September 2003 Top Story Archives



Ice Domes on Europa: Abodes for Life? »» Ice Domes on Europa: Abodes for Life?

[Tuesday, September 02, 2003] A new University of Colorado at Boulder study of Jupiter's moon Europa may help explain the origin of the giant ice domes peppering its surface and the implications for discovering evidence of past or present life forms there.

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First Photos from SIRTF »» First Photos from SIRTF

[Thursday, September 04, 2003] NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility has switched on two of its onboard instruments and captured some preliminary star-studded images.

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Surface Water Possible Under Marslike Conditions »» Surface Water Possible Under Marslike Conditions

[Thursday, September 04, 2003] A team of researchers from the University of Arkansas has measured water evaporation rates under Mars-like conditions, and their findings favor the presence of surface water on the planet.

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Hubble Image: A Celestial Composition »» Hubble Image: A Celestial Composition

[Thursday, September 04, 2003] Amid a backdrop of far-off galaxies, the majestic dusty spiral, NGC 3370, looms in the foreground in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image. Nearly 10 years earlier this galaxy, in the constellation Leo, hosted a bright exploding star.

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Keck AO Images of Asteroid (511) Davida »» Keck AO Images of Asteroid (511) Davida

[Thursday, September 04, 2003] A team of scientists from the W.M. Keck Observatory and several other research institutions have made the first full-rotational, ground-based observations of asteroid (511) Davida, a large, main-belt asteroid that measures 320km (200miles) in diameter.

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Photo Report: Plant Growth in NASA-HMP Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse »» Photo Report: Plant Growth in NASA-HMP Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse

[Thursday, September 04, 2003] Lettuce plants have been growing in the Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse for 5 weeks since the last human left Devon Island. These photos were taken using the SpaceRef webcam in the greenhouse.

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Hubble Image Assists Rosetta Comet Mission Planning »» Hubble Image Assists Rosetta Comet Mission Planning

[Friday, September 05, 2003] Results from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope played a major role in preparing ESA's ambitious Rosetta mission for its new target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G).

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Pulsar Imaged Flying Through Space at Mach 20 »» Pulsar Imaged Flying Through Space at Mach 20

[Friday, September 05, 2003] Astronomers have captured an image of a pulsar flying at 20 times the speed of sound, with radiant twin tails of X-ray light stretching nearly two billion miles from this tiny, dense sphere only about 12 miles across.

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Hubble Sees Farthest, Faintest, Solar System Objects Yet Found »» Hubble Sees Farthest, Faintest, Solar System Objects Yet Found

[Sunday, September 07, 2003] Hubble has discovered three of the faintest and smallest objects ever detected beyond Neptune. Each object is a lump of ice and rock -- roughly the size of Philadelphia -- orbiting beyond Neptune and Pluto.

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Acquisition of National Security Space Programs »» Acquisition of National Security Space Programs

[Sunday, September 07, 2003] National security is dependent upon space capabilities - that dependence will continue to grow. Pressing requirements exist to monitor activities and events throughout the world, transfer massive quantities of data, and project force on a global scale.

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NASA's Implementation Plan for Return to Flight and Beyond: Summary »» NASA's Implementation Plan for Return to Flight and Beyond: Summary

[Monday, September 08, 2003] This plan integrates both the CAIB recommendations and our self-initiated actions. This document will be periodically updated to reflect changes to the plan and progress toward implementation of the CAIB recommendations, and our return to flight plan.

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New Hubble Imagery of Saturn's Rings »» New Hubble Imagery of Saturn's Rings

[Tuesday, September 09, 2003] Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 used 30 filters to snap these images on March 7, 2003. The filters span a range of wavelengths. The set of 30 selected filters may be the best spectral coverage of Saturn observations ever obtained.

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NASA's NOAA-N Satellite Falls Over and Breaks »» NASA's NOAA-N Satellite Falls Over and Breaks

[Tuesday, September 09, 2003] As the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft was being repositioned from vertical to horizontal on the "turn over cart" at approximately 7:15 PDT today, it slipped off the fixture, causing severe damage.

