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Quikscat Satellite Goes Operational.


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Quikscat satellite Goes Operational

Image credit: NASA
Weather forecasters have added wind speed and direction data from NASA's Quick Scatterometer spacecraft (Quikscat) to help them predict violent storms as much as 6-12 hours before they happen. Launched almost three years ago, the Quikscat takes approximately 400,000 measurements every day, comprising 93% of the Earth's surface. The spacecraft has proven its ability to improve forecasts of hurricanes, so several International weather agencies have decided to assimilate its data into their predictions.

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Feb 25, 2002, 3:20pm

Ariane Rocket Places Intelsat Bird into Orbit

Image credit: Arianespace
An Ariane 44L rocket lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana on Saturday at 0659 GMT (1:59am EST), carrying an Intelsat 904 communications satellite into orbit. The Intelsat satellite will provide video and data services for Asia, Africa and Europe. This was the second launch for Arianespace this year; an Ariane 5 is scheduled to launch on February 28.

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Feb 25, 2002, 2:59pm

Columbia Countdown Begins

Image credit: NASA
NASA began the countdown on Monday for the upcoming launch the Space Shuttle Columbia on a mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. If all goes well, Columbia will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center on February 28 at 1148 GMT (6:48am EST). Over the course of the 11-day mission, astronauts will carry out five scheduled spacewalks to install new hardware, including a new camera, solar wings, a power-control unit, and steering mechanism. Forecasters are expecting a 70% chance that the weather will be good enough for launch.

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Feb 25, 2002, 2:44pm

Atlas III Lofts EchoStar Satellite

Image credit: ILS
The second flight of the Atlas 3B rocket lifted off from Florida today, carrying an EchoStar 7 direct broadcasting satellite into orbit. This is an important launch for Lockheed Martin, as many of the parts of the upcoming Atlas 5, due for liftoff in May, were tested on this flight, including the upper stage booster. The flight was delayed twice, for a total of 30 minutes due to minor technical problems, but the rest of the launch seems to have gone flawless.

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Feb 21, 2002, 5:20pm

Bow Shock in a Merging Galactic Cluster

Image credit: Chandra
A new image taken by the Chandra X-Ray observatory reveals a bow-shaped shock wave towards one side of an extremely hot galactic cluster. Astronomers believe that the shock wave is caused by 70 million degree Celsius gas is ploughed through the cluster at a speed of 10 million kph. This cluster is of great interest to Astronomers because it's one of the hottest clusters ever found - Astronomers think that the Galaxy might have gotten so hot because it absorbed many smaller clusters in the past.

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Feb 21, 2002, 4:15pm



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