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NASA’s Spitzer sees Milky Wayís blooming countryside

Posted June 5, 2013 by

New views from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope show blooming stars in our Milky Way galaxy’s more barren territories, far from its crowded core. The images are part of the Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (Glimpse 360) project, which is mapping the celestial topography of our galaxy. The map and a full, 360-degree view of…

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Rocket launch postponed from Wallops Flight Facility In Virginia

Posted June 5, 2013 by

The launch tonight [June 5] of a Black Brant XII suborbital rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Va., has been postponed. The mission was postponed due to insufficient time to cool the instruments on the payload down to the required temperatures before launch. The launch is now scheduled between 11 and 11:59 p.m., June 5.†…

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Boeing completes two test milestones for NASA Commercial Crew Program

Posted June 3, 2013 by

By successfully completing two significant tests of the integrated Commercial Crew Transportation System, Boeing and United Launch Alliance have moved the United States closer to regaining its capability to return humans to space. The team recently completed the first wind tunnel test for connected scale models of the Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) capsule, launch vehicle…

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NASA’s Hubble will use rare stellar alignment to hunt for planets

Posted June 3, 2013 by

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope will have two opportunities in the next few years to hunt for Earth-sized planets around the red dwarf Proxima Centauri. The opportunities will occur in October 2014 and February 2016 when Proxima Centauri, the star nearest to our sun, passes in front of two other stars. Astronomers plotted Proxima Centauri’s precise…

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NASA’s GRAIL mission solves mystery of moon’s surface gravity

Posted June 3, 2013 by

NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission has uncovered the origin of massive invisible regions that make the moon’s gravity uneven, a phenomenon that affects the operations of lunar-orbiting spacecraft. Because of GRAIL’s findings, spacecraft on missions to other celestial bodies can navigate with greater precision in the future. GRAIL’s twin spacecraft studied the internal…

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NASA’s Swift produces best ultraviolet maps of nearest galaxies

Posted June 3, 2013 by

Courtesy Photo New surveys conducted by NASA’s Swift provide the most detailed overviews ever captured in ultraviolet light of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, the two closest major galaxies to our own. Swift team member Stefan Immler, who proposed the imaging project, narrates this quick tour. All visible light imagery provided by Axel Mellinger,…

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NASA’S WISE mission finds lost asteroid family members

Posted May 31, 2013 by

Data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer have led to a new and improved family tree for asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter. Astronomers used millions of infrared snapshots from the asteroid-hunting portion of the WISE all-sky survey, called NEOWISE, to identify 28 new asteroid families. The snapshots also helped place thousands…

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Radiation measured by NASA’s Curiosity on voyage to Mars has implications for future human missions

Posted May 31, 2013 by

Measurements taken by NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission as it delivered the Curiosity rover to Mars in 2012 are providing NASA the information it needs to design systems to protect human explorers from radiation exposure on deep-space expeditions in the future. MSL’s Radiation Assessment Detector is the first instrument to measure the radiation environment during…

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Landast 8 satellite begins watch

Posted May 31, 2013 by

NASA transferred operational control May 30 of the Landsat 8 satellite to the U.S. Geological Survey in a ceremony in Sioux Falls, S.D. The event marks the beginning of the satellite’s mission to extend an unparalleled four-decade record of monitoring Earth’s landscape from space. Landsat 8 is the latest in the Landsat series of remote-sensing satellites,…

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NASA’s Swift reveals new phenomenon in a neutron star

Posted May 31, 2013 by

Astronomers using NASA’s Swift X-ray Telescope have observed a spinning neutron star suddenly slowing down, yielding clues they can use to understand these extremely dense objects. A neutron star is the crushed core of a massive star that ran out of fuel, collapsed under its own weight, and exploded as a supernova. A neutron star…

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