News briefs: March 13
Posted: Thu, Mar 14, 2002, 7:42 AM ET (1242 GMT)
- Scientists have published new evidence which they believe shows that liquid carbon dioxide, and not water, carved many of the features seen in Mars. Their study of volcanic erosion features in one area of the planet leads them to conclude that a flow based on carbon dioxide, and not water, would better explain what is seen there. Their results will be published in an upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
- A Russian Progress spacecraft docked to the International Space Station reboosted the station's orbit early Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported. The reboost maneuver increased the station's perigee 14 km to 396 km and its apogee 8 km to 410 km. The Progress M1-7 that carried out the maneuver will leave the station later this month, to be replaced by a new Progress scheduled for launch March 21.
- Scientists have discovered a mysterious dark spot near Jupiter's north pole, they reported Wednesday. The spot was imaged by the Cassini spacecraft during its December 2000 flyby of the planet. Scientists believe the spot is some kind of chemical disturbance, but don't know exactly what it is or what created it.
- Rocketry pioneer Harold Ritchey passed away March 9 at the age of 89, the Huntsville Times reported this week. In the years after World War 2 Ritchey was one of the few people who believed that solid rocket propellants had a future, successfully launching a large solid-propellant rocket, RVA-10, in 1953. Solid propellants have since been used on a wide range of launch vehicles, from small rockets to the shuttle's boosters.