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News briefs: July 20-21
Posted: Mon, Jul 22, 2002, 8:08 AM ET (1208 GMT)
  • A independent report on NASA's astrobiology program has recommended changes in the program, SPACE.com reported Friday. The report noted that NASA's initial roadmap for its astrobiology program has become dated since it was first drafted five years ago, thanks to discoveries of dozens of extrasolar planets and new studies of microbial life that can withstand extreme conditions. The report also credited the SETI Institute for keeping the search for extraterrestrial intelligence alive after government funding was cut nearly a decade ago; the report suggested that SETI is "worthy of notice by relevant federal agencies."
  • The Red Planet will receive a visitor next year colored in another famous shade of red. ESA's Mars Express spacecraft will carry a two-centimeter glass globe painted Ferrari red, thanks to an agreement announced Sunday between ESA and Ferrari. The agreement is part of a new strategy by ESA to communicate its science projects to the general public.
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