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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: September 2004
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Earth's 'hum' springs from stormy seas Sep 30, 2004
IBM claims supercomputer speed record Sep 30, 2004
X-Prize craft 'passes first flight' Sep 29, 2004
Mars attacked by solar wind Sep 28, 2004
Huge asteroid to fly past Earth Wednesday Sep 28, 2004
Mars orbiter photographs rovers, tracks from space Sep 28, 2004
Space station oxygen supply safe for now Sep 28, 2004
Virgin boss in space tourism bid Sep 27, 2004
Space tourist industry bets on a dream Sep 25, 2004
A picture of young Mars Sep 24, 2004
Are dolphins sensing global forces? Sep 24, 2004
Interplanetary exploration could seriously damage your health Sep 23, 2004
Hubble's deepest shot is a puzzle Sep 23, 2004
Jupiter drifted towards sun in its youth Sep 23, 2004
Rock bugs resist polar extremes Sep 23, 2004
Martian methane hints at oases of life Sep 22, 2004
NASA picks contractor for first Prometheus mission Sep 21, 2004
Spacecraft powered by thunder Sep 21, 2004
New Mars data gives life clue Sep 20, 2004
Body clocks 'hinder' space travel Sep 18, 2004
Pulsating red giants hide inside deceptive shells Sep 17, 2004
People on Mars possible in 20 to 30 years Sep 16, 2004
Space's largest window is built Sep 15, 2004
Crashed capsule may still reveal solar secrets Sep 14, 2004
Astronomers capture galactic dance Sep 13, 2004
Space probes feel cosmic tug of bizarre forces Sep 12, 2004
Is this speck of light an exoplanet? Sep 10, 2004
Asteroid impact craters could cradle life Sep 10, 2004
Scientists 'hopeful' for Genesis Sep 9, 2004
New ring discovered around Saturn Sep 9, 2004
Mars may have had large sea near rover landing site Sep 9, 2004
Genesis capsule crashes to Earth Sep 8, 2004
Noah's Ark plan from top Moon man Sep 8, 2004
Frances tears panels from NASA shuttle hangar Sep 7, 2004
Holidays in space are on the horizon Sep 6, 2004
Alien microbes could survive crash-landing Sep 5, 2004
Astronomers deny ET signal report Sep 2, 2004
Mysterious signals from 1000 light years away Sep 2, 2004
Mail, not phone, might be best for interstellar messages Sep 1, 2004
Scientists track incoming probe Sep 1, 2004

Earth's 'hum' springs from stormy seas
(Sep 30, 2004)

An enigmatic humming sound made by the Earth may be caused by the planet’s stormy seas, suggests a new analysis. Japanese seismologists first described the Earth’s humming signal in 1998. It is a deep, low-frequency rumble that is present in the ground even when there are no earthquakes happening. Dubbed the “Earth’s hum”, the signal had gone unnoticed in previous studies because it looked like noise in the data.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Blue Gene
IBM claims supercomputer speed record
(Sep 30, 2004)

The information technology firm IBM says it has developed the world's most powerful computer. The Blue Gene/L system performed just over 36,000 billion calculations a second during tests at IBM's Rochester office in Minnesota, the company announced on 29 September. Although the claims are unlikely to be independently verified until November, when the next worldwide supercomputer league-table is published, experts have long predicted that Blue Gene/L was destined for the top spot.

Read more. Source: Nature

X-Prize craft 'passes first flight'
(Sep 29, 2004)

SpaceShipOne, the first craft to attempt the $10m Ansari X-Prize, has successfully completed the first of two qualifying flights into space. After a delay, the White Knight plane took off from California's Mojave Airport at 0711 PDT (1411 GMT). It carried SpaceShipOne to 13.8km (46,000ft). Seconds after separation it went into a perilous spin, but pilot Mike Melvill regained control. Two unofficial radar readings said the craft had passed the 100km boundary.

Read more. Source: BBC

Mars attacked by solar wind
(Sep 28, 2004)

The solar wind has a much bigger impact on Mars than previously thought according to the first results from the ASPERA-3 instrument on Mars Express. Rickard Lundin of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics and an international team of co-workers have found that the solar wind – a supersonic plasma of charged particles that flows from the Sun – can penetrate deep into the atmosphere of Mars. One consequence of this is that water and other volatile molecules could escape from the planet.

Read more. Source: Physics Web

Huge asteroid to fly past Earth Wednesday
(Sep 28, 2004)

The largest asteroid ever known to pass near Earth is making a close celestial brush with the planet this week in an event that professional and backyard astronomers are watching closely. The space rock, named Toutatis, will not hit Earth, despite rumors of possible doom that have circulated the Internet for months. Humanity is very fortunate there won't be an impact, as the asteroid is large enough to cause global devastation. Toutatis is about 2.9 miles long and 1.5 miles wide (4.6 by 2.4 km). On Wednesday, Sept. 29 it will be within a million miles of Earth, or about four times the distance to the Moon.

Read more. Source:

Mars rover from orbit
Mars orbiter photographs rovers, tracks from space
(Sep 28, 2004)

A spacecraft orbiting Mars photographed one of NASA's rovers and its tracks on the surface, the space agency said Monday. The image made by a camera aboard the Mars Global Surveyor shows a dark dot identified as the rover Spirit next to giant Bonneville Crater and the thin dark line of its tracks leading back to its lander.

Source: CNN/AP

International Space Station
Space station oxygen supply safe for now
(Sep 28, 2004)

The International Space Station will have enough oxygen on board to support its crew of two until the next Progress supply vehicle delivers more on Christmas Day, says NASA. The current crew is set to be replaced via a Soyuz flight on 11 October, 2004. But the situation could get tight should the Progress be delayed and the station's troublesome oxygen generator remain out of service, says Bill Gerstenmaier, manager of NASA's space station program. If oxygen reserves drop to 45 days, "we start getting ready to de-man" the station, he said on Friday.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Virgin boss in space tourism bid
(Sep 27, 2004)

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has signed a £14m agreement which will see his company take passengers into space. The British entrepreneur is having five "spaceliners" built in the US by the team behind the SpaceShipOne vehicle. The California-based rocket plane became the first privately developed carrier to go above 100km in June. Sir Richard says it will cost around £100,000 to go on a "Virgin Galactic" spaceliner, and the first flights should begin in about three years' time.

Read more. Source: BBC

Space tourist industry bets on a dream
(Sep 25, 2004)

The space industry is betting that thousands, and eventually millions, of people will line up to realize their dream of going into space - or something like it. Engineers and entrepreneurs are racing to put the idea on solid footing with new vehicles, financial backing and a business plan. "Its beyond the giggle factor," former NASA shuttle astronaut Rick Searfoss said. "This stuff is going to happen." Desert spaceports and dusty workshops cluttered with rocket nozzles and airframes have sprung up across California and Canada.

Read more. Source: CNN

artist's conception of young Mars
A picture of young Mars
(Sep 24, 2004)

What would Mars's oceans have looked like 4 billion years ago? Scientists have worked out the answer, and found a planet with a climate ideally suited to life. Their model also answers a planetary puzzle: if Mars was once a warm, wet 'greenhouse' planet rich in carbon dioxide, why does its surface contain so few carbonate minerals?

Read more. Source: Nature

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