September 2006 Top Story Archives



NASA Continues Space Exploration Research With NEEMO Undersea Lab »» NASA Continues Space Exploration Research With NEEMO Undersea Lab

[Friday, September 1, 2006] NASA's third mission this year to an undersea laboratory off the Florida coast begins when four astronauts splash down Sept. 16.

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NASA Tests Technology Under Harsh Desert Conditions »» NASA Tests Technology Under Harsh Desert Conditions

[Friday, September 1, 2006] Arizona's high desert is a long way from the moon and Mars, but its temperature extremes, gusty winds and dust make NASA's robots, rovers and latest space gear feel right at home.

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Pluto-Bound Camera Sees 'First Light' »» Pluto-Bound Camera Sees 'First Light'

[Friday, September 1, 2006] The highest-resolution camera on NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft is seeing stars, and mission scientists and engineers couldn't be more excited.

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SMART-1 maps its own impact site »» SMART-1 maps its own impact site

[Friday, September 1, 2006] This mosaic of images, obtained by the Advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows the SMART-1 landing site on the Moon.

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National Environmental Policy Act: Development of the Crew Exploration Vehicle »» National Environmental Policy Act: Development of the Crew Exploration Vehicle

[Friday, September 1, 2006] The CEV, a reusable Apollo-like capsule, would enable our Nation's renewed commitment to human space exploration of the Moon and beyond and provide human and cargo access to the International Space Station no later than 2014.

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Scientist-astronaut sends T-cells into space »» Scientist-astronaut sends T-cells into space

[Friday, September 1, 2006] Millie Hughes-Fulford, PhD, will send human T-cells up to the International Space Station aboard ISS Soyuz 13. That science mission, operated by ESA, is scheduled to launch from Baikonur between September 14 and September 18, 2006.

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Impact landing ends SMART-1 mission to the Moon »» Impact landing ends SMART-1 mission to the Moon

[Sunday, September 3, 2006] Early this morning, a small flash illuminated the surface of the Moon as the European Space Agency's SMART-1 spacecraft impacted onto the lunar soil, in the 'Lake of Excellence' region.

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SMART-1 impact update »» SMART-1 impact update

[Sunday, September 3, 2006] Scientists have received and are analysing the final data gathered by SMART-1 on 2 September, prior to today's Moon impact.

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NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 4 September 2006 »» NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 4 September 2006

[Monday, September 4, 2006] At Launch Pad 39B, preparations for Wednesday's launch are under way. The launch countdown began on Sunday at 8 a.m. The pressurization of the orbital maneuvering system, the reaction control system and the main propulsion system is complete.

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Mars Picture of the Day: Viking 2's 30th! »» Mars Picture of the Day: Viking 2's 30th!

[Tuesday, September 5, 2006] Viking 2 landed 30 years ago today, on 3 September 1976. It was the second of the two Viking landings on Mars. Viking 1 touched down on 20 July 1976.

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Pluto supporters to IAU: The debate's not over »» Pluto supporters to IAU: The debate's not over

[Tuesday, September 5, 2006] Friends and colleagues of the late Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto, had this to say Friday about the International Astronomical Union's decision to reclassify Pluto as a "dwarf planet": Don't rewrite the textbooks yet.

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NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 5 September 2006 »» NASA Space Shuttle Processing Status Report 5 September 2006

[Tuesday, September 5, 2006] At Launch Pad 39B, preparations for Wednesday's launch are under way. The external tank camera functional test is complete. Rain covers have been installed on the reaction control system thrusters, and all engine covers have been removed for launch.

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NASA Postpones Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch »» NASA Postpones Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch

[Wednesday, September 6, 2006] NASA has delayed Wednesday's launch of Atlantis. Shuttle Program managers made the decision early Wednesday morning due to a problem that occurred during the activation of one of the shuttle's three electricity-producing fuel cells.

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FAA/DOT: Finding of No Significant Impact: Blue Origin, LLC »» FAA/DOT: Finding of No Significant Impact: Blue Origin, LLC

[Wednesday, September 6, 2006] The FAA prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the proposal from Blue Origin, LLC (Blue Origin) to construct and operate a commercial space launch site to be located on privately-owned property in Culberson County, Texas.

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NASA Delays Shuttle Launch Another 24 Hours Due to Fuel Cell Concerns »» NASA Delays Shuttle Launch Another 24 Hours Due to Fuel Cell Concerns

[Wednesday, September 6, 2006] At a 6 p.m. briefing on Wednesday, NASA's STS-115 Mission Management Team announced that because of the fuel cell anomaly it would be prudent to spend another 24 hours to research the issue.

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Exploration Canada 2006 Workshop »» Exploration Canada 2006 Workshop

[Wednesday, September 6, 2006] On-line registration to attend the Exploration Canada 2006 Workshop is now open, available on the Canadian Space Agency's website. The deadline for submitting ideas and abstracts is September 24th, 2006.

