November 7th, 2012

Mars rover team coming off ‘Mars time’ UPI

Researchers operating NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, after three months of living on “Mars time,” have switched to more regular hours, the space agency says.
The Curiosity team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has been working on a schedule based on martian day, called sols, which are about 40 minutes longer than Earth days.
That’s meant the start time of their work day has been moving a few hours later each week, often resulting in the team working overnight hours on Pacific Time.

March 25th, 2010

NASA Mars rover team receives an award UPI

NASA says the team that operates its Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity will receive the 2010 International Space Ops Award for Outstanding Achievement.
The space agency said the citation for the award, to be presented April 29 in Huntsville, Ala., says: “For remarkable success in meeting unique and varied challenges of operating a rover on Mars and establishing a model for future in-situ operations.”
The award is presented every two years, with the recipient selected from members of several nations’ space agencies.

March 3rd, 2010

Thick masses of buried ice found on Mars UPI

NASA scientists say they’ve identified thick masses of buried ice in the middle latitudes of Mars and radar mapping suggests the ice is commonplace.
The radar images were provided by the space agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is charting the hidden glaciers and ice-filled valleys that were first confirmed by radar two years ago.
NASA said the subsurface ice deposits extend for hundreds of miles in a region about halfway from the equator to the Martian north pole.

April 20th, 2009

NASA worries why Spirit has rebooted twice UPI

The U.S. space agency says its Mars exploration rover Spirit inexplicably rebooted its computer at least twice last weekend.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists said they were examining data received from Spirit to diagnose why the rover apparently rebooted its computer.

August 2nd, 2004

NASA’s new space ‘hot rod’ UPI

To send astronauts back to the moon, NASA is planning to begin by making maximum use of existing U.S. and foreign rockets as launching systems. Vehicles under consideration may use updated propulsion systems that could blast a flotilla of spacecraft from the Earth to the vicinity of the moon. For voyages of longer duration, however — to Mars and possibly even more distant destinations — NASA is designing a whole new system for both space propulsion and space power. If successful, the system could provide future astronauts a swifter means of voyaging far beyond the moon and equip their ships and robotic scouts with far more electrical power than ever has been available to space missions before.

July 30th, 2004

NASA begins moon return effort UPI

Planners in NASA’s Exploration Directorate recently gave United Press International an exclusive briefing on the steps they envision to fulfill President Bush’s new vision for space exploration. These steps include designing the vehicle to fly back to the moon as well as the new fleet of atomic-powered spacecraft that may open up astronaut visits to deeper in space. In Part 1, NASA explains the different approach it is researching to achieve the first human visits to the moon since Apollo 17 in December 1972. When American astronauts make their return, some of their missions will resemble the old Apollo voyages and some will be far more advanced.

July 27th, 2004

Analysis: Bush stands by his space plan UPI

President George W. Bush’s new space exploration plan has received a burst of hard-core support in Congress, aimed at blocking any attempt to cut its funding, and backed up by a rare veto threat from the president himself. This development has emerged in the wake of action by a House appropriations subcommittee last week, which cut the administration’s NASA budget request for fiscal year 2005 by more than $1 billion. Presidential veto threats have been a rarity in the Bush White House. Also, no U.S. president has ever vetoed a spending bill because it contained too little money for space programs.

July 23rd, 2004

Analysis: No ‘L’ word yet looms for Mars UPI

For a brief time last week, there was a small flutter that raised the tantalizing possibility of scientists coming closer to using the “L” word regarding the exploration of Mars. Alas, as a corollary to the famous comment by Mark Twain, reports of life on the red planet have been exaggerated.

July 8th, 2004

Analysis: End not in sight for Mars rovers UPI

At a NASA-sponsored briefing for journalists last December, scientists with the Mars Exploration Rover missions described the various hazards that could cut short the planned, twin 90 (Earth) day operations on the red planet and limit the amount of data shipped home by the robotic vehicles from their respective landing sites. The biggest threat, the scientists said, was dust from the Martian surface, which would degrade the landers’ solar arrays, eventually cutting electric power and causing the batteries to fail.

May 10th, 2004

New Bush space speech planned UPI

President George W. Bush plans to make a major speech early this summer defending his plan for a new U.S. space exploration initiative, administration sources told United Press International.
Sources said although drafting the speech — termed a vigorous call to support the president’s new space exploration policy he announced last January — has not yet begun, aides have been narrowing prospective dates and venues.
The speech apparently will be timed to coincide with a report by the presidential commission appointed earlier this year to review the space plan and seek broad public comment.

Editor’s Note: This MUST-READ article also mentions that a comprehensize plan for reorganization of NASA is in the works, and will be “the most far-reaching revamping of NASA since its creation in 1958.”