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September 2010 Top Stories


Letter to Rep. Gordon Regarding House Science Committee Authorization Bill As It Relates to NASA »» Letter to Rep. Gordon Regarding House Science Committee Authorization Bill As It Relates to NASA

[Wednesday, September 1, 2010] We feel that the following programs, which are substantially underfunded in the current House Science Committee authorization bill, are especially critical:

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Bold Endeavors: Lessons from Polar and Space Exploration »» Bold Endeavors: Lessons from Polar and Space Exploration

[Wednesday, September 1, 2010] Every decision that we make from the most trivial to the most important is attended by some sort of evaluation and consideration of the costs and the benefits, and the likelihood of a successful outcome.

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NASA Ranked Fifth In Best Places To Work In The Federal Government »» NASA Ranked Fifth In Best Places To Work In The Federal Government

[Wednesday, September 1, 2010] NASA has been ranked fifth in the Partnership for Public Service 2010 ratings for the "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government."

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The Superwind Galaxy NGC 4666 »» The Superwind Galaxy NGC 4666

[Wednesday, September 1, 2010] The galaxy NGC 4666 takes pride of place at the centre of this new image, made in visible light with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

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Spectrum of Young Exoplanet Yields Surprising Results »» Spectrum of Young Exoplanet Yields Surprising Results

[Wednesday, September 1, 2010] Astronomers at the University of Hawaii have measured the temperature of a young gas-giant planet around another star using the W. M. Keck Observatory, and the results are puzzling

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Navigation satellites contend with stormy Sun »» Navigation satellites contend with stormy Sun

[Wednesday, September 1, 2010] Just as we grow used to satellite navigation in everyday life, media reports argue that a coming surge in solar activity could render satnav devices useless, perhaps even frying satellites themselves. Is it true? No.

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Space telescope's new survey of outer galaxy helps Iowa State astronomers study stars »» Space telescope's new survey of outer galaxy helps Iowa State astronomers study stars

[Wednesday, September 1, 2010] The Spitzer Space Telescope is now taking aim at the outer reaches of the Milky Way and helping two Iowa State University astronomers advance their star studies.

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NASA Space Station Photo: Hurricane Earl As Seen From Orbit »» NASA Space Station Photo: Hurricane Earl As Seen From Orbit

[Wednesday, September 1, 2010] Photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station, this is an oblique view of the eye of Hurricane Earl at this time a category 4 but later downgraded to a category 3), centered just north of the Virgin Islands.

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Challenger Center Participates in AIAA Space 2010 »» Challenger Center Participates in AIAA Space 2010

[Wednesday, September 1, 2010] As space exploration leaders converge on Anaheim, Challenger Center is there in the midst of all the action. This year AIAA Space 2010, sponsored by the AIAA, is being held from August 30 to September 2 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

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NASA Selects University Finalists for Inflatable Loft Competition »» NASA Selects University Finalists for Inflatable Loft Competition

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation have selected university teams from Maryland, Oklahoma and Wisconsin as finalists in a competition to design, manufacture, assemble and test an inflatable loft.

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NASA and NOAA's Newest GOES Satellite Ready for Action »» NASA and NOAA's Newest GOES Satellite Ready for Action

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] NASA and NOAA's latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-15, has successfully completed five months of on-orbit testing and has been accepted into service.

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Critical Polar Data Flows Briskly to Researchers »» Critical Polar Data Flows Briskly to Researchers

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] Operation IceBridge - a NASA airborne mission to observe changes in Earth's rapidly changing polar land ice and sea ice - is soon to embark on its fourth field season in October.

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Water Deep in Earth Key to Survival of Oldest Continents »» Water Deep in Earth Key to Survival of Oldest Continents

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] Why do we still find rocks from the Archean, one of the earliest geological eons on Earth dating from about 3.8 to 2.5 billion years ago? This is an apt question as our planet is one of the most dynamic in the solar system.

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NASA and Its Partners Announce a New Space Station Crew »» NASA and Its Partners Announce a New Space Station Crew

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] NASA and its international partners have assigned three new International Space Station crew members. They are targeted to launch to the station in November 2012 aboard the Russian Soyuz 33 spacecraft.

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New NASA HD App for iPad With Expanded Content Available Free »» New NASA HD App for iPad With Expanded Content Available Free

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] NASA has unveiled NASA App HD, a new mobile application designed for the iPad. The application is available free of charge at the App Store from Apple.

