Space News for May 18, 1999

Student Satellite to Launch

Built by the students of Boston University, the TERRIERS satellite – named for the school’s mascot, and designed to measure changes in the ionosphere – will launch early in the morning from Vandenberg Air Force base in California. The total cost for the mission, including launch is $12.3 million.

Astronomy Now
Space Daily

Artificial Intelligence Tested on Deep Space 1

NASA engineers have had the opportunity to test a powerful new piece of software on the Deep Space 1 mission. Called Remote Agent, the software allows the spacecraft to function completely on its own without human intervention, completing course corrections, detailed mission plans, and self-diagnosis.

Astronomy Now

Aliens Probably Won’t Look Like E.T.

Scientists believe that life exists outside our planet, but it probably doesn’t look anything like we’ve imagined in science fiction. Mars and Europa are two worlds in our Solar System which are candidates for life, with the closest analogy being colonies of bacteria, such as those found in deep sea vents.

CNN Space

Iridium’s Financial Situation Worsens

The financial picture for Iridium is starting to look bleak. Current financing agreements require the company to gather a total of 27,000 subscribers by the end of May; however, it looks like they’ll fall well short of that mark. Shortages of the required satellite phones have contributed to the company’s financial difficulties.