News briefs: April 11
Posted: Fri, Apr 12, 2002, 7:40 AM ET (1140 GMT)
- Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake passed away Wednesday after suffering a heart aneurysm. Hyakutake is best known for discovering a comet in early 1996 that put on a brilliant display for observers around the world a few months later. He was 51.
- A piece of debris believed to have come from a launch vehicle fell to Earth recently in Uganda, according to media reports from the capital of Kampala. The debris was said to look like "an inflated balloon with two rings" and was black, blue, and white in color. Western analysts believe it may be from the upper stage of an old Ariane 3 booster that reentered on March 27.
- Would-be space tourist Lori Garver announced her "AstroMom Project" this week. The project is an effort to not only raise funds to pay for Garver's potential flight on a Soyuz taxi mission to the International Space Station, but to raise awareness in private space travel among the general public. The AstroMom Project is part of It's Time LLC, a venture created by Garver's employer, DFI International.
- SpaceRef Interactive, publishers of SpaceRef.com, announced this week that it has donated an experimental greenhouse to the SETI Institute to support Mars research activities. The Arthur Clarke Mars Greenhouse will be deployed this summer as part of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic to study technologies that could be used for greenhouses on future human missions to Mars.