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Opportunity Nears Martian Bowl Goal »» Opportunity Nears Martian Bowl Goal

[Wednesday, September 6, 2006] During the next two weeks, the robotic geologist is likely to reach the rim of a hole in the Martian surface wider and deeper than any it has visited. The crater, known as "Victoria," is approximately 750 meters wide and 70 meters deep.

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Observation of the Impact of Smart-1 (Animated Impact Images) »» Observation of the Impact of Smart-1 (Animated Impact Images)

[Wednesday, September 6, 2006] This an animation showing the scene of the impact from the exposure just before the impact to ~130s later (~10 images).

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NASA Aims for Possible Shuttle Launch Attempt Friday »» NASA Aims for Possible Shuttle Launch Attempt Friday

[Wednesday, September 6, 2006] Mission managers will hold another meeting Thursday at 1 pm EDT to assess the issue. There will be a news conference on NASA Television at the conclusion of that meeting. If the team decides to "go" for launch Friday, lift-off would be at 11:41 am EDT.

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Unabashedly Onward to the Ninth Planet »» Unabashedly Onward to the Ninth Planet

[Wednesday, September 6, 2006] New Horizons continues on course and in good health. In a couple of weeks, I'll update you on a wide range of mission news items. But I want to devote this "PI Perspective" to a different topic: Pluto's planethood.

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Adjusts Angle of Orbit »» Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Adjusts Angle of Orbit

[Thursday, September 7, 2006] NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter fired its six intermediate-size thrusters for 210 seconds Tuesday in a maneuver to make the shape of its orbit closer to the planned geometry for the mission's main science phase, beginning in November.

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GSLV-F02 Failure Analysis Committee Report »» GSLV-F02 Failure Analysis Committee Report

[Thursday, September 7, 2006] The Failure Analysis Committee (FAC), constituted for investigating the failure of ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV-F02 mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC SHAR) Sriharikota, on July 10, 2006 has submitted its report.

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ESA steps towards a great black hole census »» ESA steps towards a great black hole census

[Thursday, September 7, 2006] Astronomers using ESA's orbiting gamma-ray observatory, Integral, have taken an important step towards estimating how many black holes there are in the Universe.

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Planet or failed star? Hubble photographs one of the smallest stellar companions ever seen »» Planet or failed star? Hubble photographs one of the smallest stellar companions ever seen

[Thursday, September 7, 2006] Astronomers have photographed one of the smallest objects ever seen around a normal star beyond our Sun. 12 times the mass of Jupiter, the object is small enough to be a planet. It's also large enough to be a brown dwarf, a failed star.

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Earth-like Planets May Be More Common Than Once Thought »» Earth-like Planets May Be More Common Than Once Thought

[Thursday, September 7, 2006] More than one-third of the giant planet systems recently detected outside Earth's solar system may harbor Earth-like planets, many covered in deep oceans with potential for life, according to a new study.

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NASA's Shuttle Atlantis Set to Lift Off Friday »» NASA's Shuttle Atlantis Set to Lift Off Friday

[Thursday, September 7, 2006] NASA has set Atlantis' launch for Friday, Sept. 8, at 11:41 a.m. EDT. Shuttle program managers made the lift-off decision after reviewing more detailed data on a problem associated with one of the spacecraft's electricity-producing fuel cells.

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Boston University awarded $42.5 million from NASA to study space radiation »» Boston University awarded $42.5 million from NASA to study space radiation

[Thursday, September 7, 2006] Boston University today announced it has received an eight-year, $42.5 million contract from NASA to study Earth's radiation belts, a region which can be dangerous to astronauts and orbiting satellites.

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NASA Hosts Arctic Sea Ice Media Teleconference »» NASA Hosts Arctic Sea Ice Media Teleconference

[Thursday, September 7, 2006] NASA is hosting a media teleconference where scientists will discuss recent changes in Arctic sea ice and links to climate changes. The teleconference is Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. EDT.

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Massive Planet Found by Astronomers Using Novel Network of Tiny Telescopes »» Massive Planet Found by Astronomers Using Novel Network of Tiny Telescopes

[Friday, September 8, 2006] An international team of astronomers has detected a planet larger than Jupiter that orbits a star 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Draco.

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ECO Sensor Postpones Shuttle Launch 24 Hours »» ECO Sensor Postpones Shuttle Launch 24 Hours

[Friday, September 8, 2006] Today's launch has been scrubbed 24 hours to allow engineers to troubleshoot the engine cutoff sensor issue. NASA will detank the Shuttle Atlantis and try again tomorrow.

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NASA Postpones Shuttle Atlantis Launch, Aims for Saturday »» NASA Postpones Shuttle Atlantis Launch, Aims for Saturday

[Friday, September 8, 2006] NASA has delayed Friday's launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on its STS-115 mission to the International Space Station. Lift-off now is set for 11:15 a.m. EDT Saturday.

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Space Elevator Games to Spur a New Generation of Space Travel »» Space Elevator Games to Spur a New Generation of Space Travel

[Friday, September 8, 2006] Together, NASA, Spaceward, and X PRIZE are looking to jumpstart safe and efficient space exploration using prizes for private research; much like the Orteig Prize which was won by none other than Charles Lindbergh in his Spirit of St. Louis.

