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News briefs: February 7
Posted: Fri, Feb 8, 2002, 8:59 AM ET (1359 GMT)
  • NASA awarded Boeing Thursday a $936 million modification to its existing International Space Station construction contract, one that has been fraught with cost overruns. The modification covers work through the end of 2003, and funding for it is included in the proposed 2003 budget released earlier this week. The overall value of the Boeing contract is now $10.7 billion.
  • A group of California businessmen are meeting in Huntsville, Alabama about ways to reopen Space Camp's California facility, the Huntsville Times reported Thursday. The California site, near the Ames Research Center, was closed last month as part of cost-cutting efforts by Space Camp. Two other facilities in Huntsville and Florida remain open.
  • Astronomers have used a distant quasar as a type of x-ray machine to study a galaxy, scientists reported Thursday. X-rays from the quasar passed through a galaxy directly between the quasar and the Earth; absorption of some kinds of x-rays allowed astronomers to determine that the galaxy has about one-fifth the oxygen as our own galaxy. Astronomers also found that the quasar is an unusual type of quiescent quasar that produces an x-ray jet one million light-years long.
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