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Wanted: Public's Opinion About NASA Space Station Research Institute »» Wanted: Public's Opinion About NASA Space Station Research Institute

[Tuesday, September 09, 2003] NASA seeks comments from industry, academia, organizations and individuals regarding contracting to a non-government organization to establish an Institute for International Space Station research management.

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Chandra »» Chandra "Hears" a Black Hole for the First Time

[Tuesday, September 09, 2003] For the first time, sound waves have been detected from a supermassive black hole by using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The "note" is the deepest ever detected from an object in the Universe.

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Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #11: Dark Side of the Earth »» Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #11: Dark Side of the Earth

[Tuesday, September 09, 2003] It is fun to watch stars as they rise or set through the atmosphere as we circle the Earth. They start to twinkle as the light rays bend while passing through the uneven density of the atmosphere.

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NASA Releases Near-Earth Object Search Report »» NASA Releases Near-Earth Object Search Report

[Friday, September 12, 2003] NASA has released a technical report on potential future search efforts for near-Earth objects after a year of analysis by scientists working on this issue.

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Optical Detection of Anomalous Nitrogen in Comets »» Optical Detection of Anomalous Nitrogen in Comets

[Friday, September 12, 2003] Astronomers have used the UVES spectrograph on the 8.2-m VLT KUEYEN telescope to perform a uniquely detailed study of Comet LINEAR). This is the first time that this powerful instrument has been employed to obtain high-resolution spectra of a comet.

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Sudbury neutrino observatory reports new measurements »» Sudbury neutrino observatory reports new measurements

[Friday, September 12, 2003] New measurements confirm original results that solved the "Solar Neutrino Problem" and go much further in establishing the properties of neutrinos that cause them to change from one type to another in transit to Earth from the Sun.

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Senate Appropriators Issue FY 2004 NASA Budget Report »» Senate Appropriators Issue FY 2004 NASA Budget Report

[Friday, September 12, 2003] The Senate Apprppriations Committee has issued its report on NASA's FY 2004 budget. They recommend a budget of $15,338,907,000 - the same as NASA got for FY 2003.

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Historic Galileo Mission Nears End »» Historic Galileo Mission Nears End

[Friday, September 12, 2003] Following eight years of capturing dramatic images and surprising science from Jupiter and its moons, NASA's Galileo mission draws to a close September 21 with a plunge into Jupiter's atmosphere.

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NASA Terra MODIS Image of Hurricane Isabel »» NASA Terra MODIS Image of Hurricane Isabel

[Saturday, September 13, 2003] The Terra satellite captured this bird's-eye view of Hurricane Isabel at 14:15 UTC on September 11, 2003. In this image Isabel is located at 530 miles east-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands and was packing maximum sustained winds near 150 mph.

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9 Days in September: NASA Responds to the Columbia Accident Report »» 9 Days in September: NASA Responds to the Columbia Accident Report

[Monday, September 15, 2003] The process of responding to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board’s report began last week. This process may also lead to new directions for America's space program. Then again, it may not.

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Lunar Prospecting With Chandra »» Lunar Prospecting With Chandra

[Tuesday, September 16, 2003] Observations of the bright side of the Moon with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have detected oxygen, magnesium, aluminum and silicon over a large area of the lunar surface.

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Homing in on Dark Energy With Supernova Studies in Space »» Homing in on Dark Energy With Supernova Studies in Space

[Tuesday, September 16, 2003] Supernovae studied with the Hubble Space Telescope sheds new light on dark energy, according to the latest findings of the Supernova Cosmology Project.

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Galileo Prepares to Dive Into Jupiter »» Galileo Prepares to Dive Into Jupiter

[Wednesday, September 17, 2003] In the end, the Galileo spacecraft will get a taste of Jupiter before taking a final plunge into the planet's crushing atmosphere, ending the mission on Sunday, Sept. 21. The team expects the spacecraft to transmit a few hours of science data in r

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Chandra and Newton Find Evidence for Spinning Black Holes »» Chandra and Newton Find Evidence for Spinning Black Holes

[Wednesday, September 17, 2003] Telltale X-rays from iron may reveal if black holes are spinning or not. The gas flows and bizarre gravitational effects observed near stellar black holes are similar to those seen around supermassive black holes.

