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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: June 2005
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Newborn dolphins go a month without sleep Jun 30, 2005
Titan dark spot may be large lake Jun 29, 2005
France wins fusion project Jun 29, 2005
Space station gets HAL-like computer Jun 28, 2005
Russia planning double assault on Mars Jun 26, 2005
Report slams Bush space vision Jun 24, 2005
Supercomputers step up the pace Jun 23, 2005
Hubble spies lord of the stellar rings Jun 23, 2005
Solar sail probe 'probably lost' Jun 23, 2005
Guinness honours NASA speed record Jun 22, 2005
'Antimatter harvester' may fuel future spacecraft Jun 21, 2005
New model 'permits time travel' Jun 19, 2005
Dropped rockets may take astronauts into orbit Jun 17, 2005
Brain cells are matured in lab Jun 16, 2005
Magma oceans sloshed across early asteroids Jun 16, 2005
Superfast 'gun' addresses Jupiter's core issues Jun 15, 2005
Smallest extrasolar planet found Jun 14, 2005
Plasma in reactors echoes distribution of galaxies Jun 13, 2005
Found: Europe's oldest civilization Jun 11, 2005
NASA's shot at comet's secrets Jun 11, 2005
Titan disappoints ocean hunters Jun 10, 2005
'007 spy suit' found in NASA bunker Jun 9, 2005
'Ice volcano' found on Titan moon Jun 8, 2005
Launch date set for solar sailing ship Jun 7, 2005
Mission to build a simulated brain begins Jun 6, 2005
Next US Mars lander gets go-ahead Jun 5, 2005
Earth microbes may survive on Mars Jun 2, 2005
Astronomers find best gravitational wave prospect Jun 2, 2005
Comet put on list of potential Earth impactors Jun 2, 2005
A duplicate universe, trapped in a computer Jun 2, 2005
Drawing uncovered of 'Nazi nuke' Jun 1, 2005
Mystery of the smiling Buddha Jun 1, 2005


dolphins
Newborn dolphins go a month without sleep
(June 30, 2005)


Newborn dolphins and killer whales do not sleep for a whole month after birth, new research has revealed, and neither do their mothers, who stay awake to keep a close eye on their offspring. The feat of wakefulness is remarkable given that rats die if forcibly denied sleep. And in humans, as any new parent will tell you, sleep deprivation is an exquisite form of torture. The surprising sleeping patterns of captive killer whales – Orcinus orca – and bottlenose dolphins –Tursiops truncates – in the early months of life were observed by a team led by Jerome Siegel of the University of California at Los Angeles.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Titan
Titan dark spot may be large lake
(June 29, 2005)


A dark, lake-like feature on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has been imaged by the US-European Cassini spacecraft. Researchers have long speculated that Titan might harbour open bodies of liquid methane – and the 235km by 75km target is the best candidate to date. But they are being cautious about interpreting the feature that has what looks to be a smooth shoreline.

Read more. Source: BBC

ITER
France wins fusion project
(June 29, 2005)


An 18-month deadlocked contest between Japan and Europe over who gets to play host to a US$5.5-billion experimental fusion reactor has finally come to an end. After much political back-and-forth, rumours and anticipation, the winner is France. On Tuesday 28 June, Japan bowed aside at a meeting of the six international partners in Moscow. Cadarache, in southern France, will be the site of the nuclear reactor known as ITER. In return, Japan was promised a host of benefits, including contract work, a significant leadership role, and support for hosting the next fusion project.

Read more. Source: Nature

HAL
Space station gets HAL-like computer
(June 28, 2005)


A voice-operated computer assistant is set to be used in space for the first time on Monday – its operators hope it proves more reliable than "HAL", the treacherous speaking computer in the movie 2001. Called Clarissa, the program will initially talk astronauts on the International Space Station through tests of onboard water supplies. But its developers hope it will eventually be used for all computer-related work on the station.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Phobos
Russia planning double assault on Mars
(June 26, 2005)


Russia is planning two uncrewed Mars missions, according to press reports. The first, in 2009, is a mission to orbit Mars and land on the tiny moon Phobos, where a rover would roam for three years. There, it would collect samples of soil to bring back to Earth – the first ever if successful. The second mission, scheduled for 2015, is to place a lander on the surface of the Red Planet. But Russia has had little success in its Martian missions. Since 1960, Russia, and the Soviet Union before it, has tried to send 17 probes to Mars – only three of those were unqualified successes.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Mars base
Report slams Bush space vision
(June 24, 2005)


President Bush's vision for human space exploration is doomed to fail without a major injection of funding and changes in space policy, according to a report. The paper, by two influential experts, says current US space policy "presents a paradoxical picture of high ambition and diminishing commitment". The report identifies what it says are four key failures of national policy that hinder future success in space. But others have drawn attention to the authors' past democrat associations.

Read more. Source: BBC

BlueGene
Supercomputers step up the pace
(June 23, 2005)


A partially built supercomputer has kept its spot at the top of the list of most powerful machines on the planet. The BlueGene/L machine currently under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US was crowned top number-cruncher. Its current processing peak of 136.8 teraflops will be doubled by time construction work is completed. As a result, the organisation drawing up the list expect it to dominate the rankings for some time to come.

Read more. Source: BBC

Fomalhaut
Hubble spies lord of the stellar rings
(June 23, 2005)


A spectacular, luminous ring offers the best evidence yet that a nearby star is circled by a newly formed solar system. The ring is composed of dust particles in orbit around Fomalhaut, a bright star located just 25 light years away in the constellation Pisces Austalis – or the Southern Fish. A recent image captured with the Hubble Space Telescope – which makes the system look uncannily like the Great Eye of Sauron from the blockbusting Lord of the Rings trilogy – confirms that Fomalhaut’s ring is curiously offset with respect to the star.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Cosmos 1
Solar sail probe 'probably lost'
(June 23, 2005)


Sponsors of an experimental spacecraft designed to use light from the Sun to power space travel have conceded that the mission is probably lost. But they said the apparent detection of signals from the craft by tracking stations remained to be explained. The privately funded Cosmos-1 craft was launched on Tuesday on a Russian rocket from a submarine in the Barents Sea. Russian officials said the modified missile carrying the craft failed during firing of its first stage.

Read more. Source: BBC

X-43A
Guinness honours NASA speed record
(June 22, 2005)


The new speed record for a jet-powered aircraft, set by the US space agency in November, has been recognised by the Guinness World Records. The X-43A "air breathing" scramjet plane reached speeds of almost Mach 10 (7,000 mph or 11,000 km/hr), which is nearly 10 times the speed of sound. The flight was the culmination of Nasa's Hyper-X program, a project to explore alternatives to rocket power.

Read more. Source: BBC

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