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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Splash! NASA moon crash struck lots of water

Suddenly, the moon looks exciting again. It has lots of water, scientists said Friday — a thrilling discovery that sent a ripple of hope for a future astronaut outpost in a place that has always seemed barren and inhospitable.

Education by design

The fifth-graders in a Post Falls classroom dashed back and forth from open black laptops to tabletop obstacle courses. They made minute programming adjustments, then placed the robots they built on the tables, held their breath and let go. “Yes!” yelled Lyndsay Frey, throwing her hands in the air, after her team’s robot moved several feet along a path, made a 180-degree turn and headed back toward her.

NASA successfully tests new type of moon rocket

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s newest rocket successfully completed a brief test flight Wednesday, the first step in a back-to-the-moon program that could yet be shelved by the White House. The 327-foot Ares I-X rocket resembled a giant white pencil as it shot into the sky, delayed a day by poor weather.

Moon crash: Public yawns, scientists celebrate

NASA’s great lunar fireworks finale fizzled. After gearing up for the space agency’s much-hyped mission to hurl two spacecraft into the moon, the public turned away from the sky Friday anything but dazzled. Photos and video of the impact showed little more than a fuzzy white flash.

Spokane astronomers invite public to watch moon impact

A NASA mission to send a space ship crashing into the moon early Friday while another ship analyzes the plume arising from the collision is going to be watched from Earth by a pair of Spokane astronomers, who are inviting the public to join them.

NASA faces limits of low-orbit budget

A special advisory committee on the future of America’s manned space flight program delivered a report to the White House on Tuesday that could help launch the country on an Apollo-style adventure to Mars but also warned darkly that any ambitious program of exploration will require big infusions of cash. Without a significant boost in NASA’s budget, not only will it be impossible to return to the moon by the currently stated goal of 2020, but astronauts might not return at all, according to the report by the Human Space Flight Plans Committee.

NASA lost video of moon landing

WASHINGTON – NASA could put a man on the moon, but it didn’t have the sense to keep the original video of the live TV transmission. In an embarrassing acknowledgment, the space agency said Thursday that it must have erased the Apollo 11 moon footage years ago so that it could reuse the videotape.

In brief: Report says Iran hangs rebels

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s state radio said authorities have hanged in public 14 members of a Sunni Muslim rebel group blamed for bombings and killings in southeastern Iran. The report today said the executions took place in the city of Zahedan, some 930 miles southeast of Iran’s capital Tehran. The 14 included Abdulhamid Rigi, brother of Abdulmalik Rigi, the leader of Jundallah, or soldiers of God, a Sunni Muslim group that Iran says has close ties to “foreign forces” in neighboring Afghanistan, a possible reference to the al-Qaida terror group.

Astronauts toast NASA ingenuity, sip recycled urine

HOUSTON – At the international space station, it was one small sip for man and a giant gulp of recycled urine for mankind. Astronauts aboard the space station celebrated a space first on Wednesday by drinking water that had been recycled from their urine, sweat and water that condenses from exhaled air. They said “Cheers,” clicked drinking bags and toasted NASA workers on the ground who were sipping their own version of recycled drinking water.

Astronauts wrap up Hubble renovation

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Spacewalking astronauts completed repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope on Monday, leaving it more powerful than ever and able to peer even deeper into the cosmos – almost to the brink of creation. The last humans to lay hands on Hubble outfitted the observatory with another set of fresh batteries, a new sensor for precise pointing and protective covers. That equipment, along with other improvements made over the last five days, should allow the telescope to provide dazzling views of the universe for another five to 10 years.

Our View: Leaderless NASA’s future is uncertain

Orlando Sentinel, April 8: There are a lot of questions swirling around NASA lately: When will it ground the space shuttle for good? When will it launch Constellation, the next manned program? Where should it ultimately go, what kind of rocket should it use, and how much will it cost? How much money should unmanned programs get? With NASA approaching three months without an administrator, and mixed signals coming from the White House, it might be easier to plot the path of orbiting space junk than to figure out where the agency is heading.

WSU professor mourns failed satellite

What should have been among the most satisfying moments of George Mount’s career became one of the most disappointing as the project he and other climate researchers had worked on for six years crashed into the Indian Ocean last week. Mount, a professor in the Washington State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 24 for the launch of a satellite that would accurately measure carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere.

Solar wings in place, shuttle heads home

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – After eight days together, space shuttle Discovery pulled away from the International Space Station on Wednesday, beaming down stunning photos of the orbiting outpost, finally balanced and boasting all its solar wings. NASA was thrilled to see the space station with its glistening new pair of solar wings – the final ones that will boost electrical power and science research. The shuttle took a victory lap around the station, primarily for picture-taking, and then put itself on a course for a Saturday touchdown.

Shuttle dodges space junk

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Confronted with orbiting junk again, NASA ordered the astronauts aboard the linked space station and shuttle Discovery to move out of the way of a piece of debris Sunday. Discovery’s pilots fired their ship’s thrusters to reorient the two spacecraft and thereby avoid a small piece from a 10-year-old Chinese satellite rocket motor that was due to pass uncomfortably close during today’s planned spacewalk.