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September 2011 Top Stories


DARPA 100 Year Starship Solicitation Announcement »» DARPA 100 Year Starship Solicitation Announcement

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] The human history of exploration and grand designs--from Ferdinand Magellan to John Harrison to Roald Amundsen--has been a history of patronage and persistence.

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Alien Life More Likely on 'Dune' Planets »» Alien Life More Likely on 'Dune' Planets

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] Desert planets strikingly like the world depicted in the science fiction classic "Dune" might be the more common type of habitable planet in the galaxy - findings also hint that Venus might have been a habitable desert world as recently as 1 billion years

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NASA Needs Strategic Plan to Manage Orbital Debris Efforts; Risks Increasing for Satellites, Space Station »» NASA Needs Strategic Plan to Manage Orbital Debris Efforts; Risks Increasing for Satellites, Space Station

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] The agency's management structure has not kept pace with increasing hazards posed by abandoned equipment, spent rocket bodies, and other debris orbiting the Earth

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Video: Welcome to the Blue Light Zone of Mars500 »» Video: Welcome to the Blue Light Zone of Mars500

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] The Mars500 crew is only two months from their 'arrival' and they are waiting for seeing the sunlight.

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European Children Will Name Galileo Satellites Constellation »» European Children Will Name Galileo Satellites Constellation

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] The child with the best drawing related to space or aeronautics in each Member State will have his or her name given to a satellite of the Galileo programme.

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Dawn Image of Asteroid Vesta:  Craters and Grooves »» Dawn Image of Asteroid Vesta: Craters and Grooves

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the surface of Vesta with its framing camera on August 11, 2011. It was taken through the camera's clear filter. The image has a resolution of about 260 meters per pixel.

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Photo: New Crater on Titan »» Photo: New Crater on Titan

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] Impact craters are rare on Titan. Until recently only seven had been identified definitely on Titan, so it was exciting when Cassini's Titan Radar Mapper imaged an eighth impact crater on June 21, 2011.

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Martian Soil Oxidizing Properties Not Too Extreme for Life »» Martian Soil Oxidizing Properties Not Too Extreme for Life

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] Ever since the NASA Viking mission, which reached Mars in 1976, there has been considerable interest in the composition of Martian soils.

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Photo: The Coast of Tanzania As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: The Coast of Tanzania As Seen From Orbit

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] @Astro_Ron: At 8:56am GMT yesterday (6/2/11), the coast of Tanzania was outside our picture window

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NASA Announces Media Teleconference on New Apollo Images »» NASA Announces Media Teleconference on New Apollo Images

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] NASA will host a media teleconference at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to reveal new images of three Apollo landing sites taken from the agency's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO.

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NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity Begins Study of Martian Crater »» NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity Begins Study of Martian Crater

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] The initial work of NASA's Mars rover Opportunity at its new location on Mars shows surface compositional differences from anything the robot has studied in its first 7.5 years of exploration.

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NASA Invites 150 Lucky Twitter Followers to Launch of Lunar Spacecraft »» NASA Invites 150 Lucky Twitter Followers to Launch of Lunar Spacecraft

[Thursday, September 1, 2011] NASA has invited 150 followers of the agency's Twitter account to a two-day launch Tweetup Sept. 7-8. The Tweetup is expected to culminate in the launch of the twin lunar-bound GRAIL spacecraft aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Statio

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Photo: Tropical Storm Katia As Seen From Space »» Photo: Tropical Storm Katia As Seen From Space

[Friday, September 2, 2011] Katia was a tropical storm gathering energy over the Atlantic Ocean when one of the Expedition 28 crew took this photo on Aug. 31, 2011, from aboard the International Space Station.

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Asteroid Served Up »» Asteroid Served Up "Custom Orders" of Life's Ingredients

[Friday, September 2, 2011] Some asteroids may have been like "molecular factories" cranking out life's ingredients and shipping them to Earth via meteorite impacts

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Searching for Extrasolar Biosignatures »» Searching for Extrasolar Biosignatures

[Friday, September 2, 2011] Researchers supported in part by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the NASA Exobiology & Evolutionary Biology program have used computer models to study the potential of organic sulfur compounds to be biosignatures in exoplanetary atmospheres.

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Image: Rare Martian Lake Delta Spotted by Mars Express »» Image: Rare Martian Lake Delta Spotted by Mars Express

[Friday, September 2, 2011] ESA's Mars Express has spotted a rare case of a crater once filled by a lake, revealed by the presence of a delta. The delta is an ancient fan-shaped deposit of dark sediments, laid down in water. It is a reminder of Mars' past, wetter climate.

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Image: Hurricane Irene's Sediment in New York Harbor As Seen By Landsat »» Image: Hurricane Irene's Sediment in New York Harbor As Seen By Landsat

[Friday, September 2, 2011] In the wake of heavy rains from Hurricane Irene, sediment filled many rivers and bays along the U.S. East Coast. New York's Hudson River and estuary was no exception.

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Cryogenic Catering Truck Comes to ALMA Observatory »» Cryogenic Catering Truck Comes to ALMA Observatory

[Friday, September 2, 2011] The ultimate in high altitude, high-tech catering has arrived in Chile to serve chilled "provisions" to the telescopes at the largest astronomical complex in the world, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

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Dawn Image of Asteroid Vesta:  Central Mound at the South Pole »» Dawn Image of Asteroid Vesta: Central Mound at the South Pole

[Friday, September 2, 2011] NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image -- of a central mound in a large structure at the south pole -- with its framing camera on August 12, 2011. This image was taken through the camera's clear filter. The image has a resolution of about 260 meters p

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Photo: Lake Powell As Seen From Orbit »» Photo: Lake Powell As Seen From Orbit

[Friday, September 2, 2011] @Astro_Ron: Lake Powell + SW Colorado #FromSpace Taken May 8th at 7:06pm GMT

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Photos: Nile River and Delta As Seen at Night From The International Space Station »» Photos: Nile River and Delta As Seen at Night From The International Space Station

[Friday, September 2, 2011] The Nile River Delta and part of the Mediterranean Sea can be seen in this night time photo captured by one of the Expedition 28 crew members aboard the International Space Station, flying at an altitude of approximately 220 miles.

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Apollo 18: A Review And Interview With Technical Advisor Gerry Griffin »» Apollo 18: A Review And Interview With Technical Advisor Gerry Griffin

[Friday, September 2, 2011] Through a deft use of real Apollo era footage and re-created footage the film really manages to suspend lingering disbelief rather quickly. Often times its like watching the old grainy 70s era NASA features that NASA TV runs after midnight.

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Blue Origin Test Vehicle Destroyed During Test Flight »» Blue Origin Test Vehicle Destroyed During Test Flight

[Friday, September 2, 2011] Blue Origin lost one of its developmental test vehicles in an accident last week. Hints that something went wrong started to emerge when an FAA notification mysteriously disappeared with no word as to whether a test had or had not been accomplished.

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NASA Administrator's Update on Space Station »» NASA Administrator's Update on Space Station

[Friday, September 2, 2011] There has been a lot in the news recently about the International Space Station (ISS) and our astronauts aboard this orbiting outpost, and I wanted to take a moment to give you an update.

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Photo: Using a Camera in the Cupola of the International Space Station »» Photo: Using a Camera in the Cupola of the International Space Station

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Expedition 28 flight engineer, uses a camera at a window in the Cupola of the International Space Station. A blue and white part of Earth is visible through the windows.

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Dawn Image of Asteroid Vesta:  Equatorial Grooves Imaged at the Limb of Vesta »» Dawn Image of Asteroid Vesta: Equatorial Grooves Imaged at the Limb of Vesta

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on August 11, 2011. The image was taken through the framing camera's clear filter. The image has a resolution of about 260 meters per pixel.

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Photo: Saturn's Swirling Clouds »» Photo: Saturn's Swirling Clouds

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] This image was taken on August 18, 2011 and received on Earth August 19, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Saturn at approximately 2,079,966 kilometers away.

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Louisiana Tech researchers, NASA partner to conduct zero-gravity experiments »» Louisiana Tech researchers, NASA partner to conduct zero-gravity experiments

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] Researchers from Louisiana Tech University will be floating high above the Gulf of Mexico this month to conduct zero-gravity testing of an experimental DNA analysis instrument developed at Tech that could benefit future NASA astronauts.

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Hiding Objects With a Terahertz Invisibility Cloak »» Hiding Objects With a Terahertz Invisibility Cloak

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] Researchers have created a new kind of cloaking material that can render objects invisible in the terahertz range. Though this can't translate into an invisibility cloak for the visible spectrum, it could have implications in communication.

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NASA I3P (IT Infrastructure Integration Program) Town Hall Meeting »» NASA I3P (IT Infrastructure Integration Program) Town Hall Meeting

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] NASA's Office of the Chief Information Officer will host an agency town hall meeting at NASA Headquarters on Friday, September 16, from 1:00 - 2:30 PM EDT, to provide an update on the NASA I3P (IT Infrastructure Integration Program).

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NASA Gives Public New Internet Tool To Explore The Solar System »» NASA Gives Public New Internet Tool To Explore The Solar System

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] The "Eyes on the Solar System" interface combines video game technology and NASA data to create an environment for users to ride along with agency spacecraft and explore the cosmos.

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NASA Hosting First West Coast Launch Tweetup for Earth-Observing Satellite »» NASA Hosting First West Coast Launch Tweetup for Earth-Observing Satellite

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] NASA will invite 25 of its U.S. Twitter followers to a Tweetup expected to culminate in the launch of the first of a new generation of Earth-observing satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California.

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Search for Life on Mars Heats Up With Focus on High-tech Instruments »» Search for Life on Mars Heats Up With Focus on High-tech Instruments

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] Scientists are expressing confidence that questions about life on Mars, which have captured human imagination for centuries, finally may be answered, thanks in part to new life-detection tools up to 1,000 times more sensitive than previous instruments.

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Dawn Image: 3D Image of Vesta's Equatorial Region »» Dawn Image: 3D Image of Vesta's Equatorial Region

[Saturday, September 3, 2011] This anaglyph image of Vesta's equator was put together from two clear filter images, taken on July 24, 2011 by the framing camera instrument aboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft.

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Rock Rafts Could be 'Cradle of Life' »» Rock Rafts Could be 'Cradle of Life'

[Sunday, September 4, 2011] Floating rafts of volcanic pumice could have played a significant role in the origins of life on Earth, scientists from Oxford University and the University of Western Australia have suggested.

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New Evidence Challenges Oldest Signs of Life »» New Evidence Challenges Oldest Signs of Life

[Sunday, September 4, 2011] Ancient rocks are shedding new light on the timeline for life's emergence on Earth. The rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt in Quebec, Canada, are believed to be some of the oldest on Earth.

