Sunday: August 11, 2002  0020 GMT
25th anniversary of first space shuttle landing test
Before the space shuttle could orbit in space, it had to prove that it could land on Earth. Twenty-five years ago, on August 12, 1977, the first free flight by the prototype space shuttle orbiter Enterprise was successfully flown at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California's high desert.
Balloon seeks antimatter, other cosmic particles
High above the Canadian plains, Japanese and U.S. scientists have harvested another crop of antimatter particles, in the latest flight of a balloon-borne experiment named BESS which has flown nearly every summer since 1993 searching for evidence of an antimatter domain within our Universe.
Saturday: August 10, 2002  0201 GMT
Satellite cargo and Atlas 5 rocket joined together
The European Hot Bird 6 TV broadcasting satellite was hauled from a processing facility to Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 vehicle assembly building early Friday. Already enclosed within the rocket's nose cone, the spacecraft was then hoisted atop the Atlas 5 and attached to the Centaur upper stage. Launch remains set for August 21.
   FULL STORY - updated
Atlas 5
Shuttle Atlantis crack welding begins
Welding was underway Friday to repair the flow liner cracks found inside space shuttle Atlantis. A technique called Gas Tungsten Arc Welding is being used for the repairs because it results in a very pure weld with minimal impurities.
One small step
Around the world, there is renewed interest in sending a manned mission to other planets in our Solar System. What conditions await future astronauts? Space science provides many clues. Before leaving Earth, scientists want to use robotic spacecraft to find out more about the conditions that human travellers will face once they reach some far-off destination. A flotilla of planetary exploration missions is already providing us with invaluable scientific data about other worlds.
Friday: August 9, 2002  0311 GMT
Satellite cargo and Atlas 5 rocket to be joined Friday
The European Hot Bird 6 TV broadcasting satellite is slated to be hauled from a processing facility to Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 vehicle assembly building early Friday. Already enclosed within the rocket's nose cone, the spacecraft will be hoisted atop the Atlas 5 and attached to the Centaur upper stage. Launch remains set for August 21.
Atlas 5
Russian launches to station delayed; shuttle affected
Launch of a new Russian Soyuz lifeboat to the international space station has been delayed a week, from Oct. 22 to Oct. 28, triggering a similar slip for a space shuttle flight currently targeted for launch Nov. 2. Endeavour's flight likely will slip to some point after the Soyuz undocks Nov. 7. However, a new target date has not been identified.
Orbital plane to launch Japanese supersonic testing
Orbital Sciences announced Thursday that it has been awarded a contract by Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan to provide launch support services for an experimental supersonic flight test program. Orbital will use its "Stargazer" L-1011 to carry a small-scale, unmanned supersonic airplane to a preplanned altitude and location, where it will be released.
Thursday: August 8, 2002  0400 GMT
A portrait of one hundred thousand and one galaxies
A series of wide-field images centered on the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 300 have been combined into a magnificent color photo. These images have been used by different groups of astronomers for various kinds of scientific investigations, ranging from individual stars and nebulae in NGC 300, to distant galaxies and other objects in the background.
X-ray arcs tell the tale of giant eruption
Long ago, a giant eruption occurred in a nearby galaxy and plunged it into turmoil. Now NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed the remains of that explosion in the form of two enormous arcs of hot gas. This discovery can help astronomers better understand the cause and effect of violent outbursts from the vicinity of supermassive black holes in the centers of many so-called "active" galaxies.
Wednesday: August 7, 2002  0210 GMT
Stardust spacecraft reaches for cosmic dust
NASA's Stardust spacecraft, on a mission to collect and return the first samples from a comet, began Monday to collect tiny specks of solid matter, called interstellar dust grains, that permeate the galaxy.
Next reusable launch vehicle may fly on kerosene
The kerosene that lights your heater or stove might be the same type of fuel powering the nation's next space vehicle. Kerosene - almost as common to American life as gasoline - is being considered as a fuel for two main engine candidates for a second generation reusable launch vehicle, now in development by the Space Launch Initiative.
New space flight associate administrator tapped
NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe has selected William F. Readdy as the agency's next Associate Administrator for Space Flight at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Readdy, a veteran Space Shuttle commander and Navy test pilot, replaces Frederick D. Gregory, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as NASA's Deputy Administrator.
Tuesday: August 6, 2002  0350 GMT
Shuttle motor tested
A scaled-down version of the space shuttle's Reusable Solid Rocket Motor was successfully fired for 21 seconds last week. More than 100 spectators, including crew members of the shuttle Endeavour STS-111 mission, which flew in June, watched as Marshall Center's Space Transportation Directorate tested a new material that may be used on the Solid Rocket Motor's nozzle.
Flyback rocket boosters studied for next generation
The Space Launch Initiative's Propulsion Office recently began a study to determine jet engine requirements for a flyback booster to help launch a second generation reusable launch vehicle.
Monday: August 5, 2002  0402 GMT
Disks around failed stars: A question of age
A team of European astronomers have observed eight brown dwarfs -- small and faint objects also known as "failed stars". From two of these, mid-infrared radiation is detected for the first time ever from such objects with a ground-based telescope. While the younger brown dwarf, aged a few million years, is found to be surrounded by a dusty disk, no warm dust is present around the older ones.
Satellites show bulge in Earth's gravity field growing
Satellite data since 1998 indicates the bulge in the Earth's gravity field at the equator is growing, and scientists think that the ocean may hold the answer to the mystery of how the changes in the trend of Earth's gravity are occurring.
NASA extends USA contract
NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, has exercised an existing option under the Space Flight Operations Contract in support of the space shuttle program with United Space Alliance. The effort is awarded at an estimated total cost and fee of $2.844 billion.
The ultimate Apollo 11 DVD
This exceptional chronicle of the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing mission features new digital transfers of film and television coverage unmatched by any other.

NEW! Mission Report
Apollo 11 - The NASA Mission Reports Vol. 3 is the first comprehensive study of man's first mission to another world is revealed in all of its startling complexity. Includes DVD!

Contact us
If you have a comment or question for Spaceflight Now, just send us an e-mail.