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Looking for asteroids in the Earth's Blindspot.

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Looking for asteroids in the Earth's Blindspot

Image credit: NASA
Lately it seems that Astronomers are discovering potentially harmful asteroids after they nearly miss our planet. This is because they're coming from our planet's "blind spot" - the space directly between the Earth and the Sun - and we can only see them after they pass. The European Space Agency is developing a new space-based observatory called Gaia, which will be able to see close to the Sun's disk and detect many more of these previously unseen asteroids. Gaia is expected to launch in 2010.

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Apr 15, 2002, 8:38pm

New Railcar Has a Few Glitches

Image credit: NASA
After installing their new railcar on the International Space Station yesterday, NASA wanted to take it for a spin. The railcar - which will be used in future phases of the station's construction - rolled along the track for a few minutes but then it stalled. Controllers suspect the car drifted slightly in the low gravity causing its magnetic sensors to break contact with the aluminum rails.

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Apr 15, 2002, 7:36pm

Astronomers Find Five Double asteroid Systems

Image credit: Cornell
According to researchers from Cornell University, binary asteroids - where a small asteroid orbits a larger one - are actually pretty common in Earth crossing orbits. In fact, they think that gravitational interactions with the Earth might actually help to cause the arrangement. The researchers estimate that 16% of asteroids larger than 200 metres in diameter have a companion - so far they've found five using two of the world's largest radio telescopes.

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Apr 15, 2002, 5:51pm

Third Spacewalk Successful

Image credit: NASA
Astronauts Steven Smith and Rex Walheim spent a productive day in space on Sunday as they continued to extend the International Space Station. During their six and a half hour spacewalk, the astronauts released a clamp that held the Mobile Transporter to the newly installed S0 truss. They also hooked up a set of connectors which will allow the Canadarm 2 to move along the truss and help out future construction.

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Apr 14, 2002, 5:12pm

New Girder Bolted to Station

Image credit: NASA
Atlantis astronauts Jerry Ross and Lee Morin completed a seven hour spacewalk on Saturday to finish bolting the newly installed S0 truss to the International Space Station. Dubbed the Silver Team because of their age (both are grandfathers), the two astronauts found some of the 54 bolts they tightened were a little sticky. The truss will hold the station's giant solar wings and serve as a track for the Canadarm 2 to travel across the station.

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Apr 13, 2002, 5:24pm

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