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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Preparing for integration to NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosity, technicians help guide a rocket-powered descent stage over the rover at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The descent stage will lower Curiosity to the surface of Mars.     A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
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STS-133 DISCOVERY - HARDWARE REMOVAL FROM ORBITER IN WHITE ROOM - ET FOAM REPAIR PREPS WITH TENTS
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -  Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility check the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2) before it is lifted and moved to the lander where it will be mated to the base petal.  Set to launch in Spring 2003, the MER Mission consists of two identical rovers, landing at different regions of Mars, designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past.  The first rover has a launch window opening May 30, and the second rover a window opening June 25.
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VANDENBERG AFB, CALIF. - Workers in the NASA spacecraft processing facility on North Vandenberg Air Force Base prepare to rotate the framework containing one of four solar panels to be installed on the Gravity Probe B spacecraft.  Installing each array is a 3-day process and includes a functional deployment test.  The Gravity Probe B mission is a relativity experiment developed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Stanford University and Lockheed Martin.  The spacecraft will test two extraordinary predictions of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity that he advanced in 1916: the geodetic effect (how space and time are warped by the presence of the Earth) and frame dragging (how Earth’s rotation drags space and time around with it).  Gravity Probe B consists of four sophisticated gyroscopes that will provide an almost perfect space-time reference system.  The mission will look in a precision manner for tiny changes in the direction of spin.
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -  After another test on the Mars Exploration Rover-2 (MER-2) for mobility and maneuverability, workers check the rover.  Atop the rover can be seen the cameras, mounted on a Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA).  Set to launch in Spring 2003, the MER Mission will consist of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past.  The rovers will be identical to each other, but will land at different regions of Mars.  The first rover has a launch window opening May 30, and the second rover a window opening June 25.
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the background, right, workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility get ready to lift Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-B) to the third stage of the Delta rocket (foreground) for mating.  The second of twin rovers being sent to Mars, it is equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow it to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-B is scheduled to launch from Launch Pad 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, June 26 at one of two available times,  12:27:31 a.m. EDT or 1:08:45 a.m. EDT.
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the high bay of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG) for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, still connected to the turning fixture, rests on a support base following the MMRTG fit check on the Curiosity rover. A mobile plexiglass radiation shield is in place between the MMRTG and the spacecraft technicians, at right, to help minimize the employees' radiation exposure.    The MMRTG will generate the power needed for the mission from the natural decay of plutonium-238, a non-weapons-grade form of the radioisotope. Heat given off by this natural decay will provide constant power through the day and night during all seasons. MSL's components include a car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for signs of life, including methane, and help determine if the gas is from a biological or geological source. Waste heat from the MMRTG will be circulated throughout the rover system to keep instruments, computers, mechanical devices and communications systems within their operating temperature ranges. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is targeted for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  With the transporter in place inside Hangar M on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the suspended Delta II first stage can be placed on it. The Delta will be moved to the launch pad. Dawn's mission is to explore two of the asteroid belt's most intriguing and dissimilar occupants: asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres.  Dawn is scheduled to launch June 30 from Launch Complex 17-B.   Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller
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F/A-18 #845 testing autonomous system for AARD project by following a pickup with an airborne tanker drogue illustration.
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STS112-E-5328 (12 October 2002) --- Astronaut Piers J. Sellers,  mission specialist, translates along the  S0 (S-Zero) truss on the International Space Station (ISS) during the second of three scheduled STS-112 spacewalks.
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TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Inside the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, or TDRS-L, spacecraft is being encapsulated in its payload fairing prior to being transported to Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The TDRS-L satellite will be a part of the second of three next-generation spacecraft designed to ensure vital operational continuity for the NASA Space Network. It is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex 41 atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on January 23, 2014. The current Tracking and Data Relay Satellite system consists of eight in-orbit satellites distributed to provide near continuous information relay contact with orbiting spacecraft ranging from the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope to the array of scientific observatories. For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdrs/home/index.html
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