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Astronauts enter world’s first private supply ship

Posted May 29, 2012 by by Marcia Dunn

Space station astronauts floated into the Dragon May 26, a day after its heralded arrival as the world’s first commercial supply ship. NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, the first one into the docked capsule, said it reminded him of the cargo capability of his pickup truck back home in Houston. “The smell inside smells like a…

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Orbital’s Pegasus launches X-ray observatory

Posted June 14, 2012 by by Raphael Jaffe

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, was successfully launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean June 13. The mission will study everything from massive black holes...

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Trio from ISS land safely in Kazakhstan

Posted July 2, 2012 by

Three members of the Expedition 31 crew undocked from the International Space Station and returned safely to Earth Sunday, July 1, wrapping up a mission that lasted six-and-a-half months. Russian Commander Oleg Kononenko…

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NASA successfully tests hypersonic inflatable heat shield

Posted July 23, 2012 by

A large inflatable heat shield developed by NASA’s Space Technology Program has successfully survived a trip through Earth’s atmosphere while travelling at hypersonic speeds up to 7,600 mph. The Inflatable Reentry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE-3) was launched by sounding rocket at 7:01 a.m. Monday from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va. The purpose of…

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New NASA mission ready to brave Earth’s radiation belts

Posted August 9, 2012 by

NASA’s Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission will send two spacecraft into the harsh environment of our planet’s radiation belts. Final preparations have begun for launch Aug. 23, from Florida’s Space Coast. The RBSP spacecraft are designed to fly and operate in the heart of the most hazardous regions of near-Earth space to collect crucial data….

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NASA completes maximum parachute test for Orion spacecraft

Posted August 29, 2012 by

NASA successfully completed another parachute test of its Orion spacecraft high above the skies of the U.S. Yuma Army Proving Ground in southwestern Arizona Aug. 28. The test examined the maximum pressure Orion’s parachutes might face when returning from exploration missions. Orion will be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed and carry astronauts farther into…

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NASA Mars rover targets unusual rock en route to first destination

Posted September 21, 2012 by

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has driven up to a football-size rock that will be the first for the rover’s arm to examine. Curiosity is about 8 feet (2.5 meters) from the rock. It lies about halfway from Curiosity’s landing site, Bradbury Landing, to a location called Glenelg. In coming days, the team plans to touch…

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Astronomers uncover a surprising trend in galaxy evolution

Posted October 19, 2012 by

A comprehensive study of hundreds of galaxies observed by the Keck telescopes in Hawaii and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has revealed an unexpected pattern of change that extends back 8 billion years, or more than half the age of the universe. “Astronomers thought disk galaxies in the nearby universe had settled into their present form…

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NASA’s great observatories find candidate for most distant galaxy

Posted November 16, 2012 by

By combining the power of NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes and one of nature’s own natural “zoom lenses” in space, astronomers have set a new record for finding the most distant galaxy seen in the universe. The farthest galaxy appears as a diminutive blob that is only a tiny fraction of the size of…

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NASA announces robust multi-year Mars program

Posted December 5, 2012 by

New rover to close out decade of new missions   Building on the success of Curiosity’s Red Planet landing, NASA has announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars program, including a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020. This announcement affirms the agency’s commitment to a bold exploration program that meets our nation’s…

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