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European Space Agency's assembly of Venus Express.
Engineers at the European Space Agency have completed the assembly of Venus Express; the agency's first mission to the cloud enshrouded planet. If everything goes well, Venus Express will lift off on board a Soyuz-Fregat rocket on October 25, 2005 and then travel through space for 153 days before arriving at Venus. Venus Express will make a thorough analysis of Venus' atmosphere using a suite of instruments.
This photo, taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, shows the tiny Moon Prometheus, which serves as a shepherd to the inside edge of Saturn's knotted F ring. It's only 102 km (63 miles) long, so Cassini had to take several images of it, which were then stitched together on computer to enhance resolution and reduce noise. It was first discovered during the Voyager mission, and scientists saw a hint of the ridges, valleys and craters that marred its irregular surface. Cassini is expected to make a much closer flyby of the tiny Moon later in its mission.
Travelling in space could be hard on your immune system, according to a new study funded by NASA. Researchers tested 25 astronauts before and after various Space Shuttle missions of varying lengths, and found that white blood cells increased after the astronauts returned from space. The increased number of white blood cells meant that the astronauts bodies were working overtime to fight off various microbes and diseases. And it appears that these effects probably increase as missions get longer and more difficult.
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