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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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MEXSAT Bicentenario satellite sends first signals from space

Posted December 21, 2012 by

The MEXSAT Bicentenario satellite, built by Boeing partner Orbital Sciences Corporation, sent its first signals from space Dec. 19 following launch from Kourou aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. Bicentenario is the first of three MEXSAT satellites for the Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes of Mexico that will enhance the country’s communications for domestic, military, civil…

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Air Force photograph by A1C Gustavo Castillo
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Despite smaller budget, Air Force seeks to protect satellites

Posted January 23, 2013 by Cheryl Pellerin

Despite tremendous budget uncertainty and a shrinking bottom line, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said that he will do his best to protect all of the Air Force’s satellite constellations. Speaking with reporters at a recent meeting of the Defense Writers Group, Air Force Gen. William L. Shelton called the range of…

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NASA awards program integration contract for Orion

Posted February 13, 2013 by

NASA has selected ARES Technical Services Corp. of Burlingame, Calif., for its program integration contract for Orion. The cost-plus-fixed-fee services contract has a potential value of $49 million, including options. The contract begins April 1 with a base performance period of two-and-a-half years followed by two one-year options and includes indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity task orders. ARES…

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NASA astronaut George Zamka leaves agency

Posted March 15, 2013 by

NASA astronaut George Zamka has left the agency and accepted a position with the Federal Aviation Administration supporting Commercial Space Transportation. A veteran of two spaceflights, Zamka served first as pilot on STS-120 in 2007 and three years later as commander on STS-130 in 2010. Before joining NASA, Zamka served in the U.S. Marine Corps…

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NASA selects Explorer projects to probe Earth’s upper atmosphere

Posted April 15, 2013 by

NASA has selected a new satellite mission and a new space-based instrument to begin development as part of the agency’s Heliophysics Explorer Program. The projects will provide space observations to study Earth’s ionosphere and thermosphere. The Ionospheric Connection (ICON) mission, led by Thomas Immel of the University of California, Berkeley, will probe the extreme variability…

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Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser testing begins at NASA Dryden, Langley

Posted May 15, 2013 by

EDWARDS, Calif. — Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems Dream Chaser flight vehicle arrived at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., May 15 to begin tests of its flight and runway landing systems. The tests are part of pre-negotiated, paid-for-performance milestones with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is facilitating U.S.-led companies’ development of spacecraft…

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NASA’s Webb Telescope’s last backbone component completed

Posted June 17, 2013 by

Assembly of the backbone of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the primary mirror backplane support structure, is a step closer to completion with the recent addition of the backplane support frame, a fixture that will be used to connect all the pieces of the telescope together. The backplane support frame will bring together Webb’s center…

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NASA’s Hubble shows link between stars’ ages and their orbits

Posted July 19, 2013 by

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have determined the orbital motion of two distinct populations of stars in an ancient globular star cluster, offering proof they formed at different times and providing a rare look back into the Milky Way galaxy’s early days. Researchers led by Harvey Richer of the University of British Columbia in…

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope finds source of Magellanic Stream

Posted August 9, 2013 by

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have solved a 40-year mystery on the origin of the Magellanic Stream, a long ribbon of gas stretching nearly halfway around our Milky Way galaxy. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, are at the head of the gaseous stream. Since the stream’s…

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