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NASA Announces 2010 SPHERES Zero-Robotics Challenge »» NASA Announces 2010 SPHERES Zero-Robotics Challenge

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] NASA and MIT are challenging high school teams to design software to program small satellites aboard the International Space Station. The competition centers on the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES.

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Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee Open Meeting 7 Oct 2010 »» Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee Open Meeting 7 Oct 2010

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] Mr. Philip McAlister of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Commercial Crew Transportation office has been invited to speak.

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NASA Selects Investigations For First Mission To Encounter The Sun »» NASA Selects Investigations For First Mission To Encounter The Sun

[Thursday, September 2, 2010] NASA has begun development of a mission to visit and study the sun closer than ever before. The unprecedented project, named Solar Probe Plus, is slated to launch no later than 2018.

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'Plymouth Rock' Human Asteroid Trek proposed for 2019 »» 'Plymouth Rock' Human Asteroid Trek proposed for 2019

[Friday, September 3, 2010] The recent discovery of a new class of many small asteroids has enabled the formulation of this potential new destination for deep space human exploration in the near term. Favorable orbital alignments occur only a few times per decade.

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NASA Invites Media To Experience Future Of Human Space Exploration »» NASA Invites Media To Experience Future Of Human Space Exploration

[Friday, September 3, 2010] To see what life might be like on a distant planet, reporters need only travel to the Arizona desert. NASA's Research and Technology Studies, or Desert RATS, will make its 13th trip to the desert this fall.

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Mars Phoenix Findings Help Explain Viking Lander Results »» Mars Phoenix Findings Help Explain Viking Lander Results

[Friday, September 3, 2010] Experiments prompted by a 2008 surprise from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander suggest that soil examined by NASA's Viking Mars landers in 1976 may have contained carbon-based chemical building blocks of life.

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GOES-13 Image of Hurricane Earl »» GOES-13 Image of Hurricane Earl

[Friday, September 3, 2010] Hurricane Earl lashed the North Carolina coast last night and this morning, September 3, and is now headed for Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This morning's image from the GOES-13 satellite saw Hurricane Earl's clouds covering most of the northeastern U.S.

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Space Station Crew Talks With Students At Florida Science Center »» Space Station Crew Talks With Students At Florida Science Center

[Friday, September 3, 2010] Approximately 500 middle school students and teachers at the Pinellas County Science Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., will have an out-of-this-world phone conversation with NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

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NASA Sets Briefing About Assistance To Trapped Miners In Chile »» NASA Sets Briefing About Assistance To Trapped Miners In Chile

[Friday, September 3, 2010] A NASA team sent to Chile to aid trapped miners will hold a news conference about their work at the San Jose gold and copper mine near Copiapo at noon CDT, Tuesday, Sept. 7. The conference will be at JSC and it will air live on NASA Television.

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NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Studies Interesting Rocks »» NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Studies Interesting Rocks

[Saturday, September 4, 2010] Opportunity finished her campaign to examine an exposed outcrop of rock that was of interest to the science team.

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JAXA's Tether Technologies Rocket Experiment (T-REX) Launched »» JAXA's Tether Technologies Rocket Experiment (T-REX) Launched

[Saturday, September 4, 2010] The sounding rocket S-520-25 was successfully launched at 5:00 a.m. on August 31, 2010 (Japan Standard Time,) from the Uchinoura Space Center.

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Prepared Remarks at AIAA Space 2010 By NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver »» Prepared Remarks at AIAA Space 2010 By NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver

[Saturday, September 4, 2010] It is in my view precisely by asking what will happen in the next 50 years that drives what should happen in the next few months, and then the next couple of years, because that will lay the framework for probably decades to come.

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Letter From House Science & Technology Committee Chair Bart Gordon to Prof. Scott Hubbard »» Letter From House Science & Technology Committee Chair Bart Gordon to Prof. Scott Hubbard

[Monday, September 6, 2010] Thank you for the letter delivered to me earlier this week that you added your name to regarding the future of NASA. I read this letter closely, and I appreciate your time and interest.

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Fly your experiment to the edge of space! »» Fly your experiment to the edge of space!

[Tuesday, September 7, 2010] ESA is inviting students to propose experiments to fly on sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons. The winning teams will have the opportunity to design and build an experiment for the BEXUS balloons or the REXUS rockets.

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Registration Open for 2011 NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition »» Registration Open for 2011 NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition

[Tuesday, September 7, 2010] NASA is challenging U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate student teams to design and build a remote-controlled or autonomous excavator that could be used on the moon.

