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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 175

Date:- 13 November 2004

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UK scientists and engineers are again at the forefront of space exploration, said the Science Minister Lord Sainsbury this week, as Europe's first Moon mission nears its destination.

The European Space Agency's (ESA) SMART-1 spacecraft, launched 13 months ago, is due to reach the Moon's orbit around November 16. It has been propelled by revolutionary new solar-electric propulsion technology, also known as an 'ion engine'.

As well as testing this new technology for future missions, SMART-1 will make the first comprehensive study of key chemical elements on the lunar surface. Using UK technology, it will search for ice in the craters at the Moon's South Pole, where the temperature never rises above -170 degrees C, and so check out available resources for future lunar exploration.

Lord Sainsbury said:- "Once again UK scientists and engineers working together have made a major contribution to Europe's space programme, which keeps us at the forefront of planetary exploration.

Mankind has looked at the Moon for centuries, been inspired by its beauty and wondered at its origin. With SMART-1, Europe is going to the Moon for the first time, at low cost and with exciting new technology. Best of all, we will do important science by exploring how the history of the Earth and the Moon is bound together."

SMART-1's ion engine uses solar energy to generate electricity that then heats xenon fuel and is ten times more efficient than traditional rockets. SMART-1 has used only 60kg of xenon fuel to cross the 380,000 km between the Earth and the Moon. By way of comparison, a Mini car would travel just 1600 km on 60 kg of petrol.

The Department of Trade and Industry and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) have contributed around €12 million to ESA for the mission.

Part of the money was used to fund a crucial component of SMART-1, the D-CIXS instrument built in the UK by the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, a member of the British National Space Centre partnership.

The shoebox-sized camera will use unique X-ray sensors to map the Moon's geology and allow scientists to draw up new three-dimensional models of the lunar surface.

SMART-1 will be looking at the darker parts of the Moon's South Pole for the first time, mapping the Peak of Eternal Light, a mountain top that is permanently sunlit, and surrounding craters which are believed to contain water-ice.

SMART-1's instruments will send back data about the Moon's surface, orbit and plasma environment. The main reason to gather the data is to help answer the basic question of how the Moon formed? The best theory is that a Mars sized body hit the young Earth, blasting material from both out into space where it clumped together to make the Moon. By understanding how much of what material is in which places, scientists will narrow down the options.

Fact File...

1. SMART-1 is Europe's first probe to the Moon and the first in a series of Small Missions for Advanced Research and Technology (SMART). The spacecraft was launched from Kourou, French Guiana, on September 27, 2003, aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. It is expected to reach lunar orbit between November 15 and 17.

2. SMART-1 will make observations and take measurements for at least six months. The satellite payload consists of 12 technological and scientific investigations performed by seven instruments, weighing just 19 kg in total. It is carrying three remote sensing instruments:- an infrared spectrometer, an imaging camera and D-CIXS, the X-ray spectrometer.

2. The prime UK science involvement is with D-CIXS, which has been developed by Principal Investigator Professor Manuel Grande and his team at CCLRC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. D-CIXS will help to determine the composition of the Moon and provide the missing pieces to the jigsaw about how the Moon was formed. Other UK institutions involved in D-CIXS are:- University of Sheffield; Queen Mary, University of London; the Natural History Museum; Amargh Observatory; University College London, Mullard Space Science Laboratory; University of Manchester and the University of Southampton.

3. The UK industrial involvement featured:-

a) SEA Group Ltd, which produced the digital unit for the ka transponder on KaTE, an instrument that will test more efficient communication techniques with Earth.

b) e2v technologies, which have supplied the X-ray optimised CCD's for D-CIXS.

c) SciSys Ltd, which have provided the mission control systems flight dynamics software and operations.

4. BNSC is a partnership of Government Departments and Research Councils with an interest in the development or exploitation of space technologies. BNSC is the UK Government body responsible for UK civil space policy, to help gain the best possible scientific, economic and social benefits from putting space to work.

Report thanks Stuart Grayson, British National Space Centre

If you like space and want to know more, then join UK SEDS. Visit for more information today!

Merseyside’s Manufacturing in the Spot Light.

ON Wednesday 10 November, from car assembly lines to recycling and cleaning up water supplies. Two of Merseyside’s key business sectors were showing off the latest technology, product and services available in the City Region to the largest-ever gathering of an estimated 2,500 business from the North West and International suppliers to industry.

Manufacturing & Automotive and Environmental Technologies, two key clusters championed by The Mersey Partnership, hosted stands the North West Manufacturing Exhibition at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium.

The Merseyside Manufacturing and Automotive Alliance (MAG) promotes the work of the automotive and manufacturing industry and offered support and mentoring to small businesses in the City Region. Meanwhile, Envirolink who work closely with Environmental Technology Service Companies, are set to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in the North West. Five Merseyside firms were showcasing their products on the Envirolink stand:- Aqua Cure (water purification, Southport), CBISS (monitoring & control, Wirral), Pneumatica (mini compressed air power systems, Wirral), EX-Or (energy efficient lighting, St Helens), and the Clean Merseyside Centre (buy recycled campaign, Liverpool).

