Chandra Successfully Deployed from Columbia
Space Shuttle Columbia has completed its primary mission – to deploy and launch the Chandra X-Ray observatory. Once it was separated from the shuttle, Chandra fired its upper stage booster to carry it to a higher 25-hour orbit. Chandra will be 10-100 times more powerful than any other X-Ray telescope.
Mir and Columbia Crews Communicate in Space
Although they were 7,700 miles apart, Columbia astronauts and Mir cosmonauts spent a few minutes today catching up on old times. The chat was between two Frenchmen: Michel Tognini on Columbia and Jean-Pierre Haignere on Mir, but shuttle commander Eileen Collins broke in to speak a few words to the Mir commander.
Mir Spacewalkers Search for Leak Unsuccessful
Russian cosmonauts spent six fruitless hours in space attempting to find the source of a mysterious air leak on board Mir. Deputy flight director Viktor Blagov has informed reporters that the leak is above the allowable limit, and that the process is not developing for the better. If the leak isn’t found and fixed, the station will be uninhabitable within 3 months.
Nearby Asteroid Considered a Stepping Stone to Space Colonization
When it passed within 500,000 miles of the Earth last year, astronomers had the opportunity to study asteroid 1998 KY26. They found it spins rapidly, but more importantly, the asteroid is loaded with ice – probably a million gallons worth. This makes the asteroid a nearby “oasis” for space colonization.