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Challenger Center Heads to Arizona for NASA Desert RATS »» Challenger Center Heads to Arizona for NASA Desert RATS

[Tuesday, September 7, 2010] For the next ten days Challenger Center will be reporting live from NASA's Desert RATS in Arizona as humans use robots and rovers to learn what it would be like to live and work on another world.

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Galactic Tendrils Shed Light on Evolution of Spiral Galaxies »» Galactic Tendrils Shed Light on Evolution of Spiral Galaxies

[Tuesday, September 7, 2010] Spiral galaxies grow by swallowing smaller dwarf galaxies. As they are digested, these dwarf galaxies are severely distorted, forming structures such as surreal tendrils and stellar streams that surround their captors.

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International Year of Astronomy Reached Over 815 Million People »» International Year of Astronomy Reached Over 815 Million People

[Tuesday, September 7, 2010] The final report for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 which was released today shows that at least 815 million people in 148 countries participated in the world's largest science event in decades.

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Spotting Volcanoes on Alien Worlds Possible »» Spotting Volcanoes on Alien Worlds Possible

[Tuesday, September 7, 2010] Now that astronomers are finding rocky worlds orbiting distant stars, they're asking the next logical questions: Do any of those worlds have volcanoes? And if so, could we detect them? The answer to the latter is a qualified "Yes."

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Two Asteroids to Make Close Fly-By of Earth Wednesday »» Two Asteroids to Make Close Fly-By of Earth Wednesday

[Tuesday, September 7, 2010] Two asteroids will pass within the Moon's distance from Earth on Wednesday, Sept. 8. NASA scientists will be available for satellite interviews Tuesday, Sept. 7, and Wednesday morning to discuss these near- Earth objects.

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GOCE gravity mission back in action »» GOCE gravity mission back in action

[Wednesday, September 8, 2010] ESA's GOCE gravity mission has recovered from a glitch that prevented the satellite from sending its flow of scientific data to the ground.

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European Southern Observatory Releases Spectacular Images of Spiral Galaxy NGC 300 »» European Southern Observatory Releases Spectacular Images of Spiral Galaxy NGC 300

[Wednesday, September 8, 2010] The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has released a spectacular new image of NGC 300, a spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way, and located in the nearby Sculptor Group of galaxies.

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University of Maryland Team Begins Imaging Comet Hartley 2 with Deep Impact Spacecraft »» University of Maryland Team Begins Imaging Comet Hartley 2 with Deep Impact Spacecraft

[Wednesday, September 8, 2010] Some five years after its July 4th 2005 'comet shot' was seen around the world, the Deep Impact spacecraft has begun regular imaging of a second comet target, Hartley 2.

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Human Exploration Framework Team Presentation Online »» Human Exploration Framework Team Presentation Online

[Thursday, September 9, 2010] "Developed an investment portfolio that strikes a balance of new developments, technology, and operational programs with an eye towards a new way of exploring."

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Space Shuttle Discovery Move Delayed When Water Main Break Closes KSC »» Space Shuttle Discovery Move Delayed When Water Main Break Closes KSC

[Thursday, September 9, 2010] NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex were closed Wednesday morning when a 24 inch water main suddenly broke for unknown reasons.

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SpaceX and EADS Astrium Announce Agreement to market Falcon 1 in Europe »» SpaceX and EADS Astrium Announce Agreement to market Falcon 1 in Europe

[Thursday, September 9, 2010] Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Astrium announced a commercial agreement to provide dedicated launch services to the European institutional small satellite market.

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NASA Hosts Green Aviation Summit at Ames Research Center »» NASA Hosts Green Aviation Summit at Ames Research Center

[Thursday, September 9, 2010] NASA has a "critical responsibility" to the flying public to develop environmentally responsible solutions to the nation's most pressing aviation problems, Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. said Wednesday.

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Supernova Shrapnel Found in Meteorite »» Supernova Shrapnel Found in Meteorite

[Thursday, September 9, 2010] Scientists have identified the microscopic shrapnel of a nearby star that exploded just before or during the birth of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.

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Chandra Views the 'Heart of a Rose' »» Chandra Views the 'Heart of a Rose'

[Thursday, September 9, 2010] This composite image shows the Rosette star formation region, located about 5,000 light years from Earth. The X-rays reveal hundreds of young stars in the central cluster and fainter clusters on either side.

