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SPACE & SCIENCE NEWS: June 2007
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Atlas experiment
CERN particle lab schedule slips
(Jun 26, 2007)


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator at CERN will now be powered up in May 2008 after a number of delays in its construction. A planned low-energy run, originally scheduled for later this year, had been dropped as a result of the setbacks, project scientists said. The giant underground laboratory on the French-Swiss border is designed to probe the limits of physics.

Read more. Source: BBC

SETI
Meet the neighbours: Is the search for aliens such a good idea?
(Jun 25, 2007)


We've been trying to make contact with aliens for years. Now the day is fast approaching when we might finally succeed. But will our extraterrestrial friends come in peace? Or will they want to eat us?

Source: The Independent

Cygnus X-3
Astronomers look to quark stars for a fifth dimension
(Jun 24, 2007)


If the universe has weird extra-spatial dimensions in parallel to the 3D world we see around us, then billion-dollar particle accelerators may not be the only place to find them. So say Gergely Gabor Barnaföldi and colleagues at the Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics in Budapest, Hungary, who propose that extra dimensions may show their face in areas of extreme gravity around dense stars.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Atlantis landing at Edwards Air Force Base
California landing for Atlantis
(Jun 23, 2007)


US space shuttle Atlantis has landed after a two-week mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The shuttle touched down at the Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave desert at 1549 (1949 GMT). Poor weather conditions caused the touch-down to be first delayed and then moved from the original landing site, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Read more. Source: BBC

artist concept of Pioneer 10 in far future
Exotic cause of 'Pioneer anomaly' in doubt
(Jun 22, 2007)


The 'Pioneer anomaly' – the mystifying observation that NASA's two Pioneer spacecraft have drifted far off their expected paths – cannot be explained by tinkering with the law of gravity, a new study concludes. The study's author suggests an unknown, but conventional, force is instead acting on the spacecraft. But others say even more radical changes to the laws of physics could explain the phenomenon.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Armadillo Aerospace Pixel
Nine teams to compete in lunar lander contest
(Jun 22, 2007)


Competition between prototype lunar landers is heating up, with nine teams planning to compete in a NASA-sponsored contest this year. The Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge is a NASA-funded competition designed to spur innovation for future vehicles that could take off and land vertically on the Moon. NASA has set aside $2 million in prize money for the competition.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

VIRGOHI21
'Dark galaxy' continues to puzzle astronomers
(Jun 21, 2007)


The Hubble Space Telescope has failed to reveal the expected number of stars in the mysterious, galaxy-sized cloud of hydrogen known as VIRGOHI21. The research bolsters the idea that the gas cloud is the only known example of a 'dark galaxy' that never kick-started star birth.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

Vesta
Hubble movie captures spinning space rock
(Jun 21, 2007)


The Hubble Space Telescope has revealed new details about the giant asteroid Vesta, providing a taste of what the Dawn spacecraft will see when it visits the space rock in 2011. At 530 kilometres across, Vesta is the third largest asteroid in the solar system. Although there are millions of asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Vesta makes up about 10% of the mass in the belt.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

astronaut on Mars
Volunteers sought for Mars test
(Jun 20, 2007)


The European Space Agency (ESA) is after volunteers for a simulated human trip to Mars, in which six crewmembers spend 17 months in an isolation tank. They will live and work in a series of interlocked modules at a research institute in Moscow. Once the hatches are closed, the crew's only contact with the outside world is a radio link to "Earth" with a realistic delay of 40 minutes.

Read more. Source: BBC

black hole
Do black holes really exist?
(Jun 19, 2007)


Black holes might not exist – or at least not as scientists have imagined, cloaked by an impenetrable "event horizon". A controversial new calculation could abolish the horizon, and so solve a troubling paradox in physics.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

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