Florida Space Research and Information

December 31, 2007

Deep Impact flies by Earth

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The flyby spacecraft built for the successful Deep Impact Mission by Ball Aerospace has been funded by NASA to embark on a new mission to encounter comet Hartley 2 on October 11, 2010.  (PRNewsFoto/Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.)The Deep Impact probe zipped past Earth Monday, the first of three flybys designed to use the planet's gravity to hurtle the spacecraft toward comet Hartley 2 for a 2010 meeting.

The outer solar system remains mysterious

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Solving the mysteries of the outer solar system could shed light on how our solar system emerged — as well as how life on Earth was born.

December 28, 2007

Scientists: 4 percent chance asteroid hits Mars

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The chance of a football field-sized asteroid plowing into Mars next month has been increased to 4 percent, scientists said Friday after analyzing archival data.

Jets spiral in ‘reverse whirlpool’ from star

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This artist's concept shows the protostar HH 211, as it accretes material from a surrounding disk. Some of the material from the disk is ejected outward in a bipolar jet. The matter in the jet rotates around the jet's axis, carrying away angular momentum so the star can grow. 
Credit: Change Tsai (ASIAA)
Astronomers have observed for the first time a jet of matter spiraling outward from an infant star, as if a lengthy strand of curly pasta.

Cold winter nights offer clearer night skies

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Mother Nature offers the sky observer in north temperate latitudes the two gifts of longest nights and a sky more transparent than usual. That's because cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air can.

December 27, 2007

NASA scrubs January shuttle launch

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The space shuttle Atlantis’ mission to the international space station likely will be pushed back a few more days or weeks as engineers study problems with electrical connectors in the spaceship’s external fuel tank, a top NASA manager said Thursday.

Stepping forward: The year in spaceflight

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It's been a busy year for spaceflight in the U.S. and around the world, with an even more ambitious slate ahead for 2008.

December 26, 2007

The enduring mysteries of comets

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL - MARCH 10:  The comet Hale-Bopp appears in the sky over Merrit Island, Florida, early 10 March, south of the Kennedy Space Center. The comet can be seen from late March to the beginning of April, before disappearing for the next 2,400 years. The comet is an occasional visitor from the outer solar system.***THIS AND KSC01 ARE VERTICAL PICTURES. ROTATE 90CW***  (Photo credit should read GEORGE SHELTON/AFP/Getty Images)For millennia, comets were believed to be omens of doom. Instead, solving the mysteries regarding them could help reveal the part they played in the birth of life on Earth.

New Orleans gets a boost from NASA

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NASA's Michoud Assembly Center in New Orleans is seen in this Dec. 12, 2007 file photo.  The outlook is much brighter now that three contracts associated with NASA's Constellation program have landed this year and last at Michoud. James Bray, director of Lockheed Martin's Orion project at Michoud, called the facility "a sleeping giant" for the New Orleans economy. (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber, file)The route to the moon and perhaps to Mars now goes through New Orleans — and the detour couldn't come at a better time in the city's struggle to rebuild its shattered economy after Hurricane Katrina.

International robotic rivalry in space

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At no time over the five decades of sending robot craft into the heavens have so many spacecraft been on duty at such a variety of far-flung destinations or en route to their targets.

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