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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Budget Axe Hits BeppoSAX
18 April 2000 5:00 pm
Gamma ray scientists are losing observing time on another orbiting observatory. Last month, NASA announced it would destroy the 10-year-old Compton Gamma Ray Observatory due to faulty gyroscopes (Science, 31 March, p. 2393). Now, the 4-year-old Italian-Dutch BeppoSAX satellite is trimming operations due to budget problems.
The Italian Space Agency on 15 April began shutting down BeppoSAX's instruments on Saturday and Sunday nights, and staff will no longer work around the clock. As a result, astronomers will not be able to react as quickly as they'd like to some gamma ray bursts, the high-energy explosions that occur about once a day in the far reaches of the universe. On 16 April, for instance, BeppoSAX missed a chance to study the afterglow of one unusual burst, notes mission scientist Luigi Piro of the Institute for Space Astrophysics in Rome. "It's a pity," adds John Heise of the Space Research Organization Netherlands in Utrecht.
Heise expects BeppoSAX to be shut down permanently in April 2001. But gamma ray bursts will still be monitored by a network of interplanetary satellites, including the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft orbiting the asteroid Eros, notes Jerry Fishman of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. And a new gamma ray observatory, NASA's High Energy Transient Explorer, is slated for launch within a few months.