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Cycling Nitrogen in Ancient Oceans »» Cycling Nitrogen in Ancient Oceans

[Sunday, September 4, 2011] In recent years, scientists have found evidence that a 'near complete' biological nitrogen cycle existed in the oceans during the late Archean to early Proterozoic (from 2.5 to 2 billion years ago).

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NASA Solicitation: Commercial Suborbital Research Technologies »» NASA Solicitation: Commercial Suborbital Research Technologies

[Sunday, September 4, 2011] The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-267) authorizes creation of a Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research (CRuSR) initiative within the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT).

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Photo: Sicily As Seen at Night From The International Space Station »» Photo: Sicily As Seen at Night From The International Space Station

[Sunday, September 4, 2011] Sicily is featured in this night time image captured by one of the Expedition 28 crew members aboard the International Space Station, approximately 220 miles above Earth.

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Photo: Last Quarter Moon As Seen From The International Space Station »» Photo: Last Quarter Moon As Seen From The International Space Station

[Sunday, September 4, 2011] A last quarter moon appears at the center of this night time photo taken from the International Space Station in Earth orbit. A thin line of the planet's atmosphere is the other illuminated object in the picture.

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Photo from Orbit: Mountains at the Borders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India »» Photo from Orbit: Mountains at the Borders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India

[Sunday, September 4, 2011] @Astro_Ron: Snow capped mountains where the borders of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, + India come together #FromSpace 5/4

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Photo: India-Pakistan Borderlands at Night As Seen From the International Space Station »» Photo: India-Pakistan Borderlands at Night As Seen From the International Space Station

[Sunday, September 4, 2011] Clusters of yellow lights on the Indo-Gangetic Plain reveal numerous cities in this photograph of northern India and northern Pakistan. Of the hundreds of clusters, the largest are the capital cities of Islamabad, Pakistan, and New Delhi, India.

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Photo: Greece as Seen From the International Space Station »» Photo: Greece as Seen From the International Space Station

[Monday, September 5, 2011] @Astro_Ron: #Greece #FromSpace on the 28th of Aug 11' @ 12:28pm GMT It's on the list #PlacesI want2goWhenIgetBack2Earth

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Two Photos: Newfoundland as Seen From the International Space Station »» Two Photos: Newfoundland as Seen From the International Space Station

[Monday, September 5, 2011] @Astro_Ron: Sunglint on Newfoundland St. Pierre + Miquelon Gulf of St. Lawrence #FromSpace #NASA #ISS 8/27/11 @ 7:41pm GMT

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NASA Dawn Journal September 1, 2011 »» NASA Dawn Journal September 1, 2011

[Monday, September 5, 2011] Most of August was devoted to survey orbit. At an altitude of about 2,700 kilometers (1,700 miles), the ship sailed slowly around the world beneath it, completing a loop every 69 hours.

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Image: The Dumbbell Nebula (Messier 27) As Seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope »» Image: The Dumbbell Nebula (Messier 27) As Seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope

[Monday, September 5, 2011] The Dumbbell nebula, also known as Messier 27, pumps out infrared light in this image from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope.

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Photo: International Space Station: Soyuz, Progress, Columbus, and Cupola Over The Coast of California »» Photo: International Space Station: Soyuz, Progress, Columbus, and Cupola Over The Coast of California

[Monday, September 5, 2011] Components of the International Space Station, though moving along at 17,500 miles per hour, appear to hover above the Pacific Ocean just off the California coast.

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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Images Offer Sharper Views of Apollo Landing Sites »» Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Images Offer Sharper Views of Apollo Landing Sites

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) captured the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites. Images show the twists and turns of the paths made when the astronauts explored the lunar surface.

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NASA Desert RATS Status Report 5 September 2011 »» NASA Desert RATS Status Report 5 September 2011

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] Crew A completed countless test events and not only survived, but thrived living in the Deep Space Habitat for 4 days and 3 nights straight.

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Image: The Blue Mountains, Australia As Seen From Space »» Image: The Blue Mountains, Australia As Seen From Space

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] This dramatic landscape was sculpted by forces of erosion acting on the underlying geology; that is, characteristics of each rock type helped determine the topography.

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Photo: Growing Plants on The International Space Station »» Photo: Growing Plants on The International Space Station

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, Expedition 28 flight engineer, checks the progress of a new growth experiment on the BIO-5 Rasteniya-2 (Plants-2) payload with its LADA-01 greenhouse in the Zvezda Service Module of the International Space Station.

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Our Galaxy Might Hold Thousands of Ticking 'Time Bombs' »» Our Galaxy Might Hold Thousands of Ticking 'Time Bombs'

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] New research shows that some old stars might be held up by their rapid spins, and when they slow down, they explode as supernovae. Thousands of these "time bombs" could be scattered throughout our galaxy.

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NASA Chief Technologist Braun Returning to Georgia Tech »» NASA Chief Technologist Braun Returning to Georgia Tech

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] Bobby Braun, who served as the first NASA chief technologist in a decade, will leave the agency in October to return to the faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

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Image: Fires in Texas and Oklahoma As Seen From Space »» Image: Fires in Texas and Oklahoma As Seen From Space

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] Thousands of acres in Texas and Oklahoma are up in flames from wildfires this week. From August 29 to September 4, 2011, local fire departments in Texas have fought 127 fires and the Texas Forest Service has battled 178 fires.

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Images: NASA Satellites »» Images: NASA Satellites "Eyes" Changes in Hurricane Katia

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] Major Hurricane Katia continues to approach the U.S. East coast and stir up rough surf. Meanwhile two NASA satellites have provided a look at the changes in organization and cloud patterns over the last several days.

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USAID Administrator Shah to Kick off 'Galactic' Literacy Day Celebration With Space Station Crew »» USAID Administrator Shah to Kick off 'Galactic' Literacy Day Celebration With Space Station Crew

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] In cooperation with NASA, USAID will share a special, taped video message from astronauts at the International Space Station, encouraging world leaders to continue efforts to improve literacy rates around the world.

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NASA Lands in Colorado With International Space Station Events »» NASA Lands in Colorado With International Space Station Events

[Tuesday, September 6, 2011] NASA will share the accomplishments, promise and opportunities for research aboard the International Space Station through an exhibit and a series of events in Colorado during September and October.

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NOAA SWPC Space Weather Bulletin #11- 3 »» NOAA SWPC Space Weather Bulletin #11- 3

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] NOAA Region 1283 produced and R3 (Strong) Radio Blackout event on September 6 at 2220 UTC (6:20 p.m. EDT). The event may include an earth-directed Coronal Mass Ejection, but at this early point in the eruption it is too soon to be more specific.

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NAI/American Philosophical Society Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research: 2011 Selections »» NAI/American Philosophical Society Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research: 2011 Selections

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] The pool of candidates for the NAI/APS 2011 competition was the largest we have ever experienced. For 2011 twelve young investigators were selected for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology.

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Young Stars Take a Turn in the Spotlight »» Young Stars Take a Turn in the Spotlight

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] ESO's New Technology Telescope (has captured a striking image of the open cluster NGC 2100. This brilliant star cluster is around 15 million years old, and located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.

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NASA Needs to Preserve Skilled Astronaut Corps In Post-Shuttle Era, Says New Report »» NASA Needs to Preserve Skilled Astronaut Corps In Post-Shuttle Era, Says New Report

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] NASA should take steps to ensure that it maintains a highly trained astronaut corps to meet International Space Station (ISS) crew requirements while accounting for unexpected attrition or demands of other missions, says a new report by the NRC.

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Image: The Moon's North Pole As Seen By Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter »» Image: The Moon's North Pole As Seen By Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] The Moon has been a source of fascination for humanity for thousands of years. When at last Apollo 11 landed on the moon's surface in 1969, the crew found a desolate, lifeless orb, but one which still fascinates scientist and non-scientist alike.

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NASA TV Will Broadcast Soyuz Landing On Sept. 15 »» NASA TV Will Broadcast Soyuz Landing On Sept. 15

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] NASA Television will broadcast the return to Earth of three crew members who have called the International Space Station (ISS) home for more than five months.

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Evidence for Iron-Rich Ancient Ocean Changes View of Earth's Early History »» Evidence for Iron-Rich Ancient Ocean Changes View of Earth's Early History

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] A new study reveals that the ancient deep ocean was not only devoid of oxygen but also rich in iron for nearly a billion years longer than previously thought--right through a key evolutionary interval that culminated in the first rise of animals.

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NASA Announces Media Teleconference About Satellite Re-Entry »» NASA Announces Media Teleconference About Satellite Re-Entry

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] NASA will host a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EDT on Friday, Sept. 9, to discuss the anticipated re-entry of the agency's decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). Re-entry is expected late this month or early October.

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NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory Observes New Characteristics of Solar Flares »» NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory Observes New Characteristics of Solar Flares

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, has provided scientists new information about solar flares indicating an increase in strength and longevity that is more than previously thought.

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Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company seek suppliers as era of commercial space travel approaches »» Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company seek suppliers as era of commercial space travel approaches

[Wednesday, September 7, 2011] The "Industry Day" takes place from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (MDT) and is by invitation only. Interested suppliers should complete a registration form to express their desire in attending the event and becoming a Virgin Galactic and/or TSC supplier.

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First global portrait of greenhouse gases emerges from pole-to-pole flights »» First global portrait of greenhouse gases emerges from pole-to-pole flights

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] A three-year series of research flights from the Arctic to the Antarctic has successfully produced an unprecedented portrait of greenhouse gases and particles in the atmosphere, scientists announced today.

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Strange Life Forms at Hydrothermal Vents »» Strange Life Forms at Hydrothermal Vents

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] Ocean explorers on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer observed two species of marine life scientists believe have never before been seen together at a hydrothermal vent -- chemosynthetic shrimp and tubeworms.

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Photo: Southern California and Baja California As Seen at Night From The International Space Station »» Photo: Southern California and Baja California As Seen at Night From The International Space Station

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] City lights illuminate this night time view of southern California, Mexico's Baja California and the Gulf of Cortez, as photographed by one the Expedition 28 crew members onboard the International Space Station flying at altitude of approximately 220 mile

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Photo: Kaliningrad and the Baltic Sea As Seen From The International Space Station »» Photo: Kaliningrad and the Baltic Sea As Seen From The International Space Station

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] This striking photograph reveals detail of the two great lagoons to the north and south of Kaliningrad, each protected from the open waters of the Baltic Sea by the thin perfect curves of current-generated sand spits.

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: The Hills of Caloris »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: The Hills of Caloris

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] These hills make up a small portion of the southwestern rim of the 1550-km Caloris basin. This region was seen only with the sun high in the sky during MESSENGER's flybys of Mercury (and not at all by Mariner 10).

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Photo: View of a Departing Progress Cargo Droid - And an Echo From a Future Past »» Photo: View of a Departing Progress Cargo Droid - And an Echo From a Future Past

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] The unpiloted ISS Progress 43 supply vehicle departs from the International Space Station on Aug. 23, 2011. ... and an unmanned pod from the film "2001: A Space Odyssey" under control of the HAL 9000 computer.

