Sunday: July 6, 2003  0412 GMT
Mars Exploration Rover launch delayed another day
Problems with a battery on the Delta 2 rocket's flight termination system has forced another launch delay for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Liftoff is now targeted for no sooner than Monday night.
Mars Global Surveyor catches autumn dust storm
Autumn on the martian northern plains means clouds and dust storms. As autumn got underway in early May, large dust storms began to form on the northern plains and sweep their way eastward -- and sometimes southward -- bringing colder air down from the north polar cap, now shrouded in darkness and clouds.
Saturday: July 5, 2003  0446 GMT
Celestial fireworks
Resembling the puffs of smoke and sparks from a summer fireworks display in this image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, these delicate filaments are actually sheets of debris from a stellar explosion in a neighboring galaxy.
Station crew marks July 4th holiday in orbit
NASA astronaut Ed Lu wished Americans a happy Fourth of July during a video downlink from the International Space Station. Lu, along with Expedition 7 commander Yuri Malenchenko, also provided a status report on their life aboard the outpost as it circles 240 miles above Earth. The video is available to our Spaceflight Now Plus subscribers:
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Friday: July 4, 2003  0325 GMT
Solar system 'most similar' to our own discovered
Astronomers looking for planetary systems that resemble our own solar system have found the most similar formation so far. A team has discovered a planet like Jupiter in orbit round a nearby star that is very like our own Sun. Among the hundred found so far, this system is the one most similar to our Solar System.
Minimal data loss expected from SOHO problem
Despite what at first appeared to be a serious problem with the SOHO solar observatory, engineers have now discovered a way to save the vast majority of science data that was once believed to have been lost.
Mars Exploration Rover launch slips to Sunday
Launch of the Mars rover Opportunity has been delayed one more day. Liftoff is now scheduled for Sunday night aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Thursday: July 3, 2003  0349 GMT
Gravitational waves may set speed limit for pulsars
Gravitational radiation, ripples in the fabric of space predicted by Albert Einstein, may serve as a cosmic traffic enforcer, protecting reckless pulsars from spinning too fast and blowing apart. Pulsars, the fastest spinning stars in the Universe, are the core remains of exploded stars, containing the mass of our Sun compressed into a sphere about 10 miles across.
Shuttle program announces personnel changes
Space Shuttle Program Manager Bill Parsons has announced several key leadership changes within the office as it reorganizes and evolves following the Columbia accident.
When will Opportunity fly?
Launch of the Mars rover Opportunity is expected to slip to Sunday night, sources say. NASA is still reviewing analysis and hasn't confirmed the next launch attempt. The weather forecast for Sunday calls for a 70 percent chance of good conditions.
Wednesday: July 2, 2003  0154 GMT
Firehose-like jet discovered in action
An X-ray movie of the Vela pulsar, made from a series of observations by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, reveals a spectacularly erratic jet that varies in a way never seen before. The jet of high-energy particles whips about like an untended firehose at about half the speed of light. This behavior gives scientists new insight into the nature of jets from pulsars and black holes.
Launch of Mars rover Opportunity on hold
Officials could decide by late Wednesday whether to perform a special liquid oxygen loading test on the Boeing Delta 2 rocket to ensure repaired insulation stays adhered to the booster's first stage, NASA Launch Manager Omar Baez told reporters Tuesday.
Hawaiian telescope team makes debut discovery
Astronomers have observed a young star ringed by a swirling disc that may spin off planets, marking the first published science observation using two linked telescopes in Hawaii. The telescopes at the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, known as the Keck Interferometer, comprise the world's largest optical telescope system.
Board issues launch imaging recommendation
The Columbia Accident Investigation Board on Tuesday issued its fourth preliminary finding and recommendation to NASA. The recommendation calls for an upgrade to the imaging system that tracks space shuttle during launch and requiring that cameras being working before liftoffs can occur.
Tuesday: July 1, 2003  0001 GMT
Foam strike email to shuttle commander released
The commander of the shuttle Columbia was informed about the foam strike most believe led to the ship's destruction in a casual email from mission control a full week after liftoff. Even though NASA's internal analysis of the foam incident was not yet complete, the email dismissed any concern about the strike as "not even worth mentioning" and said the only reason it was being brought up was to make sure the astronauts were not surprised by a question from reporters during upcoming interviews.
Mars rover launch delayed into the weekend
Launch of Delta 2 rocket and Mars rover Opportunity has been delayed to Saturday night, NASA officials announced Monday. The further slip in the liftoff will give workers more time to fix loose insulating material on the rocket's first stage and perform tests.
Rockot booster successfully launches 9 payloads
A modified Russian ballistic missile orbited a menagerie of scientific and technology demonstration satellites Monday for a wide array of international organizations. Liftoff of the Rockot launch vehicle from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome was at 1415 GMT (10:15 a.m. EDT).
Monday: June 30, 2003  0122 GMT
Insulation repairs postpone rover launch to Wednesday
The 300 million mile voyage from Earth to Mars for NASA's Opportunity rover won't begin until at least Wednesday night so workers can fix a ring of insulating material on the Boeing Delta 2 rocket. An initial launch try Saturday night was scrubbed due to high-altitude winds. Check our Mission Status Center for the latest news.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates!
A first look at the doughnut around a giant black hole
Active galactic nuclei are one of the most energetic and mysterious phenomena in the universe. In some galaxies indeed, the core generates amounts of energy which surpass those of normal galaxies, such as the Milky Way, by many orders of magnitude. The central engine of these power stations is thought to be a supermassive black hole.
Remembering trendsetting seafaring satellite
It only skippered the seas of space for a mere three months, but just as Gilligan's "three-hour tour" has continued on in syndication for decades, a salty satellite launched to study the oceans 25 years ago by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is living on through the many missions it has spawned.
News Archive
June 23-29: Foam 'most probable' cause of Columbia disaster; Columbia board issues tile repair recommendation; Spaceflight Now interviews station's resident crew; SOHO engineers battle to overcome antenna problem; Commercial Earth imager launched into space by Pegasus; Helios prototype solar aircraft lost in mishap.

June 16-22: Space shuttle tile repair options in development; Engineers assess bi-pod redesign options; Lu talks of 'silver lining' from the Columbia tragedy; The secret lives of galaxies unveiled in deep survey; Evidence for meteor in early mass extinction found.

June 9-15: 'Spirit' rover begins seven-month cruise to Mars; Cargo-carrying craft docks to space station; Bolt catcher a possible shuttle return to flight issue; Comets survive plunge through Sun's atmosphere; Ariane 5 launches double cargo with success; Sea Launch rocket lofts second Thuraya spacecraft.

June 2-8: Foam impact cracks wing leading edge panel; Europe's first adventure to Mars successfully launched; Russian Proton rocket flies its 300th launch; Thermal data from Odyssey reveals a changing Mars; 'Razor-sharp image' of star cluster snapped from Earth.

May 26-June 1: Foam impact test causes significant T-seal movement; Demonstration flight not likely for space shuttle; 'Slick Six' launch pad hosts its first Delta 4 rocket; Japanese science cargo returns to Earth for study; Mars rover launch delayed.

More news  See our weekly archive of space news.

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