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News briefs: May 10
Posted: Sat, May 11, 2002, 12:09 PM ET (1609 GMT)
  • The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced Friday that it has selected two concepts of a future planet-hunting spacecraft for future study. The two concepts for the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) include multiple small telescopes whose light would be combined through interferometry and a single very large telescope with a coronagraph to block light from the central star. TPF is a mission tentatively planned for the middle of the next decade to directly image Earth-like planets around other stars.
  • NASA has selected Charles Horner as its new assistant administrator for legislative affairs, the space agency announced Friday. Horner is a former Inspector General for the US Army and special assistant to various comptrollers within the Defense Department. He succeeds Jeff Bingham, who will become Special Advisor to the administrator for policy and history.
  • Scientists have discovered two new Martian meteorites in northwest Africa. The two, labeled NWA 998 and NWA 1195, were found by separate groups in late 2001 and early 2002. The total number of Martian meteorites, also known as SNCs, is now 26.
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