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X-43A launched
NASA's experimental X-43A hypersonic research aircraft is successfully launched by a Pegasus rocket off the coast of California on March 27. (2min 40sec file)
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Latest Mars rover news
The latest pictures and science results from the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity are presented at this briefing on Friday. (50min 02sec file)
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Mars water discovery
Scientists present evidence from the Mars rover Opportunity during this Tuesday news conference that shows the landing site was once the bottom of a salty sea. (76min 48sec file)
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Armstrong speech
Neil Armstrong accepts the Rotary National Space Trophy for career contributions in aerospace. He says President Bush's plan to return to the Moon is economically feasible and has "substantial merit and promise." (12min 10sec)
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First Eurostar E3000 satellite reaches geostationary orbit
EADS ASTRIUM NEWS RELEASE
Posted: March 27, 2004

The W3A spacecraft, designed and built by EADS Astrium for EUTELSAT and launched by Proton on March 16, successfully performed early operations and is now in geostationary orbit.


An artist's concept of W3A. Photo: EADS Astrium
 
After its launch from Baikonur by a Proton launch vehicle, the satellite's perigee altitude was raised in several burns of its own engine until it reached geostationary orbit.

Its solar arrays were successfully deployed as were the antenna reflectors, and the satellite is now accurately pointing to Earth. All systems are behaving nominally. As planned the satellite is slowly drifting round to its orbital position where it will be thoroughly tested before the payload can be brought into full operational service.

"This is a major event for EADS Astrium as W3A is the first of the Eurostar E3000 series. All over Europe our teams and our expertise were mobilised to make this event a success." said Antoine Bouvier, CEO of EADS Astrium. "With the launch of W3A, its largest satellite so far, Eutelsat has demonstrated its confidence in the Eurostar E3000 and EADS Astrium's overall capabilities."

From its 7 degree East orbit location, W3A will provide a full range of services in Ku and Ka-band, to include business communications, Internet and television transmission, over a large area covering Europe and Africa.

The spacecraft has a launch mass of 4250 kg, a solar array span of 35 metres once deployed in orbit, and a spacecraft power of 9.6 kW at end of life. The satellite will provide commercial services for a minimum of 15 years. 37 EUROSTAR spacecraft have been ordered to date, of which 24 have already been launched and have proven highly reliable in operational service. W3A is the first in the E3000 series, of which nine others are currently in production.

The E3000 platform features a high degree of modularity, which, due to its wide range of configurations, enables it to match mission requirements precisely and to offer operators a comprehensive range of power options.

EADS Astrium is Europe's leading satellite system specialist. Its activities cover complete civil and military telecommunications and Earth observation systems, science and navigation programmes, and all spacecraft avionics and equipment.

EADS Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS SPACE, which is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems. In 2003 EADS SPACE had a turnover of e2.4 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2003, EADS generated revenues of e30.1 billion and employed a workforce of more than 100,000.

New Station
Crew Patch


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The Expedition 38 embroidered crew patch for the International Space Station is now available in our store!
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Apollo 12 tribute DVD set

New! Featuring the jovial crew of Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Alan Bean, the Apollo 12 mission was struck by lightning shortly after liftoff but proceeded on the second successful exploration voyage to the lunar surface. This three-disc DVD brings the mission to life with extraordinary detail.
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Fallen Heroes special patch
This special 12-inch embroidered patch commemorates the U.S. astronauts who made the ultimate sacrifice, honoring the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.
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Women in Space
Women of Space: Cool Careers on the Final Frontier is for girls, young women, and anyone else interested in learning about exciting careers in space exploration. Includes CD-ROM.
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Mars rover poster
This new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA's amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.
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STS-134 Patch

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The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!
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Final Shuttle Mission Patch

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The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!
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Apollo Collage
This beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.
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STS-133 Patch

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The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!
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Anniversary Shuttle Patch

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This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.
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Mercury anniversary

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Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.
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