexplored Places »» U.S.-Led, International AGAP Team Poised to Probe One of Antarctica's Last Unexplored Places

[Sunday, October 19, 2008] Using sophisticated airborne radar and other Information Age tools and techniques, the scientists will virtually "peel away" more than four kilometers (2.5 miles) of ice covering an Antarctic mountain range that rivals the Alps in elevation.

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Lockheed Martin Delivers Mars Science Laboratory Backshell To NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory »» Lockheed Martin Delivers Mars Science Laboratory Backshell To NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

[Monday, October 20, 2008] Lockheed Martin recently delivered the backshell for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

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NASA Michoud Assembly Facility's Hurricane Gustav Rideout Crew Honored with Director's Commendation Award »» NASA Michoud Assembly Facility's Hurricane Gustav Rideout Crew Honored with Director's Commendation Award

[Monday, October 20, 2008] David King, director of MSFC has awarded the Director's Commendation to members of the Hurricane Gustav rideout crew at the Michoud Assembly Facility for their outstanding effort in planning and implementing emergency operations to protect the facility.

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VLT and Rossi XTE satellite probe violently variable black holes »» VLT and Rossi XTE satellite probe violently variable black holes

[Monday, October 20, 2008] Unique observations of the flickering light from the surroundings of two black holes provide new insights into the colossal energy that flows at their hearts.

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HiRISE Camera Reveals Rare Polar Martian Impact Craters »» HiRISE Camera Reveals Rare Polar Martian Impact Craters

[Monday, October 20, 2008] An odd, solitary hill rising part-way down an eroding slope in Mars' north polar layered terrain may be the remnant of a buried impact crater.

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Richard Garriott Live Video Conference with Students From Space TODAY »» Richard Garriott Live Video Conference with Students From Space TODAY

[Monday, October 20, 2008] Richard Garriott plans to talk with students through a NASA sponsored live video teleconference, broadcast via the Internet scheduled for Today, Monday, October 20th at 12:30pm ET during his flight to the International Space Station.

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NASA Goddard CIO Blog: But I Blog »» NASA Goddard CIO Blog: But I Blog

[Monday, October 20, 2008] I am often asked why on earth do I blog; why would a federal CIO want to blog; and where do you get the courage to do this. All fascinating questions that I thought about when I started and revisited as I got an email from a CIO colleague last week.

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SpaceDev Signs Agreement to Be Acquired by Sierra Nevada Corporation »» SpaceDev Signs Agreement to Be Acquired by Sierra Nevada Corporation

[Tuesday, October 21, 2008] SpaceDev, Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement to be acquired by privately-held Sierra Nevada Corporation. Under the agreement, SNC would acquire for cash the outstanding equity of SpaceDev for the gross purchase price of $38 million.

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NASA Returns to the Moon with Instruments on Indian Spacecraft »» NASA Returns to the Moon with Instruments on Indian Spacecraft

[Tuesday, October 21, 2008] Two NASA instruments to map the lunar surface will launch on India's maiden moon voyage. The Indian Space Research Organization, or ISRO, is scheduled to launch its robotic Chandrayaan-1 on Oct. 22 from Sriharikota, India.

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ESA leads the way to map boreal forest »» ESA leads the way to map boreal forest

[Tuesday, October 21, 2008] How best to map 'boreal' or northern forest with spaceborne radar is the focus of an ESA campaign currently underway in northern Sweden. The campaign addresses one of the key objectives of the candidate Earth Explorer BIOMASS mission.

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Research around the North Pole »» Research around the North Pole

[Tuesday, October 21, 2008] The German research vessel Polarstern has returned today to Bremerhaven from the Arctic Sea. It has cruised as the first research vessel ever both the Northeast and the Northwest Passages and thereby circled the North Pole.

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Send Your Name Into Space on the NASA Glory Mission »» Send Your Name Into Space on the NASA Glory Mission

[Tuesday, October 21, 2008] NASA invites you to submit your name to be included on a microchip on NASA's Glory Mission. Glory is the first mission dedicated to understanding the effects of particles in the atmosphere and the sun's variability on Earth's climate.

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NASA and Engineering Integrity »» NASA and Engineering Integrity

[Tuesday, October 21, 2008] This is a great symposium, named in honor of one of the most charismatic leaders NASA has had, Wernher von Braun, who accomplished great things here in Huntsville but became intensely frustrated with his later Headquarters assignment. I know how he felt.

