Sunday: August 24, 2003  0502 GMT
New space telescope poised for late-night launch
The fourth and final of NASA's Great Observatories is set for launch early Monday from Cape Canaveral. The Space Infrared Telescope Facility will soar aboard a Boeing Delta 2 rocket at 1:35:39 a.m. EDT (0535:39 GMT).
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Earth has a new look
A brand new look and understanding of the place we call home. That's what you'll get in a complete global topographic data set generated by NASA and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency. Produced by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, the global data set greatly improves maps of Earth's land mass located between 60 degrees north and 60 degrees south of the equator.
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Bush awaits Columbia report -- (Houston Chronicle) President Bush said Friday that he supports the space program but declined to say what changes he might order at NASA in light of an independent commission report expected Tuesday on the causes of the space shuttle Columbia crash.

Astronaut: 'It is the journey that matters' -- (Daytona Beach News-Journal) Memories of cosmic crashes and liquid light reflected from Earth's lagoons swirl together in Story Musgrave's mind like some amazing nebula seen through a telescope lens.

Analysts say SS/L could be sold if EchoStar acquires all Loral assets -- (Aerospace Daily) Space Systems/Loral, the satellite manufacturing division of Loral Space & Communications Ltd., likely would be sold or shut down if EchoStar Communications Corp. acquires all of the company's assets, according to some analysts. It's unlikely EchoStar would want to enter the satellite manufacturing market given the downturn affecting the U.S. telecommunications industry, analysts said.

XCOR chief slams FFA jurisdictional fight -- (Antelope Valley Press) Innovators developing the emerging field of commercial space travel are exploring uncharted territory, not just in space but in regulatory bureaucracy as well. Before commercial space travel can get off the ground, entrepreneurs and federal regulators need to reach agreement on how such reusable, suborbital spacecraft will be licensed.

Saturday: August 23, 2003  0338 GMT
Brazilian rocket explodes on pad
A tragedy struck Brazil's fledgling space program Friday when a rocket exploded on the launch pad during pre-flight tests, killing more than a dozen people, destroying the booster and ending the nation's third attempt to put a satellite in orbit over the past few years.
NASA satellites eye forest fires from orbit
If a forest catches fire and no one is around to see it, can it call for help? The forest cannot call, but thanks to new technology developed by NASA, firefighters may get the word faster through new, high-tech eyes in the sky.
Friday: August 22, 2003  0246 GMT
Observatory to peek at the old, cold and dirty
A powerful new space telescope that marries high technology, innovative design and sheer determination is set for launch early Monday from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Space Infrared Telescope Facility will focus on the faint heat emitted by stars and planets in the making, targets that until now have been, quite literally, shrouded in dusty mystery.
New findings could dash hopes for past Mars oceans
After a decades-long quest, scientists analyzing data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft have at last found critical evidence the spacecraft's infrared spectrometer instrument was built to search for: the presence of water-related carbonate minerals on the surface of Mars.
Space rendezvous system passes design review
The Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology spacecraft, recently completed design certification review for the Orbital Space Plane program. DART is a space flight demonstrator aimed at testing technologies required for the OSP to locate and rendezvous with the space station.
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Brazil space rocket explodes, kills 19 -- (Reuters) An explosion on Friday destroyed a Brazilian rocket due for blast off in coming days and killed 19 people at its jungle launch site, ending Brazil's third attempt to fulfill a long-held dream of becoming a space power. A further 20 people were seriously wounded in the explosion, which sent a huge plume of smoke into the air above the tropical headland sticking into the Atlantic Ocean where the launch base is situated.

Brazil's tropical space base ready for blastoff -- (Reuters) Brazil is poised to become the first Latin American nation to send its own rockets into space, blasting them off from a jungle launch pad first envisioned a generation ago by its former military rulers.

Russian ISS segment construction slow due to low funding -- (Itar-Tass) The construction of a Russian segment of the International Space Station proceeds at a very slow rate, due to insufficient funding, head of Russia's Rosaviakosmos aerospace company Yuri Koptev said at the MAKS-2003 air show on Thursday.

