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News briefs: November 23
Posted: Sat, Nov 24, 2001, 10:27 AM ET (1527 GMT)
  • Canada may have to wait until 2004 until another of its citizens flies in space, the National Post newspaper reported this week. No Canadian astronauts have been named to shuttle missions in 2002, and there is no guarantee any Canadians will fly in 2003, according to the report. At least one Canadian has flown nearly every year since Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space in 1984.
  • The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) has until November 28 to extend its exclusive deal for Ikonos imagery of Afghanistan, Space News reported Friday. NIMA's current month-to-month contract with Space Imaging, operators of the Ikonos spacecraft, runs until December 5, and NIMA must announce its intent to renew a week before the contract expires. NIMA is paying an estimated $1.9 million a month for exclusive access to the high-resolution images of the war zone, in part to keep them out of the hands of the media or other parties.
  • Sunlight may be responsible for shifting the orbits of asteroids, according to a paper published Friday in the journal Science. Planetary scientists note that asteroids absorb sunlight and then reradiate it at infrared wavelengths. This reradiation would provide a gentle push that could gradually shift the orbits of asteroids into gravitational resonances, where more powerful gravitational forces could then shift asteroids out of the main belt altogether.
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