Space News for June 29, 1999

Chandra Loaded Onto Columbia

The Chandra X-Ray Observatory was loaded onto the Space Shuttle Columbia on Sunday, in preparation for its July 20th launch. Costing over $2.5 billion, NASA will be watching the launch carefully, as the observatory uses the same upper stage booster that caused at least one Air Force launch failure.

Astronomy Now

NASA Prepares Nanorover for Asteroid Mission

Similar to the Mars Pathfinder rover, but only the size of a paperback novel, the MUSES rover is designed for an upcoming Japanese asteroid encounter mission. The rover will hop around in the asteroid’s weak gravity, automatically righting itself if it falls upside down.

CNN Space

Possible Planet is Probably Just a Star

When it was first discovered last year, astronomers thought they might have their first visual glimpse of a planet orbiting another star system. Further data indicates, however, that the object, called TMR-1C is probably just another, dimmer star.



Scientists Search for Clues in Tunguska

Something struck central Siberia in 1908 with the force of 1,000 Hiroshima nuclear bombs. It leveled 2,200 square kilometers of forest, and the explosion was visible hundreds of kilometers away. There are still many mysteries about what actually happened there almost 100 years ago, and a group of scientists are now attempting to unlock its secrets.

BBC News