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Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches Beginning an 11 Day Mission »» Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches Beginning an 11 Day Mission

[Saturday, September 9, 2006] The space shuttle finally launched today on it's 11 day mission to the space station. During the mission the crew will continue building the space station adding the P3/P4 integrated truss and a second set of solar arrays on the space station.

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

[Saturday, September 9, 2006] The Space Shuttle Atlantis and its six-member crew are on their way to the International Space Station after lifting-off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at 11:14:55 a.m. EDT Saturday.

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Atlantis Arrives at Space Station »» Atlantis Arrives at Space Station

[Monday, September 11, 2006] STS-115 Commander Brent Jett guided Space Shuttle Atlantis to a smooth docking with International Space Station at 6:48 a.m. EDT today. Atlantis' arrival marks the resumption of the construction of the station.

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Expedition 13 Welcomes STS-115 Aboard Station »» Expedition 13 Welcomes STS-115 Aboard Station

[Monday, September 11, 2006] STS-115 astronauts entered the International Space Station for the first time at 8:30 a.m. EDT where they were greeted by the station's Expedition 13 crew. STS-115 arrived at 6:48 this morning when Space Shuttle Atlantis linked up with the station.

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NASA Selects 12 Research Proposals in Radiation Biology »» NASA Selects 12 Research Proposals in Radiation Biology

[Monday, September 11, 2006] NASA will fund a dozen new research proposals to better understand and reduce the risks that crews of future moon and Mars missions could face from space radiation. The total potential value of the selected proposals is approximately $14 million.

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NASA Desert Rats Live webcams Online From Meteor Crater »» NASA Desert Rats Live webcams Online From Meteor Crater

[Monday, September 11, 2006] The Desert RATS is a NASA-led team of research partners working together to prepare for human-robotic exploration. This "working group," led by NASA personnel, is comprised of both NASA and non-NASA Members.

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International Station Receives New Component »» International Station Receives New Component

[Tuesday, September 12, 2006] The ISS grew in size Tuesday with the addition of the P3/P4 integrated truss structure. It was delivered by STS-115, the first in a series of missions that will increase the station’s size and capabilities.

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First Global Connection between Weather and Space Weather »» First Global Connection between Weather and Space Weather

[Tuesday, September 12, 2006] Weather on Earth has a surprising connection to space weather occurring high in the electrically-charged upper atmosphere, known as the ionosphere, according to new results from NASA satellites.

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NASA Mars Picture of the Day: 9 Years at Mars! »» NASA Mars Picture of the Day: 9 Years at Mars!

[Tuesday, September 12, 2006] Mars Global Surveyor has now been orbiting Mars for 9 years! It was early in the morning on 12 September 1997, Greenwich Mean Time, when MGS fired its engines to slow down and drop into an elliptical orbit around Mars.

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Science and NASA - Speech by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin »» Science and NASA - Speech by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin

[Tuesday, September 12, 2006] "There's been a lot of hyperbole flung about in the media during the past several weeks about NASA's "decimated science program" ... and how we're not listening to our advisory committee."

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NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reaches Planned Flight Path »» NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Reaches Planned Flight Path

[Tuesday, September 12, 2006] NASA's newest spacecraft at Mars has completed the challenging half-year task of shaping its orbit to the nearly circular, low-altitude pattern from which it will scrutinize the planet.

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NASA Sees Rapid Changes in Arctic Sea Ice »» NASA Sees Rapid Changes in Arctic Sea Ice

[Wednesday, September 13, 2006] NASA data shows that Arctic perennial sea ice, which normally survives the summer melt season and remains year-round, shrunk abruptly by 14 percent between 2004 and 2005.

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Rare Lunar Meteorite Found in Antarctica »» Rare Lunar Meteorite Found in Antarctica

[Wednesday, September 13, 2006] Although last year's inclement weather resulted in fewer Antarctic meteorite recoveries than usual, scientists have recently discovered that one of the specimens is a rare breed -- a type of lunar meteorite seen only once before.

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Spacewalkers Continue Preps for Truss Operations »» Spacewalkers Continue Preps for Truss Operations

[Wednesday, September 13, 2006] STS-115's spacewalkers Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean continue work to prepare the International Space Station's P3/P4 integrated truss for operation. The spacewalk began at 5:05 a.m. EDT and is slated to end about 11:25 a.m.

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ATK, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Form Team to Compete for Ares I Upper Stage »» ATK, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Form Team to Compete for Ares I Upper Stage

[Wednesday, September 13, 2006] Alliant Techsystems, Lockheed Martin, and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a business unit of United Technologies, announced today that they have teamed together in preparation for NASA's Ares I Upper Stage procurement, planned for early 2007.

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New Hubble Space Telescope Hardware Damaged On The Ground »» New Hubble Space Telescope Hardware Damaged On The Ground

[Wednesday, September 13, 2006] According to NASA sources, last Thursday, an eye bolt supporting a lifting rig failed while off-loading the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide-field Scientific Instrument Protective Enclosure (WSIPE) dropping the rig onto the WSIPE.

