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Originally from: "Universe Today" <info@...
Original Subject: Universe Today #581 - July 31, 2002
Original Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 21:58:50 -0700
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U N I V E R S E
T O D A Y
Space Exploration News From Around the Internet
Updated Every Weekday.
July 31, 2002 - Issue #581
An HTML version including pictures is available at:
-- UNIVERSE TODAY STORY SUMMARY --
* Evidence Found for Early Earth Bombardment
* Keeping Mars Clean of Earth Bugs
* Canadian X-Prize Entrant Moves Closer to Spaceflight
* Scramjet Prototype Has a Successful Flight
EVIDENCE FOUND FOR EARLY EARTH BOMBARDMENT
Researchers from the University of Queensland have discovered evidence
they believe proves that the Earth was bombarded by meteorites 4 billion
years ago. Although these impacts are clearly visible on the Moon,
movement the Earth's tectonic plates have obscured the evidence here. The
team analyzed 3.8 billion year old rocks from Greenland, and found
anomalies in the element tungsten; exactly the same as those found in
Jul 30, 2002, 9:29pm
KEEPING MARS CLEAN OF EARTH BUGS
One concern engineers have when designing space missions is how to ensure
our spacecraft don't bring along unexpected microorganisms when they reach
a distant planet. There are strict international rules to avoid
contamination, so engineers use several techniques to keep their
spacecraft clean: sterilization through heat, vacuum, alcohol, irradiation
with ultraviolet light and other kinds of radiation. Once they're done,
engineers hope to have less than 300,000 microorganisms in the Beagle 2,
due for launch in 2003. That sounds like a lot, but there are several
billion wee beasties on even the cleanest kitchen floor.
Jul 30, 2002, 9:14pm
CANADIAN X-PRIZE ENTRANT MOVES CLOSER TO SPACEFLIGHT
A Canadian team competing to win the $10 million X-Prize announced that
they had completed a major milestone on their entrant, the Canadian Arrow.
The team performed a successful test burn of their prototype engine and
believe it will now work in actual flight - a main engine test could
happen as early as August. Twenty one teams from 5 countries are competing
for the X-Prize, which will award $10 million to the first group able to
launch a three-person rocket twice in two weeks to an altitude of 100 km.
Jul 30, 2002, 9:02pm
SCRAMJET PROTOTYPE HAS A SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT
A new jet designed to travel more than 7 times the speed of sound has been
successfully tested in the Australian desert. The prototype Hyshot engine
is a scramjet; unlike a traditional chemical rocket which carries heavy
liquid oxygen in gigantic fuel tanks, a scramjet pulls the oxygen it needs
from the atmosphere. The engine was strapped to a traditional rocket and
lifted up to an altitude of 300 km at which point the scramjet kicked in
and accelerated it towards the Earth - hopefully reaching a speed of 8,600
km/hour before it crashed.
Jul 30, 2002, 8:47pm
All contents copyright (c) 2002 Universe Today
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