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Posts Tagged ‘spaceflight’

Coverage Set For Next International Space Station Crew Launch


NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of prelaunch, launch and docking activities of the next trio of crew members who will fly to the International Space Station.

NASA TV coverage of the Soyuz TMA-05M launch begins at 8:30 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 14. NASA Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, veteran Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will launch to the station at 9:40 p.m. (8:40 a.m., July 15 Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_M12-127_Expedition_32-33_TV_Coverage.html

Life’s Molecules Could Lie Within Reach Of Mars Curiosity Rover


Stick a shovel in the ground and scoop. That’s about how deep scientists need to go in order to find evidence for ancient life on Mars, if there is any to be found, a new study suggests. That’s within reach of Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover expected to land on the Red Planet next month.

The new findings, which suggest optimal depths and locations to probe for organic molecules like those that compose living organisms as we know them, could help the newest Mars rover scout for evidence of life beneath the surface and within rocks. The results suggest that, should Mars harbor simple organic molecules, NASA’s prospects for discovering them during Curiosity’s explorations are better than previously thought, said Alexander Pavlov of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, lead author of the study.

Full Story: http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2012/2012-32.shtml

NASA Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson Leaves Agency


NASA astronaut Stephen Robinson has left the space agency. Robinson ends his 36-year NASA career as a veteran of three spacewalks with more than 48 days of spaceflight experience. Robinson will become a professor at the University of California at Davis in the fall of 2012. His last day at NASA was June 30.

Robinson began work with NASA as a cooperative education student in 1975 at the agency’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. He was selected for the astronaut corps in 1995. Robinson served as a mission specialist on four spaceflights, including space shuttle missions STS-85 in 1997, STS-95 in 1998, STS-114 in 2005 and STS-130 in 2010.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-227_Robinson_retires.html

NASA Extends Sympathy To Poindexter Family On Death Of Former Astronaut


Former NASA astronaut and space shuttle commander Alan “Dex” Poindexter died while on vacation with his family July 1 in Pensacola, Fla. A veteran of two spaceflights, Poindexter spent a total of 28 days in space.

Poindexter, a U.S. Navy captain, commanded the STS-131 space shuttle Discovery mission to the International Space Station in 2010, delivering more than 13,000 pounds of hardware and equipment. He was the pilot for shuttle Atlantis’ STS-122 mission that delivered and installed the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory on the station in 2008.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-228_Former_Astronaut_Poindexter_Dies.html

Fireworks Over Mars: The Spirit Of 76 Pyrotechnics


One month and a day after celebrating its independence with fireworks exhibitions throughout the country, America will carry its penchant for awe-inspiring aerial pyrotechnic displays to the skies of another world. Some pyrotechnics will be as small as the energy released by a box of matches. One packs the same oomph as a stick of TNT. Whether they be large or small, on the evening of August 5th (Pacific time), all 76 must work on cue as NASA’s next Mars rover, Curiosity, carried by the Mars Science Laboratory, streaks through the Red Planet’s atmosphere on its way to a landing at Gale Crater.

“We are definitely coming in with a bang – or a series of them,” said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “You only get one shot at a Mars landing, and the pyrotechnic charges we are using are great for reliably providing instantaneous, irreversible actions like deploying a parachute or opening a fuel valve.”

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-192

NASA Space Tech Program Selects Technologies For Development And Demonstration On Suborbital Flights


NASA’S Space Technology Program has selected 14 technologies for development and demonstration on commercial reusable suborbital launch vehicles.

The selected proposals offer innovative cutting-edge ideas and approaches for technology in areas including active thermal management, advanced avionics, pinpoint landing and advanced in-space propulsion. They also address many of the high-priority technology needs identified in the recent National Research Council’s Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities report. These payloads will help NASA advance technology development needed to enable NASA’s current and future missions in exploration, science and space operations.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-221_Suborbital_Payloads_Selected.html

Virginia Students To Speak Live With Space Station Resident


More than 200 students will meet at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Va., to speak with Expedition 32 flight engineer Joe Acaba aboard the International Space Station at 8:55 a.m. EDT, Thursday, July 5. Media representatives are invited to attend.

The question-and-answer discussion, coordinated by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the museum, will be broadcast live on NASA Television and include video of Acaba. The students, most of whom are Hispanic, will ask questions about life, work and research on the space station. Several of the questions will be asked and answered in Spanish.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_M12-122_ISS_Educ_Downlink_VA.html

NASA’S Orion Arrives At Kennedy, Work Underway For First Launch


More than 450 guests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida welcomed the arrival of the agency’s first space-bound Orion spacecraft Monday, marking a major milestone in the construction of the vehicle that will carry astronauts farther into space than ever before.

“Orion’s arrival at Kennedy is an important step in meeting the president’s goal to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars in the 2030s,” NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “As NASA acquires services for delivery of cargo and crew to the International Space Station and other low-Earth destinations from private companies, NASA can concentrate its efforts on building America’s next generation space exploration system to reach destinations for discovery in deep space. Delivery of the first space-bound Orion, coupled with recent successes in commercial spaceflight, is proof this national strategy is working.”

Orion will be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed. It will provide emergency abort capability, sustain astronauts during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-225_Orion_Arrives_KSC.html

Trio From International Space Station Lands Safely In Kazakhstan


Three members of the Expedition 31 crew undocked from the International Space Station and returned safely to Earth Sunday, July 1, wrapping up a mission that lasted six-and-a-half months.

Russian Commander Oleg Kononenko, NASA Flight Engineer Don Pettit and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers landed their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 3:14 a.m. CDT (2:14 p.m. local time) after undocking from the space station’s Rassvet module at 11:47 p.m. June 30. The trio, which arrived at the station Dec. 23, 2011, spent a total of 193 days in space, 191 of which were aboard the station.

During their expedition, the crew supported more than 200 scientific investigations involving more than 400 researchers around the world. The studies ranged from integrated investigations of the human cardiovascular and immune systems to fluid, flame and robotic research.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-222_Soyuz_Landing.html

New NASA Game Lets Players Build And Launch A Virtual Rocket


With NASA’s Rocket Science 101, a new game designed for computers and iPad users, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to launch a spacecraft.

NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP), based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, provides access to space for the studies of Earth and exploration of our solar system and the universe. Now, LSP is turning over the virtual selection, construction and launch of a mission to players who will decide the best rocket to assemble to launch a spacecraft. Rocket scientists in LSP do the same thing for real rockets and missions every day.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jun/HQ_12-219_Rocket_Science_101_Game.html