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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.
July 28, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
NASA is considering shutting down its research programs aboard the International Space Station for at least a year because of a projected budget shortfall of up to $100 million, said a top station manager at Cape Canaveral. Space station research was already slashed to about $200 million last year to help NASA pay for Hurricane Katrina losses and cost overruns in the space shuttle program. Less than $100 million had been requested for station research for the year beginning Oct. 1.
July 18, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
The space shuttle Discovery roared out of a gray sky Monday and safely landed at Kennedy Space Center, concluding a 13-day mission that clears the way for resuming construction of the International Space Station. NASA officials said the successful mission showed that the shuttle program was "back on track" after setbacks that began with the loss of the shuttle Columbia in 2003 and continued with last year's problem-plagued shuttle mission.
July 16, 2006 | Michael Cabbage, Orlando Sentinel
The shuttle Discovery left the International Space Station on Saturday en route to a planned homecoming Monday at the Kennedy Space Center. With Navy Cmdr. Mark Kelly piloting, the shuttle and its crew of six undocked from the station as the spacecraft flew 210 miles above the Pacific Ocean north of New Zealand. Kelly slowly eased the shuttle away before firing steering jets to separate the ships.
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