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Phoenix Lander Findings Suggest More Recent Liquid Water on Mars »» Phoenix Lander Findings Suggest More Recent Liquid Water on Mars

[Thursday, September 9, 2010] Data from NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander suggest liquid water has interacted with the Martian surface throughout the planet's history and into modern times.

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Amateurs Detect Fireball Impacting Jupiter »» Amateurs Detect Fireball Impacting Jupiter

[Thursday, September 9, 2010] Amateur astronomers using backyard telescopes were the first to detect two small objects that burned up in Jupiter's atmosphere on June 3 and August 20.

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Space Shuttle Discovery Makes Journey from Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building »» Space Shuttle Discovery Makes Journey from Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building

[Friday, September 10, 2010] Space Shuttle Discovery was moved from the Orbiter Processing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center to the Vehicle Assembly Building in preparation for a scheduled November 1 launch to the International Space Station.

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NASA to test first gold-coated James Webb Telescope mirror segment »» NASA to test first gold-coated James Webb Telescope mirror segment

[Friday, September 10, 2010] A bit of gold made its way into the Rocket City last week in the form of a gold-coated James Webb Space Telescope primary mirror segment.

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Deadly Tides Mean Early Exit for Hot Jupiters »» Deadly Tides Mean Early Exit for Hot Jupiters

[Friday, September 10, 2010] Bad news for planet hunters: most of the "hot Jupiters" that astronomers have been searching for in star clusters were likely destroyed long ago by their stars.

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NASA Announces Strategic Sustainability And Performance Plan »» NASA Announces Strategic Sustainability And Performance Plan

[Friday, September 10, 2010] NASA has released its Strategic Sustainability and Performance Plan (SSPP) as part of a government-wide effort to achieve goals without compromising the planet's resources.

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Space Shuttle Discovery is Hoisted and Mated to the External Fuel Tank »» Space Shuttle Discovery is Hoisted and Mated to the External Fuel Tank

[Monday, September 13, 2010] Space Shuttle Discovery was hoisted and "hard mated" to her fuel tank and twin rocket boosters for the final time on Saturday in preparation for her last flight scheduled for liftoff on November 1.

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NASA's Hubble Harvests Distant Solar System Objects »» NASA's Hubble Harvests Distant Solar System Objects

[Monday, September 13, 2010] Most TNOs are small and receive little sunlight, making them faint and difficult to spot. Now, astronomers using clever techniques to cull the data archives of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have added 14 new TNOs to the catalog.

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Public Webcast Features Presentations on Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence »» Public Webcast Features Presentations on Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

[Monday, September 13, 2010] A workshop on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), featuring leading scientific researchers as well as authors, historians, religious leaders, and biologists, will be webcast September 13-15.

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Avoiding an Asteroid Collision: Researchers Reveal a New Dimension in the Study of Asteroid Pairs »» Avoiding an Asteroid Collision: Researchers Reveal a New Dimension in the Study of Asteroid Pairs

[Monday, September 13, 2010] Researchers at Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with an international group of scientists, have proved the existence of theoretical "separated asteroid" pairs. The research could have greater implications if an asteroid passes close to Earth.

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Chandra Finds Evidence for Stellar Cannibalism »» Chandra Finds Evidence for Stellar Cannibalism

[Tuesday, September 14, 2010] Evidence that a star has recently engulfed a companion star or a giant planet has been found. The likely existence of such a "cannibal" star provides new insight into how stars and the planets around them may interact as they age.

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Herschel Finds Hot Water Vapor Around a Carbon Star »» Herschel Finds Hot Water Vapor Around a Carbon Star

[Tuesday, September 14, 2010] Using the European Herschel space telescope, an international team observed hot water vapor formed somewhere that was previously thought to be impossible: deep into the atmosphere of a red giant pulsating carbon star, CW Leonis.

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NASA Image of the Day: This Planet Smells Funny »» NASA Image of the Day: This Planet Smells Funny

[Tuesday, September 14, 2010] Giant planet GJ 436b in the constellation Leo is missing something--and that something is swamp gas. To the surprise of astronomers who have been studying the Neptune-sized planet using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, GJ 436b has very little methane.

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Media Briefing to Feature More Results from Lunar Mission »» Media Briefing to Feature More Results from Lunar Mission

[Wednesday, September 15, 2010] NASA will host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 16 to discuss compelling new research results from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission.

