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ESA Picks Landing Site for Mars Mission.
September 15, 2000
Ariane 5 Launches Heaviest Payload
Shuttle Crew Takes out the Trash
ESA Picks Landing Site for Mars Mission
Pluto Mission Officially Stopped
ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES HEAVIEST PAYLOAD
An Ariane 5 rocket launched from the the Kourou space centre yesterday carrying two telecommunications satellites, an Astra 2B and GE-7. The rocket lifted off at 10:54pm GMT and raised the satellites up to geostationary orbit 37 minutes later. The Astra 2B was build by Astrium, and is based on the Eurostar family of communications satellites; and the GE-7 was built by Lockheed Martin. This is the third successful commercial flight for the Ariane 5.
SHUTTLE CREW TAKES OUT THE TRASH
Astronauts on board the International Space Station have had a busy couple of days. The first glitch of an otherwise flawless mission occurred when a Russian-made battery failed to charge. After the astronauts had no luck fixing the battery, Russian space officials told them to give up. They've also removed all the packaging and garbage into the docked Progress ship. It will be turned into a garbage incinerator when it reenters the atmosphere later this year.
ESA PICKS LANDING SITE FOR MARS MISSION
The European Space Agency announced this week that it had selected a landing location for the upcoming Beagle 2 mission to Mars. The Beagle 2 will catch a ride with the Mars Express spacecraft when it launches in 2003, and will land in the Isidis Basin, near the Martian equator. Once on the surface, Beagle 2 will analyze the air, sample the soil, and attempt to detect life on the planet.
PLUTO MISSION OFFICIALLY STOPPED
Engineers working on the Pluto-Kuiper spacecraft were told to stop working on Tuesday by NASA's head office, explaining that the mission was just too expensive to continue. The price of the mission, still in its planning stages, had doubled since its original estimates in 1998. NASA will redirect the efforts of the team towards working on the upcoming Europa mission, as well as a redesigned Pluto mission.
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