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NASA awards contracts in next step toward safely launching American astronauts from U.S. soil

Posted December 12, 2012 by

NASA announced Dec. 10 the next step in its plan to launch American astronauts from U.S. soil, selecting three companies to conduct activities under contracts that will enable future certification of commercial spacecraft as safe to carry humans to the International Space Station. Advances made by these American companies during the first contract phase known…

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NASA’S Hubble to reveal new findings about the early universe

Posted December 10, 2012 by

WASHINGTON — NASA will hold a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 12, to discuss the latest findings from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers will report on recent observations of a previously unseen population of primitive galaxies that formed more than 13 billion years ago.   The teleconference panelists are:   – Richard…

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NASA offers opportunities for students to talk to astronauts in space in 2013

Posted December 10, 2012 by

NASA is offering opportunities for schools and educational groups to speak with astronauts aboard the International Space Station to learn about living and working in space. Crew members will be available for question and answer sessions in 2013. NASA offers two options for students to interact with astronauts — in-flight education downlinks and Amateur Radio…

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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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Breakthrough jet/rocket engine announced

Posted December 7, 2012 by Raphael Jaffe

Reaction Engines Ltd. of Great Britain has announced successful tests of its light weight heat exchanger, a critical component of its Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine. The engine functions as both an air breathing jet, and then switches to use stored liquid oxygen, as does a rocket engine. Their studies show that single stage to orbit…

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ViaSat completes Phase 1 UHF Satcom Integrated Waveform Installation for United Kingdom

Posted December 7, 2012 by

ViaSat Inc. has successfully implemented an Integrated Waveform Network Control Station for the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. The IW is designed to allow the MOD to make the most efficient use of its UHF satcom assets with seamless voice and data assignments across 5 and 25 kHz UHF channels. Additional benefits include significantly improved…

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Fermi improves its vision for thunderstorm gamma-ray flashes

Posted December 7, 2012 by

Thanks to improved data analysis techniques and a new operating mode, the Gamma-ray Burst Monitor aboard NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is now 10 times better at catching the brief outbursts of high-energy light mysteriously produced above thunderstorms. The outbursts, known as terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, last only a few thousandths of a second, but their…

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SAIC to provide Blue Devil operations, maintenance support services to AFRL

Posted December 7, 2012 by

Science Applications International Corporation has been awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to provide Blue Devil Block 1 (Blue Devil) Outside the Continental United States operations and maintenance support services to the AFRL Sensors Directorate. The single-award cost-plus fixed-fee contract has a one-year period of performance and a total contract…

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NASA offers high school girls a chance to jump-start their future

Posted December 7, 2012 by

NASA is offering high school junior girls from across the United States an opportunity to jump-start their future by participating in the Women In STEM High School Aerospace Scholars program for 2013. WISH participants will participate in online forums focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics, and complete online activities to qualify for a…

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Third Boeing GPS IIF begins operation after early handover to U.S. Air Force

Posted December 5, 2012 by

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – A third Boeing GPS IIF satellite has completed on-orbit checkout and is now part of the active 31-satellite GPS constellation, providing improved performance for both military and civilian users. GPS IIF-3, now designated SVN-65, is being operated by the 50th Space Wing’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base,…

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