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Envisat Begins Study of Earth's Environment.

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Chinese Dust Disaster Imaged From Space

Image credit: NASA
NASA's Terra Earth Observing satellite was on hand this week to record some of the worst dust storms to hit China's Inner Mongolian and Shanxi Provinces in ten years. The photo on the left shows a relatively clear day, while the one on the right is obscured by a yellowish cloud of dust. Each image was captured by the spacecraft's Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, and represents an area of 380 km x 630 km.

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Apr 3, 2002, 7:03am

Secretive Atlantis Countdown Starts

Image credit: NASA
NASA began the countdown for Thursday's launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis; however, the specific launch time is still being kept confidential until 24 hours before - some time between 1900-2300 GMT (2:00pm-6:00pm EST). When Atlantis does launch, it will fly up to dock with the International Space Station and its 7-astronaut crew will attach a $600 million truss and $190 million rail car and track which will enable the station's robot arm to move from end to end assisting construction. (NASA Status Report)

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Apr 2, 2002, 6:37pm

Envisat Begins Study of Earth's Environment

Image credit: ESA
The European Space Agency's recently-launched Envisat began its ten year mission last week to gauge the health of planet Earth. The $2.2 billion, 9 ton satellite successfully turned on all ten of its scientific instruments and took some high-quality images of the break-up of the Larson B ice shelf in Antarctica. Another instrument captured images of photosynthetic plankton near the coast of Mauritania in northwest Africa.

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Apr 2, 2002, 6:42am

Chinese Capsule Lands

Image credit: Xinhua
China's third unmanned spacecraft returned to Earth on Monday after spending a week in orbit. The Shenzhou capsule, touched down in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at 0851 GMT (3:51am EST). The spacecraft contained a series of experiments designed to test the life support systems of the capsule. It's still unknown when China will actually send humans into space, but officials from the country's space agency said that more unmanned tests will still be required.

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Apr 1, 2002, 6:30am

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