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NASA earth study satellite fails to reach orbit

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The earth observation satellite Glory failed to reach orbit on Friday after its protective cover did not detach following its launch, a NASA official said. “The fairing did not separate and the vehicle does not have sufficient velocity with the fairing on to achieve orbit,” an official…

Astronauts install Italian-built module at space lab

WASHINGTON – Astronauts at the orbiting International Space Station on Tuesday installed a permanent Italian-built storage module, while Russia nixed plans to fly around and take pictures of the crowded lab. The flyabout by Russia’s Soyuz capsule would have provided new camera angles on the ISS as well as an…

US astronauts to ‘bottle’ space for Japan

WASHINGTON – Two American astronauts began on Monday the first of two spacewalks to install a permanent spare closet on the orbiting International Space Station and also to bottle some outer space for Japan. The unusual project is part of a team effort with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA,…

Discovery shuttle blasts off on last space odyssey

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AFP) – The shuttle Discovery blasted off on its final mission into orbit, marking the beginning of the end for what has been a central part of the US space program for three decades. NASA’s most journeyed shuttle launched at 4:53 pm (2153 GMT) on its way…

Earth dodges geomagnetic storm: scientist

WASHINGTON – A wave of charged plasma particles from a huge solar eruption has glanced off the Earth’s northern pole, lighting up auroras and disrupting some radio communications, a NASA scientist said. But the Earth appears to have escaped a widespread geomagnetic storm, with the effects confined to the northern…

NASA spacecraft speeds toward comet encounter

WASHINGTON – A NASA spacecraft is just hours from its long-anticipated encounter with a comet, and skywatchers hope the flyby will shed light on how the comet’s surface has changed since it skimmed by the Sun in 2005. The US space agency’s Stardust-NExT mission spacecraft “is within a quarter-million miles…

Obama proposes five-year freeze on NASA budget

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Monday proposed reining in expenses at NASA, sending his 2012 budget blueprint to Congress calling for a five-year freeze on new spending at the US space agency. The president would restrict NASA’s budget to last year’s levels, $18.7 billion annually through fiscal 2016. The…

Rep. Giffords husband to return to space: report

WASHINGTON – The astronaut husband of wounded US lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords plans to be at the helm of the Space Shuttle Endeavour when it makes its final launch in April, Politico.com reported Friday. Astronaut Mark Kelly was due to make his announcement at a NASA press conference in Houston, Texas…

Solemn tributes mark 25th Challenger anniversary

Tributes were planned at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center Friday marking 25 years to the day that the shuttle Challenger exploded, killing seven astronauts and forever altering US perceptions about the risks of human spaceflight. A 9:00 am (1400 GMT) a memorial service at Cape Canaveral visitor’s complex has been planned…

No sex please, we’re astronauts: NASA commander

TOKYO — There is no room for romance on board the cosy confines of the International Space Station, a NASA space shuttle commander said Monday when asked what would happen if astronauts had sex in space. “We are a group of professionals,” said Space Shuttle Discovery commander Alan Poindexter during…

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