NASAs Busy Month: Endeavour Adventures, Apollo 11 Anniversary, Jupiter's Bruise

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NASAs Busy Month: Endeavour Adventures, Apollo 11 Anniversary, Jupiter's Bruise

by Roy Mark

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July 1: Broadband Connections Head to Space

TerreStar Networks launched a satellite to provide first-of-its-kind broadband and wireless voice service from space. The world's largest commercial satellite, TerraStar is banking on the Loral-built bird to deliver 3G mobile voice, data and video communications to devices as compact as an iPhone. (Image courtesy of Loral)

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July 2: Mapping Mission Transmits First Lunar Images

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter transmitted its first images since reaching the moon on June 23. With the space agency's currently planned 2020 return to the lunar surface, NASA is digitally remapping the lunar surface. The first images are of a region in the lunar highlands south of Mare Nubium (Sea of Clouds). (Image courtesy of NASA)

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July 6: Getting Chilled over the Big Bang

The detectors of the Planck High Frequency Instrument—an array of 48 bolometric detectors in the focal plane of the Planck telescope—reach negative 459.49 degrees Fahrenheit, making them the coldest known objects in space. Such low temperatures are necessary to study the Cosmic Microwave Background, the first light released by the universe 380.000 years after the Big Bang. (Image courtesy of ESA)

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July 7: NASA Sat Data Reveals Melting Icecap

Arctic sea ice thinned dramatically between the winters of 2004 and 2008, with thin seasonal ice replacing thick older ice as the dominant type for the first time on record. The new results, based on data from a NASA Earth-orbiting spacecraft, provide further evidence for the rapid, ongoing transformation of the Arctic's ice cover. (Image courtesy of NASA)

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July 24: Death Watch Begins for Mars Rover Spirit

The Mars Rover Spirit has been stuck in a sand trap since May 6. Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory created a test bed in hopes of freeing Spirit, not to mention launching the Free Spirit Website. So far, nothing has worked and this may be the end of the line for Spirit. Image: (Image courtesy of NASA)

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July 15: Endeavour Blasts Off for International Space Station

After stormy Florida weather forces NASA to postpone launches on July 11, 12 and 13, the space shuttle Endeavour finally gets under way on its mission to deliver and install an outdoor laboratory perch at the International Space Station. (Image courtesy of NASA)

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July 20: 40th Anniversary of Moonwalk

Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are celebrated and honored worldwide for their remarkable achievement of July 20, 1969. To hear them tell the tale now, the most amazing feat was getting back alive considering the technology. (Image courtesy of NASA)

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July 20: Jupiter Gets Smacked

Astronomers rush to share images of Jupiter after being smacked by a rogue object a mile wide and whizzing through space at 100,000 mph. Had it hit Earth, the Wall Street Journal speculated, it would have "engulfed most of the East Coast in a huge firestorm, triggering a massive tsunami and destabilizing the weather." (Image courtesy of NASA)

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July 22: There Goes the Sun

The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century creates near darkness in daytime along a swath that stretches from India to China and the South Pacific. The path of the moon's umbral shadow began in India and crossed through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. (Image courtesy of NASA)

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July 28: Endeavour Heads Home

Backdropped by a blue and white Earth, Endeavour backs away from the International Space Station, headed for a scheduled July 31 return to Earth. (Image courtesy of NASA)