Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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A US university that is a leading institution in space technology. Its developments include spacecraft, such as the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer launched in 1995 to probe the Milky Way and other areas of space; systems, such as the High-Energy Transient Explorer 2 satellite; and instruments, including the all-sky monitor (ASM) and a new flight data system. MIT was also involved in 1996 in experiments to grow animal tissue on the Russian space station Mir.

The university's Space Systems Laboratory (SSL) works on technologies for small spacecraft and the International Space Station (ISS). There is also the Space Propulsion Laboratory (SPL), Man Vehicle Laboratory (MVL), Aeronautical Systems Laboratory, and a Center for Space Research (CSR). Many former MIT students have become astronauts, including five in the Apollo programme—Buzz Aldrin, Charles Duke, Edgar Mitchell, Russell Schweickart, and David Scott—and William Shepherd, who commanded the first ISS crew, Expedition 1, in October 2000.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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