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Virgin Galactic Appoints Steven J. Isakowitz as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer »» Virgin Galactic Appoints Steven J. Isakowitz as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] Virgin Galactic is pleased to announce the appointment of former NASA, White House and Department of Energy official Steven J. Isakowitz as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

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Update: NASA Provides Media Interviews For Space Station National Lab Award »» Update: NASA Provides Media Interviews For Space Station National Lab Award

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] NASA has canceled the previously scheduled news conference on Friday, Sept. 9, about the award of the organization that will manage the portion of the International Space Station operated as a U.S. national laboratory.

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Letter From American Astronomical Society Solar Physics Division Regarding NASA James Webb Space Telescope Costs »» Letter From American Astronomical Society Solar Physics Division Regarding NASA James Webb Space Telescope Costs

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] As you are well aware there is much concern about the recently announced budget over-run of the JWST, its projected final cost and schedule, the overall management of the program, and NASA's plans for sharing the burden across the Agency.

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MESSENGER Navigates Second Hot Season, Executes Third Orbit-Correction Maneuver »» MESSENGER Navigates Second Hot Season, Executes Third Orbit-Correction Maneuver

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] Today the MESSENGER spacecraft emerged unscathed from the second of four "hot seasons" expected to occur during its one-year primary mission in orbit around Mercury.

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Cosmic Crashes Forging Gold »» Cosmic Crashes Forging Gold

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] The cosmic site where the heaviest chemical elements such as lead or gold are formed is likely to be identified: Ejected matter from neutron stars merging in a violent collision provides ideal conditions.

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Warsaw conference to spotlight Space Situational Awareness »» Warsaw conference to spotlight Space Situational Awareness

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] As part of its EU Council presidency, Poland will host a special seminar on Space Situational Awareness. The event is co-sponsored by ESA and aims to foster discussions toward defining Europe's future Space Situational Awareness activities.

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Inventions at NASA Glenn in Power and Measurement Named Among R&D 100 Awards »» Inventions at NASA Glenn in Power and Measurement Named Among R&D 100 Awards

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] The R&D 100 Awards announced annually by R&D Magazine will be presented during its banquet on October 13 at Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Florida.

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Kepler Discovers an Invisible World - Kepler-19c »» Kepler Discovers an Invisible World - Kepler-19c

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] NASA's Kepler spacecraft has spotted a planet that alternately runs late and early in its orbit because a second, "invisible" world is tugging on it. This is the first definite detection of a previously unknown planet using this method.

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James Webb Space Telescope Threatens Planetary Science »» James Webb Space Telescope Threatens Planetary Science

[Thursday, September 8, 2011] We believe it is time to have an open debate on JWST and its value across all targeted communities, from planetary, Earth science, and heliophysics to human spaceflight. Congress needs to be informed about the impact of the choices facing it.

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Tributes to Terrorism Victims Are on Mars »» Tributes to Terrorism Victims Are on Mars

[Friday, September 9, 2011] In September 2001, Honeybee Robotics employees in Manhattan were building a pair of tools for grinding weathered rinds off rocks on Mars, so that scientific instruments on NASA's Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity could inspect the rocks' interiors.

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Image: Tethys and Titan »» Image: Tethys and Titan

[Friday, September 9, 2011] This image was taken on July 14, 2011 and received on Earth July 17, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Tethys at approximately 1,858,182 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the BL1 and CL2 filters.

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Photo: Robonaut 2 Powered Up In Space - With Safety Tags »» Photo: Robonaut 2 Powered Up In Space - With Safety Tags

[Friday, September 9, 2011] Robonaut 2 is pictured in the ISS shortly after it was powered up and teams on the ground sent power to the robot for the first time in space. The red flags tied around R2's wrists are to remind the crew not to use its arms as handles.

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Photo: The Constellation Orion Over China and Korea As Seen From Space »» Photo: The Constellation Orion Over China and Korea As Seen From Space

[Friday, September 9, 2011] @Astro_Ron: #China + #Korea under Orion's Belt #Seol #Beijing #Tainjin #FromSpace What a beautiful @FragileOais

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ESO to hold virtual press conference to discuss major HARPS exoplanet findings »» ESO to hold virtual press conference to discuss major HARPS exoplanet findings

[Friday, September 9, 2011] On Monday 12 September 2011, astronomers will report significant new results in the field of exoplanets, obtained with HARPS, the spectrograph on ESO's 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile.

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ULA Delta II GRAIL POSTPONED - Launch Now Set for Sept. 10, 8:29:45 a.m. EDT »» ULA Delta II GRAIL POSTPONED - Launch Now Set for Sept. 10, 8:29:45 a.m. EDT

[Friday, September 9, 2011] The launch of a Delta II carrying NASA's GRAIL has been postponed to allow additional time to review propulsion system data from today's detanking operation after the launch attempt was scrubbed due to upper level winds.

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Sen. Hutchison, Sen. Nelson Issue Statement on Campaign to Undermine America's Manned Space Program »» Sen. Hutchison, Sen. Nelson Issue Statement on Campaign to Undermine America's Manned Space Program

[Friday, September 9, 2011] Rather than announce these results and move forward with development, the administration's budget office has kept the independent cost report under wraps.

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XCOR Aerospace is now hiring! »» XCOR Aerospace is now hiring!

[Friday, September 9, 2011] Be a part of the NewSpace revolution and work closely with a small, dynamic team on spacecraft, rocket engines and other aerospace related projects.

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Message from the NASA Administrator: 10th Anniversary of 9/11 »» Message from the NASA Administrator: 10th Anniversary of 9/11

[Friday, September 9, 2011] NASA joins the nation and the world in marking the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on our country.

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Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Status Report »» Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Status Report

[Friday, September 9, 2011] Operators of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are resuming use of the mission's highest resolution camera following a second precautionary shutdown in two weeks.

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NASA, ATK Announce New Commercial Crew Agreement »» NASA, ATK Announce New Commercial Crew Agreement

[Friday, September 9, 2011] NASA and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) managers will announce an agreement that could accelerate the availability of U.S. commercial crew transportation capabilities at 3 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

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NASA Names CASIS to Manage Space Station National Lab Research »» NASA Names CASIS to Manage Space Station National Lab Research

[Friday, September 9, 2011] NASA has finalized a cooperative agreement with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to manage the portion of the International Space Station that operates as a U.S. national laboratory.

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FERMI'S Latest Gamma-ray Census Highlights Cosmic Mysteries »» FERMI'S Latest Gamma-ray Census Highlights Cosmic Mysteries

[Friday, September 9, 2011] Every three hours, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope scans the entire sky and deepens its portrait of the high-energy universe.

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Young Crater With Prominent Rays »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Young Crater With Prominent Rays

[Friday, September 9, 2011] This high-resolution image shows a bright, rayed crater in spectacular new detail; this crater is located just east of another small rayed crater, imaged early in MESSENGER's orbital mission.

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Photo: Astronaut Ron Garan Works With SPHERES on The International Space Station »» Photo: Astronaut Ron Garan Works With SPHERES on The International Space Station

[Friday, September 9, 2011] NASA astronaut Ron Garan, Expedition 28 flight engineer, performs a check on Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) floating freely in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station.

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Photo: Islands in the Mozambique Channel: Bazaruto, St. Antonio, and Magaruque As Seen From Space »» Photo: Islands in the Mozambique Channel: Bazaruto, St. Antonio, and Magaruque As Seen From Space

[Friday, September 9, 2011] @Astro_Clay: The beauty of Bazaruto Island, St. Antonio Island and Magaruque Island in the Mozambique Channel.

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Memo from AAS Solar Physics Division to AGU Heliophysics Section Regarding Webb Space Telescope Costs »» Memo from AAS Solar Physics Division to AGU Heliophysics Section Regarding Webb Space Telescope Costs

[Friday, September 9, 2011] As you are well aware there is much concern about the recently announced budget over-run of the JWST, its projected final cost and schedule, the overall management of the program, and NASA's plans for sharing the burden across the Agency.

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Photo: Construction Begin on Orion Flight Vehicle »» Photo: Construction Begin on Orion Flight Vehicle

[Friday, September 9, 2011] Construction on the first space-bound Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Module has begunwith the first weld at the Michoud Assembly Facility on Sept. 9. 2011.

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NASA Internal Briefing: ESD Integration: Budget Availability Scenarios, August 19, 2011 »» NASA Internal Briefing: ESD Integration: Budget Availability Scenarios, August 19, 2011

[Friday, September 9, 2011] This document covers four budgetary and Congressional scenarios whereby NASA would build the Space Launch System (SLS).

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NASA Solicitation: Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Technologies »» NASA Solicitation: Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Technologies

[Friday, September 9, 2011] The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-267) authorizes creation of a Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research (CRuSR) initiative within the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT).

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Moon Express Hires NASA-mentored FIRST Robotics Champions to Develop Lunar Robots »» Moon Express Hires NASA-mentored FIRST Robotics Champions to Develop Lunar Robots

[Saturday, September 10, 2011] Moon Express announced today that it has established the "Moon Express Robotics Lab for Innovation" (MERLIN) and has hired a team of the nations' brightest engineering students who became international superstars through the FIRST Robotics Competition.

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NASA International Space Station Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the Fourth Week of August 2011 »» NASA International Space Station Lead Increment Scientist's Highlights for the Fourth Week of August 2011

[Saturday, September 10, 2011] The International Space Station Agricultural Camera (ISSAC) took flood images of Minot, ND, showing a false-color composite with three spectral bands; near infrared, red, and green band.

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Amateur Astronomers Contribute Observations of the Brightest Supernova in 20 Years »» Amateur Astronomers Contribute Observations of the Brightest Supernova in 20 Years

[Saturday, September 10, 2011] Skywatchers in the northern hemisphere are being treated to a rare, bright supernova in a nearby galaxy, and observers worldwide have the opportunity to contribute scientific data to our study of this object.

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First Lockheed Martin-Built A2100 Communications Satellite Marks 15 Years of On-Orbit Operations »» First Lockheed Martin-Built A2100 Communications Satellite Marks 15 Years of On-Orbit Operations

[Saturday, September 10, 2011] The first Lockheed Martin A2100 commercial communications satellite has achieved its 15-year design life of on-orbit service - it was launched as GE-1 on Sept. 8, 1996 aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA rocket

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MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Carbon Dioxide Ice in the Late Summer »» MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Carbon Dioxide Ice in the Late Summer

[Saturday, September 10, 2011] Mars has extremely large temperature changes from winter to summer compared to the Earth. It gets cold enough to freeze carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere during the winter.

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Red Begonias, Blue Skies, and 9-11 »» Red Begonias, Blue Skies, and 9-11

[Saturday, September 10, 2011] My old neighborhood had been attacked - and the attack was mounted by people flying over my current neighborhood. I did not know anyone who died but I still feet as if I did.

