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Space Shuttle News...

Note: This is an archive of 1999 Space Shuttle news. 

Look for coverage of the STS-103 Shuttle mission at our STS-103 Mission Journal page.

Look for coverage of the STS-99 Shuttle mission at our STS-99 Mission Journal page.

Look for coverage of the STS-106 Atlantis mission at our STS-106 Mission Journal page.

Look for coverage of the STS-92 Discovery mission at our STS-92 Mission Journal page.

For the latest on Shuttle missions, please visit the News Page.

28 November - This Week In Space History - A big five Shuttle anniversaries:
STS-9 (28 Nov 1989); and 4 more on the same day (2 December): STS-27 (1988), STS-35 (1990), STS-53 (1992) and STS-61 (1993). 

23 November - NASA needs three more days to repair damaged Shuttle wiring - Discovery set to launch 9 December.

21 November - KSC personnel to continue Shuttle repair work in preparation for launch on 6 December (date tentative).
This Week In Space History - (Besides my birthday, that is...) Three Shuttle anniversaries: STS-33 (22 Nov 1989); STS-44 (24 Nov 1991) and STS-61-B (26 Nov 1985). 

14 November - This Week In Space History - Three Shuttle anniversaries, a Skylab mission, plus an Apollo anniversary!
STS-38 Shuttle mission (15 Nov 1990); STS-80 (19 Nov 1996) and STS-87 (exactly one year later, on 19 Nov 1997). 

7 November - Florida Today is calling for a special review team to examine Shuttle operations, in light of the recent troubles with Atlantis and Discovery.
This Week In Space History - Four Shuttle anniversaries
plus a Gemini mission!
STS-51 Shuttle mission (8 Nov 1984); STS-5 (11 Nov 1982); STS-2 (12 Nov 1981); and STS-74 (12 Nov 1995). STS-74's crew included Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to visit Mir. STS-2 was the first time in history that a spacecraft had been re-flown with a new crew, and the first flight of the CanadArm remote manipulator. 

8 October - Next ISS mission won't fly until next year.

7 October - Latest Shuttle launch dates finally set - STS-103 (Discovery) is heading up for the third Hubble repair mission on 2 December 1999. This will mark the first time since the August 28th Mir abandonment that any humans will be in space! 

2 October - Latest Shuttle news from Yahoo!

26 September -  
This Week In Space History - Two Shuttle anniversaries: 
The 11th anniversary (29 Sep 1988) of STS-26 (Shuttle Discovery) launch, the 26th shuttle mission. Mission Fact sheet here; Crew info here; Image collections here and here. This was the first Shuttle flight after the Challenger disaster 31 months earlier - you know they were keeping a close eye on this one! The mission featured a deployment of a TDRS-3 satellite

The 5th anniversary (30 Sep 1994) of STS-68 (Shuttle Endeavour) launch, the 65th shuttle mission. Mission Fact sheet here; Crew info here; Image collection here. This mission landed at Edwards AFB and featured the Space Radar Laboratory among its many payloads.

25 September -  Columbia is at Boeing's Palmdale, California facility for its regularly scheduled Orbiter Maintenance Down Period


19 September -  
This Week In Space History - 2nd anniversary (25 Sep 97) of STS-86 (Shuttle Atlantis) launch, the 87th shuttle mission. Mission Fact sheet here; Crew info here; KSC image collection here. This mission was the seventh docking with the Mir station and featured a joint US-Russian space-walk.

15 September - The Shuttle Fleet is spared as Hurricane Floyd skirts Florida. Millions fled the hurricane-force winds, which even caused Disney World to close down for a full day for the first time in its 28-year history. The gigantic Vehicle Assembly Building lost some siding, but the  overall damage was minimal. KSC's web server is still down at this writing.

Mark Lee removed from next May's STS-98 mission - allegedly for "conduct unbecoming of an astronaut" - what's that all about??? More info on Mark Lee in the STS-47 story below.

12 September - Wow! This Week In Space History features four Shuttle anniversaries plus a Gemini mission! See Space News for Gemini story.
Today marks three Shuttle anniversaries: 
8th anniversary
of STS-48 (Shuttle Discovery) launch, the 43rd shuttle mission. Mission Fact sheet here; Crew info here; Image collection here. This mission was scheduled to land at KSC but landed at Edwards AFB due to bad weather at the Cape.

7th anniversary of STS-47 (Shuttle Endeavour) launch, the 50th shuttle mission. Mission Fact sheet here; Crew info here; Image collection here. This mission featured a joint U.S.-Japanese SpaceLab mission. Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman in space on this flight, which also included the first Japanese astronaut and the first married couple in space (Mark Lee and Jan Davis met during their astronaut training!).

