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NASA budget hearing
This U.S. Senate space subcommittee hearing to examine NASA's proposed Fiscal Year 2008 budget features testimony from NASA Administrator Mike Griffin on February 28.

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Hail delays Atlantis
Launch of space shuttle Atlantis is postponed after golf ball-sized hail from a severe storm damaged the foam insulation on the external fuel tank. NASA announces the delay and plans to return the shuttle to the Vehicle Assembly Building for repairs.

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STS-116: ISS re-wiring
Spacewalking astronauts on the December 2006 flight of shuttle Discovery performed a delicate re-wiring of the International Space Station's electrical system and retracted a stubborn solar array wing. The work accomplished critical steps in preparing the station to power the upcoming international science laboratory modules. Some members of the STS-116 crew narrate the highlights of the mission in this post-flight film.

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STS-111: ISS arm gets new mobility
Shuttle Endeavour's visit to the space station in June 2002 brought up the Expedition 5 long-duration resident crew, a load of supplies and the Mobile Base System to serve as the platform for moving the station's robotic arm up and down the truss backbone. The shuttle crew also performed some surgery on the robot arm by replacing a failed joint. The crew narrates the highlights of STS-111 in this post-flight film.

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Delta 2 launches THEMIS
The United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket roared away from Cape Canaveral Saturday carrying a quintet of NASA probes that seek to understand the physics behind auroral displays.

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STS-117: Astronauts meet the press
The STS-117 astronauts meet the press during the traditional pre-flight news conference held at the Johnson Space Center a month prior to launch. The six-person crew will deliver and activate a solar-power module for the International Space Station.

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Pluto probe's amazing view of the volcanic moon Io
NEW HORIZONS PHOTO RELEASE
Posted: March 1, 2007


Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
 
This dramatic image of Io was taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons at 11:04 Universal Time on February 28, 2007, just about 5 hours after the spacecraft's closest approach to Jupiter. The distance to Io was 2.5 million kilometers (1.5 million miles) and the image is centered at 85 degrees west longitude. At this distance, one LORRI pixel subtends 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) on Io.

This processed image provides the best view yet of the enormous 290-kilometer (180-mile) high plume from the volcano Tvashtar, in the 11 o'clock direction near Io's north pole. The plume was first seen by the Hubble Space Telescope two weeks ago and then by New Horizons on February 26 (seen below); this image is clearer than the February 26 image because Io was closer to the spacecraft, the plume was more backlit by the Sun, and a longer exposure time (75 milliseconds versus 20 milliseconds) was used. Io's dayside was deliberately overexposed in this picture to image the faint plumes, and the long exposure also provided an excellent view of Io's night side, illuminated by Jupiter. The remarkable filamentary structure in the Tvashtar plume is similar to details glimpsed faintly in 1979 Voyager images of a similar plume produced by Io's volcano Pele. However, no previous image by any spacecraft has shown these mysterious structures so clearly.

The image also shows the much smaller symmetrical fountain of the plume, about 60 kilometers (or 40 miles) high, from the Prometheus volcano in the 9 o'clock direction. The top of a third volcanic plume, from the volcano Masubi, erupts high enough to catch the setting Sun on the night side near the bottom of the image, appearing as an irregular bright patch against Io's Jupiter-lit surface. Several Everest-sized mountains are highlighted by the setting Sun along the terminator, the line between day and night.

This is the last of a handful of LORRI images that New Horizons is sending "home" during its busy close encounter with Jupiter - hundreds of images and other data are being taken and stored onboard. The rest of the images will be returned to Earth over the coming weeks and months as the spacecraft speeds along to Pluto.


Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
 
Above are first images returned to Earth by New Horizons during its close encounter with Jupiter feature the Galilean moon Io, snapped with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) at 0840 UTC on February 26, while the moon was 2.5 million miles (4 million kilometers) from the spacecraft.

Io is intensely heated by its tidal interaction with Jupiter and is thus extremely volcanically active. That activity is evident in these images, which reveal an enormous dust plume, more than 150 miles high, erupting from the volcano Tvashtar. The plume appears as an umbrella-shaped feature of the edge of Io's disk in the 11 o'clock position in the right image, which is a long-exposure (20-millisecond) frame designed specifically to look for plumes like this. The bright spots at 2 o'clock are high mountains catching the setting sun; beyond them the night side of Io can be seen, faintly illuminated by light reflected from Jupiter itself.

The left image is a shorter exposure 3 milliseconds designed to look at surface features. In this frame, the Tvashtar volcano shows as a dark spot, also at 11 o'clock, surrounded by a large dark ring, where an area larger than Texas has been covered by fallout from the giant eruption.

STS-134 Patch

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Final Shuttle Mission Patch

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Apollo Collage
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The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!
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Anniversary Shuttle Patch

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This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
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Mercury anniversary

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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
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Ares 1-X Patch
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Expedition 21
The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.
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Hubble Patch
The official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase.
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