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Desert RATS 2011: Mid-way Report »» Desert RATS 2011: Mid-way Report

[Saturday, September 10, 2011] NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) crew has reached the mid-way point in the 14th annual Desert RATS mission, conducted at Black Point Lava Flow in the Arizona desert.

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NASA Launches Mission to Study Moon From Crust to Core »» NASA Launches Mission to Study Moon From Crust to Core

[Saturday, September 10, 2011] NASA's twin lunar Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:08 a.m. EDT (6:08 a.m. PDT) Saturday, Sept. 10, to study the moon in unprecedented detail.

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Photo: London and Paris As Seen at Night From The International Space Station »» Photo: London and Paris As Seen at Night From The International Space Station

[Sunday, September 11, 2011] This night time view of northwestern Europe is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station.

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Photo: Southern China As Seen From the International Space Station »» Photo: Southern China As Seen From the International Space Station

[Sunday, September 11, 2011] @Astro_Ron: Southern China #FromSpace taken 4/24/11 @ 10:48am GMT

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Photo: Isla Contoy, Isla Mujer, and Cancun, Mexico As Seen From the International Space Station »» Photo: Isla Contoy, Isla Mujer, and Cancun, Mexico As Seen From the International Space Station

[Sunday, September 11, 2011] @Astro_Ron: #FromSpace Isla Contoy (left) + Isla Mujere directly opposite #Cancun #Mexico Taken 9/2/11 @ 4:52pm GMT

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Hokusai's Molten Past »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Hokusai's Molten Past

[Sunday, September 11, 2011] Debris strikes the surface of Mercury with such force that portions of the rocky surface at the impact site melt. In this image of Hokusai's interior and ejecta, you can see the smooth surfaces where impact melt ponded and cooled.

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Photo: Metropolitan New York City As Seen From The International Space Station »» Photo: Metropolitan New York City As Seen From The International Space Station

[Sunday, September 11, 2011] The greater New York City metropolitan area can be studied in this photograph taken aboard the International Space Station by one of the Expedition 28 crew members.

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The James Webb Space Telescope--It's Complicated, but so Is Leadership'' »» The James Webb Space Telescope--It's Complicated, but so Is Leadership''

[Monday, September 12, 2011] The release of NASA's Independent Comprehensive Review Panel report on JWST has understandably caused consternation within the community, and some of our colleagues' sound-bite quotes decrying the state of space astrophysics.

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Mars Rover Opportunity Update: September 01-07, 2011 »» Mars Rover Opportunity Update: September 01-07, 2011

[Monday, September 12, 2011] Photo taken by Mars Rover Opportunity of itself on 11 Sep 2011 showing piece of metal taken from the Twin Towers - with an American flag on it - after 7 years on Mars.

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NASA Offers Shuttle Tiles And Space Food To Schools And Universities »» NASA Offers Shuttle Tiles And Space Food To Schools And Universities

[Monday, September 12, 2011] NASA is offering space shuttle heat shield tiles and dehydrated astronaut food to eligible schools and universities.

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Astronomers Find Extreme Weather on an Alien World »» Astronomers Find Extreme Weather on an Alien World

[Monday, September 12, 2011] Because old brown dwarfs and giant planets have similar atmospheres, this finding could shed new light on weather phenomena of extra-solar planets.

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50 New Exoplanets Discovered by HARPS including 16 New Super-Earths »» 50 New Exoplanets Discovered by HARPS including 16 New Super-Earths

[Monday, September 12, 2011] Astronomers using ESO's world-leading exoplanet hunter HARPS have today announced a rich haul of more than 50 new exoplanets, including 16 super-Earths, one of which orbits at the edge of the habitable zone of its star.

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New Supernova Remnant Lights Up »» New Supernova Remnant Lights Up

[Monday, September 12, 2011] Using the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers are witnessing the unprecedented transition of a supernova to a supernova remnant, where light from an exploding star in a neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, reached Earth in February 1987.

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NASA OIG Report: NASA's Grant Administration and Management »» NASA OIG Report: NASA's Grant Administration and Management

[Monday, September 12, 2011] NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released a report that examined how well the Agency manages the $3 billion in grants its has awarded over the past 5 years to fund scientific research, scholarships, fellowships, and educational activities.

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AAS Members Decadal Priorities and Fiscal Realities Informational Email 2011-10 »» AAS Members Decadal Priorities and Fiscal Realities Informational Email 2011-10

[Monday, September 12, 2011] We know that astronomy and related disciplines are slated to suffer cuts in the President's proposed FY12 budget announced in February, which of course are further threatened in the upcoming House and Senate negotiations.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Supports Letter on NASA Space Technology Funding »» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Supports Letter on NASA Space Technology Funding

[Monday, September 12, 2011] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to support a letter on NASA Space Technology funding, signed by 45 companies, nonprofits, and research universities, which was delivered to Congress last week.

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NASA Seeks Undergraduates To Fly Research In Microgravity »» NASA Seeks Undergraduates To Fly Research In Microgravity

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] NASA is offering undergraduate students the opportunity to test an experiment in microgravity as part of the agency's Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program. The program is accepting proposals for two different flight experiences in 2012.

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Written Testimony by Nancy Conrad, Founder and Chairman, Conrad Foundation »» Written Testimony by Nancy Conrad, Founder and Chairman, Conrad Foundation

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] The Conrad Foundation is based on the rich legacy of the late Apollo 12 Astronaut and entrepreneur, Charles "Pete" Conrad. The Foundation was created by Pete's wife, Nancy Conrad, a teacher, education activist and Chairman of the Foundation.

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NASA'S Webb Telescope Completes Mirror Coating Milestone »» NASA'S Webb Telescope Completes Mirror Coating Milestone

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has reached a major milestone in its development. The mirrors that will fly aboard the telescope have completed the coating process at Quantum Coating Inc. in Moorestown, N.J.

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Photos: Texas Fires As Seen From The International Space Station »» Photos: Texas Fires As Seen From The International Space Station

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] These panoramic views of east-central Texas on September 6, 2011, highlights numerous smoke plumes caused by wildfires burning across the state.

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MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Fan and Dust Devil in Deuteronilus Mensa »» MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Fan and Dust Devil in Deuteronilus Mensa

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] This image shows what appears to be a degraded alluvial fan at upper left and a dust devil at lower right.

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Oblique View of a Fresh Impact Crater »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Oblique View of a Fresh Impact Crater

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] This beautiful oblique view of a fresh impact crater was captured as the MESSENGER spacecraft slewed to the side to get a better look.

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Image: Dione and Saturn »» Image: Dione and Saturn

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] Saturn's moon Dione coasts along in its orbit appearing in front of its parent planet in this Cassini spacecraft view. The wispy terrain on the trailing hemisphere of Dione (1,123 kilometers, or 698 miles across) can be seen on the left of the moon here.

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Witnesses Highlight Importance of Public-Private Partnerships to Inspire Students in STEM Fields »» Witnesses Highlight Importance of Public-Private Partnerships to Inspire Students in STEM Fields

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] Today, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held its second in a series of hearings to highlight science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education activities across the nation.

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Herschel Paints New Story of Galaxy Evolution »» Herschel Paints New Story of Galaxy Evolution

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] ESA's Herschel infrared space observatory has discovered that galaxies do not need to collide with each other to drive vigorous star birth.

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Star Blasts Planet With X-rays »» Star Blasts Planet With X-rays

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] A nearby star is pummeling a companion planet with a barrage of X-rays 100,000 times more intense than the Earth receives from the sun.

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NASA Selects Companies To Study Solar Electric Propulsion Spacecraft »» NASA Selects Companies To Study Solar Electric Propulsion Spacecraft

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] NASA has selected five companies to develop concepts for demonstrating solar electric propulsion in space. These capabilities are important for the agency's future human exploration missions to deep space.

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ATK and NASA Sign Space Act Agreement for Liberty Launch System Agreement Includes International Partnership »» ATK and NASA Sign Space Act Agreement for Liberty Launch System Agreement Includes International Partnership

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] ATK and NASA announced a partnership today to work together during the development of ATK's commercial Liberty(TM) Launch System, an agreement that also supports the 2010 National Space Policy by furthering international partnerships.

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NASA To Announce Kepler Discovery At Media Briefing »» NASA To Announce Kepler Discovery At Media Briefing

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] NASA will host a news briefing at 11 a.m. PDT, Thursday, Sept. 15, to announce a new discovery by the Kepler mission.

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Russia Announces Next Manned Space Flights »» Russia Announces Next Manned Space Flights

[Tuesday, September 13, 2011] Russia has announced the dates of its next manned space flights, after delaying previously scheduled missions following the crash of an unmanned Soyuz rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station.

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Senators, NASA To Hold Press Conference Today on NASA Announcement »» Senators, NASA To Hold Press Conference Today on NASA Announcement

[Wednesday, September 14, 2011] WHO: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Members of Congress, including U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Bill Nelson. WHEN:TODAY, Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 10 a.m.

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NASA Announces Major Decisions for Future Human Spaceflight »» NASA Announces Major Decisions for Future Human Spaceflight

[Wednesday, September 14, 2011] NASA leaders will participate in two media events Wednesday, Sept. 14, to discuss the new Space Launch System that will take American astronauts farther into space than ever before.

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NASA Administrator Message: NASA Announce Design for New Deep Space Exploration System »» NASA Administrator Message: NASA Announce Design for New Deep Space Exploration System

[Wednesday, September 14, 2011] Today is a big day at NASA. The next chapter of America's space exploration story is being written, right here, right now.

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NASA Announces Design For New Deep Space Exploration System »» NASA Announces Design For New Deep Space Exploration System

[Wednesday, September 14, 2011] NASA has selected the design of a new Space Launch System that will take the agency's astronauts farther into space than ever before, create high-quality jobs here at home, and provide the cornerstone for America's future human space exploration efforts.

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NASA's New Space Launch System Announced - Destination TBD »» NASA's New Space Launch System Announced - Destination TBD

[Wednesday, September 14, 2011] NASA and the White House had originally planned to put off a decision on a heavy launch capability until 2015 or so - and then fully compete the selection process based on an architecture that would define what was needed and when.

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N-prize: the world's smallest space programme »» N-prize: the world's smallest space programme

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] The N-Prize has been described as 'the world's smallest space programme'. Launched in 2008, the N-Prize sets the near-impossible challenge of launching and tracking a tiny orbital satellite on a shoestring budget.

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NASA Mars Research Helps Find Buried Water on Earth »» NASA Mars Research Helps Find Buried Water on Earth

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] A NASA-led team has used radar sounding technology developed to explore the subsurface of Mars to create high-resolution maps of freshwater aquifers buried deep beneath an Earth desert, in the first use of airborne sounding radar for aquifer mapping.

