Stay Warm!

Don't feel like you have to stay cooped up inside all winter because you have a baby. Get out there and have fun! Just keep warm while doing it with these affordable winter baby items.

Winter gear for babies

Super soft hat and mittens

Available in several cute prints, this Frosty Fleece II Set (Columbia, $22) will keep your baby's head and hands snug and warm. And with adjustable cuffs, the mittens can grow with your little bean.

Nothing "ruff" about this jumpsuit

This adorably fluffy Carter's Velour Hooded Dog Jumpsuit (BeallsFlorida.com, $13) with puppy ears will keep Baby warm and toasty this winter.

Cover those tooties

To keep little feet cozy, we love Carter's Duck Boots (Kohl's, $11). And an adorable option for little girls are the Tendertoes Sequin Leopard Bootie Crib Shoes (Kohl's, $14).

A sleepbag with arms

In the wintertime, nights get cold. Keep your wee one comfortable in their crib with Carter's Microfleece Sleepbag (J.C. Penney, $10). Just zip them up and let them snooze away.

Protected from the elements

Just because it's chilly outside, doesn't mean you can't enjoy a crisp walk outside. Or maybe do some Christmas shopping at an outdoor mall. Simply toss the Premium Stroller Weather Shield (Babies R Us, $15) over their buggy to keep out the rain or snow, and tuck in some blankets for a winter ride.

Affordable winter gear for babies

No more kicking off the blanket

Forgo the jacket and keep your peanut protected with JJ Cole's Car Seat Cover (Babies R Us, $30). Made of fleece and weather-resistant nylon, it's perfect for those harsh winter months.

Your tiny hipster

Just because they're pint-sized, doesn't mean a kid can't be stylish. Opt for a Baby Slouchy Beanie Hat (keerasama for Etsy, $14), for functionality and fashion.

Skate on over

Is your kid the next Apolo Ohno? It's never too early to test your child's interest in sports and hobbies! Bauer's Lil Champ toddler ice skates (Amazon, $32) provide needed support and comfort for your future Olympian.

Check out these 10 Outdoor winter activities for kids >>

Accessorize this season

This trendy Safety Scarf (TaiandTrey on Etsy, $20) will keep Baby's neck dry and looking stylish.

Put boring legs out to pasture

Keep those stems covered with these wild animal print Cow Arm and Leg Warmers (BabyLegs, $12)!

More winter gear for babies

Winter fashions for your tot
Family bargain hunting for next winter
Cold weather gear your kids will love

