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NASA’s Kepler discovers multiple planets orbiting a pair of stars

Posted August 29, 2012 by

NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered multiple transiting planets orbiting two suns for the first time. The system, known as a circumbinary planetary system, is 4,900 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. Coming less than a year after the announcement of the first circumbinary planet, Kepler-16b, this discovery proves that more than one planet can…

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Ball Aerospace ships first James Webb Space Telescope mirrors to NASA

Posted September 19, 2012 by

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. began the process of shipping the finished NASA James Webb Space Telescope mirrors to Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Sept. 14, 2012. Ball Aerospace, under contract to Northrop Grumman, is responsible for the Webb’s optical technology and lightweight mirror system. Two of the 18 beryllium primary mirror segments that…

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New Curiosity instruments show surprising Mars rock

Posted October 18, 2012 by by Raphael Jaffe

The first rock the new Curiosity instruments touched have presented a more varied composition than expected from previous missions. The rock also resembles some unusual rocks from Earth's interior

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Hughes to develop concepts for protected tactical satellite communications

Posted November 14, 2012 by

Hughes Network Systems, LLC, a leading provider of managed network and application services, has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications System Directorate, located at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. The contract is for the development of future management concepts for protected tactical…

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Mars rover fully analyzes first Martian soil samples

Posted December 5, 2012 by

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil. Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, showed up in samples Curiosity’s arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover. Detection of the substances…

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MEXSAT Bicentenario satellite sends first signals from space

Posted December 21, 2012 by

The MEXSAT Bicentenario satellite, built by Boeing partner Orbital Sciences Corporation, sent its first signals from space Dec. 19 following launch from Kourou aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. Bicentenario is the first of three MEXSAT satellites for the Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes of Mexico that will enhance the country’s communications for domestic, military, civil…

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Air Force photograph by A1C Gustavo Castillo
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Despite smaller budget, Air Force seeks to protect satellites

Posted January 23, 2013 by Cheryl Pellerin

Despite tremendous budget uncertainty and a shrinking bottom line, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said that he will do his best to protect all of the Air Force’s satellite constellations. Speaking with reporters at a recent meeting of the Defense Writers Group, Air Force Gen. William L. Shelton called the range of…

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NASA awards program integration contract for Orion

Posted February 13, 2013 by

NASA has selected ARES Technical Services Corp. of Burlingame, Calif., for its program integration contract for Orion. The cost-plus-fixed-fee services contract has a potential value of $49 million, including options. The contract begins April 1 with a base performance period of two-and-a-half years followed by two one-year options and includes indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity task orders. ARES…

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NASA astronaut George Zamka leaves agency

Posted March 15, 2013 by

NASA astronaut George Zamka has left the agency and accepted a position with the Federal Aviation Administration supporting Commercial Space Transportation. A veteran of two spaceflights, Zamka served first as pilot on STS-120 in 2007 and three years later as commander on STS-130 in 2010. Before joining NASA, Zamka served in the U.S. Marine Corps…

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NASA selects Explorer projects to probe Earth’s upper atmosphere

Posted April 15, 2013 by

NASA has selected a new satellite mission and a new space-based instrument to begin development as part of the agency’s Heliophysics Explorer Program. The projects will provide space observations to study Earth’s ionosphere and thermosphere. The Ionospheric Connection (ICON) mission, led by Thomas Immel of the University of California, Berkeley, will probe the extreme variability…

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