Space News for March 24, 1999

Where’s All the Antimatter?

Experiments at the Fermi Particle Accelerator, located near Chicago, have begun to provide clues as to why the universe is mostly made up of matter, instead of anti-matter. If the numbers had been equal, the universe would have annihilated itself in a flash of energy.

ABC News

Sun’s Heat Pushes Asteroids Out of their Orbit

Because of their irregular shapes, asteroids are warmed unevenly by the Sun. This force, called the ‘Yarkovsky effect’ is thought to slowly push asteroids out of their regular main-belt orbit. Astronomers believe that some of these strays are picked up by Mars’ gravity and hurled into Earth-crossing orbits.

Astronomy Now

Stardust Enters Safe Mode

During testing and transmission of its first few images from space, Stardust’s main computer shut down non-critical systems, and entered safe mode. The spacecraft resumed normal operations later in the day when NASA engineers re-established contact.

Astronomy Now
CNN Space

Orbital Sciences Signs Contract for TVSat Deal

B-SAT, Japan’s Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation recently awarded the contract to Orbital Sciences to build and launch two GEO orbit satellites.