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International Space Station

Private companies drive ‘new space race’ at NASA center

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For the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, NASA says it may soon have the capability to send astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil.

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Donald Trump signs NASA bill, ponders sending Congress to space

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President Donald Trump signed legislation Tuesday adding human exploration of Mars to NASA’s mission. Could sending Congress into space be next? Flanked at an Oval Office bill-signing ceremony by astronauts and lawmakers, Trump observed that being an astronaut is a “pretty tough job.” He said he wasn’t sure he’d want it and, among lawmakers he put the question to, Sen. Ted Cruz said he wouldn’t want to be a space traveler, either. But Cruz, R-Texas, offered up a tantalizing suggestion.…

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Kennedy Space Center back in launch business — this time for business

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Kennedy Space Center is back in the rocket-launching business — and this time it’s really a business. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off into space from historic Launch Complex 39A Sunday morning, the first launch from Kennedy since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. This was a business launch in almost every sense, except in purpose. The Dragon capsule sent into orbit by the rocket is full of 5,500 pounds of equipment and goods for the International Space Station.…

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Space Florida ‘Steeles’ itself for the winter that’s coming

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Good on you, Jason Steele, for being the first person in the Space Florida boardroom to talk about the elephant. “We have not had a target on our back, but I promise you, and my crystal ball is very clear, the target will be on our back,” Steele told his fellow Space Florida directors, as they reaffirmed a one-million-dollar line of credit for the folks behind a secret-something called Project Ice. For all the public knew, the loan was going…

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Thanksgiving in space: turkey, green beans & even football

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Turkey and football will be the main Thanksgiving headliners up on the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, the station’s commander, is serving as Thanksgiving chef for the six-person crew. He showed off the specialties he’ll be preparing in a video this week. “It’s going to be a little bit different for us up here in space,” he said, “but I’m going to try to make it as much like home as we can.” On Thursday – a regular…

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Yearlong spacemen embrace fresh, frigid air back on Earth

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Ah, there’s nothing like a blast of fresh, frigid air to welcome you back to the planet after nearly a year cooped up in space. That’s the word from astronaut Scott Kelly, NASA’s space-endurance champ who returned to bitterly cold Kazakhstan on Wednesday, along with his roommate for the past year, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. In a NASA interview before heading home to Houston, where he arrived early Thursday, Kelly said it was “amazing” to feel the cold air when…

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SpaceX launch ends in failure, rocket erupts

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An unmanned SpaceX rocket carrying supplies and the first-of-its-kind docking port to the International Space Station broke apart Sunday shortly after liftoff. It was a severe blow to NASA, still reeling from previous failed shipments. The accident occurred about 2 1/2 minutes into the flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Pieces could be seen falling into the Atlantic. More than 5,200 pounds of space station cargo were on board, including the first docking port designed for future commercial crew capsules. “The…

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