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ISS EVA preview
Astronauts Jeff Williams and Thomas Reiter will conduct a U.S.-based spacewalk outside the International Space Station on August 3. To preview the EVA and the tasks to be accomplished during the excursion, station managers held this press conference from Johnson Space Center in Houston.
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Atlantis on the move
Space shuttle Atlantis is transported to the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building where the ship will be mated to the external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters for a late-August liftoff.
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Discovery ride along!
A camera was mounted in the front of space shuttle Discovery's flight deck looking back at the astronauts during launch. This video shows the final minutes of the countdown and the ride to space with the live launch audio included. The movie shows what it would be like to launch on the shuttle with the STS-121 crew.
Shuttle from the air
A high-altitude WB-57 aircraft flying north of Discovery's launch trajectory captures this incredible aerial footage of the space shuttle's ascent from liftoff through solid rocket booster separation.
This is the full launch experience! The movie begins with the final readiness polls of the launch team. Countdown clocks then resume ticking from the T-minus 9 minute mark, smoothly proceeding to ignition at 2:38 p.m. Discovery rockets into orbit, as seen by ground tracker and a video camera mounted on the external tank. About 9 minutes after liftoff, the engines shut down and the tank is jettisoned as the shuttle arrives in space.
Delta 2 launches MiTEx
MiTEx -- an experimental U.S. military project to test whether the advanced technologies embedded in two miniature satellites and a new upper stage kick motor can operate through the rigors of spaceflight -- is launched from Cape Canaveral aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket.
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NASA picks teams for space weather mission and studies
NASA NEWS RELEASE
Posted: August 1, 2006
Four university teams will share $100 million to provide experiments and supporting hardware for a future NASA mission to study near-Earth space radiation. This type of radiation is hazardous to astronauts, orbiting satellites and aircraft flying high altitude polar routes.
The teams will initially use $4.2 million to perform a one-year cost,
management and technical study prior to assembling and testing their
scientific payload for the mission. The anticipated lifetime cost of
payload development is $96 million.
Called the Radiation Belt Storm Probes, the two-spacecraft mission is
scheduled for launch in 2012. The mission will study how
accumulations of space radiation form and change during space storms.
Space weather storms involve constantly changing magnetic and
electric fields and gusts of radiation particles that produce intense
energy. This energy can black out long-distance communications over
entire continents and disrupt the global navigational system.
"This research will provide information to aid those working in this
environment to respond proactively to space radiation events, rather
than reactively," said NASA's Heliophysics Division director Dick
NASA also has selected three teams to share approximately $2.3 million
to conduct studies for small missions that will augment the 2012
mission. NASA will review the studies and select one investigation
for continued development.
Proposals for the 2012 mission and studies were submitted to NASA in
response to an Announcement of Opportunity released in August 2005.
Selected teams and experiments for the 2012 mission:
- Boston Univ., Boston; directly measure the near-Earth space
radiation particles to determine the physical processes that produce
radiation enhancements and loss
- University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa; understand the origin of plasma
waves that energize space particles to radiation levels; measure the
distortions to Earth's magnetic field that control the structure of
the planet's radiation belts
- University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; study electric fields in space
that energize radiation particles and modify the structure of the
- New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, N.J.; determine how
space weather creates what is called the "storm time ring current"
around Earth and determine how that ring current supplies and
supports the creation of radiation populations
Selected teams for studies and areas of research to augment the 2012
- University of Colorado at Boulder, Colo.; a potential U.S.
contribution of scientific instrumentation for a Canadian scientific
- University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.; measure the response
of the Earth's thermosphere and ionosphere to space weather forces
- Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.; seek to discover the mechanisms
that cause the Earth's radiation belts to periodically drain away
into the planet's atmosphere
The National Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly, Va., plans to enhance
the mission's scientific goals by contributing an experiment to
gather additional data that will better characterize the radiation
environment in space. The experiment will extend the measurement
capabilities to a range beyond what was originally planned for the
These investigations and the Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission are
part of NASA's Living with a Star Program. The program is designed to
understand how and why the sun varies, how planetary systems respond
and the effect on human space and Earth activities.
The program is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,
Greenbelt, Md., for the agency's Heliophysics Division of the Science