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Satellites are used for a large number of purposes. Common types include military (spy) and civilian Earth observation satellites, communication satellites, navigation satellites, weather satellites, and research satellites.

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NASA Probe Sees Solar Wind Decline

The 33-year odyssey of NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has reached a distant point at the edge of our solar system where there is no outward motion of solar wind. Now hurtling toward interstellar space some 17.4 billion...

Super-Earth Atmosphere

A team of astronomers, including two NASA Sagan Fellows, has made the first characterizations of a super-Earth's atmosphere, by using a ground-based telescope...

Kepler Discovers

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered the first confirmed planetary system with more than one planet crossing in front of, or transiting, the same star...

Pulverized Planet

Tight double-star systems might not be the best places for life to spring up, according to a new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope....

Dark Asteroids

NASA is set to launch a sensitive new infrared telescope to seek out sneaky things in the night sky -- among them, dark asteroids that could pose a threat to Earth....

NASA and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne have successfully completed the heart of the J-2X upper stage rocket engine - the turbomachinery assemblies - for the first development engine off the production line.
The engine's turbomachinery consists of two turbopumps, each part pump and part turbine. Turbines provide the power to drive the pumps. One pump pushes high-pressure liquid oxygen, or oxidizer, and the other pumps liquid hydrogen fuel through the engine and to the engine's main injector. When the two meet, the fuels combine in a controlled high-pressure explosion producing the combustion needed to propel a launch vehicle to its journey to space.

"The turbopumps are extremely complicated engine components whose design requires delicate balances between many of the fields of mechanical engineering, and whose fabrication and assembly involve extremely precise construction," said Gary Genge, J-2X turbomachinery manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "We're thrilled these parts are completed, and are ready to send to Stennis Space Center for assembly onto our first engine."
The J-2X engine is a highly efficient and versatile rocket engine and has the ideal thrust and performance characteristics to power the upper stage of a heavy-lift launch vehicle. Investments made in developing the J-2X engine provide the nation with a new, robust rocket engine for future human spaceflight missions to low-Earth orbit, Mars or an asteroid. Read More

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