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Chandra Images Distant Galaxy Cluster.
February 16, 2001
Astronauts Complete Final Spacewalk, Leave Station
NASA Announces NEAR Mission Extension
Mir Crash Delayed a Week
Chandra Images Distant Galaxy Cluster
ASTRONAUTS COMPLETE FINAL SPACEWALK, LEAVE STATION
Astronauts Thomas Jones and Robert Curbeam Jr. wrapped up the third and final spacewalk of STS-98 mission yesterday (which also happened to be the 100th US spacewalk). During their 5+ hours in space, the astronauts performed a variety of minor tasks, but also practiced emergency Astronaut recovery techniques. The astronauts still had to transfer some supplies and then raise the altitude of Alpha. Atlantis departed the station early Friday morning and will land on Sunday.
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NASA ANNOUNCES NEAR MISSION EXTENSION
During a press conference on Wednesday, controllers for the NEAR-Shoemaker mission described how they plan to continue using the spacecraft after it successfully landed on the surface of asteroid Eros. One potential idea was for NEAR to take off again to gather more close-up pictures of the surface, but that idea has been scrubbed because the spacecraft landed in an optimum place for communications. It's communications equipment is pointed directly at the Earth.
MIR CRASH DELAYED A WEEK
Officials from the Russian Space Agency announced on Thursday that expect the Mir space station will crash back to Earth a week later than originally planned - sometime between March 13-18. The delay was made because experts believe atmospheric conditions that week will ensure that more of the station burns up as it reenters the atmosphere. Chunks of the station as large as 500kg will certainly survive reentry, and crash into the Pacific Ocean.
CHANDRA IMAGES DISTANT Galaxy CLUSTER
Astronomers using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory have taken pictures of the most distant Galaxy cluster ever discovered, 3C294. Because the cluster is located 10 billion light years away, it allows Astronomers to look into the distant past of the universe - to a time when it was only 20% of its current age.
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