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October 2010 Top Stories


The Influence Of Film On Human Space Exploration »» The Influence Of Film On Human Space Exploration

[Friday, October 1, 2010] Robert K. Weiss of the X-Prize Foundation gave an illuminating presentation about space and the film industry, as part of the 21st Symposium On Space Activity and Society at the 61st International Astronautical Congress in Prague.

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Surrey Satellite New High-Resolution Always-on Constellation to Image the Earth Every Five Days »» Surrey Satellite New High-Resolution Always-on Constellation to Image the Earth Every Five Days

[Friday, October 1, 2010] At the 61st International Astronautical Congress in Prague this week Surrey Satellite Technology Limited announced it will launch it's own three satellite earth observation constellation with the ability to see details down to the sub-meter level.

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International Partners Update Space Station Launch Manifest »» International Partners Update Space Station Launch Manifest

[Friday, October 1, 2010] NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) agreed on Friday to update the International Space Station launch schedule.

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No Evidence Found of Catastrophic Impact in Pleistocene »» No Evidence Found of Catastrophic Impact in Pleistocene

[Friday, October 1, 2010] Anthropology professor Vance T. Holliday and others take issue with claims that a comet strike led to the demise of Paleoindian megafauna hunters during the Pleistocene.

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Newly discovered planet may have water on its surface »» Newly discovered planet may have water on its surface

[Friday, October 1, 2010] A team of astronomers that includes the University of Hawaii' at Manoa's Nader Haghighipour has announced the discovery of a planet that could have liquid water on its surface.

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NASA And Univision Collaborate To Engage Hispanic Students »» NASA And Univision Collaborate To Engage Hispanic Students

[Friday, October 1, 2010] NASA and Univision Communications Inc. are teaming up to launch an on-air and online initiative to help engage Hispanic students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

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NASA Astrobiology Institute Online Workshop: Molecular Paleontology and Resurrection: Rewinding the Tape of Life »» NASA Astrobiology Institute Online Workshop: Molecular Paleontology and Resurrection: Rewinding the Tape of Life

[Friday, October 1, 2010] Participants will discuss 'top down' origin of life research, which will ultimately allow us to rewind the evolutionary record of biochemical processes and assemblies.

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NASA Solicitation: Commercial Crew Development Round 2 »» NASA Solicitation: Commercial Crew Development Round 2

[Saturday, October 2, 2010] As a continuation of NASA's CCDev initiative NASA intends to extend efforts to foster activity leading to the development of commercial crew transportation systems.

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Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! NASA.gov Beat Google! »» Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle! NASA.gov Beat Google!

[Monday, October 4, 2010] And, heck yeah, we were higher than Google last month. I can only recall one other month that we were even; Google is usually the highest rated site of all that use this particular service.

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NASA's Kepler Mission Wins 2010 Software of Year Award by NASA Software Advisory Panel »» NASA's Kepler Mission Wins 2010 Software of Year Award by NASA Software Advisory Panel

[Monday, October 4, 2010] NASA's Kepler mission Science Operations Center software system was named winner of the 2010 NASA Software of the Year Award by the NASA Software Advisory Panel.

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Orbital Environment for Dawn Spacecraft at Vesta »» Orbital Environment for Dawn Spacecraft at Vesta

[Monday, October 4, 2010] A detailed study of the dynamics of the Dawn spacecraft as it orbits the large Arizona-sized, non-spherical asteroid Vesta next summer in 2011 reveals one of the most complex operational environments for a NASA mission to date.

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Seeking Signs of Life: A Symposium Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of NASA's Exo/Astrobiology Program »» Seeking Signs of Life: A Symposium Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of NASA's Exo/Astrobiology Program

[Tuesday, October 5, 2010] NASA's Astrobiology Program addresses three fundamental questions: How does life begin and evolve? Is there life beyond Earth, and if so, how can we detect it? What is the future of life on Earth and in the universe?

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NASA, USAID Expand Web-Based Environmental Monitoring System SERVIR Program Brings Satellite Imagery, Decision-Support Tools To Himalayan Region »» NASA, USAID Expand Web-Based Environmental Monitoring System SERVIR Program Brings Satellite Imagery, Decision-Support Tools To Himalayan Region

[Tuesday, October 5, 2010] NASA, USAID Expand Web-Based Environmental Monitoring System SERVIR Program Brings Satellite Imagery, Decision-Support Tools To Himalayan Region

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Europa's hidden ice chemistry »» Europa's hidden ice chemistry

[Tuesday, October 5, 2010] The frigid ice of Jupiter's moon Europa may be hiding more than a presumed ocean: it is likely the scene of some unexpectedly fast chemistry between water and sulfur dioxide at extremely cold temperatures.

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Cluster helps disentangle turbulence in the solar wind »» Cluster helps disentangle turbulence in the solar wind

[Tuesday, October 5, 2010] From Earth, the Sun looks like a calm, placid body that does little more than shine brightly while marching across the sky. Images from a bit closer, of course, show it's an unruly ball of hot gas that can expel long plumes out into space.

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New NASA Authorization Bill Awaiting President's Signature »» New NASA Authorization Bill Awaiting President's Signature

[Tuesday, October 5, 2010] Reaction to NASA's February release of its FY 2011 budget request was met by shock, consternation, and in many cases, outright hostility.