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MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Gullies and Lobate Material in a Crater in Nereidum Montes »» MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Gullies and Lobate Material in a Crater in Nereidum Montes

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] This crater has gullies on its southwest-facing walls and rim, as well as and what appears to be two separate instances of lobate (ear-shaped) material associated to its interior gullies.

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Photo: Gulf of Cortez and California As Seen From The International Space Station »» Photo: Gulf of Cortez and California As Seen From The International Space Station

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] From over the Pacific Ocean, one of the Expedition 28 crew members aboard the International Space Station snapped this picture showing Baja California, the Gulf of Cortez and parts of California on Sept. 7, 2011

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Double-ring Basin »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Double-ring Basin

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] The double-ring basin at the top of this image was previously imaged on July 20, 2011, as part of MDIS's surface morphology base map.

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Opportunity on Verge of New Discovery »» Opportunity on Verge of New Discovery

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] Shortly after Labor Day 2011, the Mars rover Opportunity was poised on the rim of the 22,000-meter-wide Endeavour Crater, preparing to sample a novel rock type.

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From Star Wars to Science Fact: Tatooine-like Planet Discovered »» From Star Wars to Science Fact: Tatooine-like Planet Discovered

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] Although cold and gaseous rather than a desert world, the newfound planet Kepler-16b is still the closest astronomers have come to discovering Luke Skywalker's home world of Tatooine.

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Tatooine-Like Planet Discovered »» Tatooine-Like Planet Discovered

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] A planet with two suns may be a familiar sight to fans of the "Star Wars" film series, but not, until now, to scientists. A team of researchers, including Carnegie's Alan Boss, has discovered a planet that orbits around a pair of stars.

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UCSB Scientist Contributes to First Discovery of a Planet With Two Suns »» UCSB Scientist Contributes to First Discovery of a Planet With Two Suns

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] UC Santa Barbara astrophysicist Avi Shporer is part of the NASA team that has found the first known planet with two "suns," an idea popularized by the 1977 movie "Star Wars." The discovery is published this week in the journal Science.

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Statement by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Senate Funding to Restore American Human Spaceflight Capability »» Statement by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Senate Funding to Restore American Human Spaceflight Capability

[Thursday, September 15, 2011] NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program is the most fiscally responsible means to rapidly advance human spaceflight. It has protected taxpayer dollars with fixed-price, pay-for-performance contracts.

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NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 September 2011 »» NASA ISS On-Orbit Status 15 September 2011

[Friday, September 16, 2011] Crew Wake/Sleep cycle shift: To accommodate Soyuz 26S undock tonight at 8:38pm EDT, crew wake/sleep cycle changes are in effect, featuring a late turn-in today, plus an "all-sleep" Friday

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NASA Team Honored For Assisting Chilean Miner Rescue »» NASA Team Honored For Assisting Chilean Miner Rescue

[Friday, September 16, 2011] The NASA team, who provided medical, survival and engineering expertise to help the miners trapped underground in Chile last year, received the National Security and International Affairs Medal from the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.

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International Space Station Partners Set Tentative Launch Schedule »» International Space Station Partners Set Tentative Launch Schedule

[Friday, September 16, 2011] NASA and its international partners have agreed to a tentative launch schedule with crew flights to the International Space Station resuming on Nov. 14.

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Excalibur Almaz to showcase flown spacecraft to area students »» Excalibur Almaz to showcase flown spacecraft to area students

[Friday, September 16, 2011] Excalibur Almaz USA, a commercial aerospace company working to provide cargo and human transportation services, will showcase its space flown Reusable Return Vehicle (RRV) to area students on September 23 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

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Space Station Trio Lands Safely In Kazakhstan »» Space Station Trio Lands Safely In Kazakhstan

[Friday, September 16, 2011] Three International Space Station crew members safely returned to Earth Friday, Sept. 16, wrapping up a six-month mission of research and exploration.

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury's South Pole »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury's South Pole

[Friday, September 16, 2011] This image is shown in a polar stereographic projection, with the south pole at the center, 0° longitude at the top, and 90° E longitude to the right.

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MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Iazu Crater »» MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Iazu Crater

[Friday, September 16, 2011] With Opportunity's arrival to the rim of Endeavour Crater, we prepare for our science activities by using HiRISE to perform a reconnaissance of the surrounding craters.

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Photo: Montauk, The Hamptons, and New London As Seen From the International Space Station »» Photo: Montauk, The Hamptons, and New London As Seen From the International Space Station

[Friday, September 16, 2011] @Astro_Ron: #Montauk, The Hamptons + New London CT #FromSpace Taken May 9th '11 @ 12:27pm (EST)

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Photo: Venice, Italy As Seen From Space »» Photo: Venice, Italy As Seen From Space

[Friday, September 16, 2011] The islands that make up the Italian city of Venice and the surrounding Venetian Lagoon are pictured in this image from the Ikonos-2 satellite.

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In the 21st Century, How Do You Show What You Know? »» In the 21st Century, How Do You Show What You Know?

[Friday, September 16, 2011] The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, HASTAC and Mozilla today announced a $2 million Digital Media and Learning Competition for leading organizations, learning and assessment specialists, designers and technologists.

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Thirty Educators from California and Nevada Are Set to Defy Gravity in Los Angeles »» Thirty Educators from California and Nevada Are Set to Defy Gravity in Los Angeles

[Friday, September 16, 2011] As Part of The Northrop Grumman Foundation Weightless Flights Of Discovery Program to Inspire and Prepare Kids for Careers in Math and Science Stops in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 26

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How Single Stars Lost Their Companions »» How Single Stars Lost Their Companions

[Friday, September 16, 2011] In our home galaxy, the Milky Way, about half of all stars have a companion and travel through space in a binary system. But explaining why some stars are in double or even triple systems while others are single has been something of a mystery.

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Gamma-Ray Bursts Shed Light on the Nature of Dark Energy »» Gamma-Ray Bursts Shed Light on the Nature of Dark Energy

[Friday, September 16, 2011] In 1998, during the analysis of the brightness of Type Ia supernovae, it was discovered that the most remote explosions seemed to be too weak. Type Ia supernovae appear in binary systems.

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»» "What's Next?" in space exploration - Coalition for Space Exploration announces video contest

[Friday, September 16, 2011] During this historic time of change within the space industry, the Coalition for Space Exploration (Coalition) wants to hear from the American public about what they envision for the future of space exploration.

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NASA Cassini Significant Events 09/07/11 - 09/13/11 »» NASA Cassini Significant Events 09/07/11 - 09/13/11

[Saturday, September 17, 2011] The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and with the exception of one science instrument being powered off, all subsystems are operating normally.

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NASA Announces Two Game-Changing Space Technology Projects »» NASA Announces Two Game-Changing Space Technology Projects

[Saturday, September 17, 2011] The selections are part of the agency's efforts to pursue revolutionary technology required for future missions, while proving the capabilities and lowering the cost of government and commercial space activities.

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KH-9 Hexagon Spy Satellite Makes a Rare Public Outing (Photos and Video) »» KH-9 Hexagon Spy Satellite Makes a Rare Public Outing (Photos and Video)

[Saturday, September 17, 2011] With virtually no advance notice, the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar Hazy Center put a KH-9 "Hexagon" spy satellite on public display today. The display is up for one day only. Word of this display only leaked out late on Friday.

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Photos Then and Now: Space Shuttle Enterprise Rolled out 35 Years Ago Today »» Photos Then and Now: Space Shuttle Enterprise Rolled out 35 Years Ago Today

[Saturday, September 17, 2011] On 17 September 1976, NASA's space shuttle Enterprise rolled out of the Palmdale manufacturing facilities and was greeted by NASA officials and cast members from the 'Star Trek' television series. Today, Enterprise is on display at the Smithsonian.

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How Common Are Earth-Moon Planetary Systems? »» How Common Are Earth-Moon Planetary Systems?

[Saturday, September 17, 2011] Earth's Moon might have played an important role in the development and evolution of life on Earth. The Moon was formed via a giant impact in which a Mars-size projectile collided with the young Earth.

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Photos: Soyuz TMA-21 Heading Home as Seen from the International Space Station »» Photos: Soyuz TMA-21 Heading Home as Seen from the International Space Station

[Saturday, September 17, 2011] Backdropped against clouds, the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft departs from the International Space Station and heads toward a landing in a remote area outside the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Sept. 16, 2011.

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Photo: Roze Glacier, Novaya Zemlya As Seen From Space »» Photo: Roze Glacier, Novaya Zemlya As Seen From Space

[Saturday, September 17, 2011] Part of the Russian Federation, the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya consists of two big islands--Yuzhny in the southwest, and Severny in the northeast--separated by a narrow strait. The archipelago divides the Barents Sea from the Kara Sea.

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Rocky Planets Could Have Been Born as Gas Giants »» Rocky Planets Could Have Been Born as Gas Giants

[Monday, September 19, 2011] Over 1,200 new potential planets have been spotted by the Kepler, almost a quarter of them are thought to be Super-Earths. New research suggests that these massive rocky planets may be the result of the failed creation of Jupiter-sized gas giants.

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XCOR Aerospace and Space Expedition Curacao Sign Eight-Figure Wet Lease Contract for Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft »» XCOR Aerospace and Space Expedition Curacao Sign Eight-Figure Wet Lease Contract for Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft

[Monday, September 19, 2011] Space Expedition Curacao and XCOR Aerospace, Inc. jointly announced today the wet lease of production Lynx tail number two for operation on the Caribbean island of Curacao, pending export licensing action.

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Video: Aurora Australis As Seen From The International Space Station »» Video: Aurora Australis As Seen From The International Space Station

[Monday, September 19, 2011] This video of the Aurora Australis was created from a sequence of still shots taken by astronauts on board the International Space Station. The images were acquired on September 11, 2011.

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Prominent Rays From A Crater »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Prominent Rays From A Crater

[Monday, September 19, 2011] This image shows the interior of a crater about 170 kilometers in diameter, just north of Munkacsy. A more recent impact event to the west threw ejecta outward, some of which was caught by the floor of this crater, creating the bright rays seen here.

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NASA Announces 15th Undersea NEEMO Exploration Mission Date And Crew »» NASA Announces 15th Undersea NEEMO Exploration Mission Date And Crew

[Monday, September 19, 2011] An international crew of astronauts will venture into the Atlantic Ocean on Oct. 17 to test innovative solutions to engineering challenges during a crewed mission to an asteroid.

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Cassini Image of Saturn's Moon Enceladus »» Cassini Image of Saturn's Moon Enceladus

[Monday, September 19, 2011] This image was taken on September 13, 2011 and received on Earth September 15, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Enceladus at approximately 49,788 kilometers away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters.

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NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE Image: Colorful Rocks in Terra Sabaea »» NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE Image: Colorful Rocks in Terra Sabaea

[Monday, September 19, 2011] This region of the ancient Southern highlands has been shaped by tectonics: faulting and folding of bedrock units. It also has proven to be quite interesting in HiRISE color.

