Vandenberg beaches to close for snowy plover nesting season

Vandenberg leadership is scheduled to temporarily close sections of Surf, Wall and Minuteman beaches here Friday.

Beach restrictions are enforced annually on all three beaches March 1 through Sept. 30 to protect the Western Snowy Plover, listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and its nesting habitat.

"We protect the snowy plover by employing beach closures, predator management and habitat restoration to offset adverse effects of recreational beach use during the breeding season," said Samantha Kaisersatt, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron biological scientist. "Beach closures include a prohibition on dogs, horses and kites."

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NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy Available for Interviews Before Space Station Mission

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy of Maine, who is making final preparations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, for a March launch to the International Space Station, will be available for live satellite interviews from 5 to 6 a.m. CST Friday, March 8.

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Fermi’s Motion Produces a Study in Spirograph

NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope orbits our planet every 95 minutes, building up increasingly deeper views of the universe with every circuit. This image compresses eight individual frames, from a movie showing 51 months of position and exposure data by Fermi's Large Area Telescope (LAT), into a single snapshot. The pattern reflects numerous motions of the spacecraft, including its orbit around Earth, the precession of its orbital plane, the manner in which the LAT nods north and south on alternate orbits, and more. The LAT sweeps across the entire sky every three hours, capturing the highest-energy form of light - gamma rays - from sources across the universe. These range from supermassive black holes billions of light-years away to intriguing objects in our own galaxy, such as X-ray binaries, supernova remnants and pulsars. Image Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration

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Vega VV02 Zefiro 23 solid fuel rocket installed

Ahead of the launch of Vega flight VV02, the second stage Zefiro 23 engine is installed in the launcher assembly building at Europe's Spaceport, Kourou, French Guiana.

The Zefiro 23 is derived from a 16-tonne solid rocket motor development (Zefiro 16) initiated by Fiat-Avio, now Avio S.p.A., with company funding and contracted by the Italian space agency ASI.

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