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Dark energy Dominated Universe

Image credit: Hubble
A new paper published by Dartmouth university researcher Brian Chaboyer reports that our universe might be dominated by "dark energy"; a mysterious force that seems to be causing objects in the universe to accelerate away from each other. The researchers came to this conclusion by calculating the age of distant globular clusters, and matching it to the expansion age of the universe. The numbers only match if the universe has been accelerating up until now.

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Jan 2, 2003, 3:32pm

The Path of Earth's asteroid Companion

Image credit: NASA
Asteroid 2002 AA29 happens to share almost the same orbit as the Earth as it goes around the Sun, getting closer and further as it interacts with our planet's gravity. On January 8, 2003, the asteroid will make its closest approach for almost a century, getting only 5.9 million kilometers away from us. There is no possibility that it can ever hit our planet, though, as interference from the Earth's gravity keeps it at bay - causing it to trace out a strange horseshoe shape as it goes around the Sun.

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Jan 2, 2003, 3:22pm

China Plans for Human Flight in 2003

Image credit: Chinese Space Agency
Just days after the launch of the Shenzhou-IV spacecraft, an official from the Chinese Space Agency announced to the country's newspaper that they plans to put humans into space some time in the last half of 2003. According to the agency, the Shenzhou-IV has all the facilities on board to support humans, so it's their next logical step to become the third nation to put humans into space. It's unknown when Shenzhou-IV is expected to return to Earth.

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Jan 2, 2003, 3:10pm

Proton Launches Canadian Satellite

Image credit: ILS
A Russian-built Proton M rocket launched a Canadian Nimiq2 rocket on Sunday evening. The rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2317 GMT (6:17pm EST), and released the satellite into a transfer orbit 6 hours, 53 minutes later. Nimiq 2 will provide direct broadcasting services across Canada.

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Jan 1, 2003, 6:43pm

Boeing and Hughes Charged by US State Dept.

Image credit: Chinese Space Agency
The US State Department announced on Wednesday that it has charged aerospace firms Boeing and Hughes with 123 violations of illegally sharing space technology with China. If the charges are upheld, the two companies could face up to $60 million in fines, and be prohibited from selling "controlled technologies" to other countries. The two companies say they did nothing wrong, and have already been fighting these allegations for several years.

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Jan 1, 2003, 6:24pm

Fourth Shenzhou spaceflight Proceeding Normally

Image credit: Chinese Space Agency
The Chinese space program reached its next objective on Monday with the launch of its fourth unmanned Shenzhou spacecraft. Officials from the country's space agency say that everything has gone according to plan, and the spacecraft is functioning normally. The spacecraft is designed to be identical with a future, manned version - which China hopes to launch some time in 2005.

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Jan 1, 2003, 4:51pm

VLT Captures Images of Uranus

Image credit: ESO
The European Southern Observatory's Very Large telescope recently captured an image of the planet Uranus and several of its larger moons. Nearly invisible in normal light, the planet's ring system shows up clearly in the near-infrared image. Uranus is 3,000 million km away from Earth, so the resolution of the image is quite a feat for a ground-based telescope.

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Jan 1, 2003, 4:39pm

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