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GAO: Telecommunications: Competition, Capacity, and Costs in the Fixed Satellite Services Industry »» GAO: Telecommunications: Competition, Capacity, and Costs in the Fixed Satellite Services Industry

[Monday, September 19, 2011] Commercial satellites are used by the U.S. government to provide a variety of fixed satellite services, such as military communications. However, the number of satellite operators providing such service has declined since 2000.

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Explore Mars, Inc. Launches the 2011-2012 Mars Education Challenge »» Explore Mars, Inc. Launches the 2011-2012 Mars Education Challenge

[Monday, September 19, 2011] After a an exciting first year of the Mars Education Challenge, Explore Mars, Inc is pleased to announce the second annual Mars Education Challenge (MEC).

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Tests Under Way On The Sunshield For NASA'S Webb Telescope »» Tests Under Way On The Sunshield For NASA'S Webb Telescope

[Monday, September 19, 2011] NASA is testing an element of the sunshield that will protect the James Webb Space Telescope's mirrors and instruments during its mission to observe the most distant objects in the universe.

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Students Build Planet-hunting Miniature Satellite »» Students Build Planet-hunting Miniature Satellite

[Monday, September 19, 2011] Most college finals end up in a stack on a professor's desk. For one group of MIT students, however, their three-semester long project has a slightly different destination - outer space.

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The Challenge Is On: Robot Prize Competition Registration Opens »» The Challenge Is On: Robot Prize Competition Registration Opens

[Monday, September 19, 2011] During the Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control.

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The Spaceship Company opens assembly facility at Mojave Air and Space Port to build Virgin Galactic spaceships »» The Spaceship Company opens assembly facility at Mojave Air and Space Port to build Virgin Galactic spaceships

[Monday, September 19, 2011] The Spaceship Company achieved a significant milestone in making commercial space travel a reality with today's opening of its Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hangar, or FAITH, at Mojave Air and Space Port.

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NASA's WISE Raises Doubt About Asteroid Family Believed Responsible for Dinosaur Extinction »» NASA's WISE Raises Doubt About Asteroid Family Believed Responsible for Dinosaur Extinction

[Monday, September 19, 2011] Observations from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission indicate the family of asteroids some believed was responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs is not likely the culprit, keeping open the case on one of Earth's greatest mysterie

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NASA Solicitation: Commercial Crew Integrated Design Contract Draft RFP »» NASA Solicitation: Commercial Crew Integrated Design Contract Draft RFP

[Monday, September 19, 2011] NASA is releasing a Draft Request for Proposal (DRFP) for the Commercial Crew Integrated Design Contract (CCIDC). Previous releases regarding CCIDC were a Sources Sought Notice and Draft Requirements Documents.

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NASA Releases Commercial Crew Draft RFP, Announces CCDEV2 Optional Milestones »» NASA Releases Commercial Crew Draft RFP, Announces CCDEV2 Optional Milestones

[Monday, September 19, 2011] NASA unveiled Monday an outline of its acquisition strategy to procure transportation services from private industry to carry U.S. astronauts to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

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Undersea Cable Could Revolutionize Oceanography - Experts say Ocean observatory will be transformative »» Undersea Cable Could Revolutionize Oceanography - Experts say Ocean observatory will be transformative

[Tuesday, September 20, 2011] In a few years, you should be able to watch events live on the Internet 24/7. Thanks to a new underwater fiber optic cable, a new worldwide ocean observatory now under construction that could revolutionize our understanding of the deep sea environment.

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NASA Marshall Small Business Alliance Space Launch Systems Industry Day »» NASA Marshall Small Business Alliance Space Launch Systems Industry Day

[Tuesday, September 20, 2011] With NASA's announcement of the new Deep Space Exploration System, attendance at this event will afford industry an opportunity to learn more about the new Heavy Lift Rocket that will one day take humans far beyond Earth.

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Young Clays on Mars Could Have Been Habitable Regions For Life »» Young Clays on Mars Could Have Been Habitable Regions For Life

[Tuesday, September 20, 2011] Two small depressions on Mars found to be rich in minerals that formed by water could have been places for life relatively recently in the planet's history, according to a new paper in the journal Geology.

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NASA and Cafe Hosting Green Flight Challenge »» NASA and Cafe Hosting Green Flight Challenge

[Tuesday, September 20, 2011] NASA and the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation of Santa Rosa, Calif., will hold the 2011 Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google, at the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.

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QinetiQ North America and NASA Advance Space Travel with First Forward Osmosis Experiments in Microgravity »» QinetiQ North America and NASA Advance Space Travel with First Forward Osmosis Experiments in Microgravity

[Tuesday, September 20, 2011] Already engineered for use in applications ranging from desalination plants to treating non-potable water for backpackers, forward osmosis is the natural diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane.

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NASA Announces International Space Apps Competition »» NASA Announces International Space Apps Competition

[Tuesday, September 20, 2011] NASA is announcing the International Space Apps Competition to support the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which President Barack Obama announced Tuesday.

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Young Solar System's Fifth Giant Planet? »» Young Solar System's Fifth Giant Planet?

[Tuesday, September 20, 2011] Recent studies of solar system formation suggest that the solar system's giant planets formed and migrated in the protoplanetary disk to reach resonant orbits with all planets inside 15 AU from the Sun.

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NASA'S WISE Mission Captures Black Hole's Wildly Flaring Jet »» NASA'S WISE Mission Captures Black Hole's Wildly Flaring Jet

[Tuesday, September 20, 2011] Astronomers using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have captured rare data of a flaring black hole, revealing new details about these powerful objects and their blazing jets.

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Building the Tools for Astrobiology's Future »» Building the Tools for Astrobiology's Future

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] The ASTID program is an essential component in furthering NASA's astrobiology goals, and provides funding for new instruments that can be used in space missions as well as Earth-based research projects.

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Liquid Robotics Announces Pacific Crossing (PacX) Grand Challenge to Worldwide Science Community »» Liquid Robotics Announces Pacific Crossing (PacX) Grand Challenge to Worldwide Science Community

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] Liquid Robotics, an ocean data services provider and developer of the first wave-powered Wave Glider marine robot, today announced its Pacific Crossing (PacX) Challenge open to scientists around the world.

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Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update #6 Wed, 21 Sep 2011 08:03:34 AM EDT »» Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update #6 Wed, 21 Sep 2011 08:03:34 AM EDT

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] As of Sept. 21, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 120 mi by 130 mi (195 km by 210 km). Re-entry is expected Sept. 23, United States time.

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An angry bird in the sky - New ESO image of the Lambda Centauri Nebula »» An angry bird in the sky - New ESO image of the Lambda Centauri Nebula

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] In the nebula 6500 light-years from Earth, hot newborn stars that formed from clouds of hydrogen gas shine brightly with ultraviolet light. This intense radiation in turn excites the surrounding hydrogen cloud, making it glow a distinctive shade of red.

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Swedes Make World's Largest Telescope Bigger »» Swedes Make World's Largest Telescope Bigger

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] On Monday, Sweden's Minister for Education and Research, Jan Bjoerklund, will open Onsala Space Observatory's newest telescope. Part of Lofar, the world's largest radio telescope, it is the biggest telescope built in Sweden in the last 35 years.

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Certifying organic crops from space »» Certifying organic crops from space

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] Organic agriculture provides healthy food and protects the environment by practising methods that avoid the widespread dissemination of chemicals. ESA is now helping to develop the use of satellite images for certifying crops as organic.

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Countdown to Europe's First Soyuz Launch Under Way »» Countdown to Europe's First Soyuz Launch Under Way

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] The clock is ticking for the first Soyuz flight from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. The rocket, which will carry the first two satellites of Europe's Galileo navigation system into orbit, is being prepared for launch on 20 October.

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Revised Policies and Maps Ensure Environmental Protection of Antarctic Dry Valleys »» Revised Policies and Maps Ensure Environmental Protection of Antarctic Dry Valleys

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] There are few places in Antarctica as heavily researched as the McMurdo Dry Valleys, the largest ice-free region on the continent. The area is home to unique ecosystems that range from the saltiest lake on Earth to a microhabitat of ancient microbes that

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NASA and the Cleantech Open Partner in Robotics Challenge »» NASA and the Cleantech Open Partner in Robotics Challenge

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] The event is a new Centennial Challenges prize competition seeking revolutionary energy storage technologies for future space robotic rover missions. NASA is offering a prize purse of $1.5 million to challenge winners.

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Letter from Hundreds of College Students to Neil Armstrong About Space Policy »» Letter from Hundreds of College Students to Neil Armstrong About Space Policy

[Wednesday, September 21, 2011] Last March, our organization put together a letter, signed by over 300 of America's brightest college students in space-related fields from over 35 universities, to express the opinion of college students on the future of U.S. human spaceflight.

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NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update #7 Wed, 21 Sep 2011 »» NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update #7 Wed, 21 Sep 2011

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] As of 1:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 21, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 120 mi by 130 mi (190 km by 205 km). Re-entry is expected sometime during the afternoon of Sept. 23, Eastern Daylight Time.

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Planet Hunters: The First Two Planet Candidates Identified by the Public using the Kepler Public Archive Data »» Planet Hunters: The First Two Planet Candidates Identified by the Public using the Kepler Public Archive Data

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] Planet Hunters is a new citizen science project designed to engage the public in an exoplanet search using NASA Kepler public release data. In the first month users identified two new planet candidates which survived our checks for false - positives.

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Ariane 5's fifth launch of 2011 »» Ariane 5's fifth launch of 2011

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] This evening, an Ariane 5 launcher lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two telecommunications satellites, Arabsat-5C and SES-2, into their planned transfer orbits.

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NASA Selects Teachers For Student's Reduced Gravity Experiments »» NASA Selects Teachers For Student's Reduced Gravity Experiments

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] Teachers from 14 NASA Explorer Schools (NES) have been selected for the 2011 School Recognition Award for their contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

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Student Plant Experiment Takes Root on International Space Station and In Classrooms »» Student Plant Experiment Takes Root on International Space Station and In Classrooms

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] The Plants in Space project will allow students and teachers to examine root growth in microgravity and compare the results with those from plants used in their own ground-based experiments.

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NASA, VASC to Help Local Boy Scouts Earn New Robotics Merit Badges »» NASA, VASC to Help Local Boy Scouts Earn New Robotics Merit Badges

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] NASA's Langley Research Center and the Virginia Air & Space Center have invited hundreds of boy scouts to earn their first ever robotics badge as part of a partnership between NASA and the Boy Scouts of America.

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NASA Posts Global Exploration Roadmap »» NASA Posts Global Exploration Roadmap

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] NASA is releasing the initial version of a Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) developed by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group. This roadmap is the culmination of work by 12 space agencies, including NASA.

