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Spiral Galaxy in the southern constellation.
The European Southern Observatory has released three new images of distant spiral galaxies, which were taken while Astronomers were searching for quasars. NGC 613 is a beautiful barred spiral Galaxy in the southern constellation of Sculptor; NGC 1792 is a starburst spiral Galaxy located in the southern constellation of Columba; and NGC 3627 is also known as Messier 66 and located in the constellation Leo.
A Boeing Delta II rocket successfully launched a Global Positioning System satellite for the US Air Force on December 21. The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 0805 UTC (3:05 EST), and the satellite was deployed 68 minutes later. The satellite, designated GPS IIR-10 was the tenth of 21 IIR class GPS satellites that Boeing will be responsible for launching. The next scheduled Delta launch will also be carrying a GPS satellite; it's expected to lift off in early 2004.
Scientists are always looking for more ways to cram scientific instruments into spacecraft, and they've come up with an innovative idea for the Mars Exploration rovers: using the wheels to dig trenches to see what the environment on Mars is like a few centimetres beneath the surface. Researchers from Cornell University perfected a technique where the rover locks all but one of its six wheels, and then uses the final wheel to churn up the dirt - tests in the lab allowed them to get at material which was more than 10 cm deep.
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