Spaceflight Now: Breaking News
Sunday: November 5, 2000  0511 GMT
Chandra captures telling gamma-ray afterglow
The Chandra Observatory's sharp-eyed X-ray vision has detected something never before seen. The discovery may help find the origin of what many researchers believe are the most powerful explosions in the Universe.
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Universities launch Astrobiology center -- Cardiff University is to become home to the UK's first Centre for Astrobiology -- providing the UK with a facility to contribute to space missions probing for life on solar system bodies. It forges a connection between astronomy and biology.
Saturday: November 4, 2000  0809 GMT
Space object found that could hit Earth in 2030
Astronomers have found a very small asteroid-like object with a 1-in-500 chance of impacting the Earth in 2030. The unusual orbit of the object suggests it might not be a asteroid but possibly a spent stage from an Apollo moon mission.
S-IVB stage
Station crew complains of grueling schedule
Despite complaints by space station skipper William Shepherd early Friday about the crew's heavy workload, a senior NASA flight director says the schedule will improve within a week or so as equipment gets stored and critical life support systems are activated.

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NASA cancels miniature rover for asteroid mission -- NASA has canceled development of a miniature rover, which would have been part of the U.S. contribution to a Japanese mission to an asteroid. The primary reasons for the cancellation were rising costs and weight.
Friday: November 3, 2000  0549 GMT
Hubble gives a bird's eye view of galaxy collision
What appears as a bird's head, leaning over to snatch up a tasty meal, is a striking example of a galaxy collision in NGC 6745. A large spiral galaxy peers at the smaller passing galaxy, while a bright blue beak and bright whitish-blue top feathers show the distinct path taken during the smaller galaxy's journey.
NGC 6745
Research could pave way for discovery of life on Mars
In the wake of last month's announcement that scientists have found what they believe to be a living microbe that pre-dates Tyrannosaurus rex, an expert on microscopic organisms thinks living bacteria might be trapped in the sulphate and chloride salts of Mars.
Discovery due home today
The modified 747 carrier jet with space shuttle Discovery aboard is scheduled to complete its cross-country ferry flight by midday today, bringing the spaceplane back the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Edwards depart
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Man pleads guilty to selling fake moon rocks -- Richard Keith Mountain appeared before United States Magistrate Morton Silver, District of Arizona, this week and entered a plea of guilty to six counts of mail and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to sell alleged "moon rocks" to interested buyers.
Thursday: November 2, 2000  1400 GMT
First residents arrive at international space station
A Soyuz spacecraft carrying the international space station's first full-time crew successfully docked with the orbital outpost early today in a historic milestone in humanity's bid to establish a permanent foothold on the final frontier. Commander William Shepherd then promptly proposed naming the complex "Alpha."

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Probes sees groovy terrain in Martian Mangala Valles
NASA's Mars Global Surveyor has imaged buttes and mesas within the Red Planet's Mangala Valles, one of the large martian channels thought to have been carved by floods long ago.
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Discovery could head eastward today -- NASA hopes to begin the cross-country ferry flight of shuttle Discovery today after yet another delay in returning the spaceplane from Edwards Air Force Base in California to its homeport at Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a Boeing 747 carrier jet.

New contract awarded for space shuttle External Tanks -- Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company has completed negotiations with NASA for the production of 35 additional External Tanks for the Space Shuttle Program at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
Wednesday: November 1, 2000  0620 GMT
Progress cargo freighter undocks from space station
The first Russian-made Progress supply delivery ship sent to the international space station undocked from the outpost today and headed for reentry over the Pacific Ocean. The craft spent three months attached to the station and ferried supplies and equipment for use by the Expedition One crew.
Astronomers ponder lack of planets in globular cluster
In the first attempt to systematically search for "extrasolar" planets far beyond our local stellar neighborhood, astronomers probed the heart of a distant globular star cluster and were surprised to come up with a score of "zero".
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Shuttle Discovery still awaiting transport back to Florida -- Space shuttle Discovery could depart Edwards Air Force Base, California, later today atop a modified Boeing 747 carrier jet for the cross-country trek back to Kennedy Space Center. Winds and a technical problem has delayed the ferry flight.

China launches navigation spacecraft -- A Chinese Long March 3A rocket successfully placed a navigation satellite into orbit early Tuesday. The craft will provide constant navigation coverage for highways, railroads, and shipping lanes throughout China.
Tuesday: October 31, 2000  0930 GMT
Vanguard crew heads for four-month stay in space
An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts blasted off early today from Kazakhstan and set off after the international space station for a docking Thursday to establish what NASA hopes will be a permanent foothold in space.

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Shuttle hauled to pad
The next space shuttle to visit the international space station was rolled from the Vehicle Assembly Building to launch pad 39B today at Kennedy Space Center. Endeavour will deliver the first U.S. solar arrays to greatly increase the amount of power aboard the station. Liftoff is set for the late evening of November 30.
The edge of the Solar System
Our solar system may have an outer "edge" just outside the orbit of Pluto, astronomers have announced. Their results suggest that early in the history of the Solar System, some event stripped away most of the planet-building material beyond 50 times Earth's distance from the Sun.
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NASA's Galileo probing Jupiter's magnetosphere -- The week of Hallows Eve finds an 11-year old Galileo spending a relatively quiet week mapping the Jovian magnetosphere. The craft is in the initial days of a 100-day continuous survey that starts in the solar wind, continues through the magnetosphere and proceeds back out into the solar wind.
Monday: October 30, 2000  0640 GMT
Historic next step in human spaceflight comes Tuesday
Nearly 17 years after President Ronald Reagan first proposed building an international space station, an American commander and two Russian cosmonauts are finally poised for blastoff to become the first full-time occupants of what has become a $60 billion project.
ISS crew

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Soyuz for first station crew rolls to launch pad
A Russian Soyuz booster that will carry the first space station crew to their new home on Tuesday has been rolled to the launch pad. The rocket began its journey through the cold mist at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 7 a.m. local time on Sunday.
Sulfur-rich 'snow' found on Jupiter's volcanic moon Io
New pictures of the most volcanically active world in our solar system show it also has surface activity that resembles the accumulation and disappearance of bright snow or ice.
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Finding worlds like our own -- Increasingly precise techniques are convincing planet-hunters that Earth-like planets orbit other suns. Astronomers have found planets the size of Jupiter and Saturn. These are the signposts of Earth -- worlds that may have given rise in the past or, perhaps, in the present to elementary forms of life.

Hubble poster
The Hubble Space Telescope's majestic view of the Eskimo Nebula. This spectacular poster is available now from the Astronomy Now Store.

Earlier news
Oct. 23-29: Discovery lands in California; Four new moons found orbiting Saturn; Strange shapes on the sizzling world of volcanic Io; Revealing Neptune's icy atmosphere, Uranus' rings; 100th Ariane 4 launch.

Oct. 16-22: Space station construction mission successful; Gigantic gamma-ray burst breaks all distance records; New light shed on Milky Way's elusive center; Atlas, Proton and Sea Launch rocket missions.

Oct. 9-15: Astronauts lend hand building space station; Dust disk found around a nearby star and planet; Hubble finds a tantalizing veil from exploded star; Pegasus rocket launches NASA science probe.

Oct. 2-8: Lonely giant planets seen 1,000 light years away; 100th shuttle launch delayed; Data relay glitch threatens mission to Saturn moon; Future of Mir uncertain; Proton and Ariane 4 launches.

More news  See our weekly archive of space news.

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