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The Sounds Of NASA Available For Download »» The Sounds Of NASA Available For Download

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] Historic and interesting sounds and sound bites from NASA space missions are available for download as ringtones or on your computer for events, errors, alarms and notifications.

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NASA Administrator to Visit Orion Mockup in Houston »» NASA Administrator to Visit Orion Mockup in Houston

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will be available to media during a visit to the Johnson Space Center on Monday, Sept. 26.

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NASA Completes Orion Spacecraft Parachute Testing In Arizona »» NASA Completes Orion Spacecraft Parachute Testing In Arizona

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] NASA this week completed the first in a series of flight-like parachute tests for the agency's Orion spacecraft. The drop tests at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona support the design and development of the Orion parachute assembly.

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NASA Partners with DOE to Construct 'Greenest' Federal Building »» NASA Partners with DOE to Construct 'Greenest' Federal Building

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] NASA's Ames Research Center and the Department of Energy at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif. are collaborating on technologies and processes for what may be the "greenest," highest-performing building in the federal government.

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Aquarius Yields NASA'S First Global Map Of Ocean Salinity »» Aquarius Yields NASA'S First Global Map Of Ocean Salinity

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] NASA's new Aquarius instrument has produced its first global map of the salinity of the ocean surface, providing an early glimpse of the mission's anticipated discoveries.

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Enceladus Creates a Torus of Water Vapor Surrounding Saturn »» Enceladus Creates a Torus of Water Vapor Surrounding Saturn

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] Chalk up one more feat for Saturn's intriguing moon Enceladus. The small, dynamic moon spews out dramatic plumes of water vapor and ice -- first seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in 2005.

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NASA 2012 Lunabotics Competition Open For Registration »» NASA 2012 Lunabotics Competition Open For Registration

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] NASA is accepting applications from teams of U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate students for the third annual Lunabotics Mining Competition. The event will be at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida May 21-26, 2012.

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NASA Statement on Today's House Hearing Featuring Testimony by Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan »» NASA Statement on Today's House Hearing Featuring Testimony by Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan

[Thursday, September 22, 2011] "We respect the contributions Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan have made in service to our country, and thank them for helping to pave the way for our exciting future forward."

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NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update #8 Thu, 22 Sep 2011 »» NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update #8 Thu, 22 Sep 2011

[Friday, September 23, 2011] As of 7 a.m. EDT Sept. 22, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 115 mi by 120 mi (185 km by 195 km). Re-entry is expected sometime during the afternoon of Sept. 23, Eastern Daylight Time.

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AIP Number 117: FY 2012 Senate Appropriations Bill: NASA »» AIP Number 117: FY 2012 Senate Appropriations Bill: NASA

[Friday, September 23, 2011] The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved its version of the FY 2012 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill. This bill provides funding for the NSF, NIST, and NASA.

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Rep. Hall Announces Committee Investigation into Unauthorized NOAA Climate Service »» Rep. Hall Announces Committee Investigation into Unauthorized NOAA Climate Service

[Friday, September 23, 2011] House Science, Space, and Technology Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) today announced his intention to initiate a formal Committee investigation into the formation of a "climate service" at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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Paleontologists Return From Antarctic Expedition With About 200 Fossils »» Paleontologists Return From Antarctic Expedition With About 200 Fossils

[Friday, September 23, 2011] Ross MacPhee and his field parties have been blinded by snowstorms, nearly blown off an island by hurricane-force winds, and stymied by pack ice in the pursuit of Cretaceous-age fossils from Antarctica.

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Balloon-based Experiment to Measure Gamma Rays 6,500 Light Years Distant »» Balloon-based Experiment to Measure Gamma Rays 6,500 Light Years Distant

[Friday, September 23, 2011] The Gamma Ray Polarimeter Experiment, designed and built at the Space Science Center within the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, is an effort to apply a new type of detector technology to the study of celestial gamma rays.

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Photos: Opportunity Studies 'Chester Lake' Rock Outcrop on Mars »» Photos: Opportunity Studies 'Chester Lake' Rock Outcrop on Mars

[Friday, September 23, 2011] Opportunity Status for sol 2710-2716: Opportunity is in position at a target called "Chester Lake" at Cape York on the rim of Endeavour crater.

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NASA Tapes Conversation between Jane Goodall and Astronauts from Space Station »» NASA Tapes Conversation between Jane Goodall and Astronauts from Space Station

[Friday, September 23, 2011] A highlight of the Fathom Event commemorating a half century since she first journeyed to Africa to study the behavior of the wild chimpanzee, will be iconic research pioneer Jane Goodall on videotape speaking with the astronauts from the ISS.

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NASA Posts Space Launch System Acquisition Overview »» NASA Posts Space Launch System Acquisition Overview

[Friday, September 23, 2011] NASA has released the acquisition overview for the Space Launch System (SLS). SLS is an entirely new advanced, heavy-lift launch vehicle that will take the agency's astronauts farther into space than ever before.

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Photo: Owens Lake in California As Seen From the International Space Station »» Photo: Owens Lake in California As Seen From the International Space Station

[Friday, September 23, 2011] This photograph highlights the mostly dry bed of Owens Lake, located in the Owens River Valley between the Inyo Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Shallow groundwater, springs, and seeps support minor wetlands and a central brine pool.

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Radar-bright Craters in Goethe »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Radar-bright Craters in Goethe

[Friday, September 23, 2011] The radar-bright features may be due to water ice that is stable in the permanently shadowed interiors of these craters.

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Photo: The Ride Home Parked With Earth Below »» Photo: The Ride Home Parked With Earth Below

[Friday, September 23, 2011] Backdropped by Earth's horizon and the blackness of space, a docked Russian Soyuz spacecraft is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 29 crew member on the International Space Station.

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NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update #10 Friday, 23 Sep 2011 »» NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update #10 Friday, 23 Sep 2011

[Friday, September 23, 2011] As of 10:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 100 miles by 105 miles (160 km by 170 km). Re-entry is expected late Friday, Sept. 23, or early Saturday, Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time.

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Photo: Melt Ponds on Petermann Ice Island As Seen From Space »» Photo: Melt Ponds on Petermann Ice Island As Seen From Space

[Friday, September 23, 2011] After more than a year and several thousand kilometers of sailing the seas, Petermann Ice Island is still drifting in the North Atlantic off the shores of Newfoundland, Canada.

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MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Dunes in Western Arabia Terra »» MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Dunes in Western Arabia Terra

[Friday, September 23, 2011] A global scale study of Martian dunes serves a dual purpose in furthering understanding of both climatic and sedimentary processes-- two fundamental topics currently driving Martian science.

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NASA Cassini Image of Saturn's Moon Enceladus »» NASA Cassini Image of Saturn's Moon Enceladus

[Friday, September 23, 2011] This image was taken on September 13, 2011 and received on Earth September 15, 2011. The camera was pointing toward Enceladus at approximately 42,823 kilometers away.

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Terrestrial, Habitable-Zone Exoplanet Frequency from Keple »» Terrestrial, Habitable-Zone Exoplanet Frequency from Keple

[Friday, September 23, 2011] Data from Kepler's first 136 days are analyzed to determine the distribution of exoplanets with respect to radius, period, and host-star spectral type. The analysis is extrapolated to estimate the percentage of terrestrial, habitable-zone exoplanets.

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GAO: Polar Satellites: Agencies Need to Address Potential Gaps in Weather and Climate Data Coverage »» GAO: Polar Satellites: Agencies Need to Address Potential Gaps in Weather and Climate Data Coverage

[Friday, September 23, 2011] NOAA is currently focusing on the October 2011 launch of the NPOESS Preparatory Project satellite--a demonstration satellite that the agency now plans to use operationally in order to minimize potential gaps in coverage.

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NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update #11 Fri, 23 Sep 2011 07:30:46 PM EDT »» NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update #11 Fri, 23 Sep 2011 07:30:46 PM EDT

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] As of 7 p.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 90 miles by 95 miles (145 km by 150 km). Re-entry is expected between 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 3 a.m., Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time (3 a.m. to 7 a.m. GMT).

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Payload Integration Underway for Intelsat 18 Launch »» Payload Integration Underway for Intelsat 18 Launch

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] Payload integration has begun for the Intelsat 18 communications satellite at Baikonur Cosmodrome. The satellite will be launched on October by RSC-Energia-owned SeaLaunch on a Zenit-2SB launch vehicle.

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Intelsat's Cool Satellite App for iPad and iPhone »» Intelsat's Cool Satellite App for iPad and iPhone

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] The Intelsat app provide satellite coverage maps for the entire Intelsat fleet, searchable by region, orbital location, or alphabetically, EIRP contours within graphical maps, Key satellite parameters and other information.

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OPERA experiment reports anomaly in flight time of neutrinos from CERN to Gran Sasso »» OPERA experiment reports anomaly in flight time of neutrinos from CERN to Gran Sasso

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] The OPERA result is based on the observation of over 15000 neutrino events measured at Gran Sasso, and appears to indicate that the neutrinos travel at a velocity 20 parts per million above the speed of light, nature's cosmic speed limit.

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New Views of an Ancient Asteroid »» New Views of an Ancient Asteroid

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] Using the Herschel Space Telescope, astronomers are set to obtain the first-ever images of asteroid 1999 RQ36 in far infrared light, a wavelength that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will not be able to see once it approaches the asteroid.

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NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update #12 Fri, 23 Sep 2011 10:50:07 PM EDT »» NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update #12 Fri, 23 Sep 2011 10:50:07 PM EDT

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] As of 10:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 85 miles by 90 miles (135 km by 140 km). Re-entry is expected between 11:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 12:45 a.m., Sept. 24, Eastern Daylight Time (3:45 a.m. to 4:45 a.m. GMT).

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NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update Update #13 Sat, 24 Sep 2011 12:55:17 AM EDT »» NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update Update Update #13 Sat, 24 Sep 2011 12:55:17 AM EDT

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] As of 10:30 p.m. EDT on Sept. 23, 2011, the orbit of UARS was 85 miles by 90 miles (135 km by 140 km). Re-entry was expected between 11:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 12:45 a.m., Sept. 24

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NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update #15 Sat, 24 Sep 2011 03:46:42 AM EDT »» NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update #15 Sat, 24 Sep 2011 03:46:42 AM EDT

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24.

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NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update #16 Sat, 24 Sep 2011 11:37:25 AM EDT »» NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite Reentry Update #16 Sat, 24 Sep 2011 11:37:25 AM EDT

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] This is your source for official information on the re-entry of UARS. All information posted here has been verified with a government agency or law enforcement. NASA will conduct a media telecon at 2 p.m. ET to discuss the re-entry.

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Draft Environmental Assessment for Issuing an Experimental Permit to SpaceX for Operation of the Grasshopper Vehicle at the McGregor Test Site,Texas »» Draft Environmental Assessment for Issuing an Experimental Permit to SpaceX for Operation of the Grasshopper Vehicle at the McGregor Test Site,Texas

[Saturday, September 24, 2011] The FAA AST proposes to issue an experimental permit to Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) to conduct suborbital launches and landings of the Grasshopper reusable launch vehicle (RLV) at the McGregor, Texas test site.

