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News briefs: March 20
Posted: Thu, Mar 21, 2002, 8:09 AM ET (1309 GMT)
  • NASA gas given a new name to a space science satellite launched last month, the agency announced Wednesday. The High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) spacecraft has been renamed the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI), after late astronomer Reuven Ramaty. RHSEEI started scientific observations a month ago and immediately observed a moderately powerful solar flare.
  • Veteran Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev is planning to fly another mission, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday. Krikalev is planning a flight to ISS at an unspecified future date to perform scientific research he was unable to do as a member of the Expedition One crew. Krikalev has made five spaceflights, including a ten-month stay on Mir in 1991 and 1992 that earned him the first Hero of Russia award.
  • A new climate model of Mars may explain the differences between the planet's two polar caps, reported Wednesday. The model, developed by Caltech and Princeton researchers, shows that heat and water are transported from south to north in general. This transport would explain why the north pole has a large cap of primarily water ice, while the south pole has a smaller cap made mostly of carbon dioxide ice. This transport pattern may be linked to elevation differences between the southern and northern hemispheres, although the exact mechanism is still uncertain.
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news links
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