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NASA Assigns Crew for Final Launch on Need Shuttle Mission »» NASA Assigns Crew for Final Launch on Need Shuttle Mission

[Wednesday, September 15, 2010] NASA announced the four astronauts who will make up the crew of STS-335, the rescue mission that would fly only if needed to bring home the members of space shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission, currently the final scheduled shuttle flight.

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NASA'S Lunar Spacecraft Completes Exploration Mission Phase »» NASA'S Lunar Spacecraft Completes Exploration Mission Phase

[Wednesday, September 15, 2010] NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, will complete the exploration phase of its mission on Sept. 16, after a number of successes that transformed our understanding of Earth's nearest neighbor.

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NOAA, Challenger Center Encourage Student Interest in Math, Science and Technology »» NOAA, Challenger Center Encourage Student Interest in Math, Science and Technology

[Thursday, September 16, 2010] Representatives from NOAA and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education will spend the next five years furthering both organizations' reach in math, science and technology educational efforts

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Cosmic Ice Sculptures in the Carina Nebula »» Cosmic Ice Sculptures in the Carina Nebula

[Thursday, September 16, 2010] In the cold vacuum of space radiation from massive stars that is carving away at cold molecular clouds, creating bizarre, fantasy-like structures.

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3-D Computer Simulations Help Envision Supernova Explosions »» 3-D Computer Simulations Help Envision Supernova Explosions

[Thursday, September 16, 2010] For scientists, supernovae are true superstars -- massive explosions of huge, dying stars that shine light on the shape and fate of the universe.

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NASA Awards Launch Services Contracts »» NASA Awards Launch Services Contracts

[Thursday, September 16, 2010] NASA has announced the awards for the NASA Launch Services (NLS) II Contract. The award will provide a broad range of launch services for NASA's planetary, Earth-observing, exploration and scientific satellites.

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NASA's LRO Exposes Moon's Complex, Turbulent Youth »» NASA's LRO Exposes Moon's Complex, Turbulent Youth

[Friday, September 17, 2010] The moon's surface is more complex than previously thought and was bombarded by two distinct populations of asteroids or comets in its youth, according to three new papers in the Sept. 17 issue of Science.

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International Space Transport Association Trade Organization Launched »» International Space Transport Association Trade Organization Launched

[Friday, September 17, 2010] Today at the international conference 'The regulation of suborbital flights in the European context' - with members of EU, NASA and ESA present - the trade organization International Space Transport Association (ISTA) has been launched.

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Inside SpaceX: Dragon Debut with Falcon 9  Launch set for October 23 »» Inside SpaceX: Dragon Debut with Falcon 9 Launch set for October 23

[Friday, September 17, 2010] Get an inside look at the SpaceX facilities at Launch Pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida as pre-launch preparations continue for the blast off of the first operational Dragon spacecraft by SpaceX.

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Charlie Bolden and NASA Middle East Outreach: Take II »» Charlie Bolden and NASA Middle East Outreach: Take II

[Sunday, September 19, 2010] It looks like Charlie Bolden may be headed back to the Middle East soon - this time, to Saudi Arabia. The purpose? To get the Saudis more involved in ongoing peace negotiations.

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NASA RFI: No-cost Intellectual Property Marketing and Brokerage Services With Revenue-Sharing Component Upon License Execution »» NASA RFI: No-cost Intellectual Property Marketing and Brokerage Services With Revenue-Sharing Component Upon License Execution

[Monday, September 20, 2010] To make the benefit of NASA's technology investments available to the public, NASA Centers seek potential licensees for NASA-owned inventions and patented technologies in a variety of ways.

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NASA Solicitation: Horizontal Launch Study »» NASA Solicitation: Horizontal Launch Study

[Monday, September 20, 2010] NASA along with other government agencies is collaboratively looking at development of technologies that would have mutual payoffs in the area of horizontal launch.

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NASA OIG: Alleged Ethics Violation by the NASA Administrator Involving Marathon Oil Corporation »» NASA OIG: Alleged Ethics Violation by the NASA Administrator Involving Marathon Oil Corporation

[Monday, September 20, 2010] This report summarizes a NASA OIG investigation into allegations that NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. inappropriately consulted with Marathon Oil Corporation, a company in which he has a significant financial interest.

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XCOR Completes Lynx Supersonic Wind Tunnel Tests at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center »» XCOR Completes Lynx Supersonic Wind Tunnel Tests at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

[Monday, September 20, 2010] XCOR Aerospace, Inc. announced today they have completed the primary supersonic wind tunnel testing of the Lynx suborbital spacecraft.

