When good rockets go bad

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Deep Space Network: Finding the signal for 50 years

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Learning celestial navigation at Morehead Planetarium

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Behind the scenes of launch control Space flight is dangerous and not just for the astronauts. Over the hundred plus years of rocket technology and space flight growth, many have died just working on rockets or even testing them, from engineers to flight pad crew to even spectators. Progress comes with a price and with …

Robotic missions exploring our solar system have wowed the world with their discoveries and especially the images they return. But even the most sophisticated spacecraft is useless until the science and engineering it gathers makes it back to Earth. NASA’s one of a kind collection of massive dishes around the world makes that possible. The …

You might not think a visit to a planetarium could save your life, but that’s how at least seven astronauts see the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Nearly every astronaut in the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab programs made multiple visits to Morehead to learn celestial navigation. Each spent at least …

When filmmaker Stephen Van Vuuren first saw images of Saturn retuned by the Cassini spacecraft, he saw something more in them. He not only saw the beauty of the ringed planet, he saw a motion picture camera flying through space.   Van Vuuren grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, with dreams of being an astronaut. …

Before MAVEN can study the atmosphere of Mars, it had to not only overcome Earth’s gravity but also make it through Earth’s atmosphere. Central Florida’s sometimes volatile weather can make launching rockets difficult. Weather is responsible for more than a third of launch delays and nearly half of the scrubs. The meteorologists of the 45th …