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News briefs: August 19
Posted: Tue, Aug 20, 2002, 7:48 AM ET (1148 GMT)
  • NASA announced Monday that it has selected three instruments for a future solar observing mission. The instruments include experiments to measure helioseismic activity, the solar atmosphere and coronal activity, and extreme ultraviolet radiation. The instruments will fly on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), a spacecraft scheduled for launch into geosynchronous orbit in 2007. SDO is part of NASA's "Living with a Star" program designed to study the interaction between the Sun and Earth.
  • University of Arkansas scientists have found that one type of microorganism can grow under conditions similar to those on Mars. Scientists placed methanogens, microorganisms that convert hydrogen and carbon dioxide into methane, into material designed to simulate Martian soil, and then exposed the sample to a 500-millibar atmosphere. They found that the methanogens survived in those conditions, leading them to conclude that they could last on Mars even though the atmosphere there has lower pressures and temperatures, and a different composition, than that used in the test
  • Last Friday a press release from Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, chairman of the House Science Committee, promised a "major announcement" by NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe on Monday when the two visited Utica, New York. The announcement? NASA will provide the Utica Children's Museum with science and space exhibits. Major, perhaps, for the citizens of Utica...
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