Add to NASA Daily News Summary For Release: Nov.

3, 1999 Media Advisory m99-229a Summary: ASTRONOMERS FIND EVIDENCE OF FIRST PLANET ORBITING A PAIR OF STARS X-43 HYPERSONIC FLIGHT RESEARCH VEHICLE DELIVERED ********** ASTRONOMERS FIND EVIDENCE OF FIRST PLANET ORBITING A PAIR OF STARS Astronomers have found evidence of the first known planet orbiting a pair of stars. Previously, planets have been found circling only single stars. The Microlensing Planet Search (MPS) project, led by David Bennett and Sun Hong Rhie of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, used a technique called gravitational microlensing that may have revealed a planet about three times the mass of Jupiter orbiting a binary star system. The researchers, who are supported by NASA's Astronomical Search for Origins Program, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Research Corporation, report their results in the November 4 issue of Nature. Gravitational lensing is based on a property first noted by Albert Einstein in the 1930s. When an object such as a star or planet moves in front of a more distant star, the gravity of this star or planet serves as a "lens," magnifying the light from the distant star and making it appear brighter. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Donald Savage (Phone 202/358-1547). Contact at National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA: Amber Jones (Phone: 703/306-1070). For full text, see: -----------------------------

X-43 HYPERSONIC FLIGHT RESEARCH VEHICLE DELIVERED The world's first hypersonic air-breathing free-flight vehicle is no longer just a paper airplane. The first of three experimental vehicles, designated X-43A, recently arrived at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, to prepare for flight in May 2000. Flight of the X-43 vehicles will be the culmination of over 20 years of scramjet (supersonic combustible ramjet) research and the first time a non-rocket engine has powered vehicles at hypersonic speeds. Built by Micro Craft, Inc., Tullahoma, TN, for NASA¹s Hyper-X program, the 12-foot-long, unpiloted X-43 vehicles will significantly expand the boundaries of air-breathing aircraft. Three flights are planned -- two at Mach 7 and one at Mach 10. The flight tests will be conducted within the Western Test Range off the coast of southern California. Contact at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC: Michael Braukus (Phone 202/358-1979). Contact at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA: Leslie Mathew (Phone 805/258-3458). Contact at NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA: Chris Rink (Phone 757/864-6786). For full text, see: ---------If NASA issues additional news releases later today, we will email summaries and Internet URLs to this list. Index of 1999 NASA News Releases: ********** The NASA Daily News Summary is issued each business day at approximately 2 p.m. Eastern time. Members of the media who wish to subscribe or unsubscribe from this list, please send e-mail message to: **********

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