April 20, 2001
Endeavour on Track to Catch Up With Station
Chances Still Look Good that Tito will Fly
NASA Appoints a New Director for Mars Exploration
ENDEAVOUR ON TRACK TO CATCH UP WITH STATION
Now safely in orbit after a picture-perfect launch yesterday, the Space Shuttle Endeavour is closing the distance to the International Space Station. The seven-astronaut crew includes Italian Umberto Guidoni who will be the first member of the European Space Agency to visit the station, as well as Chris Hadfield who will become the first Canadian to walk in space. Once it reaches the station on Saturday, the crew of Endeavour will begin a series of spacewalks to install the 17-metre Canadarm2.
Universe Today Special Report - Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Space Shuttle
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CHANCES STILL LOOK GOOD THAT TITO WILL FLY
Despite objections from NASA, it looks like space tourist Dennis Tito is still going to get his chance to fly at the end of the month. Officials from the Russian Space Agency have confirmed that Tito will still be a member of a cosmonaut team due to deliver a new Soyuz to the International Space Station on April 30th. Although NASA has publicly challenged Russia's plans to send the space tourist, inside sources say they are quietly working to prepare for his arrival. Tito has paid up to $20 million for this mission.
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NASA APPOINTS A NEW DIRECTOR FOR MARS EXPLORATION
NASA announced Thursday that the director of their Mars Exploration Program, G. Scott Hubbard has resigned. Orlando Figueroa, who is currently the deputy chief engineer for systems engineering at NASA Headquarters was assigned as acting director. Scott was brought in after the failure of the Mars Polar Lander and Climate Orbiter in 1999 and he was responsible for reorganizing the department to decrease the risks to future programs.
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