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Nuclear Engine Can Cut Travel time to Mars.
January 19, 2001
Evidence of Atomic Oxygen Challenges Understanding of Venus
Shenzhou Carried a Collection of Animals
Nuclear Engine Can Cut Travel time to Mars
EVIDENCE OF ATOMIC OXYGEN CHALLENGES UNDERSTANDING OF VENUS
An unexpected sign of atomic oxygen has been found in spectroscopic data of Venus' atmosphere. This comes as a major surprise since data from earlier studies had shown molecular oxygen, O2 and ozone, but not single oxygen atoms. The details of this research, performed by Astronomers from SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif. and the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., are reported in this week's edition of the journal Science.
SHENZHOU CARRIED A COLLECTION OF ANIMALS
Industry sources have revealed that the Chinese space capsule Shenzhou II (which launched last week landed earlier this week) was carrying a variety of animals, including a monkey, a dog, and a rabbit. The craft made 108 orbits around the Earth, and then landed safely. The Chinese Space Agency has refused to discuss the matter, considering it a state secret.
NUCLEAR ENGINE CAN CUT TRAVEL time TO MARS
According to Israeli professor Yigal Ronen, a new type of nuclear reactor powered by americium-242m could power spacecraft much more efficiently than any previous chemical or nuclear rocket. Ronen estimates that by using this fuel, a trip to Mars might only take two weeks, and require only 375 grams of fuel. Of course, all this research is still in the initial stages; development of an actual engine powered by the fuel is many years off.
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