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Archive for Monday, October 11, 2004

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October 11, 2004

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Houston

Famed NASA engineer dies at age 83

Maxime A. Faget, a pioneering NASA engineer who designed the original spacecraft for Project Mercury and whose work helped create every human spacecraft the agency has launched since, has died. He was 83.

Faget died Saturday at his home in Houston, the space agency announced Sunday.

In 1958, Faget joined the Space Task Group, which evolved into the NASA Johnson Space Center.

"Without Max Faget's innovative designs and thoughtful approach to problem solving, America's space program would have had trouble getting off the ground," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe.

Faget's career with NASA began in 1946, when he joined the staff of Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., as a research scientist. He worked in the Pilotless Aircraft Research Division and later directed the Performance Aerodynamics Branch.

Washington, D.C.

Government employees to begin protest

The American Federation of Government Employees launches "DoD Action Week" today to protest Pentagon plans that probably will revamp the collective bargaining rules at the Defense Department, the union announced.

Pentagon officials are about to start writing regulations for a National Security Personnel System that will be published in the Federal Register in December. The new system would change how Defense civilians are hired, paid and disciplined.

Defense employees will have rallies at several bases, including Warner Robins Air Force Base, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; and the Rock Island Arsenal, Ill., and Norfolk, Va., naval yards, the union said.

New York

Study: Few Americans buy prescriptions online

Only 4 percent of Americans have ever used the Internet to buy prescription drugs -- and even fewer do so through foreign pharmacies -- despite Web sites maintained by a handful of states to help citizens import medicines more cheaply from Canada, a new study finds.

A majority, 62 percent, believe drugs bought online are less safe than those purchased from a local pharmacy, accepting the federal government's stated concerns in opposing drug imports, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said in a report Sunday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it could not guarantee the safety of drugs sold through foreign pharmacies, though it has not stopped states from setting up sites to help consumers buy drugs through Canadian pharmacies.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and New Hampshire are among states that established such sites before Pew's May 15-June 17 survey period. Rhode Island linked its state-run prescription drug site to Wisconsin's. Illinois' came online later in the summer.

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