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NASA spacecraft sees huge burp at Saturn after large storm

Posted October 26, 2012 by

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has tracked the aftermath of a rare massive storm on Saturn. Data reveal record-setting disturbances in the planet’s upper atmosphere long after the visible signs of the storm abated, in addition to an indication the storm was more forceful than scientists previously thought. Data from Cassini’s composite infrared spectrometer instrument revealed the…

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Air Force awards Lockheed Martin initial contract for next set of missile warning satellites

Posted October 26, 2012 by

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin an $82 million contract to begin initial work on the fifth and sixth geosynchronous satellites in the Space Based Infrared System missile warning constellation. Featuring a mix of GEO satellites, hosted payloads in highly elliptical earth orbit, and associated ground hardware and software, the SBIRS program delivers…

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NASA’s Spitzer sees light of lonesome stars

Posted October 26, 2012 by

A new study using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope suggests a cause for the mysterious glow of infrared light seen across the entire sky. It comes from isolated stars beyond the edges of galaxies. These stars are thought to have once belonged to the galaxies before violent galaxy mergers stripped them away into the…

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NASA photograph by Bill Ingalls
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New crew headed to the International Space Station

Posted October 24, 2012 by

NASA photograph by Bill Ingalls The Soyuz rocket with Expedition 33 crew members, Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy, Flight Engineer Kevin Ford of NASA, and Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin of Roscosmos onboard the TMA-06M spacecraft launches to the International Space Station on Oct. 23, 2012, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Launch occurred at 5:51 a.m., CDT. Ford, Novitskiy…

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Orbital awarded Air Force contract for EAGLE spacecraft platform

Posted October 24, 2012 by

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced Oct. 24 that the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate has awarded the company a $32 million contract to develop an experimental maneuverable spacecraft platform that will be capable of hosting multiple payloads and operating in low- and geosynchronous orbit. The five-year contract began in the third quarter of…

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ATK to develop MegaFlex((tm)) solar array structure

Posted October 24, 2012 by

ATK’s MegaFlex(tm) solar array was recently selected by NASA’s Space Technology Program under a Game Changing Technology competition for development of the promising lightweight and compact solar array structure. ATK received a $6.4 million contract for the MegaFlex(tm) development. MegaFlex(tm), under development by ATK’s Space Components Division in Goleta, Calif., is designed specifically to meet…

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NASA’s NuStar reveals flare from Milky Way’s black hole

Posted October 24, 2012 by

NASA’s newest set of X-ray eyes in the sky, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, has caught its first look at the giant black hole parked at the center of our galaxy. The observations show the typically mild-mannered black hole during the middle of a flare-up. “We got lucky to have captured an outburst from the…

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NASA Commercial Crew Partner Blue Origin completes pad escape test

Posted October 22, 2012 by

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program partner Blue Origin conducted a successful pad escape test Oct. 19 at the company’s West Texas launch site, firing its pusher-escape motor and launching a full-scale suborbital crew capsule from a simulated propulsion module. The test was part of Blue Origin’s work supporting its funded Space Act Agreement with NASA during…

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NASA seeks student experiments for 2013 high-altitude scientific balloon flight

Posted October 19, 2012 by

NASA is accepting applications from graduate and undergraduate university students to fly experiments to the edge of space on a scientific balloon next year. The balloon competition is a joint project between NASA and the Louisiana Space Consortium in Baton Rouge. NASA is targeting fall 2013 for the next flight opportunity for the High Altitude…

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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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