Exploration News - 25 February 2013

22 February 2013
Kennedy Engineers Designing Plant Habitat For ISS
A group of engineers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is developing a plant habitat with a large growth chamber to learn the effects of long-duration microgravity exposure to plants in space.
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21 February 2013
Time for Europe to beef up asteroid vigilance: ESA
Europe must strengthen its watch for dangerous space rocks, the head of the European Space Agency's asteroid surveillance programme said Thursday, a week after a meteor struck Russia in a blinding fireball. Nicolas Bobrinsky, in charge of ESA's four-year-old Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme, said his unit would inaugurate a centre in Rome on May 22 to coordinate observatories' sightings of passing asteroids.
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21 February 2013
India plans mission to Mars in 2013
India said on Thursday it will send a $70 million space mission to Mars this year to study the red planet's atmosphere.
The unmanned Mars orbiter mission, to be launched in October by the Indian Space Research Organisation, will undertake a 300-day journey to the planet to collect data about its climate and geology.
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21 February 2013
NASA Rover Confirms First Drilled Mars Rock Sample
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has relayed new images that confirm it has successfully obtained the first sample ever collected from the interior of a rock on another planet. No rover has ever drilled into a rock beyond Earth and collected a sample from its interior.
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Read more: Exploration News - 25 February 2013

Exploration News - 07 February 2013

06 February 2013
Asteroid 2012 DA14 - Earth Flyby Reality Check
Small near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass very close to Earth on February 15, so close that it will pass inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites. NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office can accurately predict the asteroid's path with the observations obtained, and it is therefore known that there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth.
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05 February 2013
NASA to Launch Ocean Wind Monitor to ISS
In a clever reuse of hardware originally built to test parts of NASA's QuikScat satellite, the agency will launch the ISS-RapidScat instrument to the International Space Station in 2014 to measure ocean surface wind speed and direction.
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04 February 2013
Astrium wins ESA contracts to design Ariane 6 and continue development of Ariane 5 ME
The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded Astrium, Europe's leading space technology company, euro 108 million worth of prime contractor agreements covering the development of the Ariane 6 and Ariane 5 ME launchers. The contracts follow on from the decisions reached at the ESA Ministerial Council meeting in Naples on 20-21 November 2012.
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Read more: Exploration News - 07 February 2013

Exploration News - 22 January 2013

22 January 2013
Russia to Sign Final Mars Probe Deal in March
Russia's space agency Roscosmos and its European counterpart the European Space Agency (ESA) will sign a final agreement on March 15 on the ExoMars project, whose goal is to send unmanned probes to Mars, Roscosmos spokeswoman Anna Vedisheva said on Tuesday. A meeting took place on Tuesday between the two agencies' managers, Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin and ESA boss Jean-Jacques Dordain, at which the two sides exchanged information about their work on the project and affirmed the final wording of the Russian and English agreement texts.
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22 January 2013
UK Space Agency unveils new chief
Dr David Parker takes the top job at a time when British orbital activity is experiencing a great renaissance.
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22 January 2013
New venture 'to mine asteroids'
A new venture is joining the effort to extract mineral resources on asteroids. The announcement of plans by Deep Space Industries to exploit the rare metals present in the space rocks turns asteroid mining into a two-horse race. The other venture, Planetary Resources, went public with its proposals last year.
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Read more: Exploration News - 22 January 2013

