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Bad Weather Pushed Back Mars Explorer.

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Bad Weather Pushed Back Mars Explorer

Jun 9, 2003 - The launch of NASA's Mars Explorer spacecraft was pushed back to Tuesday because of bad weather at the Cape Canaveral, Florida launch pad. The spacecraft was originally supposed to lift off on Sunday, but storms forced the controllers to delay the launch, and then again on Monday. If the weather behaves, Explorer will lift off at 1758 GMT (1:58 pm EDT) and carry the newly named rover "Spirit" towards Mars. The second rover, "Opportunity" will follow on June 25.

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Image credit: Energia
Progress Launches to Resupply Space Station

Jun 8, 2003 - An unmanned Russian Progress 11 cargo ship lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sunday, carrying more than two tonnes of food, fuel, water, supplies, and scientific equipment for the International Space Station. The Progress launched at 1043 GMT (6:34am EDT) and then reached orbit nine minutes later. It's expected to reach the space station on Wednesday, where it will link up automatically with the Pirs Docking Compartment on the Zvezda Service Module.

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Image credit: ILS
Proton Launches AMC-9 Satellite

Jun 7, 2003 - A Russian-built Proton K rocket successfully launched the AMC-9 satellite on Saturday, completing the 300th launch of this rocket design over the course of 38 years. The Proton lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 2215 GMT (6:15pm EDT), and the satellite separated from the Breeze M upper stage nearly nine hours later. The AMC-9 will provide digital television, data, and telecommunications services.

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Image credit: CAIB
Foam Test Breaks Shuttle Panel as Expected

Jun 6, 2003 - As predicted earlier in the week by Columbia accident investigators when a chunk of foam was fired at an actual Space Shuttle wing, it caused visible and significant damage. The foam was fired from a special pressurized gun at 234 metres per second, and when it struck the wing, it created a 7.5 centimetre crack in the carbon-fiber wing, and damaged several important T-seals. The test wing had actually been flown on space for 30 missions, so the experiment provided useful evidence to support the theory that foam damaged Columbia's wing so that the shuttle couldn't survive re-entry.

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