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NASA progressing toward first launch of Orion spacecraft

Posted December 14, 2012 by

Recent engineering advances by NASA and its industry partners across the country show important progress toward Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), the next step to launching humans to deep space. The uncrewed EFT-1 mission, launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2014, will test the re-entry performance of the agency’s Orion capsule, the most…

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Beating heart of J-2X engine finishes year of successful NASA tests

Posted December 14, 2012 by

J-2X Powerpack Completes Testing NASA Dec. 13 took another step toward human exploration of new destinations in the solar system. At the agency’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, engineers conducted the final test-firing of the J-2X powerpack assembly, an important component of America’s next heavy-lift rocket. The J-2X engine is the first human-rated liquid oxygen…

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NASA hosts social media event at TDRS-K launch in Florida

Posted December 14, 2012 by

NASA will give 70 of its social media followers an insider’s look at America’s space program and the opportunity to see a launch in-person. The NASA Social, scheduled for Jan. 28-29 to coincide with the launch of NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K (TDRS-K), will be held at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida….

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NASA Astrobiology Institute shows how wide binary stars form

Posted December 12, 2012 by

Using computer simulations, scientists from the NASA Astrobiology Institute team at the University of Hawaii are shedding light on a question that has challenged astronomers for years: What causes wide binary stars? Binary stars are pairs of stars that orbit each other. Wide binary stars are separated by as much as one light-year in their…

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Hubble provides first census of galaxies near cosmic dawn

Posted December 12, 2012 by

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers announced Dec. 12 they have seen further back in time than ever before and have uncovered a previously unseen population of seven primitive galaxies that formed more than 13 billion years ago, when the universe was less than 3 percent of its present age. The deepest images to date…

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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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