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NASA awards launch services contract for Ionospheric Connection Explorer

Posted November 21, 2014 by

NASA has selected Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., to provide launch services for the Ionospheric Connection Explorer mission. ICON is targeted to launch in June 2017 from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands aboard a Pegasus XL launch vehicle from Orbital’s “Stargazer” L-1011 aircraft. The total…

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NASA’s Chandra detects record-breaking outburst from Milky Way’s black hole

Posted January 5, 2015 by

NASA/CXC/Stanford/I. Zhuravleva et al. Chandra observations of the Perseus and Virgo galaxy clusters suggest turbulence may be preventing hot gas there from cooling, addressing a long-standing question of galaxy clusters do not form large numbers of stars. Astronomers have observed the largest X-ray flare ever detected from the supermassive black hole at the center of…

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Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
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NASA spacecraft nears historic dwarf planet arrival

Posted March 2, 2015 by

Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA NASA’s Dawn spacecraft took these images of dwarf planet Ceres from about 25,000 miles away Feb. 25, 2015. Ceres appears half in shadow because of the current position of the spacecraft relative to the dwarf planet and the sun. The resolution is about 2.3 miles per pixel.   NASA’s Dawn spacecraft…

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NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft nears historic encounter with Pluto

Posted April 15, 2015 by

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is three months from returning to humanity the first-ever close up images and scientific observations of distant Pluto and its system of large and small moons. “Scientific literature is filled with papers on the characteristics of Pluto and its moons from ground based and Earth orbiting space observations, but we’ve never…

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Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech
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NASA’s Europa mission begins with selection of science instruments

Posted May 27, 2015 by

NASA has selected nine science instruments for a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, to investigate whether the mysterious icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.

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NASA continues Orion parachute testing for future test flight

Posted April 18, 2012 by

NASA April 17 successfully conducted a drop test of the Orion crew vehicle’s entry, descent and landing parachutes high above the Arizona desert in preparation for the vehicle’s orbital flight test, Exploration Flight Test -1, in 2014. Orion will carry astronauts deeper into space than ever before, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during…

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NASA Mars spacecraft detects large changes in Martian sand dunes

Posted May 9, 2012 by

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed that movement in sand dune fields on the Red Planet occurs on a surprisingly large scale, about the same as in dune fields on Earth. This is unexpected...

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Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT
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NASA lunar spacecraft complete prime mission ahead of schedule

Posted May 30, 2012 by

A NASA mission to study the moon from crust to core has completed its prime mission earlier than expected. The mission team of NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission, with twin probes named Ebb and Flow, is now preparing for extended science operations starting Aug. 30…

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NASA astronauts Kenneth Ham, Nicholas Patrick leave agency

Posted June 18, 2012 by

NASA astronauts Kenneth Ham and Nicholas Patrick have left the space agency. Their last day was May 31. Ham is a veteran of two spaceflights, where he served as the pilot of STS-124 in 2008 and commander of STS-132 in 2010. Patrick served as a mission specialist on STS-116 in 2006 and STS-130 in 2010….

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NASA astronaut Stephen K. Robinson leaves agency

Posted July 3, 2012 by

NASA astronaut Stephen Robinson has left the space agency. Robinson ends his 36-year NASA career as a veteran of three spacewalks with more than 48 days of spaceflight experience. Robinson will become a professor at the University of California at Davis in the fall of 2012. His last day at NASA was June 30. Robinson…

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