Spaceflight Now: Breaking News
Sunday: December 26, 1999  0037 GMT
A repaired Hubble set free
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was released back into orbit on Christmas Day after a successful servicing mission by the crew of shuttle Discovery. Astronauts deployed the observatory at 2303 GMT (6:03 p.m. EST) Saturday. Discovery is scheduled to return to Earth on Monday at 2221 GMT (5:21 p.m. EST). See our 'Mission Status Center' for the very latest news on the flight.
Saturday: December 25, 1999  1407 GMT
Discovery set for Christmas Day deployment of Hubble
With three successful spacewalks completed, the repaired and tuned up Hubble Space Telescope will be released back into orbit today from space shuttle Discovery. The astronauts are scheduled to deploy Hubble at about 2250 GMT (5:50 p.m. EST). See our 'Mission Status Center' for the very latest news on the flight.
Friday: December 24, 1999  0350 GMT
Hubble gets new computer brain from Discovery
A pair of spacewalking astronauts successfully installed a new advanced computer and guidance sensor aboard the Hubble Space Telescope on Thursday. Mike Foale and Claude Nicollier completed an eight-hour, 10-minute spacewalk, the second of three for Discovery's mission. The last is planned for today. See our 'Mission Status Center' for the very latest news on the flight.
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X-33 aerospike engine fired at full-power for first time
A new type of rocket engine that will propel the X-33 experimental launch vehicle was tested to full power for the first time last week. The 18-second firing of the XRS-2200 Linear Aerospike Engine was conducted on the A-1 test facility at NASA's Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi.
Software glitch shuts down Terra control computer
NASA's Terra controls computer halted early Tuesday morning and the independent safe-hold processor took control of the spacecraft, NASA said Thursday. The space agency says the problem was caused by navigation software.
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Thursday: December 23, 1999  0450 GMT
One spacewalk down, two to go for Discovery crew
Astronauts Steve Smith and John Grunsfeld successfully completed an eight-hour spacewalk to fix the Hubble Space Telescope's broken pointing system on Wednesday, installing six fresh gyroscopes into the observatory. The second of three spacewalks on Discovery's mission is slated to begin this afternoon. See our 'Mission Status Center' for the very latest news on the flight.
Orbiting Mars probe looks for NASA's missing lander
Flight controllers for Mars Polar Lander are continuing to work through their fault-tree scenarios in their ongoing attempts to communicate with the spacecraft. Chances of recovering the lander remain remote.
Russian Proton to resume launches in mid-February
The Russian State Commission investigating the October Proton launch failure is making good progress toward the release of its findings and recommended corrective action, ILS says. Proton return-to-flight is now projected to be mid-February.
DAILY BRIEFING  Other stories making news today
Terra overcomes antenna glitch as checkouts continue -- Activation of the Terra spacecraft, launched on Saturday, is continuing, with the mission going well. The high gain antenna has been returned to normal track mode after an anomaly on Sunday night.
NEWSWIRE  Links to news across the internet
Challenger explosion scarred a generation -- (LA Times) They were so pretty, so dazzling, the bright trails of smoke and rocket fire arcing down through the sapphire Florida sky. But funny, it hadn't looked like that before. Was this a new way of launching the space shuttle into orbit? Or was something wrong?

Canada's Radarsat 2 delayed, costs rise after U.S. refusals -- (Vancouver Sun) The launch of Canada's new radar satellite will be delayed by about a year and its cost will run over budget after the project was delayed by the U.S. government. An Italian company was chosen Friday to build the new satellite's shell because the U.S. refused to issue export permits to Orbital Sciences.

Missing items multiply; Space center blames 'weak link' in processes -- (Huntsville Times) Missing from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center: several cameras, three television sets, a cash register, a table, computer equipment, a couple of slide projectors and two-way radios - even a wheeled trash bin valued at $82.

Wednesday: December 22, 1999  0130 GMT
Ariane 4 rocket launches powerhouse Galaxy 11
Arianespace successfully completed its third launch of December right on time today. Liftoff occurred at 0050 GMT (7:50 p.m. EST Tuesday), and PanAmSat's Galaxy 11 communications satellite was placed into Earth orbit just over 21 minutes later. Read a full report on the countdown and launch in Spaceflight Now's Mission Status Center.
Tuesday: December 21, 1999  0745 GMT
Taurus rocket carries two satellites to space
An Orbital Sciences Taurus rocket launched Korean and U.S. science satellites today from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Liftoff occurred at 0713 GMT (2:13 a.m. EST). Read a full report on the countdown and launch in Spaceflight Now's Mission Status Center.
Launch approaches for Ariane 4 and Galaxy 11
The third Arianespace launch of December is set for 7:50 p.m. EST tonight (0050 GMT Wednesday). An Ariane 44L rocket will carry PanAmSat's Galaxy 11 communications satellite into Earth orbit. Follow the countdown and launch in Spaceflight Now's Mission Status Center.
Galaxy 11
Star tracker problem keeps Deep Space 1 in safe mode
Deep Space 1, which successfully completed its primary mission of testing advanced technologies late last September, remains in a safe standby mode. The mission team conducted crucial tests on the spacecraft on Wednesday, December 14, in response to a problem with the spacecraft's star tracker that caused Deep Space 1 to enter this mode last month.
DAILY BRIEFING  Other stories making news today
Europe's XMM telescope arrives in proper orbit -- The European Space Agency's new X-ray space telescope has reached its operational orbit. The XMM spacecraft, which is being controlled by teams at the European Space Operations Centre, ESOC Darmstadt Germany, is functioning admirably.

Saturn-bound Cassini probe enters asteroid belt -- With its odometer marking some 1.25 billion miles of space travel, the Cassini spacecraft has just entered the solar system's asteroid belt, the seldom-traversed ring of small rocky bodies that exists between Mars and Jupiter.

Monday: December 20, 1999  0251 GMT
Discovery lifts off
Space shuttle Discovery has lifted off on its much-delayed mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Because of the repeated delays, the mission has been shortened to eight days with only three spacewalks. Landing would occur on December 27. See our 'Mission Status Center' for the very latest news on the flight.

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Earlier news
Dec. 13-19: Shuttle Discovery finally launched on Hubble servicing mission; NASA's Terra environmental satellite launched on Atlas rocket.

Dec. 6-12: More shuttle delays; Ariane 5 launches ESA's XMM telescope; U.S. Air Force Titan 2 deploys DMSP weather satellite; Mars Polar Lander assumed lost.

Dec. 1-5: Mars Polar Lander arrives at Red Planet but communciations with Earth never occur; Ariane 40 rocket launches Helios 1B; Pegasus rocket deploys seven ORBCOMM satellites; Discovery's mission to Hubble in limbo.

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