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Hill-climbing Mars rover
The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has reached the summit of Husband Hill, returning a spectacular panorama from the hilltop in the vast Gusev Crater. Scientists held a news conference Sept. 1 to reveal the panorama and give an update on the twin rover mission.

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Planes track Discovery
To gain a new perspective on space shuttle Discovery's ascent and gather additional imagery for the return to flight mission, NASA dispatched a pair of high-flying WB-57 aircraft equipped with sharp video cameras in their noses.

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Rocket booster cams
When space shuttle Discovery launched its two solid-fuel booster rockets were equipped with video cameras, providing dazzling footage of separation from the external fuel tank, their free fall and splashdown in the sea.

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Discovery ferried home
Mounted atop a modified Boeing 747, space shuttle Discovery was ferried across the country from Edwards Air Force Base, California, to Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

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Shuttle tank returned
Shuttle fuel tank ET-119 is loaded onto a barge at Kennedy Space Center for the trip back to Lockheed Martin's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The tank will be used in the investigation to determine why foam peeled away from Discovery's tank on STS-114 in July.

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Delta 4 launch delayed
Launch of the GOES-N weather observatory aboard a Boeing Delta 4 rocket is postponed at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Mars probe leaves Earth
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter lifts off aboard a Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral's Complex 41.

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Launch pad demolition
Explosives topple the abandoned Complex 13 mobile service tower at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This video was shot from the blockhouse roof at neighboring Complex 14 where John Glenn was launched in 1962.

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Space station cargo craft launched by Soyuz rocket

Posted: September 8, 2005

An automated resupply vessel filled with 5,200 pounds of food, water, equipment and fuel began its two-day trek to the International Space Station today, successfully rocketing into orbit atop a Russian booster from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The Soyuz rocket blasts off today carrying the Progress spacecraft. Credit: Energia
Liftoff from the historic launch site in Central Asia occurred on schedule at 1307:54 GMT (9:07:54 a.m. EDT). The cargo craft achieved into its initial orbital perch nine minutes later and separated from the unmanned Soyuz rocket.

Onboard commands unfurled communications and navigation antennas and deployed two power-generating solar arrays that span 35 feet.

The freighter is known in the station's assembly sequence as Progress 19P -- the nineteenth resupply mission to the outpost. It is called Progress M-54 or No. 354 by the Russians. This is the third Progress launched this year.

A fully automated docking to the aft port of the space station's Russian Zvezda service module is planned for Saturday around 1449:33 GMT (10:49:33 a.m. EDT).

That docking port was vacated Wednesday when the Progress 18P (M-53) undocked the station with a load of trash and unneeded equipment. About three hours later, the craft fired its engines to brake from orbit and plunged into the atmosphere where it burned up.

Packed into this latest vessel's cargo module are 146 Russian items and 83 for NASA. The "dry" cargo amounts to 2,712 pounds.

The Progress craft is seen here during final pre-launch testing. Credit: Energia
The refueling module is loaded with 1,764 pounds of propellant for transfer into the Russian segment of the station to feed the outpost's maneuvering thrusters. The fuel is pumped from Progess via connections in the docking port.

The Progress is bringing 242 pounds of pressurized oxygen and additional solid-fuel oxygen generator cartridges for the station's atmosphere. Also, a new liquids unit for the troublesome Russian Elektron oxygen-producing device and spare parts for that device and the carbon dioxide-removal Vozdukh unit are aboard the freighter, too.

American items riding inside the Progress include spare parts for systems in the U.S. segment of the station, support equipment intended for the current and next resident crews -- Expedition 11 and 12 -- and spacewalk hardware.

And about 459 pounds of fresh water ferried on Progress will replenish station reservoirs.