Space News for June 4, 1999

Europa Probably Doesn’t Have Life

Although it’s been speculated that Jupiter’s moon Europa could sustain life, new evidence casts suspicion on the possibility. This is due to the fact that the planet is most likely covered by a 6 mile thick ice sheet which would smother all light that could reach the oceans beneath.

ABC News
ABC News

Discovery Leaves Space Station

After three days loading cargo onto the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle Discovery completed its mission and disengaged from the station. The crew unloaded 3.5 tons of cargo onto the new station, which won’t see permanent residents until the Russian crew module launches later this year.

ABC News

Columbia Prepared for Chandra Launch

As Discovery prepares for landing, Space Shuttle Columbia is readied for its launch this summer – beginning with the attachment of the fuel tank and boosters. The main purpose of this mission is to launch the Chandra X-ray Telescope. The shuttle launch is planned for August 8th, but is hoping it can get an earlier date depending on launch facility availability.

Astronomy Now

Lunar Prospector’s Deliberate Crash Planned

NASA officials have confirmed that the Lunar Prospector, currently circling the moon, will be crash-landed in the hopes of discovering water on the lunar surface. Weighing as much as a car, and traveling at 1,100 mph, they hope by colliding the spacecraft into the moon, it will kick as much as 40 pounds of water vapour into space – detectable by Earth instruments.

BBC News