July 8, 2011 |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Rain in the forecast threatened to delay the last space shuttle launch, set for Friday morning, and a lightning strike near the pad briefly caused a flurry of concern at NASA before engineers concluded that the spaceship was OK. The lightning bolt hit a water tower about 500 feet from Atlantis' launchpad at midday Thursday, the space agency said. Technicians hurried out to check for electrical problems, but a review board ruled out any damage. Over the years, lightning has struck on or near the launchpad occasionally, delaying a few launches but causing no damage.
July 8, 2011
With Atlantis scheduled Friday to begin the last shuttle mission, weather permitting, it's OK to be somewhat concerned about the future of manned spaceflight. About as much as by rocket fuel, space exploration has always been powered by the romantic notion of humans reaching other planets. But the forever pragmatic President Obama has shown little sign of getting starry-eyed about reaching the heavens. Obama had little choice, given the recession, but to jettison President George W. Bush's plan to send an American back to the moon.
July 8, 2011
By Chris Gibbons On April 12, 1981, as the space shuttle Columbia soared into a strikingly blue Florida sky, the hopes of NASA's manned space exploration program soared along with it on a wave of public enthusiasm and support. NASA seemed to have a clearly defined, 25-year plan for the exploration of the solar system: using the new space shuttle for multiple earth-orbital flights to construct a space station, which would then serve as a "jumping-off" point for flights to the moon, culminating in an ambitious manned expedition to Mars.
May 28, 2011 |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA completed its part in the construction of the International Space Station on Friday, with the final spacewalkers in the 30-year shuttle program attaching an extension boom. "Twelve years of building and 15 countries and now it's the Parthenon in the sky and hopefully the doorstep to our future," spacewalker Gregory Chamitoff said before heading back inside. "So congratulations, everybody, on assembly complete. " Chamitoff said it was fitting for the shuttle Endeavour to be at the space station for the end of construction since it was there for the first assembly mission in December 1998.
May 15, 2011 |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA unanimously approved a Monday morning launch attempt for the space shuttle Endeavour, after reviewing all the repairs for an electrical problem that grounded the next-to-last shuttle flight two weeks ago. The flight to the International Space Station will be led by commander Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded during a January shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz. She was present for the first launch attempt and is to be on hand for this one as well.
April 29, 2011 |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA abruptly called off space shuttle Endeavour's final launch Friday because of a puzzling heater failure in a critical power unit, disappointing huge crowds converging on the area for the afternoon liftoff. President Obama and his family were planning to watch Endeavour blast off. It would have been the first time in NASA history that a sitting president and his family witnessed a launch. Already at Cape Canaveral for the liftoff was wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wife of the shuttle's commander.
February 16, 2011 |
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. - You know what it feels like to be in space? Like you're sick. Think head cold. "Your face gets kind of puffy," said Gerald Carr, 78, who once spent 84 days orbiting the Earth. "But you become used to it. " And launching? "Like you're riding on a train with square wheels," he said. "It's noisy, bumpy and busy. You're too busy to enjoy the ride. " It was a Tuesday afternoon in a Kennedy Space Center banquet room on Florida's salty-aired, sun-kissed Atlantic Coast.
February 9, 2011 |
Federal officials delivered reassuring news Tuesday to Toyota and its customers: A 10-month study by engineers at NASA found no evidence that electronic or software failures contributed to thousands of complaints that Toyota vehicles could suddenly speed out of control. At a news conference in Washington, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said NASA supported the stance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which pressed Toyota to recall nearly eight million vehicles in 2009 and 2010 because of gas pedals that could stick or get trapped by loose floor mats.
February 8, 2011 |
Another piece of the puzzle behind complaints about sudden unintended acceleration in Toyotas may fall into place Tuesday when Department of Transportation officials disclose findings from a 10-month study by engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. At the request of Congress, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration enlisted NASA in its effort to identify any hidden flaws in Toyota's components, electronics, or software that could cause rare but dangerous failures.
December 17, 2010 |
Amid a flurry of criticism, a NASA-funded team on Thursday backed off the more extravagant, textbook-changing claims they'd made about a bacterium that had allegedly substituted arsenic for phosphorus in its DNA. The original announcement, made at a NASA news conference Dec. 2, seemed to break a cardinal rule of biology that all organisms need some phosphorus to survive. NASA researchers claimed to have discovered an exotic organism in California's Mono Lake that lived instead on arsenic, thus broadening the types of life that may exist in the universe.