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.
31 May 2000 - Last week's Atlas III launch had a cool new feature
- the RocketCam!
Check out the rocket's-eye view here.
booster, which launched a European comm sat last Wednesday, sports
Russian-made engines - ironic, since the Atlas
series was first built as a Cold-War ICBM.
The STS-101 crew completed a
successful mission to service and supply the International Space Station.
After a flawless docking with the station, a five-day stay and undocking,
Commander James Halsell landed Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space
Center at 1:20 a.m. CDT Monday. During the mission, Atlantis logged 6.6
million kilometers (4.1 million miles).
Today is Memorial Day. As you enjoy your holiday, please take a moment to reflect on
all the sacrifices made by all the fallen heroes on all the battlefields, so
that we could have the liberty we treasure.
Space Shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station at 6:03
p.m. CDT Friday. The station is now ready for the addition of the Zvezda
Service Module, to be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan
between July 8-14.
At 3:04 a.m. CDT, the
STS-101 astronauts completed their stay inside the International Space
Station when they closed the last station hatch. While on the station, the
crew completed all of their scheduled tasks, which included performing
maintenance work, delivering supplies and raising the orbit of the station.
The crew was in the station for three days, eight hours and one minute.
Later today, Atlantis is scheduled to undock from the station at 6:03 p.m.
Landing is scheduled for 1:20 a.m. CDT Monday at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Note: CDT (Houston time) is one hour earlier than EDT (Florida time).
See the Houston Chronicle's mission archive of photos and videos here!
25 May 2000 - Shuttle crew leaves the International Space Station
tonight! NASA reports:
The seven STS-101
astronauts spend their final full day docked to the International Space
Station as they prepare for undocking Friday evening.
Watch streaming video on NASA
TV to see continuing coverage of STS-101. Thursday at 11:26 p.m. CDT the
crew is scheduled to begin leaving the space station when it exits Zarya.
The NASA TV schedule is available online.
Everything remains on schedule for undocking on
Friday evening at 6:07 p.m. CDT. The station is now primed and ready to
receive the next major piece of the station, the Zvezda Service Module,
when it is launched between July 8-14.
Note: The station egress will begin Thursday night/Friday morning at
12:26AM EDT. The final hatch closings should occur between 2:30AM and 3AM
EDT. Check Mission Control's morning
and evening status
Today In Space History: 39 years ago today (25 May 1961),
President John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress and
made the bold
commitment to land a man on the moon before the decade was out. The
historic speech spurred America to kick the space race into high gear.
Sadly, JFK would not live to see the dream
accomplished in 1969...
24 May 2000 - Astronauts continue their work aboard the
International Space Station, performing maintenance and moving supplies from
Shuttle Atlantis to the station, in preparation for permanent occupancy
later this year. NASA reports:
The STS-101 astronauts will spend their second day inside the station as they
continue the maintenance work and supply transfer activities that began Monday. During their first day, Atlantis' crew moved 870 pounds of supplies
and equipment inside the station. At 7:01 p.m. CDT, the first of three planned station reboost maneuvers began.
23 May 2000 - SETI@home, the computer program that sifts through radio data searching for signs of intelligent
has reached its 2 millionth user, just in time for its first anniversary. To
find out more about this distributed computing project (free download!) visit the
Commander Jim Halsell
and his crew entered the International Space Station at 7:03 p.m. CDT
Monday. They have begun their maintenance tasks, which include replacing
four batteries, three current converters and two current converter
controllers. Also, three fire extinguishers, 10 smoke detectors and four
cooling fans will be replaced. The shuttle and the station both continue
to operate with no significant problems.
21 May 2000 - 12:50AM EDT - The crew of STS-101 has performed a perfect
rendezvous and docking maneuver with the vacant ISS.
Commander Jim Halsell has acknowledged the great support they received from Mission Control at Houston. They will now perform leak checks
in preparation for entry into the space station tomorrow evening.
21 May - 12:35AM EDT - Atlantis has docked with the International Space Station!
Docking occurred on time at 12:31 AM EDT, as the combined spacecraft flew at a height of 209 statute miles over the Ukraine.
The docking ring is being retracted so that a "hard mate" can
occur between the Orbiter and the ISS.
The seven astronauts aboard
Space Shuttle Atlantis spent most of their day preparing for upcoming
mission events. At 7 a.m. CDT Saturday, Atlantis was located 692
kilometers (430 statute miles) behind the space station. Commander Jim
Halsell and Pilot Scott Horowitz fired the shuttle’s engines to adjust
the rate at which Atlantis was catching up with the station. This morning
the crew will begin its sleep period at 8:11 a.m. CDT and wake up at 4:11
p.m. CDT to begin rendezvous activities. The International Space
Station continued to orbit the Earth Saturday morning as it awaited the arrival
of STS-101. Atlantis is scheduled to dock with the station at 11:31 CDT tonight.
Docking will occur over Eastern Ukraine near the Ukranian border with Russia.
The docking coordinates are 49 degrees 76 minutes north latitude and 38 degrees
20 minutes east longitude. Atlantis' seven-member crew will deliver supplies and
equipment and perform repairs on the station.
19 May - 7:15AM EDT - NASA spokesmen at KSC confirmed the excellent condition of
Atlantis, noting some minor issues, but overall calling the
launch of the
newly-modified spacecraft "flawless". They discussed future
launches this year (3 more are expected). Since the launch took place late
in the crew's workday (but pretty early in ours!), the crew is scheduled
for sleep only four hours from now.
19 May - 7:00AM EDT - The STS-101 crew is making preparations
to transform Atlantis from a launch vehicle into an orbiting platform, for
tomorrow's docking with the ISS.