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SpaceX Update: COTS Demonstration Flight 1 (with photos) »» SpaceX Update: COTS Demonstration Flight 1 (with photos)

[Tuesday, October 5, 2010] We completed a successful wet dress rehearsal: rolling the rocket out to the pad, loading with propellants, performing a complete launch countdown sequence to just before ignition, and unloading the propellants and returning the vehicle to a safe state.

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Space Experience Curacao Announces Wet Lease of XCOR's Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft »» Space Experience Curacao Announces Wet Lease of XCOR's Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft

[Tuesday, October 5, 2010] Space Experience Curacao (SXC) and XCOR Aerospace, Inc. jointly announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the wet lease of a production version of the Lynx suborbital spacecraft

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WISE Captures Key Images of Comet Mission's Destination »» WISE Captures Key Images of Comet Mission's Destination

[Tuesday, October 5, 2010] NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, caught a glimpse of the comet that the agency's EPOXI mission will visit in November. The WISE observation will help the EPOXI team put together a large-scale picture of the comet, known as Hartley 2.

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Hubble Space Telescope 103P/Hartley 2 in Reparation for DIXI/EPOXI Flyby »» Hubble Space Telescope 103P/Hartley 2 in Reparation for DIXI/EPOXI Flyby

[Tuesday, October 5, 2010] Hubble observations of comet 103P/Hartley 2, taken on September 25, are helping in the planning for a November 4 flyby of the comet by NASA's Deep Impact eXtended Investigation (DIXI) on NASA's Deep Impact Spacecraft performing the EPOXI mission.

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Mars Mission Given Green Light for Development »» Mars Mission Given Green Light for Development

[Wednesday, October 6, 2010] NASA announced today that the University of Colorado at Boulder-led mission to Mars to investigate how the planet lost much of its atmosphere eons ago has been approved by the space agency to move into the development stage.

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Planet Neptune Not Guilty of Harassment »» Planet Neptune Not Guilty of Harassment

[Wednesday, October 6, 2010] Contrary to popular belief, the planet Neptune can't have knocked a collection of planetoids known as the Cold Classical Kuiper Belt to its current location at the edge of the solar system.

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NASA Partnership Sends Earth Science Data To Africa »» NASA Partnership Sends Earth Science Data To Africa

[Wednesday, October 6, 2010] A unique partnership between NASA and agencies in Africa and Europe has sent more than 30 terabytes of free Earth science satellite data to South African researchers to support sustainable development and environmental applications in Africa.

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NASA'S WMAP Project Completes Satellite Operations Mission Observed Universe's Oldest Light »» NASA'S WMAP Project Completes Satellite Operations Mission Observed Universe's Oldest Light

[Wednesday, October 6, 2010] After nine years of scanning the sky, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) space mission has concluded its observations of the cosmic microwave background, the oldest light in the universe.

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VISTA Reveals the Secret of the Unicorn »» VISTA Reveals the Secret of the Unicorn

[Wednesday, October 6, 2010] A new infrared image from ESO's VISTA survey telescope reveals an extraordinary landscape of glowing tendrils of gas, dark clouds and young stars within the constellation of Monoceros (the Unicorn).

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NASA Administrator Bolden's China Trip: Its His Idea, Not President Obama's »» NASA Administrator Bolden's China Trip: Its His Idea, Not President Obama's

[Thursday, October 7, 2010] NASA Watch sources report that this upcoming trip to China and then Indonesia is Charlie Bolden's idea first and foremost. The White House did not ask him to go to either country - nor do they want him to go. But he is going anyway.

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Hubble Astronomers Uncover an Overheated Early Universe »» Hubble Astronomers Uncover an Overheated Early Universe

[Thursday, October 7, 2010] If you think global warming is bad, 11 billion years ago there was universal warming. During this period, fierce radiation blasts from active galaxies stunted the growth of some small galaxies for approximately 500 million years.

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Living Fossils Debunk Star-Formation Route »» Living Fossils Debunk Star-Formation Route

[Thursday, October 7, 2010] Work based on data from the Australian Astronomical Observatory has discounted one route for forming stars. The work is this week's cover story in the journal Nature.

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Venus Express Finds Planet's Atmosphere a Drag »» Venus Express Finds Planet's Atmosphere a Drag

[Thursday, October 7, 2010] The polar atmosphere of Venus is thinner than expected. How do we know? Because ESA's Venus Express has actually been there. Instead of looking from orbit, Venus Express has flown through the upper reaches of the planet's poisonous atmosphere.

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New Space Station Crew Members Launch From Kazakhstan »» New Space Station Crew Members Launch From Kazakhstan

[Friday, October 8, 2010] NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka launched to the International Space Station aboard their Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft at 6:10 p.m. CDT, Thursday, (5:10 a.m. Friday local time).

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NASA Symposium Marks 50-Year-Search for Signs of Life in Universe »» NASA Symposium Marks 50-Year-Search for Signs of Life in Universe

[Friday, October 8, 2010] Media representatives are invited to attend a NASA symposium on Thursday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT, where world-renowned scientists will address past, present, and future activities in the search for signs of life in the universe.

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NASA Mission 'E-Minus' One Month to Comet Flyby »» NASA Mission 'E-Minus' One Month to Comet Flyby

[Friday, October 8, 2010] Fans of space exploration are familiar with the term T-minus, which NASA uses as a countdown to a rocket launch. But what of those noteworthy mission events where you already have a spacecraft in space, as with the upcoming flyby of a comet?

