Soyuz arrives at the ISS

ESA PR 21-2005. The Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft carrying European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori on the Eneide Mission and the two members of the ISS Expedition 11 crew docked with the International Space Station (ISS) today at the Russian docking compartment Pirs at 04:20 Central European Summer Time (CEST). Following the scheduled post-docking checks, the hatch between the spacecraft and the ISS was opened at 07:12 CEST.

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When the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-114) returns to flight next month, it will have a special escort, but the pair of NASA WB-57 chase jets won’t just be along for the ride.

Thanks to an engineering team that includes NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. and key industry partners, these high-flying chase planes will provide NASA with extra “eyes in the sky” to watch Discovery’s flight and help safeguard its crew.
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NASA engineers and managers are evaluating the data from the April 14, Space Shuttle Discovery External Tank (ET) tanking test at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. The tanking test was yet another milestone in NASA’s efforts to return the Shuttle safely to flight.

The 11-hour test also readied Discovery’s main propulsion system and allowed technicians operating the hardware to gain first-hand experience on the redesigned tank. The test allowed crews to evaluate the overall operation of ground systems in preparation for launch of Discovery’s Return to Flight mission (STS-114) planned for next month.
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Galaxy and Black Hole Growth

Distant galaxies undergoing intense bursts of star formation have been shown by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to be fertile growing grounds for the largest black holes in the Universe. Collisions between galaxies in the early Universe may be the ultimate cause for both the accelerated star formation and black hole growth.

By combining the deepest X-ray image ever obtained with submillimeter and optical observations, an international team of scientists has found evidence that some extremely luminous adolescent galaxies and their central black holes underwent a phenomenal spurt of growth more than 10 billion years ago. This concurrent black hole and galaxy growth spurt is only seen in these galaxies and may have set the stage for the birth of quasars – distant galaxies that contain the largest and most active black holes in the Universe.
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Students talk to ISS

Even before a dozen third, fourth and fifth graders got to speak via ham radio April 8 with the International Space Station, Flory Academy of Sciences and Technology in Moorpark, California, was a beehive of activity and excitement.

Flory science teacher Pat Bachamp says everyone pitched in beforehand to help make the QSO a memorable educational experience, and more than 700 turned out at the school to witness the event.
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NASA will sponsor the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC), May 19-22, in Washington.

“We are honored to have NASA join us at this year’s ISDC,” said George Whitesides, the society’s executive director. “With NASA joining a lineup of leading scientists, entrepreneurs and visionaries, we can together best describe the importance of space exploration,” he said.
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