Thursday: August 21, 2003  0300 GMT
NASA seeks public suggestions for Mars photos
The public has an unprecedented opportunity to suggest places on Mars that should be photographed from a spacecraft orbiting that planet. Camera operators for NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft are ready to take suggestions online.
Hubble has viewing plans for Mars 'close encounter'
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope will make observations of the planet Mars next week, when Earth and Mars will be closer together than they have been in the last 60,000 years. The Hubble images will be the sharpest views of Mars ever taken from Earth. They will reveal surface details as small as 17 miles across.
Guam school to be renamed in honor of NASA astronaut
Guam South Elementary/Middle School will be renamed after space shuttle Columbia pilot Willie McCool. A former Navy test pilot, McCool had close ties to Guam. He attended two middle and high school there from 1975 to 1977.
Sailors recognized for help in Columbia recovery
NASA astronaut Jim Reilly recently presided over an awards ceremony, held at Naval Amphibious Base, that recognized sailors for their search efforts of space shuttle Columbia.
One year ago today: Maiden flight of Atlas 5 rocket
Riding a tongue of golden flame from its Russian-made engine, Lockheed Martin's first Atlas 5 booster sailed into space August 21, 2002 to successfully open a new chapter for America's rocket industry.
Atlas 5
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Redstone rocket turns golden -- (The Huntsville Times) The rocket that took its name from Redstone Arsenal and eventually would loft America's first astronaut into space was launched on its first test flight 50 years ago today. The Redstone was America's earliest and most versatile rocket. It served as a weapon in Europe, was modified to carry America's first satellite, the Explorer I, and carried America's first Mercury astronaut, Alan B. Shepard, into space.

Satellite firms sue Tennessee -- (Bloomberg News) DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp., the largest U.S. satellite-television broadcasters, sued the state of Tennessee, claiming they're unfairly being taxed more than cable-TV companies. Tennessee places an 8.25 percent sales tax on satellite subscribers' bills, DirecTV and EchoStar said in a statement. The companies, which filed their lawsuit in state court in Nashville, Tenn., claim the first $15 of cable customers' bills are exempt from the tax.

Wednesday: August 20, 2003  0001 GMT
Titan 4 rocket launch postponed into September
The deployment of a top-secret reconnaissance spacecraft by a $500 million Titan 4 rocket is being delayed again -- to early September -- because of issues with the launcher and its clandestine cargo.
SIRTF observatory launch delayed until Monday
Launch of NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility aboard Boeing's Delta 2-Heavy rocket is being delayed at least two days -- to early Monday morning -- because a tracking ship needed to support the mission in the Indian Ocean is being held up by bad weather.
IN OTHER NEWS  Additional stories making news today
Kosmos launches two Russian military satellites -- Russian space forces launched a Kosmos 3M booster Tuesday with a pair of classified military satellites aboard from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The two military payloads successfully reached orbit and are officially known at Kosmos 2400 and 2401.
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EchoStar makes $1.45B informal bid for Loral's assets -- (Dow Jones Business News) Loral confirmed in a statement late Tuesday that it received an informal offer from EchoStar to acquire all its entire satellite fleet as well as its satellite-manufacturing unit. EchoStar offered more than $1.45 billion for the assets.

New NASA Langley director focuses on opening safety center -- (Associated Press) A NASA safety center being created in response to the Columbia space shuttle accident is on track to open in about six weeks, the man overseeing its startup said Tuesday.

NASA support up after tragedy -- (USA Today) Americans support the space program, especially after tragedy strikes, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll. Six months after the space shuttle Columbia broke apart during re-entry, support to increase the budget of NASA is as high as it has been since the Challenger disaster in 1986, the poll found. People also said some deadly accidents were "an acceptable price to pay" for space travel.

Tuesday: August 19, 2003  0252 GMT
Titan 4 delayed further
Air Force officials have postponed launching the Titan 4 rocket one additional day -- to the predawn hours of Thursday -- as technicians catch up on pre-flight activities impacted by last week's nitrogen tetroxide leak at Cape Canaveral's Complex 40. The rocket's classified mission will place a secret national security payload into orbit.
Former astronaut named station program scientist
NASA has named Dr. Don Thomas as the new International Space Station Program Scientist for the agency. Thomas will serve as the science spokesman for the program to the scientific and international research communities and the general public.
Boeing to build electric propulsion system for NASA
Boeing has been awarded a contract by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to provide the electric propulsion system to be used on the Dawn spacecraft. This electric propulsion system will provide the primary propulsion for the Dawn mission as it travels to Vesta and continues on to Ceres.
IN OTHER NEWS  Additional stories making news today
AstroMesh reflector deployed aboard Thuraya 2 spacecraft -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's second, 12-meter AstroMesh reflector was successfully deployed aboard the Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company's second spacecraft. Thuraya 2 will add capacity to the company's network, which provides mobile voice and data communication services to Europe, the Middle East and portions of Africa and Asia.
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Former Boeing managers plead innocent -- (Associated Press) Two former Boeing managers pleaded innocent on Monday to charges they plotted to secure trade secrets from competitor Lockheed Martin to help Boeing win rocket contracts from the Air Force.

