NASA

Science & Health
12:45 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Space Company Expanding in Huntsville

Alabama’s reputation as one of the leaders in the space industry is continuing to grow.  A private company building vehicles for space travel is expanding its work in Huntsville.  Sierra Nevada Company announced it’s teaming up with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and an engineering company.  Mark Sirangelo is Sierra Nevada’s corporate vice president.  He says they’re expanding in Huntsville to tap into the wealth of knowledge there. 

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Science & Health
6:44 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Alabama Researcher Observes Black Hole Destroying a Star

An illustration of a tidal disruption event. As the star approaches the black hole, it gets torn apart by the gravitational forces and accretes around the black hole. Image credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
astrobites.org

A University of Alabama researcher and his team believe they’ve been able to observe a black hole destroying a star in a galaxy far, far away.   Peter Maksym led the study of data from NASA’s Chandra telescope that observed a large x-ray flare. 

Peter Maksym: “You have this tiny little galaxy that appears to have had a really huge x-ray flare.  This is really solid evidence that it’s got a massive black hole of some sort.”

Maksym says the flare was probably created when a star got too close to the black hole and was destroyed. 

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Southern Meteor
4:40 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Meteor Lights Up Sky Over Southern States

NASA officials say brilliant lights and loud booms reported in Alabama and Georgia were a meteor that streaked across the South.
Credit NASA

NASA officials say brilliant lights and loud booms reported in Alabama and Georgia were a meteor that streaked across the South.

Officials at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville said a baseball-size fragment of a comet entered Earth's atmosphere above Alabama at 8:18 p.m. Central Time on Monday.

NASA officials say the meteor traveled at a speed of 76,000 mph. They say that just three seconds after hitting the atmosphere, it disintegrated 25 miles above the Alabama town of Woodstock, producing a flash of light. Woodstock is about 30 miles southwest of Woodstock.

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NASA
7:28 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Head of NASA Program to Discuss Rocket in Mobile

Todd May directs NASA's space launch system. He's visiting Mobile to talk with coastal residents about the program.
Emmett Given/Marshall Space Flight Center

The head of NASA's next-generation rocket will be in Mobile to discuss the program with coastal residents.

   Todd May, who directs NASA's space launch system at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, will speak about the program at Battleship Memorial Park on Wednesday afternoon.

   The event is open to the public, and NASA astronaut and former space shuttle pilot Tony Antonelli will also be on hand.

   The space launch system will be the most powerful rocket ever built, and the first test flight is set for 2017.

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Science & Health
6:42 am
Fri November 30, 2012

NASA Demolishing Old Rocket Test Stand at Marshall

Credit NASA

The nation's space agency is tearing down a rocket test stand in Huntsville that was once used by engineers working to send astronauts to the moon.


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration says workers will use explosives to demolish the concrete towers of Test Stand 4696 at Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville on Friday.

The 239-foot-tall tower was built in 1962 to test F-1 engines, which helped power Saturn V rockets to the moon. Documents show it hasn't been used since 1969, the year astronauts first landed on the lunar surface.

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Science & Health
2:44 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

World mourns loss of Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong

NASA

CINCINNATI (AP) — The family of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, says he has died at age 82. A statement from the family says he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. It doesn't say where he died. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969. He radioed back to Earth the historic news of "one giant leap for mankind." Armstrong and fellow astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the moon, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.

Science & Health
9:00 am
Wed August 8, 2012

NASA Curiosity rover sends flood of Mars pictures

NASA's Curiosity rover sends back a shot of the horizon of the planet Mars.
NASA

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA has received a flood of new black-and-white pictures from the Curiosity rover on Mars that it will stitch together to make a panorama. The photos began pouring in Wednesday morning after the nuclear-powered rover raised its mast that's equipped with the cameras. The raw images reveal portions of the rover's instrument deck, its shadow on the ground and the Martian horizon. Since touching down inside Gale Crater Sunday night, Curiosity has beamed home a steady stream of images, including the first color view from the landing site.

Science & Health
11:48 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Alabama company wins NASA contract

NASA

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A north Alabama company has won a contract worth as much $51.6 million for work at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. The space agency says Analytical Services Inc. will provide strategic research and analysis at Marshall. It will also provide support services for communications at the NASA center. The one-year contract can be lengthened through extensions. ASI is based in Huntsville and has offices in Montgomery, Troy, Mich., and the Washington, D.C., region.

Science & Health
9:36 am
Tue August 7, 2012

NASA Curiosity Rover sends back first color photo of Mars

NASA

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — NASA's Curiosity rover has beamed back its first color photo from the ancient crater where it landed. The view showed a pebbly landscape and the rim of Gale Crater off in the distance. Curiosity snapped the photo on the first day on the surface after touching down on Mars Sunday night. The rover took the shot with a camera at the end of its robotic arm, which remained stowed. The landscape looked fuzzy because the camera's removable cover was coated with dust that kicked up during the descent to the ground.

Science & Health
11:12 am
Mon August 6, 2012

NASA'S "Curiosity" Mars rover "phones home"

Artists' rendering of NASA's Mars rover "Curiosity" being lowered to the surface by its "skycrane"
NASA

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Cheers and applause echoed through the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena on late Sunday after the robotic explorer Curiosity signaled it had survived a harrowing plunge through the thin Mars atmosphere. The most high-tech interplanetary rover ever built touched down on the Martian surface inside of a giant crater after a tricky landing routine that included a series of braking tricks, a heat shield and a supersonic parachute.

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Science & Health
7:01 am
Sun July 29, 2012

Russian cargo ship docks with Space Station after failed attempt

NASA

MOSCOW (AP) — An unmanned Russian cargo spacecraft (similar to the one pictured here) has redocked with the International Space Station after an aborted attempt five days earlier. The Progress cargo ship had separated from the station a week ago to perform engineering tests and try out a new docking system and had been due to reconnect with the station on Tuesday. But problems developed with the avionics in the docking system. The second attempt early Sunday was successful. Video streamed from Russian mission control reported no problems.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Astronomers Discover Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto

This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, shows five moons orbiting the distant, icy dwarf planet Pluto. The green circle marks the newly discovered moon, designated P5.
NASA

We now know that Pluto, the dwarf planet formerly known as a planet, has one more moon orbiting it. Using the Hubble Space telescope, astronomers have discovered Pluto's fifth moon.

NPR's Joe Palca filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The new moon is tiny, something between 6 and 15 miles across. It showed up in nine separate images the space telescope made in the last month. The latest image came earlier this week.

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