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NASA planning group takes key steps for future Mars exploration

Posted April 16, 2012 by

NASA’s Mars Program Planning Group, established to assist the agency in developing a new strategy for the exploration of the Red Planet, has begun analyzing options for future robotic missions and enlisting the assistance of scientists and engineers worldwide. NASA is reformulating the Mars Exploration Program to be responsive to high-priority science goals and the…

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Lockheed Martin completes assembly of Near Infrared Camera for space telescope

Posted April 16, 2012 by

Lockheed Martin, under a contract from the University of Arizona, has completed assembly of the Near Infrared Camera Instrument Modules. NIRCam is the prime near-infrared imaging instrument for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The work was done at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif., where environmental testing is about…

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Last piggyback ride

Posted April 13, 2012 by

NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft number 905 arrived at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., April 10 for its final shuttle-related mission. The aircraft will ferry the space shuttles to their final resting places by fall. Currently, NASA technicians are preparing Discovery for the ferry flight early next week to the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles airport…

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NASA announces winners in space game challenge

Posted April 13, 2012 by

Three school student teams in the fifth through eighth grades have been selected as the winners of NASA’s second annual Spaced Out Sports challenge. The students designed science-based games that will be played by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The games illustrate and apply Newton’s laws of motion by showing the differences between Earth’s…

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NASA releases new Open Government Plan

Posted April 13, 2012 by

NASA April 9 released version 2.0 of its Open Government Plan, which includes a flagship initiative to build a new web architecture and a renewed focus on open data sharing, open source development and a variety of technology acceleration efforts. The plan also features a directory of more than 100 participatory, collaborative and transparent projects,…

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NASA extends Kepler mission through 2016

Posted April 13, 2012 by

The Ball Aerospace & Technologies’ Kepler Mission for NASA will continue its mission following a program extension through 2016. Ball Aerospace is the mission prime contractor for Kepler, designed to search for Earth-size planets around other stars. Ball Aerospace built the photometer and spacecraft, and…

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NASA awards launch contract for GOES-R, GOES-S missions

Posted April 13, 2012 by

NASA has selected United Launch Services, LLC of Englewood, Colo., to launch the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites-R and S, or GOES-R and GOES-S. The spacecraft will launch in October 2015 and February 2017, respectively, aboard Atlas V 541 rockets from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The total cost of the…

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ULA announces new human launch services organization

Posted April 13, 2012 by

United Launch Alliance announced April 9 the formation of a new organization that will focus exclusively on NASA’s human spaceflight programs. ULA’s Human Launch Services organization will be dedicated to supporting NASA and its partners in the development of capabilities to deliver U.S. astronauts to Low Earth Orbit and human exploration beyond Earth orbit. “NASA…

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NASA, ATK complete SLS booster milestone

Posted April 4, 2012 by

NASA and ATK successfully completed the first test for NASA’s Space Launch System booster program March 28 at ATK’s Promontory, Utah, test facility. This demonstration was a key avionics and controls test designated Flight Control Test 1 and included a fully integrated flight heritage thrust vector control system with the new SLS booster avionics subsystem….

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First spacecraft flight recorder for Webb telescope delivered to Northrop Grumman

Posted April 3, 2012 by

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – The solid-state electronics unit that will capture the James Webb Space Telescope’s science and engineering data has been completed and delivered to Northrop Grumman by its teammate SEAKR Engineering, Inc., Centennial, Colo. “Without science data, there would be no mission, so this is a very important milestone for the Webb program,”…

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