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NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #09 »» NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #09

[Wednesday, September 13, 2006] The crews of Atlantis and Expedition 13 had a busy fifth day together in space as they brought to life the new addition to the International Space Station they had attached on Tuesday.

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CfA: Major Exoplanet Briefing 14 Sept. at Smithsonian in  Washington, DC »» CfA: Major Exoplanet Briefing 14 Sept. at Smithsonian in Washington, DC

[Wednesday, September 13, 2006] Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will hold a media conference at 10 a.m. EDT, Thursday, September 14, to announce two key extrasolar planet findings - one observational and one theoretical.

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IAU Numbers Pluto as an Asteroid, Renames Xena and Gabrielle »» IAU Numbers Pluto as an Asteroid, Renames Xena and Gabrielle

[Wednesday, September 13, 2006] Following the Aug. 24 resolution by the IAU to the effect that the solar system contains eight planets the Minor Planet Center included Pluto and 2003 UB313 in the standard catalogue of numbered objects with well-determined orbits.

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Astronomers Reveal First Alien I.D. Chart »» Astronomers Reveal First Alien I.D. Chart

[Thursday, September 14, 2006] It is only a matter of time before astronomers find an Earth-sized planet orbiting a distant star. When they do, the first questions people will ask are: Is it habitable? And even more importantly, is there life present on it already?

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Strange New Planet Baffles Astronomers »» Strange New Planet Baffles Astronomers

[Thursday, September 14, 2006] Using a network of small automated telescopes, astronomers have discovered a planet unlike any other known world. This new planet, designated HAT-P-1, orbits one member of a pair of distant stars 450 light-years away in the constellation Lacerta.

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STS-115 Crew Unfurls Station Arrays »» STS-115 Crew Unfurls Station Arrays

[Thursday, September 14, 2006] The STS-115 crew successfully completed the full deployment of the International Space Station's new set of solar arrays at 8:44 a.m. EDT.

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NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) Webcasts »» NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) Webcasts

[Thursday, September 14, 2006] Similar in size to the International Space Station's Zvezda Service Module, Aquarius is situated next to deep coral reefs and provides life support systems that allow scientists to live and work in reasonably comfortable quarters.

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Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer detects vast polar ethane cloud on Titan »» Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer detects vast polar ethane cloud on Titan

[Thursday, September 14, 2006] Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) has detected what appears to be a massive ethane cloud surrounding Titan's north pole. The cloud might be snowing ethane snowflakes into methane lakes below.

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14th Station Crew to Launch from Baikonur »» 14th Station Crew to Launch from Baikonur

[Thursday, September 14, 2006] Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin of the 14th International Space Station crew are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan a few minutes after midnight EDT on Sept. 18 to begin a six-month stay in space.

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IAU names dwarf planet Eris »» IAU names dwarf planet Eris

[Thursday, September 14, 2006] The dwarf planet formerly known as 2003 UB313 received the official designation (136199) Eris, or Eris in short, from the International Astronomical Union on 13th September 2006.

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Spacewalkers Press Ahead; Controllers Deploy Radiator »» Spacewalkers Press Ahead; Controllers Deploy Radiator

[Friday, September 15, 2006] Astronauts Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper are rolling through STS-115's third spacewalk. They are performing a wide-range of activities during the excursion, which is slated to wrap up about 12:20 p.m. EDT.

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NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #14 »» NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #14

[Saturday, September 16, 2006] The Atlantis' crew gets some well deserved time to relax today. After the successful addition of new components to the Station, five days of joint operations with the Expedition 13 crew and three successful spacewalks, they have some off-duty time.

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Shuttle and Station Crews Hold News Conference; Atlantis to Undock Sunday »» Shuttle and Station Crews Hold News Conference; Atlantis to Undock Sunday

[Saturday, September 16, 2006] The STS-115 and Expedition 13 crews are close to wrapping up a constructive week aboard the International Space Station. Today is the last full day of joint operations.

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NASA Space Simulation and Training Project: NEEMO 11 »» NASA Space Simulation and Training Project: NEEMO 11

[Saturday, September 16, 2006] EVA crews will perform a survey of the bathymetry surrounding portions of the habitat. They will document the environment and work side by side with a remotely operated vehicle. During the exercise, they will be in communication with the ExPOC.

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STS-115 MCC Status Report #16 »» STS-115 MCC Status Report #16

[Sunday, September 17, 2006] It's undocking day. The Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to begin moving away from the International Space Station at 7:50 a.m. CDT.

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Space Shuttle Atlantis Departs International Space Station »» Space Shuttle Atlantis Departs International Space Station

[Sunday, September 17, 2006] Space Shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station at 8:50 a.m. EDT today, ending STS-115’s successful stay and setting the stage for future assembly missions.

