Science

Science
5:17 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

NASA Picks Boeing and SpaceX to Ferry Astronauts

Invited guests walk up the steps to look at the inside of the SpaceX Dragon V2 spaceship at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, in May 2014.
Credit Jae C. Hong / AP Photo

NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil.

On Tuesday, the space agency announced it has picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden named the winners of the competition at Kennedy Space Center, next door to where the launches should occur in a few years.

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Science
6:33 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Orion Makes A Move

Orion Crew Capsule and Service Module at the Kennedy Space Center.
Credit Rad Sinyak / NASA

NASA has finished building the crew module of its newest spacecraft- Orion.

The spacecraft was moved out of the Kennedy Space Center facility Thursday where engineers have been getting it ready.

Orion’s cone-shaped crew module, stacked on top of a white service module, emerged from the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on a special flat bed transporter.

It was moved to a new facility where it will be fueled up with ammonia and hyper propellants for its test flight slated for December.

The crew capsule can seat four astronauts.

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Science
10:38 am
Mon September 8, 2014

As NASA Considers New Spacecraft, Ukraine Complicates Russian Relations

Boeing's CST-100 is one of the space crafts NASA is considering.
Credit Taisha Henry / WMFE

Escalating unrest in the Ukraine is adding urgency to NASA’s decision on the space craft that will replace the shuttle.

The space agency is expected to announce any day the space craft that will fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

Two candidates – Boeing’s CST-100 and Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser – rely on the Atlas V rocket to launch into space. But the rocket is powered by the Russian-built RD-180 engine.

Dale Ketcham of Space Florida says the Atlas V rocket is vital to American space flight.

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Science
10:35 am
Fri August 15, 2014

A New Space Race To Replace the Shuttle

It will be a snug ride in Boeing;s CST-100
Credit Photo by Taisha Henry.

For the first time in a generation American astronauts will fly into space aboard a new spacecraft beginning in 2017.

But it won’t be a NASA spacecraft. Instead three private space companies are competing to design and build it under a NASA contract.

When NASA announces the winner or winners in a few weeks, it will mark the start of a new era in human space flight.

- – -

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4:33 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Kennedy Space Center's Quiet Rebirth Slowly Taking Shape

Lead in text: 
Anticipation is building for the unmanned Orion flight in December. The new capsule, designed to carry astronauts into deep space again, will be sitting on top of a huge Delta IV heavy rocket. Lockheed Martin is building the capsule in the renovated Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy. Florida threw $35 million at the project to make sure it was located here. The project employs about 150 people currently. The goal is to have a manned Orion launch in 2021. On my tour there last week, I saw the capsule under construction in the 1964 operations building, now named after Neil Armstrong and completely renovated. The Orion is the first capsule to be built at Kennedy. It the past, capsules were only inspected there after being manufactured elswhere.
Kennedy Space Center is relatively quiet these days, but there's a rebirth taking shape in the historic buildings and grounds. On a recent tour, I was able to see ongoing work to retool large areas of the complex for a new era of space flight.
10:35 am
Fri May 23, 2014

It is Rocket Science: $100M for New NASA Rocket?

Lead in text: 
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, linked the plan to heightened tension with Russia in a news release. “Mr. Putin’s Russia is giving us some problems,” said Nelson, a senior member of the committee. “So we put $100 million in the defense bill to develop a state-of-the-art rocket engine to make sure that we have assured access to space for our astronauts as well as our military space payloads.”
NASA's new Space Launch System rockets ( NASA / ) In what could become a boost to Central Florida's economy, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a budget plan Thursday that includes $100 million for NASA 's largest ever rocket.
Science
4:31 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

NASA Chief Dismisses Concern Over Russia Quitting Space Station

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks during a news conference in Berlin on Monday. Bolden said no single country was indispensable to the International Space Station's success.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:04 pm

NASA's Administrator Charles Bolden says that Russia's plan to end cooperation on the International Space Station after 2020 will not have an impact on the success of the orbital platform.

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Science
5:00 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

NASA's Ambitious Plan To Send Humans To Mars

This computer-generated view depicts part of Mars at the boundary between darkness and daylight, with an area including Gale Crater beginning to catch morning light. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 2:52 pm

The nation’s space agency is gearing up to put humans on Mars within the next two decades. NASA is testing a supersonic lander that can carry heavy loads, and just signed a 20-year lease on a launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center.

Mike Gazarik is associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and he tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that going to Mars is part of Americans’ pioneering spirit, and will also have benefits for life on Earth.

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Science
9:10 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Einstein's Lost Theory Discovered ... And It's Wrong

It's OK, kids. Even Albert Einstein sometimes made math mistakes.
Harris & Ewing Library of Congress

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:19 am

Earlier this week, physicists announced they'd seen evidence of ripples in the fabric of space and time from just moments after the Big Bang. Such ripples were predicted almost a century ago by Albert Einstein.

Einstein's theory of relativity is arguably the 20th century's greatest idea. But not everything he did was right: Some newly uncovered work from the brilliant physicist was wrong. Really, really wrong.

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Krulwich Wonders
8:13 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Is That Someone's House? What Astronauts Can See Looking Down

NASA

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 12:41 pm

It's nighttime. You are hovering high off the planet looking down. Things are happening. Strange, beautiful, wonderful things.

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Science
9:01 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Asteroid Belt May Be Just One Big Melting Pot Of Space Rocks

An artist's concept of a narrow asteroid belt orbiting a star similar to our own sun.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 8:32 am

The asteroid belt, a ring of rubble between Mars and Jupiter, has sometimes been written off as discarded leftovers from the solar system's start. But new research published in the journal Nature shows that the belt actually formed during an unruly later era, when planets themselves were on the move.

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Science
2:06 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

The Battle Against Citrus Greening

A greenhouse at the Citrus Research and Education Center
Credit Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam calls citrus greening "as bad a situation as it could possible be for Florida signature crop." That's why the state's citrus farmers have spent more than $60 million of their own money over the last seven years to save their crops. Lake Alfred, in Polk County, is headquarters for intense research efforts to cure citrus greening.

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Science
3:05 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Shuttle Atlantis Lands For Good At Kennedy Space Center

The space shuttle Atlantis, with its cargo arm extended, goes on display today the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 6:06 pm

Visitors to the new Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center walk into the building under a big orange external fuel tank like the one the shuttle rode into space.

The tank's a replica — but the shuttle inside is the real deal.

People who worked on the shuttle program, like retired technician Tom Boarman, are looking forward to reuniting with Atlantis.

"Well, it will be a very familiar sight to me," Boarman said. "I've seen it on the pad many times — all the shuttles."

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Science
10:17 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Now He Tells Us: 'Tang Sucks,' Says Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin

Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, during the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
Neil Armstrong/NASA Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 11:02 am

Hey, we were told in the '60s that we'd grow up to be astronauts if we drank Tang and that our heroes loved it!

But the second man on the moon — Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin — says "Tang sucks."

TMZ.com broke the news that Aldrin let loose with his real opinion during taping of Spike TV's Guys Choice awards, which airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.

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1:17 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Lightning Strike Kills Woman on Belleair Beach

Lead in text: 
Pinellas Sheriff's officials say a Brandon mother was killed by an apparent lightning strike on Belleair Beach Tuesday. Phyllis Kalinowski is the fifth person killed by a lightning strike across the country this year, and the first in Florida.
BELLEAIR BEACH - Pinellas sheriff's deputies were investigating the death of a 51-year-old Brandon woman who apparently died from a lightning strike while at the beach Tuesday evening. Pinellas sheriff's officials said Phyllis Kalinowski had been at the beach all day with a friend.

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