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Titan's haze may hold ingredients for life »» Titan's haze may hold ingredients for life

[Friday, October 8, 2010] Simulating possible chemical processes in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, a UA-led planetary research team found amino acids and nucleotide bases in the mix -- the most important ingredients of life on Earth

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Mars Express Image: Floor of Melas Chasma »» Mars Express Image: Floor of Melas Chasma

[Friday, October 8, 2010] There are few places on Mars lower than this. On the left of this image, the floor of Melas Chasma sinks nine kilometers below the surrounding plains. New images from ESA's Mars Express highlight the complex history of this enormous Martian canyon.

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NASA Selects Community College Students To Design Rovers And Explore Technology Careers At Field Centers »» NASA Selects Community College Students To Design Rovers And Explore Technology Careers At Field Centers

[Friday, October 8, 2010] Community college students in a pilot program will take the first steps toward potential technology careers as they develop robotic explorers at NASA field centers.

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NASA'S Mobile Mars Laboratory Almost Ready for Flight »» NASA'S Mobile Mars Laboratory Almost Ready for Flight

[Saturday, October 9, 2010] The Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite has completed assembly at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and is nearly ready for a December delivery to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where it will be joined to the Curiosity rover.

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Three Close-ups of Meteorite 'Oilean Ruaidh' by Mars Rover Opportunity »» Three Close-ups of Meteorite 'Oilean Ruaidh' by Mars Rover Opportunity

[Saturday, October 9, 2010] This is an image of the meteorite that NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity found and examined in September 2010.

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Plants kick-start evolutionary drama of Earth's oxygenation »» Plants kick-start evolutionary drama of Earth's oxygenation

[Saturday, October 9, 2010] An international team of scientists, exploiting pioneering techniques at Arizona State University, has taken a significant step toward unlocking the secrets of oxygenation of the Earth's oceans and atmosphere.

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Hubble Space Telescope Imagery of Vesta Assists Dawn Mission Planning »» Hubble Space Telescope Imagery of Vesta Assists Dawn Mission Planning

[Saturday, October 9, 2010] NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured images of the large asteroid Vesta that will help refine plans for the Dawn spacecraft's rendezvous with Vesta in July 2011.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Congratulates SpaceShipTwo Team for Milestone First Glide Flight »» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Congratulates SpaceShipTwo Team for Milestone First Glide Flight

[Sunday, October 10, 2010] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to congratulate Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic, and the SpaceShipTwo team for successfully conducting today's first-ever glide flight of the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spacecraft.

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Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Improvements Needed in Continuity Planning and Involvement of Key Users »» Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Improvements Needed in Continuity Planning and Involvement of Key Users

[Sunday, October 10, 2010] NOAA has made progress on the GOES-R acquisition, but key instruments have experienced challenges and important milestones have been delayed.

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Nitrogen, Methane Dominate Icy Surface of Eris »» Nitrogen, Methane Dominate Icy Surface of Eris

[Sunday, October 10, 2010] A team of scientists has revealed that the frozen surface of Eris, the largest-known dwarf planet orbiting the Sun, is predominantly covered in nitrogen ice, similar to the surface of Pluto.

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Earth Science Picture of the Day Web Site Celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary »» Earth Science Picture of the Day Web Site Celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary

[Sunday, October 10, 2010] NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) are pleased to announce the popular Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) web site is turning 10.

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Pan-STARRS Discovers Its First Potentially Hazardous Asteroid »» Pan-STARRS Discovers Its First Potentially Hazardous Asteroid

[Sunday, October 10, 2010] The Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) PS1 telescope has discovered an asteroid that will come within 4 million miles of Earth in mid-October.

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Next step for ESA's first Moon lander »» Next step for ESA's first Moon lander

[Sunday, October 10, 2010] The aim of ESA's proposed precursor is to probe the moonscape's unknowns and test new technology to prepare for future human landings.

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VSS Enterprise Completes First Manned Glide Flight »» VSS Enterprise Completes First Manned Glide Flight

[Sunday, October 10, 2010] Virgin Galactic, the US company developing the world's first commercial manned space flight system and tourism business, is delighted to announce the successful completion today of the first piloted free flight of SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Enterprise.

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Reporters Invited to 2010 NASA Authorization Act Media Teleconference »» Reporters Invited to 2010 NASA Authorization Act Media Teleconference

[Monday, October 11, 2010] Reporters Invited to 2010 NASA Authorization Act Media Teleconference

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NASA Administrator Thanks President Obama and Congress for Agency's New Direction Support »» NASA Administrator Thanks President Obama and Congress for Agency's New Direction Support

[Monday, October 11, 2010] The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in support of President Obama's signing of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 on Monday, Oct. 11, 2010:

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Inside the Firing Room with the Space Shuttle Launch Director »» Inside the Firing Room with the Space Shuttle Launch Director

[Tuesday, October 12, 2010] As Shuttle Discovery was being processed in the iconic VAB for her very final mission of exploration, I interviewed the Space Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach inside the Shuttle Firing Room 4 where access is highly restricted.

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2011 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference Registration Now Open »» 2011 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference Registration Now Open

[Tuesday, October 12, 2010] The Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) will be held February 28 - March 2, 2011, at The University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida.

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NASA Selects Astronaut Leland D. Melvin to Lead Office of Education »» NASA Selects Astronaut Leland D. Melvin to Lead Office of Education

[Tuesday, October 12, 2010] NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced Tuesday the selection of Leland D. Melvin as the agency's new associate administrator for education, effective immediately. He succeeds James L. Stofan, who had served in an acting capacity since the spring.