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Saturn's Rings To Shine As Never Before »» Saturn's Rings To Shine As Never Before

[Sunday, September 17, 2006] Ring scientists have been waiting for this. Finally, after more than two years orbiting Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft reaches one of the ultimate vantage points. The rings should shine with majesty worthy of the "Jewel of the Solar System."

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NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #17 »» NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #17

[Sunday, September 17, 2006] Atlantis undocked from the ISS, completing six days, two hours and two minutes of joint operations with the station crew. As the shuttle departs, a new station crew is preparing to launch to the complex tonight from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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Spacecraft Carrying Space Tourist Anousheh Ansari and ISS Expedition 14 Crew Leaves Earth »» Spacecraft Carrying Space Tourist Anousheh Ansari and ISS Expedition 14 Crew Leaves Earth

[Sunday, September 17, 2006] The International Space Station's next crew began the journey to its new home early Monday. The Soyuz rocket that carried Expedition 14 into space lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:09 a.m. EDT.

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NASA Teams Up With Japan, United Kingdom and Europe to Study the Sun »» NASA Teams Up With Japan, United Kingdom and Europe to Study the Sun

[Monday, September 18, 2006] To shed new light on the sun's magnetic field and how it impacts life on Earth, NASA is preparing major instrument components for launch this September on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Solar-B spacecraft.

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NASA Sponsors Video Contest: Become NASA's Greatest Fan »» NASA Sponsors Video Contest: Become NASA's Greatest Fan

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] NASA is holding a video contest, and one deserving winner and guest will receive a free trip to Kennedy Space Center. Video entries should show why their creators deserve the title of "NASA's Greatest Fan."

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NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #20 »» NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #20

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] A space-age conference call linked three orbiting crews early Tuesday. Three people aboard the Soyuz TMA 9 talked with the six Atlantis astronauts and the three-man Expedition 13 crew aboard the International Space Station.

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Scientists snap first images of brown dwarf in planetary system »» Scientists snap first images of brown dwarf in planetary system

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] Scientists using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered and directly imaged a small brown dwarf star, 50 times the mass of Jupiter, orbiting with a planet around a Sun-like star.

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Object Investigation, Weather Force NASA Managers to Wave Off Wednesday Landing for Space Shuttle »» Object Investigation, Weather Force NASA Managers to Wave Off Wednesday Landing for Space Shuttle

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] Mission Control informed the STS-115 crew about 10:45 a.m. EDT that Wednesday’s landing attempts have been waved off due to an unfavorable weather forecast, coupled with the possibility of additional inspections of Space Shuttle Atlantis.

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NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 September 2006 »» NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 19 September 2006

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] Update on Elektron: Ground analysis of yesterday's Elektron O2 generator leak is continuing, and recommendations for further steps are being developed.

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Animated Elevation Model of 'Victoria Crater' »» Animated Elevation Model of 'Victoria Crater'

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] This animation created by the U.S. Geological Survey uses a digital elevation model generated from computer analysis of three images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor orbiter.

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NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #21 »» NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #21

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] NASA has decided to extend Atlantis' stay in space to allow for additional inspections of the spacecraft to be performed. The decision was made after video from cameras aboard the shuttle showed a piece of debris in close proximity to the vehicle.

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Scientists Discover New Ring and Other Features at Saturn »» Scientists Discover New Ring and Other Features at Saturn

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] Saturn sports a new ring in an image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Sunday, Sept. 17, during a one-of-a-kind observation.

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Cassini Image: Pale Blue Orb »» Cassini Image: Pale Blue Orb

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] Earth is captured here in a natural color portrait made possible by the passing of Saturn directly in front of the sun from Cassini's point of view.

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Ground-Piercing Radar on NASA Mars Orbiter Ready for Work »» Ground-Piercing Radar on NASA Mars Orbiter Ready for Work

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has extended the long-armed antenna of its radar, preparing the instrument to begin probing for underground layers of Mars.

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Expedition 14 Arrives at International Space Station »» Expedition 14 Arrives at International Space Station

[Tuesday, September 19, 2006] The Soyuz TMA 9 spacecraft carrying the Expedition 14 crew docked with the station a few minutes early at 1:21 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

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NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #22 »» NASA STS-115 MCC Status Report #22

[Wednesday, September 20, 2006] The Space Shuttle Atlantis crew began another survey of the spacecraft's heat shield late Tuesday after mission managers decided the orbiter would spend another day in space.

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NASA Forms Partnership With Red Planet Capital, Inc. »» NASA Forms Partnership With Red Planet Capital, Inc.

[Wednesday, September 20, 2006] NASA has joined with Red Planet Capital, Inc., San Mateo, Calif., in a partnership to help the agency gain access to new and innovative technologies through the venture capital community.

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NASA Continues Space Exploration Research With Undersea Lab »» NASA Continues Space Exploration Research With Undersea Lab

[Wednesday, September 20, 2006] NASA's third mission this year to an undersea laboratory off the Florida coast began when four astronauts splashed down Sept. 16.

