October 2, 2010

Get Ready for Juno! NASA Plans Big Mission to Fifth Planet (Source: Fredericksburg.com)
This month finds Jupiter as the brightest star-like object visible in the evening sky. Jupiter has been in the news quite a bit this year: Two objects hit the planet, and one of its main cloud bands disappeared from view. Juno is set to launch from Cape Canaveral in August 2011 and arrive at Jupiter in August 2016. After completing its five-year journey, the solar-powered Juno spacecraft will begin orbiting and studying Jupiter during its 15-month mission. Click here for details. (10/2)

Iott Berates Kaptur for NASA Vote, Adjournment (Source: Toledo Blade)
Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott Friday blasted Democratic opponent U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) for votes he said will be bad for a Sandusky space agency facility and for businesses looking for tax certainty. The Kaptur campaign defended Miss Kaptur's vote on the NASA reauthorization, saying she had assurances that the NASA Plum Brook station near Sandusky wouldn't be harmed. And a campaign spokesman said Miss Kaptur continues to be committed to a middle-class tax cut. (10/2)

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Cuts 45 Jobs (Source: Pasadena Star-News)
Officials with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said 45 employees have been given pink slips. The layoffs - representing about half of an expected workforce cut of almost 2 percent - came in response to a projected budget decrease for the coming fiscal year. While there was no single area or departments selected for reductions, a JPL contractor who chose to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation said people were let go in the Acquisition, Housekeeping and Travel Accounting departments. (10/2)

Questions About Habitable Planet Gliese 581g (Source: Space.com)
A newfound Earth-sized planet discovered in the habitable zone of a nearby star looks very promising for the possibility of extraterrestrial life, but many unknowns remain. The planet, Gliese 581g, is one of two new worlds discovered orbiting the red dwarf star Gliese 581, which now has a family of planets that totals six. Click here for a look at what scientists know so far about the intriguing world, as well as a few questions that don't quite have answers yet. (10/2)

Experts and Analysts Weigh In On NASA's New Direction (Source: Space.com)
A NASA authorization bill that will pave the way for several NASA projects – including an extra space shuttle flight and the development of a heavy-lift rocket for future missions to an asteroid and Mars – was passed by Congress late Wednesday (Sept. 29). SPACE.com asked several experts, analysts and stakeholders about their thoughts on NASA's new direction. Click here for their responses and statements. (10/2)

One-Day Delay of Final Shuttle Launch Makes Room for ATV (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
After commercial interests pushed its launch into next year, Europe's next orbital cargo freighter will attempt to reach the International Space Station in a narrow docking window in February, pushing back the final planned space shuttle flight by one day, officials said this week. NASA is delaying the final planned space shuttle launch by a day to give the Automated Transfer Vehicle a chance to dock with the space station Feb. 26. The robotic spaceship is due to blast off Feb. 15. The shuttle Endeavour's mission is now scheduled to launch Feb. 27, one day later than previously announced. Endeavour will reach the complex March 1 and depart March 9. (10/2)

Atwater Boy's NASA Dream Takes Flight (Source: Sacramento Bee)
When NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery launches next month, Atwater's Robert Smith will hear the roar of the engines and feel the waves of vibration -- but he won't see a thing. Smith, a 9-year-old student at Elmer Wood School in Atwater, is legally blind. On Friday morning, he learned that he'll be going to Cape Canaveral, Fla., with his father, Troy, to watch the space shuttle launch from the Kennedy Space Center. (10/2)

First Native American Astronaut Honored at San Francisco Fleet Week 2010 (Source: W Foundation)
Astronaut John B. Herrington will be a VIP guest at San Francisco Fleet Week's "Navy in Space" exhibit. In 2002, He flew on Space Shuttle Endeavor's STS-113 mission logging in over 330 hours in space, including 3 space walks totaling 20 hours. As a registered Chickasaw, he was the first Native American to travel into space and carried a Chickasaw Nation flag on his eleven-day space trip.

The "Navy in Space" exhibit features unique artifacts from The W Foundation, The Chabot Space & Science Center, and the U.S.S. Hornet Museum. The emphasis is on the naval history of space exploration and how discoveries in science and technology allowed the U.S. to be the leader in space travel. In fact, this unique exhibit gives the public a rare opportunity to touch and hold space-flown artifacts. (10/2)

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