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News briefs: April 24
Posted: Thu, Apr 25, 2002, 7:46 AM ET (1146 GMT)
  • The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a state government agency, has filed a lawsuit against NASA in an effort to slow down or stop construction of telescopes atop Mauna Kea. The suit is seeking to force a full environmental review before NASA can begin construction of several small "outrigger" that will be used as part of the Keck Observatory interferometry system. The mountain is viewed by many Hawaiians as a sacred site, and some are also concerned about the environmental impact of construction.
  • The grassroots space lobbying group ProSpace has given its legislator of the year award to an Oklahoma state senator. Gilmer Capps was recognized for his efforts to promote the space industry in the state, including tax incentives and spaceport development. It is the first time ProSpace has given the award to a non-federal lawmaker.
  • A Chinese university has developed a rough prototype of a future Mars spacecraft, People's Daily reported. The "Mars Explorer" spacecraft would feature a rover similar to the twin rovers NASA plans to launch to Mars next year. The report gave no indication of when China might attempt to send that or any other spacecraft to Mars.
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