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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.
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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
October 28, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Twin spacecraft blasted off on a mission to study huge eruptions from the sun that can damage satellites, disrupt electrical and communications systems on Earth, and endanger spacewalking astronauts. The two NASA spacecraft, known as STEREO, for Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, lifted off Wednesday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, aboard a Delta II rocket.
NATIONAL
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.
SCIENCE
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.
SCIENCE
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.
NATIONAL
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.
BUSINESS
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.
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