Sunday: May 13, 2001  0145 GMT
Astronomers find key to X-ray mystery of black holes
Astronomers at the University of Southampton have made a discovery that promises to explain why X-ray binary stars are so variable -- a phenomenon that has been a long-standing mystery in X-ray astronomy.
Black hole
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Collapse of simple life forms linked to mass extinction -- A mass extinction about 200 million years ago, which destroyed at least half of the species on Earth, happened very quickly and is demonstrated in the fossil record by the collapse of one-celled organisms called protists, according to new research led by a University of Washington paleontologist.
Saturday: May 12, 2001  0357 GMT
Russians ask whether Earth will share the fate of Saturn
Is it possible that space exploration will result in the formation of a ring around the Earth similar to the Saturn ring? All these satellites and debris can severely impede space flights in future, as plenty of objects brought out into space would stay in the near-earth orbit for hundreds and even thousands of years.
Status check on space station science work
The Expedition Two crew and ground controllers activated five more experiments during the past week and continue troubleshooting work with two others. The Advanced Astroculture experiment activated Thursday, one of the three commercial experiments onboard, seeks to grow plants through an entire life cycle.
Friday: May 11, 2001  0255 GMT
New radio telescope makes first scientific observations
The world's two largest radio telescopes have combined to make detailed radar images of the cloud-shrouded surface of Venus and of a tiny asteroid that passed near the Earth.
NASA satellite technology goes down on the farm
Some of the people closest to the land will be the first to benefit from a new global positioning technology developed to make NASA satellites more efficient and cost-effective.
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Mars-bound Odyssey tests its high-gain antenna -- NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey space probe tested its high-gain communications antenna on Wednesday, sending and receiving commands. Since launch, the spacecraft has been receiving commands over its low-gain antenna and transmitting signals via its medium-gain antenna.
Thursday: May 10, 2001  0235 GMT
The harsh destiny of a planet?
Did the star HD 82943 swallow one of its planets? What may at a first glance look like the recipe for a dramatic science-fiction story is in fact the well-considered conclusion of a serious scientific study, to be published by a group of astronomers in Switzerland and Spain.
Endeavour is home
Riding piggyback atop a modified Boeing 747 jet, space shuttle Endeavour arrived at Kennedy Space Center Wednesday after a two-day cross-country ferry flight from Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Deep Space Network upgrading for 'crunch time'
Preparing for the communication needs of an expected population boom in interplanetary spacecraft, NASA has selected a builder to add an advanced dish antenna, 112 feet in diameter, near Madrid, Spain, one of the three sites of the agency's Deep Space Network.
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India and France to conduct atmospheric mission -- The Indian Space Research Organisation and the French Space Agency have entered into a deal to design of a joint satellite mission, called Megha Tropiques, for atmospheric research.
Wednesday: May 9, 2001  0242 GMT
Sea Launch rocket lofts second XM radio satellite
"Long live Rock and Roll!" A jubilant launch team member made that exclamation on Tuesday after a Zenit 3SL rocket successfully carried XM Satellite Radio's second powerhouse broadcasting spacecraft into orbit from a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean.
Sea Launch
Pentagon announces military space reforms
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced Tuesday a series of reforms first suggested by a panel he once chaired that will increase the importance of space within the American military.
Shuttle Endeavour due home Wednesday
Riding piggyback atop a modified Boeing 747 jet, space shuttle Endeavour left Edwards Air Force Base in California on Tuesday for its cross-country ferry flight back to Florida. Arrival at Kennedy Space Center is expected around 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday.
X-40A performs complex maneuvers during 5th flight
The X-40A vehicle successfully performed a fifth free flight test on Tuesday. The craft was carried aloft by an Army Chinook helicopter and dropped to test its flight computer's ability to maneuver the vehicle to a straight approach to the landing site.
Tuesday: May 8, 2001  0317 GMT
Heart of Boeing's Delta 4 rocket put to the test
The new rocket stage and liquid-fueled main engine that are the essence of Boeing's next-generation Delta 4 commercial launcher have, in all likelihood, completed a round of crucial firings at the same complex where NASA tested its Saturn 5 rocketships that carried men to the moon more than 30 years ago.
Sea Launch to loft XM radio satellite Tuesday
A Ukrainian/Russian Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket is slated to haul the second XM Satellite Radio spacecraft into orbit on Tuesday from a floating platform in the Pacific Ocean. Liftoff is scheduled for 2210 GMT (6:10 p.m. EDT).
Sea Launch
Edge of accretion disk found around black hole
Using four NASA space observatories, astronomers have shown that a flaring black hole source has an accretion disk that stops much farther out than some theories predict. This provides a better understanding of how energy is released when matter spirals into a black hole.
U.S. weather satellite boosted to graveyard orbit
The American GOES-2 weather satellite was officially retired Saturday after controllers guided the 24-year old spacecraft out of its geostationary orbit.
Monday: May 7, 2001  0001 GMT
Second XM radio craft ready to ride Sea Launch
The Sea Launch vessels dropped anchor in the equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean over the weekend and started the countdown for Tuesday's flight of a Zenit 3SL rocket carrying XM Satellite Radio's "Roll" digital audio broadcasting spacecraft.
Sea Launch
X-40A tests side-to-side maneuvers in fourth flight
The X-40A vehicle successfully performed a fourth free flight test on Saturday. The flight demonstrated the vehicle's ability to perform side-to-side maneuvers, as well as its ability to maneuver to a safe landing when released outside the nominal release altitude of 15,000 feet.

Earlier news
April 30-May 6: Space vacation ends for Tito with Soyuz ride home; Endeavour departs station and lands safely; Big Bang evidence found; Pioneer 10 probe lives on; Odds of planet formation in Orion Nebula reduced.

April 23-29: Tito's tourist trip blasts off; Serious computer problem strikes space station; Robot arm attached to station by shuttle crew; Hubble makes popular observation for its birthday; Mars Odyssey takes snapshot of Earth.

April 16-22: Endeavour launches with Canadarm2 for station; New Indian rocket makes inaugural flight; Climate change linked to anomaly in Earth's orbit; What medieval witnesses saw was not lunar impact.

April 9-15: A virtual Columbia on its 20th anniversary; NASA's proposed '02 budget; Accident delays solar sail launch; Odyssey's launch put spacecraft on good course; Sun takes another solar shot.

More news  See our weekly archive of space news.

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