Dave Moorcroft, Director of Economic Development at The Mersey Partnership said:- “Through our sector development programme we are working alongside world-class brands like Jaguar Cars in attracting significant amounts of inward investment into our City Region’s economy. It is essential we maintain this success, and the North West Manufacturing Exhibition is one way of supporting manufacturing companies right along the supply chain.

The Environmental sector is also seeing a wealth of major new opportunities, with the growth of wind power, biomass, wave power and energy from waste. Again it’s important to show the breadth and depth of what these businesses have to offer.”

TOP BAN NIGHT @ Southport's Old Bank.

LIVERPOOL REPORTER is to hold a live recording of a band night at Southport's Old Bank for broadcast on it's radio section on the run up to Christmas.   The night will see top bands Cassidy and the Influence to rock the joint with the night being opened by Karangs newest DJ and Loud Band Management team of experts.   This will be a night to remember.   Two top bands and a ticket price of only £2.00 on the door...  You can not get better than that!

Night starts on the 26 November at 8.00pm.   Other fun things will be going on, so log on next week and see what we have install!   

If you do not know the bands, tune in to Liverpool Reporter this week and they will be being played as normal on the station.

Report with thanks to the FSA

FOR many, particularly those who don't cook often, Christmas presents a real challenge. With so many things to think about in the run up to the big day, not to mention cooking the Christmas lunch, it's no wonder that it's not just the vegetables that get steamed up!

The Food Standards Agency is issuing some top food survival tips for all Christmas cooks and more advice and information can be found on its new consumer website:

1. Keep an eye on your salt this Christmas In September, the Food Standards Agency launched a Salt Campaign to encourage people to cut down on the amount of salt they eat and to help prevent the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. To keep your heart healthy this Christmas, Sam Church, FSA Nutritionist and Celebrity Chefs, Nick Nairn, Anton Edlemann and Antony Worrall Thompson share a few simple tips on cutting back on salt, without loosing taste...

Sam Church, FSA Nutritionist says:- "There are a few tips that you can follow this Christmas to keep the amount of salt you eat to a minimum. For example, when you are Christmas food shopping, always read food labels and choose products with a low salt or sodium content. You will find that many similar products can differ greatly as to the amount of salt or sodium they contain. Likewise, when it comes to cooking your Christmas lunch, aim to add little or no salt. For example, carrots can be cooked in fresh orange juice; parsnips roasted in a little honey or pureed with a little milk and nutmeg; red cabbage can be cooked with apple and cinnamon and Swede roasted with a little grated Parmesan. You can also avoid salt when making home-made sauces. Bread sauce can be flavoured with a little garlic or some cloves and gravy can be made with the meat juices, a little flour and some herbs instead of gravy powder, stock cubes and granules; which are often high in salt."

For further information and advice on how to cut down on salt in your daily diet, visit the Agency's website:

2. How to eat healthier this Christmas. The festive season is renowned as a time when many of us indulge in rich and luxurious foods but the FSA shows that there are many ways that you can enjoy a healthy and nutritious holiday. Sam Church, FSA Nutritionist says:-

a) If you are buying treats this Christmas, such as mince pies or Christmas cakes and puddings, always read the nutritional label and check the fat, salt and sugar content.
b) Try to eat breakfast on Christmas day as this will fill you up and you will be less likely to snack on all those Christmas chocolates.
c) If you want to eat healthy Christmas snack foods then you could have a handful of unsalted nuts, some dried fruit or dig out that Satsuma from the bottom of your Christmas stocking.
d) For Christmas lunch, eat plenty of vegetables. Not only are these full of nutrients, but they contain hardly any fat.
e) When it comes to the Christmas pudding, instead of serving it with brandy butter you could try some natural yoghurt or even some fresh fruit.
f) For Christmas dinner why not make yourself a turkey, watercress and spinach sandwich or a turkey salad or curry.

3. Keeping Christmas food costs down. It's easy to spend a fortune on food at Christmas. People often buy huge quantities of food and dig deeper into their pockets for luxury varieties. The Food Standards Agency shows how you can still have the food you need for a Christmas feast, but for less.

a) Always work out, in advance, what size turkey/joint you will need. Buying too big a bird/joint not only costs more, but also could be harder to store safely, take longer to cook and it could end up being wasted.
b) Use leftover meats to make your evening meal on Christmas day. Buy in some extra ingredients to make home-made turkey curry, turkey soup or a salad.
c) Instead of buying your mince pies, Christmas cake and desserts, why not make your own? This can be cheaper and healthier and you could have great fun making these with children or even family and friends.