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Distant Star Bursts provide key to the origin of Galaxies »» Distant Star Bursts provide key to the origin of Galaxies

[Wednesday, September 17, 2003] Revealing images produced by one of the world's most sophisticated telescopes are enabling a team of Edinburgh astronomers to see clearly for the first time how distant galaxies were formed 12 billion years ago.

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New Insights into Role of CO2 in Earth's Early Atmosphere »» New Insights into Role of CO2 in Earth's Early Atmosphere

[Thursday, September 18, 2003] Awareness of the global warming effects of carbon dioxide is relatively recent, but the greenhouse gas has been playing a critical role in warming our planet for billions of years,

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EU and China are set to collaborate on GALILEO »» EU and China are set to collaborate on GALILEO

[Friday, September 19, 2003] An agreement has been reached between the European Union and China on its participation in the GALILEO program. It also opens the way for China to take a substantial financial part in the programme through a stakeholding in the GALILEO Joint Undertaking.

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The Final Day on Galileo »» The Final Day on Galileo

[Friday, September 19, 2003] After twelve years of pre-launch development and planning, six years of interplanetary cruise, and nearly eight years in orbit, the Galileo spacecraft will burn up in Jupiters atmosphere on Sunday.

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First Supernovae Quickly Seeded Universe With Stuff of Life »» First Supernovae Quickly Seeded Universe With Stuff of Life

[Friday, September 19, 2003] New simulations show that the first, "greatest generation" of stars spread incredible amounts of such heavy elements across thousands of light-years of space, thereby seeding the cosmos with the stuff of life.

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Closest Known Brown Dwarf has a Companion »» Closest Known Brown Dwarf has a Companion

[Friday, September 19, 2003] While searching for planet-sized bodies that might accompany the nearby star system Epsilon Indi, astronomers using the Gemini South telescope in Chile made a related but unexpected detection.

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How Jim Fulton Saved the Space Shuttle »» How Jim Fulton Saved the Space Shuttle

[Sunday, September 21, 2003] Two weeks after Apollo 13 returned home, the Space Shuttle nearly died before it was born. One man, Rep. James Grove Fulton, saved the Shuttle by casting a vote after being delivered to Capitol Hill - in an ambulance. This is the story of that fight.

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Galileo Makes Fatal Dive Into Jupiter »» Galileo Makes Fatal Dive Into Jupiter

[Sunday, September 21, 2003] Galileo's 14-year odyssey came to an end on Sunday, Sept. 21, when the spacecraft passed into Jupiter's shadow then disintegrated in the planet's dense atmosphere.

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Practicing Mars Drilling Near An Acidic Spanish River »» Practicing Mars Drilling Near An Acidic Spanish River

[Monday, September 22, 2003] To develop techniques to drill into the surface of Mars to look for signs of life, Astrobiologists recently began drilling near the source of the waters of the Rio Tinto, a river in southwestern Spain to search for underground life forms.

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NASA Completes Orbital Space Plane Design Review »» NASA Completes Orbital Space Plane Design Review

[Tuesday, September 23, 2003] The Orbital Space Plane is one step closer to becoming the nation's next space vehicle with the successful completion of its Systems Requirements Review which evaluated the vehicle's concept design for providing crew rescue and transfer for the ISS.

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Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #12: Which Way is Up? »» Ed Lu's Journal: Entry #12: Which Way is Up?

[Tuesday, September 23, 2003] "There really isn't an up or down anywhere here, but there is a direction we think of as the floor and a direction we think of as the ceiling in each module."

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The Orbital Space Plane: NASA Racing On A Dead-End Street »» The Orbital Space Plane: NASA Racing On A Dead-End Street

[Tuesday, September 23, 2003] "NASA management can find some better way to spend five or more years and billions of dollars than the creation of nothing more than a "Super-Sized" Soyuz. That's a dead-end street."

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A Smart Way to Study the Moon »» A Smart Way to Study the Moon

[Wednesday, September 24, 2003] Europe's first mission to the Moon will soon be under way, and UK scientists are looking forward to unravelling some of the secrets of our neighboring world.

