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NASA twin spacecraft create most accurate gravity map of Moon

Posted December 5, 2012 by

Twin NASA probes orbiting the moon have generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. The new map, created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon’s internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. Data from the two washing machine-sized spacecraft also will…

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NASA announces robust multi-year Mars program

Posted December 5, 2012 by

New rover to close out decade of new missions   Building on the success of Curiosity’s Red Planet landing, NASA has announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars program, including a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020. This announcement affirms the agency’s commitment to a bold exploration program that meets our nation’s…

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Mars rover fully analyzes first Martian soil samples

Posted December 5, 2012 by

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil. Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, showed up in samples Curiosity’s arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover. Detection of the substances…

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NASA Opportunity rover finishes walkabout on Mars crater rim

Posted December 5, 2012 by

The latest work assignment for NASA’s long-lived Mars rover Opportunity is a further examination of an area where the robot just completed a walkabout. “If you are a geologist studying a site like this, one of the first things you do is walk the outcrop, and that’s what we’ve done with Opportunity,” said Steve Squyres,…

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Coalition for Space Exploration introduces new leadership for 2013

Posted December 5, 2012 by

The Coalition for Space Exploration Dec. 5 announced veteran aerospace communicators George Torres of ATK and Mary Engola of Ball Aerospace will lead the coalition in 2013. Torres will serve as the new chair and Engola will continue her role as the deputy chair. Each will serve a one-year term, effective January through December 2013….

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Virgin Galactic selects Quantum3Dís advanced simulation platform for spaceship command training

Posted December 3, 2012 by

Quantum3D, Inc., announced Dec. 3 Virgin Galactic, the worldís first commercial spaceline, has ordered Quantum3Dís six-channel IndependenceÆ IDX 7000 image generator. Quantum 3D is a leading provider of visual computing solutions for government and commercial applications. Virgin Galactic will use Quantum3Dís most advanced real-time image generator to train pilots on spaceship equipment and command. Our…

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NASA announces new civil rights compliance Website for grant recipients

Posted December 3, 2012 by

NASA has launched a new website, MissionSTEM.nasa.gov, devoted to broadening the reach of its civil rights technical assistance program. The goal of the site is to increase communication between NASA, its grantee institutions and other stakeholders on civil rights compliance, equal opportunity and diversity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs funded by NASA….

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NASA accepting proposals for reduced gravity education flights

Posted December 3, 2012 by

NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston is accepting applications from teams of kindergarten, elementary and secondary school teachers to conduct scientific experiments aboard the agency’s reduced gravity aircraft next year. The MicroGravity eXperience (Micro GX) flight program will take place July 12-20, 2013, at Johnson. Educators selected to fly also will participate in an online…

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New Earth as Art book illustrates beauty of satellite views

Posted November 30, 2012 by

A stunning array of images of our home planet, taken by Earth-observing science satellites, are featured in a new NASA publication. The book, “Earth as Art,” is available in hardcover, electronically, and as a free iPad application. The 158-page book celebrates the aesthetic beauty of Earth in the patterns, shapes, colors and textures of the…

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Possible cause for Taurus payload fairing shroud failure

Posted November 30, 2012 by Raphael Jaffe

Continued analysis of the payload fairing failure to split and detach from the Orbital Taurus XL launch vehicle has fingered the possible cause. The heat-treated frangible rail designed to fracture when a pyrotechnic charge is detonated post-launch to shed the rocketís payload-fairing shroud has problems. There are potentially some extrusion problems with the way that…

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