Washington, April 24: The fifth and last mission to repair the ageing Hubble Space Telescope could launch a day earlier than planned, officials at the US space agency said Thursday.
The space shuttle Atlantis was earlier scheduled to take off from its Florida launch site on May 12. But officials at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said the shuttle could likely take off at 2:01 p.m. on May 11.
"I'm fairly confident that we can make a May 11 launch date," said LeRoy Cain, deputy manager of the Space Shuttle Programme.
The earlier launch was to avoid a scheduling conflict at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and officials said they would know within a week if the May 11 date was feasible.
Washington -- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration says it will fund a dozen proposals to help advance U.S. astronaut health and performance.
NASA's Human Research Program and the space agency-funded National Space Biomedical Research Institute of Houston said the selected proposals, involving 11 institutions in eight states, will receive nearly $16 million during a 3-4-year period.
The Human Research Program provides knowledge and technologies to improve human health and performance during space exploration. Officials said the program also develops possible countermeasures for problems experienced during space travel.
Washington-- The U.S. space agency says it has selected 16 proposals for possible contract awards in its Small Business Technology Transfer program.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials said the selected projects -- with a total value of approximately $9.6 million -- will be awarded to 16 hi-tech firms partnered with 15 universities in 18 states. NASA is one of the federal agencies required to reserve a portion of its research and development funds to award to small business.
Washington -- The U.S. space agency has awarded $11.5 million in grants to public school districts and not-for-profit education organizations.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the nationwide program is designed to engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, enhance secondary students' academic experiences and improve educators' abilities to engage and stimulate their students.
Nine proposals were selected for funding to school districts and educational organizations in the District of Columbia and eight states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia.
Washington -- The U.S. space agency says it will have several events and activities to observe the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing that occurred July 20, 1969.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials said the anniversary -- "Celebrate Apollo: Exploring the Moon, Discovering Earth" -- will honor the Apollo program, its accomplishments and the benefits to human lives. The effort is designed to engage the public and disseminate information about the space agency's historic, current and future missions, NASA said.
Several items have been developed to aid the celebration, including an Apollo 40th anniversary logo, calendar of events and Web site.
Washington -- U.S. space agency officials signed a construction contract Tuesday with the Roy Anderson Corp. to support a rocket engine testing platform.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the Gulfport, Miss., company will install the general mechanical and electrical support for an engine test stand for the J-2X rocket engine at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
The five-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract's value is not to exceed $45 million.
Washington -- The U.S. space agency and the Microsoft Corp. say they will make planetary images and data available via the Internet under a Space Act Agreement.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said it and Microsoft will develop the technology and infrastructure necessary to make the NASA content -- including high-resolution scientific images and data from Mars and the moon -- explorable on WorldWide Telescope, which is what Microsoft calls its online virtual telescope for exploring the universe.
Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- Seven astronauts headed toward the International Space Station following Sunday's launch of space shuttle Discovery at Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The shuttled lifted off at 7:43 p.m. EDT.
The countdown proceeding apace after technicians repaired a gaseous hydrogen vent line, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said on its Web site. The final inspection team completed its check of the shuttle and pad, and there were no weather-related issues.
"They've found no issues other than a sleeping bat that is hanging onto the external tank," NASA reported. "The bat is not expected to interfere with launch this evening."
A small crowd assembled to wave to and cheer the STS-119 astronauts as they boarded a vintage silver Astrovan for the drive to the launch pad.
Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- The space shuttle Discovery is expected to launch on schedule in Florida after repairs on a leaking gaseous hydrogen vent line, NASA said Saturday.
In a news release, Mike Leinbach, the shuttle launch director, said the repairs were a few hours behind schedule. But he said tests were expected to be completed later Saturday and the countdown would go off Sunday evening, with the launch scheduled for 7:43 p.m. EDT.
There is an 80 percent chance of good weather conditions, shuttle weather officer Kathy Winters said.
The mission is to be the 20th to the International Space Station. Launch had been scheduled for Wednesday but was delayed because of the leak.
Washington -- The U.S. space agency and Honeywell Inc. say they are launching the 2009 tour of their award-winning hip-hop science education program "FMA Live!"
The traveling science concert will reach more than 17,000 middle-school students during its 10-week, 20 city U.S. tour, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.
Named for Sir Isaac Newton's second law of motion -- force = mass times acceleration -- FMA Live! uses professional actors, original songs, music videos and interactive science demonstrations to teach middle school students Newton's three laws of motion and universal law of gravity.
The tour is a collaboration of NASA and Honeywell International Inc. of Morristown, N.J., and is said to be the only nationally touring, multi-media, science-education production of its kind.
Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- NASA's Kepler spacecraft launched Friday evening from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on a mission to find new planets.
The spacecraft is mounted on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.
Sixty-two minutes after launch, Kepler was to have separated entirely from its rocket on the way to its final Earth-trailing orbit around the sun, NASA said.
Kepler will spend the next three and one-half years watching more than 100,000 stars for signs of Earth-sized planets moving around stars similar to the sun.
"This mission attempts to answer a question that is as old as time itself -- are other planets like ours out there?" Ed Weiler, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said in a statement. "It's not just a science question -- it's a basic human question."
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