Cassini Gets a Boost From Venus
Although it’s bound for Saturn, Cassini will pass within 1,600 kilometers of Venus’ surface today to receive a powerful gravity boost of its velocity. After this, it will perform a close pass of Earth, skimming the planet only 800 kilometers. The spacecraft’s nuclear powerplant has activists concerned.
FUSE to Launch
With the final preparations complete, NASA’s Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) is ready for its launch on board a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral. FUSE will search for the “fossil records” of the Big Bang and uncover secrets about the origin of the universe.
Scientists to Study Far Side of the Sun
The European Space Agency announced that it will be using its SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) spacecraft to monitor the far side of the sun. Although the spacecraft doesn’t view the far side directly, it can detect strong ultraviolet emissions from active regions of the sun, and provide warnings for increased solar activity.
[email protected] Surpasses All Expectations
Only a month old, the [email protected] software has signed up 660,000 volunteers. Together they’ve contributed over 15,000 years of computing time to the project, making this the largest distributed computing experiment in history.