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Genesis Begins Collecting Samples.

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New telescope Rivals Power of Hubble

Using its new adaptive optics facility, the Paranal Observatory in South America now has the ability to resolve objects with the same power as the Hubble Space Telescope. This technology analyzes the turbulence in the atmosphere and then modifies the images received by the telescope's mirror to counteract the distortion. Astronomers are hoping to get even better resolution by linking together images from the two 8.2 metre Telescopes at Paranal.

Endeavour Cleared for Launch Tonight

Now that the Progress cargo ship has been "hard locked" to the International Space Station, nothing is expected to delay the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. If all goes well, the shuttle will lift off from Cape Canaveral this afternoon at 2245 GMT (5:45pm EST) and rendezvous with the station on Thursday. This shuttle launch is protected by unprecedented security; with armed guards onsite, and fighter aircraft protecting an area out to 55km from the launch pad.

Genesis Begins Collecting Samples

NASA's Genesis satellite spread its collector arrays yesterday to begin its mission of capturing particles from the solar wind; NASA expects to start getting particle hits right away. Sample collection will conclude in April 2004, when the spacecraft returns the particles to Earth. Genesis orbits a point in space, about 1.6 million kilometres from Earth in the direction of the Sun, where the gravities of Earth and the Sun balance.

Space Station
Next Space Tourist Announced

South African multimillionaire Mark Shuttleworth announced today that he will be the next space tourist destined for the International Space Station. Shuttleworth is training at Russia's star City and will be a member of an upcoming Soyuz crew according to the Russian Space Agency. This news comes after talks fell apart in early October, and the RSA announced that Mark wouldn't be going.

Europa's Ice is on the Move

New research from a University of Arizona student indicates that the crust of Europa, Jupiter's icy moon, moves around like the Earth's tectonic plates - although it moves much faster. This has also caused the moon's magnetic poles to wander hundreds of kilometres over time. The new research by Alyssa R. Sarid was done by analyzing data and images gathered by the Voyager and Galileo spacecraft.

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