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.
For even older News From Space, click hereor here.
Twin Mars rovers for 2003!
Space Station docking!
31 August 2000 - NASA is getting ready for the next mission to the
ISS. Station Status report
here. NASA states:
International Space Station flight controllers are making final
preparations for the arrival of STS-106 and its seven-member crew. On
Tuesday, Sept. 5, controllers will conduct a final rehearsal of station
activities before the docking which is scheduled for Sept. 10. Atlantis is
scheduled to launch on Sept. 8. While at the station, the STS-106
astronauts and cosmonauts will deliver supplies, unload the Progress
vehicle, outfit Zvezda and a perform a space walk in preparation for the
Expedition 1 crew.
NASA officials announced Friday, Sept. 8 as the launch date for
Space Shuttle Atlantis. The launch window for STS-106 is less than five
minutes and is set to open at 7:45 a.m. CDT at Kennedy Space Center, or
KSC, in Florida. The STS-106 astronauts and cosmonauts will spend 11 days
in orbit and will open the doors to the International Space Station's
newest component, the Zvezda Service Module. Atlantis is scheduled to land
at KSC on Sept. 19 at 2:54 a.m. CDT. Meanwhile, STS-106 mission
preparations continue at KSC.
29 August 2000 - The controversial auction of a piece of Apollo 11
hardware could be nullified,
if NASA gets its way. One of the 4 EVA grab-handles from the Command
module that first went to the moon sold
for over $34K on Sunday. The handle was released by NASA
in 1973 for a long-term
radiation study (it contained small radioactive disks to make it visible to
A former sailor was convicted
of trying to sell a piece of Challenger wreckage. Unlike the Apollo artifact
in the story above, it is a federal crime to possess a piece of Space
Decades before work began on the International Space Station, a rendezvous 140 miles
above the Atlantic Ocean saw then-confrontational nations, who were locked
in the middle of the Cold War, make history as partners. It was 25 years ago
that Tom Stafford, Vance Brand, and Donald "Deke" Slayton
astronauts docked with the Soviet Union's Soyuz to forge the framework for
future partnerships in space with Russia and other nations. On the
anniversary week of that mission, Brand, who now is deputy director of
aerospace projects at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, CA, retold the
tale of that historic mission. (Full Story)
On TV This Week: We just found out that TLC is showing a series called
"The Detonators" - basically about different ways of blowing stuff
up! One episode, "Sheer
Force," contains a segment on the launch of a Delta II rocket
carrying GlobalStar satellites. Some nice launch footage - it's worth
checking out. Several repeats this
Kennedy Space Center is no longer in any "Hurricane Condition" as a
result of Hurricane Debby taking a more westerly turn overnight and being
downgraded to a tropical wave. Shuttle managers will monitor tropical
weather activity as work at the pad continues on schedule. Prelaunch
hypergolic propellant loading operations continue today [Thursday]. Preparations are
also under way for a scheduled hot fire of Auxiliary Power Unit No. 1 on
24 August 2000 - Latest ISS Status Report here. NASA states:
International Space Station flight controllers resumed the
transfer of propellants this week
from tanks aboard the Progress cargo supply craft to tanks aboard the
station's Zvezda module and made other preparations for the planned
arrival of the Space Shuttle Atlantis early next month. One set of fuel
and oxidizer tanks aboard Zvezda is now full following the unloading of
propellants from the cargo craft. Propellants will be transferred from the
Progress tanks to a second set of tanks on Zvezda this week. The transfer
of propellants was interrupted last week due to a sensor problem that was
Tuesday, Kennedy Space Center began taking precautions to weather any effects
Debby. A decision to rollback Atlantis will not be made
before Wednesday. Meanwhile, preparations for Sept. 8's launch continue.
Technicians mated the SPACEHAB payload to Atlantis. The payload interface verification
testing and Helium Signature Test continue. Prelaunch fuel loading is slated
to begin Wednesday.
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the seven-member STS-106 crew completed the
Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test in preparation for Sept. 8's scheduled
launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. The five astronauts and two cosmonauts
returned to Houston, Texas, on Friday. Workers installed the SPACEHAB
payload into Atlantis' payload bay on Thursday. Technicians will perform
routine payload testing Tuesday, and prelaunch fuel loading will begin
Space Shuttle orbiter Discovery was rolled from OPF bay 1 over to OPF bay 3 on August 21 to allow workers to begin
planned modifications inside bay 1.
