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Mars Odyssey is Performing Well.
April 11, 2001
Russia Confirms that Tito Will Still Fly
Mars Odyssey is Performing Well
Sun Sets Off Another Solar Flare
RUSSIA CONFIRMS THAT TITO WILL STILL FLY
Officials from the Russian Space Agency have confirmed that millionaire Dennis Tito is still scheduled to launch on board a Soyuz rocket April 28th. Tito will serve as a member of the 3-cosmonaut crew tasked with delivering the new Soyuz to space station Alpha. It is currently not clear whether Tito will actually be permitted on board the spacestation, as NASA is against Tito's flight - astronauts on board the station have confirmed they will welcome Tito if he actually makes it. Needless to say, this disagreement between the space agencies has the potential for significant political fallout
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MARS ODYSSEY IS PERFORMING WELL
Now four days after its launch on board a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral, the Mars Odyssey is performing well. According to NASA's Mars Program director, the measurements from all aspects of the spacecraft: thermal control, electronics, and avionics; are all right where they should be. Odyssey is on track to reach the Red planet in October, and enter a stable orbit by early 2002 where it will begin scanning the surface of Mars for water. This is NASA's first mission since the Mars Polar Lander went missing in 1999, and a successful mission will be an enormous boost for the agency's morale.
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SUN SETS OFF ANOTHER SOLAR FLARE
Another coronal mass ejection (CME) from the Sun has sent solar material hurtling towards the Earth, and could reach us Wednesday or Thursday evening. Although the size of this flare is much smaller that the largest CME ever seen, which erupted last week, it is headed directly for the Earth, and should give skywatchers another opportunity to see beautiful aurorae in the Northern skies. During the last solar storm that passed the Earth, people reported seeing aurorae as far South as New Mexico in North America.
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