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Lockheed Martin completes critical environmental test on GPS III Pathfinder

Posted November 21, 2012 by

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System III satellites has completed thermal vacuum testing for the Navigation Payload Element of the GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed. The milestone is one of several environmental tests verifying the navigation payload’s quality of workmanship and increased performance compared to the current…

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Stratolaunch switches to Orbital for rocket

Posted December 7, 2012 by Raphael Jaffe

Stratolaunch Systems and SpaceX are ending their joint plan that would have had SpaceX supply the rocket that the mothership takes to launch altitude. Instead, Orbital Sciences Corp. is doing design studies for such a space vehicle. The parting of ways is amicable, and opens up a significant new project for Orbital. Stratolaunch CEO Gary…

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SOFIA spots recent starburst in the Milky Way galaxyís center

Posted January 10, 2013 by

NASA photograph SOFIA/FORCAST mid-infrared image of the Milky Way galaxyís nucleus showing the Circumnuclear Ring of gas and dust clouds orbiting a central supermassive black hole. The bright Y-shaped feature is believed to be material falling from the ring toward the black hole that is located where the arms of the ìYî intersect. Researchers using…

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NASA to launch ocean wind monitor to space station

Posted January 30, 2013 by

In a clever reuse of hardware originally built to test parts of NASA’s QuikScat satellite, the agency will launch the ISS-RapidScat instrument to the International Space Station in 2014 to measure ocean-surface wind speed and direction. The ISS-RapidScat instrument will help improve weather forecasts, including hurricane monitoring, and understanding of how ocean-atmosphere interactions influence Earth’s…

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NASA’s NuSTAR helps solve riddle of black hole spin

Posted February 27, 2013 by

Two X-ray space observatories, NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton, have teamed up to measure definitively, for the first time, the spin rate of a black hole with a mass 2 million times that of our sun. The supermassive black hole lies at the dust and gas-filled heart of…

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NASA awards contract modification for support At Michoud Assembly Facility

Posted March 22, 2013 by

NASA has signed a one-year contract option with Jacobs Technology, Inc., of New Orleans to continue manufacturing support and facilities operations at the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The one-year contract option begins on May 1. The contract is a performance-based, cost-plus-award-fee, mission services contract with an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity portion. With the exercise…

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NASA probe observes meteors colliding with Saturn’s rings

Posted April 26, 2013 by

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has provided the first direct evidence of small meteoroids breaking into streams of rubble and crashing into Saturn’s rings. These observations make Saturn’s rings the only location besides Earth, the moon, and Jupiter where scientists and amateur astronomers have been able to observe impacts as they occur. Studying the impact rate of…

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Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engines boost latest communication satellite into orbit

Posted May 29, 2013 by

CANOGA PARK, Calif. – Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engines provided the power to successfully place the fifth in a series of Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-5) communication satellites into orbit May 24 for the U.S. military. The mission was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV medium rocket with…

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NASA’s Voyager 1 explores final frontier of our ‘solar bubble’

Posted June 28, 2013 by

Data from Voyager 1, now more than 11 billion miles from the sun, suggest the spacecraft is closer to becoming the first human-made object to reach interstellar space. Research using Voyager 1 data and published in the journal Science June 27 provides new detail on the last region the spacecraft will cross before it leaves…

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Lockheed Martin delivers upgraded Orion in 10 months

Posted July 26, 2013 by

Lockheed Martin achieved an unprecedented milestone by delivering a U.S. Customs and Border Protection P-3 Orion aircraft in 10 months – and 78 days early – on July 18. This is the eighth of 14 aircraft in the program to receive Mid-Life Upgrade modifications and phased depot maintenance. It will soon join the CBP P-3…

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