18 August 2000 - The advanced propulsion system on the Deep Space 1
probe has been going strong for a record-setting 200 days.
NASA's Deep Space 1 probe, en route for an
encounter with Comet Borrelly, has run its unique propulsion system for more than 200 days --
longer and more efficiently than anything ever launched. The almost imperceptible thrust from
the system is equivalent to the pressure exerted
by a sheet of paper held in the palm of your
hand. The ion engine is very slow to pick up speed, but over the long haul it can deliver 10
times as much thrust per pound of fuel as more traditional rockets.
Preparations continue for the arrival of STS-106 in September.
Controllers have pressurized and
checked for leaks in the vestibule between the station's Zvezda Service
Module and the Progress supply ship that will be unloaded by the STS-106
crew. Controllers have successfully transferred fuel from the Progress to
Zvezda on Aug. 10, but the transfer of oxidizer on Aug. 11 was
automatically stopped due to a suspected instrumentation problem. The
transfer is expected to resume this week.
17 August 2000 - Latest Shuttle Status Report here.
Latest ISS Status Report here. NASA states:
U.S. and Russian International Space Station flight controllers
pressurize the "front porch" of the Progess vehicle that will
allow the STS-106
astronauts and cosmonauts to unpack supplies when they arrive in September. Progress' thrusters were
used to test [a] change [to] the station's speed by 3.2 kilometers per hour (2
miles per hour). Another thruster firing is scheduled for Aug. 17.
16 August 2000 - ISS - It ain't just the Yanks and the Russkies - NASA explains:
Today workers at the Kennedy Space Center are mating the Canadian Space Agency's
first contribution to the International Space Station, the 56-foot-long
Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), to its payload carrier in preparation
for launch in April 2001. The SSRMS is the primary means of transferring payloads
between the orbiter payload bay and the Space Station during assembly. You can watch the process live
Russian, American, and Canadian personnel are arriving in Russia for
training exercises to rehearse
for a rescue operation from the International Space Station.
Space Shuttle Atlantis is now at Launch Pad 39B at
Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The crawler transport began moving the orbiter
out of the Vehicle Assembly Building at 10:20 p.m. CDT Sunday, and
Atlantis was in place at the pad at 8:30 a.m. CDT Monday. Currently,
workers are installing the SPACEHAB payload into Atlantis, and shuttle main
engine flight-readiness testing continues. Also, the seven-member STS-106
crew arrived at Kennedy Space Center Tuesday for the Terminal Countdown
Demonstration Test, which is scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Space Shuttle Atlantis arrives at Launch Pad
39B, and the seven-member STS-106 crew arrives at Kennedy Space Center,
Fla., for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, which is scheduled to
begin Thursday, Aug. 17.
Atlantis took a planned detour on its way out to Launch Pad 39B to prepare for the STS-106 launch.
Read more.....See photos.....
13 August 2000 - Here's more on the 2003 mission to
Mars. NASA is
sending 2 unmanned rovers, much bigger than 1997's
model, to explore the
surface and look for evidence of past (or present!) life on the Red
For the first time in Space Shuttle history, a fully stacked Shuttle
rolled into the Vehicle Assembly Building's high bay 2 on the building's
west side on Saturday, Aug. 12. Read
more..... See photos.....
If you can't train for your space mission in zero-G here on Earth, what's
the next best thing? Hit the water at the Neutral
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., preparations continue for the launch of
STS-106, which is scheduled for Sept. 8. Atlantis has been connected to the
external tank and the solid rocket boosters in the Vehicle Assembly
Building. Atlantis was scheduled to begin the move from the Vehicle Assembly
Building to Launch Pad 39B on Sunday night. The SPACEHAB payload is
scheduled to be installed into the orbiter Tuesday and the Countdown
Demonstration Test is slated for Thursday and Friday.
STS-106 and its seven-member
crew will be the next visitors to the International Space Station in September.
While at the station, Atlantis' five astronauts and two cosmonauts will deliver
supplies, unload the Progress supply vehicle, outfit the Zvezda Service Module
and perform a space walk in preparation for the arrival of the Expedition 1 crew
in early November. After STS-106, the next shuttle mission to visit the space
station in the assembly sequence will be
STS-92, which will deliver
four moment control gyros, an additional conical docking adapter and the Z1
Truss. STS-92 is scheduled to launch Oct. 5.
10 August 2000 - NASA has announced that they are sending not one,
but two rovers to Mars in 2003.
