February 11th, 2004

Rodents in space Herald Sun

Mice put in orbit to help scientists learn how time on Mars will affect humans will return to Earth in an Australian-designed landing system. University of Queensland scientists will develop the system and hope the mice will touch down at Woomera. They will be part of an international team to send mouse astronauts to space to study the effects of Martian conditions on mammals.

January 29th, 2004

Life on Mars first Herald Sun

Life on Mars probably existed before life started on Earth. Scientists say a new analysis of a meteorite that plummeted to Antarctica in 1984 has confirmed NASA’s theory that life once existed on Mars. In 1996, NASA announced it had found microscopic fossils of primitive bacteria-like organisms in meteorite ALH84001 that landed in Antarctica. Scientists have debated NASA’s findings and whether the organisms were biological or Martian.

March 4th, 2003

WA space station to open Herald Sun

THE European Space Agency will formally open its first deep space ground station in Western Australia tomorrow, three years after construction first began. The ESA station and its antenna, which supports a 100-tonne, 35-metre dish at New Norcia, 134km north of Perth, will become part of the agency’s global tracking station network. The 40-metre high, 630-tonne antenna will be used to communicate with the ESA’s first mission to Mars this year.