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News briefs: March 14
Posted: Fri, Mar 15, 2002, 7:49 AM ET (1249 GMT)
  • NASA has created a new online system to track potentially hazardous near-Earth objects. The Sentry system, provided by JPL, is a web site that lists objects whose orbits are not well known enough yet to eliminate any chance of them coming close to the Earth in the future. There were 37 objects on Sentry's risks page as of Thursday.
  • A galaxy now holds the record as the most distant object observed in the universe, New Scientist reported Thursday. The galaxy, discovered by astronomers led by Esther Hu of the University of Hawaii, is estimated to be 13.6 billion light-years away, any may date back to just 900 million years after the Big Bang.
  • China has started development of new, heavy-lift launch vehicles, the Chinese newspaper People's Daily reported Thursday. The article claimed that the boosters would be able to launch up to 25 tons into LEO and 13 tons into geosynchronous transfer orbit, which would make them among the most powerful launch vehicles in the world. The boosters would be used to launch a 20-ton space station China is planning.
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