Spaceflight Now: Breaking News
Sunday: January 16, 2000  0339 GMT
Chandra finds X-ray star bonanza in the Orion Nebula
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has resolved nearly a thousand faint X-ray-emitting stars in a single observation of young stars in the Orion Nebula, the richest field of X-ray sources ever obtained.
Oxygen, neon ring found in ashes of exploded star
The Chandra telescope has revealed an expanding ring-like structure of oxygen and neon that was hurled into space by the explosion of a massive star.
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Mars Express construction begins -- Construction of the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft can now begin, after final approval for the design was granted this week.

Hubble sees bubble in space -- The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) with unprecedented clarity. For the first time, astronomers are able to understand the geometry and dynamics of this very complicated system.

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Florida Space Summit participants say teamwork important -- (Florida Today) The Florida Space Summit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors' Complex on Friday brought together political and space powerbrokers to discuss how to make the state a flourishing launch site in the 21st century.

Graham urges NASA to wait for Russians and Service Module -- (Florida Today) NASA shouldn't bail out on its Russian partner, even though problems overseas are delaying work on the $60 billion International Space Station, U.S. Sen. Bob Graham said Friday.

Saturday: January 15, 2000  0551 GMT
U.S. Air Force Minotaur rocket launch scrubbed
After two countdown halts, the maiden launch of the U.S. Air Force OSPSLV rocket, nicknamed Minotaur, was scrubbed early today at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Follow the countdown and launch with our Mission Status Center.
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Plans for Destructive Reentry to End Compton Gamma Ray Observatory's Mission -- (SpaceRef) NASA is considering sending the heavy-weight Compton Gamma Ray Observatory to a fiery destructive reentry to prevent an uncontrolled return to Earth.

Spacewalkers say Hubble's good for 10 more years -- (Reuters/Yahoo!) Two space-walking astronauts who helped repair the Hubble Space Telescope last month said on Friday the nearly 10-year-old spacecraft is a bit tattered but ready for another decade of cosmic observation.

Thief steals souvenirs of historic space mission -- (APBnews) An astronaut's souvenirs from the first international manned space flight have vanished in a smash-and-grab robbery at an Oklahoma museum, officials said.

Friday: January 14, 2000  1650 GMT
Boeing to acquire Hughes satellite business
The Boeing Company and Hughes Electronics Corporation Thursday announced that Boeing will acquire Hughes' space and communications business and related operations for a value of $3.75 billion in cash.
Shuttle Endeavour poised for launch January 31
After much haggling, NASA and the U.S. Air Force have settled on a plan that will allow space shuttle Endeavour to launch this month on a mission to map the Earth's surface.
U.S. Air Force Minotaur rocket set for test launch
The maiden launch of the U.S. Air Force OSPSLV rocket, nicknamed Minotaur, is scheduled for 9:54 p.m. EST Friday (0254 GMT Saturday) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Follow the countdown and launch with our Mission Status Center.
NASA officials still debating extra shuttle flight to ISS
ISS and shuttle program managers continue to evaluate the possibility of a special maintenance mission to the station this spring.
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Tests of X-33 delayed -- (AP/Yahoo!) A summer test flight of the $1.2 billion X-33 space plane will be delayed because fuel tanks have defects and may be abandoned, the plane's manufacturer said. The original graphite-epoxy composite tanks may be replaced by aluminum alternatives.

Pentagon says it erred in Y2K fix -- (AP/Yahoo!) The Pentagon acknowledged Thursday that it had erred in its approach to testing a Y2K correction for one of its key intelligence-processing computers prior to New Year's Eve. The computer system broke down that night, interrupting the flow of spy satellite data for several hours.

Different ideas expected as leaders discuss state's future in space -- (Florida Today) They'll arrive with different ideas for keeping Florida's launch pads busy in the new century. The hope is that participants at today's Florida Space Summit leave with a shared vision for nurturing the state's role in the aerospace industry.

Mir touted as orbiting business park -- (Reuters/Yahoo!) A U.S. tycoon is pumping millions of dollars into a plan to save Russia's Mir space station, hoping to transform the empty outpost into an orbiting business park and a vacation resort for highfliers.

