NASA IDENTIFIES CAUSE OF X-43A FAILURE

The NASA mishap investigation board, charged to review the loss of the X-43A Hyper-X program research vehicle during its June 2, 2001 launch, concluded no single factor or potential contributing factor caused the mishap. The flight failed because the vehicle’s control system design was deficient in several analytical modeling areas, which overestimated the system’s margins.
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Mission Update: Arianespace Flight 162

The S5 satellite preparation facility at the Spaceport in French Guiana is busy with activity as two of the three payloads for Flight 162 undergo their pre-launch preparations.

The European Space Agency’s SMART-1 lunar spacecraft has been mated to its interface adapter, while INSAT-3E for the Indian Space Research Organisation underwent a solar panel deployment test.

All is on schedule for a late August liftoff of Flight 162’s Ariane 5 Generic launcher, which will carry SMART-1 and INSAT-3E, along with e-BIRD for Europe’s Eutelsat.

For the latest photos of activity at the Spaceport, see our Mission Update on the Arianespace Web site:

http://www.arianespace.com

COOL “EYES” ABOVE HELP TRACK HOT FIRES BELOW

NASA satellites’ “eyes” above Earth are providing scientists and fire managers with powerful monitoring tools. NASA is providing the “big picture” needed to understand how fires behave before, during, and after damage has been done. A suite of NASA satellites, flying in coordinated fashion, offers the unparalleled insight only possible from space.
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USA-FRANCE SATELLITE MISSION SERVING UP FRESH SEA FARE

Take one well-seasoned oceanography satellite, the joint NASA-CNES (French Space Agency) Topex/Poseidon, nearing its 11th year in orbit to study the world’s ocean circulation and its effect on climate, mix in a fresh sibling satellite, Jason, and add a dash of ingenuity, and you get what scientists are calling the Jason-Topex/Poseidon tandem mission.
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Space engineering helps drill better holes in planet Earth

Expertise derived from working on the joint NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moon Titan is now being applied to underground drilling machines. This is providing tunnelling engineers with an improved ability to virtually ‘see’ some 40 metres into solid rock and pinpoint obstacles ahead.

Read more:

http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEMCJSXO4HD_Improving_0.html

SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION TRANSCRIPTS RELEASED

Transcripts from Mission Management Team (MMT) meetings held during the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) mission are available on the NASA Internet homepage.

Five MMT meetings, between Jan. 17 and Jan. 30, were held during Space Shuttle Columbia’s flight.

Copies of the text transcripts are available at:

http://www.nasa.gov/columbia/foia/index.html

GRAVITY MISSION SUCCESS !

The joint NASA-German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) mission has released its first science product, the most accurate map yet of Earth’s gravity field. Grace is the newest tool for scientists working to unlock secrets of ocean circulation and its effects on climate.
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