NASA postpones launch of Glory mission

WASHINGTON — The launch of NASA’s Glory spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California has been postponed at least 24 hours.
During the final 15 minutes before Wednesday’s scheduled launch of 5:09 a.m. EST, the vehicle interface control …

Catching space weather in the act

Close to the globe, Earth’s magnetic field wraps around the planet like a gigantic spherical web, curving in to touch Earth at the poles. But this isn’t true as you get further from the planet. As you move to the high altitudes where satellites …

2-timing spacecraft has date with another comet

NASA’s Stardust spacecraft, equipped with the University of Chicago’s Dust Flux Monitor Instrument (DFMI), is hurtling at more than 24,000 miles an hour toward a Valentine’s Day encounter with comet Tempel 1.
Stardust will approach to within 124…

Planck space observatory releases first data

The first scientific results from Europe’s Planck spacecraft were released at a press briefing today in Paris. The findings, focusing on the coldest objects in the Universe – both within our galaxy and also out to the most distant reaches of space -…

NASA extends TIMED mission for fourth time

Nine years after beginning its unprecedented look at the gateway between Earth’s environment and space, not to mention collecting more data on the upper atmosphere than any other satellite, NASA’s Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics an…

New Soyuz spacecraft cleared for mission with ESA astronaut

The new Soyuz TMA spacecraft, which will carry ESA astronaut Pedro Duque to the ISS and back in October 2003, has been fully approved for operations. This was announced by Nikolai Zelenshikov, First Deputy President of RSC Energia, at an official briefing in Moscow on 26 May to present the findings of the enquiry commission’s investigation of last month’s ballistic re-entry by Soyuz TMA-1.

NASA funds $173 million auroral satellite mission

NASA has awarded the University of California, Berkeley, a $173 million contract to build and operate a fleet of five satellites to pinpoint the event in Earth’s magnetic neighborhood that triggers violent but colorful eruptions in the Northern and Southern lights. The aurora borealis and aurora australis are shimmering light shows that brighten the polar nights, generated by showers of electrons descending along magnetic field lines onto the poles. These high-speed electrons spark colored lights as they hit the atmosphere, much like a color TV lights up when an electron beam hits the phosphorescent screen.

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