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New Sensor Finds Leaks in Spacecraft 115

Roland Piquepaille writes "With financial support from NASA, Iowa State University (ISU) engineers have developed a sensor to quickly find leaks in a spacecraft. This sensor locates an air leak by listening to the noise generated by the air rushing out of the leak and includes an array of 64 elements that detects vibrations as they radiate along the spacecraft. Because astronauts cannot hear the noise caused by escaping air, NASA needed to design a system to help them. As one ISU researcher said, 'NASA wants to be able to find these leaks. Fixing them is easy. But the question is, "Where is the leak?"' Now that this sensor has successfully been tested on the ground, NASA is evaluating a proposal to build a prototype of the leak detection system for future missions.

NASA Contractors Censoring Saturn V Info 583

cybrpnk2 writes "Get ready to surrender your data sheets, study reports and blueprints of the Saturn V to stay in compliance with ITAR. Armed guards are reportedly taking down and shredding old Saturn V posters from KSC office walls that show rough internal layouts of the vehicle, and a Web site that is a source for various digitized blueprints has been put on notice it may well be next. No word yet if the assignment of a Karl Rove protege high up in NASA has any connection."

NASA Slashing Observations of Earth 358

mattnyc99 points us to a new report by the National Research Council warning that, by 2010, the number of NASA's Earth-observing missions will drop dramatically, and the number of operating sensors and instruments on NASA spacecraft will decrease by 40 percent. The report says, "The United States' extraordinary foundation of global observations is at great risk." Popular Mechanics asks an MIT professor what it all means. From these accounts it is clear that the Bush administration's priorities on a Mars mission and a moon base are partly to blame for the de-emphasizing of earth science. Neither article quite says that some responsibility must fall to the administration's footdragging on global warming.

NASA Weighs Moon Plans 133

mknewman writes " is reporting that NASA is set to roll out next month a U.S. national strategy for lunar exploration, one that outlines both robotic exploration needs and the rationale for sending humans back to the Moon. This has been sorely missing in Bush's Vision for Space Exploration."

NASA Plans Three More Shuttle Flights This Year 167

Lonesome Squash writes "The BBC are reporting that a new fuel tank is due to arrive on Wednesday that fixes the well-known problems with insulation loss. According to the article, administrators are hopeful that they will be able to "squeeze in three launches" this year. I guess they've lowered the bar enough that even the Shuttle program can slither over it. I can only be grateful that I'm not the poor chump who has to write their press releases."

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