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/ 11 March 2008

Space shuttle Endeavour launches with Japanese lab

The United States space shuttle Endeavour blasted off from a seaside Florida launch pad on Tuesday to deliver part of a long-awaited Japanese space laboratory to the International Space Station. Piercing the still of night with a thunderous boom and a flash of white-hot flame, the spaceship lifted off from the Kennedy Space Centre at 2.28am local time.

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/ 6 December 2007

Sensor glitch delays space shuttle launch

Nasa postponed the launch, scheduled for Thursday, of the United States space shuttle Atlantis after discovering a problem with a sensor in the spacecraft’s fuel tank, officials said. The US space agency planned to try again on Friday to launch Europe’s long-delayed Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station.

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/ 23 October 2007

Space shuttle Discovery blasts off in US

The United States space shuttle Discovery blasted off on a pillar of fire on Tuesday, soaring above Florida marshlands toward a rendezvous in two days with the International Space Station. Discovery‘s 14-day mission kicks off a two-month refurbishment of the -billion outpost that prepares the way for Europe’s first permanent laboratory in orbit.

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/ 13 September 2007

Google sponsors $30m moon landing prize

Web search leader Google will sponsor a -million competition for an unmanned lunar landing, following up on the -million Ansari X Prize that spurred a private sector race to space. The Google Lunar X Prize is open to private industry and non-government entities worldwide, organisers said on Thursday.

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/ 21 August 2007

Space shuttle Endeavour touches down

Space shuttle Endeavour returned to its Florida home port on Tuesday, touching down safely at the Kennedy Space Centre following a hectic but successful 13-day mission to the International Space Station. Commander Scott Kelly gently steered the 100-tonne spaceship through breezy, blue skies before nosing Endeavour down on to a 4,8km runway.

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/ 21 August 2007

Shuttle heads home after successful mission

Nasa astronauts prepared on Tuesday to bring the space shuttle Endeavour back to Earth after a two-week mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Endeavour is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, with two chances to touch down, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.

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/ 10 August 2007

Endeavour prepares to dock with ISS

The United States shuttle Endeavour prepared to dock with the International Space Station on Friday after sustaining minor damage to its external fuel tank during lift-off, Nasa said. Altogether, nine pieces of insulation flaked off during the initial minutes of ascent, but only three may have struck the shuttle itself.

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/ 9 August 2007

US shuttle blasts first teacher into space

United States space shuttle Endeavour was blasting through space on Thursday, taking the first teacher there 21 years after the Challenger explosion ended the dream of another pioneering teacher. Teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan (55) has become the star of the second shuttle mission to the International Space Station this year.

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/ 5 August 2007

Probe lifts off for journey to Mars

An unmanned Delta rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station early on Saturday, sending a water-analysing science probe on its way to Mars. The Phoenix spacecraft, which lifted off at 9.26am GMT, is expected to reach the northern polar region of Mars on May 25.

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/ 10 December 2006

Discovery soars on second launch try

Space shuttle Discovery blasted off its seaside launch pad on Saturday, defying the odds of poor weather and ending the ban on night-time flights imposed after the 2003 Columbia disaster. High winds had threatened to delay the flight for the second time in as many days but the gusts calmed, clearing the way for Nasa’s third shuttle mission in six months.

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/ 5 December 2006

Nasa plans to build base on the moon

Nasa said on Monday it plans to build a permanently occupied base on the moon, most likely at the lunar south pole. The habitat will serve as a science outpost as well as a testbed for technologies needed for future travel to Mars, and construction will follow a series of flights to the moon scheduled to begin by 2020.

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/ 21 September 2006

Shuttle back on Earth after space mission

The United States space shuttle Atlantis returned safely to its Florida home port on Thursday, capping a successful mission to resume International Space Station construction after the 2003 Columbia accident. After 12 days in space, including six at the half-built -billion space station, Atlantis dropped from its orbital perch into Earth’s atmosphere.

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/ 9 September 2006

Space shuttle soars from Florida after long delay

Space shuttle Atlantis roared off its seaside Florida launch pad on Saturday after two weeks of delays, setting the stage for Nasa to resume assembly of the International Space Station. The shuttle’s fuel tank appeared to shed at least two pieces of insulating foam during the climb into orbit, one of which may have struck Atlantis, but mission control said it was unlikely to have caused any damage.

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/ 8 September 2006

Space shuttle fuelled for launch from Florida

Technicians at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida started filling space shuttle Atlantis‘ fuel tank for a launch attempt on Friday after nearly two weeks of delays due to weather problems and technical glitches, officials said. Lift-off is targeted for 11.41am (3.41pm GMT) and meteorologists predicted a 70% chance the weather would be suitable for launch.

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/ 17 January 2006

Nasa’s mission to Pluto is ‘good to go’

Nasa prepared to launch an unmanned, piano-sized probe that will fly by Pluto, the solar system’s last unexplored planet, and also study a mysterious zone of icy objects that surrounds the frosty planet at the outer edges of the planetary system. The launch has drawn protests from anti-nuclear activists because the spacecraft will be powered by 11kg of plutonium.

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/ 12 August 2005

Nasa sends spacecraft to Mars

A Nasa spacecraft blasted off on Friday into a golden early-morning sky, beginning a mission to Mars to gather more data on the Red Planet than all combined previous missions. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter lifted off on an Atlas V rocket on a seven-month journey to Mars.

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/ 12 January 2005

Nasa plans to crash into comet

For the first time in history, Nasa is setting off on a collision course with a comet, in hopes of blasting a huge hole in the celestial snowball and gazing upon the original ingredients of the solar system preserved inside. It all begins with a planned Wednesday launch of Deep Impact, a copper-fortified, comet-busting spacecraft.

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/ 3 August 2004

Up and away to the planet of extremes

Nasa launched a messenger to Mercury on Tuesday, the first spacecraft in 30 years to head to the sun’s closest planet. The probe, named Messenger, rocketed away in the pre-dawn moonlight on what will be a eight billion kilometre, six-and-a-half-year journey to Mercury. Messenger will view Mercury from all sides.