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Brown University Moon's craters give new clues to early solar system bombardment »» Brown University Moon's craters give new clues to early solar system bombardment

[Monday, September 20, 2010] Big craters by the thousands A research team led by Brown University mapped nearly 5,200 craters on the Moon, the first global catalog of large craters on the lunar surface.

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3-D computer simulations help envision supernovae explosions »» 3-D computer simulations help envision supernovae explosions

[Monday, September 20, 2010] For scientists, supernovae are true superstars -- massive explosions of huge, dying stars that shine light on the shape and fate of the universe.

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NASA Ames Honored For New 'Green' Building »» NASA Ames Honored For New 'Green' Building

[Monday, September 20, 2010] NASA's Sustainability Base is the winner of this year's U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Real Property Award in the category of Green Innovation.

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Martian Moon Phobos May Have Been Formed by Catastrophic Blast »» Martian Moon Phobos May Have Been Formed by Catastrophic Blast

[Tuesday, September 21, 2010] Scientists now have firm indications that the Martian satellite Phobos formed relatively near its current location via re-accretion of material blasted into Mars's orbit by some catastrophic event.

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NASA OIG Review of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System »» NASA OIG Review of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System

[Tuesday, September 21, 2010] NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin released a report today that examines NASA's efforts to develop two new satellites to replace aging satellites that provide tracking, data, voice, and video service.

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Orion Spacecraft on the Path to Future Flight »» Orion Spacecraft on the Path to Future Flight

[Tuesday, September 21, 2010] Preparations for Orion's first mission in 2013 are well under way as a Lockheed Martin-led crew begins lean assembly pathfinding operations for the spacecraft.

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First Results from Herschel Mars Observations »» First Results from Herschel Mars Observations

[Tuesday, September 21, 2010] An accurate globally-averaged temperature profile of the Martian atmosphere may cause scientists to revise their models about atmospheric circulation on Mars.

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NASA Awards Infrared Sounder Contract For First JPSS Spacecraft »» NASA Awards Infrared Sounder Contract For First JPSS Spacecraft

[Tuesday, September 21, 2010] JPSS is the restructured civilian portion of the NPOESS. This includes the satellites and sensors supporting civil weather and climate measurements and a shared ground infrastructure with the Department of Defense weather satellite system.

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AIAA Mourns the Death of Capt. Robert C. Truax »» AIAA Mourns the Death of Capt. Robert C. Truax

[Tuesday, September 21, 2010] In addition to his accomplishments in the field of rocket propulsion and weapon systems, Truax was a tireless and prominent advocate for manned spaceflight, urging the United States government to purse a manned spaceflight program.

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[Wednesday, September 22, 2010] The Florida Space Institute, a multi-disciplinary center devoted to facilitating and conducting leading-edge applied and basic research and education programs in space-related fields, seeks applications and nominations for Director.

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TAU researcher confirms oily »» TAU researcher confirms oily "water" on a Saturn moon

[Wednesday, September 22, 2010] Taking into account the chemical components of Titan's atmosphere, he has demonstrated that the lakes are not composed of water but contain liquid hydrocarbons like ethane and methane, which are also found in oil and gas wells on Earth.

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NASA Grants Increase STEM Learning for Minority Students »» NASA Grants Increase STEM Learning for Minority Students

[Wednesday, September 22, 2010] NASA has awarded grants to nine academic institutions and their partners that serve large numbers of minority and underrepresented students to strengthen offerings in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM.

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NASA's Shuttle Discovery at Launch Pad, Liftoff Practice Set »» NASA's Shuttle Discovery at Launch Pad, Liftoff Practice Set

[Wednesday, September 22, 2010] After safely reaching its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Discovery awaits the next major milestone for its upcoming and final mission to the International Space Station, STS-133.

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Thousands Gather for the 61st International Astronautical Congress »» Thousands Gather for the 61st International Astronautical Congress

[Wednesday, September 22, 2010] Almost three thousand delegates are making their way to Prague for the 61st International Astronautical Congress. Delegates include head of space agencies, government officials, corporate and non-profit representatives and university students.

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International Partners Discuss Space Station Extension and Use »» International Partners Discuss Space Station Extension and Use

[Wednesday, September 22, 2010] The International Space Station partner agencies met Tuesday, Sept. 21, by videoconference to discuss continuation of space station operations into the next decade and its use as a research laboratory.

