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News briefs: October 29
Posted: Tue, Oct 30, 2001, 8:13 AM ET (1313 GMT)
  • The number of launches in the first half of 2001 fell by 27 percent over the same period last year, a Teal Group study released Monday concluded. The reported also noted that commercial launches fell at a sharper rate than government launches, accounting for 9 of the 27 flights in the first half of the year, down from 45% in the same period in 1998 and 1999.
  • Future Mars rovers might operate like bulldozers, according to NASA research publicized Monday. Small prototype bulldozer rovers being developed at JPL, weighing less than 4 kg, feature small arms that can pick up dirt and drop it into a bucket mounted on top of the rover. The rover is based on the design of a rover NASA had planned to develop for Japan's MUSES-C asteroid mission, but stopped work on last year.
  • NASA has established a "Decadal Planning Team" to plan the next decade of human and robotic exploration of the solar system, SpaceRef reported. The team consists of 15 NASA civil servants and JPL employees who will report to NASA associate administrators for space flight and space science.
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news links
Monday, March 19
Review: The Planet Factory
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