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August 08, 2011

NASA To Launch New Desert RATS Field Tests

Desert To Simulate An Asteroid Environment In Upcoming Exercises

NASA is once again taking human space exploration to the Arizona desert in tests to simulate conditions on other worlds. This year, for the first time, the desolate desert landscape will stand in for an asteroid. Visiting an asteroid presents NASA with challenges the agency is only beginning to tackle. Among them are how to travel between sites of interest on an asteroid's surface and how to conduct spacewalks in its microgravity.

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ULA Atlas V Selected To Launch Boeing's CST-100 Spacecraft

Manned Missions, When They Happen, Will Launch From Complex 41

When the United States again undertakes manned spaceflight, the CST-100 spacecraft designed by Boeing will launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, according to the company. If NASA selects Boeing for a development contract with sufficient funding, ULA will provide launch services for an autonomous orbital flight, a transonic autonomous abort test launch, and a crewed launch, all in 2015.

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NASA Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing On Mars

Images From MRO Show Seasonal Changes Over Several Years

Observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have revealed possible flowing water during the warmest months on Mars. "NASA's Mars Exploration Program keeps bringing us closer to determining whether the Red Planet could harbor life in some form," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, "and it reaffirms Mars as an important future destination for human exploration."

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