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SCIENCE
May 10, 2013 | By Amy Hubbard
The sun is ramping up toward solar maximum -- the white-hot peak of activity in an 11-year cycle -- and NASA has been snapping images of the phenomenon every 12 seconds for three years. The space agency put together a three-minute video showing images taken by the Solar Dynamic Observatory since spring 2010. As the Los Angeles Times' Deborah Netburn reported last month, the NASA video stitches together two SDO images per day over the three-year period. Alex Young, a heliophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center, narrates the video to point up some of the sun's best-of moments in that time frame.
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NEWS
May 7, 2013 | By Morgan Little
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took a break from earthly political matters Tuesday to talk to NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, one of two Americans aboard the International Space Station. Marshburn, who has been at the space station since December 2012, said that his experience has given him a newfound appreciation for his home planet. “I wish every head of state could see the Earth from the cupola,” he said, praising the planet's beauty, nuance and lack of borders from his exceptionally high vantage point.
BUSINESS
April 17, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
Orbital Sciences Corp.'s launch of its new Antares rocket has been put on hold due to a technical issue that popped up when countdown was about 12 minutes away. The 13-story rocket was expected to blast off from NASA's little-known Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia at 2 p.m. Pacific time in its maiden flight to space in a test mission for NASA. But Orbital said it had to abort the launch when an umbilical line to the second stage prematurely fell off while the rocket was on the launch pad. "The teams are still gathering data," the company tweeted . "Most probable next attempt will be Friday, April 19 at 1700 EDT. We will provide confirmation soon.
BUSINESS
April 16, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
On a little-known launch pad off the coast of Virginia, a team of about 200 engineers and technicians is readying a 13-story rocket for its maiden flight to space in a test mission for NASA. The Antares rocket, developed by Orbital Sciences Corp., is going through final preparations for a 2 p.m. Pacific time blastoff planned for Wednesday. The eyes of the U.S. government will be on the launch to see whether the two-engine booster has the right stuff. NASA has invested about $288 million in seed money to help the Dulles, Va., company develop its technology, and has an additional $1.9 billion on the table with a contract for eight flights to transport cargo to the International Space Station in the coming years.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
After a successful launch of its Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX has ran into a thruster issue with its Dragon cargo-carrying capsule as it orbits the Earth in a mission to resupply the International Space Station for NASA. The Dragon spacecraft has four thruster pods, which work to control the spacecraft as it makes its way to the space station. Following the 7:10 a.m. PST blastoff, only one of the thrusters was working. In an afternoon conference call, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said that a second pod was functioning and that he expected the two others to come online later.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
On an overcast morning, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canavera l Air Force Station and sped through the clouds Friday on its way to the International Space Station. However, about 12 minutes into the NASA resupply mission, after the rocket had lifted its Dragon capsule packed with more than 1,200 pounds of cargo into orbit, there was an anomaly in the spacecraft. "It appears that although it reached Earth orbit, Dragon is experiencing some type of problem right now," John Insprucker, Falcon 9 product director, told viewers on SpaceX's live webcast.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
A capsule carrying cargo to the International Space Station ran into trouble shortly after its Friday morning launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., but officials expressed confidence later in the day that the mission would go forward. On its third commercial mission to the space station under contract with NASA, Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, ran into a thruster issue with its Dragon capsule as it orbited around the Earth. The capsule is packed with more than 1,200 pounds of food, scientific experiments and other cargo for delivery to the six astronauts aboard the space station.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
Hawthorne-based SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is on the launch pad ready to blast off at 7:10 a.m. Pacific time from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to begin a resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. If you want to watch the launch, check it out on NASA TV or SpaceX's webcast . Coverage begins at 5:30 a.m. NASA said the weather forecast is 80% favorable for a launch. PHOTOS: A 'new era': Private-sector space mission "We're about to launch and we're happy to be here," Mike Suffredini, NASA program manager for space station at Johnson Space Center, said at a pre-launch press conference.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
Hawthorne-based rocket maker SpaceX is targeting Friday as the launch date for the next NASA cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station. The company, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., performed a successful resupply mission to the space station in October and a demonstration mission back in May. SpaceX is the only commercial company to perform such a task. Blastoff of the company's Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 7:10 a.m. PST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
SCIENCE
February 19, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
In what could be called a three-hour space oddity , the International Space Station lost communication with NASA's ground control in Houston on Tuesday while the station updated its software. Its astronauts, two Americans, three Russians and a Canadian, were left sitting in a tin can far above the world, and there was nothing they could do. Luckily, the spaceship knew which way to go. Thanks to its quick, 90-minute orbit around the Earth, the crew members were able to occasionally check in with engineers on the ground as they passed over Russia and got directions on how to fix the problem.
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