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October 22, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- An attempt by video game designer-turned-rocketeer John Carmack to claim a NASA prize for designing a next-generation lunar lander ended in flames Saturday when Carmack's experimental craft crashed in the New Mexican desert. The liquid-oxygen-ethanol-powered craft plunged into the desert just after liftoff on the second leg of its flight, starting a small fire that was quickly doused, officials said.
October 20, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Video game magnate-turned-space entrepreneur John Carmack predicted he would win at least one of two NASA-sponsored space prizes, following a successful test of his lunar lander model Thursday. "It went great," Carmack said after the 40-second flight over the southern New Mexico desert.
October 4, 2006 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Two astrophysicists from Berkeley and NASA won the 2006 Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for their discovery of the strongest evidence to date that the universe began with a big bang, a feat the Nobel committee said "marked the inception of cosmology as a precise science." John C. Mather, 60, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
September 29, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
For the first time in four years, the next space shuttle launch attempt will probably be at night, NASA said. The first launch possibility for Discovery will be at 9:38 p.m. Dec. 7. After the Columbia disaster in 2003, the U.S. space agency began requiring that launches be in daylight so the shuttle could be photographed to spot possible damage during liftoff. NASA has launched three shuttle flights since the Columbia disaster, all in daylight and with new inspection equipment.
September 16, 2006 | Peter Pae, Times Staff Writer
Northrop Grumman Corp. said Friday that it would not appeal NASA's surprising decision to award a multibillion-dollar contract to rival Lockheed Martin Corp. to build an Apollo-like capsule that would return humans to the moon. Last month, Northrop and teammate Boeing Co. lost the contract, potentially worth $8.1 billion over a dozen years, despite having played a key role in the development of the Apollo program in the 1960s. "We don't plan to protest," Northrop spokesman Brooks McKinney said.
September 8, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
With time running short on the current launch window, NASA decided Thursday to attempt a liftoff of the space shuttle Atlantis today despite a problem with one of the craft's fuel cells. Shuttle program officials said a possible electrical short in a pump motor connected to the fuel cell did not pose a safety hazard to the spacecraft and its six-person crew.
September 7, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
A electrical-system problem forced NASA on Wednesday to again delay the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. Space agency managers were scheduled to meet today in hopes of clearing the way for a Friday launch. Liftoff was only hours away Wednesday morning when engineers reported a short in one of three fuel cells that supplies electricity for all the on-board systems, including the crew compartment.
August 27, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
NASA postponed today's scheduled launch of the space shuttle Atlantis for at least 24 hours while engineers looked into possible damage to the orbiter from a massive lightning strike. During a thunderstorm Friday, a bolt of lightning measured at 100,000 amps struck the lightning mast above the shuttle on Launch Pad 39B. It is believed to be the largest strike ever to hit the launch site.
August 26, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The spaceships that NASA wants to build to carry astronauts back to the moon will be called Orion, an agency official said Wednesday. NASA announced the name about a week early after it slipped out in a message from a space station crew member. "We've been calling it the Crew Exploration Vehicle for several years, but today it has a name -- Orion," station flight engineer Jeffrey N. Williams said in the message.
August 18, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Three NASA advisors who spoke out against budget cuts to the space agency's science programs turned in their resignations this week, officials said Thursday. Wesley Huntress, Charles Kennel and Eugene Levy served on the NASA Advisory Council's science committee. Kennel resigned by choice; Huntress and Levy were asked to leave by NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin.
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