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News briefs: August 5
Posted: Tue, Aug 6, 2002, 7:58 AM ET (1158 GMT)
  • Assembly of the Beagle 2 Mars lander has started in Britain, according to SpaceDaily. The spacecraft is scheduled to be fully assembled and shipped out in less than six months so it can be integrated with ESA's Mars Express spacecraft. The two will be launched on a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in June 2003.
  • The US Space Command is reviewing a study that recommends that it create a clearinghouse of information about potentially-hazardous near-Earth objects, reported Monday. The study, performed by SAIC, recommended that the center collect data from observatories and military satellites and "put it into terms that decision makers can understand and use," according to the study's lead author. Air Force Brig. General Pete Worden made a similar suggestion at a roundtable meeting about near-Earth objects in Washington last month.
  • Nanotechnology may alert future astronauts to dangerous levels of radiation, Florida Today reported. Researchers are investigating using tiny polymer spheres, injected into the bloodstream of an astronaut, that would monitor the body for radiation-induced damage. If any is found, the spheres would emit light that a retinal scanner could detect.
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news links
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Review: The Planet Factory
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GovSat-1 Satellite Goes Operational
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