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Latest Atmospheric reentry Stories

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2006-07-13 17:30:00

HOUSTON -- Two days after losing a spatula that now circles Earth with other orbital trash, Discovery's astronauts will check Friday if any other space junk or tiny meteorites have dinged the shuttle's wing. For the first time, NASA will use a 50-foot extension boom attached to the shuttle's robotic arm to examine the spacecraft's left wing for damage from micrometeoroids, the dust-sized debris that is the vast majority of space junk that circles Earth. Sensors and cameras on the boom tip...

2006-07-07 19:06:31

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - The Discovery crew used a boom-mounted digital camera to re-inspect six areas on the shuttle's heat shield on Friday, but appeared confident problems that led to the 2003 Columbia disaster have been resolved. The most serious area of concern is Discovery's carbon-tipped nose, which must withstand temperatures hot enough to melt steel when the shuttle plunges back into the atmosphere prior to landing. "That's the main thing we're looking at," flight...

2006-01-08 18:40:00

LOS ANGELES -- When a NASA capsule hauling comet and interstellar dust plummets through the Earth's atmosphere this weekend, residents in large sweeps of the West will witness a cosmic spectacle. During the Stardust capsule's blazing re-entry at 1:57 a.m. PST Sunday, January 15, it will travel at 29,000 mph, making it the fastest man-made object to return to Earth. The 100-pound cargo will arc over Northern California toward Utah's Dugway Proving Ground, a remote Army base southwest of Salt...

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2006-01-07 09:00:00

LOS ANGELES -- Lockheed Martin, builder of the Genesis probe that crashed in the Utah desert in 2004, skipped a critical pre-launch test that would have uncovered a design flaw, an investigator said Friday. The capsule, carrying microscopic solar wind atoms back to Earth, was supposed to plunge through the atmosphere, deploy parachutes and be snagged by a helicopter that would lower it softly to the ground. Instead, the capsule slammed into the salt flats after its parachutes failed to...

2005-11-15 17:53:40

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA's quest to resume space shuttle flights has slowed to a crawl at the Kennedy Space Center, where technicians were meticulously testing the fragile cloth strips that forced an unprecedented and risky spacewalk during the last shuttle mission. The tests on the cloth strips were in addition to extensive changes to the insulation on the shuttle's external fuel tank and other changes designed to make the spacecraft safer. NASA hopes...

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2005-11-15 17:50:00

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- NASA's quest to resume space shuttle flights has slowed to a crawl at the Kennedy Space Center, where technicians were meticulously testing the fragile cloth strips that forced an unprecedented and risky spacewalk during the last shuttle mission. The tests on the cloth strips were in addition to extensive changes to the insulation on the shuttle's external fuel tank and other changes designed to make the spacecraft safer. NASA hopes to launch the...

2005-10-08 14:20:23

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Scientists have lost an experimental "space parachute" after it came back to earth in the remote wilderness of Russia's Pacific seaboard, news agencies said on Saturday. An inflatable, heat-proof cone that deploys on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere, scientists hope the device could offer a better way of bringing cargo and experiments back from the International Space Station. It was launched on board a missile from a Russian navy nuclear submarine on Friday,...

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2005-09-14 10:40:00

NASA -- When the shuttle Discovery streaked into the clear, blue sky this summer, millions of Americans sat on the edges of their seats, staring in awe at computer screens and television sets. More than 100 ground and shuttle-based cameras offered unprecedented views as the orbiter climbed through the atmosphere, jettisoned its rockets and freed itself from the external tank. But these elaborate camera systems were designed to do more than dazzle home viewers. They played a vital role in...

2005-08-03 14:06:47

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - A spacewalking astronaut ventured to the bottom of space shuttle Discovery on Wednesday for the first time and plucked two protruding cloth fillers from between ceramic tiles on the shuttle's heat shield. "It turned out to be just as easy as we said it was going to be," said spacewalk coordinator Cindy Begley at a news conference. Astronaut Steve Robinson took care of the nagging heat shield concern on the third and final scheduled spacewalk for...

2005-08-01 19:42:16

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - Determined not to lose another space shuttle and crew, NASA on Monday decided to send one of Discovery's astronauts on a risky spacewalk to the ship's fragile underside to smooth protruding fibers in the heat shield. The task of removing protruding material from the space shuttle that could theoretically generate dangerous heat on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere will be added to a third previously scheduled spacewalk on Wednesday. "This is the new...


Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.