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NASA Selects High Schools To Compete In New Challenge; Winning Software Designs Will Program Satellites on the International Space Station »» NASA Selects High Schools To Compete In New Challenge; Winning Software Designs Will Program Satellites on the International Space Station

[Wednesday, September 22, 2010] NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., have selected 24 high schools to participate in a new science, technology, engineering, and math education program.

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State Department: Implementing the National Space Policy: Opportunities and Challenges »» State Department: Implementing the National Space Policy: Opportunities and Challenges

[Wednesday, September 22, 2010] I am pleased to be able to join you here today to discuss the new U.S. National Space Policy. As you all know, the policy was released in late June, and we are now actively engaged in its implementation.

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Space Generation Congress Underway »» Space Generation Congress Underway

[Thursday, September 23, 2010] High-level space leaders and young professionals in the sector will come together to debate the latest space topics of interest at the Space Generation Congress 2010, the annual conference of the Space Generation Advisory Council.

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Google Earth Search Leads to Meteorite Impact Site Discovery in Egyptian Desert »» Google Earth Search Leads to Meteorite Impact Site Discovery in Egyptian Desert

[Thursday, September 23, 2010] A 2008 Google Earth search led to the discovery of Kamil crater, one of the best-preserved meteorite impact sites ever found.

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Opportunity Checks Out Another Possible Meteorite on Mars »» Opportunity Checks Out Another Possible Meteorite on Mars

[Thursday, September 23, 2010] The rover's science team has decided to go get a closer look at the toaster-sized rock and determine whether it is an iron meteorite.

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More Efficient Health Care on Earth and Beyond »» More Efficient Health Care on Earth and Beyond

[Thursday, September 23, 2010] Engineers funded by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) are developing a system that will provide an accurate patient history, assist in treatment, and help astronauts be more efficient when providing medical care.

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The Many Faces of the Venus Polar Vortex »» The Many Faces of the Venus Polar Vortex

[Thursday, September 23, 2010] A new animation using data from ESA's Venus Express spacecraft shows that the double eye of the giant vortex at Venus's South pole has disappeared.

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Mercury's Comet-like Tail Spotted by Solar Satellites »» Mercury's Comet-like Tail Spotted by Solar Satellites

[Thursday, September 23, 2010] Scientists from Boston University's Center for Space Physics reported today that NASA satellites designed to view the escaping atmosphere of the Sun have also recorded evidence of escaping gas from the planet Mercury.

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Breaking Waves in the Stellar Lagoon »» Breaking Waves in the Stellar Lagoon

[Thursday, September 23, 2010] A spectacular new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the heart of the Lagoon Nebula. Seen as a massive cloud of glowing dust and gas, bombarded by the energetic radiation of new stars, this placid name hides a dramatic reality.

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NGC 1365: An Elegant Galaxy in an Unusual Light »» NGC 1365: An Elegant Galaxy in an Unusual Light

[Thursday, September 23, 2010] A new image taken with the powerful HAWK-I camera on ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile shows the beautiful barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 in infrared light.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 September 2010 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 24 September 2010

[Friday, September 24, 2010] Last night, during the 22S undock attempt the MRM2 hooks failed to open, causing deferral of the departure to tonight after a number of troubleshooting attempts

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Crew Sleeps In, Prepares for Second Undocking Attempt »» Crew Sleeps In, Prepares for Second Undocking Attempt

[Friday, September 24, 2010] Expedition 24 Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko will re-enter the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft for a second undocking attempt at 10:02 p.m. EDT

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International Space Station Expedition 24 Crew Lands Safely »» International Space Station Expedition 24 Crew Lands Safely

[Saturday, September 25, 2010] Expedition 24 Commander Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Mikhail Kornienko landed their Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft in Kazakhstan on Saturday, Sept. 25, wrapping up a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station.

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Antarctic Ozone Hole 2010 »» Antarctic Ozone Hole 2010

[Saturday, September 25, 2010] The yearly depletion of stratospheric ozone over Antarctica - more commonly referred to as the "ozone hole" - started in early August 2010 and is now expanding toward its annual maximum.

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David M. Brown Planetarium Threatend With Closure - How you Can Help Prevent That »» David M. Brown Planetarium Threatend With Closure - How you Can Help Prevent That

[Saturday, September 25, 2010] The Arlington School Board has delayed the closure for one year in order to provide The Friends of Arlington's David M. Brown Planetarium with some brief time to raise the funds identified by the Superintendent as necessary to keep the planetarium open.

