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"Ride of Your Life"
As the title aptly describes, this movie straps you aboard the flight deck for the thunderous liftoff, the re-entry and safe landing of a space shuttle mission. The movie features the rarely heard intercom communications between the crewmembers, including pilot Jim Halsell assisting commander Bob Cabana during the landing.
Message from Apollo 8
On Christmas Eve in 1968, a live television broadcast from Apollo 8 offered this message of hope to the people of Earth. The famous transmission occurred as the astronauts orbited the Moon.
ISS receives supply ship
The International Space Station receives its 20th Russian Progress cargo ship, bringing the outpost's two-man Expedition 12 crew a delivery of fresh food, clothes, equipment and special holiday gifts just in time for Christmas.
Rendezvous with ISS
This movie features highlights of the December 23 rendezvous between the Russian Progress 20P vessel and the International Space Station. The footage comes from a camera mounted on the supply ship's nose.
Stardust return preview
NASA's Stardust spacecraft encountered Comet Wild 2 two years ago, gathering samples of cometary dust for return to Earth. In this Dec. 21 news conference, mission officials and scientists detail the probe's homecoming and planned landing in Utah scheduled for January 15, 2006.
Science of New Horizons
The first robotic space mission to visit the distant planet Pluto and frozen objects in the Kuiper Belt is explained by the project's managers and scientists in this NASA news conference from the agency's Washington headquarters on Dec. 19.
Shuttle program update
Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations, discusses the latest space shuttle program news, including the decision to remove the PAL foam ramp from future external fuel tanks, during this December 15 teleconference with reporters.
Remembering Gemini 6
The Gemini 6 mission launched from the Cape at 8:37 a.m. December 15, 1965 to rendezvous with the orbiting Gemini 7 spacecraft. The rendezvous occurred and Gemini 6 safely returned to Earth.
Hubble Space Telescope
Scientists marvel at the achievements made by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope in this produced movie looking at the crown jewel observatory that has served as our window on the universe.
Chandra looks back at Earth, sees aurora dance in X-rays CHANDRA X-RAY CENTER NEWS RELEASE Posted: December 29, 2005
In an unusual observation, a team of scientists has scanned the northern polar region of Earth with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The results show that the aurora borealis, or "northern lights," also dance in X-ray light, creating changing bright arcs of X-ray energy above the Earth's surface.
Credit: NASA/MSFC/CXC/A.Bhardwaj & R.Elsner, et al.; Earth model: NASA/GSFC/L.Perkins & G.Shirah Download larger image version here
While other satellite observations had previously detected high-energy
X-rays from the Earth auroras, the latest Chandra observations reveal
low-energy X-rays generated for the first time during auroral activity.
The researchers, led by Dr. Ron Elsner of NASA's Marshall Space Flight
Center in Huntsville, Ala., used Chandra to observe the Earth 10 times
over a four-month period in 2004. The images were created from
approximately 20-minute scans during which Chandra was aimed at a fixed
point in the sky and the Earth's motion carried the auroral regions
through Chandra's field of view.
From the ground, the aurora are known to change dramatically over time,
and this is also the case in X-ray light. The X-rays in this sample of
the Chandra observations, which have been superimposed on an approximate
representation of the Earth, are seen here.
Auroras are produced by solar storms that eject clouds of energetic
charged particles. These particles are deflected when they encounter the
Earth’s magnetic field, but in the process large electric voltages are
created. Electrons trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field are accelerated
by these voltages and spiral along the magnetic field into the polar
regions. There they collide with atoms high in the atmosphere and emit
X-rays. Chandra has also observed dramatic auroral activity on Jupiter.
Dr. Anil Bhardwaj is the lead author on a paper describing these results
in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. Dr.
Bhardwaj was a co-investigator on this project and worked with Dr.
Elsner at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center while this research was
The research team also includes Randy Gladstone, Southwest Research
Institute, San Antonio, Texas; Nikolai Østgaard, University of Bergen,
Norway; Hunter Waite and Tariq Majeed, University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor; Thomas Cravens, University of Kansas, Lawrence; Shen-Wu Chang,
University of Alabama, Huntsville; and Albert E. Metzger, Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., manages the
Chandra program for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. The
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls science and flight
operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Mass.