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Opportunity Blasts Off for Mars.


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Image credit: Jorg Kopplin
Various Space Stuff
Jul 7, 2003 -
  • The clever Internet librarians of the European Space Agency have gathered together links to all the different photo galleries for their member countries, including Canada. Check it out here.
  • The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory has announced the recipients of the 2003 Edgar Wilson Award for the discovery of comets by amateurs over the last year. I just think it's great that amateurs can make meaningful contributions to the science of astronomy. Check that out here.
  • Dr. Marc Garneau, Astronaut and President of the Canadian Space Agency is going to be visiting my home town of Vancouver on Wednesday to congratulate UBC Astronomer Jaymie Matthews and his team for developing the MOST space telescope. I'll try to sneak down and get an autograph... I mean, um, file a report. Read more.
Image credit: NASA/JPL
Opportunity Blasts Off for Mars

Jul 7, 2003 - NASA's second Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, successfully lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center early Tuesday morning after several delays. The launch was halted only seven seconds away from liftoff during the first window because of a problem with a valve on the rocket, but during the second window at 0318 GMT (11:18 pm EDT Monday) the Delta II successfully blasted off. Opportunity will reach Mars on January 25.

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Image credit: NASA
Test Blasts a Hole in Shuttle Wing

Jul 7, 2003 - Columbia accident investigators fired a chunk of foam at a sample wing of the Space Shuttle on Monday, and managed to knock out a 40 centimetre hole. The investigators believe this is the "smoking gun" that proves how events led to the destruction of the Space Shuttle in February. The impact was so strong that it damaged some of the sensors designed to measure the damage. The board has already made preliminary recommendations about how NASA can improve its policies to reduce risks to the shuttle in the future, but their full report is due later this month.

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Image credit: Armadillo Aerospace
X-Prize Entrant Completes Drop Test

Jul 7, 2003 - Texas-based Armadillo Aerospace successfully performed a helicopter drop test on a component of their spacecraft on Sunday. Armadillo is just one of the teams competing for the X-Prize, which will pay $10 million to the first private space ship capable of lifting three people to an altitude of 100km. The company is led by John Carmack, who's better known as the founder of id software - creators of the popular video games Doom and Quake.

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