Aerospace & Defense News - Space.

 
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Oct 1, 2007

Forecasters who monitor weather on the Sun say a new season of intense sunspot activity could begin by March and peak in 2012. The storms will have a huge impact on modern technology. Consequences range from dropped cell phone calls to the loss of an expensive satellite, says University of Colorado physicist Daniel Baker. With more than 860 satellites in orbit, the losses from a major solar storm could reach $30 billion, according to NASA researchers. "We are set up for a nasty surprise," said Thomas Bogdan, director of the federal Space Environment Center. "There are going to be impacts on all these services in the next few years." Sep 27, 2007

NASA's Dawn spacecraft lifted off for an eight-year mission to the asteroid belt this morning. The spacecraft will study two of the largest objects in the asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres. Sep 27, 2007

Path to space leads to better understanding of Earth. When the race to travel in space began, visions of the future were replete with space hotels, moon bases and interplanetary travel. Today, satellites are as likely to look toward Earth as they are to gaze outward. The result is a better understanding of our own planet and a greater appreciation for the diversity of its life forms. Sep 27, 2007

NASA's Voyagers still exploring, beaming information to Earth. Three decades after they were launched in 1977, NASA's two Voyager spacecraft are continuing their mission, taking measurements and sending their findings back to Earth. Sep 26, 2007

Arms in space. The push into space has always been, in part, a push to stay ahead militarily. Successive administrations have explored the possibilities of weaponry that often sounded like science fiction but sometimes lead to breakthroughs -- like lasers, for example. Space weapons are "still definitely part of the program," said Philip E. Coyle III, a former director of weapon testing at the Pentagon. "But they don't emphasize it because the arms-control people come out of the...

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