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Searching For Martian Life in Antarctica.
September 28, 2000
Arianespace Wins Three INTELSAT Contracts
Searching For Martian Life in Antarctica
Chandra Resolves Sirius Binary System
ARIANESPACE WINS THREE INTELSAT CONTRACTS
Europe-based Arianespace announced yesterday that it had been awarded the contract to launch three satellites for Washington-based INTELSAT. Arianespace will launch the three satellites beginning in 2001 for estimated cost of $250 million. This brings the total number of launch contracts on order for Arianespace to 49, including a combination of heavy satellites, smaller auxiliary payloads and Automatic Transfer Vehicles (ATV) for the International Space Station.
SEARCHING FOR MARTIAN LIFE IN ANTARCTICA
Scientists from the University of California, San Diego are learning how to search for life on Mars, by searching for it in Antarctica. For example, they learned that exposed soil in Antarctica's dry valleys have high salt concentrations, apparently due to sulphur-emitting marine algae - but the deeper you dig into the soil, the higher concentration of the algae you discover. This means that missions to Mars will need to dig into the soil, possible quite deep, to find protected Martian organisms.
CHANDRA RESOLVES SIRIUS BINARY SYSTEM
The Chandra X-Ray Observatory successfully resolved the binary system Sirius so that you can clearly see the dim Sirius B revolving around the much brighter Sirius A. In fact, Sirius A is the brightest star visible in the night sky, while White Dwarf Sirius B is 10,000 times dimmer, and only visible using the most powerful telescopes.
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