A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
After a few emails about the same topic and I'm starting to see a
Maybe you've heard, or maybe you haven't, but all the visible planets,
the Sun, Moon and the Earth will be in almost a straight line on
May 5th, 2000. Unfortunately, the Sun will obscure the view from
the here, so we won't get a chance to see the close grouping.
It's an interesting astronomical event for sure - and one that
happens very rarely. But the media hype is starting to churn;
quoting those who believe it will cause the end of the Earth. This
many planets in a line must cause a lot of gravity, or something.
Well, it won't. The amount of extra gravity on the Earth is less than
we get from the Moon at its closest point every month. Nothing's
going to happen. Nothing.
Please remain calm.
Olivier Staiger, eclipse hunter extraordinaire, has put together
a page complete with cool animation to try and clear things up.
Check it out at: http://eclipse.span.ch/planets.htm
Now, onto the news...
Creative Ideas Help Conserve Shuttle Fuel
NASA Releases More Photos of Eros
MirCorp Creates a New Role for the Russian Station
NASA Approves New Comet Mission
CREATIVE IDEAS HELP CONSERVE SHUTTLE FUEL
With the small thruster not working at the end of the radar mapping
boom, the crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour has been forced to
use the shuttle's fuel to compensate. And with the radar mapping
equipment working so well, NASA has brainstormed a range of solutions
to keep it mapping as long as possible before the shuttle runs out
of fuel, and they anticipate success.
Universe Today STS-99 Reference Guide
NASA RELEASES MORE PHOTOS OF EROS
Now firmly in orbit around its new home, the Near Earth asteroid
Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft has been busily photographing asteroid
Eros. Although Eros is no threat to the Earth, NASA hopes the data
they collect will provide valuable insights into the composition
of dangerous Earth-crossing asteroids.
MIRCORP CREATES A NEW ROLE FOR THE RUSSIAN STATION
It looks like the beleaguered Mir spacestation has received a stay
of execution... for now. Bermuda-based MirCorp has agreed to lease
the station, and has already paid $20 to $30 million (with another
$40 million coming by the end of the year). What they'll use Mir
for hasn't been decided, but it will probably be a collection space
tourism, experiments in space, and advertising.
NASA APPROVES NEW Comet MISSION
After near cancellation due to budget cuts, the Comet Nucleus Tour
(or Contour) mission has been approved by NASA. Part of the
Discovery-class of missions, the spacecraft will fly past the
nuclei of three comets: Encke, Schwassmann-Wachmann-3, and d'Arrest
starting in 2003 and completing the flybys as late as 2008.
News from SpaceDaily.com for Today
Was Polar Lander Doomed By Fatal Design Flaw
NASA Okays Comet Tour
Astro-E Launch Loss Leaves A Void
NEAR Data Has Big Impact
Endeavour Completes Half The Earth In 3D
Micro-g Has The Measure On Martian Gravity
US Military Chief Says June OK For Missile Decision
China Defends Sino-Russian Military Cooperation
US, Japan Vow To Continue Regional ABM Research
AirForce Releases Launch Vision Report
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