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Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked with the International Space Station.

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Space News for October 23, 2001

Note from the publisher... Odyssey Arrives Tonight

NASA will be providing detailed coverage of Mars Odyssey arrival at Mars tonight. So, if you want to take part, here are a few links that will be useful to you.

First educate yourself about exactly what Odyssey needs to do to put itself into an elliptical orbit around Mars. This link provides a step-by-step breakdown of how a "Mars Orbital Insertion" works.

Second, tune into the live broadcast on your satellite dish - coverage begins at 0200 GMT (10:00 pm EDT). If you want to watch it on the Internet, NASA has provided a link on http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/webcast/mars_odyssey/orbitinsertion.html. However, I find that NASA underestimates the demand for these kinds of events, so here's a complete list of web sources from NASA, as well as coverage from http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/missions/mars_odyssey_sr.html.

Soyuz docked
Replacement Soyuz Docks with ISS

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked with the International Space Station Tuesday morning, carrying cosmonauts Victor Afanassiev and Konstantin Kozeev, and ESA Astronaut Claudie Haigneré. The Soyuz docked at 1044 GMT (6:44am EDT), and the hatch was opened up 90 minutes later. The primary objective of this mission was to replace the station's Soyuz - which will be used as a lifeboat in case of an emergency - but the visitors will also spend their next eight days in space performing a variety of scientific experiments.

Odyssey Image
NASA Gets Ready for Odyssey Arrival

If all goes well, the Mars Odyssey spacecraft will arrive at the Red planet Wednesday morning at 0230 GMT (10:30 EDT Tuesday night), fire its main thrusters and enter an elliptical orbit. This is a tricky maneuver, and it was during arrival that the previous two missions were believed to have crashed into Mars. If it survives its arrival at Mars, Odyssey will begin mapping the surface of the planet in early 2002, searching for near surface water and mapping mineral deposits from past water activity.

Black Hole
Spinning black hole Found Pumping Out Energy

Astronomers from the European Space Agency (ESA) believe they have discovered energy being extracted from a black hole. Using the ESA's X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission (XMM-Newton) observatory, the team watched a 100 million solar mass black hole at the heart of Galaxy MCG-6-30-15. They observed that excess material "backs up" around the hole, and forms an accretion disc. Friction from all this matter causes a tremendous amount of energy to escape from the region.

Supernova Remnant
Chandra Sees supernova Remnant

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has captured a spectacular image of G292.0+1.8, a young, oxygen-rich supernova remnant with a pulsar at its center surrounded by outflowing material. From this image, Astronomers were able to determine that the shell of gas is 36 light years across, and contains many heavier elements, including oxygen, neon, magnesium, silicon and sulfur. This image helps Astronomers learn more about what kind of star went supernova here.

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