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NASA’s Cassini finds Saturn’s moon Phoebe has planet-like qualities

Posted April 30, 2012 by

Data from NASA’s Cassini mission reveal Saturn’s moon Phoebe has more planet-like qualities than previously thought. Scientists had their first close-up look at Phoebe when Cassini began exploring the Saturn system in 2004. Using data from multiple spacecraft instruments and a computer model of the moon’s chemistry, geophysics and geology, scientists found Phoebe was a…

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Aerojet completes testing of next-generation exploration thruster

Posted April 26, 2012 by

Aerojet, a GenCorp company, announced April 26 that it successfully completed development testing of its MR-104H 100 lbf-class monopropellant hydrazine thruster. Working with Boeing Exploration Launch Systems and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Aerojet successfully completed environmental and hot-fire performance testing of the MR-104H in Redmond, Wash. The MR-104 product line matured under NASA’s Constellation…

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NASA’s WISE catches aging star erupting with dust

Posted April 26, 2012 by

Images from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer reveal an old star in the throes of a fiery outburst and spraying the cosmos with dust. The findings offer a rare, real-time look at the process by which stars like our sun seed the universe with building blocks for other stars, planets and even life. The star,…

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NASA Dawn spacecraft reveals secrets of giant asteroid Vesta

Posted April 25, 2012 by

Findings from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft reveal new details about the giant asteroid Vesta, including its varied surface composition, sharp temperature changes and clues to its internal structure. The findings were presented today at the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, Austria and will help scientists better understand the early solar system and processes that dominated…

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Dragon to launch to ISS May 7

Posted April 25, 2012 by by Raphael Jaffe

The April 30 launch date of the Dragon cargo carrier to the International Space Station has slipped, according to an announcement from SpaceX and will now launch May 7. “After reviewing our recent progress, it was...

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NASA Dawn spacecraft reveals secrets of giant asteroid Vesta

Posted April 25, 2012 by

Findings from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft reveal new details about the giant asteroid Vesta, including its varied surface composition, sharp temperature changes and clues to its internal structure. The findings were presented today at the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, Austria and will help scientists better understand the early solar system and processes that dominated…

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Image courtesy of Orbital Sciences Corp.
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Orbital Sciences’ Antares passes fit check

Posted April 25, 2012 by by Raphael Jaffe

Orbital Sciences Corp. is working hard and fast to get its Antares booster rocket and Cygnus cargo supply capsule flight tested this year. They have a milestone coming up under their Commercial Orbital Transportation Services agreement with NASA. But CEO David Thomson told financial analysts…

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NASA’s Webb telescope flight backplane section completed

Posted April 24, 2012 by

The center section of the backplane structure that will fly on NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has been completed, marking an important milestone in the telescope’s hardware development. The backplane will support the telescope’s beryllium mirrors, instruments, thermal control systems and…

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NASA’s Spitzer finds galaxy with split personality

Posted April 24, 2012 by

While some galaxies are rotund and others are slender disks like our spiral Milky Way, new observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope show that the Sombrero galaxy is both. The galaxy, which is a round, elliptical with a thin disk embedded inside, is one of the first known to exhibit characteristics of the two different…

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Cassini spacecraft sees new objects blazing trails in Saturn ring

Posted April 24, 2012 by

Scientists working with images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have discovered strange, half-mile-sized objects punching through one of Saturn’s rings and leaving glittering trails behind them. The results will be presented tomorrow at the European…

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