Bitove Jr., XM Radio launch satellite bid -- (Toronto Star) XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and a new group led by Toronto businessman John Bitove Jr. have officially filed with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for a licence to be the first company to broadcast satellite radio in Canada.

Israel to launch satellites from Brazil -- (Globes) Israel and Brazil have reached an agreement in principle on space cooperation. Under the agreement, Israel may use its Shavit satellite launcher from Brazil's Alcantara Space Center.

Ukraine to fire off missiles from Brazilian cosmodrome -- (Itar-Tass) A group of the space agencies of Ukraine and Brazil, which started a meeting in the Brazilian capital on Monday, plans to compile a draft agreement on long-term cooperation between the two countries in the use of the Tsiklon-4 missile at the Alcantara cosmodrome, Tass learnt at the Ukrainian National Space Agency.

Monday: August 18, 2003  0001 GMT
Distance data solves astrophysical mysteries
Location, location, and location. The old real-estate adage about what's really important proved applicable to astrophysics as astronomers pinpointed the distance to a pulsar. Their accurate distance measurement then resolved a dispute over the pulsar's birthplace, allowed the astronomers to determine the size of its neutron star and possibly solve a mystery about cosmic rays.
Titan to launch Wednesday
The weather forecast is predicting favorable conditions for Wednesday's predawn launch of the Titan 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral carrying a secret national security payload.
IN OTHER NEWS  Additional stories making news today
Intelsat shareholders OK proposed Loral satellite buy -- Intelsat, Ltd., a global satellite communications leader providing services in over 200 countries and territories, reports that its shareholders approved its proposed acquisition of six satellites and orbital location rights from Loral Space & Communications Corporation at a shareholders' meeting held last week in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Missile defense boost vehicle successfully launched -- Orbital Sciences Corporation announced that the second launch of the missile defense interceptor boost vehicle the company is developing and manufacturing for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense system was fully successful. Launch occurred Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
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Astronaut star attraction at convention -- (The Register-Guard) John Grunsfeld arrived on earth the same year NASA took off - 1958. A childhood interest in the stars would lead to five spacewalks on four missions as a NASA shuttle astronaut, logging 45 days and easily more than 20 million miles. He oversaw spacewalking on the Columbia shuttle mission last year that installed the most sophisticated upgrade yet on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Former NASA director accepts BU presidency -- (The Boston Globe) Former NASA chief Daniel S. Goldin accepted the Boston University presidency yesterday after five weeks of negotiations with campus trustees, who have offered him one of the most lucrative compensation packages in US higher education.

Scientist cites astronomy benefits -- (Ka Leo) Dr. Michael West, the UH Hilo astronomer who recently helped discover "orphan" star clusters says astronomy is every bit as important as art, literature, music, culture, or any other field of human exploration.

News Archive
Aug. 11-17: What to do with Hubble? Telescope's future debated; Canada's ozone research project launched into space by Pegasus rocket; Hot spots on Mars give hunt for life new target; Horseshoe nebula flows with 'X-ray champagne'; Galaxy torn apart in dark matter halo.

Aug. 4-10: Shuttle return-to-flight task group outlines plans; Asteroids dedicated to fallen Columbia astronauts; 'Phoenix' lander headed for Martian North Pole; Sea Launch rocket lofts communications satellite; Gravity variations predict earthquake behavior.

July 28-Aug. 3: New maps of Mars water; Columbia board: NASA needs better imaging; Ion engine records nearly five years of firing time; Wind and reflections from supermassive black hole; Troubles strike Landsat 7.

July 21-27: Pentagon strips 7 launches from Boeing Delta 4 rocket; Columbia management team hardly discussed foam strike; Two options emerge for NASA's Orbital Space Plane; Space entrepreneurs seek regulatory relief; Giant gas cloud made of atoms formed in first stars.

More news  See our weekly archive of space news.

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