Universe Today #809 - March 26, 2004
U N I V E R S E
T O D A Y
Space Exploration News From Around the Internet
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EXPERIMENT WILL HELP PROBE "THEORY OF EVERYTHING"
Mar 26, 2004 - Theorists are working madly to develop the new "Theory of Everything" that will tie together all the forces in the Universe into one unified explanation. Experimenters are also working to come up with ways to test these various theories, and narrow down the ones that actually predict what happens in Nature. One upcoming experiment called LATOR will test how the Sun's gravity bends light emitted by mini-satellites - it will be so precise that many theories will be invalidated if it doesn't find deviations from Einstein's predictions.
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ESA TESTS CARGO SHIP TRACKING SYSTEM
Mar 26, 2004 - The European Space Agency has successfully tested a new tracking system that will allow its new automated cargo ship dock to the International Space Station. The "videometer" (VDM) is a device attached to the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) which uses eye-like sensors to track the position and orientation of the station to dock with it. The device was tested in a 600-metre long building, with the VDM guiding a simulated vehicle approaching a station mockup. It locked on at 313 metres and guided the simulated vehicle into dock perfectly on the first test.
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CASSINI'S NEW SATURN MOVIE
Mar 26, 2004 - A series of 30 images of Saturn taken by Cassini from February 15-19 have been blended together into a mini-movie that shows 5 complete rotations of the ringed planet. The images were taken using Cassini's 889 nanometer filter, which shows light reflected high in Saturn's atmosphere, so they reveal the highest altitude clouds. Atmospheric motions can clearly be seen in the planet's southern regions.
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