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Mercury probe confirms ice at poles

Posted November 30, 2012 by Raphael Jaffe

Instruments aboard NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft studying the planet Mercury have provided compelling support for the long-held hypothesis the planet harbors abundant water ice within its permanently shadowed polar craters. There is also evidence of a dark insulating material above some of the ice, which is believed to be…

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Researchers test novel power system for space travel

Posted November 28, 2012 by

A team of researchers, including engineers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, N.M., has demonstrated a new concept for a reliable nuclear reactor that could be used on space flights. The research team recently demonstrated the first use of a heat pipe to cool a small nuclear reactor and power a Stirling engine at the Nevada…

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NASA seeks concepts for innovative uses of large space telescopes

Posted November 28, 2012 by

NASA is exploring options for innovative and imaginative uses of two large space telescopes recently transferred to the agency. In a request for information published Nov. 26, NASA seeks information about system concepts and architectures that would take advantage of these assets to address NASA’s goals in astrophysics, heliophysics, planetary sciences, and human spaceflight. “Because…

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NASA seeks public’s input on improving digital communications

Posted November 28, 2012 by

As its digital-communications team prepares for the next redesign of NASA.gov, NASA is asking the public for thoughts on what the agency should be doing on its website. NASA has set up a forum on Ideascale to allow users to submit, comment on and vote on ideas. Opened Nov. 19, the forum already has received…

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Navy announces first MUOS satellite accepted for initial operational use

Posted November 26, 2012 by

The Navy announced Nov. 21 that U.S. Strategic Command has accepted the first Mobile User Objective System satellite for initial operational use. MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical communications system designed to improve communications for U.S. forces on the move. The Naval Satellite Operations Center at Point Mugu, Calif., began “flying” the satellite in June….

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Boeing partner Orbital completes MEXSAT Bicentenario satellite

Posted November 26, 2012 by

Boeing and partner Orbital Sciences Corporation a step closer to helping the government of Mexico provide advanced communications services throughout the country and surrounding maritime area with the completion of the MEXSAT Bicentenario communications satellite. Orbital designed, manufactured and tested MEXSAT Bicentenario before shipping the completed spacecraft to Kourou, French Guiana, where it is scheduled…

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EchoStar, Arianespace sing new satellite launch services contract

Posted November 26, 2012 by

EchoStar Corp. and Arianespace, SA, have reached an agreement to launch multiple new satellites over a multi-year period from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana. The new contract will provide EchoStar with launch capacity and flexibility for its industry-leading satellite program. “In July, EchoStar’s wholly owned subsidiary, Hughes completed the successful launch of EchoStar XVII with…

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NASA, Roscosmos assign veteran crew to year-long space station mission

Posted November 26, 2012 by

NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and their international partners have selected two veteran spacefarers for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station in 2015. This mission will include collecting scientific data important to future human exploration of our solar system. NASA has selected Scott Kelly and Roscosmos has chosen Mikhail Kornienko. Kelly…

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Space Systems/Loral-built satellite for Echostar successfully launched, begins post-launch maneuvers

Posted November 21, 2012 by

Space Systems/Loral, a leading provider of commercial satellites, announced Nov. 21 that the EchoStar XVI satellite, designed and built for EchoStar Corporation, was launched Nov. 20 and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan. The satellite deployed its solar arrays on schedule following its launch aboard a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle provided by…

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Morin talks space superiority at AFA conference

Posted November 21, 2012 by MSgt. Angelita Colón-Francia

Acting Under Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Jamie Morin addressed more than 320 Airmen, industry officials and Air Force Association members at AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles, Calif., Nov. 15. Morin opened the symposium with a discussion on space superiority as an enduring source of American strength. “Space is a fundamental pillar…

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