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News briefs: February 15
Posted: Sat, Feb 16, 2002, 10:13 AM ET (1513 GMT)
  • An employee of a Japanese aerospace company hacked into the computers of the NASDA space agency and obtained confidential information about a competitor, the AP reported Friday. The NEC Toshiba Space System Company obtained information about a satellite antenna design by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation during the break-in. NEC Toshiba will be denied access to the computer system for a month, but no criminal charges will be filed, NASDA officials said.
  • Sirius Satellite Radio started limited commercial service on Thursday, serving four cities in the southern and western US. Sirius plans to roll out the service to the rest of the US in the next several months. Sirius is months behind main competitor XM Satellite Radio, who started nationwide service last November and now has over 30,000 customers.
  • An human interstellar mission will require a crew of at least 160 people, although careful planning could reduce that number to 80, one scientist announced Friday. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, John Moore of the University of Florida said 160 people would allow enough genetic diversity for a multigenerational mission lasting 200 years. Lengthening the timespan between generations, by bearing children at a later age, could reduce that number to 80.
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