QuikScat Successfully Deploys
NASA’s QuikScat weather satellite has successful reached its initial elliptical orbit of 800km above the Earth’s surface, and deployed its solar panels. The satellite will fire its thrusters another 25 times to perfect its final orbit, and begin its mission a month from now.
Cosmonaut Spends Longest Time in Space
Russian cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev has spent more time in space than anyone else – currently 681 days over 6 missions. With Mir due to be destroyed later this year, it’s unlikely his record will be broken any time soon.
Palomar Observatory Searches for Asteroids
A 1.2 meter Oschin telescope at Palomar Observatory is being upgraded to help the search for near-Earth asteroids. The upgrade will cost $500,000 and will involve the installation of an electronic camera capable of detecting asteroids.