Design Flaw Discovered in Polar Lander
First Colour Photo of Eros Released
Shuttle Has Enough Fuel to Complete its Mission
Coronal Ejection Headed for Earth
Hubble Spots Gas Ring from 1987 Supernova
Ariane 4 Puts Japanese Sat in Orbit
DESIGN FLAW DISCOVERED IN POLAR LANDER
Review boards examining the design of the Mars Polar Lander believe
they may have a possible reason why the spacecraft disappeared on
landing back in December. It's possible that jarring during the
re-entry triggered an early shutoff of the lander's engines,
causing it to drop to the surface. The review boards will provide
their official results in mid-March.
FIRST COLOUR PHOTO OF EROS RELEASED
Now in orbit around asteroid Eros for over 4 days, NEAR produced
its first colour photo of the peanut-shaped spacerock. This and
other preliminary photos of Eros have begun to give scientists
valuable insights into the history and formation of asteroids.
Hopefully the mission will provide clues on how best to protect
the Earth from similar spacerocks.
SHUTTLE HAS ENOUGH FUEL TO COMPLETE ITS MISSION
The astronauts on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour received the
news from NASA yesterday that they had enough fuel to complete their
mapping mission. If everything continues to go as planned, the shuttle
will continue mapping through Sunday, stow the equipment on Monday,
and land on Tuesday.
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CORONAL EJECTION HEADED FOR EARTH
Solar Astronomers working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) announced that a coronal mass ejection (CME)
occurred on the Sun yesterday, throwing up to 2 billion tonnes of
solar material in the direction of Earth - it's scheduled to arrive
Saturday. If the CME does reach the Earth, it's likely to cause
increased Aurorae, and possibly disrupt satellite communications.
HUBBLE SPOTS GAS RING FROM 1987 SUPERNOVA
When supernova 1987a was discovered thirteen years ago in a nearby
galaxy, Astronomers predicted that a gas ring would light up as a
shockwave from the explosion compresses particles expanding from
the dead star. And, right on cue, the Hubble Space Telescope has
detected the first signs that this event is about to occur.
ARIANE 4 PUTS JAPANESE SAT IN ORBIT
After a one-day weather delay, an Ariane 4 rocket took off from
Kourou in French Guiana carrying a Japanese-built Superbird-4
telecommunications satellite. This is the second successful Ariane
launch of the year, and the fourth Superbird launched by Ariane.
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