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News Archive 2010: September
House votes to approve Senate's agenda for NASA
The House of Representatives voted late Wednesday to accept the Senate's version of NASA's $19 billion fiscal 2011 budget proposal, which would provide money for an additional shuttle flight, kick-start development of a new heavy-lift booster for deep space exploration and fund the development of commercial manned spacecraft for trips to and from low-Earth orbit.
Europe's re-entry capsule to build upon ATV experience
European officials say developing a re-entry module for its conceptual two-way space station cargo freighter would best position the continent for future human spaceflight applications, but its realization will depend on budget decisions starting late this year.
Analysis of Hayabusa samples will wait until 2011
Scientists won't know whether Japan's Hayabusa probe actually returned asteroid dust until at least February or March, when researchers finish extracting microscopic particles from the craft's return capsule and complete an exhaustive analysis to verify their origin.
Sign of the times: Final space shuttle tank arrives
The Kennedy Space Center took receipt of the last space shuttle external fuel tank Tuesday, as the massive propellant reservoir for Endeavour's February launch was offloaded from a sea-going barge.
FULL STORY AND PHOTO GALLERY
Soyuz launch pad moves closer to flight readiness
A committee of Russian and European officials will meet in October to assess the status of the behind-schedule Soyuz launch facility in French Guiana and decide when it could be ready to support flights of the storied rocket.
ESA previews next year's budget amid tight economy
Europe's top space official says his space agency is preparing for the same budget next year as this year, telling reporters he has received no indications that member states will reduce their contributions during an ongoing financial crisis.
Shuttle Discovery's payloads getting packed up
The Express Logistics Carrier No. 4 for the International Space Station was loaded into the transportation canister at Kennedy Space Center Monday morning, bound for shipment to shuttle Discovery at launch pad 39A.
FULL STORY MISSION FLIGHT PLAN LAUNCH WINDOWS
Navigation satellite reaches position above Japan
Japan's first navigation satellite has arrived on station more than 20,000 miles over Asia to improve positioning coverage in mountainous terrain and urban centers. FULL STORY
Additional coverage for subscribers: VIDEO:
REMARKABLE VIDEO OF CREW EXITING CAPSULE PLAY VIDEO:
AERIAL FOOTAGE OF THE SOYUZ SAFELY LANDING PLAY VIDEO:
SOYUZ TMA-18 DEPARTS THE SPACE STATION PLAY VIDEO:
CREW BOARDS SOYUZ CAPSULE FOR DEPARTURE PLAY VIDEO:
SPACE STATION CHANGE OF COMMAND CEREMONY PLAY MORE:EXPEDITION 24 VIDEO COVERAGE SUBSCRIBE NOW
OTHER HEADLINES Additional stories today
Saturn's aurora -- A stunning animation of Saturn's aurora created from 1,000 images, and the first observations from within the planet's radio aurora, were presented today at the European Planetary Science Congress.
Venus polar vortex
all shook up -- New animations created from ESA's Venus Express mission show striking changes in the vortex that rides around the planet's south pole, its double-eyed feature currently absent.
similar to Earth's -- Despite the huge differences between Venus' and Earth's atmospheres, data from ESA's Venus Express satellite finds that the planets produce lightning in surprisingly similar ways.
Seasons of change on Titan -- Using some 2,000 Cassini images, planetary scientists are putting together a picture of Titan's seasons, which last seven Earth years.
Photo special: Discovery on launch pad one last time
The incredible machine that is the space shuttle has been the central feature in America's space program for the past three decades. But as forced retirement looms, the orbiters are flying their final missions before becoming museum pieces. Spaceflight Now had the rare treat to visit shuttle Discovery at launch pad 39A and create this photographic collection of the venerable spaceplane.
