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NASA Dawn spacecraft sees hydrated minerals on giant asteroid

Posted September 21, 2012 by

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed the giant asteroid Vesta has its own version of ring around the collar. Two new papers, based on observations from the low-altitude mapping orbit of the Dawn mission, show volatile, or easily evaporated, materials have colored Vesta’s surface in a broad swath around its equator. The volatiles were released from…

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NASA Mars rover targets unusual rock en route to first destination

Posted September 21, 2012 by

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has driven up to a football-size rock that will be the first for the rover’s arm to examine. Curiosity is about 8 feet (2.5 meters) from the rock. It lies about halfway from Curiosity’s landing site, Bradbury Landing, to a location called Glenelg. In coming days, the team plans to touch…

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Ball Aerospace ships first James Webb Space Telescope mirrors to NASA

Posted September 19, 2012 by

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. began the process of shipping the finished NASA James Webb Space Telescope mirrors to Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Sept. 14, 2012. Ball Aerospace, under contract to Northrop Grumman, is responsible for the Webb’s optical technology and lightweight mirror system. Two of the 18 beryllium primary mirror segments that…

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NASA telescopes spy ultra-distant galaxy amidst cosmic ‘dark ages’

Posted September 19, 2012 by

With the combined power of NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, as well as a cosmic magnification effect, astronomers have spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen. ight from the young galaxy captured by the orbiting observatories first shone when our 13.7-billion-year-old universe was just 500 million years old. The far-off galaxy…

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NASA selects engineering product information contractor

Posted September 18, 2012 by

NASA has selected S&K Global Solutions LLC of Polson, Mont., to consolidate contractor support into an integrated infrastructure approach for the Engineering Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The three-year, cost-plus fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract begins Oct. 18, 2012, and includes a single two-year option. Work worth as much as $49.9 million may…

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Annual space, missile pioneers inducted

Posted September 18, 2012 by by Lt. Col. Katherine Pallozzi

In celebration of the Air Force Space Command's 30th anniversary, Gen. William L. Shelton inducted the command's 2012 Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Sept. 17 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

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International Space Station astronauts land safely in Kazakhstan

Posted September 17, 2012 by

Three members of the Expedition 32 crew undocked from the International Space Station and returned safely to Earth Sept. 16, wrapping up a mission lasting more than four months. Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA, and Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin of the Russian Federal Space Agency, undocked their Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft…

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First planets found around sun-like stars in a cluster

Posted September 17, 2012 by

NASA-funded astronomers have, for the first time, spotted planets orbiting sun-like stars in a crowded cluster of stars. The findings offer the best evidence yet planets can sprout up in dense stellar environments. Although the newfound planets are not habitable, their skies would be starrier than what we see from Earth. The starry-skied planets are…

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NASA Mars rover Opportunity reveals geological mystery

Posted September 17, 2012 by

NASA’s long-lived rover Opportunity has returned an image of the Martian surface that is puzzling researchers. Spherical objects concentrated at an outcrop Opportunity reached last week differ in several ways from iron-rich spherules nicknamed “blueberries” the rover found at its landing site in early 2004 and at many other locations to date. Opportunity is investigating…

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ULA Atlas V rocket successfully launches fourth NRO payload in five months

Posted September 17, 2012 by

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 2:39 p.m., PDT, Sept. 13. Designated NROL-36, the mission is in support of national defense. “Today’s successful launch of the NROL-36 mission occurred on the same day…

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