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European Space Agency.
In his newest book, Rocket Man, David Clary took on the challenge of describing the person that was Robert Goddard the father of the rocket program in the United States. Through an excellent chronological depiction of the events and people of Goddard's life, Mr. Clary presents significant moments and actions in an effort to give a sense of his personality. Mr. Clary acknowledges that he was quite hampered by the efforts of Goddard's retinue who had filtered and moulded material so as to fit only their desired image. Without giving his own conclusions, Mr. Clary presents a very readable passage on Goddard's life.
A Soyuz rocket with a Fregat upper stage successfully launched Israel's AMOS 2 telecommunications satellite on Saturday. The launch occurred at 2130 UTC (4:30 pm EST) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and was jointly managed by Arianespace and Starsem. AMOS 2 will supply the Middle East, Europe and Eastern US with satellite broadcasting. This was the 1,684th mission for the Soyuz family of vehicles.
Unlike its missing passenger, Beagle 2, controllers from the European Space Agency know exactly where Mars Express is - exactly where they want it. The spacecraft is currently on a wide equatorial orbit which brings it as close as 400 km and then out to 188,000 km away from the planet. Engineers are preparing the spacecraft for a further burn of its main engine which will bring the spacecraft into a closer polar orbit around Mars. Once Mars Express modifies its orbit, it will be the best candidate to communicate with the missing Beagle 2; starting January 4, 2004.
Controllers have made two more attempts to reach the Beagle 2 lander, which was thought to have entered Mars' atmosphere on December 25: once with both the Jodrell Bank radio telescope and again with Mars Odyssey. Although they're disappointed, the engineers still have a few tricks up their sleeves. A special team has been put together, and is working around the clock to devise solutions for potential problems with the lander; if there are hardware or software problems, or if it's ended up at an unusual angle. People will really start to lose hope in early January when Mars Express reaches its final polar orbit - it's the spacecraft Beagle 2 was designed to communicate with.
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