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New NASA space observatory to study carbon conundrums

Posted June 13, 2014 by

NASA’s first spacecraft dedicated to measuring carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere is in final preparations for a July 1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission will provide a more complete, global picture of the human and natural sources of carbon dioxide, as well as their “sinks,” the natural…

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NASA announces early career faculty space tech research grants

Posted July 16, 2014 by

NASA has selected seven university-led proposals for the study of innovative, early stage technologies that address high priority needs for America’s space program. The selected proposals for unique, disruptive, or transformational space technologies will address challenges in robotic mobility when traversing extreme terrain, in developing lightweight and multifunctional materials and structures, and in lowering the…

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NASA seeks proposals for Edison small satellite demonstrations

Posted February 6, 2012 by

NASA is seeking proposals for flight demonstrations of small satellite technologies with the goal of increasing the technical capabilities and range of uses for this emerging category of spacecraft. Small satellites typically weigh less than 400 pounds and are generally launched as secondary payloads on rockets carrying larger spacecraft. The small satellite category includes softball-sized…

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Air Force photograph by Val Gempis
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Discovery flies for last time, ends chapter in aerospace history

Posted April 18, 2012 by by A1C Alexander W. Riedel

After almost 27 years and 39 flights in Earth’s orbit, the space shuttle Discovery arrived at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., April 17 on its...

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Overfed black holes shut down galactic star making

Posted May 9, 2012 by

The Herschel Space Observatory has shown galaxies with the most powerful, active black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with less active black holes. The results are the first to demonstrate black holes suppressed galactic star formation when the universe was less than half its current age. Herschel is a European Space…

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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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Chinese spacecraft carrying three astronauts docks with orbiting module

Posted June 18, 2012 by

A Chinese spacecraft carrying three astronauts has docked with an orbiting module where they will live and work for several days as part of preparations for crewing a permanent space station. The Shenzhou 9 capsule completed the maneuver as scheduled shortly after 2 p.m. as the Tiangong 1 module orbited 343 kilometers above Earth. The…

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Scaled, Sierra Nevada pick up SpaceShipTwo test pace

Posted July 5, 2012 by by Raphael Jaffe

June 26, Scaled performed its 17th glide test of SpaceShipTwo. On the same day, Sierra Nevada Corp. performed a full duration firing test of RocketMotorTwo. And on June 29, Scaled did the glide flight 18 test. The three tests achieved all objectives. The test log for glide tests 17 and 18 shows the objectives were…

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NASA scientists, engineers receive presidential early career awards

Posted July 23, 2012 by

President Obama has named six NASA individuals as recipients of the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The NASA recipients and 90 other federal researchers will receive their awards in a ceremony later this month in Washington. The PECASE awards represent the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and…

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NASA Curiosity Mars rover installing smarts for driving

Posted August 13, 2012 by

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity spent its first weekend on Mars transitioning to software better suited for tasks ahead, such as driving and using its strong robotic arm. The rover’s “brain transplant,” occurred during a series of steps Aug. 10 through Aug. 13, installed a new version of software on both of the rover’s redundant main…

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