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FAA launch permit gives Virgin Galactic’s space vehicles green light for powered flight

Posted May 31, 2012 by

Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, announced May 30 that its vehicle developer, Scaled Composites, has been granted an experimental launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration for its suborbital spacecraft, SpaceshipTwo, and the carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo. “This important milestone enables our team to progress to the rocket-powered phase of test flight, bringing us…

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NASA photograph by Emmett Given
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NASA begins development of Space Launch Flight software

Posted May 31, 2012 by

NASA engineers working on the new Space Launch System can now begin developing the advanced, heavy-lift launch vehicle’s flight software using newly delivered software test bed computers from Boeing.

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Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser hits captive-carry milestone

Posted May 31, 2012 by

Future free flight tests of Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems division's Dream Chaser space-access vehicle at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., have moved a step closer, following the firm's completion of a captive-carry flight test of its full-scale...

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Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT
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NASA lunar spacecraft complete prime mission ahead of schedule

Posted May 30, 2012 by

A NASA mission to study the moon from crust to core has completed its prime mission earlier than expected. The mission team of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission, with twin probes named Ebb and Flow, is now preparing for extended science operations starting Aug. 30…

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NASA preparing to launch newest X-ray eyes

Posted May 30, 2012 by

NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, is being prepared for the final journey to its launch pad on Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. The mission will study everything from massive black holes to our own sun. It is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 13.

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NASA announces 2012 aeronautics scholarship recipients

Posted May 30, 2012 by

NASA has selected 25 students to receive the agency’s Aeronautics Scholarship for the 2012-2013 school year. This scholarship program, which is in its fifth year, is designed to aid undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in fields of study related to aeronautics and aviation. Recipients were selected from hundreds of applications to the program. “These scholars…

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Astronauts enter world’s first private supply ship

Posted May 29, 2012 by by Marcia Dunn

Space station astronauts floated into the Dragon May 26, a day after its heralded arrival as the world’s first commercial supply ship. NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, the first one into the docked capsule, said it reminded him of the cargo capability of his pickup truck back home in Houston. “The smell inside smells like a…

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Photograph courtesy NASA/JPL/Stanford University
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NASA funded research shows existence of reduced carbon on Mars

Posted May 29, 2012 by

NASA-funded research on Mars meteorites that landed on Earth shows strong evidence that very large molecules containing carbon, which is a key ingredient for the building blocks of life, can originate on the Red Planet.

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U.S. Space & Rocket Center to celebrate 30th anniversary of Space Camp

Posted May 29, 2012 by

Space Camp® was training the next generation of explorers long before workforce development became a national topic. June 15, 2012, marks the 30th anniversary of this internationally recognized program that today counts four astronauts, one cosmonaut and nearly 600,000 other alumni, many in careers on the frontiers of technology. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center…

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NASA receives widespread concepts for future Mars missions

Posted May 24, 2012 by

NASA’s call to scientists and engineers to help plan a new strategy to explore Mars has resulted in almost double the amount of expected submissions with unique and bold ideas. About 400 concepts or abstracts were submitted to the Concepts and Approaches for Mars Exploration Workshop in Houston, which was organized to gather input for…

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