Thursday: January 13, 2000  1930 GMT
Endeavour gets launch date
NASA and the U.S. Air Force have agreed to a January 31 launch date for shuttle Endeavour. Planned maintanence of aging Air Force tracking and safety systems at Cape Canaveral will be postponed to accommodate the shuttle's 11-day radar mapping mission. More later.
Satellite improves tropical rainfall forecasting accuracy
New research shows that adding rainfall data from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite and other meteorological satellites to forecast models can more than triple the accuracy of short-term rainfall forecasts.
Astronaut, shuttle manager McMonagle departs NASA
Don McMonagle, chairman of NASA's shuttle mission management team and manager of launch integration, will leave the agency Friday to join private industry.
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NASA slashes asteroid population count -- NASA scientists taking a census of large asteroids in our solar system neighbourhood have cut their estimate in half.

Space shuttle joins American icons in stamp collection -- The Space Shuttle Program Wednesday joined video games, the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and 12 other American memories as part of the U.S. Postal Service's "Celebrate the Century" program.

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Companies accused of space shuttle fraud -- (AP/Yahoo!) Three companies were sued by the government for allegedly concealing fraud by a subcontractor that spent millions from space shuttle program funds on homes, jewelry and exotic vacations, it was disclosed Wednesday.

Russia may send actor to Mir station -- (AP/Yahoo!) The Russian Space Agency on Wednesday said it plans to send two cosmonauts and possibly a movie actor to the Mir space station on March 30 for a 45-day mission.

Astronaut makes Rommel remark -- (AP/Yahoo!) The commander of NASA's next space shuttle mission jokingly told German astronaut Gerhard Thiele that "Rommel would have been proud of you" after Thiele drove an armored personnel carrier during training Wednesday.

Organic molecules found in space -- (AP/Yahoo!) A primordial soup of complex organic chemicals that could be the precursors of life is cooked up very quickly after the birth of stars, new research suggests.

Analysts: Boeing-Hughes would be match made in heavens -- (Reuters/Yahoo!) Boeing Co.'s reported plan to buy Hughes Electronics Corp.'s satellite-making business would cement an already close relationship and propel the aerospace giant further into outer space, analysts said.

Arianespace revenues down 11 percent -- (AP/Yahoo!) European space consortium Arianespace's revenue fell 11 percent last year, but officials attributed the decline to a temporary drop in the satellite launching market.

Wednesday: January 12, 2000  0400 GMT
U.S. Air Force DSP satellite not damaged by oil leak
A super-sensitive U.S. military satellite was not contaminated by oil dripping from a launch pad crane last month at Cape Canaveral Air Station, inspectors announced Tuesday.
NASA and Range negotiate for Endeavour launch date
The six astronauts that will embark on shuttle Endeavour's upcoming flight are at Kennedy Space Center this week for a practice countdown, but NASA has yet to secure a launch date for the mission.
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This week on Galileo -- Galileo continues to orbit around Jupiter this week, traveling away from the heart of the system after completing a close flyby of Jupiter's icy moon Europa last week.

Loral to build advanced Ka-band satellite for iSKY -- Space Systems/Loral has been awarded a contract by iSKY to design and build an advanced Ka-band spot-beam satellite. iSKY will use the satellite to offer North American consumers and small businesses wireless Internet access.

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Report: Private company should manage space station -- (Reuters/Yahoo!) NASA should set up a private company to take control of the International Space Station as soon as possible, a team of experts recommended on Tuesday.

SOHO is back in normal mode -- (NASA) SOHO has now returned to Normal Mode, and instrument recovery for those that are not already observing is planned for January 12. The craft entered Emergency Sun Reacquisition mode last Friday.

NASA returns disputed desk set -- (AP/Yahoo!) NASA stopped short of determining whether a desk set it seized from an Oregon woman contained valuable moon dust as suspected and quietly returned the family heirloom, the woman said Tuesday.

