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News briefs: April 6-7
Posted: Mon, Apr 8, 2002, 9:02 AM ET (1302 GMT)
  • Steven Tyler, lead singer of the rock group Aerosmith, is the latest person to express an interest in space tourism. The British news service Ananova, citing a Boston Globe article, reported that Tyler is "seriously interested" in flying on a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station. Tyler is reportedly only in the very early stages of any efforts to book a flight.
  • NASA's Cassini spacecraft completed a course-correction maneuver late last week. Cassini's main engine fired for 9.8 seconds on April 3, the first time the engine was used since February 2001. Officials said the maneuver was primarily designed to check the engine, which is not designed to go much more than a year between firings.
  • Astronomers have found new evidence to link gamma ray bursts (GRBs) with a powerful class of supernova explosions. In a paper published in the latest issue of the journal Nature, astronomers studying the afterglow of one GRB found elements speeding away from the site of the burst at one-tenth the speed of light. Those rapidly-expanding elements are consistent with the gas ejected by a supernova explosion.
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