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NASA Balloon Carries High Altitude Student Platform to the Edge of Space »» NASA Balloon Carries High Altitude Student Platform to the Edge of Space

[Wednesday, September 20, 2006] NASA has teamed with Louisiana State University and student groups from four universities for a launch that carried the first flight of the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) to the near space environment of the upper atmosphere.

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The Weirdest Type IA Supernova Yet »» The Weirdest Type IA Supernova Yet

[Wednesday, September 20, 2006] Scientists affiliated with the SuperNova Legacy Survey have found startling evidence that there is more than one kind of Type Ia supernova, a class of exploding stars which until now has been regarded as essentially uniform in all important respects.

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NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Set for Thursday Landing »» NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Set for Thursday Landing

[Wednesday, September 20, 2006] The Space Shuttle Atlantis, led by Commander Brent Jett, is scheduled to land at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. on Thursday, Sept. 21, completing space shuttle mission STS-115.

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Keynote Speech by Dr. S. Pete Worden at AIAA Space 2006 »» Keynote Speech by Dr. S. Pete Worden at AIAA Space 2006

[Wednesday, September 20, 2006] Next month we will observe the 49th anniversary of the first Earth-orbiting satellite. But as much as we can take pride in the accomplishments of the past five decades, the dawn of the true space age lies ahead of us.

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Atlantis, STS-115 Crew Return to Earth »» Atlantis, STS-115 Crew Return to Earth

[Thursday, September 21, 2006] NASA officials and mission managers held a post-landing briefing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida following the successful landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis.

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Does Pluto's Atmosphere Go Through the Fast-Freeze? »» Does Pluto's Atmosphere Go Through the Fast-Freeze?

[Thursday, September 21, 2006] A study of Pluto's bright frosts suggests that the way the planet cools down is rapid and disorganised. The results were presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Berlin.

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Short-Term Ocean Cooling Suggests Global Warming 'Speed Bump' »» Short-Term Ocean Cooling Suggests Global Warming 'Speed Bump'

[Thursday, September 21, 2006] The average temperature of the water near the top of Earth's oceans has significantly cooled since 2003. New research suggests global warming trends are not always steady in their effects on ocean temperatures.

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NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective: Changing Seasons on the Road Trip to Planet 9 »» NASA New Horizons: The PI's Perspective: Changing Seasons on the Road Trip to Planet 9

[Thursday, September 21, 2006] As both summer and September end, the weather in Colorado is noticeably changing. And so is the pace and character of mission operations on New Horizons.

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Keep ISS Alive »» Keep ISS Alive

[Thursday, September 21, 2006] Instead of elaborate and expensive toys and forts made to be thrown away, we must design technologies and facilities that are useful and useable, robust and reliable. Instead of built in obsolescence, we must build for real permanence.

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To Be or Not to Be: Is It All About Spinning? »» To Be or Not to Be: Is It All About Spinning?

[Thursday, September 21, 2006] Thanks to the possibilities offered by ESO's VLTI, astronomers have solved a 140-year- old mystery concerning active hot stars: Alpha Arae is spinning almost on the verge of breaking and that its disc rotates the same way planets do around the Sun.

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NASA Announces New Advisory Council Members »» NASA Announces New Advisory Council Members

[Friday, September 22, 2006] NASA Administrator Michael Griffin named nine new members to the NASA Advisory Council on Friday, including Dr. Edward David, Jr., Chair of the Science Committee, and Dr. Paul Robinson, Chair of the new Space Operations Committee.

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Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Agree to Study Human-qualified Atlas V Rocket for Entrepreneurial Space Development »» Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Agree to Study Human-qualified Atlas V Rocket for Entrepreneurial Space Development

[Saturday, September 23, 2006] Lockheed Martin has entered into an agreement with Bigelow Aerospace to pursue the potential of launching passengers on human-qualified Atlas V rockets.

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Sunrise Over Saturn and its Rings »» Sunrise Over Saturn and its Rings

[Sunday, September 24, 2006] These images were taken on 15 September 2006 as Cassini passed behind Saturn at a distance of over 2 million kilometers.

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NEEMO 11 Mission Day 6: Crew Journal Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006 Mission Day 6 »» NEEMO 11 Mission Day 6: Crew Journal Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006 Mission Day 6

[Sunday, September 24, 2006] Today we began the journey back to the surface and to dry land. Our day began like all the others, we had a DPC early this morning so that we could be prepared for the day's events.

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Space Diplomacy  - U.S., China open unprecedented discussions on cooperation »» Space Diplomacy - U.S., China open unprecedented discussions on cooperation

[Sunday, September 24, 2006] NASA Administrator Griffin must "thread the political needle" between a tough Bush administration policy on China and Chinese military secrecy and communist bureaucracy already disarming U.S. interest in manned flight collaboration.

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Solar-B - a new solar mission to study the dynamic Sun »» Solar-B - a new solar mission to study the dynamic Sun

[Monday, September 25, 2006] A new Japanese-led solar mission with ESA participation is preparing for launch on 23 September 2006. Solar-B will study the mechanisms which power the solar atmosphere and look for the causes of violent solar eruptions.

