May 18, 2001
NASA Awards New Contracts to Develop Future Space Technologies
Astronauts Were Too Tired to Entertain Tito
Chandra Reveals a Nest of Binary Stars
NASA AWARDS NEW CONTRACTS TO DEVELOP FUTURE SPACE TECHNOLOGIES
NASA announced yesterday that it has awarded a series of contracts to 22 companies worth a total of $767 million to develop the next generation of launch vehicles - dubbed the Space Launch Initiative (SLI). Through these contracts, NASA hopes to receive new technologies for crew survival systems, advanced fuel tanks, long-life rocket engines, and safety features.
ASTRONAUTS WERE TOO TIRED TO ENTERTAIN TITO
Russian cosmonaut Talgat Musabayev complained at a recent press briefing about the reception they received when they visited the International Space Station with space tourist Dennis Tito. He said that the American astronauts weren't very cordial and he suspected they were ordered to make the stay less than pleasant. NASA responded, saying that it was just that the astronauts were too tired to entertain their guests, and it had nothing to do with Tito.
CHANDRA REVEALS A NEST OF BINARY STARS
New images from the Chandra X-Ray observatory show the first complete census of compact binary stars in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. Nearly all the objects in this image are compact binary stars, in which a normal sun-like star orbits a collapsed star (a White Dwarf or a Neutron star). The data also revealed the presence of "millisecond" pulsars, which rotate rapidly, between 100 and 1000 times a second.
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