Archive

Archive for December 16, 2011

NASA’s Fourth Status Report on Commercial Partners Progress Released

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment

NASA released the fourth in a series of 60-day reports today showing that commercial spaceflight development programs are moving forward. The agency’s U.S. industry partners continue to make progress in developing a transportation system to ferry cargo and U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station. The development of industry systems will allow NASA to concentrate its resources on deep space exploration.

The latest status report highlights the progress and accomplishments for the agency’s commercial spaceflight development efforts. The bi-monthly report is targeted toward non-technical stakeholders and the American public, to inform them of NASA’s achievements in maintaining spaceflight leadership.

NASA’s Commercial Spaceflight Development programs are investing financial and technical resources to stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop and demonstrate safe, reliable, and cost-effective space transportation capabilities.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/dec/HQ_M11-253_CCP_60-day_Report.html

Advertisements

Comet Lovejoy Survives Fiery Plunge Through Sun

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Image Credit: SOHO

Image Credit: SOHO

A newfound comet defied long odds today (Dec. 15), surviving a suicidal dive through the sun’s hellishly hot atmosphere, according to NASA scientists.

Comet Lovejoy plunged through the sun’s corona at about 7 p.m. EST today (midnight GMT on Dec. 16), coming within 87,000 miles (140,000 kilometers) of our star’s surface. Temperatures in the corona can reach 2 million degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 million degrees Celsius), so most researchers expected the icy wanderer to be completely destroyed.

But Lovejoy proved to be made of tough stuff. A video taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) spacecraft showed the icy object emerging from behind the sun and zipping back off into space.

“Breaking News! Lovejoy lives! The comet Lovejoy has survived its journey around the sun to reemerge on the other side,” SDO researchers tweeted today.

Full Story: http://www.space.com/13959-doomed-comet-lovejoy-sun-encounter-wrap.html