4. How to store Christmas food. So you've bought all the food, but where are you going to store everything? We've all heard stories of people's fridges being so full of alcohol and drinks at Christmas, that the turkey has had to be stored in the boot of the car or the garden shed! Dr. Lucy Foster, FSA Microbiologist has some simple tips on keeping food cool and safe:

a) Some foods need to be kept in the fridge to help stop bacteria from growing on them, such as food with a 'use by date', food that you have cooked and won't serve immediately, or other ready-to-eat foods, such as prepared salads.
b) Don't fill your fridge with bottles of alcohol or soft drinks. These can be chilled in buckets of ice, in a sink filled with cold water or even stored in the garden shed.
c) If you don't have enough room in the fridge, then freeze foods that you can defrost easily on Christmas Eve.
d) When storing food in a fridge, ensure that it is properly covered to prevent cross-contamination.

5. Food poisoning... How to avoid it. December can be one of the most common months for certain types of food poisoning. This can be due to people cooking a large roast for the first time, time constraints, food storage problems and general bad food hygiene practice in the kitchen. To prevent food poisoning this Christmas and New Year, Dr. Lucy Foster, FSA Microbiologist says all Christmas cooks should follow the 4C's:-

a) Cleaning:- always wash your hands thoroughly, before preparing food and after handling raw meat and poultry.
b) Cooking:- cook poultry and minced meats thoroughly and make sure they are piping hot all the way through.
c) Chilling:- keep foods in the fridge; don't leave them standing around.
d) Cross-contamination: keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods and prepare them separately to help stop bacteria spreading. Cover raw meat and poultry and store at the bottom of the fridge.

6. How to defrost the turkey Where to defrost your turkey raises a whole number of issues. A Food Standards Agency survey revealed two thirds (64%) of people defrost it by leaving it standing out in the kitchen, one fifth (20%) make room for it in the family fridge, while one in twenty (5%) opt for the garden shed. Make sure your bird has a good place to defrost this Christmas, by following these simple tips:-

a) The best method, and safest way to defrost your turkey is in the fridge, allowing 10-12 hours per Kilo.
b) If you cannot fit your turkey in the fridge, defrost it at room temperature (allowing 2 hours per Kilo) taking care to make sure it is covered and does not touch any other foods.
c) Always make sure that the turkey is thoroughly defrosted before putting it in the oven.

7. Basic timings for cooking your Christmas turkey Planning and cooking your Christmas lunch can be daunting. The cooking of the turkey usually sets the timings for cooking all the other Christmas dishes, so it's important that you get it right! Follow the Food Standards Agency's five step cooking plan for a perfectly cooked turkey:-

a) It's very important to plan your cooking time in advance to make sure you get the turkey in the oven early enough to cook it thoroughly. A large turkey can take several hours to cook properly.
b) Often cooking advice is included on the turkey's packaging, or you can look in your oven handbook, or in a cookery book.
c) As a general guide, for a turkey under 4.5kg allow 45 minutes per kg plus 20 minutes; for one weighing between 4.5kg and 6.5kg 40 minutes per kg; and for those over 6.5kg 35 minutes per kg at 180Deg C, 350Deg F, Gas Mark 4 (after the oven has preheated). These times are for an unstuffed bird.
d) It is safer to cook stuffing seperately in a roasting tin, but if you do decide to cook your turkey with the stuffing inside, you will need to allow extra time for the amount of stuffing and allow for the fact that the bird cooks more slowly.
e) Remember, some ovens, such as fan-assisted ovens might cook the turkey more quickly. Always check the manufacturer's handbook for your oven.

8. What to do with leftovers and how long to keep them for Ok, admit it, we've all kept our Christmas leftovers in the fridge for too long in the past. As each day of the festive season passes by, many of us will reach into the fridge for more turkey to make yet another dish. Not really sure how long to keep leftovers for? Follow the Food Standard's Agency's storage tips for safe Christmas eating.

a) If you are cooking turkey or a joint of meat for Christmas lunch and there are leftovers, remove all the meat from the bone, put in a covered container, leave to cool (for no more than two hours), store in the fridge and use within 48 hours. Alternatively, you could freeze the left-over meat.
b) If you are using leftover meat to make a pie or a curry, only reheat the meat once and ensure that it is piping hot all the way through.
c) Read the labels on any opened jars of sauces and pickles for the storage instructions.
d) Salads and leftover veg should also be stored in the fridge, do not leave them standing around at room temperature and keep them away from any raw foods to prevent cross contamination.

This is a lot (per 100g of food) This is a little (per 100g of food).  20g of fat or more, 3g of fat or less, 5g of saturates or more, 1g of saturates or less, 0.5g of sodium or more, 0.1g of sodium or less, 1.25g of salt or more, 0.25g of salt or less, 10g of sugars or more & 2g of sugar or less.