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News briefs: December 5
Posted: Thu, Dec 6, 2001, 8:12 AM ET (1312 GMT)
  • Long-duration spaceflight is "inherently hazardous" to human health, a new report concludes. According to, the report by the National Academy of Sciences finds that the effects of space travel on health is "the greatest challenge to human exploration of deep space" and one that NASA is struggling to cope with. The report included a number of recommendations, including the creation of a strategic health care research plan.
  • SpaceDev announced Wednesday that is has delivered its first spacecraft, CHIPSat, to the University of California Berkeley. There the spacecraft's main instrument, the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer, will be integrated into the 45-kg spacecraft in preparation for launch on a Delta 2 in 2002. CHIPSat will study the sky at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths in an effort to understand how plasma cools in the interstellar medium.
  • An image of a faint red dwarf star may represent the first discovery of a class of dark matter that makes up most of the mass of our galaxy, astronomers said Wednesday. The image of the star, taken by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, and analysis of it was published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.
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