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STS-1 crew looks back
In this highly entertaining program, commander John Young and pilot Bob Crippen of the first space shuttle crew tell stories and memories from STS-1. The two respected astronauts visited Kennedy Space Center on April 6 to mark the upcoming 25th anniversary of Columbia's maiden voyage.

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STS-41G crew film
The October 1984 flight of space shuttle Challenger featured a diverse set of accomplishments. The Earth Radiation Budget Satellite environmental spacecraft was deployed and a planet-mapping radar was tested. The seven-person crew was led by Bob Crippen and included the first Canadian in space, Marc Garneau, and the first time two women, Sally Ride and Kathryn Sullivan, had flown aboard one flight. Sullivan and Dave Leestma also conducted a spacewalk to demonstrate techniques for refueling satellites. The crew narrates this post-flight film of STS-41G.

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STS-37 anniversary
On April 5, 1991, space shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy Space Center carrying the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory -- NASA's second Great Observatory. Launch occurred at 9:23 a.m. from pad 39B.

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Crew news conference
The combined Expedition 12 and 13 crews, along with visiting Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes, hold this in-flight news conference with reporters in Houston, Cape Canaveral and Moscow on April 3. The crews are handing over duties during this week-long handover before Expedition 12 returns to Earth from the space station.

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Soyuz docking
The Russian Soyuz TMA-8 spacecraft carrying the Expedition 13 resident crew successfully docks to the Zarya module of the International Space Station under automated control.

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Next station crew
Full coverage of the Expedition 13 crew's launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to begin a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

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Solar eclipse from ISS
External cameras on the International Space Station captured this incredible footage of the March 29 solar eclipse. The station flew through the eclipse over the Middle East as the moon passed in front of the sun and cast its shadow on the Earth.

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Total solar eclipse
A total solar eclipse occurred March 29. This video from Side, Turkey shows the period of totality when the moon slid between the Earth and Sun. The eclipse revealed the Sun's glowing outer halo of million-degree gas, called the solar corona.

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Search for dark galaxies
Posted: April 10, 2006

First results from the Arecibo Galaxy Environment Survey (AGES) suggest the discovery of a new dark galaxy. The AGES survey, which started in January 2006, is the most sensitive, large-scale survey of neutral hydrogen to date. Neutral hydrogen is found in most galaxies and it is a key tool in the search for dark galaxies as it can be detected even when there are no stars or other radiation sources to "shine a light" on matter.

The new candidate dark galaxy is located near NGC1156, an apparently isolated, irregularly-shaped galaxy found at the edge of the Aries constellation. The first observations in the AGES programme identified a number of new galaxies. One newly discovered source is approximately 153 million light-years from Earth and appears to be 200,000 light-years across. There is no obvious optical counterpart to the massive object.

Robbie Auld, who presented the results at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Leicester said, "The new source showed up clearly in the AGES survey as it contains huge amounts of hydrogen gas but it was missed in all previous searches as it doesn't appear to contain many bright stars. The interactions between hydrogen atoms in cosmic gas clouds are enough to stimulate light emission at the neutral hydrogen "fingerprint" wavelength of 21cm. In the first stage of the AGES campaign, we have used the Arecibo radio telescope to search at this wavelength, looking for galaxies that have remained hidden from astronomers in the past. We now need to follow up observations at other wavelengths and work out exactly how many stars this new galaxy may or may not contain."

The AGES programme, which will last for four years, is led by Cardiff University's Dr Jonathan Davies. In addition to the Arecibo radio telescope, AGES will use a network of ground-based and space-based telescopes to observe the sky in many different wavelengths. Among those used will be the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii, the GALEX ultraviolet space telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope.

The techniques used in AGES have already been used on a small scale and have led to the discovery of VIRGOHI21, the first galaxy to be detected with gas, large amounts of the mysterious dark matter but no visible stars. By discovering more objects like VIRGOHI21 scientist hope to answer one of the greatest cosmological questions: if, as theoreticians predict, matter in the Universe is mainly dark then where does is all reside? The AGES team hopes that the survey will reveal exactly how much matter is hidden in dark galaxies and determine whether current theories are correct.

AGES is a sub-group of the Extragalactic Arecibo L-Band Feed Array (EALFA) consortium. The group aim to make use of the newly installed ALFA on the Arecibo Telescope to conduct medium-senstivity observations of specific regions of interest on the sky, focussing on galaxy groups and individual galaxies.

AGES is a collaboration between Cardiff University, Lafayette College, Cornell University, Queens University, Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille- Provence, University of Moscow, University of Oregon, Swinbourne University, Australia Telescope National Facility, Australian National University, Space Telescope Science Institute, Wise Observatory, European Southern Observatory, Mexico, Arecibo Observatory, University of Michigan, University of Milan, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, University of Colorado, Astronomical Observatory of Rome, University of New Mexico, University of Massachusetts



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