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NASA’s WISE finds mysterious centaurs may be Comets

Posted July 26, 2013 by

The true identity of centaurs, the small celestial bodies orbiting the sun between Jupiter and Neptune, is one of the enduring mysteries of astrophysics. Are they asteroids or comets? A new study of observations from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer finds most centaurs are comets. Until now, astronomers were not certain whether centaurs are asteroids…

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NASA IRIS observatory – designed, built By Lockheed Martin – sees first light

Posted July 26, 2013 by

The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph observatory, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for NASA, has produced its first images and spectra of a little understood region of the sun through which the energy that supports the Sun’s hot corona is transported.

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NASA creates spacewalk mishap investigation board

Posted July 24, 2013 by

NASA has appointed a board to investigate the July 16 early termination of a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, develop a set of lessons learned from the incident and suggest ways to prevent a similar problem in the future. The board will begin its work Aug. 2, in close coordination with a NASA engineering…

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Tenth parachute test for NASA’s Orion adds 10,000 feet of success

Posted July 24, 2013 by

A complicated, high-altitude test July 24 demonstrated NASA’s new Orion spacecraft could land safely even if one of its parachutes failed. The 10th in a series of evaluations to check out the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle’s parachute system dropped the test capsule from a C-17 aircraft at its highest altitude yet, 35,000 feet above the…

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NASA’s Spitzer observes gas emission from comet ISON

Posted July 24, 2013 by timchisham

Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have observed what most likely are strong carbon dioxide emissions from Comet ISON ahead of its anticipated pass through the inner solar system later this year. Images captured June 13 with Spitzer’s Infrared Array Camera indicate carbon dioxide is slowly and steadily “fizzing” away from the so-called “soda-pop comet,”…

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Boeing CST-100 spacecraft model passes water-recovery tests

Posted July 22, 2013 by

Boeing recently demonstrated that astronauts in its Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 capsule will be able to safely exit the spacecraft during an emergency water landing. Although the CST-100 is designed to land on the ground, Boeing engineers worked with NASA and Department of Defense search-and-recovery personnel to test several emergency water-extraction scenarios. ìCrew safety is…

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2013 NASA Advanced Technology Phase I Concepts selected for study

Posted July 19, 2013 by

NASA has selected 12 proposals for study under Phase I of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program, which aims to turn science fiction into fact. The selected proposals include a wide range of imaginative concepts, including 3-D printing of biomaterials, such as arrays of cells; using galactic rays to map the insides of asteroids; and…

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NASA’s Hubble shows link between stars’ ages and their orbits

Posted July 19, 2013 by

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have determined the orbital motion of two distinct populations of stars in an ancient globular star cluster, offering proof they formed at different times and providing a rare look back into the Milky Way galaxy’s early days. Researchers led by Harvey Richer of the University of British Columbia in…

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NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich
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Dream Chaser rolls through tow tests at NASA Dryden

Posted July 17, 2013 by

Sierra Nevada Corporation is putting its Dream Chaser engineering test vehicle through a series of ground tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.,

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NASA picks small spacecraft propulsion systems for development

Posted July 15, 2013 by

NASA has selected three proposals for the development of lightweight micro-thruster propulsion technologies that are small in size but have big potential. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate selected the miniaturized electrospray propulsion technologies to perform stabilization, station keeping and pointing for small spacecraft. NASA hopes these technology demonstrations may lead to similar position control systems…

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