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Stardust's Vision Getting Blurry.
September 13, 2000
Astronomers Discover Medium-Sized Black Hole
Station Gets Upgraded Batteries
Stardust's Vision Getting Blurry
ASTRONOMERS DISCOVER MEDIUM-SIZED BLACK HOLE
Using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, Astronomers have discovered a medium-sized black hole in the Galaxy M82. Until now, only two types of black holes were observed: holes the mass of a star, or holes the mass of millions or billions of stars. This new black hole is roughly 500 times more massive than our own own Sun, but no bigger than the moon. It's unlikely that it formed from just one star, and has probably gobbled up several stars or other black holes.
STATION GETS UPGRADED BATTERIES
The crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis undertook several projects yesterday to prepare the International Space Station for permanent inhabitants. The goal was to bring full power to the two Russian segments of the station, and that involved installing batteries in both Zvezda and Zarya. Atlantis is expected to undock from the station on Sunday, and finish its 12-day mission on September 20th.
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/spacenews/reports/sts106/STS-106-11.html">Space Shuttle Press Release
STARDUST'S VISION GETTING BLURRY
NASA mission controllers are trying to understand what could be obscuring the camera on board Stardust. Currently past the orbit of Mars, and three years away from its encounter with Comet Wild-2, the spacecraft will still be able to complete its primary mission - to collect Comet particles and return them to Earth - even with a blurry camera. Controllers believe they can boil this unknown goo away with heat, either using a heater on board the spacecraft, or pointing the affected areas at the sun.
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