They are getting ready to open the payload bay doors, and are firing the
Orbital Maneuvering System engines to circularize their orbit.
19 May - 6:20AM EDT - Atlantis is in
orbit! A beautiful sunrise
launch at KSC went flawlessly. Mission Control has confirmed External Tank separation,
and all systems are performing as expected.
The launch team continues
preparations for the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on Friday. Weather
forecasters indicate a 100-percent chance of favorable weather for launch
Friday and a 90-percent chance of favorable weather Saturday, May 20. At
the launch pad this morning, workers completed final efforts to stow the
flight crew's equipment aboard Atlantis. Operations to load the external
tank begin tonight as early as 7:47 CDT. When Atlantis
launches, the International Space Station will be flying over Turkey,
northeast of Ankara near the Black Sea.
Latest KSC status here;
Watch live video on NASA
TV! (Check schedule here).
engine sets endurance record: an experimental rocket engine was fired
for 290 seconds at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The X-33
spacecraft may one day replace the current-generation Shuttle fleet.
Early Wednesday morning, launch
controllers at Kennedy Space Center added 23 ˝ hours to the launch
countdown for STS-101 at the T minus 11 hour built-in hold. Atlantis and
its seven-member crew are now scheduled to lift off at 5:12 a.m. CDT
Friday, May 19. Thursday, the Rotating Service Structure will move away
from the orbiter at about 9 a.m. CDT, and refueling of the external tank
will begin Thursday night at about 7:47 CDT. Weather forecasters are
saying that there is only a 10 percent chance of weather delaying the
launch on Friday.
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the countdown for the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis
began at 8:30 a.m. CDT Monday at the T minus 43 hour mark. Meanwhile,
preparations for the launch continued on schedule. Sunday night, Atlantis'
seven-member crew arrived at KSC. Weather forecasters are predicting only
a 10 percent chance of unacceptable weather for Thursday's launch, which
is scheduled for 5:38 a.m. CDT.
Today In Space History: 37 years ago today (15 May
1963), astronaut Gordon Cooper was launched into Earth orbit aboard Mercury
9, the last of the series. The flight took Cooper
around the globe 22 times, and featured the first use of a TV camera in
space, as well as the first controlled re-entry.
9 May - Looking to get to the moon, but can't be bothered with all that pesky training?
Do you get "space-helmet hair"? Here's an easier way - just wait until you're
dead, and have your
remains buried in lunar soil, courtesy of Celestis,
Inc. (only $12,500!). Final frontier, indeed...
8 May 2000 - More extrasolar planets discovered? Astronomers in Switzerland,
working remotely through a Chilean observatory, have discovered evidence that may lead to the observation of
up to eight planets orbiting distant stars. The gravitational influence
they exert on their stars indicates that these worlds may be several times
the size of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.
6 May 2000 - Sea Launch to try again: After a rocket carrying comm satellites exploded in March,
the international consortium, whose goal is to have a sustainable rocket
base on a floating platform in the Pacific, announced that they will make
another launch attempt this July.
5 May - Tonight's planetary
alignment, where the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn
all appear close together in the sky, is the subject of wild speculation
about ecological disasters (tidal waves, etc) here on Earth. GET A CLUE!
The combined gravitational
effect of every planet in our solar system still is only a fraction
compared with the effects of the Sun and Moon, which are there every day. I'm
going back to my bunker now. Earthbound observers won't get to see the
show - the Sun is blocking the
view. A similar event in 2002 will be visible.
Yesterday's Space Day event featured talks from former astronauts John Glenn and Sally Ride.
Senator Glenn summed up aviation history as he spoke at the National Air
& Space Museum, and Dr. Ride described weightlessness and getting
along with her Shuttle crewmates.
Did you know? 5 planets, and the Moon, will be
aligned Friday night in what astronomers call a "conjunction".
Some doofs think that this will bring tidal waves or other disasters.
Hey, we're still stocking up for the galaxy
collision in 3 billion years - can't deal with this right now!
If at first you don't succeed... keep nagging! Many astronauts made it
into the program through persistence.
STS-101 pilot Scott
Horowitz recalls that he applied seven times to NASA before he
was accepted to the elite
astronaut corps - so remember that tenacity pays off!
25 April - Shuttle Atlantis,
carrying a U.S./Russian
crew, is set to launch today at
3:52PM EDT. Check KSC's
reports. NASA officials will meet early this morning to see if the
weather reports will warrant the re-fueling of the giant external tank.
With only a 20% chance of favorable conditions, they may decide to wait until
Wednesday. Watch live video
on NASA TV! (Check
24 April - SHUTTLE UPDATE: Atlantis
launch scrubbed for today due to high crosswinds at the Cape.
Another attempt will be made tomorrow (Tuesday), but the
look good for then, either. If Tuesday's weather doesn't cooperate, then
Wednesday will be the last opportunity until May, due to scheduled
military and commercial rocket launches at Cape Canaveral.
23 April -
Happy Easter! - Shuttle Atlantis is on launchpad
39A at KSC, ready for a
10-day flight to rendezvous
with the International
Space Station. This mission marks the maiden flight of the Shuttle's
new "Glass Cockpit" - a modernized instrument panel
replacing the original interior. Read all about it in this
report (requires Adobe
Acrobat Reader). NASA states: "As
preparations continued for Monday's scheduled launch of Atlantis, the
flight crew for STS-101 arrived at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle
Landing Facility Friday afternoon. The external tank purge activities
have concluded, and the orbiter aft compartment closeouts were
scheduled to finish Friday. The launch countdown is slated to begin at
6 p.m. CDT Friday at the T-43 hour mark. Weather forecasters indicate
a 70 percent chance of favorable weather for the launch at 3:15 p.m.
CDT on Monday".