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JPL selects advanced technology projects for future missions
Posted: Fri, Oct 12, 2001, 12:06 AM ET (0406 GMT)
Techsat-21 mission illustration The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced Wednesday that it has selected a trio of advanced technologies to fly in space on separate spacecraft in 2004. The three technologies were chosen for Space Technology 6, the latest project for NASA's New Millennium Program. One portion of the program, to fly on the Air Force's XSS-11 Microsat spacecraft, will test the ability of spacecraft to rendezvous automatically in orbit. The second, to fly on the Air Force's TechSat-21 mission, will test software that will give spacecraft autonomous control capabilities. The third, which will fly as a hitchhiker payload on a shuttle flight in 2004, will test a tiny star tracker camera and gyro. The New Millennium Program is a NASA effort to develop and test fly new technologies on experimental missions before using them on other missions. The best-known mission of the program is Deep Space 1, which tested an ion drive, autonomous navigation system, and other technologies.
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