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STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: December 22, 2006Dropping out of an overcast sky, the shuttle Discovery glided to a picture-perfect one-orbit-late landing today at the Kennedy Space Center, closing out a complex space station assembly mission and avoiding a feared diversion to New Mexico. Discovery returns home at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight NowWith commander Mark Polansky and pilot William Oefelein at the controls, Discovery flew through a sweeping left overhead turn, lined up on runway 15 and swooped to a smooth touchdown on the broad concrete landing strip at 5:32 p.m. EST.Barreling down the runway with the shuttle's nose still elevated, Oefelein fired Discovery's red-and-white braking parachute, the nose landing gear rotated to the pavement and the orbiter slowly rolled to a stop."Houston, Discovery, wheel stop," Polansky radioed."Roger, wheel stop, Discovery," astronaut Ken Ham replied from mission control. "You've got a building full of thrilled folks back here in Houston that are thrilled to have you in Florida. Roman, to you and your crew ... congratulations on what was probably the most complex assembly mission to date.""Thanks for the words," Polansky replied. "You've got seven thrilled people right here and we're just really proud of the entire NASA team that put this together. So thank you, and I think it's going to be a great holiday."Mission duration was 12 days 20 hours 44 minutes and 24 seconds spanning 5.3 million miles and 203 complete orbits."The crew on orbit and the crew on the ground could not have done better," said NASA Administrator Mike Griffin. "I mean, I think when you look back at this mission, they just could not have done better. 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So it was a wonderful day, it was a wonderful end to a great mission and I'm proud to be here."Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:LONGER LENGTH MOVIE OF DISCOVERY'S RETURN VIDEO:DISCOVERY LANDS AT KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VIDEO:FIRST LANDING OPPORTUNITY WAVED OFF VIDEO:BEHIND THE SCENES IN MISSION CONTROL VIDEO:U.S./EUROPEAN POST-LANDING NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:COMMENTS FROM COMMANDER POLANSKY VIDEO:THOMAS REITER BACK ON EARTH VIDEO:REPLAY FROM WIDESCREEN PLAYALINDA TRACKER VIDEO:REPLAY FROM EAST OF THE RUNWAY VIDEO:REPLAY FROM WEST OF THE RUNWAY VIDEO:REPLAY FROM NORTH OF THE RUNWAY VIDEO:REPLAY FROM AN INFRARED CAMERA VIDEO:REPLAY FROM VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING ROOF MORE: Already running one orbit late because of low clouds and threatening rain showers, Polansky, Oefelein and their crewmates awaited a down-to-the-wire decision on whether to attempt a landing at California's Edwards Air Force Base or whether to press ahead for a final chance to make it home to Kennedy.The only alternative was a landing at White Sands Space Harbor, N.M., a backup site only used once in shuttle history and one that is not equipped to rapidly prepare a shuttle for return to Florida.Entry flight director Norm Knight, overseeing his first shuttle landing, initial held out hope of going to Edwards when forecasters told him Kennedy appeared to be "no go." 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Credit: ESAJules Verne is the first of at least fivecontracted Automated Transfer Vehicle missions to the space station.Blastoff is timed for 0403:04 GMT (11:03:04 p.m. EST) from theEuropean-controlled space base in Kourou, French Guiana."Europe historically is the exploring continent, and we want to make surethat we don't just explore the world but we explore the world beyond us,"said Alan Thirkettle, ESA international space station program manager.Long an operator of highly successful science probes, the European SpaceAgency is becoming a full-time participant in human spaceflight this year."There is a big jump between operating unmanned spacecraft in deep spaceand actually operating a spacecraft in a manned environment," said BobChesson, head of ESA's human spaceflight and exploration operations. 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Russia provided the docking probe and refueling system."ATV gives very high-tech work to (European) industry, it pays our feesfor the station which enables us to do the world-class science andresearch that we want to do on the station, and it's a gateway to thefuture exploration ambitions that we have in Europe," Thirkettle said.A space transporterThe ship is able to carry more than 16,000 pounds of refueling propellant,water, oxygen, nitrogen and dry cargo. Named after the famed 19th centuryscience fiction writer, Jules Verne will be launching with only about10,100 pounds of supplies."We want to retain some flexibility for the various test maneuvers thatwill be performed during the approach," said John Ellwood, ATV projectmanager.In development for more than 12 years, the ATV can carry three times morepayload mass to the station than Russia's workhorse Progress spacecraft,which has averaged nearly four missions per year since 2001."We're going to be the largest carrier of cargo to the international spacestation," Ellwood said.The cargo capacity will be especially needed after the space shuttle'sretirement in 2010. The shuttle currently carries most of the station'shardware to orbit."It is a major contribution to the program, probably more significantlypost-2010 when the shuttle is no longer available for us to do much of thelogistics work it does," said Mike Suffredini, NASA international spacestation program manager.With its Russian docking probe extended, the cylindrical craft measuresnearly 34 feet long and 15 feet wide, about the size of a Londondouble-decker bus. Credit: ESA"It is the biggest spacecraft we've built in