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Planet Hunting Instrument Proven to Work.


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Image credit: NASA/JPL
Planet Hunting Instrument Proven to Work

Jul 24, 2003 - Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab have built an instrument so sensitive it can measure distances within 1/10th the thickness of a Hydrogen atom. This instrument will serve as the heart of NASA's Space Interferometry Mission, which will be able to detect the interactions between Earth-sized planets and the stars they orbit. Due to launch in 2009, the spacecraft will also measure the distance to stars at an accuracy several hundred times better than currently possible.

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Image credit: NASA
Gravity Map Released

Jul 24, 2003 - The gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) mission has created the most accurate map of the Earth's gravity field. The joint NASA-German Aerospace Center mission consists of two spacecraft connected by a cable which is able to measure fluctuations in the Earth's gravity to a precision of a few centimetres. They found that the gravity field can fluctuate by as much as 200 metres around the world. This gravity map will give future water level measurements better accuracy, and help scientists better understand the slow redistribution of mass on the planet.

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Image credit: Boeing
Air Force Suspends Business With Boeing

Jul 24, 2003 - The US Air Force announced its investigation findings today, that The Boeing Company had committed serious violation of federal law by using propriety documents from Lockheed Martin to win a series of launches during a 1998 contract competition. The Air Force said that Boeing will forfeit seven of its 19 launch contracts and several upcoming launch contracts will be awarded to Lockheed Martin instead of Boeing. All told, Boeing will lose $1 billion of Air Force launch business.

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