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Hundreds of NASA’s moon rocks missing: audit

WASHINGTON — Researchers have sticky fingers when it comes to NASA’s moon rocks and meteorites, and hundreds of samples have gone missing after being loaned out by the US space agency, an audit said Thursday. NASA Inspector General Paul Martin issued a report detailing foibles such as the US space…

NASA’s Kepler confirms its first habitable planet

In another step toward finding Earth-like planets that may hold life, NASA said Monday the Kepler space telescope has confirmed its first-ever planet in a habitable zone outside our solar system. French astronomers earlier this year confirmed the first exoplanet to meet key requirements for sustaining life, but Kepler 22b,…

NASA in high gear for Mars rover launch

The US space agency is poised to launch the most powerful and advanced robotic rover ever built to explore Mars and hunt for signs that life may once have existed on the red planet. The Mars Science Laboratory, a six-wheeled vehicle powered by nuclear fuel, is scheduled to begin its…

WATCH LIVE: NASA briefing on Mars rover launch

NASA holds a briefing on Saturday’s Mars rover launch. Watch this live video from CNN, broadcast Nov. 25, 2011.  …

NASA rover launch to Mars delayed

WASHINGTON — The US space agency has postponed by one day its plan to launch the biggest rover ever to Mars, with the liftoff of the Mars Science Laboratory now set for November 26. The delay will “allow time for the team to remove and replace a flight termination system…

Little threat to Earth from big asteroid: NASA

WASHINGTON — Fewer giant asteroids are out in space than once thought and most of the biggest near-Earth asteroids have been found, leaving little threat of one smashing into the planet, NASA said Thursday. The latest data from the US space agency’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE telescope, shows…

NASA reaches agreement with maker of Atlas V rocket

WASHINGTON — NASA said Monday that it had reached an agreement with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to try to adopt the Atlas V commercial rocket to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). ULA is a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin designed to provide cost-efficient rockets to…

U.S. astronauts somber as shuttle era comes to an end

The Atlantis roars back to Earth this week ending America’s vaunted space shuttle program and frustrating a generation of astronauts who see their chance to soar into the cosmos sharply limited. US astronauts bound for space will now have to hitch a ride on the Russian Soyuz rocket, at more…

Private space race heats up as U.S. shuttle retires

Private companies, aided by NASA’s cash and expertise in human space flight, are rushing to be the first to build a space capsule to replace the retiring US shuttle in the next few years. With Atlantis wrapping up its final mission and the end of the 30-year US program just…

U.S. lawmakers vote to kill Hubble successor

WASHINGTON — In a fresh blow to NASA’s post-shuttle aspirations, key US lawmakers voted Thursday to kill off funding for the successor to the vastly successful space-gazing Hubble telescope. The US House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science approved by voice vote a yearly spending bill that…

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