Tuesday: January 11, 2000  1905 GMT
U.S. spy satellite unharmed
Inspections of a Defense Support Program missile detection satellite have revealed no damage from a launch pad mishap last month at Cape Canaveral Air Station, U.S. Air Force officials said today. During routine work December 22, oil dripped onto the Titan 4 rocket's nose cone from an overhead crane. Launch is now set for March 1. We will have a full report later.
New findings from Galileo boost idea of Europa ocean
When NASA's Galileo spacecraft swooped past Jupiter's moon Europa a week ago, it picked up powerful new evidence that a liquid ocean lies beneath Europa's icy crust.
Hubble Space Telescope resumes science work
NASA's Hubble telescope was expected to begin routine science operations Monday evening. The craft, unable to make observations since mid-November due to a broken pointing system, was fixed by astronauts last month.
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NASA's QuikScat satellite suffers gyro breakdown -- The orbiting QuikScat ocean-winds monitoring satellite was placed into a safe mode January after one of its gryos degraded. The NASA spacecraft has since returned to science operations.

Instrument commissioning underway on XMM telescope -- All of the European Space Agency's X-ray Multi-Mirror observatory's instruments have been switched on and their computer software loaded on board as commissioning continues.

Activation of NASA's Terra spacecraft continues -- After more than three weeks of the spacecraft being on-orbit, NASA controllers report Terra Mission operations are going extremely well, with no significant problems at this time.

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Russian-built Service Module launch delayed -- (AP/Yahoo!) In a major setback for the International Space Station, the launch of a key module will be delayed yet again after flaws were detected in a booster rocket, a top official said today.

Balloon launched to study sun flares -- (AP/Yahoo!) Scientists have launched a huge telescope-carrying balloon over Antarctica for a detailed study of solar flares, the violent eruptions of radiation and atomic particles that billow from the surface of the sun.

Monday: January 10, 2000  0140 GMT
A repaired U.S. Air Force rocket set for launch
A converted U.S. Air Force Minuteman 2 missile stands poised on a California launch pad for liftoff this week after workers solved problems that kept the booster grounded for a month.
Phoenix prepares for flight
The last of the four Cluster 2 satellites, called Phoenix, is undergoing tests near Munich. The ESA craft are slated for launch this summer, replacing the ones lost in the Ariane 501 rocket failure 3 1/2 years ago.
Cluster 2
Tests to begin on NASA's modified X-34 rocket plane
NASA's first X-34 has completed its transformation from structural test vehicle into flying experimental rocket plane and is ready to begin tests that will lead to its maiden flight later this year.
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Kelly Space wins NASA contract -- Kelly Space & Technology has been awarded a $1.2 million contract by NASA to continue work on the next phase of a study that is focused on the development of space transportation systems that will serve through the year 2030.
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Russians say U.S. firm may save space station -- (Reuters/Yahoo!) Russia's Mir space station, which has circled the earth empty since August, may be sent another crew this year for an extended flight, paid for by a U.S. firm, Mir's builders said Monday.

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Earlier news
Jan. 3-9: Proton rocket failure report released; U.S. Air Force DSP satellite checked for possible damage; Galileo probe eyes five Jovian moons in two days.

Dec. 27-Jan. 2: Shuttle Discovery lands safely; review of 1999's top space stories and predictions for 2000; NASA survives Y2K computer bug.

Dec. 20-26: Discovery's astronauts successfully repair Hubble; Ariane 4 launches Galaxy 11; Taurus carries Kompsat and Acrimsat satellites into orbit; X-33 aerospike engine fired; Mars Global Surveyor looks for Polar Lander.

Dec. 13-19: Shuttle Discovery finally launched on Hubble servicing mission; NASA's Terra environmental satellite launched on Atlas rocket.

Dec. 6-12: More shuttle delays; Ariane 5 launches ESA's XMM telescope; U.S. Air Force Titan 2 deploys DMSP weather satellite; Mars Polar Lander assumed lost.

Dec. 1-5: Mars Polar Lander arrives at Red Planet but communciations with Earth never occur; Ariane 40 rocket launches Helios 1B; Pegasus rocket deploys seven ORBCOMM satellites; Discovery's mission to Hubble in limbo.

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