NASA scientists working with the World Wildlife Fund and others have measured how much of Earth’s plant life humans need for food, fiber, wood and fuel. The study identifies human impact on ecosystems.

Satellite measurements were fed into computer models to calculate the annual net primary production (NPP) of plant growth on land. NASA developed models were used to estimate the annual percentage of NPP humans consume. Calculations of domesticated animal consumption were made based on plant-life required to support them.
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Astronaut Mike Fincke, who is living and working on board the International Space Station, conveyed his congratulations to the SpaceShipOne team during space-to-ground communications today.

“Fantastic!” Fincke said upon hearing the news that test pilot Mike Melvill had successfully completed the first privately funded suborbital human space flight. “We were wishing them the best of luck. We’re all in the space business together, helping mankind get off the planet and explore the stars.”

“We’re really proud of them, and please, if possible, extend to them our happiest congratulations,” he said to the flight controllers in Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.


The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe about the first sub-orbital flight of a person on a private spacecraft.

“We applaud the remarkable achievement of Burt Rutan, Paul Allen and test pilot Mike Melvill following the first successful suborbital flight of SpaceShip One.

“Not unlike the first U.S. and Soviet space travelers in 1961, and China’s first successful spaceflight this year, these private citizens are pioneers in their own right. They are doing much to open the door to a new marketplace offering the experience of weightlessness and suborbital space flight to the public.

“We congratulate the SpaceShip One team and wish all those who may follow safe flights.”


Father’s Day came early for astronaut Mike Fincke, 225 miles in space aboard the International Space Station, as he received the best present on Earth — baby daughter Tarali Paulina Fincke. Tarali Paulina was born Friday, June 18.

Although Fincke is among thousands of American fathers whose service to the country has prevented them from attending the birth of a child, he is the first U.S. astronaut to have celebrated the event from space.
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Cassini-Huygens at Saturn !

The Cassini-Huygens Saturn Orbit Insertion events can be viewed at

Significant event times:

03:35 – 04:10 CEST First ring plane crossing
04:35 – 05:20 CEST During the engine burn
05:45 – 06:35 CEST Closest approach to Saturn – Telemetry resumes
06:45 – 07:00 CEST ESA reactions from JPL – Night’s summary


Like a woolly mammoth trapped in Arctic ice, Saturn’s small moon Phoebe may be a frozen artifact of a bygone era, some four billion years ago. The finding is suggested by new data from the Cassini spacecraft.

Cassini scientists reviewed data from the spacecraft’s June 11, 2004, flyby of the diminutive moon. They concluded Phoebe is likely a primordial mixture of ice, rock and carbon-containing compounds similar in many ways to material seen in Pluto and Neptune’s moon Triton. Scientists believe bodies like Phoebe were plentiful in the outer reaches of the solar system about four and half billion years ago.
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