Spaceflight Now: Breaking News
Prediction of Top Five Stories of 2000
Posted: Dec. 30, 1999

On this first day of 2000, Spaceflight Now attempts to predict the top five stories that will make headlines in space news this year. This forecast is based purely on the opinions of our staff. If you have an opinion about what will be making space news in the New Year send us an e-mail. Please include your name and location.
Mars '01 missions go forward in hurried form
After the loss of NASA's two Mars missions in 1999, the space agency will press ahead with plans for another orbiter and lander in the spring of 2001 as engineering tests. However, the probes won't focus on science, rather proving their technologies while taking advantage of the launch opportunity between Earth and Mars. Why stay on the ground if something can be learned?
Russians finally launch the ISS service module
After years of delays and financial troubles, the Russian-built Zvezda service module finally will be boosted into Earth orbit. The module will serve as the initial crew living quarters for the International Space Station, and act as a propulsion system to keep the outpost at a safe altitude.
Mir plummets to Earth safely
The 14-year old Russian space station Mir will be deorbited safely, reentering the Earth's atmosphere in a suicidal plunge. The station was abandoned by its final full-time in August to free up scarce Russian space money for the new International Space Station.
Russian thrust powers Atlas 3 to success
The latest version of Lockheed Martin's Atlas rocket, the 3A, will be successful in its maiden flight in April using Russian-built engines. The rocket is slated to launch Eutelsat's W4 communications satellite from Cape Canaveral. The first Atlas 3A was supposed to launch in the summer of 1998, but was grounded for engine checks and then by the loss of its payload to Arianespace.
Atlas 3
Third time the charm for Delta 3
Boeing's new Delta 3 rocket will finally succeed in its third launch. Now scheduled for liftoff in early April from Cape Canaveral, the rocket will carry an ICO mobile communications satellite into space. The flight will follow two failures over the past two years. Delta 3 was developed to lift twice the payload weight of the workhorse Delta 2.
Delta 3
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