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Serendipitous observations reveal rare event in life of distant quasar »» Serendipitous observations reveal rare event in life of distant quasar

[Tuesday, October 21, 2008] A bit of serendipity has given astronomers a surprise view of a never-before-observed event in the birth of a galaxy.

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A claret-coloured cloud with a massive heart »» A claret-coloured cloud with a massive heart

[Tuesday, October 21, 2008] A new image released by ESO shows the intricacies of a vast stellar nursery, which goes by the name of Gum 29. In the centre, a small cluster of stars has been found to be the home of one of the most massive double star systems known to astronomers.

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PSLV-C11 Successfully Launches Chandrayaan-1 »» PSLV-C11 Successfully Launches Chandrayaan-1

[Wednesday, October 22, 2008] This morning (October 22, 2008), the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO's) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C11, successfully launched the 1380 kg Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft into a transfer orbit.

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NASA and the Challenger Center Announce Antarctic Habitat Naming Contest »» NASA and the Challenger Center Announce Antarctic Habitat Naming Contest

[Wednesday, October 22, 2008] NASA and the Challenger Center for Space Education have partnered to engage students in ongoing activities for one of NASA's concepts for astronaut housing on the moon through a contest to name a habitat in Antarctica.

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NASA Blogs: Mac's Blog: Baby Shampoo, Ultralights, and Annoying Black Squares »» NASA Blogs: Mac's Blog: Baby Shampoo, Ultralights, and Annoying Black Squares

[Wednesday, October 22, 2008] Finally! The testing has started! We're getting data! Last week, I got to complete a round of testing. Though this didn't involve the fNIRS setup (lasers), it did utilize an EEG, or electroencephalography (pronounced with a sneeze).

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Satellite Images of Antarctica: The Whole Picture »» Satellite Images of Antarctica: The Whole Picture

[Wednesday, October 22, 2008] After using an Earth-observing satellites to image Antarctica to create a high-resolution mosaic of the continent, Ken Jezek hopes the world's space agencies will pull together their spaceborne resources to map the cryosphere in unprecedented detail.

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Penn awarded Center of Acute Radiation Research for study of space radiation  »» Penn awarded Center of Acute Radiation Research for study of space radiation 

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] Astronauts traveling to and living on the moon will run the risk of exposure to dangerous bursts of solar radiation, known as solar particle events.

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Earlier global warming produced a whole new form of life »» Earlier global warming produced a whole new form of life

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] Researchers have unearthed crystalline magnetic fossils of a previously unknown species of microorganism that lived at the boundary of the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, some 55 million years ago.

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Spanish scientists confirm the existence of electric activity in Titan, the largest moon of Saturn »» Spanish scientists confirm the existence of electric activity in Titan, the largest moon of Saturn

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] Physicists have developed a proceeding to analyse specific data sent by the Huygens probe from Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, proving "in an unequivocal way" that there is natural electric activity in its atmosphere.

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Potent Greenhouse Gas More Common in Atmosphere Than Estimated »» Potent Greenhouse Gas More Common in Atmosphere Than Estimated

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] New research indicates a powerful greenhouse gas is at least four times more prevalent in the atmosphere than previously estimated.

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NASA's Shuttle Endeavour Moves to Launch Pad, Practice Liftoff Set »» NASA's Shuttle Endeavour Moves to Launch Pad, Practice Liftoff Set

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to move from Launch Pad 39B to Pad 39A as early as 8 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, as preparations for the STS-126 mission move forward. Endeavour is targeted to lift off Nov. 14 to the International Space Station.

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Sensors Advance Lunar Landing Project »» Sensors Advance Lunar Landing Project

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] NASA is developing technologies that will allow lunar landers to automatically identify and navigate to the location of a safe landing site while detecting landing hazards during the final descent to the surface.

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NASA Invites Reporters to Tests of Moon Tools in Hawaii Nov. 13 »» NASA Invites Reporters to Tests of Moon Tools in Hawaii Nov. 13

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] Media are invited to observe tests of NASA equipment and rover concepts that will demonstrate how astronauts might prospect for lunar resources and make their own oxygen for survival on the moon.

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NASA Hubble Space Telescope Status Report #6  October 23, 2008 »» NASA Hubble Space Telescope Status Report #6 October 23, 2008

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] The Hubble Space Telescope Science Instrument Control and Data Handling system was reactivated on Thursday, October 23. This should enable Wide Field Planetary Camera-2 science observations to resume on Saturday, October 25.

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Expedition 17 Set to Undock Today »» Expedition 17 Set to Undock Today

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] With the Expedition 18 crew officially in command of the International Space Station, the Expedition 17 crew has finished making its final departure preparations and is ready to return to Earth.

