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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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Dawn mission reborn
In early March, NASA cancelled its Dawn mission built to orbit two of the solar system's largest asteroids using ion engine propulsion. Technical problems and cost overruns were blamed. But in this news conference from March 27, agency officials announce NASA's decision to reverse the cancellation and restart the mission.

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NASA to send impactor into moon in search of water
NASA-AMES NEWS RELEASE
Posted: April 10, 2006

NASA today announced that a small, 'secondary payload' spacecraft, to be developed by a team at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., has been selected to travel to the moon to look for precious water ice at the lunar south pole in October 2008.

The smaller secondary payload spacecraft will travel with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) satellite to the moon on the same rocket, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV), to be launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The NASA Ames team proposed the secondary payload mission, which will be carried out by the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS).

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"The LCROSS mission gives the agency an excellent opportunity to answer the question about water ice on the moon," said Daniel Andrews of NASA Ames, whose team proposed the LCROSS mission. "We think we have assembled a very creative, highly innovative mission, turning the upper stage of the rocket that brought us to the moon into a substantial impactor on the moon."

After launch, the secondary payload LCROSS spacecraft will arrive in the lunar vicinity independent of the LRO satellite. On the way to the moon, the LCROSS spacecraft's two main parts, the Shepherding Spacecraft (S-S/C) and the Earth Departure Upper Stage (EDUS), will remain coupled.

As the spacecraft approaches the moon's south pole, the upper stage will separate, and then will impact a crater in the south pole area. A plume from the upper stage crash will develop as the Shepherding Spacecraft heads in toward the moon. The Shepherding Spacecraft will fly through the plume, and instruments on the spacecraft will analyze the cloud to look for signs of water and other compounds. Additional space and Earth-based instruments also will study the 2.2-million-pound (1000-metric-ton) plume.

"The LCROSS mission will help us determine if there is water hidden in the permanently dark craters of the moon's south pole," said Marvin (Chris) Christensen, Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP) manager, and acting director of NASA Ames. "If we find substantial amounts of water ice there, it could be used by astronauts who later visit the moon to make rocket fuel," Christensen added.

Earlier, NASA had requested proposals internally from its NASA field centers for existing or reasonably matured concepts for secondary payloads that would offer cost-effective contributions to RLEP.

To prepare for the return of astronauts to the moon, NASA will conduct various RLEP robotic missions from 2008 to potentially 2016 to study, to map and to learn about the lunar surface. These early missions will help determine lunar landing sites and whether resources, such as oxygen, hydrogen and metals, are available for use in NASA's long-term lunar exploration objectives.

"Establishing research stations on the moon will give us the experience and capabilities to extend to Mars and beyond," noted robotics deputy program manager Butler Hine of Ames.

"An exploration science program with a sustained human presence on the moon gives us the opportunity to conduct fundamental science in lunar geology, history of the solar system, physics and the biological response to partial (Earth) gravity," said Christopher McKay, lunar exploration program scientist at Ames.

The space agency specified that the winning proposal must demonstrate an affordable concept beneficial to RLEP, according to the document that asked NASA centers to submit suggestions for the secondary payload. NASA noted that the secondary payload mission should cost no more than $80 million. NASA also required that the payload mass not exceed 2,205 pounds (1,000 kilograms).

NASA encouraged its field centers to team with industry to develop proposals. On Jan. 10, NASA issued a request for information to industry to allow businesses to provide secondary payload concepts to NASA. Each NASA center reviewed ideas from industry as well as secondary payload concepts developed internally.

NASA asked that the concepts advance the Vision for Space Exploration to include missions that evolve lunar science, characterize the lunar environment and support identification sites for future human missions as well as the utility of those sites.

The space agency said that it was looking for missions that demonstrate technology that could enhance future exploration, that show operational schemes to support exploration, that develop or emplace infrastructure in support of exploration, that advance commercial opportunities and those missions that would collect engineering data to support the Constellation program. That program is developing NASA's new spaceship, the Crew Exploration Vehicle.

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John Glenn Mission Patch

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The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.
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Final Shuttle Mission Patch

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The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!
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Celebrate the shuttle program

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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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Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
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Ares 1-X Patch
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Apollo Collage
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Expedition 21
The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.
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Hubble Patch
The official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase.
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