Sunday: December 30, 2001  0605 GMT
History Flashback: Space shuttle mission STS-51A
When Discovery blasted off on November 8, 1984 it marked the start of arguably the most daring and complex space shuttle mission. The astronauts successfully launched two communications satellites and then recovered two others during extraordinary spacewalks using jet-propelled backpacks and muscle power. Over the next few days we'll present video clips of the mission for our Spaceflight Now Plus subscribers. Today, we offer launch day coverage:
Disk resembling asteroid belt found around star
When unusually warm dust was first discovered around a nearby star, called zeta Leporis, infrared astronomers begun hunting in detail for the heat source. According to the latest research at UCLA, what the star may be undergoing is asteroid and planet formation similar to that of our own early solar system.
zeta Leporis
Saturday: December 29, 2001  0427 GMT
Odyssey continues moving closer to mapping orbit
Flight controllers of NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey mission report that the aerobraking phase is proceeding right on schedule and should be completed in early January. During the aerobraking phase of the mission, the spacecraft is controlled so it skims the upper reaches of the martian atmosphere on each orbit, to reduce the vehicle's speed.
NASA modifies SPACEHAB contract due to launch delay
NASA's Johnson Space Center has negotiated a contract modification valued at $27.4 million with SPACEHAB, Inc. in Houston, to continue support for the STS-107 space shuttle research mission aboard Columbia. The extension accommodates the changes in the shuttle launch schedule.
Friday: December 28, 2001  0452 GMT
Tsyklon booster launches with cargo of six satellites
A Tsyklon 3 rocket blasted off from Russia today carrying six communications satellites on what is believed to be the final space launch of 2001, ending a year that marked the lowest number of launches in nearly 40 years.
Thursday: December 27, 2001  0552 GMT
All systems 'go' on new U.S. weather satellite
The nation's new geostationary weather satellite, GOES-12, has successfully completed testing and is ready to replace one of the country's older weather satellites when needed, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration reports.
Wednesday: December 26, 2001  0302 GMT
All-terrain rovers may one day scale Mars' cliffs
NASA researchers are developing new prototype robots that can drive up steep hills and descend almost-vertical cliffs. Working alone or as a team, these autonomous robotic explorers may go where no rover has gone before -- the cliffs of Mars.
DAILY BRIEFING  Other stories making news today
NASA extends Boeing payload ground ops contract -- NASA's Kennedy Space Center has extended the period of performance of the Payload Ground Operations Contract (PGOC) held for the last 15 years by The Boeing Company at KSC. The contract expires December 31.
Tuesday: December 25, 2001  0107 GMT
Christmas Mountains wrapped in holiday colors
Decked out in reds, greens, blues and whites, this image from NASA's Terra spacecraft of the Christmas Mountains. Within these hills are peaks named for eight of Santa's reindeer and two other peaks are named North Pole and St. Nicholas.
Monday: December 24, 2001  0015 GMT
Hot galactic arms point to vicious cycle
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed the aftermath of a titanic explosion that wracked the elliptical galaxy known as NGC 4636. This eruption could be the latest episode in a cycle of violence that is triggered by gas falling into a central massive black hole.

Earlier news
Dec. 17-23: Endeavour shuttles station crew back to Earth; NASA says farewell to Deep Space 1 probe; New missions to asteroids, search for Earth-like planets; Industry team to design air-breathing rocket engine.

Dec. 10-16: Shuttle mission coverage; X-38 completes highest, fastest, longest test flight; Io generates power and noise, but no magnetic field; Zenit 2 rocket launch.

Dec. 3-9: Spacewalkers clear debris, cargo ship latched to station; Endeavour launches to Alpha; New crew moves aboard station; Two science satellites launched by 100th Delta 2; First image of dark matter object; Possible climate change on Mars.

More news  See our weekly archive of space news.

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