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COROT directly sees 'Sun-quakes' in other stars for the first time »» COROT directly sees 'Sun-quakes' in other stars for the first time

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] Sounding the Sun through a technique similar to seismology has opened a new era for understanding the Sun's interior. COROT has now applied this technique to three stars, directly probing the interiors of stars beyond the Sun for the first time.

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NASA Welcomes Airship Ventures Zeppelin To Moffett Field »» NASA Welcomes Airship Ventures Zeppelin To Moffett Field

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] News media are invited to view the newest addition to Moffett Field - the first airship to fly over the U.S. for more than 70 years - on Monday, Oct. 27, 2008.

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Expedition 17 Crew Lands in Kazakhstan »» Expedition 17 Crew Lands in Kazakhstan

[Thursday, October 23, 2008] Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko of the 17th International Space Station crew landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 11:37 p.m. EDT Thursday after more than six months days in space.

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Coming soon: Self-guided, computer-based depression treatment for astronauts »» Coming soon: Self-guided, computer-based depression treatment for astronauts

[Saturday, October 25, 2008] Scientists are developing an interactive, multi-media program that will assist astronauts in recognizing and effectively managing depression and other psychosocial problems during long-duration spaceflights.

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Armadillo Aerospace Wins Level One of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge »» Armadillo Aerospace Wins Level One of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

[Saturday, October 25, 2008] Armadillo Aerospace team leader John Carmack wore a big smile yesterday as the team earned $350,000 in prize money for winning Level One of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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NASA Tests Rover Concepts in Arizona »» NASA Tests Rover Concepts in Arizona

[Sunday, October 26, 2008] A collection of engineers, astronauts and geologists have spent the past week testing out the Small Pressurized Rover in the 11th annual Desert RATS - or Research and Technology Studies -- field tests.

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NASA $350,000 Prize Goes to Armadillo Aerospace in Lunar Challenge »» NASA $350,000 Prize Goes to Armadillo Aerospace in Lunar Challenge

[Monday, October 27, 2008] Armadillo's winning vehicle successfully demonstrated some of the technologies needed for a lunar lander capable of ferrying payloads or humans back and forth between lunar orbit and the lunar surface.

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Solar System's Young Twin Has Two Asteroid Belts »» Solar System's Young Twin Has Two Asteroid Belts

[Monday, October 27, 2008] Astronomers have discovered that the nearby star Epsilon Eridani has two rocky asteroid belts and an outer icy ring, making it a triple-ring system.

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Catching quakes with laptops »» Catching quakes with laptops

[Monday, October 27, 2008] Inside your laptop is a small accelerometer chip, there to protect the delicate moving parts of your hard disk from sudden jolts. It turns out that the same chip is a pretty good earthquake sensor, too.

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NASA To Release Science Results, Images From Second Mercury Flyby »» NASA To Release Science Results, Images From Second Mercury Flyby

[Monday, October 27, 2008] NASA will hold a Science Update at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 29, to announce findings and release new images from the Oct. 6 flyby of Mercury by a NASA spacecraft.

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NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter sees Weaving Colors in the Martian Atmosphere »» NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter sees Weaving Colors in the Martian Atmosphere

[Tuesday, October 28, 2008] Like Navajo weavers, scientists use whatever tints they want to create a finished product. Here, brilliant hues show light in the Martian atmosphere that is invisible to humans.

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NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter sees Unusual Mound in North Polar Layered Deposits »» NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter sees Unusual Mound in North Polar Layered Deposits

[Tuesday, October 28, 2008] A striking image from the HiRISE camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a mound within the area of a trough cutting into Mars' north polar layered deposits. The camera took this image on Sept. 2, 2008.

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NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reveals Details of a Wetter Mars »» NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reveals Details of a Wetter Mars

[Tuesday, October 28, 2008] NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has observed a new category of minerals spread across large regions of Mars. This discovery suggests that liquid water remained on the planet's surface a billion years later than scientists believed.

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NASA To Update Reporters About Constellation Program »» NASA To Update Reporters About Constellation Program

[Tuesday, October 28, 2008] NASA will host a media teleconference Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m. EDT, to brief reporters about recent developments and ongoing progress in NASA's Constellation Program.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Mission Faces Survival Challenges »» NASA Mars Phoenix Mission Faces Survival Challenges

[Tuesday, October 28, 2008] In a race against time and the elements, engineers with NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission hope to extend the lander's survival by gradually shutting down some of its instruments and heaters, starting today.