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NASA's Charles Bolden Answers Questions at the Agency Heads Plenary of the 61st International Astronautical Congress »» NASA's Charles Bolden Answers Questions at the Agency Heads Plenary of the 61st International Astronautical Congress

[Monday, September 27, 2010] Today after the opening ceremonies for the 61st International Astronautical Congress in Prague, NASA's Charles Bolden and other Space Agency Heads participated in a question and answer plenary. Presented here are the questions answered by Bolden.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Strongly Supports Senate NASA Authorization Bill and Encourages Prompt Resolution Before New Fiscal Year Begins »» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Strongly Supports Senate NASA Authorization Bill and Encourages Prompt Resolution Before New Fiscal Year Begins

[Monday, September 27, 2010] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation strongly supports Senate bill S.3729, the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, which has been approved unanimously by the Senate.

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Czech Culture and Ambition on Display as the 61st International Astronautical Congress Opens in Prague »» Czech Culture and Ambition on Display as the 61st International Astronautical Congress Opens in Prague

[Monday, September 27, 2010] Czech culture mixed with opening ceremony speeches from dignitaries marked the opening of the 61st International Astronautical Congress in Prague where 2800 delegates have gathered.

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International Astronautical Congress Quick Bits for Tuesday, September 28 »» International Astronautical Congress Quick Bits for Tuesday, September 28

[Tuesday, September 28, 2010] A short look at some of the news happening at the 61st International Astronautical Congress in Prague.

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Boeings Chilton Answers Moderators Question at the Space Policy Plenary »» Boeings Chilton Answers Moderators Question at the Space Policy Plenary

[Tuesday, September 28, 2010] At the 61st International Astronautical Congress second plenary: Impact of Governments' Space Policy Changes on Industry, Boeing Vice President of Exploration Launch Systems, James Chilton answers a moderators.

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NASA To Preview Final Flight Of Space Shuttle Discovery »» NASA To Preview Final Flight Of Space Shuttle Discovery

[Wednesday, September 29, 2010] NASA will preview the next space shuttle mission, the final flight of shuttle Discovery and the next to last scheduled shuttle flight, during a series of news briefings Thursday, Oct. 21

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Goddard Team Obtains the 'Unobtainium' for NASA's Next Space Observatory »» Goddard Team Obtains the 'Unobtainium' for NASA's Next Space Observatory

[Wednesday, September 29, 2010] Imagine building a car chassis without a blueprint or even a list of recommended construction materials.

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Space Generation Congress 2010 Achieves Record Success »» Space Generation Congress 2010 Achieves Record Success

[Wednesday, September 29, 2010] The 9th Annual Space Generation Congress (SGC) hosted by the Space Generation Advisory Counsel (SGAC) was held in Prague, Czech Republic, from September 23 - 25, 2010. With 200 delegates in attendance it was the SGC's most successful meeting to date.

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SpaceX targets Nov. 8 launch for Falcon 9 and Dragon (with photos) »» SpaceX targets Nov. 8 launch for Falcon 9 and Dragon (with photos)

[Wednesday, September 29, 2010] SpaceX Corporation is retargeting the liftoff of the firm's next Falcon 9 rocket to early November. The launch includes the debut test flight of the first operational Dragon spacecraft.

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NASA Administrator Calls Congressional Vote an Important Step Forward in Space Exploration »» NASA Administrator Calls Congressional Vote an Important Step Forward in Space Exploration

[Wednesday, September 29, 2010] We are on the verge of an historic vote in the House of Representatives on a comprehensive NASA authorization bill that is expected to chart the future course of human space flight for years to come.

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Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia to Launch World's First Commercial Space Station »» Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia to Launch World's First Commercial Space Station

[Wednesday, September 29, 2010] Orbital Technologies and Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energria) announced today their intentions to build, launch, and operate the world's first Commercial Space Station (CSS).

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NASA and NSF-Funded Research Finds First Potentially Habitable Exoplanet »» NASA and NSF-Funded Research Finds First Potentially Habitable Exoplanet

[Wednesday, September 29, 2010] A team of planet hunters has announced the discovery of a planet with three times the mass of Earth orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star's "habitable zone."

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NASA Administrator Thanks Congress for 2010 Authorization Act Support »» NASA Administrator Thanks Congress for 2010 Authorization Act Support

[Thursday, September 30, 2010] The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden regarding Wednesday's action by the House of Representatives on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010.

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