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Conference at the European Parliament on 'a new Space Policy for Europe' »» Conference at the European Parliament on 'a new Space Policy for Europe'

[Tuesday, October 12, 2010] Europe's future in space and the opportunities it will offer to us all will be discussed at a conference in Brussels on 26-27 October under the aegis of the European Parliament. Members of the public are invited to attend.

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Small Asteroid to Pass Within Earth-Moon System Tuesday »» Small Asteroid to Pass Within Earth-Moon System Tuesday

[Wednesday, October 13, 2010] A small asteroid will fly past Earth early Tuesday within the Earth-moon system. The asteroid, 2010 TD54, will have its closest approach to Earth's surface at an altitude of about 45,000 kilometers (27,960 miles) at 6:50 EDT a.m. (3:50 a.m. PDT).

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NASA Administrator's Statement on Chilean Miners Rescue »» NASA Administrator's Statement on Chilean Miners Rescue

[Wednesday, October 13, 2010] The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the rescue effort for the Chilean miners.

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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Awarded $60.3 Million NASA Contract for Continued Support of the Space Shuttle Main Engine »» Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Awarded $60.3 Million NASA Contract for Continued Support of the Space Shuttle Main Engine

[Thursday, October 14, 2010] Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne received a $60.3 million contract from NASA to provide continued Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) pre-launch, launch and post-launch support through March 31, 2011.

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Asteroid collision forensics »» Asteroid collision forensics

[Thursday, October 14, 2010] In the first half of February 2009, two asteroids collided in a region of space beyond the orbit of Mars, as scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany have now discovered.

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NASA's Hubble Captures First Images of Aftermath of Possible Asteroid Collision »» NASA's Hubble Captures First Images of Aftermath of Possible Asteroid Collision

[Thursday, October 14, 2010] NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured the first snapshots of a suspected asteroid collision. The images show a bizarre X-shaped object at the head of a comet-like trail of material.

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NASA Technology May Aid Interpretation Of Medical Imagery »» NASA Technology May Aid Interpretation Of Medical Imagery

[Thursday, October 14, 2010] NASA software used to enhance Earth science imagery could help interpret medical imagery. The new MED-SEG system relies on an innovative software program developed at NASA.

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First Giant Structures of the Universe »» First Giant Structures of the Universe

[Thursday, October 14, 2010] Astronomers using the South Pole Telescope report that they have discovered the most massive galaxy cluster yet seen at a distance of 7 billion light-years. The cluster weighs in at around 800 trillion Suns, and holds hundreds of galaxies.

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NASA Wants Student Innovators For 2011 Great Moonbuggy Race »» NASA Wants Student Innovators For 2011 Great Moonbuggy Race

[Thursday, October 14, 2010] Four decades after the first NASA lunar rover rolled across the surface of the moon, innovative students are preparing to design and build a new generation of wheeled wonders.

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NASA Establishes Tournament Lab For Software Developers »» NASA Establishes Tournament Lab For Software Developers

[Thursday, October 14, 2010] NASA and Harvard University have established the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), which will enable software developers to compete with each other to create the best computer code for NASA systems.

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14 October 2010 Internal Message from Charlie Bolden to NASA Employees: Moving NASA Forward »» 14 October 2010 Internal Message from Charlie Bolden to NASA Employees: Moving NASA Forward

[Friday, October 15, 2010] Over the past two days, Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and I were joined by NASA's senior leadership -- the center directors, the heads of our mission directorates, and other members of our management team -- at a retreat to plan the agency's future.

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Training New Explorers for the Surfaces of the Moon, Mars, and Beyond »» Training New Explorers for the Surfaces of the Moon, Mars, and Beyond

[Friday, October 15, 2010] Tomorrow, a NASA-sponsored Field Training and Research Program begins at Meteor Crater, Arizona. The field training will be led by Dr. David Kring, a geologist and Senior Staff Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas.

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Discovery's Cargo Arrives at Launch Pad for Final Flight »» Discovery's Cargo Arrives at Launch Pad for Final Flight

[Saturday, October 16, 2010] The cargo for Discovery's last mission to space arrived at the shuttle launch pad just after 2 AM on Thursday, 7 October 2010.

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Long-Lived Mars Odyssey Gets New Project Manager »» Long-Lived Mars Odyssey Gets New Project Manager

[Sunday, October 17, 2010] The new project manager for the longest-working spacecraft currently active at Mars, NASA's Mars Odyssey, has a long track record himself.

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NASA Awards Contracts For Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data »» NASA Awards Contracts For Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data

[Sunday, October 17, 2010] NASA has awarded Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) contracts to six companies for the purchase of technical data resulting from industry efforts to develop vehicle capabilities and demonstrate end-to-end robotic lunar landing missions.

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Orion Launch Abort System Stops in Philadelphia During Cross Country Trek »» Orion Launch Abort System Stops in Philadelphia During Cross Country Trek

[Monday, October 18, 2010] A full scale mock-up of the Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) is hitting the road for a cross country trek of several museums and science centers.

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Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Will Demonstrate UK Innovation in Space with TechDemoSat-1 »» Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Will Demonstrate UK Innovation in Space with TechDemoSat-1

[Monday, October 18, 2010] The UK has awarded a £770,000 grant so that Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd can begin the design phase of a national technology demonstration satellite called TechDemoSat-1.