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NASA JSC Advanced Planning Office Blog: A Perspective from a Baby Boomer »» NASA JSC Advanced Planning Office Blog: A Perspective from a Baby Boomer

[Wednesday, October 29, 2008] For many in my generation it was the Apollo program or Star Trek that sealed our future with NASA. For me it was the original voyages of the Starship Enterprise.

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NASA to Discuss Status of Hubble Servicing Mission Thursday »» NASA to Discuss Status of Hubble Servicing Mission Thursday

[Wednesday, October 29, 2008] NASA will host a media teleconference at 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 30, to discuss the status of the upcoming shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Challenger Center Welcomes New President »» Challenger Center Welcomes New President

[Wednesday, October 29, 2008] The Board of Directors of Challenger Center for Space Science Education today named Daniel Barstow as the education organization's new President.

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MESSENGER Spacecraft Reveals More Hidden Territory on Mercury »» MESSENGER Spacecraft Reveals More Hidden Territory on Mercury

[Wednesday, October 29, 2008] A NASA spacecraft gliding over the battered surface of Mercury for the second time this year has revealed more previously unseen real estate on the innermost planet.

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NASA'S Phoenix Mars Lander Enters Safe Mode »» NASA'S Phoenix Mars Lander Enters Safe Mode

[Wednesday, October 29, 2008] NASA'S Phoenix Mars Lander entered safe mode late yesterday in response to a low-power fault brought on by deteriorating weather conditions.

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NASA Measurements Show Greenhouse Gas Methane on the Rise Again »» NASA Measurements Show Greenhouse Gas Methane on the Rise Again

[Wednesday, October 29, 2008] The amount of methane in Earth's atmosphere shot up in 2007, bringing to an end approximately a decade in which atmospheric levels of the potent greenhouse gas were essentially stable.

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NASA Updates Thursday's Hubble Servicing Mission And Space Shuttle Readiness Review Briefing Times »» NASA Updates Thursday's Hubble Servicing Mission And Space Shuttle Readiness Review Briefing Times

[Thursday, October 30, 2008] The time of Thursday's media teleconference to discuss the status of the shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope has changed to 5:30 p.m. EDT.

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Searching for Primordial Antimatter »» Searching for Primordial Antimatter

[Thursday, October 30, 2008] Scientists are on the hunt for evidence of antimatter - matter's arch nemesis - left over from the very early Universe.

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NASA And Korea Sign Statement Of Intent For Future Cooperation »» NASA And Korea Sign Statement Of Intent For Future Cooperation

[Thursday, October 30, 2008] According to the statement, the two agencies agree to conduct discussions to identify new cooperative activities related to space exploration, Earth science, planetary science, human space flight and aeronautics research.

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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is back in business »» NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is back in business

[Thursday, October 30, 2008] Just a couple of days after the orbiting observatory was brought back online, Hubble aimed its prime working camera, the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), at a particularly intriguing target, a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies called Arp

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NASA Managers Delay Hubble Servicing Mission »» NASA Managers Delay Hubble Servicing Mission

[Thursday, October 30, 2008] NASA managers have announced that they will not meet a February 2009 launch date for the fifth and final shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

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NASA Mars Phoenix Mission Status Report 30 October 2008 »» NASA Mars Phoenix Mission Status Report 30 October 2008

[Thursday, October 30, 2008] NASA'S Phoenix Mars Lander, with its solar-electric power shrinking due to shorter daylight hours and a dust storm, did not respond to an orbiter's attempt to communicate with it Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

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NASA Gives GO For Space Shuttle Launch on November 14 »» NASA Gives GO For Space Shuttle Launch on November 14

[Thursday, October 30, 2008] NASA managers completed a review Thursday of space shuttle Endeavour's readiness for flight and selected the official launch date for the STS-126 mission.

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Private U.S. Company to Partner with  NASA for Lunar Lander Development »» Private U.S. Company to Partner with NASA for Lunar Lander Development

[Thursday, October 30, 2008] Odyssey Moon Ventures LLC, a U.S. company developing commercial systems for lunar exploration, announced today that it has partnered with NASA for the development of a robotic lunar lander.

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NASA Water Recovery System Headed to the International Space Station »» NASA Water Recovery System Headed to the International Space Station

[Thursday, October 30, 2008] The latest addition to the ISS life support system, the Water Recovery System, is targeted to launch Nov. 14 on the next space shuttle mission. This new water reclamation system will recycle wastewater from urine and crew perspiration.

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