The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 7, 2001 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

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Saturday, April 7, 2001
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THE SALINA JOURNAL SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2001 A3 • SPACE Trying again NASA hopes to snap losing streak to Mars By MARCIA DUNN The Associated Press CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA will try to snap its losing streak and send another spacecraft to Mars on today after two humiliating failures. "We're hoping there's no pattern," said Arizona State University geologist Phil Christensen, crossing his fingers. Ed Weiler, head of NASA's space science -office, said "there's no question" the $297 million mission has to succeed. But he added: "I don't know what more we could do to make a successful Mars mission." The Mars Odyssey is scheduled for liftoff aboard a Delta rocket today and expected to reach Mars in late October and slip into oi-bit around the Red Planet. For 2V2 years, it will study minerals in the rocks and measure chemical elements like hydrogen in a quest for water. "NASA's main goal here is looking for life. And so life means looking for water," Christensen said. In 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter ended up in pieces around Mars or smashed on the planet because engineers mixed up English and metric Odyssey embarks If all tjoes according to plan, the Wars Odyssey will bb laLinchccf into space Saturday to bc-gin its six-month journoy to Mnrs, Once it enters the plnnot's orbit, tho unmanned craft's primary mission will bo So • condu(;t a gc!-ological survey scheduled to go through July 200^. Science deck Radiation in the envirotiitierU will be sludietl to assess the risk to human Gxplorers who one day might follow , • Solar array Artjeiina WiM transmit signals to Earth. Meteorite disappoints scientists after yearlong study By The Associated Press To scientists' disappointment, a meteorite that fell on a frozen Canadian lake has been found to contain none of the organic ingredients believed necessary to have initiated life on Earth. Many scientists believe that simple life arose on Earth more than 4 billion years ago after meteorites crashed through the atmosphere, carrying'amino acids and other biochemical compounds from outer space. The fragments of a 220-ton meteorite that were sprinkled on Tagish Lake in British Columbia in January 2000 had generated considerable scientific excitement because they are of a rare, carbon-rich variety. However, tests in the United States and England show the pristine bits contain different organic compounds than previously studied meteorites. It raises the possibility that the debris comes from a very old celestial body that originated in the most distant reaches of the solar system's asteroid belt — a first in meteorite studies. • " "We thought we would get ail the answers that we wanted," said Arizona State University exobiologist Sandra Pizzarello. "It turned out to be totally opposite of what we were expecting. It has a suite of its own organics.". The Tagish Lake fragments were compared with results from meteorites such as an amino acid-rich rock discovered in Australia in 1969. Gamma sensor head | V.'ill dGlormme the presence of 20 cherriiertt elements, especially hydrogen in the shallow subsurfr*'"'' Thertnal emissloti imaging system Will dotormine the proscnco • and distribution of minerals^ particularly those that can only form in water. SOURCE miio<u^W<imim& mm$mm units of measurement. Just 10 weeks later, the Mars Polar Lander crash-landed on Mars and was lost, most likely because of a premature engine shutdown. To avoid another fiasco, NASA spent millions of extra dollars on Odyssey and added dozens if not hundreds of extra sets of eyes to the project. About 22,000 parameters in the computer software, any of which could doom the mission if wrong, were double- checked. The Odyssey team and spacecraft have been "reviewed to death" over the past year, with "checkers checking the checkers," Weiler said Friday BRIEFLY Bus carrying school band flips, 24 hurt ST MARYS, Ga. — A bus carrying high school band members flipped onto its side on Interstate 95 on Friday, injuring 24 people, two critically The band from Massey Hill Classical High School in Fayetteville, N.C., was heading to a competition in Orlando, Fla. The bus was the only vehicle involved in the crash, which happened on a dry road about 6:30 a.m. about half a mile north of the Florida line. The traveling group included a second bus, plus teachers and parents in four or five cars, said Detective Chuck Byerly of the Camden County Sheriff's Department. Many of the students were sleeping when the bus flipped, smashing a guardrail and sliding on its side for about 300 feet. "It was in the right lane, it started going to the left and it flipped over," said parent Sharon Miller, who was driving between the two buses. "It hit the rail and it started skidding. ... There was a big puff of black smoke. I immediately started screaming," said Miller, whose daughter was safe on the second bus. Old sub's crewmen found at their stations CHARLESTON, S.C. — Crew remains in the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley show sailors at their stations, indicating whatever sank the sub happened quickly, an official said Friday The Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy warship, sank Feb. 17,1864, after ramming an explosive charge into the Union blockade ship Housatonic. Researchers have uncovered remains from six of the nine crewmen. The bones were near the offset handles on the propeller crank. "It starts to really add to the mystery of her final moments because it doesn't look like there was any scramble," said state Sen. Glenn McConnell, chairman of the South Carolina Hunley Commission. The submarine was raised last summer and brought to a conservation laboratory where the clay-like sediment, crew remains and artifacts are being excavated. Historians have suggested the Hunley took on water after the explosion either shot out or blew out a viewport in the front conning tower From Wire Service Reports • CRIME Liberty Bell hit with hammer By The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — A disheveled man yelling "God lives on!" banged on the Liberty Bell with a hammer at least four times Friday, denting and chipping the lip of the 249-year-old symbol of freedom. Mitchell Guilliatt, who turns 27 Saturday and described himself to authorities as "a wanderer" from Nebraska, was seized immediately by National Park Service police and charged with damaging U.S. GULLIATT property and causing historical damage. The charges carry up to seven years in prison. During a hearing, he wished peace and love to everyone in the courtroom, and added: "We are all one body in Christ and God is the judge over all of us." Guilliatt said he did not want a lawyer, but one was appointed for him anyway A competency evaluation also was ordered. He had attended a morning tour and speech about the 2,000- pound, 3-foot bell, which is in glass-enclosed pavilion about 100 yards from Independence Hall. It is surrounded by velvet ropes and visitors are asked not to touch it. "I just seen a man yelling out, 'God lives on!' then he just started banging on the Liberty Bell," student Christopher Gooding said. Elaine Gross, who was conducting a tour for children from Pomona, Calif., said she saw a disheveled man strike the bell before being tackled by police. "He said, 'I didn't do anything. I didn't do anything violent,'" Gross said. Small fragments of the bell stuck to the hammer. . Museum workers made some cosmetic repairs, including touching up several dents with coloring to blend with the rest of the bell and coating it with wax to protect it. More permanent repairs are planned. The pavilion reopened to tourists about thyee hours after the incident. Andrew Lins, a Philadelphia Museum of Art curator who examined the bell, pronounced the damage superficial. "There are lots of different dents and the damage isn't all from this century or the century before. The Liberty Bell has a long history of use and abuse," Lins said. CONSTRUCTION YES YOU CAN DO IT YOURSELF! VermeerVllSO Ditch Witch T25 Walk-Behind Trencher Footings Trencher KubotaB2910 loader tractor Dynapac Compactor Terramite T5C Bobcat 763 with breaker & auger -wrm Ken Ron Mark Cliff Bruce Our Experienced Staff Is Here To Serve You! Renting... the smart way to get things done. New Saturday Hours! 8 a.m. to3 p,in. • Mon.-Fri^30-5:00 p.m. 515 N. 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