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Einstein's General theory of Relativity.
Einstein's General theory of Relativity got another confirmation this week thanks to research by an Astronomer from NASA. Some theorists believed that particles popping into and out of existence in space would slow light down, as if it was moving through air or water. scientists measured the total energy of gamma rays emitted by a distant gamma ray bursts and found that they were interacting with particles on their way to the Earth in such a way that precisely matched predictions by Einstein.
NASA's Stardust spacecraft has nearly arrived at its first destination, Comet Wild 2. On January 2, 2004, the spacecraft will buzz through the comet's tail and collect interstellar particles and dust. The particles will be captured on a tennis racket-shaped grid that will ensure they aren't damaged. Stardust will return the sample to Earth in 2006 so that scientists can analyze it on the ground. It's believed that comets are as old as the solar system, so analyzing these particles will reveal valuable information about our origins.
Mars Express has got just one chance to get this right. In two days the Beagle 2 lander will separate from the spacecraft; next stop, Mars. Beagle 2 has to be travelling at exactly the right trajectory so that it hits the Martian atmosphere at the right angle so that it doesn't burn up or skip off into deep space. This trajectory would crash Mars Express into the Red Planet, so after it lets go of Beagle 2, it has to change its own trajectory to go into a safe orbit.
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