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August 2004 Space News

  • DISTANT SUNS / SMALL PLANETS VOA 31 Aug 2004 -- U.S. astronomers have made a finding they say increases the chance that distant stars may harbor planetary systems like our own. They have discovered two planets the size of Neptune elsewhere in our galaxy. These are the smallest planets yet found outside our solar system and may herald the discovery of even smaller ones like Earth.
  • U.S. Scientists Announce New Class of Planets Washington File 31 Aug 2004 -- U.S. scientists announced the discovery of a new class of planets outside Earth's solar system August 31, the smallest planets ever detected so far from Earth.
  • U.S.: Spacecraft Set To Return Solar Particles To Earth RFE/RL 31 Aug 2004 -- Though made of diamonds, sapphires, gold, and silicon, a sampling device on board a U.S. spacecraft is set to bring even more precious cargo back to Earth in a week's time -- bits of the sun caught during the probe's three-year journey. Named "Genesis," the spacecraft should swing by Earth on 8 September, releasing a capsule containing particles of solar wind. The capsule is due to come down in Utah.
  • BAE SYSTEMS Processors Travel Aboard Messenger To Mercury BAE Systems 31 Aug 2004 -- MANASSAS, Virginia, USA. -- BAE Systems radiation-hardened RAD6000 computers and solid state recorder assemblies headed for the planet Mercury August 3.
  • ILS And Atlas Successfully Launch Payload For NRO Lockheed Martin 31 Aug 2004 -- An Atlas IIAS rocket lifted off tonight, successfully carrying a national security payload into orbit.
  • Lockheed Martin Completes Land-based Testing of Initial Deployment Aegis BMD Capability Lockheed Martin 31 Aug 2004 -- Marking a significant milestone toward an initial capability to defend the nation from a long-range ballistic missile attack, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) successfully completed land-based testing of the first deployable Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Long Range Surveillance and Tracking capability. Aegis BMD is part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) being developed by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), in cooperation with the U.S. Navy.
  • Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems' Second Test at Point Mugu, U.S. Israel Aerospace Industries 29 Aug 2004 -- The Arrow anti-ballistic system participated Aug. 26, 2004, in a joint Israel - United States flight test as part of the ongoing Arrow System Improvement Program (ASIP)./li>
  • Atlas IIAS Launch Postponed Again Lockheed Martin 28 Aug 2004 -- The launch of AC-167, an Atlas IIAS mission, was scrubbed today due to an insufficient level of liquid oxygen remaining in the ground storage tanks to complete launch operations. An anomalous valve position allowed the release of liquid oxygen to the drainage area.
  • ATK Anticipates Closure of PSI Group Acquisition in September ATK 27 Aug 2004 -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) expects its acquisition of the PSI Group to close in late September. The acquisition is subject to federal regulatory review and approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. That review is currently ongoing.
  • Atlas IIAS Launch Of NRO Payload Postponed Lockheed Martin 27 Aug 2004 -- The launch of an Atlas IIAS vehicle with a national security payload was postponed today to allow for additional testing on batteries on the booster.
  • U.S. Army's Tactical High Energy Laser Shoots Down Mortar Rounds, Again Showing Versatility of Northrop Grumman-Built System Northrop Grumman 26 Aug 2004 -- The Tactical High Energy Laser, built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) for the U.S. Army, shot down multiple mortar rounds Aug. 24, proving that laser weapons could be applied on the battlefield to protect against common threats.
  • Rumsfeld Says U.S. Expects Limited Missile Defense by End of 2004 Washington File 20 Aug 2004 -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the United States expects to have a limited ability to defend against incoming long-range ballistic missiles by the end of 2004.
  • NASA Genesis Spacecraft Returns to Earth with Solar Wind Samples Washington File 20 Aug 2004 -- The Genesis spacecraft will swing by Earth next month and jettison a capsule that is carrying samples of particles of the sun that may help explain the beginnings of the solar system, says a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) press release.
  • Northrop Grumman Selected by Air Force to Demonstrate Air-to-Space Laser Communication Technology Northrop Grumman 19 Aug 2004 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been selected by the U.S. Air Force to design, build and demonstrate a prototype optical aperture system that will enable laser communications between aircraft and space-based platforms.
  • Water Changed Rocks in Mars Gusev Crater, NASA Rover Finds Washington File 19 Aug 2004 -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is examining bedrock in the Columbia Hills of Mars and finding evidence that water thoroughly altered some rocks in Gusev Crater, according to a NASA press release.
  • Transcript: Remarks by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at the Seventh Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference 18 Aug 2004 -- Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
  • MARS / WATER VOA 18 Aug 2004 -- Scientists say they might be on the verge of confirming that large amounts of water once flowed in a region of Mars that has looked curiously dry until now. Such a finding could be comparable to their discovery earlier this year of an ancient shallow sea on the other side of the red planet.
  • Missile Defense Needed to Thwart Extremists, Rumsfeld Says AFPS 18 Aug 2004 -- With extremists constantly looking for weaknesses to exploit and the means to exploit them, missile defense capabilities are a must, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said here today.
  • Boeing Awards Space Shuttle, ISS Subcontracts to Minority and Women-Owned Small Businesses Boeing 18 Aug 2004 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] is expanding the number of minority and women-owned small businesses that provide engineering and technical support services to NASA Systems programs in Houston.
