Sunday: April 15, 2001  0238 GMT
X-40A craft paves way for NASA's X-37 space plane
The X-40A vehicle successfully performed a second free flight test on April 12 at Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif. The X-40A was lifted by an Army Chinook helicopter and released. The craft made a smooth touchdown shortly thereafter.
Antibiotic experiment heading for space station
The University of Colorado at Boulder-based BioServe Space Technologies Center is sending an intriguing biomedical experiment to the international space station April 19 to test the effects of long-term weightlessness on antibiotic production.
Inside ISS
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NASA shows Earth's global heat engine driving plant growth -- Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have assembled the first long-term global data set that demonstrates the connection between changing patterns of sea surface temperature and patterns of plant growth across the Earth's landscapes.
Saturday: April 14, 2001  0225 GMT
A virtual Columbia on its 20th anniversary
Spaceflight Now toured the space shuttle Columbia at the Kennedy Space Center this week to mark the 20th anniversary of its maiden flight and captured the scene in two virtual reality panoramas.
Europe goes to Mars
If you live in Europe, there's almost certainly a research institute or industrial company near you that is contributing materials or expertise to Mars Express, Europe's first mission to the Red Planet.
Mars Express
Turning diamond film into solar cells
Timothy Fisher is taking a Tiffany's approach to converting sunlight into electricity: with a $348,000 grant from National Reconnaissance Office, the assistant professor of mechanical engineering is exploring the use of polycrystalline diamond as a replacement for the silicon solar cells currently used in many space applications.
Solar array
Friday: April 13, 2001  0210 GMT
Odyssey's launch put spacecraft on good course
NASA has decided to postpone the first trajectory tweaking maneuver by the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft that was envisioned for next Monday, officials announced Thursday.
Molecules hitchhiking on comets may survive impacts
Simulating a high-velocity comet collision with Earth, a team of scientists has shown that organic molecules hitchhiking aboard a comet could have survived such an impact and seeded life on this planet. The results give credence to the theory that the raw materials for life came from space and were assembled on Earth into the ancestors of proteins and DNA.
Expedition Two crew works air traffic control
The international space station's Expedition Two Crew spent this week loading the Progress supply craft with trash and unneeded items in preparation for its undocking next week to clear the aft port on the Zvezda module for the relocation of the Soyuz capsule.

More mission coverage here:

NASA to track more asteroids with new camera
Asteroid search efforts got a boost from a new, improved camera installed this week for NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Tracking system on the 1.2-meter (48-inch) Oschin telescope at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif.
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New way to study evolution of white dwarf stars -- The Joint Astrophysical Plasmadynamic Experiment (J-PEX) recently launched successfully on a NASA sounding rocket. The J-PEX objective is to produce the first high-resolution spectrum of a white dwarf star at extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths.
Thursday: April 12, 2001  0216 GMT
Accident delays Cosmos 1 solar sail project launch
The Planetary Society disclosed Wednesday that it's plans to launch a solar sail demonstration satellite later this month would be delayed indefinitely due to a testing accident that damaged the spacecraft.
Scientific work underway aboard space station
The Expedition Two Space Station crew transmitted the first science data to the scientists on the ground Wednesday night using the Station's Ku-band antenna. 610 megabytes of data, representing 61 files of tests with the Middeck Active Control Experiment were transmitted from the station to NASA ground controllers.
Sun takes another solar shot, this time at Earth
An angry Sun fired off another powerful X-class flare Tuesday. X-class flares are the most powerful classification, and this flare, rated X-2, was the most recent in a series that included one of the most powerful solar blasts in 25 years.
First measurements made of cold water in Milky Way
The search for water in space goes on. Using ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, astronomers have for the first time measured the total amount of water in cold regions of our galaxy. This is especially interesting because these regions are the birthplace of stars like the Sun, and Solar Systems like our own.
Water factory
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Pratt to develop new upper stage rocket engine -- Pratt & Whitney Space Propulsion operations announced this week its plans to begin development of a full-scale engine demonstrator for a next generation high-performance liquid-hydrogen-fueled 60,000 pound-thrust-class rocket engine, designated the RL60.
Wednesday: April 11, 2001  0128 GMT
Giotto's legacy in the exploration of comets
Almost 15 years ago, ESA's Giotto spacecraft made history by obtaining the first close-up pictures of a comet's black, icy nucleus. Recently scientists and engineers who worked on the pioneering deep space mission came together to reminisce about past triumphs and to look forward to the next generation of comet explorers.
XM Satellite Radio looks forward to next launch
XM Satellite Radio reports that its first spacecraft is performing well during initial testing and checkout in orbit while preparations continue for the launch of the sister digital radio broadcasting craft next month.
GOES-M weather satellite arrives in Florida for launch
The GOES-M environmental weather satellite, currently targeted for launch July 12, arrived Monday by C-5 air cargo plane at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility from the manufacturing plant in Palo Alto, Calif.
Tuesday: April 10, 2001  1720 GMT
White House proposes $14.5B NASA budget for '02
NASA administrator Dan Goldin said Monday that the agency faces "difficult decisions" in a number of programs in the near future despite a 2002 budget request that gives the agency a modest funding increase.
TRMM satellite critical tool in monitoring hurricanes
As the 2001 Hurricane Season approaches, forecasters will once again rely on high-resolution rain data from a NASA satellite in its arsenal of tools used to monitor the size, location, and strength of hurricanes and tropical storms.
XEUS: A new concept in exploring X-ray Universe
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, in the case of the Universe, was it massive black holes or galaxies? To answer this question by studying black holes in the early Universe requires an extremely sensitive X-ray telescope.
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Galileo busy beaming data -- Another quiet engineering week sees the spacecraft concentrate once again on data playback from the tape recorder. These data were recorded when Galileo flew through the depths of the Jupiter system last December.
Monday: April 9, 2001  0052 GMT
Odyssey spacecraft heads to Mars in search of water
When the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft enters orbit around Mars later this year, it will kick off a restructured Mars science program that focuses on the search for water on the Red Planet, past and present.
India reschedules debut launch of its GSLV rocket
The first development launch of Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle has been set for April 18. The original launch attempt of GSLV was aborted one second before the liftoff on March 28 because an engine failed to develop the required thrust.
New international satellite to study our explosive Sun
Life on Earth would be impossible without the light and heat generated by our nearest star, the Sun. However, this giant ball of hydrogen and helium gas can affect our world in many different ways. Not surprisingly, scientists want to learn as much as possible about our erratic neighbor, so spacecraft that can observe the Sun continuously are essential tools.
SPACECOM chief: Space must be top national priority
American military involvement in space will become more critical to national security in coming years, says U.S. Space Command's top officer Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart.

Earlier news
April 2-8: 2001 Mars Odyssey successfully launched; Eleven new extrasolar planets discovered; Hubble reveals heart of Whirlpool Galaxy; New evidence offered for planets without parent stars; Russian Proton M rocket debuts.

March 26-April 1: A new Martian odyssey is about to begin; Alpha crew promises warm welcome for Tito; Iridium system completes its miracle resurrection; NASA and military continue search for Mars lander; Largest sunspot in 10 years blazes away; Two space probes see giant plumes on Io.

March 19-25: Mir dives into Pacific safely; NASA blocks Dennis Tito training; Discovery departs space station; Station pioneers back on Earth after historic voyage; First XM radio satellite launched; Blinking star explains mystery aboard Galileo.

More news  See our weekly archive of space news.

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