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NASA's UARS Re-Enters Earth's Atmosphere »» NASA's UARS Re-Enters Earth's Atmosphere

[Sunday, September 25, 2011] NASA's decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. Sept. 24, 20 years and nine days after its launch.

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SPACE brings Project 'Paridhi' on Equinox Day »» SPACE brings Project 'Paridhi' on Equinox Day

[Sunday, September 25, 2011] There will be a participation from India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Russia. The observation base will be extended to the whole globe by Winter Solstice in December 2011.

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New Citizen Science Project: Pavilion Lake Research Project »» New Citizen Science Project: Pavilion Lake Research Project

[Sunday, September 25, 2011] Interested in helping scientists pinpoint where to look for signs of life on Mars? Now you can, with an exciting new citizen science website called MAPPER that was launched in conjunction with the Pavilion Lake Research Project's 2011 field season.

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International Astronautical Congress Virtual Forums »» International Astronautical Congress Virtual Forums

[Sunday, September 25, 2011] Here is a really great opportunity to attend 5 sessions of the International Astronautical Congress without having to travel to Cape Town!

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Photo: Ron Garan's Last Day in Space »» Photo: Ron Garan's Last Day in Space

[Monday, September 26, 2011] @ASTRO_RON: "How I spent my last day in space That's me in the cupola of the International Space Station off the coast of Australia taking my last of over 25,000 pics that I still want to share w/ everyone."

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MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Banded Features between Northeast Meridiani and Arabia Terra »» MRO HiRISE Image of Mars: Banded Features between Northeast Meridiani and Arabia Terra

[Monday, September 26, 2011] These banded features, located near the boundary between Northeast Meridiani and Arabia Terra, were targeted at the request of the Context Camera (CTX) team in order to constrain their origin.

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Does NASA Have A Contingency Plan For Crashing Satellites? »» Does NASA Have A Contingency Plan For Crashing Satellites?

[Monday, September 26, 2011] Does NASA have a quick reaction team in place to deal with events such as this? The answer no - not for crashing satellites.

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NASA Study: Why SpaceX Can Build A Rocket Cheaper Than NASA »» NASA Study: Why SpaceX Can Build A Rocket Cheaper Than NASA

[Monday, September 26, 2011] The activity estimated Falcon 9 would cost $3.977B based on NASA environment/culture. NAFCOM predicted $1.695B when all technical inputs were adjusted to a more commercial development approach.

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NOAA SWPC Space Weather Bulletin #11- 4 »» NOAA SWPC Space Weather Bulletin #11- 4

[Monday, September 26, 2011] A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that erupted from NOAA Active Region 1302 on Saturday September 24 in conjunction with an M7 strength solar flare, arrived this morning at 1237 UT (8:37am Eastern Time).

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NASA Internal Memo: Perspectives on Challenges to Project Management at NASA »» NASA Internal Memo: Perspectives on Challenges to Project Management at NASA

[Tuesday, September 27, 2011] The NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) is seeking feedback from the NASA community on the following questions: What do you consider the greatest challenges to project management at NASA? How can NASA meet these challenges?

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NASA To Host News Conference On Asteroid Search Findings »» NASA To Host News Conference On Asteroid Search Findings

[Tuesday, September 27, 2011] NASA will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. EDT on Thurs., Sept. 29, to reveal near-Earth asteroid findings and implications for future research.

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NASA's Associate Administrator for Science Ed Weiler to Retire »» NASA's Associate Administrator for Science Ed Weiler to Retire

[Tuesday, September 27, 2011] Ed Weiler, who has worked almost 33 years as a leader in NASA's science exploration programs, will retire from the agency effective Sept. 30.

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NASA Spacecraft Reveals New Details Of Planet Mercury »» NASA Spacecraft Reveals New Details Of Planet Mercury

[Wednesday, September 28, 2011] NASA will host a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Sept. 29, to discuss new data and images from the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Lifting the Veil of Anonymity »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Lifting the Veil of Anonymity

[Wednesday, September 28, 2011] This image, taken by the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC), shows a beautiful example of a crater with terraced walls and bright central peaks.

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Final Update: NASA's UARS Re-enters Earth's Atmosphere »» Final Update: NASA's UARS Re-enters Earth's Atmosphere

[Wednesday, September 28, 2011] NASA's decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth at 12 a.m. EDT (0400 GMT), as Friday, Sept. 23, turned to Saturday, Sept. 24 on the United States east coast.

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Letter from Rep. Frank Wolf to OMB Director Jacob Lew Regarding James Webb Space Telescope »» Letter from Rep. Frank Wolf to OMB Director Jacob Lew Regarding James Webb Space Telescope

[Wednesday, September 28, 2011] In spite of this high level of apparent concern about JWST's status, however, the Administration has been very slow to provide Congress with the information needed to support continued JWST funding.

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Nigeria's New Satellite Demonstrates Stunning High Resolution Capability »» Nigeria's New Satellite Demonstrates Stunning High Resolution Capability

[Wednesday, September 28, 2011] The first high resolution satellite imagery is today released from NigeriaSat-2, as engineers from the Nigerian space agency (NASRDA) and the satellite's manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL).

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Lockheed Martin renews support for the Spirit of Innovation Challenge »» Lockheed Martin renews support for the Spirit of Innovation Challenge

[Wednesday, September 28, 2011] Nancy Conrad, founder and chairman of the Conrad Foundation, today announced Lockheed Martin Corporation as a Corporate Partner for the 5th annual Spirit of Innovation Challenge. This marks the second year the global security and technology company has en

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NASA Solicitation: Space Launch System Stages Acquisition »» NASA Solicitation: Space Launch System Stages Acquisition

[Wednesday, September 28, 2011] NASA /Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has a requirement for large cryogenic Stages (Core Stage and Upper Stage) that are part of the Space Launch System (SLS) that will be capable of lifting 70 to 130 metric tons payload to a Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

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NASA Solicitation: Space Launch System Core Stage Engines »» NASA Solicitation: Space Launch System Core Stage Engines

[Wednesday, September 28, 2011] NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has a requirement for Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage Engines.

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Geological Society of America Planetary Geology Division: NASA Funding and James Webb Space Telescope »» Geological Society of America Planetary Geology Division: NASA Funding and James Webb Space Telescope

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] The NRC Planetary Decadal Survey did not cite JWST as a priority for planetary science. While the House and Senate have basically agreed upon a budget for NASA Planetary Science for FY2012....

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NASA Invites Media to Google Green Flight Challenge Expo »» NASA Invites Media to Google Green Flight Challenge Expo

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] The competition attracted 13 teams, led by American innovators. Three of those teams successfully completed aircraft and flight qualification requirements are competing for the prize purse.

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NRL launches TacSat-4 to augment communications needs »» NRL launches TacSat-4 to augment communications needs

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] The Navy's Tactical Satellite-IV (TacSat-4) successfully launched Sept. 27 aboard an Orbital Sciences Minotaur-IV+ launch vehicle from Alaska Aerospace Corporation's (AAC) Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak Island, Alaska.

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Venus Weather Not Boring After All, NASA/International Study Shows »» Venus Weather Not Boring After All, NASA/International Study Shows

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] At first glance, a weather forecaster for Venus would have either a really easy or a really boring job, depending on your point of view.

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Galaxy Caught Blowing Bubbles »» Galaxy Caught Blowing Bubbles

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] The intricate glowing shells of gas in Holmberg II were created by the energetic lifecycles of many generations of stars. High-mass stars form in dense regions of gas, and later in life expel strong stellar winds that blow away the surrounding material.

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NASA OIG: NASA's Development of Radiation Monitoring Instruments for the International Space Station »» NASA OIG: NASA's Development of Radiation Monitoring Instruments for the International Space Station

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released a report that examines NASA's efforts to develop radiation monitoring instruments for the International Space Station.

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MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Petrarch Impact Basin »» MESSENGER Image of Mercury: Petrarch Impact Basin

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] Taken with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC), this image shows part of the impact basin Petrarch, named for the 14th century Italian scholar, poet, and "Father of Humanism" Francesco Petrarca.

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ESA spacecraft reveal new anatomy around a black hole »» ESA spacecraft reveal new anatomy around a black hole

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] A fleet of spacecraft including ESA's XMM-Newton and Integral have shown unprecedented details close to a supermassive black hole. They reveal huge 'bullets' of gas being driven away from the 'gravitational monster'.

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Satellites predict city hot spots »» Satellites predict city hot spots

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] Satellites are helping to forecast the location of urban areas most affected during heat waves, helping planners to design cooler, more comfortable cities.

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AIP Number 120: Recent Developments on James Webb Space Telescope »» AIP Number 120: Recent Developments on James Webb Space Telescope

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] Yesterday a key House appropriator chided the Obama Administration for not specifying what budget reductions it was willing to make to other programs to offset the cost of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

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NASA Selects Science Investigations For Concept Studies »» NASA Selects Science Investigations For Concept Studies

[Thursday, September 29, 2011] NASA has selected 11 science proposals for evaluation as potential future science missions. The proposals outline prospective missions to study the Earth's atmosphere, the sun, the Milky Way galaxy, and Earth-like planets around nearby stars.

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NASA Spacecraft Revealing More Details About Planet Mercury »» NASA Spacecraft Revealing More Details About Planet Mercury

[Friday, September 30, 2011] NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft, the first to achieve orbit around Mercury, is providing scientists new information about the planet.

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NASA, Aerospace Business Leaders Discuss Space Launch System At Industry Day Event »» NASA, Aerospace Business Leaders Discuss Space Launch System At Industry Day Event

[Friday, September 30, 2011] NASA leaders met Thursday to discuss acquisition plans for the agency's new heavy-lift rocket with hundreds of representatives of aerospace industry companies, small businesses and independent entrepreneurs.

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NASA Space Telescope Finds Fewer Asteroids Near Earth »» NASA Space Telescope Finds Fewer Asteroids Near Earth

[Friday, September 30, 2011] New observations by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, show there are significantly fewer near-Earth asteroids in the mid-size range than previously thought.

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Mercury not like other planets MESSENGER finds »» Mercury not like other planets MESSENGER finds

[Friday, September 30, 2011] Only six months into its Mercury orbit, the tiny MESSENGER spacecraft has shown scientists that Mercury doesn't conform to theory.

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Video and Images: Reusable Falcon 9 Plans from SpaceX »» Video and Images: Reusable Falcon 9 Plans from SpaceX

[Friday, September 30, 2011] Reusability is key to the dramatic cost savings that will enable advancements in human exploration of space. The Dragon spacecraft is fully reusable and SpaceX is working toward the goal of delivering the world's first fully reusable launch vehicle.

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