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NATIONAL
February 24, 2007 | From the Associated Press
What would happen if an astronaut came unglued in space and, say, destroyed the ship's oxygen system or tried to open the hatch and kill everyone aboard? That was the question on some minds after Lisa Marie Nowak was arrested in Orlando, Fla., this month on charges that she tried to kidnap and kill a woman she regarded as her rival for another astronaut's affections. It turns out NASA has a detailed set of written procedures for dealing with a suicidal or psychotic astronaut in space.
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SCIENCE
January 13, 2007 | From the Associated Press
NASA is investigating whether incorrect software commands may have doomed the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, which abruptly fell silent in November after a decade of meticulously mapping the Red Planet. The space agency said that theory was one of several that might explain the failure of the probe, the oldest of six craft exploring Mars.
SCIENCE
December 23, 2006 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Catching a break with the Florida weather Friday afternoon, the space shuttle Discovery made a perfect sunset landing at Kennedy Space Center at 5:32 p.m. EST. Mission controllers had waved off an earlier landing opportunity because of storms and low clouds, but the weather unexpectedly cleared enough to allow the attempt.
SCIENCE
December 8, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Thick clouds over the launch site in central Florida forced the cancellation of Thursday's scheduled launch of the space shuttle Discovery. NASA flight controllers at Kennedy Space Center kept the crew strapped into their seats until the launch window officially closed at 9:36 p.m. EST in the hope that the weather might improve. In the end, however, weather violated two flight regulations, one for the heavy clouds and a second one for the low cloud ceiling.
NATIONAL
December 6, 2006 | From the Associated Press
NASA wrestled with two late-breaking technical concerns that showed up Tuesday, two days before the scheduled launch of space shuttle Discovery, but managers weren't sure whether they would delay the start of the mission. The launch still was scheduled for Thursday night.
SCIENCE
December 5, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
An international team of astronauts will be living and working at a permanent moon base to be built at one of the resource-rich lunar poles within two decades, NASA announced Monday. Earth's first off-world colonists will cruise the surface in a lunar lander that will function like a low-gravity pickup, possibly journeying to the dark side to build the most ambitious collection of observatories ever constructed, NASA said.
SCIENCE
November 30, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
NASA officials gave the go-ahead Wednesday for a Dec. 7 launch of the space shuttle Discovery -- the first night launch since NASA resumed shuttle flights after the loss of Columbia in 2003. The last three shuttle missions launched in daylight so newly installed cameras on the ground and aboard the shuttle could get the best possible views of any debris loss during liftoff. Columbia was damaged during launch by a piece of insulating foam that flaked off its giant external fuel tank.
SCIENCE
November 22, 2006 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
After two weeks of futilely searching for the Mars Global Surveyor, NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory officials said Tuesday that the missing spacecraft was probably lost forever. In its 10-year career, the probe has sent back more than 240,000 images of the red planet, providing the first strong evidence that water flowed there as recently as 100,000 years ago. It also charted weather cycles and mapped landing sites for the two rovers now operating on the Martian surface.
NATIONAL
November 20, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
A federal probe of NASA Inspector General Robert Cobb outlines allegations that he stifled investigations, mistreated department employees and maintained a close personal relationship with top officials of the agency he was supposed to independently monitor, according to a confidential summary of the findings obtained by the Orlando Sentinel in Florida.
SCIENCE
November 1, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin gave the go-ahead for a repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope on Tuesday, declaring the goal of saving one of the space agency's most popular science missions to be worth the risk of a shuttle flight. The mission would launch as early as May 2008, carrying new cameras, batteries and gyroscopes. Hubble is operating on only two of six gyroscopes and battery power is running down.
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