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Readers ponder mini-spacecraft and Canaanites’ genomes

Your letters and comments on the September 2, 2017 issue of Science News

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1:00pm, September 20, 2017

Spritely voyage

Engineers recently launched prototypes of miniature spacecraft. The prototypes, each a single circuit board, include solar panels, radios, thermometers and gyroscopes, Maria Temming reported in “These chip-sized spacecraft are the smallest space probes yet” (SN: 9/2/17, p. 5).

“Does the gyroscope actually stabilize the chip, or just provide information that can be signaled back to ground stations?” reader Mark S. asked online. He also wondered how a Sprite keeps its solar cells aimed at the sun. “Doesn’t it need a small battery for those moments it’s briefly shadowed by the Earth?”

The gyroscope is just a sensor

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