Space News - December 2000Note: The links below will
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More Mars water evidence!
Ongoing coverage of Space Station Alpha at the International Space Station Mission Journal!
|30 December 2000 - It's been a big year for space news.
Here are NASA's top stories:|
Space Odyssey Renewed
has pioneered the future for more than four decades, and the agency's
achievements this past year are marked by a spirit of cooperation
never-before-seen in the history of Space exploration. The dream of the
first crew to live on the International Space Station is realized at a
time when nations that were once separated by the Cold War are now joined
in a project of discovery. In our solar system, finding evidence of
flowing water on Mars rekindled hopes of finding life on our planetary
neighbor and the images from Mars Global Surveyor helped fuel the
excitement for NASA's long-term exploration plans of the Red Planet.
Closer to home, an unprecedented mapping of the Earth's surface began, and
NASA technology is being used to ease flight delays and enhance runway
safety. Read on to relive these and other exciting developments that make
up NASA's top ten stories in the year 2000.
The Cassini probe has "double teamed" Jupiter, working together
with the Galileo spacecraft to deliver new
close-up photos of the giant
fifth planet. NASA reports:
visualizes the invisible
NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which made its closest approach to Jupiter early today, is providing ways to make
invisible features visible, to track daily changes in some of the planet's
most visible storms and to hear the patterns in natural radio emissions near
the edge of Jupiter's magnetic environment.
Go to pictures, video
CNN has a series of articles entitled "2001: A Space Prophecy",
comparing science in the year 2001 to science in the movie "2001".
Part 1, Part
2, Part 3,
Part 4, Part
British astronomer receives
it hard to look through a telescope while you're wearing a suit of armor?
Today In Space History - On 30 Dec
1987, Cosmonaut Yuri
Romanenko hit a record-setting stay of over
325 days in space
aboard the then-Soviet space station, Mir.
[Date: United Space Alliance]
|29 December 2000 - More on the loss of 6 Russian
satellites, as the Ukrainian
rocket carrying them crashed into the Arctic after the third stage failed. The
toxic rocket fuel may pose an environmental hazard.|
Jupiter will have a new visitor tomorrow, as the
Cassini probe makes a
scheduled flyby, after a long trip. NASA reports:
Jupiter Millennium Flyby
Cassini spacecraft, on its
journey to Saturn, is expected to make its closest
approach to Jupiter tomorrow, Dec. 30. The Galileo spacecraft has been
exploring Jupiter since 1995. It is unusual in the history of space
exploration to have two robotic spacecraft on separate missions, actively
observing a planet--other than Earth--at the same time from such close
range. Meanwhile, NASA's Galileo
spacecraft, orbiting Jupiter since 1995, has successfully flown
past Jupiter's moon Ganymede.
Did the universe begin with a "Big Bang"? New evidence supports
|28 December 2000 - Russia's bad luck continues as they search
for the wreckage of a rocket launch that failed this
week, causing the loss
of its six-satellite payload. At least Mir
hasn't fallen out of the sky (lest we forget, America's Skylab did just
that in 1979).|
It may be cold outside, but the Sun is having some unusual
weather of its own - solar
storms are blasting radiation toward the Earth like never before! NASA reports:
the Angry Sun
the Sun's stormy season approaches its zenith, solar scientists have the
best seat in the house, using the largest coordinated fleet of spacecraft
and ground observatories ever assembled to observe these angry outbursts
of solar radiation and predict the impact of turbulent space weather.
According to scientists from NASA and NOAA--the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration--the Sun is near the peak of its 11-year cycle
of activity. Solar maximum is the two-to-three year period around that
peak when the Sun's activity is most tempestuous and the Earth is buffeted
with powerful solar gusts.
A meteorite on display in an Australian
museum for three decades is gaining renewed attention, as it is examined
of fossilized microbes.
|21 December 2000 - Today marks the Winter
Solstice - the shortest day of the year, and the first day of winter (in
the Northern Hemisphere, that is). Our friends Down Under see this as the
start of Summer (lucky them!). |
Is NASA re-considering
their cancellation of a mission to Pluto?
They might send a robot probe to fly by the ninth planet, if
the cost is not too much. It's important that they make up their
because the Pluto's
atmosphere may actually freeze and condense to the surface as its
takes it further from the sun (yes, it's that cold!).
Today In Space History - We mark the
Apollo 8 launch (21
Dec 1968). AS8
was the first manned moon
mission, sending three astronauts into
lunar orbit (the first manned Apollo flight was an Earth
orbit mission). This marked the first time in history that humans had
left the Earth's orbit, and the first time anyone would see
another planetary body close up, with their own eyes. Mission Fact sheet
Crew info here;
Image collection here.
Apollo 8 was the
first manned flight of the
V rocket, and it carried a "test
article" instead of a real Lunar
Module. Before launch, the
Apollo 8 crew met aviation pioneer Charles
Lindbergh. This mission was also the first to lift off from KSC's Launch Complex
39, the home of all future manned NASA flights (Apollo 7 and all the Mercury and Gemini missions launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force
|04 December 2000 - More evidence of ancient water on Mars has been
found. NASA has revealed that
some crater walls show signs of sedimentary layers - like what would be
formed by lakes!
Bust out the waders, we're going fishing!!|
To keep going back in the timeline, check the
Space News Archive for
Apr - May 2000,
Jan - Feb 2000,
Oct - Dec 1999,
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