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NASA Learns How To Handle Space Tourists - and Novel Situations »» NASA Learns How To Handle Space Tourists - and Novel Situations

[Monday, September 25, 2006] "I wouldn't argue that back with Tito - who was the first tourist - that was kind of a unique thought process for the U.S. - for NASA as an agency - and it was a challenging time."

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NASA Mars Spacecraft Gear Up for Extra Work »» NASA Mars Spacecraft Gear Up for Extra Work

[Monday, September 25, 2006] NASA's Mars robotic missions are performing so well, they are being prepared for additional overtime work. NASA is adding two more years of operations for Mars Global Surveyor and the Mars Odyssey orbiter.

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NASA Study Tracks Global Sources, Transport of Air Pollution »» NASA Study Tracks Global Sources, Transport of Air Pollution

[Monday, September 25, 2006] A NASA and university study of ozone and carbon monoxide pollution in Earth's atmosphere is providing unique insights into the sources of these pollutants and how they are transported around the world.

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New Gallup Poll Reveals Americans Continue to Strongly Support Space Exploration »» New Gallup Poll Reveals Americans Continue to Strongly Support Space Exploration

[Monday, September 25, 2006] A new Gallup Poll shows more than two- thirds of respondents support the nation's stepping-stone approach to space exploration.

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Nearly There! Opportunity Status for sol 941-946 »» Nearly There! Opportunity Status for sol 941-946

[Monday, September 25, 2006] Opportunity is very near "Victoria Crater." The rover spent its week completing an alpha particle X-ray spectrometer observation of rock target "Cape Faraday," successfully booting its new flight software and exercising its mobility functions.

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HiRISE Camera Will Take First Close Up Pictures of Mars on 29 September »» HiRISE Camera Will Take First Close Up Pictures of Mars on 29 September

[Tuesday, September 26, 2006] The most powerful camera ever to orbit Mars will get its first close look at the Red Planet on Friday.

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Dittmar Associates Finds Young Adults 'Largely Disinterested' in the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration »» Dittmar Associates Finds Young Adults 'Largely Disinterested' in the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration

[Tuesday, September 26, 2006] In a study reported on at the AIAA Space 2006 meeting, Dittmar Associates reported that young American adults are "largely disinterested" in the Vision for Space Exploration announced by President Bush in January of 2004.

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Anousheh Ansari, a Woman of Mass Instruction »» Anousheh Ansari, a Woman of Mass Instruction

[Tuesday, September 26, 2006] As a long time space advocate I have seen many fads, hopes, and dreams come and go in our quest to open the space frontier for everyone. This week something special has happened that has to be commented on.

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Nation's Astronomers Continue Dialog with NASA Administrator Mike Griffin »» Nation's Astronomers Continue Dialog with NASA Administrator Mike Griffin

[Tuesday, September 26, 2006] The American Astronomical Society (AAS), the largest professional organization for research astronomers in the United States has received answers from NASA Administrator Mike Griffin to a series of important questions sent to him by email last week.

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NASA's 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition »» NASA's 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition

[Wednesday, September 27, 2006] The first NASA 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition challenges students to create unique audio and video podcasts. The topic: How will space exploration benefit your life in the future?

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Solar flares cause GPS failures, possibly devastating for jets and  distress calls, Cornell researchers warn »» Solar flares cause GPS failures, possibly devastating for jets and distress calls, Cornell researchers warn

[Wednesday, September 27, 2006] Strong solar flares cause Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to fail, Cornell researchers have discovered. Because solar flares are generally unpredictable, such failures could be devastating for "safety-of-life" GPS operations.

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House Recognizes Actions of Stennis Employees During and After Hurricane Katrina »» House Recognizes Actions of Stennis Employees During and After Hurricane Katrina

[Wednesday, September 27, 2006] The House of Representatives tonight honored the employees of the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for the actions they took during and after Hurricane Katrina's strike along the Gulf Coast.

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Jupiter Ahoy! NASA New Horizons Sends Back Image of Jupiter »» Jupiter Ahoy! NASA New Horizons Sends Back Image of Jupiter

[Wednesday, September 27, 2006] Blazing along its path to Pluto, NASA's New Horizons has come within hailing distance of Jupiter. The first picture of the giant planet from the spacecraft's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), taken Sept. 4, 2006.

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New Media Security Policy at NASA Headquarters: More Confusion, Less Security »» New Media Security Policy at NASA Headquarters: More Confusion, Less Security

[Wednesday, September 27, 2006] NASA issued its latest security regulations as they apply to the news media. As is often typical of the folks at NASA headquarters, no one apparently expended much brainpower in thinking this through in terms of the logic of the change in policy

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House Science Committee to Review NASA's Plan to Develop Orion, the Crew Exploration Vehicle - and GAO Concerns »» House Science Committee to Review NASA's Plan to Develop Orion, the Crew Exploration Vehicle - and GAO Concerns

[Wednesday, September 27, 2006] Thursday at 2pm the House Committee on Science will hold a hearing to review NASA's efforts to develop the Crew Exploration Vehicle, now dubbed "Orion."

