Lost in space? Click here to find Mars

For space junkies still mourning the loss of communications six months ago from the rover on the Mars Pathfinder mission, take heart and point your browser to the Mars Global Surveyor home page at mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/index.html. Here you can take a peek at the newest images from the Red Planet.

NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, launched in 1996, recently began a fly-by of Mars at speeds that will allow its on-board instruments to capture images of the Mars Pathfinder and Viking mission landing sites as well as the Cyondia region, known as the "face of Mars."

Aerospace novices may want to start at the Mission Overview section, which can be selected from the bar on the left side of the screen. The section provides a high-level view of the Surveyor project. But if you are more familiar with the mission, you may want to click on Mission Status to read about the spacecraft's exact location in orbit.

Truly devoted buffs can subscribe to automatic e-mail updates to learn immediately about any changes in the mission status, or you can track the data about all the spacecraft's systems by clicking on the Telemetry category. For a broader view of the mission, click on Spacecraft Animations to view QuickTime movies that show the spacecraft in relation to Mars during aerobraking, a technique that lowers the Surveyor's orbit by using atmospheric drag each time it passes close to the planet. Back on Earth, take a peek into NASA's inner workings by "sitting in" on live daily video of officials working at the aerobraking command center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The federal government's "most wanted"

The Office of Personnel Management and the Defense Department's National Security Education Program were scheduled last week to unveil NSEP-NET, a secure Internet site designed to give federal managers and human resources officials in national security operations access to resumes of NSEP students and graduates.

NSEP was created in 1991 with a charter to strengthen the nation's economic competitiveness and enhance international cooperation in areas such as conflict resolution, arms control, international trade, human rights and other areas affecting national security. The site provides access only to authorized individuals: job candidates, federal managers and human resource professionals.

Because of the national security aspects of this site, OPM is not releasing the site's Internet address publicly. We at Federal Computer Week were not even allowed to peek at the site's content.

Interested federal officials and job candidates are asked to call (202) 606-1848 for more information about the site.

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