China orbits spy satellite amid uptick in space activity
A secret military payload successfully launched aboard a Long March rocket early Wednesday, continuing a feverish pace of Chinese space activity that includes a mysterious orbital rendezvous, an upcoming lunar probe and preps for continued human missions. FULL STORY
Reborn after Katrina, shuttle tank leaves factory
An external fuel tank damaged by Hurricane Katrina left a New Orleans factory Tuesday on a 900-mile barge trip to the Kennedy Space Center, where it will be bolted to the shuttle Endeavour for the program's final scheduled launch. FULL STORY
Vandenberg team guides nation's critical launches
Whether it's launching a national security payload with an Atlas 5 rocket Monday night or rehearsing for the West Coast debut of the mighty Delta 4-Heavy, these are active times for Vandenberg Air Force Base's 4th Space Launch Squadron. FULL STORY IMAGES:THE DELTA 4-HEAVY
NASA moon orbiter begins two-year science mission
As NASA shifts its focus away from moon as the next destination for human space travelers, the agency's lunar orbiter has completed a long-planned transition from an exploration to a scientific mission. FULL STORY
Europe's second cargo freighter to fly in December
Europe's second Automated Transfer Vehicle will carry more supplies, propellant and breathing air than its predecessor when it blasts off in December from French Guiana toward the International Space Station. FULL STORY
NASA selects rocket fleet for satellite launches
NASA has selected four companies to launch the space agency's robotic Earth observation, astronomy and planetary exploration probes for the next decade. FULL STORY
Second Falcon 9 rocket passes fueling test
SpaceX rolled the second Falcon 9 rocket to its seaside Florida launch pad and pumped propellant into the booster's fuel tanks Wednesday in a preflight countdown rehearsal. FULL STORY
Boeing signs deal to fly tourists on new spaceship
Wealthy space tourists could join astronauts on Boeing's proposed commercial spaceship under a framework agreement announced Wednesday between the aerospace contractor and Space Adventures. FULL STORY
Galaxy 15 still alive after expected shutdown
Intelsat says its out-of-control Galaxy 15 communications satellite did not power down as expected in late August and will continue threatening to interfere with broadcasting signals from other spacecraft for the foreseeable future. FULL STORY
Crew for possible final space shuttle mission
Veteran shuttle commander Christopher Ferguson, pilot Douglas Hurley, Rex Walheim and Sandra Magnus will train for a rescue flight aboard the shuttle Atlantis, and if Congress approves funding, for a real mission next June to deliver spare parts and supplies to the International Space Station. FULL STORY
Dextre's debut reset for January cargo mission
The International Space Station's robotic handyman is standing down from a planned power controller swap to refocus on mandatory tasks during a Japanese cargo mission in January, according to the Canadian Space Agency. FULL STORY
NASA photo gallery of Discovery's ground moves
This photo collection documents space shuttle Discovery's move from the Orbiter Processing Facility hangar to the Vehicle Assembly Building, going vertical and mating to external fuel tank, plus an internal view of the attachment bolt that had a problematic nut.
ENTER PHOTO GALLERY EARLIER STS-133 COVERAGE
Soyuz, Vega flights from French Guiana set for 2011
The first flight of the Russian Soyuz rocket from South America will occur in early 2011 and Europe's smaller solid-fueled launcher will not debut until at least the middle of next year, according to Arianespace's chief executive.
Engineers assess space station's structural integrity
While politicians in Washington debate the future of America's space program, engineers across the globe are dutifully verifying the International Space Station can safely survive another two decades in orbit. FULL STORY
Baikonur welcomes Sirius XM Radio satellite for launch
Another satellite for Sirius XM Radio's broadcasting system has arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for its launch into space next month atop a commercial Proton rocket. FULL STORY
Space station receives latest Russian resupply ship
A Russian cargo freighter flying on autopilot performed a successful rendezvous and docking with the space station Sunday morning, delivering two-and-a-half tons of supplies for the international outpost in uneventful fashion.
Additional coverage for subscribers: VIDEO:
SHUTTLE HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK PLAY | HI-DEF VIDEO:
CRANE ROTATES THE ORBITER VERTICALLY PLAY | HI-DEF VIDEO:
DISCOVERY DEPARTS ITS HANGAR PLAY | HI-DEF
TIME-LAPSE SHOWS DISCOVERY ASCENDING IN VAB PLAY VIDEO:
TIME-LAPSE SHOWS THE MOVE TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY VIDEO:
THE HISTORY OF SHUTTLE DISCOVERY PLAY
DISCOVERY'S MAIDEN FLIGHT: FIRST TRIP TO VAB PLAY VIDEO:
DISCOVERY'S MAIDEN FLIGHT: ROLLOUT TO PAD 39A PLAY VIDEO:
DISCOVERY'S MAIDEN FLIGHT: TEST-FIRING ENGINES PLAY VIDEO:
DISCOVERY'S MAIDEN FLIGHT: ASSORTED VIEWS OF FRF PLAY MORE:STS-133 VIDEO COVERAGE SUBSCRIBE NOW
Navigation craft launched to show the way in Japan
An H-2A rocket flew to space Saturday with a Japanese satellite to meet a pressing need for improved navigation services amid the country's numerous mountains and high-rise buildings. Liftoff was at 1117 GMT (7:17 a.m. EDT).
FULL STORY PREVIEW STORY
Space station cargo vessel launched from Baikonur
A robotic Russian resupply ship to service the International Space Station successfully soared into orbit Friday carrying two-and-a-half tons of cargo, food and water for the high-flying laboratory.
FULL STORY IMAGES:LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY
Astrium will help SpaceX snare European payloads
SpaceX and Astrium are teaming up to sell Falcon 1 rocket launches to European institutional customers for small satellite missions, the companies announced Thursday.
