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Icy Object Discovered as Large as Charon.
July 4, 2001
Icy Object Discovered as Large as Charon
MAP Launches Successfully
Discovery Transferred to Launch Pad
ICY OBJECT DISCOVERED AS LARGE AS CHARON
Astronomers announced Monday that they had discovered a Kuiper belt object the size of Pluto's moon, Charon. Dubbed 2001 KX76, the object appears to be up to 1,250 km across, which would make it exactly the same size as Charon, and larger than any other object discovered beyond to orbit of Neptune (other than Pluto, of course). 2001 KX76 was discovered as part of the Deep ecliptic Survey, a NASA-funded survey of the Kuiper Belt, in an image taken by the Blanco telescope at Cerro Tololo in Chile.
MAP LAUNCHES SUCCESSFULLY
NASA began its journey into the past Saturday with the successful launch of the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) on board a Boeing Delta 2 rocket. Now in space, the probe is enroute to the L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million km away from Earth. Once it reaches L2, MAP will begin compose a full sky montage of radiation at the edge of the universe, which scientists will use to understand what happened during the first few seconds of time after the Big Bang.
http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/">MAP Home Page
DISCOVERY TRANSFERRED TO LAUNCH PAD
The Space Shuttle Discovery was rolled out to the launch pad on Monday, in preparation for mission STS-105. If everything goes according to plan, Discovery will launch around August 9th and carry the Expedition 3 crew to the International Space Station, and return the Expedition 2 crew back to Earth. Discovery will also deliver a cargo of equipment, supplies and experiments to the station and then return 12 days later.
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