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Artist concept of the Gravity Probe B spacecraft

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Latest Marshall News

    It Takes a Nation: More than 200 American Companies Helping NASA Build, Test, Fly Next-Generation Ares I Rocket

    Artist concept of Ares I launch

    Artist rendering of the Ares I rocket on the launch pad. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/MSFC

    The Ares I rocket, America's next flagship in space, is now in development by NASA and its industry partners, and soon will carry human explorers and new missions of discovery to the moon and beyond. And more than 200 American companies in 32 states and Puerto Rico are helping make it happen, supporting one or more critical Ares projects: the rocket's first stage, upper stage or upper stage engine.

    > News Release
    > Photos

    Marshall Center Serving as Back Up for Space Station Flight Operations

    On Sept. 14, the responsibility for International Space Station flight operations was shifted to the Back up Control Center in the Huntsville Operations Support Center of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and staffed by some 25 personnel of the Flight Control Team normally located at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The Huntsville Operations Support Center provides the back-up team operational facilities and general support.

    NASA Satellite Data to the Aid of Allergy Sufferers

    Scanning electron microscope image of prairie hollyhock pollen

    Scanning electron microscope image of Sildalcea malviflora pollen, commonly known as prairie hollyhock. Image Credit: Dartmouth College/Charles Daghlian

    Research scientists at NASA’s National Space Science and Technology are partnering with academia, industry and health agencies to explore a tantalizing link between pollen and some dangerous health conditions. The team plans, ultimately, to use NASA satellite images of greening plants to predict pollen bursts before they happen so that preventive measures can be taken.

    > Feature

    Marshall Center Conducts First Test on New Motor Designed to Provide Extra Push for the Ares I Rocket

    Engineers at NASA's Marshall Center test firing the ullage settling motor on Sept. 11.

    Engineers at NASA's Marshall Center test firing the ullage settling motor on Sept. 11. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

    Engineers at NASA's Marshall Center completed the first-round testing of a key motor for the next-generation Ares I rocket. The ullage settling motor is a small, solid rocket motor that will assist in vehicle stage separation and provide the forward motion needed to push fuel to the bottom of the fuel tanks during the launch to orbit of the Ares I rocket. Ares I is the first launch vehicle in NASA's new Constellation Program family of space vehicles that will transport astronauts to the International Space Station, the moon and beyond in coming decades.

    > News Release
    > Photos
    > View Test Video (Windows, streaming)
    > Ares Web site
    > Constellation Web site

    NASA's Ares I Rocket Passes Critical Landmark: New Human-Rated Rocket Takes Giant Leap Toward Reality

    Artist concept of Ares I launch

    Artist rendering of Ares I rocket launch. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

    NASA has taken a successful, giant leap toward building the nation’s next generation rocket with the completion of the Ares I rocket preliminary design review. The review, conducted at the Marshall Center, examined the current design for the Ares I to assess that the planned technical approach will meet NASA’s requirements for the fully integrated vehicle, ensuring that all components of the vehicle are designed to work together.

    > News Release
    > Photo
    > Ares I animation
    > Constellation Web site
    > Ares Web site

    A Galaxy Cluster Makes Its Mark

    Chandra image of Abell 1689

    Composite Chandra and Hubble image of Abell 1689, a massive galaxy cluster. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/E.-H Peng. Optical: NASA/STScI

    A powerful collision of galaxy clusters has been captured with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope. Like its famous cousin, the so-called Bullet Cluster, this clash of clusters provides striking evidence for dark matter and insight into its properties. The Marshall Center manages the Chandra program.

    > Photo
    > More Chandra News

    Perseids Meteor Shower Creates September Surprise

    Observation of September Perseids

    A flurry of bright fireballs appeared over the eastern United States on Sept. 9, 2008. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/B. Cooke

    An unexpected flock of fireballs burst over the eastern United States early on Sept. 9, but sharp-eyed Marshall Center astronomers were on the case. Lasting almost four hours, most of the 25 meteors in the shower were as bright as Jupiter and Venus in the morning sky. Early analysis suggests that NASA’s photos are the first ever observed outburst of the September Perseids, which result from an unknown comet.

    > Feature

    Space Shuttle Atlantis Stands Poised on Launch Pad

    Space shuttle Atlantis on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

    Space shuttle Atlantis on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Image Credit: NASA/KSC

    Space shuttle Atlantis arrived at Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Sept. 4. NASA managers cleared the space shuttle for rollout after a weather briefing earlier in the day indicated the approaching Tropical Storm Hanna would remain offshore and not pose a danger to the space shuttle. Atlantis is targeted to launch Oct. 10 on the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

    > Space Shuttle Web site

    Michoud Assembly Facility Escapes Wrath of Gustav

    Hurricane Gustav lashes Michoud Assembly Facility

    Water rose dockside, which is outside the levee at Michoud, as Hurricane Gustav passed over Sept. 1. Image Credit: NASA

    NASA's Michoud Assembly in New Orleans experienced sustained winds of 50-60 mph, with gusts of up to 89 mph, when Hurricane Gustav passed to the west of New Orleans Sept. 1. There were no injuries. Based on initial assessments, there was no damage to flight hardware or support equipment. Some facilities had minimal damage caused by wind and water intrusion.

    > Feature

    NASA Renames Observatory for Fermi, Reveals Entire Gamma-Ray Sky

    NASA's newest observatory, the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, begins its mission of exploring the universe in high-energy gamma rays with a new name. NASA announced Aug. 26 that GLAST has been renamed the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The new name honors Enrico Fermi (1901 - 1954), a pioneer in high-energy physics.

    > News Release

    Ares Update August 2008

    Ares vehicles collage

    Artist concept of Ares I and Ares V rockets. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

    The August update of the Ares Projects and its launch vehicles highlights program milestones -- including successful completion of the upper stage preliminary design review, first test welds of the new friction stir welder, a status on thrust oscillation and up-to-date information on J-2X development. Read the monthly update to stay informed about the Ares launch vehicle fleet.

    > Ares Update
    > Constellation

    Marshall Center Engineers Complete J-2X Gas Generator Test Series; Ares I Rocket Engine Development Continues on Track

    J2X workhorse gas generator test

    Second series of testing on the workhorse gas generator concludes. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC

    Engineers at Marshall Center completed a series of tests on a key component of the J-2X engine, which will propel the next-generation Ares I rocket on its journey to space. The Aug. 8 test -- the last of 20 in this series -- concluded the second of four planned batteries of tests on the J-2X's workhorse gas generator, the driver for the turbopumps which start the engine for the Ares I rocket upper stage.

    > News Release
    > Photos

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