April 30, 2001 |
NASA scientists said they have contacted the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, ending fears that the robotic probe had gone silent 29 years into a mission that has carried it more than 7 billion miles from Earth. A radio antenna outside Madrid received a signal Saturday from Pioneer 10, marking the first time the spacecraft had been heard from since Aug. 19. Pioneer was launched March 2, 1972.
April 20, 2001 |
Space shuttle Endeavour roared into orbit Thursday, carrying a giant robotic arm that is needed to finish building the international space station. The midafternoon launch went off without a hitch. Among the 20,000-plus guests watching the launch: four world leaders, dignitaries from several countries and even a celebrity couple, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening.
April 17, 2001 |
The countdown began Monday for the launch of space shuttle Endeavour on a critical space station mission involving high-tech robotics. Endeavour is scheduled to lift off Thursday afternoon, carrying a 57-foot, 9-inch robotic arm for the international space station that will be used as a construction crane. The seven astronauts arrived at Kennedy Space Center several hours before the countdown clocks began ticking.
April 8, 2001 |
For the throngs peering skyward from the NASA causeway, it was a spectacular daytime launch. For geochemist William Boynton, it was the beginning of a promising science mission. But for Scott Hubbard, who oversees NASA's troubled Mars program, the flawless launch of the 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter was much more: It was a redemption. "We are back in business," said Hubbard, who has been presiding over the massive restructuring of the Mars program since the loss of two spacecraft in 1999.
April 7, 2001 |
Technicians have checked and double-checked each seal and solder. Engineers have reviewed countless lines of software code and every last metric conversion. Panels of experts have spent months trying to dream up--and then quash--any possible scenario for failure. Now, after a mind-numbing rundown of checks and reviews, the 2001 Odyssey spacecraft is perched atop a Boeing Delta II rocket on Launch Pad 17, ready for its six-month trip to Mars. The launch is scheduled for 11:02 a.m. EDT today.
March 21, 2001 |
Space shuttle Discovery returned to Earth, bringing the first crew of the international space station back from a 4 1/2-month mission spent building and fixing the orbiting outpost. Discovery landed at Cape Canaveral at 2:31 a.m. EST, almost two weeks after blasting off to retrieve the three space station pioneers. The space station voyagers circled Earth about 2,200 times during their trailblazing expedition and covered 58 million miles.
March 20, 2001 |
The space shuttle Discovery headed back to Cape Canaveral, ferrying the first three astronauts to live aboard space station Alpha. They face an arduous return to gravity after 141 days in space. Landing is set for just before 1 p.m. on Wednesday at Kennedy Space Center. "It's like being stuck to a big magnet," NASA flight surgeon Dr. Terry Taddeo said in describing the effect of gravity after months of floating weightless in space.
March 15, 2001 |
NASA decided to move the international space station to dodge a piece of orbiting debris lost by a spacewalking astronaut on Sunday. The shoebox-sized space junk, part of a foot-restraint system, and the space station, which is docked to the space shuttle Discovery, were both orbiting at speeds of about 5 miles per second. NASA said a collision was unlikely but decided to move up by several hours a scheduled maneuver to boost the station's orbit using the shuttle's rocket engines.
March 12, 2001 |
In what's being billed as NASA's longest spacewalk, two astronauts rearranged the international space station on Sunday to make room for an Italian cargo carrier. The module, called Leonardo, was raised from space shuttle Discovery's payload bay late Sunday night, hours after the spacewalk. It was slowly hoisted by the robot arm toward the space station.
March 11, 2001 |
The space shuttle Discovery's astronauts arrived at the international space station late Friday and, after handshakes, bearhugs and somersaults, quickly began the crucial exchange of crews. The two Russian Yuris were the first to swap places. Yuri Usachev moved into space station Alpha, and station resident Yuri Gidzenko took the vacated spot aboard Discovery. Americans Jim Voss and Susan Helms had to go out on a spacewalk before joining Usachev over on the station for a four-month stay.