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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT

Space News Archive - April 18, 2012

The MESSENGER mission successfully completed the first of two maneuvers designed to reduce the spacecraft's orbital period about Mercury. This new trajectory will pave the way for more detailed measurements and targeted observations of the Sun's closest neighbor.

Asteroid Craters On Earth Give Clues In Search For Life On Mars

Craters made by asteroid impacts may be the best place to look for signs of life on other planets, a study suggests.

Canadarm2 To Catch SpaceX’s Dragon On Its Maiden Voyage To The ISS

"Here, there be dragons”…the phrase used to designate the boundaries of the known world on historical maps seems fitting as the U.S. space program embarks upon a new frontier in space exploration with the launch of the first commercial demonstration flight to the International Space Station.

Tim Gets His Feet Wet

ESA astronaut Timothy Peake will soon dive to the bottom of the sea to learn more about exploring space. A permanent underwater base almost 20 m below the waves off the coast of Florida will be Tim’s home for more than a week in June.

Hubble Snaps Portrait Of Turbulent Star-Making Region

Several million young stars are vying for attention in a new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of a raucous stellar breeding ground in 30 Doradus, a star-forming complex located in the heart of the Tarantula nebula.

Rogue Planets Sometimes Captured By Stars

New research suggests that billions of stars in our galaxy have captured rogue planets that once roamed interstellar space.

Image 1 - Shuttle Program Honored As Discovery Makes Final Journey

Tuesday marked the final flight of NASA's oldest surviving space shuttle, as a modified Boeing 747 carrying Discovery lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at dawn and transported the vehicle to Dulles Airport just outside of Washington D.C.

NASA has selected a science instrument upgrade to the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) airborne observatory.

NASA today successfully conducted a drop test of the Orion crew vehicle's entry, descent and landing parachutes high above the Arizona desert in preparation for the vehicle's orbital flight test, Exploration Flight Test -1, in 2014. Orion will carry astronauts deeper into space than ever before, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and ensure a safe re-entry and landing.

NASA's social media team has received the Space Foundation's Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award, which is presented annually to an individual, team or organization that has made significant contributions to public awareness and understanding of space programs.