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Send Your Name to Mars

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

In 2003, NASA will launch twin Mars Rovers on a seven plus month journey to the surface of Mars. For at least 90 Martian days, the Rovers will carry instruments to help scientists study both the climate and water history of Mars in the two different landing locations. You can come along for the ride by sending NASA your name. To date, nearly 3 million of you have responded. Names will be taken until November 15th, so don't delay!

More: NASA SpaceKids - Send your name to Mars

Skywatchers: See Two Asteroids with Binoculars!

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

The number of known asteroids has skyrocketed in recent years, but very few of these tiny bodies ever come within easy reach of the simplest optical aid. This year we have a somewhat unusual situation, for skywatchers can track down two of them, Ceres and Melpomene, as soon as the sprawling constellation Cetus, the Whale, climbs sufficiently high in the east...

More: Sky & Telescope - Ceres and Melpomene in Binoculars

Orionid Meteor Showers

Monday, October 21, 2002

Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet, allowing tiny particles of comet debris to burn up in the planet's atmosphere. During the next two weeks, we will experience the Orionid Meteor shower with peak activity October 21-22. The Orionid Meteors are named after the constellation Orion which marks the celestial location of the meteors. Brew some coffee and plan to stay up late for a great show!

More: Science@NASA - Meteor Storm Forecase

A Cold New World

Tuesday, October 8, 2002

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope measured the largest object in the solar system seen since the discovery of Pluto 72 years ago. The icy world 2002 LM60, dubbed "Quaoar" by its discoverers, measures 1300 kilometers wide - approximately half the size of Pluto. Just a curious point of light until recently, Quaoar lies a billion kilometers beyond Pluto.

More: Science@NASA - A Cold New World

Atlantis Heads Toward Space Station

Monday, October 7, 2002

Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off into clear blue Florida skies Monday afternoon, on its way to the International Space Station. Marking the 15th flight to the station, this mission will feature three space walks on the part of the crew to attach and activate the S-One Truss. Atlantis and her crew -- Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Dave Wolf, Pilot Pam Melroy, Commander Jeff Ashby and Mission Specialists Piers Sellers and Fyodor Yurchikhin - will dock with the International Space Station on Wednesday morning, Eastern time.

Link: NASA Human Spaceflight - Space Shuttle

Link: NASA TV - watch the action as it happens!