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40 Years After the First Woman in Space.

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40 Years After the First Woman in Space

Jun 16, 2003 - Officials from the Russian Space Agency marked the 40th anniversary of the first woman to travel to space by presenting nine new Astronaut candidates. Valentina Tereshkova made a three-day flight into space in 1963 - only two years after Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. Tereshkova, now 66, did feel sick during her flight, but got controllers to agree to let her spend an extra two days in space. Russia's new recruits, the first in six years, include four military pilots, three engineers, a physicist and a doctor.

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Image credit: NASA
Object Floating Outside Station Isn't a Threat

Jun 16, 2003 - While looking out the window of the International Space Station last Thursday, Astronaut Ed Lu noticed a small object floating in space which he described as a rectangular piece of metal about 5 cm long. Fortunately he had a camera handy and snapped a picture so NASA could figure out what had gotten loose from the station. The current theory is that it's an identification tag from an external power or data cable. NASA officials say it poses no threat to the station because its low relative velocity.

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Image credit: ESO
Glimpse Into a star Factory

Jun 16, 2003 - A new series of photographs taken by the European Southern Observatory show a rare look into the very early stages of heavy star formation. This time in a star's life is usually obscured from sight because of thick clouds of gas and dust, but in star cluster NGC 3603, the stellar wind from hot stars are blasting away the obscuring material. Inside this cluster, Astronomers are finding massive protostars which are only 100,000 years old. This is a valuable discovery because it helps Astronomers understand how the early stages of heavy star formation begins - is it through gravity pulling together gas and dust, or something more violent, like smaller stars colliding together.

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