Couldn't find element LayerAd

Error finding content

A Game of Capture the Satellite - Windows to the Universe

Shop Windows to the Universe

The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 DVD from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is in our online store, filled with Earth and space science resources.

Click on image for full size

A Game of Capture the Satellite
News story originally written on November 25, 1997

It was late in the evening when two astronauts approached the spinning 3,000 pound satellite. They reached out to grab the lost satellite and bring it safely back to the U.S. space shuttle. This may sound like a clip out of a recent science fiction movie, but this is the story of the lost SPARTAN satellite.

The SPARTAN satellite was sent up in the U.S. space shuttle. It was to be released into space for two full days. During this time it was to make observations of the Sun that would verify data collected by the SOHO mission. The satellite failed to activate when it was released. Columbia tried to catch the failed satellite, only to nudge it into a slow spin while attempting to capture it with the robotic arm.

NASA decided to send astronauts Scott and Doi on a spacewalk to capture the satellite. The two men retrieved the satellite around 9p.m. last night.

A captured satellite is not the only excitement involved in this mission. Doi, age 43, became the first Japanese spacewalker last night during the rescue mission.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community



You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Excellent Landing Doesn't Do Away with Disappointment

Columbia finished its 16-day mission early this morning. Touchdown was at 6:20 a.m. CDT. The landing was an excellent one. On the mission, astronauts did microgravity research and tested tools and techniques...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service called forests the "heart and lungs of the world." This is because forests filter air and water pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and maintain...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF