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Media accreditation is open for the launch of NASA’s next commercial cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station.

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NASA invites social media followers to apply for credentials to get a preview of the Orion spacecraft’s first flight test during NASA Social events Dec. 3 at each of its 10 centers.

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A partial solar eclipse was visible from much of North America before sundown on Thursday, Oct.23. A partial eclipse occurs when the moon blocks a portion of the sun from view.

The Hinode spacecraft captured images of yesterday’s eclipse as it passed over North America using its X-ray Telescope.  During the eclipse, the new moon eased across the sun from right to left with the Sun shining brilliantly in the background.  And as a stroke of good luck, this solar cycle’s largest active region, which has been the source of several large flares over the past week, was centered on the sun’s disk as the moon transited!

Hinode is in the eighth year of its mission to observe the sun. Previously, Hinode has observed numerous eclipses due to its high-altitude, sun-synchronous orbit.  As viewed from Hinode’s vantage point in space, this eclipse was annular instead of partial, which means that the entire moon moved in front of the sun but did not cover it completely.  In this situation, a ring of the sun encircles the dark disk of the moon.

Led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Hinode mission is a collaboration between the space agencies of Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. NASA helped in the development, funding and assembly of the spacecraft’s three science instruments.

Hinode is part of the Solar Terrestrial Probes (STP) Program within the Heliophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Hinode science operations. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is the lead U.S. investigator for the X-ray telescope.

Image Credit: NASA/JAXA/SAO

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NASA is seeking proposals to develop and manufacture ultra-lightweight materials for aerospace vehicles and structures of the future. Proposals will demonstrate lower-mass alternatives to honeycomb or foam cores currently used in composite sandwich structures.

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, who is scheduled to fly on a one-year spaceflight mission in 2015, is lending his voice to help reduce childhood bullying. As part of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Kelly recorded a special message encouraging bystanders to take action.

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The western Indian city of Mumbai is pictured in this image from Japan’s ALOS satellite.

Mumbai sits at the mouth of the Ulhas River – seen in the upper right – which carries sediments into the harbour and out to the Arabian Sea. Numerous vessels are visible in the waters, some of them approaching the city’s naturally deepwater harbour.

To the west of Mumbai and across the water is Navi Mumbai, one of the world’s largest planned townships, developed to decongest Mumbai.

Mumbai is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the world, with a population of over 20 million. It is located on a claw-like peninsula of Salcette Island (centre), which was originally seven separate islands until 19th century land reclamation projects joined them together.

The docks of Mumbai harbour are located on the east side of the peninsula. The curve at the bottom of the peninsula is Back Bay, and we can see the sands of the Chowpatty Beach within the curve.

The oval green space on the west side of the city is the Mahalaxmi hourseracing track.

Near the top of the image we can see the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, with lakes and vast green areas.

Joggers, nature lovers and devotees who worship deities are common in the park – as are leopards. Leopard sightings often occur on the periphery of park, mainly due to abundant food resources such as stray dogs, which live off refuse. One study found that dogs form well over half of the leopards’ diet.

This image, acquired by ALOS on 23 March 2011, is featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

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Within the scope of its preparations for the VV04 mission, the European Space Agency (ESA), in conjunction with French space agency CNES, has decided to carry out additional flight trajectory analyses for the scheduled Vega launch of IXV.

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Both satellite passengers for Arianespace’s sixth Ariane 5 mission of 2014 are now in French Guiana, marking a new milestone as preparations continue ahead of this heavy-lift flight scheduled for early December.

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Within the scope of its preparations for the VV04 mission, the European Space Agency (ESA), in conjunction with French space agency CNES, has decided to carry out additional flight trajectory analyses for the scheduled Vega launch of IXV.

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Earth from Space is presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios. Explore the city of Mumbai in the one hundred twenty-first edition.

See also Earth from Space: Mumbai, India to download the image.

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