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Teams From as Far As Europe to Compete in Space Elevator Games »» Teams From as Far As Europe to Compete in Space Elevator Games

[Wednesday, September 27, 2006] The final entries to the Space Elevator Games have been reviewed, and fifteen teams including five international teams will be participating in the tether strength and climber power-beaming competitions.

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NASA's Hubble Discovers Extrasolar Planet Across Our Galaxy »» NASA's Hubble Discovers Extrasolar Planet Across Our Galaxy

[Wednesday, September 27, 2006] NASA hosts a science update at 1 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, Oct. 4, to discuss a Hubble Space Telescope discovery of extrasolar planet candidates orbiting a variety of distant stars. The update will be in the NASA HQ Auditorium, 300 E Street S.W., Washington.

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Astronomers discover two new planets, both among the hottest ever »» Astronomers discover two new planets, both among the hottest ever

[Wednesday, September 27, 2006] Astronomers have discovered two new planets outside our solar system, both extremely close to their stars and thus among the hottest ever found.

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Hubble Discovers A Dark Cloud in the Atmosphere of Uranus »» Hubble Discovers A Dark Cloud in the Atmosphere of Uranus

[Thursday, September 28, 2006] Just as we near the end of the hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, winds whirl and clouds churn 2 billion miles away in the atmosphere of Uranus, forming a dark vortex large enough to engulf two-thirds of the United States.

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GAO Report: NASA: Sound Management and Oversight Key to Addressing Crew Exploration Vehicle Project Risks »» GAO Report: NASA: Sound Management and Oversight Key to Addressing Crew Exploration Vehicle Project Risks

[Thursday, September 28, 2006] "Although GAO is not making recommendations in this testimony, we previously recommended that NASA modify the CEV acquisition strategy to ensure that a long-term commitment is not made prior to attaining of key knowledge."

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Space Station Expedition 13 Crew Undocks, Heads Back to Earth »» Space Station Expedition 13 Crew Undocks, Heads Back to Earth

[Thursday, September 28, 2006] Pavel Vinogradov and Jeff Williams, the 13th crew of the International Space Station, undocked in their Soyuz spacecraft from the orbiting laboratory at 5:53 p.m. EDT Thursday and headed for a 9:14 p.m. landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan.

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Space Station Expedition 13 Lands in Kazakhstan with Anousheh Ansari »» Space Station Expedition 13 Lands in Kazakhstan with Anousheh Ansari

[Thursday, September 28, 2006] Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, Flight Engineer Jeff Williams and Spaceflight Participant Anousheh Ansari landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan Thursday at 9:13 p.m. EDT.

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Major Weather Satellite Acquisition to be Examined by House Science Committee »» Major Weather Satellite Acquisition to be Examined by House Science Committee

[Thursday, September 28, 2006] NOAA and the GAO will testify before the House Science Committee on NOAA's acquisition of a major, multi-billion dollar weather satellite system and a new GAO report on the acquisition program that will be released at the hearing.

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Watching how planets form »» Watching how planets form

[Thursday, September 28, 2006] With the VISIR instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have mapped the disc around a star more massive than the Sun. The very extended and flared disc most likely contains enough gas and dust to spawn planets.

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Massive Star Formation: Inside, Outside and All Around »» Massive Star Formation: Inside, Outside and All Around

[Thursday, September 28, 2006] Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope have discovered key evidence that may help them figure out how very massive stars can form.

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NASA KSC RFI: Supporting an Environmental Assessment of Commercial and Other Uses of the Shuttle Landing Facility »» NASA KSC RFI: Supporting an Environmental Assessment of Commercial and Other Uses of the Shuttle Landing Facility

[Friday, September 29, 2006] NASA is seeking information from prospective commercial and other non-NASA users of the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC to support an ongoing Environmental Assessment of commercial suborbital and orbital spaceflight and other compatible uses.

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GAO Report: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Steps Remain in Incorporating Lessons Learned from Other Satellite Programs »» GAO Report: Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Steps Remain in Incorporating Lessons Learned from Other Satellite Programs

[Friday, September 29, 2006] NOAA has taken steps to implement lessons learned from past satellite programs, but more remains to be done. Prior satellite programs often experienced technical challenges, cost overruns, and schedule delays.

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NASA's New Mars Camera Gives Dramatic View of Planet »» NASA's New Mars Camera Gives Dramatic View of Planet

[Friday, September 29, 2006] Mars is ready for its close-up. The highest-resolution camera ever to orbit Mars is returning low-altitude images to Earth from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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NASA Mars Rover Oportunity Image: 'Victoria Crater' from 'Duck Bay' »» NASA Mars Rover Oportunity Image: 'Victoria Crater' from 'Duck Bay'

[Friday, September 29, 2006] NASA's Mars rover Opportunity edged 3.7 meters (12 feet) closer to the top of the "Duck Bay" alcove along the rim of "Victoria Crater" during the rover's 952nd Martian day, or sol (overnight Sept. 27 to Sept. 28), and gained this vista of the crater.

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