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Science Projects For Big Kids: July 2003

Author:Nicolas Delerue, Issue: July 2003, Topic: Science

Cubic watermelons in our round plates?
How nice it is to eat a watermelon during the summer. But handling these fruits is not very easy as their round shape make them roll very easily. An agricultural cooperative in Kagawa Prefecture has found the solution: they produce cubic watermelons! No need to use genetic engineering to produce these watermelons, they take this shape because they grow in cubic glass! The only problem at the moment is that they are not good for human consumption...

Are the US and their allies going to invade Mars?
The red planet seems to be the preferred target of the astrophysicists at the moment. Following the launches of Mars Express by the Europeans (with a Russian launcher) and two Mars Exploration Rovers by NASA, no less than 4 spacecrafts are due to converge on Mars by early 2004. The Japaneses will also be present with the craft Nozomi which was launched a few years ago but suffered badly from a solar flare and should arrive at almost the same time. Why this sudden interest in the red planet? Mars is this month very close to the earth (just 56 million km) and thus you can save on the fuel by sending your crafts now. More details at http://www.nature.com/nsu/030602/030602-1.html

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