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NASA Hosts Media Telecon Featuring Results Of Moon Mission Impact »» NASA Hosts Media Telecon Featuring Results Of Moon Mission Impact

[Monday, October 18, 2010] NASA will host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 21, to discuss additional findings from NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, and NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, missions.

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NASA Invites Reporters To Next Space Shuttle Launch And Tweetup »» NASA Invites Reporters To Next Space Shuttle Launch And Tweetup

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] At the next space shuttle launch, NASA will host 150 people from around the world and provide them with a behind-the-scenes perspective to share with their followers via the social networking service Twitter.

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NASA Selects 215 Small Business Research And Technology Projects »» NASA Selects 215 Small Business Research And Technology Projects

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] NASA selected 215 proposals for negotiation of Phase II contract awards in the Small Business Innovation Research program, or SBIR. The selected projects have a total value of approximately $129 million.

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Reaching the Mid-Mission Milestone on the Way to Pluto »» Reaching the Mid-Mission Milestone on the Way to Pluto

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] On Sunday, Oct. 17, at 3:24 Universal Time, we passed the halfway mark in the number of days from launch to Pluto encounter - the last of our halfway milestones en route to Pluto! From here, we have fewer days in front of us than behind us.

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Geophysicists claim conventional understanding of Earth's deep water cycle needs revision »» Geophysicists claim conventional understanding of Earth's deep water cycle needs revision

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] A popular view among geophysicists is that large amounts of water are carried from the oceans to the deep mantle in "subduction zones," which are boundaries where the Earth's crustal plates converge, with one plate riding over the other.

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NASA's Terra Satellite Catches Powerful Supertyphoon Megi »» NASA's Terra Satellite Catches Powerful Supertyphoon Megi

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] Megi was bearing down on Palanan Bay as a "super typhoon" with category 5 strength on the Saffir Simpson scale. Image Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

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Bigelow Aerospace Begins Testing Life Support Systems with Crew »» Bigelow Aerospace Begins Testing Life Support Systems with Crew

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] The contained volume humans in the loop testing is in preparation for the 2015 launch of Sundancer - an expandable module approximately 27ft long, 22ft in diameter, with an internal volume of 180m3 and supports a crew of three.

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Space Station Partners Release International Docking Standard »» Space Station Partners Release International Docking Standard

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] The ISS MCB has approved a docking system standard. The standard will provide guidelines for a common interface to link future spacecraft ranging from crewed to autonomous vehicles and from low-Earth orbit to deep-space exploration missions.

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Hubble Image: Pinwheel of Star Birth »» Hubble Image: Pinwheel of Star Birth

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] Though the universe is chock full of spiral-shaped galaxies, no two look exactly the same. This face-on spiral galaxy, called NGC 3982, is striking for its rich tapestry of star birth, along with its winding arms.

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NASA Joins USA Science & Engineering Festival In Washington »» NASA Joins USA Science & Engineering Festival In Washington

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] NASA is joining more than 500 science organizations this weekend to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers during the first national science and engineering festival to be held in the nation's capital.

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Astrobotic Technology wins Moon mining award from NASA »» Astrobotic Technology wins Moon mining award from NASA

[Tuesday, October 19, 2010] NASA has selected Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University to develop a prototype robot for mining water and methane ices at the Moon's poles.

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NASA's SDO Observes First Lunar Transit »» NASA's SDO Observes First Lunar Transit

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] This was a first for SDO and it was visually engaging too. On October 7, 2010, SDO observed its first lunar transit when the new Moon passed directly between the spacecraft (in its geosynchronous orbit) and the Sun.

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New space research settles years of scientific debate »» New space research settles years of scientific debate

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] Scientists have long understood that the 'diffuse aurora' is caused by electrons striking the upper atmosphere. However, the electrons are normally trapped much higher up in the Earth's magnetic field through a long chain of events starting with the Sun.

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Clearing the cosmic fog - The most distant galaxy ever measured »» Clearing the cosmic fog - The most distant galaxy ever measured

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] A European team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has measured the distance to the most remote galaxy so far.

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Building Europe's vision for space exploration »» Building Europe's vision for space exploration

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] Europe's vision for launching astronauts and robot explorers out into the Solar System will come into sharper focus on 21 October when the ministers responsible for space activities meet in Brussels to discuss Europe's goals for space exploration.

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NASA Open Government Summit Emphasized Data Exchange »» NASA Open Government Summit Emphasized Data Exchange

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] NASA is working to publish more of its data sets online and create more opportunities to engage with the public using digital tools.

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An Overview of the Canadian Space Agency Exploration Core Program »» An Overview of the Canadian Space Agency Exploration Core Program

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] At the recent 61st International Astronautical Congress in Prague, Jean-Claude Piedboeuf, Head of Exploration Planning at the Canadian Space Agency, provided an overview of Canada's preparatory exploration activities.

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Sierra Nevada Space Systems Successfully Competes Two Major Nasa Human Space Flight Development Milestones »» Sierra Nevada Space Systems Successfully Competes Two Major Nasa Human Space Flight Development Milestones

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] The Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems Group announces the successful completion of two critical milestones for NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Program.

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NASA Deputy Administrator Available for Interviews at Spaceport »» NASA Deputy Administrator Available for Interviews at Spaceport

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will attend a dedication celebrating completion of the runway at Spaceport America in New Mexico at 11 a.m. MST on Friday, Oct. 22. She will be available before and after the event for media interviews.

