News briefs: May 16
Posted: Fri, May 17, 2002, 7:45 AM ET (1145 GMT)
- Asteroid impacts may not have only ended the reign of dinosaurs on Earth, it may have allowed their reign to begin in the first place. Reporting in the current issue of Science, researchers found evidence for an asteroid impact 200 million years ago that wiped out most of the existing animal life on the surface, clearing the way for the quick ascendance of dinosaurs.
- NASA plans to start recruiting teachers to join the astronaut corps, administrator Sean O'Keefe said Thursday. O'Keefe said he wants at least one teacher in each new class of astronauts, starting with the class to be selected in 2003 and 2004. A national recruiting effort is in the works with the Education Department and should be ready by the end of the year.
- Astronomers have found more evidence linking gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with supernova explosions. Astronomers linked a GRB detected by the BeppoSAX to a supernova remnant observed by ground-based telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope. The research, published in the latest issue of the journal Science, is the second study in as many months to make a strong link between GRBs and supernovae.
- An Israeli astronaut scheduled to fly on a shuttle mission this summer says he feels safe despite terrorism concerns, the AP reported Thursday. Ilan Ramon, who will become the first Israeli in space on shuttle mission STS-107, a dedicated science flight, said he feels secure given NASA's strict security measures. When people ask if he is scared, he said, "I tell them that walking in the street or driving a car is much more risky."