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Australia has had a long history in space exploration purely because it's an island on the opposite side of the world to the US and most other space age nations. This includes broadcasting the pictures back from the moon and being a hub for a large number of satellites.
Basically, you can't contact a satellite directly very easily from the US if the satellite is on the other side of the world. Australia's always going to have its place.
There are some pretty nice flash charting tools, some are even free:
The fushioncharts are the ones I have experience with -- they have a wide range of chart types with animated openings and are clear and easy to use. They pull data from an XML file, which could easily be pointed to a PHP/Perl/etc. script that builds the PHP from a server log.
Hey, like it, I must remember that one...
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