Hubble Glimpses Star Birth
Stellar nurseries are normally obscured by a cloud of dust and gas, but the recent birth of a star in the Papillon Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud was revealed to the Hubble Space Telescope, as its birth was particularly violent, and blew off the obscuring dust.
China Launches US Satellites
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Two additions to the Iridium satellite network were launched on a Chinese Long March 2C – the 15th consecutive Chinese launch success. China is contracted to launch 1/3 of Iridium’s 66 satellites.
Japan Delays Moon Mission
Originally slated for launch later this year, Japanese space officials have pushed back the launch of the Lunar-A spacecraft for at least 3 years. The spacecraft is designed to orbit the moon, and deploy penetrator probes into the surface. Upon tests, however, these probes were found to malfunction when they hit the ground, requiring the Japanese to redesign the system from scratch.
QuikScat Ready for Launch
Built in only 12 months, the QuikScat will provide climatologists and meteorologists with daily pictures of winds above the world’s oceans. The satellite will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Titan II rocked on June 18th.