Tampa Bay Informer - National News

MarsNASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed frozen water hiding just below the surface of mid-latitude Mars. The spacecraft's observations were obtained from orbit after meteorites excavated fresh craters on the Red Planet.

Scientists controlling instruments on the orbiter found bright ice exposed at five Martian sites with new craters that range in depth from approximately 1.5 feet to 8 feet. The craters did not exist in earlier images of the same sites. Some of the craters show a thin layer of bright ice atop darker underlying material.

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US and France Sign Civil Space Cooperation AgreementNASA Administrator Charles Bolden and French Space  Agency President Yannick d'Escatha signed four agreements in support of U.S. and French space cooperation during a ceremony Thursday at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"The French Space Agency has a long history of participating with NASA in Earth and space science missions," Bolden said. "I am pleased to see this cooperation expand as we look to further engage the international community in exploring space." 
 

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The Space Shuttle Discovery is Launched from NASA's Kennedy Space CenterThe Space Shuttle Discovery finally launched on Friday at 11:59 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The shuttle and its seven member crew will deliver supplies, equipment and a new crew member to the International Space Station.

The Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, a pressurized "moving van" that will be temporarily installed to the station. The module is intended to deliver storage racks; materials and fluids science racks; a freezer to store research samples; a new sleeping compartment; an air purification system; and a treadmill named after comedian Stephen Colbert. The name Colbert ws chosen after it received the most entries in NASA's online poll to name the station's Node 3.

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The Space Shuttle DiscoveryNASA has announced that the next launch attempt for the space shuttle Discovery will be no earlier than 12:22 am Friday, August 28th at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Wednesday's launch attempt was postponed after an indication that a valve in the shuttle's main propulsion system failed to perform as expected during fueling of the shuttle's external fuel tank. NASA managers officially postponed Wednesday's launch attempt because of uncertainty about whether a valve that was commanded to be closed actually was closed. The valve is associated with the fill and drain plumbing of the main propulsion system within the shuttle's aft compartment.

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NASA LogoNASA's Mars Rover Opportunity is investigating a metallic meteorite the size of a large watermelon that is providing researchers more details about the Red Planet's environmental history.

The rock, dubbed "Block Island," is larger than any other known meteorite on Mars. Scientists calculate it is too massive to have hit the ground without disintegrating unless Mars had a much thicker atmosphere than it has now when the rock fell. Atmosphere slows the descent of meteorites. Additional studies also may provide clues about how weathering has affected the rock since it fell.

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NASAWASHINGTON -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, scheduled for launch in 2011, has a new name thanks to a sixth-grade student from Kansas. Twelve-year-old Clara Ma from the Sunflower Elementary school in Lenexa submitted the winning entry, "Curiosity." As her prize, Ma wins a trip to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., where she will be invited to sign her name directly onto the rover as it is being assembled.

A NASA panel selected the name following a nationwide student contest that attracted more than 9,000 proposals via the Internet and mail.

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NASAHUNTSVILLE, AL (January 27, 2009) -- Twenty student teams selected by NASA from colleges and universities around the country are spending the winter building sophisticated rockets they will launch high over Alabama during NASA's 2008-2009 University Student Launch Initiative in April.

The annual rocketry challenge will be held April 18 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL. Student teams will bring their rockets to the NASA center, where professional engineers will conduct formal design reviews of the vehicles before the students take part in a final, all-day launch.

The initiative, managed by Marshall's Academic Affairs Office, is designed to inspire young people to pursue careers in fields critical to NASA's mission: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

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