Prospector Could be Disabled by Eclipse
Final plans for the Lunar Prospector spacecraft may run into a little snag. NASA was planning on smashing the probe into the moon in search of ice; however, there’s a possibility the upcoming eclipse may damage the spacecraft. It will spend 3 days flying into and out of the Earth’s shadow, and this may damage sensitive electronics on the probe – which is already near the end of its life.
Fuel Leak Endangered Shuttle Launch
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Although it successfully made it into orbit, the Space Shuttle Columbia developed a fuel leak shortly after launch. A previously unreleased video shows a streak of ignited fuel developing from one of the shuttle’s main engines. If the leak had progressed any further, it could have cause an emergency landing of the shuttle.
Latest Launch Helps Globalstar Become Operational
The latest Globalstar launch on a Delta 2 put another 4 telecommunications satellites into orbit, and bringing the total number to 32. This is an important milestone for the company as it’s the minimum number of satellites needed for the system to offer global telephone service to its customers. Globalstar still plans to launch another 16 “birds” by the end of the year.
Deep Space 1 Prepares for Asteroid Pass
Launched nine months ago, Deep Space 1 is being prepared for a flyby of Asteroid 1999 KD – renamed to Asteroid Braille. The spacecraft will fly within 9 miles of the asteroid, taking images, and sending them back to Earth.