Universe Today - January 2, 2001
U N I V E R S E
T O D A Y
Space Exploration News From Around the Internet, Updated Every
January 2, 2001 - Issue #363
An HTML version of this newsletter including pictures is available
-- UNIVERSE TODAY STORY SUMMARY --
* Cassini Swings Past Jupiter
* Quadrantid Meteor Shower Will Be Brief But Impressive
* China is Ready for Another Test Flight of its Unmanned Capsule
* Atlantis Rolls Out to the Launch Pad, and then Rolls Back
CASSINI SWINGS PAST JUPITER
NASA's Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Jupiter on
December 30, 2000 and used the planet's enormous gravity to
slingshot it on its way to Saturn. At its closest point, the probe
was only 9.7 million kilometres from the planet's surface, and
although the spacecraft had been suffering some technical problems
last week, they didn't affect the slingshot. Cassini is expected
reach Saturn on July 1, 2004.
QUADRANTID METEOR SHOWER WILL BE BRIEF BUT IMPRESSIVE
The annual Quadrantid Meteor Shower is due to pelt the Earth on
January 3. The most active of all the meteor showers (100 per hour
are expected at the peak), the Quadrantids will appear for only two
hours or so starting at 7:00am EST (12:00pm GMT), and they will
appear to come from a point in the North, near the constellation of
Bootis. The best places to see the shower will be on the West Coast
of North America, where it will still be dark enough to see the
meteors in the sky.
CHINA IS READY FOR ANOTHER TEST FLIGHT OF ITS UNMANNED CAPSULE
Forever taunting space enthusiasts with its ethereal plans for
manned space exploration, China appears ready to send its unmanned
space capsule into space for the second time. The next flight of
the Shenzhou spacecraft could happen as early as January 5th - more
than a year since the first capsule was launched into space, and
circled the Earth for almost a day. Industry experts predict that
China will put humans into space as early as 2002, but China has
remained tight-lipped about its plans.
ATLANTIS ROLLS OUT TO THE LAUNCH PAD, AND THEN ROLLS BACK
Even though a launch date has yet to be set, the space shuttle
Atlantis was rolled out to the launch pad this morning. The
transfer to the launch pad was aborted, however, when a computer
system crashed that controls the transfer vehicle. A backup system
allowed technicians to roll the shuttle back to the hanger.
Problems with the shuttle's boosters scrubbed its initial January
18th launch date to deliver the US Destiny laboratory module to
space station Alpha. Technicians repaired cables in the shuttle's
booster jettison system over the Christmas holidays, and is now
ready to fly: once a new launch date is set.
Skymaps - http://www.skymaps.com
A ready-to-use all-sky map for both northern and southern
hemispheres. Designed to be printed and used. Updated each month.
Exploring The Universe - http://www.craftland.com/universe/
This site is about the universe. Mostly, about comets, the planets,
etc. Check out my UFO Attack game.
Skott Reader's Home Page - http://www.whack.org/~skott
astronomy, writing, and skullduggery
PDG ART Gallery - http://www.pdgart.com/lrgabfrnt.html
A series of paintings on canvas that depict cosmic and celestial
Alabama Aerospace Teachers' Association - http://www.aata.net
An association comprised of K-12 educators. We provide information,
lesson materials and projects for aerospace education in the
Todd's Heavenly Bodies -
A collection of planetary and deep-sky astronomy sketches.
Prometheus Crack -
Over-view of interesting projects in leading edge science and tech,
including space. Also Transhumanist philosophy.
San Francisco Amateur Astronomers - http://www.zennla.com/sfaa
Sharing the wonders of the universe.
York University Astronomy Physics Club - http://www.yorku.ca/yuac
All enthusiasts are welcome to their bi-weekly meetings
Dutch Youth Association for Astronomy -
The DYAA organizes summer camps and other astronomical activities
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