July 30, 2001 |
The Senate Appropriations Committee has budgeted $25 million for NASA to begin work on a Pluto mission, but the new funding still would need to be approved later this fall by members of the House and the president. Previous plans for a $700-million Pluto mission were scrapped by the space agency in September. Two teams, including one from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, are now competing to put together a $500-million mission.
July 17, 2001 |
Astronauts had to contend with water and air leaks and alarms while outfitting a passageway for spacewalkers on the international space station. Water spilled from a cooling line, and the crews of space shuttle Atlantis and space station Alpha had to mop up the mess. Then an alarm went off in the station's laboratory. A computer sensed a drop in water pressure and shut off the cooling system. An air leak cropped up about 10 hours later.
July 16, 2001 |
Two teams of astronauts installed a new entryway on the international space station Sunday, then swung open the hatch with a ceremonial flourish and floated inside. Applause erupted in Mission Control as the commanders of the shuttle Atlantis and space station Alpha cut a white paper ribbon stretching across the inner threshold of the $164-million air lock for spacewalks, named Quest.
July 12, 2001 |
Hoping to catch a cosmic breeze, NASA is preparing to launch a new spacecraft to seek evidence of the earliest days of our solar system 4 1/2 billion years ago. The satellite, to be known as Genesis, is scheduled to launch July 30. Its mission is scheduled to end in 2004 with a dramatic helicopter recovery over the Utah desert.
July 1, 2001 |
A NASA observatory rocketed into space Saturday on a mission to scan the universe for the faint afterglow of creation. Liftoff occurred at 3:46 p.m., with the unmanned Delta rocket climbing through a cloudy sky and placing the MAP (Microwave Anisotropy Probe) spacecraft in its proper orbit. The craft's electricity-generating solar panels popped open on cue. "It's a terrific sigh of relief," Alan Bunner, a NASA science director, said after MAP reached orbit.
June 10, 2001 |
In this town of fanciful architecture, the oddest structure of all has been constructed--not on the Strip, but as a vision of man's first home and science laboratory on Mars. The prototype habitat, designed to house explorers for as long as 18 months on the Red Planet, was shipped this week to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for public display at its visitors' center.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 2001 |
A band of protesters opposed to military space projects was arrested Saturday while attempting to enter the Air Force base. About 200 people gathered outside as part of the "Stop the Militarization of Space" protest. About 15 people were arrested after crossing a barricade and sitting down in front of security forces, said Air Force Staff Sgt. Rebecca Bonilla.
May 18, 2001 |
U.S. astronauts aboard the International Space Station were tired, not unfriendly, when space tourist Dennis Tito paid a visit this month, said a NASA official at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The comments came in response to complaints this week from a cosmonaut who accompanied Tito. Talgat Musabayev said that the U.S. crew members were not very cordial and appeared to have been ordered to keep their distance from their countryman.
May 9, 2001 |
Humans could venture to Mars in 20 years or less, NASA chief Daniel S. Goldin said at a symposium on the 40-year history of U.S. human spaceflight. He detailed NASA's plans to launch a precision lander spacecraft toward Mars in 2007, with Martian samples to be collected and returned to Earth by 2009 to 2011.
May 7, 2001
The Pioneer 10 space probe, launched in 1972 and silent for eight months, phoned home from more than 7 billion miles away after getting a radio call from Earth, NASA said last week. Pioneer 10 had not made contact since last August, and although NASA scientists had lost contact before, the silences had only lasted for a week or two. Such a long hiatus probably means something has broken down.