Universe Today - April 30, 2001
U N I V E R S E
T O D A Y
Space Exploration News From Around the Internet
Updated Every Weekday.
April 30, 2001 - Issue #428
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A note from Fraser,
Well, Dennis Tito made it to the space station safe and sound
(except for some vomit, here and there). Although I'm generally
against tourists visiting the space station before it's completed -
there need to be policies and astronaut training in place to handle
this kind of thing - I've got to admit I'm getting caught up in the
excitement of this all. If everything goes well, and Tito comes
back down safe and sound, it will be a tremendous leap forward for
space tourism. If it goes poorly, it will set the whole concept
back like the Challenger incident (anyone read "Into Thin Air"? -
yikes!). Pretty risky stuff; I've got my fingers crossed.
Congratulations Dennis, this is an amazing accomplishment. I
sincerely hope the risk you're taking pays off.
-- UNIVERSE TODAY STORY SUMMARY --
* Tito Reaches International Space Station
* Endeavour Undocks From the Space Station
* Pioneer 10 Makes Contact
TITO REACHES INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
So far, it looks like Dennis Tito's $20 million dream is coming
true, as his Russian Soyuz capsule docked with the International
Space Station earlier today - the Soyuz TM-32 spacecraft docked
with ISS at 0758 GMT (3:58am EDT), and the hatch between the two
was opened 90 minutes later. Tito and cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev
and Yuri Baturin were greeted warmly by the crew of the station.
The cosmonauts will remain on board the station until Saturday
night, at which point they'll depart using the older Soyuz that has
been docked to the station for the past six months.
Cosmonaut Adventures - Spend a day as a cosmonaut at Russia's Yuri
Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center at Star City, using the same
simulators used by cosmonauts to prepare for space travel.
ENDEAVOUR UNDOCKS FROM THE SPACE STATION
The space shuttle Endeavour undocked from the International Space
Station on Sunday, with all the objectives for mission STS-100
completed. The undocking was originally scheduled for Saturday, but
it was pushed back a day because of computer problems earlier in
the week. By Sunday, the station's computers were operational
again, and Endeavour was able to push off with plenty of time to
make room for the Soyuz docking early Monday morning. The shuttle
is expected to land at Florida's Cape Canaveral on Tuesday morning;
although bad weather could force delays.
Universe Today Special Report - Celebrate the 20th anniversary of
the space shuttle
Countdown Creations - Celebrate STS-100 with your own shirt or
PIONEER 10 MAKES CONTACT
After hearing nothing but static for 9 months, NASA has made
contact with the Pioneer 10 space probe again. The spacecraft
hadn't been heard from since August 19, 2000, which led scientists
to believe its transmitter was working, or it had even gone
completely dead. But, 11 billion kilometres away from the Earth,
and 29 years old, it seems the faithful spacecraft is still able to
transmit information to NASA - just to send a message and hear the
reply takes 22 hours. Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to
photograph Jupiter up close, and became the first man-made object
to leave our Solar System.
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