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Mars Closest Tomorrow.

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Mars Closest Tomorrow

Aug 26, 2003 - On Wednesday, August 27 at 0951 GMT (5:51 am EDT) Mars and Earth will be only 56 million kilometres apart; the closest they've been in almost 60,000 years. Mars looks best in a telescope, where features like its polar ice cap and dust storms are visible, the planet is easy to spot with the naked eye. Just look to the south in the late evening and you can't miss it; it currently outshines any other object in the sky other than the Moon. astronomy clubs and observatories around the world are hosting events to give the public a chance to see the Red planet - it will remain bright and close for several months.

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Image credit: CAIB
Columbia Accident Report Released

Aug 26, 2003 - The Columbia Accident Investigation Board released its final report today, which was officially accepted by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. The 250-page document contains an overview of the shuttle program in general, as well as STS-107. The report discusses the suspected cause of the Columbia accident - that foam falling from the fuel tank on liftoff smashed a hole in the shuttle's left wing and allowed hot gas to enter during re-entry - but it also places a lot of emphasis on the weaknesses of NASA's culture.

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Image credit: ESA
Cloudless Europe Seen From Space

Aug 26, 2003 - As the weather is starting to cool in Europe after a particularly hot summer, the European Space Agency snapped this picture of the continent with pretty much cloudless skies. The composite image was built up from a series of pictures snapped by the ESA's Meteosat Second Generation 1 (MSG-1). The satellite was launched almost exactly a year ago and is positioned above Europe in geostationary orbit.

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