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NASA Announces Launch Of Human Health And Performance Center »» NASA Announces Launch Of Human Health And Performance Center

[Wednesday, October 20, 2010] NASA has established a global forum for organizations interested in advancing human health and performance innovations in space and on Earth. NASA's NHHPC will give members an opportunity to collaborate, network and share information.

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NASA Space Technology Could Transform Life on Earth »» NASA Space Technology Could Transform Life on Earth

[Thursday, October 21, 2010] For years, NASA has been developing technology to establish long term human presence in space. As part of this ongoing effort, NASA developed a closed-loop system that recycles urine and gray water into drinking water.

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Astronomers Find Weird, Warm Spot on an Exoplanet »» Astronomers Find Weird, Warm Spot on an Exoplanet

[Thursday, October 21, 2010] Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveal a distant planet with a warm spot in the wrong place.

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NASA Missions Uncover The Moon's Buried Treasures »» NASA Missions Uncover The Moon's Buried Treasures

[Thursday, October 21, 2010] Nearly a year after announcing the discovery of water molecules on the moon, scientists Thursday revealed new data uncovered by NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO.

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NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for MAVEN Mission »» NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for MAVEN Mission

[Thursday, October 21, 2010] NASA has selected United Launch Services, LLC of Littleton, Colo., to launch the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft known as MAVEN.

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NASA to Mark 10th Anniversary of Life on Space Station »» NASA to Mark 10th Anniversary of Life on Space Station

[Thursday, October 21, 2010] NASA will commemorate the 10th anniversary of human life, work and research on the International Space Station (ISS) with an Oct. 27 series of roundtable discussions.

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Shuttle Discovery's Flight Directors Available for Interviews »» Shuttle Discovery's Flight Directors Available for Interviews

[Thursday, October 21, 2010] NASA Flight Directors Bryan Lunney from Houston and Royce Renfrew from Marble Falls, Texas, are available for live satellite interviews from 6 to 7 a.m. CDT Thursday, Oct. 28.

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Watch Construction Of NASA's New Mars Rover Live On The Web »» Watch Construction Of NASA's New Mars Rover Live On The Web

[Friday, October 22, 2010] A newly installed webcam is giving the public an opportunity to watch technicians assemble and test the next NASA Mars rover, one of the most technologically challenging interplanetary missions ever designed.

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Emerging Underground Aquifers Formed Martian Lakes, Seas »» Emerging Underground Aquifers Formed Martian Lakes, Seas

[Friday, October 22, 2010] Researchers at the Planetary Science Institute have found a new explanation for how seas and lakes may have once developed on Mars.

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Possible threat to Earth by asteroids among issues at UN debate on outer space »» Possible threat to Earth by asteroids among issues at UN debate on outer space

[Friday, October 22, 2010] A United Nations working group is currently looking into how the Organization should respond to possible threats to the planet from near-earth objects, such as asteroids, a senior official with the world body said today.

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Undergrad Proposal Deadline Nears for NASA Reduced Gravity Flights »» Undergrad Proposal Deadline Nears for NASA Reduced Gravity Flights

[Friday, October 22, 2010] The deadline is fast-approaching for undergraduate students to submit their team proposals to NASA's Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program. Proposals must be received by 11:59 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, Oct. 27.

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Carbon dioxide controls Earth's temperature »» Carbon dioxide controls Earth's temperature

[Friday, October 22, 2010] Water vapor and clouds are the major contributors to Earth's greenhouse effect, but a new atmosphere-ocean climate modeling study shows that the planet's temperature ultimately depends on the atmospheric level of carbon dioxide.

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NASA Announces New Partnership With Foursquare »» NASA Announces New Partnership With Foursquare

[Sunday, October 24, 2010] NASA astronaut and International Space Station Commander Doug Wheelock became the first person to "check in" from space Friday using the mobile social networking application Foursquare.

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NASA Releases Report About Australia Balloon Mishap »» NASA Releases Report About Australia Balloon Mishap

[Sunday, October 24, 2010] A NASA panel that investigated the unsuccessful April 28 launch of a scientific balloon from Alice Springs, Australia, has released its report.

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Spaceport Runway Dedication Includes Sir Richard Branson and NM Governor Richardson »» Spaceport Runway Dedication Includes Sir Richard Branson and NM Governor Richardson

[Sunday, October 24, 2010] The New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) today dedicated the nearly twomile long "Governor Bill RIchardson Spaceway" at Spaceport America, representing significant progress toward launching commercial customers into space from the desert of New Mexico.

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Google Lunar X PRIZE Update »» Google Lunar X PRIZE Update

[Monday, October 25, 2010] William Pomerantz, Senior Director, Space Prizes of the X PRIZE Foundation provides SpaceRef with a progress update of the Google Lunar X PRIZE.

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NASA Sets Launch Date for Space Shuttle Discovery Mission »» NASA Sets Launch Date for Space Shuttle Discovery Mission

[Monday, October 25, 2010] Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to begin an 11-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch at 4:40 p.m. EDT on Monday, Nov. 1, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-133 mission is Discovery's final scheduled flight.

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NASA Administrator Statement On China Visit »» NASA Administrator Statement On China Visit

[Monday, October 25, 2010] On October 16-21, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden led a small delegation to China. The following is a statement from the Administrator regarding his visit:

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NASA Seeks More Proposals On Commercial Crew Development »» NASA Seeks More Proposals On Commercial Crew Development

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] NASA has issued an announcement seeking proposals from U. S. industry to further advance commercial crew space transportation concepts and mature the design and development of system elements, such as launch vehicles and spacecraft.

