ESA Unveils Comet Landing Mission
As NASA cancels one comet landing mission, the European Space Agency announces another – the Rosetta. Planned for launch in January 2003, the Rosetta will speed up to catch comet Wirtanen and then land on its icy surface. Instruments will then watch what happens to the comet as it approaches the sun.
Salvagers Attempt to Raise the Liberty Bell
Resting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, under 15,000 feet of water, the Gus Grisson’s Liberty Bell 7 may soon resurface. A salvage team, led by Curt Newport, and financed by the Discovery Channel will spend the next 12 days attempting to raise the space capsule with the help of underwater robots.
New Clues to Arizona Meteor Crater
A recent study has learned that Meteor Crater in Arizona was probably caused when a 100 foot iron asteroid struck the Earth at 45,000 miles an hour. Researcher Elisabetta Pierazzo and her co-authors used math models and chemical analysis to determine that 85% of the asteroid melted upon impact, with the remaining fragments sprayed around the crater.
NASA Tests X-34 Engine
NASA tested the Fastrac rocket engine in preparation for the first powered flight of the experimental X-34 spaceplane. The engine was tested at full power for 155 seconds, and generated 60,000 pounds of thrust.