The missions will launch next
spring, and target different areas of the Red Planet. The six-wheeled
robotic explorers will look for signs of past or present life and send back images of the surface.
Press conference video here.
9 August 2000 - Latest ISS Status Report here. NASA states:
A Progress supply
vehicle docked with the International Space Station on Tuesday at 3:13
p.m. CDT, or 20:13 GMT. The Progress, which is attached to the station's
Zvezda Service Module, delivered clothing, computers, personal hygiene
items, office supplies, food and fuel for the first permanent residents of
the station. The Progress will be unloaded by the seven-member STS-106
crew when it arrives at the space station in September.
On TV Tonight: We just found out that TLC is showing back-to-back
space-related TV shows - "Extreme Machines: Ultimate Space Machines"
tonight at 8PM EDT/PDT, repeated at 11PM. Their episode description:
"The International Space Station, or ISS, is the biggest
and riskiest engineering project of all time, testing the limits of
technology and the endurance of the astronauts who operate it".
Immediately following is "Space:
The Final Junkyard," and then "Exodus
Earth". Check tonight's
schedule for repeat times. After the second showings (11-2), there's a Star
Trek special on for us sci-fi fans. Set your VCR to tape 11PM EDT for 4
hours of space TV!! WooHoo!!
A Russian Progress resupply ship docked with the International Space Station
Aug. 8. The STS-106 crew will unload the Progress vehicle, which contains
clothing, computers, personal hygiene items, office supplies, food and fuel.
A Russian space official revealed that they were so nervous about the
launch to the ISS, that they were considering
cutting funds for further Station work. Come on, guys, you did fine!
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., workers began rolling Space Shuttle Atlantis out of
the Orbiter Processing Facility. Atlantis will be moved to the Vehicle
Assembly Building, or VAB, where it will be connected to the external
tank, which is slated to begin Tuesday. On Thursday, the shuttle will go
through the Shuttle Interface Test. Sunday night at about 10 p.m. CDT,
Atlantis is scheduled to begin roll out to Launch Pad 39B. STS-106 and its
seven-member crew are scheduled to launch Sept. 8 at 7:31 a.m. CDT.
The International Space Station awaits the
arrival of its next visitor, a Russian Progress cargo ship, that launched Sunday
at 1:26 p.m. CDT, or 18:26 GMT. The liftoff occurred at the Baikonur Cosmodrome,
Kazakhstan, and the launch vehicle was a Russian Soyuz rocket. The ship is
carrying clothes, computers, food and other supplies for use by the first
permanent crew of the station. The Progress is scheduled to dock with the
International Space Station Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 3:14 p.m. CDT, or 20:14 GMT.
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., workers are making final preparations to roll Space
Shuttle Atlantis out of the Orbiter Processing Facility on Monday. Roll
out is slated to begin at about 8:30 a.m. CDT. Atlantis will be
transferred to the Vehicle Assembly Building, where it will be mated to
the external tank and the solid rocket boosters. Atlantis is scheduled to
be rolled out to Launch Pad 39B on Aug. 13 with launch on Sept. 8.
3 August 2000 - This Sunday, the ISS will await its first visitor
since the docking of the Zvezda service module. NASA reports:
The next mission to the International Space Station will be a Russian Progress
resupply vehicle that will launch Aug. 6 at 1:26 p.m. CDT, or 18:26 GMT, from
the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on a Soyuz rocket. The Progress vehicle is
scheduled to dock with the space station on Aug. 8 at 3:14 p.m. CDT, or 20:14
GMT. Then, the STS-106 crew will transfer the supplies from the Progress vehicle
to the station. STS-106 is scheduled to launch on Space Shuttle Atlantis on
What distant star is only as large as a city on Earth, yet weighs more than a
million times what Earth does? A super-dense
neutron star! A new one has been discovered in deep space - but
this one has a wobbly spin that distorts its shape.
Service Module's computers took control of the International Space
Station operations over the weekend. Also, leak checks have been performed
to verify the seal between Zvezda and the Zarya Control Module. Now, flight
controllers will turn their attention to the arrival of a Progress supply
vehicle. The supply ship is scheduled to launch on a Russian Soyuz rocket at
1:30 p.m. CDT, or 18:30 GMT, on Aug. 6 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome,
Kazakhstan, and dock with the station at 2:46 p.m. CDT, or 19:46 GMT, Aug. 8.