  • TWO MORE SATURN MOONS VOA 17 Aug 2004 -- The planet with the second largest number of moons now has two more. The U.S. Cassini spacecraft discovered them around Saturn, bringing the giant ringed planet's known total to 33.
  • NASA Cassini Spacecraft Finds Two New Saturn Moons Washington File 17 Aug 2004 -- The Cassini spacecraft has discovered two new moons at Saturn that may be the smallest bodies seen so far around the ringed planet, according to a NASA press release.
  • Record-Setting Composite Heat Exchanger Panel Successfully Tested Pratt & Whitney 17 Aug 2004 -- As part of completing activities under NASA’s Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) Program, Pratt & Whitney (P&W) Space Propulsion recently tested a composite hydrocarbon fuel-cooled heat-exchanger panel at Mach 6.5. This was the largest lightweight panel to ever be successfully tested in a scramjet environment in the United States.
  • Raytheon Delivers Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle Payloads for Fort Greely Deployment Raytheon 17 Aug 2004 -- Raytheon Company has delivered the first deployable flight elements of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Ground- based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program from its Missile Defense Kinetic Kill Vehicle production facility in Tucson, Ariz.
  • Boeing to Design Guidance Parachute Technology for Mars Missions Boeing 16 Aug 2004 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] has won a $1.5 million, three-year NASA Mars Technology Development contract to develop guidance parachute technology for future Mars missions.
  • Mars Rover Sends Pictures to European Space Agency Orbiter Washington File 11 Aug 2004 -- The Mars rover Opportunity sent pictures from the planet's surface to the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express orbiter on August 4, showing for the first time that the orbiter could serve as a communications link.
  • Amazonas satellite reaches geostationary orbit EADS 11 Aug 2004 -- After its launch from Baikonur on 5th of August at 4:32 (0:32 CET time) by a Proton Breeze M launch vehicle, the Amazonas satellite’s perigee altitude was raised in several burns of its own engine until it reached geostationary orbit. Its solar arrays were successfully deployed as were the antenna reflectors and the satellite is now accurately pointing to Earth. All systems are behaving nominally. As planned the satellite is drifting to its final orbital position where it will be thoroughly tested before the payload can be brought into full operational service.
  • EADS Astrium Builds Super-Eye for JWST Space Telescope EADS 09 Aug 2004 -- EADS Astrium GmbH is to build the NIRSpec super-eye for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded the €69million contract to EADS SPACE’s satellite specialists. The 200kg spectrograph is able to detect the faintest radiation from the most distant galaxies and can observe more than 100 objects simultaneously.
  • Lockheed Martin Team Delivers Critical Space Missile Warning Payload To U.S. Air Force Lockheed Martin 06 Aug 2004 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) today announced the delivery of the first space payload for the Space-Based Infrared System High (SBIRS High) program. The payload was delivered for integration with a host satellite and eventual launch into a highly elliptical orbit (HEO) around the earth. The HEO payload’s primary mission is to scan for ballistic missile launches; adjunct missions include detecting and reporting other infrared events of military interest.
  • Mars Rovers Continue to Explore While Teams Diagnose Problems Washington File 05 Aug 2004 -- NASA's Spirit rover has climbed higher into Mars's rocky hills while its twin craft, Opportunity, descended deeper into a crater, but both are operating with restrictions while team members diagnose unexpected behavior.
  • Canada and United States Amend NORAD Agreement Department of National Defence of Canada 05 Aug 2004 -- Minister of National Defence Bill Graham and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Pettigrew today announced that the Government is amending the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) agreement with the United States. The amendment authorizes NORAD to make its missile warning function - a role it has been performing for the last 30 years - available to the U.S. commands conducting ballistic missile defence.
  • Raytheon Team Submits Updated MUOS Proposal; Team Member Loral to Emerge from Chapter 11 Raytheon 05 Aug 2004 -- Raytheon Company and its team submitted an updated Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) proposal to the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), San Diego, Calif.
  • NASA's Mercury-bound MESSENGER Launches from Cape Canaveral Washington File 03 Aug 2004 -- MESSENGER, the first mission to Mercury in 30 years and the first ever to orbit the closest planet to the Sun, launched August 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
  • ATK Helps Send MESSENGER Spacecraft on Its Way to Mercury Aboard a Boeing Delta II ATK 03 Aug 2004 -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) rocket motors helped launch a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral earlier this morning carrying NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft to Mercury where it will study the hot, heavily-cratered planet. The journey to Mercury will last six-and-a-half years and cover a distance of 4.9 billion miles.
  • NASA Probe Launched by Boeing Delta II Heading to Mercury Boeing 03 Aug 2004 -- The first mission to explore the Planet Mercury in more than three decades began today with the successful launch of NASA's MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space, ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging)spacecraft aboard a Boeing Delta II Heavy launch vehicle.
  • MERCURY MISSION VOA 03 Aug 2004 -- The United States has launched a spacecraft to explore the mysteries of the planet Mercury. Mercury is the least understood of the nine planets in our solar system.
  • NASA Set to Launch Orbiter to Mercury Washington File 02 Aug 2004 -- Bad weather forced NASA to cancel the scheduled August 2 launch of MESSENGER, the first mission to Mercury in 30 years. The space agency's window to begin the mission extends to August 14.

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