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‘This Week in Space’


SpaceShipTwo Success! First Powered Flight

April 29th, 2013

UPDATE: For the first time ever, SpaceShipTwo fired its rocket engine in flight! A major milestone in commercial human spaceflight. According to a Virgin Galactic report: “Wheels stop—SpaceShipTwo safely on the ground after a triumphant day in the sky. So proud of our team!” SpaceShipTwo pilots Stucky and Alsbury confirm: SpaceShipTwo exceeded the speed of […]

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Ice at the Moon’s South Pole: Location for Future Moon Habitat?

June 21st, 2012

The Moon is taking on an icy look thanks to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft. Using a laser altimeter on the LRO, a research team essentially has illuminated the crater’s interior of Shackleton crater. Scientists from MIT, Brown University, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and other institutions have mapped Shackleton crater with unprecedented detail. […]

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Asteroid Exploration

Sizing Up Space Rocks: Vesta – a Clear Winner!

July 19th, 2011

After nearly four years traveling through space, the NASA Dawn spacecraft reached its destination and entered orbit around the asteroid Vesta on 16 July 16th. Scientists will create detailed maps and elevation models of this celestial body, which is located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn’s data gathering is expected to […]

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Benefits of Space Exploration

New Survey Findings: Public Support for NASA/Space Shuttle

July 13th, 2011

A just released Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey has found that 50% of Americans polled say the Space Shuttle program worth what it cost taxpayers. As the last U.S. space shuttle now circles the planet, the survey found that Americans are slightly more supportive of the NASA program than they were a year-and-a-half ago. These […]

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Asteroid Exploration

Visionary Quest to Asteroid Vesta: Arrival July 16

July 11th, 2011

Standby for up-close looks at the large asteroid Vesta! This object resides in the main asteroid belt and is the target of NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. Spacecraft controllers are ready to go into orbit around Vesta on July 16. Once on duty, scientists will begin gathering data in early August. “The spacecraft is right on target,” […]

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Anniversary of the First Nuclear Space Flight

June 29th, 2011

This day…50 years ago! The Earth-orbiting Transit IV-A became the first flight test of a nuclear power source developed for use in spacecraft. Transit IV-A was powered both by solar cells and a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) using Plutonium 238 for fuel. Built for the U.S. Navy by the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins […]

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