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Ocean Asteroid Impact Could Deplete Earth's Protective Ozone Layer for Years »» Ocean Asteroid Impact Could Deplete Earth's Protective Ozone Layer for Years

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] An asteroid crashing into the deep ocean could have dramatic worldwide environmental effects including depleting the Earth's protective ozone layer for several years, a Planetary Science Institute researcher has found.

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An Overview of Past and Future South African Space Activities »» An Overview of Past and Future South African Space Activities

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] At the 61st International Astronautical Congress, Dr. Peter Martinez, Chair of South Africa Council for Space Affairs, provided the first Highlight Lecture which covered historical, current, and future developments of space activities in South Africa.

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A Summary of South African Talks at the 61st International Astronautical Congress »» A Summary of South African Talks at the 61st International Astronautical Congress

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] The recent 61st International Astronautical Congress (IAC2010) held in Prague included many talks related to space activities in South Africa as South Africa prepares to host the congress in 2011. Here is a summary of these talks.

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Precocious Galaxy Cluster Identified by Chandra »» Precocious Galaxy Cluster Identified by Chandra

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has observed an unusual galaxy cluster that contains a bright core of relatively cool gas surrounding a quasar called 3C 186.

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NASA'S Kepler Spacecraft Takes Pulse Of Distant Stars »» NASA'S Kepler Spacecraft Takes Pulse Of Distant Stars

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] An international cadre of scientists that used data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft announced Tuesday the detection of stellar oscillations, or "starquakes," that yield new insights about the size, age and evolution of stars.

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NASA Hosts Tweetup During Upcoming Space Shuttle Mission »» NASA Hosts Tweetup During Upcoming Space Shuttle Mission

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] NASA will give 50 Twitter followers the opportunity to go inside the heart of a space shuttle mission during a Tweetup Tuesday, Nov. 9, at the agency's Johnson Space Center.

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International Space Station Water System Successfully Activated »» International Space Station Water System Successfully Activated

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] NASA has announced the successful activation of new hardware that will support water production services aboard the International Space Station.

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Hubble Looks 10,000 Years into the Future »» Hubble Looks 10,000 Years into the Future

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] Astronomers are used to looking millions of years into the past. Now scientists have used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to look thousands of years into the future.

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NSF Science Nation Video With Miles O'Brien: IceCube and Its Frozen Secrets »» NSF Science Nation Video With Miles O'Brien: IceCube and Its Frozen Secrets

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] There's nothing like temperatures that can reach minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit to keep you on your toes. For engineers Erik Verhagen and Camille Parisel, working in Antarctica on a project appropriately called "IceCube" is both challenging and exciting.

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Countdown to Comet Flyby Down to Nine Days »» Countdown to Comet Flyby Down to Nine Days

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] NASA's EPOXI mission continues to close in on its target, comet Hartley 2, at a rate of 12.5 kilometers (7.8 miles) per second.

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Robonaut 2 Prepared for Shuttle Trip to International Space Station »» Robonaut 2 Prepared for Shuttle Trip to International Space Station

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] Robonaut 2, better known as R2, is packed and ready to blast into outer space next week aboard the space shuttle Discovery for his first real work assignment at the International Space Station (ISS).

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Moon Express Enters the $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition »» Moon Express Enters the $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] Today, Moon Express Inc., a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company, announced its official entry into the Google Lunar X PRIZE.

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ASGSB Session: The Future of Gravitational and Space Biology Research: 100km and Beyond »» ASGSB Session: The Future of Gravitational and Space Biology Research: 100km and Beyond

[Tuesday, October 26, 2010] The American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology (ASGSB) sees a potential future that science will have robust access to space through commercial providers.

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Goddard and Lockheed Martin Upgrade Computers Within Prince George's County Public Schools »» Goddard and Lockheed Martin Upgrade Computers Within Prince George's County Public Schools

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Lockheed Martin and the Prince George's County Public Schools are celebrating a partnership that will upgrade the school system's computers.

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Kuiper Belt of Many Colors »» Kuiper Belt of Many Colors

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] The 1,000 objects so far directly imaged in the Kuiper Belt -- that swath of icy bodies circling around the Sun with Pluto -- appear to be a wide range of colors: red, blue, and white.

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NASA Goddard Delivers Magnetometers for Juno Mission »» NASA Goddard Delivers Magnetometers for Juno Mission

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] The magnetometers developed at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., for the Juno mission to Jupiter were delivered recently to Lockheed Martin in Denver, Colo.

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Astronomers discover most massive neutron star yet known »» Astronomers discover most massive neutron star yet known

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered the most massive neutron star yet found, a discovery with strong and wide-ranging impacts across several fields of physics and astrophysics.

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Two NASA Spacecraft Begin New Exploration Assignments »» Two NASA Spacecraft Begin New Exploration Assignments

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] Two NASA spacecraft have been assigned a new mission after successfully completing their original science objectives earlier this year.

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Space Buckyballs Thrive, Finds NASA Spitzer Telescope »» Space Buckyballs Thrive, Finds NASA Spitzer Telescope

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] Astronomers have discovered bucket loads of buckyballs in space. They used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to find the little carbon spheres throughout our Milky Way galaxy -- in the space between stars and around three dying stars.