Germany, China to track greenhouse gases
A German aerospace contractor and a Chinese research agency have signed a deal to jointly develop a satellite fleet to monitor greenhouse gases contributing to climate change, officials announced Wednesday.
China remains silent on satellite rendezvous
The U.S. Air Force last week acknowledged tracking Chinese satellites secretly testing orbital rendezvous technologies, nearly two weeks after the spacecraft may have bumped into each other more than 350 miles above Earth.
Atlas 5 rocket picked to launch commercial imager
A commercial Earth-imaging satellite launch has been added to the U.S. military, reconnaissance and scientific payloads booked on the powerful Atlas 5 rocket's manifest, Lockheed Martin announced Tuesday.
FULL STORY OUR ATLAS ARCHIVE
Rockot hauls three Russian satellites into space
Three small communications satellite blasted off Wednesday from northern Russia into low Earth orbit on a converted ballistic missile. Liftoff of the Rockot launch vehicle occurred at 0330 GMT (11:30 p.m. EDT).
Weather postpones space station resupply launch
Today's scheduled launch of an International Space Station resupply ship atop a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome has been scrubbed due to high winds. Liftoff is reset for Friday at 6:22 a.m. EDT (1022 GMT). The freighter's docking to the station is retargeted for Sunday at 7:58 a.m. EDT (1158 GMT).
This Week In Space
NASA's booster test produces fire and smoke, goodbye to ICESat, hello to newly found asteroids and a possible human expedition to a nearby spacey rock. Subscribe on iTunes to This Week in Space. Support This Week in Space by making a contribution to keep the show online. If you're interested in supporting This Week in Space through advertising, contact our team to find out how we can connect your organization with our viewers.
ESA overcomes glitch on gravity-mapping satellite
The European Space Agency's GOCE satellite is again collecting data on Earth's gravitational field after a computer glitch disrupted the flow of scientific communications to the ground.
Space station resupply ship moves to the launch pad
Russian specialists have rolled the Soyuz rocket to the launch pad for Wednesday's 7:11 a.m. EDT (1111 GMT) liftoff carrying the next cargo freighter destined to service the International Space Station. The booster was transported by rail from its final assembly building and erected on the pad Monday.
VIDEO AND PHOTO GALLERY
Asteroids are back in vogue
Responding to President Obama's call for a manned asteroid mission by 2025, brainstorming scientists and engineers say NASA could start exploring nearby space rocks with robotic probes in four years, followed by a bare-bones human expedition by the end of the decade.
First milestone reached on AEHF 1's long road to orbit
The U.S. Air Force has completed the initial phase of its multi-step, multi-month strategy to maneuver the new secure communications satellite into the proper orbit without the main engine operating.
FULL STORY LAUNCH HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO EARLIER LAUNCH COVERAGE
Decision on extra shuttle flight remains in limbo
Protecting their options while awaiting word on funding for a final shuttle mission next June, NASA managers believe flight processing probably can continue through the end of the year with the shuttle program's current budget or under a continuing resolution. But after that, sources say, additional money will be required or the hoped-for flight may not be possible.
FULL STORY OUR SHUTTLE ARCHIVE
Chinese broadcasting satellite placed in orbit
A Chinese communications satellite launched Saturday on a Long March rocket, beginning a mission to broadcast civil television and radio signals across China.
Spacewalk to tidy up station deferred to shuttle crew
In the wake of a three-spacewalk coolant pump replacement, space station managers decided this week to defer additional maintenance work until the next shuttle crew arrives in November.
FULL STORY REVISED FLIGHT PLAN EARLIER SPACEWALK COVERAGE
Solar Probe Plus will brave the sun's fiery wrath
NASA is developing a fortified satellite that will nearly touch the sun starting in 2018, collecting unprecedented data on the super-heated solar atmosphere.
Investigators probing what went wrong with AEHF 1
As tiny thrusters continue to nudge the U.S. military's AEHF 1 satellite toward a higher orbit, investigators hope to know within the next few weeks what knocked out the craft's main engine and whether the program's next launch will be delayed.
FULL STORY LAUNCH HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO EARLIER LAUNCH COVERAGE
Indian moon mission to launch with Russian lander
India's Chandrayaan 2 moon mission will launch in 2013 with a lander from Russia, but the first announcement of the lunar probe's science instruments does not include contributions from the United States or Europe.
Retired space shuttle launch pad to be dismantled soon
NASA is expected to give final approval this week to demolish the servicing towers at a mothballed space shuttle launch pad, clearing the complex for a still-unknown rocket of the future.
Navigation satellites launched by Proton rocket
A Proton rocket blasted off overnight Wednesday with three spacecraft to help expand Russia's satellite navigation system to provide positioning services around the world. FULL STORY