Note: The links below will
open up in one new browser window. For best viewing, size the two web
browsers so that they don't take up the entire screen - this way, you will be
able to go back and forth to all the stories without losing your place.
world balloon pilots
honored - the historic gondola was added to the National Air & Space
Museum's Milestones Of Flight exhibit. (Whaddya mean
that's not space news??? It was called the
18 September - Floyd
didn't only hit Florida and the Carolinas - we lost power here in
northern NJ for 28 hours! Check out these photos of the hurricane's
aftermath at Kennedy Space Center (NASA) and Cape Canaveral Air
Station (USAF)! An exhibit of a Mercury Redstone rocket from the the
60's was toppled
by the high winds. Two
other NASA facilities also closed for the storm, as KSC came back on-line Thursday (16 September).
14 September - Cape Canaveral is
threatened by Hurricane
Floyd! The Shuttle
fleet is battened down in the Orbiter Processing Facility. The storm
will probably not score a direct hit on the Cape, but may make
landfall further up the U.S. coast. KSC has been evacuated
except for a skeleton
crew, and the four
rockets currently on launch pads remain outside, but secured as
much as possible. Even this website is affected, as many links to
NASA web sites are temporarily off-line.
First Earth-sized planet discovered
outside our solar system!
15 August - This Week In Space History - 34th
anniversary of the Gemini
5 launch. On 21 August 1965, astronauts Gordon
Cooper (who became the first astronaut to have orbited the
earth in two separate missions) and Charles
atop a Titan
II rocket from Pad
19 at Cape Canaveral (then known as Cape Kennedy).
Gemini-Titan 5 (GT-5) was the third manned
flight of Project
Gemini, an important string of missions that took the early
triumphs of the Mercury series and advanced the state of the art in
space travel with achievements like the first U.S. spacewalk, first
U.S. rendezvous between 2 ships, and more. Gemini
would later lead up to the historic Apollo moon landings. Click here
for NASA's Gemini 5 photo archive. Here's
a shot from Wright-Patterson
Hey, did you notice the Air Force markings on there (instead of
NASA)? Stay tuned for the scoop on that!
13 August - [Eclipse links have been moved
to the new Eclipse Page -
Shuttle stories to the new Shuttle
Check here for news on the
next Shuttle mission.
for an article about a "secret" spy satellite launch
31 July 1999 -Water on the moon? The
Prospector spacecraft, which has been orbiting the Moon for 18
months now, has crashed
into the moon's
surface - on purpose! The space probe was running out of fuel
anyway, and scientists wanted to control the end of the successful
mission by directing it into a region of the moon that may contain
pockets of ice. The deliberate
smash-up is testing a theory that frozen water
exists at the lunar
poles, deposited over millions of years by comet
impacts; the ice may be locked into the lunar topsoil in craters that are
permanently in shadow. The presence of water on the lunar surface
would make further manned exploration much easier. There might be enough water on the Moon to support human
colonies! The impact
was intended to throw up a plume of water
that would be visible from Earth. So far, no
cloud has been
observed, but images are still being analyzed and it could be weeks
before we see any results.
Prospector also provides a final
resting place for astronomer Eugene Shoemaker (of Comet
Shoemaker-Levy 9 fame), some of whose ashes are on board. His many
discoveries include the comet that smashed into Jupiter in 1994. The
burial of the ashes in the lunar south pole makes him the first
human to be interred on another world.
35 years ago today (31 July 1964),
the lunar probe Ranger
7 returned close-up pictures
of the Moon's surface. The Ranger series was designed to crash-land
on the Moon, beaming images back to Earth until the moment of impact.
The seventh Ranger mission was the first to successfully return photos
of the surface.
Today is also the 30th anniversary of the Mariner
6 flyby of Mars.