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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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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 1989 | LEE DYE, Times Science Writer
One key scientist has died and several others have retired while waiting for the often-delayed Galileo spacecraft to blast off for Jupiter, but success moved a little closer Tuesday when a probe that will dash through the Jovian atmosphere was packaged for a trip across town. It was a small step perhaps. But for the men and women who have grown gray and weary while waiting for their mission to get off the ground, any progress is to be cherished.
NEWS
November 18, 1996 | RICHARD BOUDREAUX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Russia's most ambitious space probe landed with an ignominious 6.7-ton splash in the South Pacific on Sunday, along with a chunk of the country's battered scientific prestige, after a booster rocket under the Mars-bound craft misfired. Pieces of the plutonium-laden probe crashed into the Pacific "in a broad ocean area west of Chile," according to calculations by the U.S. Space Command's Space Control Center in Cheyenne Mountain, Colo.
OPINION
February 18, 2014 | By Edward C. Stone
The Voyager 1 spacecraft is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. Even if defined only by distance, the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory twin Voyagers are America's greatest space adventure. They've been flying successfully for more than 36 years and are billions of miles from home. What isn't widely known is that they almost never made it out there. The first proposed mission in the late 1960s was for four spacecraft to take advantage of a rare alignment of the four outer planets of the solar system; Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune would all be on the same side of the sun. However, in December 1971, NASA decided it couldn't afford the $1-billion price tag for a 12-year "grand tour" mission with four spacecraft.
NEWS
July 4, 1997 | K.C. COLE, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
The Pathfinder spacecraft, poised for its historic descent to the Martian surface today, got close enough to the Red Planet to begin to feel its gravitational attraction at 4 a.m. Thursday. "I think it's safe to say we're all [feeling the pull of Mars]," flight system manager Brian Muirhead said. At 11 a.m. Thursday, the heaters turned on to inflate the air bags that will protect the craft when it hits the surface. By 7:45 p.m., the spacecraft was as close to Mars as the moon is to Earth.
SCIENCE
March 30, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
The Messenger spacecraft, which entered orbit around Mercury on March 17, sent its first images of the hot planet's surface back to Earth early Tuesday. The first image, received by the Messenger mission team at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., at 5:20 a.m. Eastern time, captures areas near the planet's southern pole that have never been seen before — areas that could host water in the form of ice. It was soon followed by 363 more images over the next six hours.
NEWS
October 10, 1992 | JUDY PASTERNAK, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
When Pioneer-Venus was launched in 1978, it was designed to orbit our closest planetary neighbor for eight months. The most optimistic predictions for its life span were two to three years. Now, 14 years and 400 billion bits of information later, the spacecraft has finally entered its death throes, providing--even in its final months--surprises and mysteries about Venus.
SCIENCE
November 11, 2008 | John Johnson Jr., Johnson is a Times staff writer.
After hearing nothing from the Phoenix spacecraft in more than a week, NASA officials on Monday declared an end to the nearly six-month mission at Mars' north pole, the first to touch and taste the water on an alien planet. Phoenix sent its last message on Nov. 2 before a lack of power caused it to go to sleep -- permanently, it now appears.
NATIONAL
May 16, 2003 | Ralph Vartabedian and Peter Pae, Times Staff Writers
Max Faget, one of the nation's most important spacecraft designers, says the space shuttle -- which he helped pioneer -- should be retired and the human space program suspended until the nation can build a better vehicle for putting astronauts into orbit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 1998 | DAVID COLKER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The prototype of the world's first space ambulance, designed to provide emergency escapes for the crews of the International Space Station after it goes into Earth orbit, made its debut flight Thursday morning. The X-38--a whale-shaped, wingless vehicle with fins that look as if they were inspired by a 1956 Cadillac--is the first new passenger spacecraft to reach the flight-testing stage since the shuttle was developed more than two decades ago.
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