Refurbished Hubble Ready to Meet the Public

Refurbished Hubble Ready to Meet the Public

Results from the freshly refurbished Hubble Space Telescope are about to be put on display along with the STS-125 space shuttle crew that made it all possible. NASA will hold two press conferences next week, at 11:00 am and noon EDT on September 9, to show off new images and the crew. See NASA’s press …

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Ares Rocket Test Rescheduled for September 10

Ares Rocket Test Rescheduled for September 10

Space.com is reporting today that the new target date for testing the Ares rocket motor is September 10 at ATK’s facilities in Promontory Utah. The first attempt was scrubbed 20 seconds prior to ignition on August 27. Indications were that there was a problem with an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), but engineers have determined that …

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Mount Wilson Observatory Situation Improving

Mount Wilson Observatory Situation Improving

UPDATE: 6:30 PM EDT, Wednesday, September 2 According to the Associated Press, Mt. Wilson isn’t out of the woods yet, but the situation is improving. Observatory Director McAlister continues to post updates, but the web address has changed again. Currently they are being posted at http://www.chara.gsu.edu/CHARA/MWO/fire.php. The UCLA Towercam is not operating any longer, apparently …

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To Boldly Go — And Not Come Back?

To Boldly Go — And Not Come Back?

One option for human exploration of Mars that gets little attention or discussion is whether these new explorers should plan on a one-way trip. Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University and author of “The Physics of Star Trek” advocates this approach in an op-ed for the August 31, 2009 New …

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NASA's Orion Spacecraft Passes PDR

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Passes PDR

NASA’s Orion spacecraft has successfully completed its preliminary design review (PDR), according to the agency. Orion and its Ares launch vehicle are part of NASA’s Constellation program to replace the space shuttle and ferry crews to the International Space Station (ISS) and return humans to the Moon by 2020. Reminiscent of an Apollo capsule, Orion …

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Washington Post Endorses Commercial Human Space Flight

Washington Post Endorses Commercial Human Space Flight

An editorial in today’s Washington Post issued a rallying call for NASA to embrace entrepreneurial space companies. Here’s an excerpt: “Now that the station is nearly complete, this might be an optimal time to open space to entrepreneurs. Many companies claim they possess the capacity to transport humans and payloads into space; the [Augustine] review …

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California Fire Now Threatens Mount Wilson Observatory

California Fire Now Threatens Mount Wilson Observatory

The fire raging near Los Angeles, CA now threatens Mount Wilson and the astronomical observatory and bevy of cell phone and television and radio transmission towers atop it, according to the Associated Press. “Fire crews set backfires and sprayed fire retardant at Mount Wilson, home to at least 20 television transmission towers, radio and cell …

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India Loses Contact with Its Moon Probe

India Loses Contact with Its Moon Probe

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has lost contact with its Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiting spacecraft. According to the Times of India, ISRO has not formally given up on regaining contact with the probe, but the chances do not appear promising. ISRO officials state that the probe completed 95% of its scientific objectives even though it …

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Politifact.com Cites Obama "Promises Kept" on Space Activities

Politifact.com Cites Obama "Promises Kept" on Space Activities

Politifact.com, which describes itself as a project of the St. Petersburg Times “to help you find the truth in American politics,” has begun updating its entries on whether President Obama is upholding his campaign promises about the space program. Four recently updated entries give the President two “promises kept” and two “in the works.” The …

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Thales Alenia Space Gets Bad News, Good News

Thales Alenia Space Gets Bad News, Good News

Indonesia’s Palapa D telecommunications satellite, built by the European company Thales Alenia Space, failed to reach the correct orbit after being launched by a Chinese Long March 3B rocket today, according to China Daily. The failure is being investigated. Thales Alenia Space is getting some better news today, however. The space shuttle Discovery successfully docked …

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