Sunday: May 27, 2001  0303 GMT
'Tadpole hunters' may net forming planets
Researchers using CSIRO's Australia Telescope have found they can spot the dusty blobs that might be planet systems in the making. This will help astronomers hunt more effectively for these elusive objects, and better estimate how many planet-forming systems are out there.
NGC 3603
Microorganisms grown in Mars-like environment
University of Arkansas researchers have moved one step closer to growing microorganisms under Mars-like conditions by suspending them in water containing dissolved matter from Mars soil simulant.
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Listeners for nuclear tests hear big meteoroids -- Using a system designed to detect clandestine nuclear weapons tests, researchers at the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory detected two large meteors that recently entered the atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean.
Saturday: May 26, 2001  0003 GMT
Galileo probe makes closest flyby of a Jovian moon
NASA's Galileo spacecraft has successfully completed a flyby of Jupiter's moon Callisto, closer than any of the spacecraft's 30 previous flybys of Jovian moons. The probe's camera appeared to be restored to working order in time for Friday's encounter.
NASA astronaut dies after being injured in plane crash
NASA astronaut Patricia Hilliard Robertson (MD) died Thursday night from injuries she suffered in a private plane accident two days earlier. She was 38.
Shuttle solid rocket booster test firing successful
A full-scale space shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor was test fired for 123.2 seconds on Thursday at Thiokol Propulsion in Utah. The test was part of the qualification process of a new insulation design on the motor's nozzle to case joint.
Friday: May 25, 2001  0149 GMT
Rain-soaked tiles further delay next shuttle launch
NASA said Thursday that shuttle Atlantis will be ready for launch no sooner than June 20 because of continuing work to dry moisture in 600 tiles on the belly of spaceship to ensure they don't fall off during flight.
Galileo camera shuts down as probe nears Callisto
The camera on NASA's Galileo spacecraft may not be working properly as the spacecraft heads toward Jupiter's moon Callisto for a close flyby on Friday at 7:24 a.m. EDT, according to voltage readings from the aging probe.
Pluto's little brother
Astronomers have discovered that an object in the distant Kuiper Belt is as large as the largest asteroids, raising new questions about the classification of Pluto as a planet.
Kuiper Belt
Global Surveyor snaps best view yet of 'Face on Mars'
NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft has taken the highest resolution image of the infamous "Face on Mars" feature of the Red Planet that some people believe is an alien artifact.
Thursday: May 24, 2001  0220 GMT
Wet tiles delay next month's shuttle launch
The planned June 14 liftoff of space shuttle Atlantis carrying the Joint Airlock to the international space station has been delayed at least two days to dry 500 rain-soaked heat-protection tiles on the spaceplane. The tiles got wet after Atlantis' February landing in California.
NASA astronaut critically injured in plane crash
Astronaut Patricia Hilliard Robertson (MD) was injured in a private plane accident on Tuesday afternoon. She was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where her condition remains stable, but critical.
Mars Odyssey fine-tunes its trajectory to the Red Planet
NASA's Mars-bound Odyssey space probe tweaked its flight path on Wednesday with the first in a series of planned trajectory correction maneuvers. Odyssey fired its thrusters for 82 second, changing the craft's velocity by 8.1 miles per hour.
Galileo zooms past Jupiter on way to Callisto encounter
NASA's Galileo spacecraft on Wednesday passed the closest point to Jupiter of the spacecraft's current orbit of the giant planet, and remains healthy as it heads for a flyby of Callisto, the outermost of Jupiter's four largest moons, on Friday.
Europe launches into astrobiology
Is our planet an oasis of life in an otherwise dead universe? Twenty years ago, the scientific consensus was "yes, probably". Now it has shifted to "probably not" and the field of astro- (or exo-) biology is burgeoning.
Mars Express
Wednesday: May 23, 2001  0245 GMT
Freighter brings cargo to international space station
A Russian cargo ship linked up with the international space station at 8:24 p.m. EDT Tuesday to deliver 1,406 kilograms of supplies, spare parts, computer equipment and fuel for the orbiting complex and its three-person crew.
Station crew gets cosmic food deliveries
In what can be described as either the further commercialization of space or the heights people will go to satisfy a craving, the crew of the international space station have recently received a pair of unusual food deliveries.
Pizza Hut
Galileo gets on last close encounter with Callisto
On a third and final tour of duty in the Jovian system, NASA's dauntless Galileo spacecraft makes its closest pass yet to Jupiter's outermost large moon. On Friday, the orbiter should skim over Callisto, at an altitude of about 123 kilometers, or 76 miles, at 7:24 a.m. EDT.
Cluster quartet move in step
Moving time has arrived for the four Cluster spacecraft. During the next few weeks, the satellites will carry out a series of manoeuvres that will increase their separation distances. Eventually, each spacecraft will have drifted to a distance of 2000 km from its partners, compared to the current figure of 600 km.
Cluster 2
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Probe proves astronomers fooled by an 'optical illusion' -- Radio galaxies and quasars look different and have been traditionally classified as different objects. But for quite some time now, many astronomers have suspected that those differences are not real but are only apparent, a 'visual illusion' which arises because of our special observation point from the Earth.
Tuesday: May 22, 2001  0330 GMT
A glimpse of web-like structures in early Universe
New, trailblazing observations with the Very Large Telescope at Paranal lend strong support to current computer models of the early universe: It is "spongy", with galaxies forming along filaments, like droplets along the strands of a spiders web.
More European astronauts to fly to ISS via Russians
The European and Russian space agencies have signed an agreement for ESA astronauts to fly to the international space station on Russian Souyz launchers in the period 2001 to 2006.
Shuttle solid rocket booster to be test fired Thursday
A full-scale space shuttle solid rocket motor is scheduled to fire for two minutes on Thursday at a Utah test facility. The test will be used to qualify a new insulation design on the motor's nozzle to case joint that will improve flight safety and help reduce costs on the motor.
SRB test
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Encryption devices now ready for Globalstar phones -- Globalstar and CopyTele, Inc. have jointly announced the introduction of an encryption device that attaches to Globalstar phones to provide end-to-end security for satellite voice and data calls.
Monday: May 21, 2001  0134 GMT
Cargo ship bound for station
A Russian Soyuz FG rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 6:33 p.m. EDT Sunday with the fourth unmanned Progress cargo freighter destined for the international space station. The Progress is due to dock with the orbiting outpost at about 8:20 p.m. EDT Tuesday to deliver 3,100 pounds of food, computer parts and assorted equipment.
Evidence uncovered sheds light on Earth's origins
A Saint Louis University researcher has made a discovery near the Great Wall in China that could change the science of plate tectonics and provide some clues into how life might have developed on Earth.
Seventh and final X-40A free flight test successful
The X-40A vehicle successfully performed a seventh -- and final -- free flight test Saturday at Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, Calif. The free flight and landing tests were conducted as part of the X-37 experimental re-entry vehicle program.
Landsats 4 and 5 reach the end of the line
The U.S. Geological Survey has begun decommissioning Landsats 4 and 5 - two Earth observation satellites -- and a highly successful chapter of an ongoing science story is about to close.

Earlier news
May 14-20: Delta 2 lofts spy satellite technology demonstrator; Proton launches PAS-10; Comet LINEAR splits further; NASA dishes out first Space Launch Initiative contracts; What is Saturn's moon Titan really made of?

May 7-13: Harsh destiny of a planet revealed; Heart of Boeing's Delta 4 rocket put to the test; Sea Launch rocket lofts second XM radio satellite; Pentagon announces military space reforms.

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.

More news  See our weekly archive of space news.

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