Europe and by far the mostcomplicated," Ellwood said.Behind the ATV's 518-pound docking system lies the integrated cargocarrier, containing about 1,600 cubic feet of pressurized volume.Derived from the Italian-built, NASA-owned Multi-Purpose LogisticsModules, the pressurized section has room for up to eight standard cargoracks. The 16.1-foot-long cargo carrier also includes an unpressurizedmodule holding spherical tanks for water, gases and refueling propellant.Larger racks housing science experiments can only be flown to the stationusing the shuttle or Japan's H-2 Transfer Vehicle, which will launch forthe first time next year. The HTV will also be able to deliver externalpayloads.A service module behind the cargo carrier is fitted with four bluepower-producing solar arrays. When deployed, the panels form adistinguishing X-shaped pattern spanning more than 73 feet, producingabout four kilowatts of power.Four main engines attached to the aft end of the ATV will perform majorrendezvous burns and re-boost the space station's orbit. Two of theengines will be used in free flight, while all four can be used forre-boost maneuvers. The propulsion unit includes 28 smaller thrusters forattitude control duties.A backup propulsion system can be activated to independently abort an ATVrendezvous if conditions become unsafe. "We really have two spacecraft inthe middle of this enormous great bird," Ellwood said.The service module also contains the ATV's brain, a complex set ofcomputers and avionics that serve as the spacecraft's nerve center.Shields and an insulating white foil layer covering the outer shell of theATV protect the spacecraft from debris impacts and extreme temperatures.Optical rendezvous sensors and an assortment of S-band, radio, and GPSantennas are also scattered across the freighter's exterior.The spacecraft will communicate with a 60-person team of controllers basedin Toulouse, France, through NASA's Tracking and Data Relay SatelliteSystem - a fleet of satellites also used by the space shuttle, spacestation and a host of other missions.The ATV is "like a combination of a telecoms satellite, navigation vesseland a human spacecraft all rolled into one," Thirkettle said.More ATV missions could be flown if station operations are formallyextended past the next decade. Officials have also considered fielding theATV on commercial flights or evolving the ship to support other types ofmissions.A joint team formed by EADS Astrium and Lockheed Martin Corp. proposedusing an ATV variant launched by Atlas and Delta rockets under a 2005 NASArequest for proposals to commercially supply the space station after theshuttle's retirement. NASA didn't select the ATV plan for further study,instead choosing to support smaller burgeoning U.S. aerospace companies.Some officials tout the ATV as a stepping stone to a future crew-carryingspacecraft, but that would require a significant leap from the ship'scurrent design."It's not just a matter of taking off the cargo carrier and sticking acapsule on top of it," Thirkettle said.A long road to launchMore than 12 years in the making, the long-awaited maiden launch of theATV has been hit by more than three years of delays since the project wasinaugurated.Officials overcame early development difficulties in the first few yearsof the program, but more recent issues again challenged the ATV team.Hiccups in the ATV's Russian GPS navigation system forced engineers towrite new software to trounce the problems in late 2006. Flight softwaretesting also had to be pushed back due to difficulties with a groundfacility designed to check the software.Jules Verne was shipped from its testing center in the Netherlands toFrench Guiana last July to begin several months of final assembly andcargo loading. More than 40 people have worked full time on the spacecraftat Kourou since its arrival, according to ESA officials.Tests at the launch site revealed minor issues with the ATV's dockingsystem and miniscule leaks in the propulsion system last fall. Techniciansemployed minor fixes to overcome the issues, according to an ESAspokesperson.Another constant factor in the timing of Jules Verne's mission has beeninternational traffic visiting the space station. The ATV can't dock whilethe space shuttle is present, and arrivals and departures of Russian Soyuzand Progress spacecraft must also be taken into account, Thirkettle said."The fact is it's a very complicated process to try to line thesespacecraft up to come to ISS, mostly because seldom do they actuallylaunch exactly when they think they will," Suffredini said. Credit: ESAVisiting spacecraft were partially to blame for an ATV delay last year,but officials said last month they would launch as soon as possible andwait in a parking orbit for other missions to wrap up.Workers finished loading dry cargo aboard Jules Verne last fall and closedthe pressurized section on Dec. 12. The cargo carrier and service modulewere mated five days later.Technicians completed fueling Jules Verne and installed the craft'sthermal covers in early February. Jules Verne was transported to the finalassembly building on Feb. 14 and attached atop the Ariane 5 rocket a fewdays later.Managers met Feb. 6 and decided to formally postpone the launch from Feb.22 to March 8, giving engineers time to put finishing touches on thespacecraft. Officials said ground controllers also requested additionaltime to conduct more mission simulations.ESA did not purchase insurance for Jules Verne's flight, but engineersdesigned the ATV with several levels of redundancy and put in extratesting to offset the risk. The delay last month was to add a "final levelof robustness" to the mission, Thirkettle said.After some final closeout work, the Ariane 5's voluminous payload fairingwas mounted around Jules Verne on Feb. 25. 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