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SpaceX, NASA prepare for April 30 launch to space station

Preparations for the April 30 launch of the SpaceX’s Dragon commercial spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) are underway without major problems, a top NASA official said Tuesday. “The simulations are taking place, I don’t know about big drivers right now, only of what they have to do between now and launch day,” said NASA Space Station…

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Partisan bickering tainted future of NASA

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared Tuesday on The David Pakman Show to explain the politics of NASA and why private industries could not lead the frontier of space exploration. “NASA has always been political,” he said. “The difference is it is now partisan. That’s an important distinction. NASA was created…

NASA faces trial over alleged discrimination against intelligent design proponent

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is preparing to defend itsef against a lawsuit by a former employee who claims he was demoted and then fired for promoting his views on intelligent design. NASA’s explanation is that computer specialist David Coppedge lost his status as “team lead” after his co-workers complained of…

Space storm fizzles on arrival

A space weather storm that was forecast to be the strongest in five years has fizzled out and ended up causing no impact to power grids or modern navigation systems, US experts said on Thursday. A series of eruptions on the Sun this week sent radiation and solar plasma hurtling…

On 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s flight, U.S. lacks manned space capacity

The United States marks the 50th anniversary Monday of the first flight of an American into orbit. But the historic landmark is bittersweet: the first nation to land people on the Moon now depends on Russia for its manned space flights. At 9:47 a.m. on February 20, 1962, on the…

NASA kills Mars deal with Europe

WASHINGTON — The United States will scale back Mars exploration under a proposed budget by President Barack Obama released Monday that has some scientists fuming over the risk of a NASA brain-drain. The plan kills a deal between the US and European space agencies to cooperate on Mars robotic rover…

Failed Russia Mars probe set for Sunday crash

Russia’s space agency on Sunday called off all predictions of the likely crash site of its ill-fated Mars probe only hours before the 13.5-tonne spacecraft was due to begin its fatal descent. Roscosmos said on its website that fragments of the stranded Phobos-Grunt voyager would probably fall to Earth on…

Two NASA probes go into lunar orbit

WASHINGTON — The second of two NASA lunar probes on a mission to study the Moon’s inner core went into orbit as planned, the US space agency said. The second Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL-B) will join GRAIL-A which reached lunar orbit on Saturday, according to officials at NASA’s…

NASA at work on ‘spearfishing’ for comets

WASHINGTON — The US space agency is developing a high-tech harpoon that could one day pierce a comet and grab samples for scientists on Earth to study for hints about how the universe formed. The idea borrows on a concept developed by the European Space Agency but adds a sample…

Private company to send unmanned capsule to space station

WASHINGTON — SpaceX will fly its Dragon capsule on an unmanned mission to the International Space Station in February, marking the first-ever bid by a private company to dock at the orbiting lab, NASA said Friday. The fly-by and berthing mission are scheduled for February 7, 2012, the US space…

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