Sunday: June 1, 2003  0008 GMT
Luck may lead to secret of ultimate explosions
A chance observation by a NASA satellite, designed to study the sun, may have uncovered one of the most important clues yet obtained about the mechanism for producing gamma ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the Universe.
Saturday: May 31, 2003  0133 GMT
3-D map of local interstellar space shows neighborhood
The first detailed map of space within about 1,000 light years of Earth places the solar system in the middle of a large hole that pierces the plane of the galaxy, perhaps left by an exploding star one or two million years ago.
New method of estimated dwarf novae distances
Astronomers using the Fine Guidance Sensors of the Hubble Space Telescope to study dwarf novae unexpectedly discovered a new method of estimating the distances to these strange double-star systems, using their orbital periods and outburst brightness. In the process they learned that dwarf novae tend to be farther away and much brighter than previously thought.
Japanese science cargo returns to Earth for study
A small Japanese retrievable space capsule landed back on Earth Friday, carrying with it a load of scientific investigations from orbit, Japanese news agencies reported.
Friday: May 30, 2003  0230 GMT
Foam impact test causes significant T-seal movement
Engineers for the first time Thursday fired a large chunk of foam insulation at a Fiberglass wing leading edge panel, knocking a so-called T-seal out of place and leaving a long gap between two panels. Such a gap on a real shuttle wing leading edge would provide an entry point for deadly super-heated gas during the descent from orbit.
   FULL STORY - updated
Astronomers 'weigh' planets around pulsar
For the first time, the planets orbiting a pulsar have been "weighed" by measuring precisely variations in the time it takes them to complete an orbit, according to a team of astronomers from the California Institute of Technology and Pennsylvania State University.
Galaxy mission honors lost Columbia crew
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has gathered its first celestial images, a "first light" milestone dedicated to the crew of the space shuttle Columbia. The ultraviolet survey mission, launched on April 28 from Cape Canaveral, made the observations using its onboard telescope.
Thursday: May 29, 2003  0001 GMT
Demonstration flight not likely for space shuttle
The chairman of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board said Wednesday he has no plans to require NASA to recertify shuttle systems before flights resume or to mount a test flight of some sort to validate recommended design changes or to collect more data.
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Twin roving geologists bound for surface of Mars
Building on past successes -- and learning from embarrassing failures -- NASA is poised to jump start its Mars exploration program by sending a pair of "monster truck" rovers to the Red Planet in an $800 million mission to search for clues about what happened to the water than once carved the martian surface.
Giant airbags will give rovers' landings a bounce
If all goes well, Mars Rover-A will slam into the atmosphere of Mars on January 4, 2004, at an angle of 11.5 degrees, an altitude of about 80 miles and a velocity of 12,000 mph. Eight seconds before touchdown, giant airbags will suddenly inflate, encapsulating the spacecraft in a protective cocoon.
NASA has Mars missions planned through decade
The Mars Exploration Rovers represent the next step in an ambitious, on-going program to explore the Red Planet, to map out its structure, composition and meteorology and to determine whether it ever harbored life.
Wednesday: May 28, 2003  0140 GMT
Europe shoots for Mars with robotic orbiter and lander
An unprecedented international scientific assault on Earth's cosmic neighbor will be launched in June as four spacecraft are fired to Mars, beginning next week with Europe's first mission to the Red Planet.
The Beagle has landed...
Well, not quite but the innovative Beagle 2 will soon be on its way to Mars aboard European Space Agency's Mars Express. Once at the Red Planet, it may turn up evidence of past or present life.
Mars rover launch delayed
NASA has postponed the launch of its first Mars Exploration Rover at least three days to give managers more time to complete pre-flight engineering reviews. The liftoff is now targeted to occur June 8 aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Tuesday: May 27, 2003  0408 GMT
'Slick Six' launch pad hosts its first Delta 4 rocket
The Boeing Delta 4 rocket and its rebuilt West Coast launch pad came together for their first meeting this month, giving technicians the opportunity to test how everything fits.
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Deal finally reached to fund Europe's navigation system
Plans to develop the European Galileo satellite navigation network are finally one step closer to reality after the nations contributing to the project reached an agreement Monday on funding.
Monday: May 26, 2003  0210 GMT
SOHO investigates source of 'fast' solar wind
We have known for 40 years that space weather affects the Earth, which is buffeted by a 'wind' from the Sun, but only now are we learning more about its precise origins. Solving the mystery of the solar wind has been a prime task for ESA's SOHO spacecraft. Its latest findings may overturn previous ideas about the origin of the 'fast' solar wind, which occurs in most of the space around the Sun.
China lofts navigation craft on Long March booster
A Chinese Long March rocket launched the final centerpiece of a satellite navigation system Saturday that aims to provide users with precise positioning information in three dimensions, state-run news reports said.
News Archive
May 19-25: Columbia rescue mission feasible, but unlikely; Slag on shuttle debris suggests location of breach; Martian view of Earth; Satellite of Milky Way found in retrograde orbit.

May 12-18: Clearest video yet of foam strike as tests get underway; NASA chief, CAIB chairman testify at Senate hearing; First Greek satellite launch performed by Atlas 5 rocket; Brighter Neptune suggests a change of seasons; NASA picks in-space propulsion innovations.

May 5-11: CAIB accepts, agrees with NASA failure scenario; Japan launches asteroid sample return mission; New shuttle program manager named; Deepest view of space yields young stars in halo; India launches second GSLV rocket.

April 28-May 4: Columbia could not be saved, NASA study shows; Off-target Soyuz with outgoing station crew found after hours of searching; Satellite launched to trace the evolution of galaxies; BeppoSAX takes the plunge; Freewheeling galaxies collide in blaze of star birth; Hubble gyroscope fails.

More news  See our weekly archive of space news.

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