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Waiting for a supernova »» Waiting for a supernova

[Wednesday, September 24, 2003] Astronomers are using the Hubble Space Telescope to look back in time. They have imaged the spiral galaxy NGC 3982 and hundreds of other galaxies in the hope that one of the millions of stars in these images will some day explode as a supernova.

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New Map of the Milky Way Shows Our Galaxy to be a Cannibal »» New Map of the Milky Way Shows Our Galaxy to be a Cannibal

[Wednesday, September 24, 2003] Thousands of stars stripped from the nearby Sagittarius dwarf galaxy are streaming through our vicinity of the Milky Way galaxy, according to a new view of the local universe.

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U.S. Space Weather Service in Deep Trouble »» U.S. Space Weather Service in Deep Trouble

[Wednesday, September 24, 2003] "Unless SEC's appropriation level is increased by Congress in Conference, the best outlook is that Space Environment Center shrinks to less than half its capability, and the worst is that space weather will disappear from NOAA."

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California Team Conducts First Powered Liquid Propellant Aerospike Flight Test »» California Team Conducts First Powered Liquid Propellant Aerospike Flight Test

[Wednesday, September 24, 2003] A joint academic / industry team has conducted the first known flight test of a powered liquid-propellant aerospike engine by launching their Prospector 2 research vehicle using aerospike engine designed and developed by CSULB students.

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2003 Ozone 'Hole' Approaches, But Falls Short of Record »» 2003 Ozone 'Hole' Approaches, But Falls Short of Record

[Thursday, September 25, 2003] This year's Antarctic ozone hole is the second largest ever observed, according to scientists from NASA, NOAA, and the Naval Research Laboratory.

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Earth: no longer the lonely planet »» Earth: no longer the lonely planet

[Friday, September 26, 2003] Two astronomers from the University of New South Wales have found that at least 25 per cent of Sun-like stars have planets. This means there are at least 100 billion stars with planets in our Galaxy.

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Ariane 5 Lofts Two Comsats and a Mission to the Moon »» Ariane 5 Lofts Two Comsats and a Mission to the Moon

[Saturday, September 27, 2003] Arianespace today orbited two geostationary communications satellites: INSAT-3E for ISRO, and e-BIRDTM for Eutelsat. The third payload, ESA's SMART-1 lunar probe, was successfully injected into an orbit that will take it to the Moon.

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SMART-1 on a long journey to the Moon »» SMART-1 on a long journey to the Moon

[Saturday, September 27, 2003] SMART-1, Europe's first science spacecraft designed to orbit the Moon, has completed the first part of its journey by achieving its initial Earth orbit after a flawless launch during the night of 27/28 September.

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Prestigious Award for NASA/ESA SOHO Team »» Prestigious Award for NASA/ESA SOHO Team

[Monday, September 29, 2003] The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) team has been presented with the prestigious Laurels for Team Achievement Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). 

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ESA awards the first Aurora mission design contracts »» ESA awards the first Aurora mission design contracts

[Tuesday, September 30, 2003] A major milestone in ESA's long-term Aurora programme of Solar System exploration has been passed with the announcement of the winners of competitive contracts for two of the programme's key robotic missions.

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NASA Mars Picture of the Day: 10,232 New MOC Images Released »» NASA Mars Picture of the Day: 10,232 New MOC Images Released

[Tuesday, September 30, 2003] "The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) team is pleased to announce the release of 10,232 newly-validated, archived images acquired between August 2002 and February 2003."

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We must get in our spaceships and go »» We must get in our spaceships and go

[Tuesday, September 30, 2003] "Risk takers and dreamers. If you're looking for a few, look no further than the signatures on the Declaration of Independence. The United States has always been, and I hope shall forever remain, a nation of dreamers and risk takers."

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China's Launch of Manned Space Mission Seen Soon »» China's Launch of Manned Space Mission Seen Soon

[Tuesday, September 30, 2003] China is soon expected to launch its first manned space mission, possibly in the next few days. Chinese leaders hope the long-anticipated event will yield both political and military advantages.

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