NO PETS ALLOWED IN SPACE

Students in Texas peppered US astronaut John Phillips, KE5DRY, with questions about life in space during two separate Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school group contacts in late June. Youngsters at Hockaday School in Dallas spoke with Phillips June 20, while a group of students at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum visited with Phillips by radio a week later. One Hockaday student wanted to know about any “cool science experiments” the astronaut might be working on in space.
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DEEP SPACE FIREWORKS

After 172 days and 268 million miles of deep space stalking, Deep Impact successfully reached out and touched comet Tempel 1. The collision between the coffee table-sized impactor and city-sized comet occurred at 1:52 am EDT.

“What a way to kick off America’s Independence Day,” said Deep Impact project manager Rick Grammier of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The challenges of this mission and teamwork that went into making it a success, should make all of us very proud.”

“This mission is truly a smashing success,” said Andy Dantzler, director of NASA’s Solar System Division. “Tomorrow and in the days ahead we will know a lot more about the origins of our solar system.”
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ISS ON THE AIR FOR FIELD DAY

The International Space Station Expedition 11 crew of John Phillips, KE5DRY–operating as NA1SS–and Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR–operating as RS0ISS–thrilled a number of ARRL Field Day 2005 operations by handing out contacts from space over the June 25-26 weekend.

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Ham Radio Project Engineer Kenneth Ransom, N5VHO, reports Phillips was active over the US while Krikalev worked stations in the Americas and elsewhere around the globe–including non field day stations in South Africa and Thailand. Phillips, meanwhile, managed about two dozen Field Day contacts over North America.
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LARGEST SOLID CORE

NASA researchers recently discovered the largest solid core ever found in an extrasolar planet, and their discovery confirms a planet formation theory.

“For theorists, the discovery of a planet with such a large core is as important as the discovery of the first extrasolar planet around the star 51 Pegasi in 1995,” said Shigeru Ida, theorist from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan.

When a consortium of American, Japanese and Chilean astronomers first looked at this planet, they expected one similar to Jupiter. “None of our models predicted that nature could make a planet like the one we are studying,” said Bun’ei Sato, consortium member and postdoctoral fellow at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, Japan.
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ASTRO-E2 ON JAPANESE OBSERVATORY

A pioneering X-ray detector developed at NASA’S Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Md. will launch on board the new Astro-E2 space observatory.

Astro-E2’s primary instrument is the high-resolution X-ray Spectrometer (XRS), developed jointly by GSFC and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS). The XRS measures the heat created by the individual X-ray photons (light particles) it collects.

To sense the heat of a single photon, the XRS detector must be cooled to an extremely low temperature, approximately -460 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest reaches of space are approximately -454 degrees Fahrenheit. This will make the XRS colder than space. Using this new technique, scientists can measure higher X-ray energies with a precision about ten times greater than with previous sensors.
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Humble Space Telescope

Longueuil, June 30, 2005 – Soon after its launch two years ago by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Canada’s “Humble Space Telescope” started making amazing observations-beyond the capacity of any other Earth- or space-based instrument. MOST, our suitcase-sized space telescope orbiting at 820 km, can fix its gaze upon a single star for up to eight weeks at a time. And with its unique combination of steady observation time and precision pointing, MOST can look for subtle variations in stars that are impossible to observe from Earth.
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AO-51 satellite back on track

AO-51 satellite appears back on track after software reset:

The AO-51 Command Team says the satellite will remain in V/U FM repeater and FM 9k6 digital, V/U Pacsat Broadcast Protocol BBS (PBP BBS) mode “for a number of days” while the team monitors its operation.

On June 26 Echo experienced a software reset, and, following some analysis, the Command Team reloaded the software.

“I spent a good deal of my holiday time this week and weekend at home in order to download the data and then reload the satellite software to get it back up and running asap,” said the AO-51 Command Team’s Mike Kingery, KE5AZN. He said the AO-51 Software Team reviewed data downloaded from the satellite memory after the reset but found nothing out of the ordinary.

AO-51 went into orbit June 29, 2004

SPACE RADIATION RESEARCH

NASA selected 21 space radiation research proposals for funding. Approximately $19 million will be spent on the research to support the Vision for Space Exploration.

The goal of NASA’s Space Radiation Program is to ensure humans can safely live and work in space. Safely means acceptable risks are not exceeded during crews’ lifetime. Acceptable risks include limits on post and multi-mission consequences, such as excess lifetime fatal cancer vulnerability.
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