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NASA awards launch services contract for InSight mission

Posted December 20, 2013 by

NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC of Centennial, Colo., to launch the Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to Mars. InSight will launch in March 2016 aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The total cost for NASA to…

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NASA, JAXA prepare rain, snow satellite for launch

Posted January 27, 2014 by

The world enters a new era of global weather observing and climate science in February with the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory, a new international science satellite built by NASA. GPM, a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is scheduled to launch Feb. 27 from Tanegashima Space Center…

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NASA’s WISE survey finds thousands of new stars, but no ‘Planet X’

Posted March 7, 2014 by

After searching hundreds of millions of objects across our sky, NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed “Planet X.” Researchers previously had theorized about the existence of this large, but unseen celestial body, suspected to lie somewhere beyond the orbit of…

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NASA satellite to continue gathering data up to planned lunar impact

Posted April 4, 2014 by

NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft is gradually lowering its orbital altitude to continue making science observations prior to its planned impact on the moon’s surface on or before April 21. Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., are maneuvering the spacecraft to fly approximately 1 to 2 miles…

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Hubble astronomers use supernovae to gauge power of cosmic lenses

Posted May 2, 2014 by

Distant exploding stars observed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are providing astronomers with a powerful tool to determine the strength of naturally-occurring “cosmic lenses” that are used to magnify objects in the remote universe. Two teams of astronomers, working independently, observed three such exploding stars, called supernovae. Their light was amplified by the immense gravity…

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Photograph courtesy of Mars Scientific/Clay Center Observatory
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NASA, Virgin Galactic announce payloads for SpaceShipTwo flight

Posted June 4, 2014 by

Photograph courtesy of Mars Scientific/Clay Center Observatory Telescopic image of Virgin Galacticís SpaceShipTwo during a supersonic test flight in 2013. NASA has selected 12 technology experiments to fly on the first commercial research flight on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. Through NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program within the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, officials have been working with…

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Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/SSI/Univ. of Arizona/G. Mitri/University of Nantes
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Ocean on Saturn moon could be as salty as Dead Sea

Posted July 3, 2014 by

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL/SSI/Univ. of Arizona/G. Mitri/University of Nantes Researchers found that Titan’s ice shell, which overlies a very salty ocean, varies in thickness around the moon, suggesting the crust is in the process of becoming rigid. Scientists analyzing data from NASAís Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, might…

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NASA awards mission operations support contract extension

Posted August 1, 2014 by

NASA has awarded a contract extension to Lockheed Martin of Gaithersburg, Md., for the Facilities Development and Operations Contract at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This $340.6 million three-year extension includes a two-year base period and a one-year option. The extension base period runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2016. If exercised,…

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NASA television image
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Space station Expedition 40 crew returns to Earth, lands safely in Kazakhstan

Posted September 11, 2014 by

NASA television image A trio of International Space Station crew members returned to Earth and landed in Kazakhstan at 10:23 p.m., EDT, Sept. 10 after spending 167 days aboard the orbital laboratory. Seen left to right, Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and NASA’s Steve Swanson were examined by…

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NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan image
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Satellite data shows U.S. methane ‘hot spot’ bigger than expected

Posted October 10, 2014 by tomlear

One small “hot spot” in the U.S. Southwest is responsible for producing the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States – more than triple the standard ground-based estimate - according to a new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and the University of Michigan.

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