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NASA’s Hubble Telescope detects ‘sunscreen’ layer on distant planet

Posted June 12, 2015 by

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected a stratosphere, one of the primary layers of Earth’s atmosphere, on a massive and blazing-hot exoplanet known as WASP-33b. The presence of a stratosphere can provide clues about the composition of a planet and how it formed. This atmospheric layer includes molecules that absorb ultraviolet and visible light, acting…

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NASA photograph by Bill Ingalls
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NASA’s LDSD project completes second experimental test flight

Posted June 10, 2015 by

NASA photograph by Bill Ingalls NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator hangs from a launch tower at U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. The saucer-shaped vehicle will test two devices for landing heavy payloads on Mars: an inflatable donut-shaped device and a supersonic parachute. The launch tower helps link the vehicle to a balloon;…

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NASA releases detailed global climate change projections

Posted June 10, 2015 by

NASA photograph The new NASA global data set combines historical measurements with data from climate simulations using the best available computer models to provide forecasts of how global temperature (shown here) and precipitation might change up to 2100 under different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. NASA has released data showing how temperature and rainfall patterns worldwide…

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NASA selects eight projects for 2016 X-Hab academic innovation challenge

Posted June 10, 2015 by

NASA is working with eight U.S. universities on new technology projects for deep space exploration, including the agency’s journey to Mars, as part of the 2016 X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge.

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Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/Univ. of Arizona
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NASA spacecraft detects impact glass on surface of Mars

Posted June 8, 2015 by

Photograph courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/Univ. of Arizona Researchers have found deposits of impact glass (in green) preserved in Martian craters, including Alga Crater, shown here. The detection is based on data from the instrument Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has detected deposits of glass within…

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NASA commercial crew partner SpaceX achieves pad abort milestone approval

Posted June 8, 2015 by

NASA photograph SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean under three main parachutes following a successful test on May 6, 2015 of the spacecraft’s ability to save astronauts in the unlikely event of a life-threatening situation on the launch pad. NASA has approved a $30 million milestone payment to SpaceX under the…

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Astronaut Nicole Stott retires from NASA

Posted June 5, 2015 by

After 27 years with the space agency, Astronaut Nicole Stott is retiring from NASA. Stott, who flew two spaceflight missions, including a long-duration mission on the International Space Station, plans to pursue a career as a full-time artist and advocate for science, technology, engineering, math and art education. NASA’s Flight Operations team wishes Nicole the…

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Image courtesy of NASA/ESA/A. Feild (STScI)
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NASA’s Hubble finds Pluto’s moons tumbling in absolute chaos

Posted June 3, 2015 by

Image courtesy of NASA/ESA/M. Showalter (SETI)/G. Bacon (STScI) This set of computer modeling illustrations of Pluto’s moon Nix shows how the orientation of the moon changes unpredictably as it orbits the “double planet” Pluto-Charon. If you lived on one of Pluto’s moons, you might have a hard time determining when, or from which direction, the…

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U.S. Navy accepts third Lockheed Martin-built MUOS communications satellite

Posted June 3, 2015 by

Lockheed Martin photograph MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the MUOS network later this year, is in final assembly and test at Lockheed Martinís satellite manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. Following successful completion of on-orbit testing, the U.S. Navy accepted the third Lockheed Martin-built Mobile User Objective System satellite. Launched Jan. 20, MUOS-3 is…

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Four NASA heroes inducted into U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame

Posted June 1, 2015 by

NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate John Grunsfeld and former astronauts Steve Lindsey, Kent Rominger, and M. Rhea Seddon were inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame May 30 bringing the total number of Hall of Fame space explorers to 91.

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