Astrobiology

NASA Extends Hubble Space Telescope Science Operations Contract

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Image of the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit taking photos of deep space objects. Credit NASA 

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Components making up the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit NASA

This action will extend the period of performance from July 1 through June 30, 2021. The contract value will increase by approximately $196.3 million for a total contract value of $2.03 billion. 

This contract extension covers the work necessary to continue the science program of the Hubble mission by the Space Telescope Science Institute. The support includes the products and services required to execute science system engineering, science ground system development, science operations, science research, grants management and public outreach support for Hubble and data archive support for missions in the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. 

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To replace the Hubble in 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope is to be the premier telescope. Credit NASA

After the final space shuttle servicing mission to the telescope in 2009, Hubble is better than ever. Hubble is expected to continue to provide valuable data into the 2020’s, securing its place in history as an outstanding general purpose observatory in areas ranging from our solar system to the distant universe. 

In 2018, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will be launched into space as the premier observatory of the next decade, serving astronomers worldwide to build on Hubble’s legacy of discoveries and help unlock some of the biggest mysteries of the universe.

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov

Is Curiosity responsible for Mars methane readings?

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Written by Chuck Bednar (@BednarChuck)
May 28, 2015 – redOrbit.com

Is this little guy just detecting his own methane gas? (Credit: NASA)
 

(Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – @BednarChuck) One of the reasons the Curiosity rover was sent to Mars was to determine once and for all if the Red Planet was emitting methane, but could it have actually further muddled matters instead by giving off the chemical compound itself?

That’s the issue investigated by Johnny Bontemps of Astrobiology Magazine in a story published earlier this week by Discovery News. The gist of it is this: nearly five decades ago, Mariner 7 first purportedly detected methane near the south pole. While that turned out to be a false signal, orbiting spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes again detected methane in 2003 and 2004.

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Ten Exciting Astronomy Stories from 2014 (Space Daily)

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PHOTO: Messier 82, seen in radio frequencies by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. (Credit: Josh Marvil (NM Tech/NRAO), Bill Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), NASA)

Using news releases from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com) staffers at the NRAO came up with a list of the top 10 stories of 2014 using both the story’s scientific impact and public interest.

NRAO Chief Scientist Chris Carilli said of the list, “These ‘top ten’ are just a small sampling of the myriad ways in which the state-of-the-art NRAO facilities are enabling forefront research by the astronomical community.”

Carilli also said of 2014 list that U.S. and International astronomers, using new telescopes, instruments and techniques, worked on addressing the issues on the formation of planets, stars and galaxies, the fundamentals of physics and cosmology, astrochemistry and biology; “While finding some real surprises along the way!”

Continue to the top 10 stories of 2014: