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Moons orbiting Uranus.
Sep 25, 2003 Earth's closest approach to Mars is past, but it'll just be another two years until the planets are close together again - time to send more probes. Next up will be NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which will make a detailed inspection of the Martian surface; imaging objects as small as a coffee table. It will also be able to scan underground layers for evidence of water and ice, and measure the atmosphere above the surface to find vents of water vapour escaping from below the surface. The spacecraft is expected to launch on August 10, 2005.
Sep 25, 2003 The ozone hole above Antarctica is the second largest ever recorded this year, covering 28.2 million square kilometres - down slightly from the record in 2000. The observations were made by NASA's Earth Probe Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer and the NOAA's Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet instrument, and were confirmed by balloon-carried instruments. Even through chlorofluorocarbons, which destroy the ozone in our atmosphere, were banned in 1995, they're still abundant and it'll probably take another 50 years before the ozone hole disappears completely.
Sep 25, 2003 Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered two new moons orbiting Uranus. The newly found moons have been temporarily named S/2003 U 1 and S/2003 U 2 until the International Astronomical Union approves the discovery and gives them something more permanent - they're small, however, only 12 to 16 km across. They're so faint and small they eluded the Voyager 2 spacecraft when it flew by Uranus in 1986. This brings Uranian satellite total up to 24, still behind Jupiter (38) and Saturn (30).
Sep 25, 2003 He didn't quite make it up the International Space Station, but Lance Bass, member of the Pop music group NSYNC is still interested in space. He's going to be visiting schools in the Houston area during World Space Week (October 4-10, 2003) to help promote to children that science and math are "cool". World Space Week was declared by the United Nations in 1999 and is celebrated in nearly 50 countries around the world. Many other events are planned for the week, including a webcast from the space station, giving people a chance to chat with the astronauts.
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