Exploration News - 31 December 2012

31 December 2012
Rover-Themed Badge on Foursquare
NASA and the mobile application Foursquare have teamed up to help you unlock your scientific curiosity with a new rover-themed Curiosity Explorer badge. Users of the Foursquare social media platform can earn the badge by liking NASA on Foursquare and checking in at a NASA visitor center or venue categorized as a science museum or planetarium. The launch of the badge follows the October check-in on Mars by NASA's Curiosity rover, which marked the first check-in on another planet. Foursquare users can keep up with Curiosity as the rover checks in at key locations and posts photos and tips, all while exploring the Red Planet.
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30 December 2012
Curiosity Rover Takes Detailed Self-Portrait on Mars
A series of photos taken by NASA's Curiosity and combined into a single composite picture offer a rare, detailed glimpse of the rover patrolling the surface of Mars on a rocky terrain with its target destination-Mount Sharp-in the background.
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28 December 2012
Russia upgrading booster rocket for NASA manned missions
Russia was modernizing a booster which U.S. space agency NASA would use for manned flights, a Russian rocket engine manufacturer said Wednesday. "We are adjusting the RD-180 engine for manned missions," Executive Director of NPO Energomash company Vladimir Solntsev told reporters, adding the adaptation work started in early 2012.
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28 December 2012
China forms key lab for cryogenic propellant
China has established its first key national laboratory for space cryogenic propellant research, which will provide technological support for the country's future space missions.
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Read more: Exploration News - 31 December 2012

Exploration News - 13 January 2013

11 January 2013
NASA, Bigelow Officials to Discuss Space Station Expandable Module
NASA has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide a new addition to the International Space Station. The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module will demonstrate the benefits of this space habitat technology for future exploration and commercial space endeavors. More details will be given during a media event at 1:30 p.m. EST (10:30 a.m. PST) Wednesday, 16 January at Bigelow Aerospace facilities
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11 January 2013
SpaceX sets March 1 for launch to ISS
U..S. commercial space company SpaceX says it has picked March 1 for the next launch of its Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. The company requested the date from the Cape Canaveral, Fla., spaceport it uses for launching its Falcon rockets.
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11 January 2013
NASA Selects High-performing Interns As Student Ambassadors
NASA has inducted 86 top-performing interns into the 2013 NASA Student Ambassadors Virtual Community, a vital component of the agency's ongoing effort to engage undergraduate and graduate students in science, engineering, mathematics and technology (STEM) research and interactive opportunities. This fifth group of student ambassadors, Cohort V, includes interns from 32 states and 70 different universities. "The NASA Student Ambassadors Virtual Community will serve as an outreach vehicle to the nation's students as well as a way to engage exceptional NASA interns, fellows and scholars," said Mabel Jones Matthews, director of the Infrastructure Division in NASA's Office of Education. "This innovative activity is a leading effort to help NASA attract, engage, educate and employ the dynamic next generation."
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Read more: Exploration News - 13 January 2013

Exploration News - 07 December 2012

06 December 2012
Report: NASA is broken and it's up to us to fix it
In 2011, NASA commissioned the National Research Council to put together a report to serve as a "comprehensive independent assessment of NASA's strategic direction and agency management." That report, released yesterday, reads as a damning litany of what's wrong with one of the United States government's crown jewels. NASA, for all its accomplishments over the past fifty years, is a sinking ship. Altogether, the report lists four primary areas that should be NASA's focus: manned spaceflight, Earth and space science, aeronautics, and technology development. The lack of focus in the manned space program is obvious to even casual observers, but the report also highlights serious issues in both funding and direction across the board at NASA, affecting the other focus areas as well.
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see the report released on 05 December 2012 here:
National Disagreement Over NASA's Goals and Objectives Detrimental to Agency Planning, Budgeting Efforts

06 December 2012
To the moon and back for less than 2 billion dollars
Two former top NASA officials unveiled plans Thursday to sell manned flights to the moon by the end of the decade, in an announcement 40 years after the last human set foot there.
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The website of the company:

04 December 2012
NASA to send new rover to Mars in 2020
NASA plans to send a new rover to Mars in 2020 as it prepares for a manned mission to the Red Planet, the US space agency said Tuesday. The announcement came a day after NASA released the results of the first soil tested by the Curiosity rover, which found traces of some of the compounds like water and oxygen that are necessary for life.
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related:
NASA Announces Multi-Year Mars Program With New Rover In 2020
The Obama administration is committed to a robust Mars exploration program," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "With this next mission, we're ensuring America remains the world leader in the exploration of the Red Planet, while taking another significant step toward sending humans there in the 2030s."
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Read more: Exploration News - 07 December 2012