Sunday: April 20, 2003  0010 GMT
Dittemore departing NASA, sources say
Shuttle program manager Ronald Dittemore, the clean-cut, straight-talking engineer whose daily briefings in the wake of the Columbia disaster won widespread respect, plans to leave NASA in the near future, sources say, presumably to take a job in private industry.
Saturday: April 19, 2003  0420 GMT
Rocket booster problem delays SIRTF until August
Worried that a suspect rocket nozzle on one of the Boeing Delta 2's solid-fueled boosters could trigger a catastrophic failure during launch, NASA on Friday grounded the Space Infrared Telescope Facility until mid-August.
Photo gallery provides glimpse into debris search
On April 16, officials from NASA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service and the news media toured a space shuttle Columbia recovery area near Palestine, Texas. Here is a gallery of images taken that day:
Friday: April 18, 2003  0240 GMT
Board issues preliminary recommendations
As expected, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board Thursday released its first two interim recommendations to NASA, calling for routine spy satellite imagery of shuttles in orbit and detailed pre-flight inspections of the protective panels on the leading edges of the shuttle's wings. A breach in a reinforced carbon carbon (RCC) panel on Columbia's left wing is believed to have triggered the shuttle's breakup during re-entry Feb. 1.
New evidence for heaviest phase of star formation
New distance measurements from faraway galaxies further strengthen the view that the strongest burst of star formation in the universe occurred about two billion years after the Big Bang.
Space infrared astronomy comes of age
It is 20 years ago this year that Europe, in collaboration with the United States, launched the first infrared observatory into space. Its infrared powers revealed a secret universe that, to this day, continues to fascinate. The more astronomers look, the better the picture gets.
Thursday: April 17, 2003  0631 GMT
Administrator O'Keefe visits Texas search teams
Senior NASA officials toured parts of the space shuttle Columbia debris field in East Texas Wednesday, thanking searchers for their work as the massive recovery operation enters its final weeks.
It's always stormy weather
"The weather forecast for tomorrow is increased solar winds with heavy electromagnetic radiation. So be prepared to protect yourself from more-than-usual doses of X-rays coming your way." Evening news watchers would likely be baffled by such announcements.
Massive communications satellite achieves milestone
Space Systems/Loral has completed static loads testing of iPSTAR-1, the world's largest commercial communications satellite with a launch weight of 14,900 pounds. iPSTAR-1 is being built in Palo Alto, California for Shin Satellite, Plc of Thailand.
Wednesday: April 16, 2003  0446 GMT
Suspected Columbia wing breach location moved
Ongoing analysis of sensor data and recovered debris indicate the deadly breach in the shuttle Columbia's left wing was located slightly outboard of the best previous guess, possibly at or near the intersection of leading edge panels 8 and 9, investigators said today. Recovered debris from that area shows damage consistent with extreme, prolonged heating and matches up well with telemetry and recorded data showing unusual temperature increases in the early phases of the shuttle's catastrophic re-entry.

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East Texas recovery search nears completion
As the Central Texas search for material from the space shuttle Columbia moved westward, the East Texas search began nearing completion. Air operations continued last week, and underwater searches were completed.
Drilling on Mars
When ESA's Mars Express reaches the Red Planet in December 2003, there will be a drill on board its Beagle 2 lander. This drill will dig into the surface to take samples of the Martian rocks. Who would imagine that the creativity of an enthusiastic dentist is behind a 'cosmic' drill?
Tuesday: April 15, 2003  0041 GMT
Fix ordered for possible problem on Mars rovers
Engineers have uncovered a potential problem with the two identical Mars Exploration Rovers that will be launched to the Red Planet in the coming months, prompting NASA to delay liftoff of the first rover by one week.
NASA infrared observatory launch reset to April 27
NASA has targeted Sunday, April 27 as the new launch date for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility atop the inaugural Boeing Delta 2 Heavy rocket. The $1.2 billion mission was scheduled to fly April 18 from Cape Canaveral only to be postponed by senior agency officials to resolve concerns with the Delta 2.
X-rays found from a lightweight brown dwarf
Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, scientists have detected X-rays from a low mass brown dwarf in a multiple star system, which is as young as 12 million years old. This discovery is an important piece in an increasingly complex picture of how brown dwarfs -- and perhaps the very massive planets around other stars -- evolve.
Monday: April 14, 2003  0322 GMT
NASA satellite looks at menacing glacier in Peru
An Earth-monitoring instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite is keeping a close eye on a potential glacial disaster-in-the-making in Peru's spectacular, snow-capped Cordillera Blanca, the highest range of the Peruvian Andes.
News Archive
April 7-13: No 'privileged' Columbia testimony to be made public; Ariane 5 program resumes flights with a success; Last Milstar successfully soars to orbital perch on Titan 4; Atlas 3 rocket gives Asian satellite ride to orbit; SIRTF launch on hold; Galileo makes discovery during moon encounter; Far-flung supernovae shed light on dark Universe.

March 31-April 6: Gehman calls recorder data a 'treasure trove'; NASA formally announces Expedition 7 station crew; Delta doesn't disappoint in successful GPS launch; Hubble's rainbow image of a dusty star; NASA researchers put new spin on relativity theory.

March 24-30: Plan calls for shuttles to be imaged by spy satellites; Expert says NASA lost sight of safety margin; Japan enters spy satellite arena with rocket launch; Rocket troubles delay pair of ESA research projects; Stunning Hubble images of mysterious erupting star; New class of hot-tempered black holes bucks trends.

More news  See our weekly archive of space news.

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