NASA and student researchers at four universities combined efforts to analyze characteristics of the Earth’s atmosphere from a one-of-a-kind, high-flying laboratory. At the same time, grade school students are conducting science experiments from a unique perspective, 30 miles above Earth on a NASA scientific balloon.

Undergraduate students from Penn State University, State College, Pa.; Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont.; the University of Alabama, Huntsville, Ala.; and Auburn University, Ala., have science experiments on NASA’s new Deep Space Test Bed facility. NASA’s 40 million cubic foot balloon was launched May 9 from Fort Sumner, N.M. The test bed is an aluminum gondola about the size of a standard passenger car.
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New results from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory about the Orion Nebula imply super-flares torched our young solar system. Such X-ray flares likely affected the planet-forming disk around the early sun, and may have enhanced the survival chances of Earth.

By focusing on the Orion Nebula almost continuously for 13 days, a team of scientists used Chandra to obtain the deepest X-ray observations ever taken of any star cluster. The Orion Nebula is the nearest rich stellar nursery, located just 1,500 light years away from Earth.
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France’s SYRACUSE IIIA military telecommunications satellite has arrived at the Spaceport in French Guiana and is being readied for its launch on an upcoming Ariane 5 mission.

The spacecraft — which carries an SHF (super high frequency) and EHF (extremely high frequency) communications payload — touched down this week at Cayenne’s Rochambeau International Airport aboard an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft.

Built by Alcatel Space, SYRACUSE IIIA will provide communications that link military users on land, at sea and in the air.

For additional information, see the Mission Update on Arianespace’s Website:



NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet is housed and processed at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla.

Mission: STS-114 – 17th ISS Flight (LF1) – Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
Vehicle: Discovery (OV-103)
Location: Launch Pad 39B
Launch Date: Launch Planning Window July 13 – 31, 2005
Launch Pad: 39B
Crew: Collins, Kelly, Noguchi, Robinson, Thomas, Lawrence and Camarda
Inclination/Orbit Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles

Following Space Shuttle Program management discussions, a plan was laid out reflecting how the program will move toward the STS-114 Return to Flight launch.
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Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer John Phillips are moving full speed ahead into their Expedition 11 maintenance and science work aboard the International Space Station.

Krikalev replaced a liquid processing component of the Russian Elektron oxygen generation system yesterday. It failed almost immediately prompting additional troubleshooting today. The system separates hydrogen and oxygen molecules from water, and injects the oxygen into the Station’s atmosphere. Oxygen is being supplied as needed from tanks in the Progress cargo ship docked with the Station. It is one of several oxygen supplies available.
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