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July 28, 1997

HEADLINE NEWS

Smoother Lander Operations Planned

HEADLINE NEWS

Spacelab Tests Advance Commercial Science

HEADLINE NEWS

Boeing, EU Resolve Dispute Over Merger

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HEADLINE NEWS

Smoother Lander Operations Planned

PASADENA, CALIF. The Pathfinder mission is demon-strating the planning and precision that will be required to carry out communications with the new series of Mars landers, orbiters and rovers scheduled to be launched to the planet during the next decade.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Spacelab Tests Advance Commercial Science

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER Researchers with the NASA Micro-gravity Science Laboratory (MSL) mission flown on the orbiter Columbia are deciphering data from hundreds of combustion, alloy production and fluid tests in space that will be used to up-date processes widely used by commercial industry on Earth.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Boeing, EU Resolve Dispute Over Merger

Airbus restructuring to improve competitiveness looms larger as it squares off against new U.S. heavyweight

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HEADLINE NEWS

Russians Forced Again To Shift Mir Strategy

MOSCOW A new Russian Mir cosmonaut crew set for launch to the crippled station Aug. 5 will be almost totally devoted to repairing and refurbishing the station following removal of the current crew from further repair options. Russian Mir station managers have ordered the current crew of Vasily Tsibliev, Alexander Lazutkin and Michael Foale to, in effect, stand down and regroup amid concerns that stress and fatigue have in-creased the risks to their safety and the conduct of all but routine operations.

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HEADLINE NEWS

FAA Mandates Tomahawk Stall Tests

DALLAS The New Piper Aircraft Inc. plans to begin flight tests of a PA-38-112 Tomahawk next month to determine whether specific aspects of the air-craft’s stall and spin characteristics meet Federal Aviation Regulations. Werner K. Hartlieb, vice president of product services for the company, said the FAA is requiring Piper to repeat certain stall tests that were performed when the aircraft was certificated in 1978, but were improperly documented.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Scientific Data Continues To Flow Despite Delays

Pasadena, Calif. A relatively simple experiment on the Sojourner rover has shown that dust deposited on a solar cell from the atmosphere is at the level predicted prior to the mission and not expected to affect Pathfinder solar power generation during the mission.

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HEADLINE NEWS

New GPS Launched; Civil Users Cautioned

CAPE CANAVERAL The U.S. Air Force this week is conducting initial orbital checkout on the first of a new generation of Lockheed Martin Block 2R Glob-al Positioning System spacecraft launched here July 22 on board a Delta 2 booster. The launch of this first 2R (photo, right), represents a major shift in the GPS program to a new contractor and more advanced space-craft, compared with the previous Rockwell International Block 2A design (AW&ST Jan. 20, p. 22).

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HEADLINE NEWS

French Socialists Backtrack On Privatization Policy

PARIS Bowing to economic and political realities, the Socialist-led French government is softening its position regarding the privatization of state-owned aerospace and defense firms. No sooner had it announced on July 11 the cancellation of a plan to privatize Thomson-CSF initiated by the previous Conservative administration, than the government revealed that it would pre-pare its own plan for a tie-up with French and European firms that would result in the de facto privatization of the defense electronics giant.

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LEAN AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING

Lean Initiative Spurs Industry Transformation

NEW YORK More than four years after an uncertain start, the Lean Air-craft Initiative is maturing into a program that holds the promise of transforming how U.S. military aircraft will be procured and manufactured. The LAI consortium—which joins personnel from defense firms, labor unions, the U.S. Air Force and MIT—is aimed at halving the cycle times and costs of future weapons while greatly improving product performance (AW&ST June 3, 1996, p. 79).

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LEAN AEROSPACE MANUFACTURING

Lockheed Martin Reconstructs TAS Unit as 'Fighter Enterprise’

FORT WORTH Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems has capitalized on its "Lean Initiatives" experience through cost reductions on F-16 production—even as rates dropped dramatically—while also revamping internal business practices to improve company competitiveness on future fighter programs.

July 211997 August 41997