Using a rare alignment of Jupiter against a far-off quasar, scientists for the first time have succeeded in measuring the speed of gravity, a fundamental constant of physics described by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity.
California financier Dennis Tito paid Russia $20 million for his adventure vacation aboard the international space station, but the true price includes the services of high-powered lawyers and other hired guns who helped him harmonize with the Russians while circumventing U.S. opposition. Tito paid at least three law firms, a public relations company and a space tourism enterprise to help him win his months-long battle to become the first paying tourist in space. Now it seems even the most normally discreet of operatives Ч or their marketing people Ч are openly angling for credit. Peter Pettibone, managing partner of Hogan & Hartson's Moscow office, said he negotiated Tito's key contracts with three separate Russian entities. The firm's marketing unit had scheduled a string of interviews with Pettibone to help burnish its image. ""We started with their draft, but we took it from there. We wanted to control the language,"" Pettibone said. ""Every single word and every single period was well looked at.
Fourteen years behind schedule and three times over its original budget, the international space station welcomed its first crew this week, when American skipper Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Yury Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalyov docked with the station and flicked on the lights. The $25 billion station Ч already one of the brightest stars in the sky Ч has been a subject of controversy and frequent bickering between the 16 international space partners that joined forces to create it. But now, after the champagne corks have popped, the challenges of space exploration are just beginning. Story by Usha Lee McFarling of the Los Angeles Times and Kathy Sawyer of The Washington Post. With the launch of the first crew to live aboard the international space station this week, there were the usual fears of accidents and life-support glitches, radiation and thinning bones. But actually living in space introduces a new basis for fear, a very earthy and primal one: the frailty of the human mind and spirit.