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NASA Goddard to Auction off Patents for Automated Software Code Generation »» NASA Goddard to Auction off Patents for Automated Software Code Generation

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is auctioning an exclusive license to five patents for automated software development on November 11, 2010.

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NASA Considers Role of Synthetic Biology in Space »» NASA Considers Role of Synthetic Biology in Space

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] News media are invited to attend a discussion lead by world famous biologist J. Craig Venter, best known for his role in sequencing the human genome and creating the first cell "booted up" from a synthetic genome.

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New Evidence Supports Snowball Earth as Trigger for Early Animal Evolution »» New Evidence Supports Snowball Earth as Trigger for Early Animal Evolution

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] A team of scientists, led by biogeochemists at the University of California, Riverside, has found new evidence linking "Snowball Earth" glacial events to the rise of early animals.

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Stacked Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters On the Move »» Stacked Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters On the Move

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] The twin Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB's) that will power Shuttle Endeavour for her final flight to orbit in February took a rare road trip outside the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center today, Wednesday, October 27.

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NASA's Mars Rover Spirit Finds Evidence of Subsurface Water »» NASA's Mars Rover Spirit Finds Evidence of Subsurface Water

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] The ground where NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit became stuck last year holds evidence that water, perhaps as snow melt, trickled into the subsurface fairly recently and on a continuing basis.

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AAS email: Plutonium 238 Production: An Ongoing Issue for Washington »» AAS email: Plutonium 238 Production: An Ongoing Issue for Washington

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] A joint report from the NASA Administrator and the Secretary of Energy is due 120 after the enactment of the Act, which was signed into law on Oct. 11, 2010. The report should therefore be delivered no later than Feb. 8, 2010.

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NASA Survey Suggests Earth-Sized Planets Are Common »» NASA Survey Suggests Earth-Sized Planets Are Common

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] Nearly one in four stars similar to the sun may host planets as small as Earth, according to a new study funded by NASA and the University of California.

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President Obama and NASA Administrator Bolden Recognize Employees for Roles in Chilean Miner Rescue »» President Obama and NASA Administrator Bolden Recognize Employees for Roles in Chilean Miner Rescue

[Thursday, October 28, 2010] President Barack Obama welcomed NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and a NASA team that assisted trapped Chilean miners to the Oval Office on Thursday for a ceremony that recognized Americans involved in the rescue.

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NASA Celebrates 10th Anniversary Of Space Station With Crew News Conference And New Web Content »» NASA Celebrates 10th Anniversary Of Space Station With Crew News Conference And New Web Content

[Friday, October 29, 2010] The International Space Station partner agencies will mark a major milestone on Nov. 2 with the 10-year anniversary of people living permanently aboard the space station.

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NASA Work Helps Better Predict World's Smoggiest Days »» NASA Work Helps Better Predict World's Smoggiest Days

[Friday, October 29, 2010] A research team led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology has fully characterized a key chemical reaction that affects the formation of pollutants in smoggy air in the world's urban areas.

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Space Shuttle Discovery Leak Delays Launch to Tuesday, November 2 »» Space Shuttle Discovery Leak Delays Launch to Tuesday, November 2

[Friday, October 29, 2010] NASA briefed the media this morning on the helium and nitrogen leaks found last night on the space shuttle Discovery's right-hand Orbital Maneuvering System pod. NASA is confident the repairs will be successful allowing for a launch next Tuesday.

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NASA Solicitation: Aircraft Maintenacne Operational Support and Microgravty Services Market Research Questionnaire »» NASA Solicitation: Aircraft Maintenacne Operational Support and Microgravty Services Market Research Questionnaire

[Friday, October 29, 2010] The Government requests your assistance as it seeks to arrive at the most suitable approach for acquiring AMOS and/or MS services.

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Webb Telescope Mirror Segment Completes Cryogenic Test »» Webb Telescope Mirror Segment Completes Cryogenic Test

[Saturday, October 30, 2010] Last week a primary mirror milestone was met for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope project as the first gold-coated mirror segment finished testing in the X-ray & Cryogenic Facility at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

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Raising Giant Insects to Unravel Ancient Oxygen »» Raising Giant Insects to Unravel Ancient Oxygen

[Saturday, October 30, 2010] The giant dragonflies of ancient Earth with wingspans of up to 70 centimeters (28 inches) are generally attributed to higher oxygen atmospheric levels in the atmosphere in the past.

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Study Links Fresh Mars Gullies to Carbon Dioxide »» Study Links Fresh Mars Gullies to Carbon Dioxide

[Saturday, October 30, 2010] A growing bounty of images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals that the timing of new activity in one type of the enigmatic gullies on Mars implicates carbon-dioxide frost, rather than water, as the agent causing fresh flows of sand.

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Nile Delta at Night As Seen From Orbit »» Nile Delta at Night As Seen From Orbit

[Saturday, October 30, 2010] From 220 miles above Earth, one of the Expedition 25 crew members on the International Space Station took this night time photo featuring the bright lights of Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt on the Mediterranean coast.

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Space Shuttle Discovery now set for Wednesday Launch »» Space Shuttle Discovery now set for Wednesday Launch

[Saturday, October 30, 2010] After meeting this morning to discuss the status of repairs to replace both shuttle and ground side couplings, NASA decided to delay the launch another 24 hours to allow engineers to complete testing and to allow for repressurization of helium tanks.

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