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Adrastea

Overview page. Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The second-closest satellite of Jupiter, distance 128 980 km, orbital period 0.298 days; also known as Jupiter XV. Adrastea is 20 × 16 × 14 km in size. It was discovered in 1979 with the...

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advance of perihelion

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A gradual turning of the major axis of an orbit in the same direction as the body moves along the orbit; also known as apsidal motion. An advance of perihelion means that the longitude of...

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Advanced Communications Technology Satellite

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(ACTS)

A satellite that tested new technology for communications satellites. Developed and operated by NASA's Glenn Research Center, it was launched in September 1993 and conducted...

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Advanced Composition Explorer

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A NASA spacecraft to study the composition of the solar wind and cosmic rays, launched 1997 August. It is stationed in a halo orbit around the L1*Lagrangian point 1.5 million km sunwards of...

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Advanced Earth-Observing Satellite

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(ADEOS)

A Japanese remote-sensing satellite launched on 17 August 1996. It gathered data on climate change, the environment, and land and ocean processes. On 30 June 1997, ADEOS...

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Advanced Land Observing Satellite

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(ALOS)

A Japanese remote-sensing satellite that will map land areas, survey Earth resources, and monitor disaster sites using techniques developed from its predecessors such as the null...

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Advanced Life-Support Program

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A NASA research programme to develop systems of long-term life support for humans in space, considered essential to the exploration of the Moon and Mars. Located at the Johnson Space...

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advanced multi-mission operations system

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(AMMOS)

The upgraded telemetry system to monitor data from spacecraft in Earth orbit or deep space. Introduced in 1996, AMMOS has helped track probes such as the Mars Global...

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Advanced Radio Interferometry between Space and Earth

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(ARISE)

A future NASA mission to launch one, or possibly two, 25-m radio telescopes to observe space in conjunction with numerous ground radio telescopes using very long-baseline...

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advanced radioisotope power system

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(ARPS;

(RTG)

A small spacecraft generator producing electricity from heat generated by radioactive decay. Although public protests have occurred over the danger of...

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Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(ARTES)

A European Space Agency research programme concerning telecommunications and global navigation. It includes definitions of telecommunications standards, feasibility studies...

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Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(ASCA)

Japan's fourth X-ray satellite, a joint project with NASA launched in February 1993. Its original name was ASTRO-D. Carrying four large-collection-area telescopes to scan...

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advanced synthetic aperture radar

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(ASAR)

An upgraded version of synthetic aperture radar. It can operate continuously for 30 minutes to observe land and sea topography and other characteristics under all weather...

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Ae star

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A star of spectral type A which exhibits emission lines in its spectrum (hence the suffix ‘e’). Usually these are sharp emission lines of hydrogen, and are superimposed on an otherwise...

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Aelita

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A Russian biomedical device to study the vascular systems and brains of cosmonauts, introduced on the Salyut 7 space station launched in July 1982.

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Aerobee rocket

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

A US military sounding rocket. The most successful sounding rocket of the space age, it could lift 45 kg of scientific instruments to an altitude of 121 km. Aerobee was developed by the...

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aerobraking

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The slowing of a space vehicle by using a planet's atmosphere. This is often done with parachutes or speed-brake flaps, such as the rudder of the space shuttle.

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aeronautics

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The branch of aerodynamics concerned with the design, construction, and operation of aircraft and rockets.

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aeroshell

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The ablation shield that protects a spacecraft during entry into a planetary atmosphere.

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Aerospace Directing and Controlling Centre

Overview page. Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

The mission control centre for Chinese spacecraft. The facility, opened in 1999, was built in Beijing to handle the Shen Zhou spacecraft programme whose first launch was that year. The...

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