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-- UNIVERSE TODAY STORY SUMMARY --
* Space and Astronomy Books for July, 2003
* Mars Express Power Problems
* NASA Shuffles Shuttle Management Team
* Helios Crash Investigation Begins
* Gravitational Waves Could Define Pulsar Spin
SPACE AND ASTRONOMY BOOKS FOR JULY, 2003
Jul 3, 2003 - It's July already, time to organize your summer reading. Universe Today has a list of all the space and astronomy books scheduled for publication in July, 2003, with handy links to Amazon.com, UK, and Canada. I haven't read any of them yet, but I expect the review copies will start to trickle in over the course of the month.
MARS EXPRESS POWER PROBLEMS
Jul 3, 2003 - Operators with the European Space Agency are currently testing various systems on the Mars Express spacecraft, and it looks like there's a bit of a problem. It seems that there's a connection problem between the spacecraft's solar panels and its power conditioning system. If they can't fix this problem, the spacecraft will only be able to operate at 70% power; however, it will still be able to perform nearly all of its objectives for the mission. Ground engineers will begin tests on the Beagle 2 lander on July 4.
NASA SHUFFLES SHUTTLE MANAGEMENT TEAM
Jul 3, 2003 - NASA removed several managers from the space shuttle team on Wednesday as part of its response to the Columbia accident investigation. The manager for the vehicle engineering office was reappointed to a similar position at the Langley Research Center, while the head of the mission management team and manager of systems integration appear to have just been let go. NASA also named new candidates who will fill the positions.
HELIOS CRASH INVESTIGATION BEGINS
Jul 3, 2003 - NASA has recovered 75% of the solar-powered Helios aircraft after it crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii last week. Researchers say that the unmanned prototype was at an altitude of only 900 metres when it experienced control problems which shook the aircraft violently and caused it to crash. Unfortunately, none of the recovered debris can be reusable because of damage from the salt water. This was its tenth test flight.
GRAVITATIONAL WAVES COULD DEFINE PULSAR SPIN
Jul 3, 2003 - It's possible that the spin rate of pulsars is limited by gravitational radiation according to new data gathered by NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer - a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein. Pulsars are the core remains of exploded stars, no larger than 15 kilometres across, and some rotate as fast as once/millisecond. Scientists believe that as a pulsar speeds up, it flattens out, and the distortions in its shape cause it to emanate waves of gravity which stop it from rotating so fast it flies apart.
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