6th anniversary of STS-51 (Shuttle Discovery) launch, the 57th shuttle mission. Mission Fact sheet here; Crew info here; Image collection here. This mission deployed 2 satellites and completed with the first night landing at KSC

This Thursday marks the 3rd anniversary of STS-79 (Shuttle Atlantis) launch, the 79th shuttle mission (16 Sep 96). Mission Fact sheet here; Crew info here; Image collection here. This mission flew to the Russian Mir space station to "drop off" one American astronaut and "pick up" another - Dr. Shannon Lucid, who became the world-record holder for space endurance by a woman and, at 188 days in space, is the most-traveled U.S. astronaut

5 September - 
This Week In Space History -
Two Shuttle anniversaries this week. 4th anniversary of STS-69 (Shuttle Endeavour) launch, the 71st shuttle mission (7 Sep 99). Mission Fact sheet here - Crew info here. This mission marked the first time two payloads were deployed on the same flight. 

5th anniversary of STS-64 (Shuttle Discovery) launch, the 64th shuttle mission (9 Sep 94). Mission Fact sheet here - Crew info here. One of the many experiments flown on this mission was the SPARTAN telescope for observing the solar wind.

4 September - Space Shuttle fleet grounded as wiring problems surface! Space Station flights also face delays.

30 August - This Week In Space History - Today brings two Shuttle anniversaries. 16th anniversary of STS-8 (Shuttle Challenger) launch, the 8th shuttle mission - Mission Fact sheet here - Crew info here. Col. Guy Bluford became the first African-American in space on this mission - this was also the first time a Shuttle was launched and landed at night.
15th anniversary of STS-41-D (Shuttle Discovery) launch, the 12th shuttle mission. Mission Fact sheet here - Crew info here. This was Discovery's maiden flight. (Does anybody know how they numbered these things?!?! Nowadays, it seems to be roughly sequential (by mission assignment is not by launch date), but back in the 80s, the numbers and letters were all over the place!) Send us email if you know!
UPDATE: The answer to the Shuttle mission numbering question can be found here.

25 August - Upcoming shuttle launches delayed due to electrical inspections. Endeavour may go up in late October for STS-99.

22 August - NASA Shuttle milestone - accepts delivery of 100th external fuel tank.
This Week In Space History -
14th anniversary (27 Aug 1985) of STS-51I (Shuttle Discovery) launch, the 20th shuttle mission. Mission Fact sheet here. Crew info here.

13 August -  
Next shuttle launch (STS-99 Endeavour) pushed back to at least 7 October, to investigate the wiring fault that caused the short-circuit that made so many problems for the STS-93 team

9 August - This week in space history: This Thursday marks the 22nd anniversary of the first free flight of Space Shuttle Enterprise (yes, it's named after the Star Trek ship!). On 12 August 1977, the first Space Shuttle, designated OV-101, was carried aloft on the back of a modified 747 airliner and released to glide to a landing at Edwards AFB. This mission was part of the Orbiter Approach and Landing Test (ALT) Program, and counted Apollo 13 veteran Fred Haise among its crews. Shuttle Enterprise was built as a test vehicle and never intended for space flight. It is currently in storage at the National Air and Space Museum's Dulles Center (the "attic" of the NASM) - currently under construction as a second museum site, scheduled to be completed in 2001 and fully open to the public by Dec. 17, 2003, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first powered flight.

8 August marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of STS-28 (Shuttle Columbia), a classified mission for the DoD.

6 August - This week in Space History - Anniversaries of the 2 Aug 91 launch of STS-43 (Shuttle Atlantis) and the 7 Aug 97 launch of STS-85 (Shuttle Discovery). 

1 August - The Shuttle Crew returned to the Johnson Space Center in Houston this past Wednesday morning. While speaking at the welcome-home ceremony, Commander Collins urged wider support for the space program. The fuel leak that caused the Shuttle to fall seven miles short of its intended orbit is believed to have been caused by a loose pin that was used to repair the rocket engine earlier. Read about Eileen's "Right Stuff" here.

30 July - What is the future of the Space Shuttle program?

28 July 1999 - Columbia back home - engine leak confirmed

FLASH! 28 July 1999: STS-93 (Shuttle Columbia) makes a "beautiful" night landing at KSC! Associated Press story here.

MSNBC - Columbia heading for home after deploying the largest Shuttle payload ever, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

CNN - Historic shuttle crew ready to land - July 27 1999 - STS-93 will be landing tonight at 11:20 PM EDT. NASA status report here.

Shuttle, Mir crews chat in orbit - STS-93 story from CNN.

Why did STS-93 have problems during liftoff? CNN suspects a fuel leak.

Live shuttle telemetry! See the current Shuttle mission's pitch, yaw, speed, etc.

Shuttle Web - info on the historic STS-93 mission launching on the Apollo anniversary - the first Shuttle commanded by a woman! [NEWS FLASH - Launch delayed twice, finally lifting off on 23 July 1999] - Story from Wired News.

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