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July 5, 1999

HEADLINE NEWS

Historic Turn Eyed in Missile Defense

HEADLINE NEWS

P&W Engine Rupture Stymies Space Operations

HEADLINE NEWS

More Divestitures Due in Consolidation Wake

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HEADLINE NEWS

Historic Turn Eyed in Missile Defense

WASHINGTON After decades of chronic failure and exorbitant costs, missile defense is near an historic phase in its favor, scientists and strategic experts claim. If they are right, ballistic missile defense (BMD) technology is close to a period when it can become preponderant in the eternal cycle of competition between offense and defense.

2223

HEADLINE NEWS

P&W Engine Rupture Stymies Space Operations

Failure of an RL10B Delta III engine has been narrowed to combustion chamber but continues to delay launches

3637

HEADLINE NEWS

More Divestitures Due in Consolidation Wake

NEW YORK The final phase of the U.S. aerospace/defense industry’s consolidation may be poised to begin in earnest, with the largest companies that coalesced around multiple mergers and acquisitions divesting non-core businesses. Some of this long-awaited activity—an essential process that must be completed before consolidation can be judged an unqualified success—has been ongoing for the last year.

2425

HEADLINE NEWS

RL Ventures Strained By Funding Problems

WASHINGTON A lack of private capital is stifling the development of a new generation of commercial reusable launch vehicles (RLVs), and NASA officials worry that critics could hold the agency partially responsible if the fledgling new industry fails to make it off the ground.

2425

HEADLINE NEWS

Europe Launches Satnav Project

PARIS A green light from the European Union transport ministers last month will enable work to begin on defining Galileo, Europe’s proposed second-generation Global Navigation Satellite System. The ministers decided at a Transport Council meeting on June 17 to release 40 million euros ($42 million) to fund half of system definition, which is expected to take 18 months.

2627

HEADLINE NEWS

Talk in Asia Not About Crisis . . .

SINGAPORE Surrounded by displays of new mobile phones, ground station and Internet technology, satellite makers and users expressed more interest in how to widen their market than trepidation about the economy of Asia when they gathered here late last month.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Efficient Military Procurement Sought

PARIS France expects that closer European defense ties, stronger industrial partnerships and combined procurement initiatives will boost military procurement spending efficiency. The French Defense Ministry’s wideranging efforts to slash weapon systems production costs by as much as 20% and to shift the management of additional programs to OCCAR, the European procurement agency, is significantly contributing to the government’s goal of making procurement spending more efficient, according to French Defense Ministry officials.

2223

HEADLINE NEWS

Cape Technicians Misaligned Satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL NASA and Boeing are investigating why technicians here misaligned the 3,000-lb. FUSE (Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer) when placing it atop its Delta II booster prior to the observatory’s launch June 24. The spacecraft was launched safely and is operating normally.

2829

HEADLINE NEWS

X-34 Test Curtailed By Panel Vibrations

LOS ANGELES The first captive-carry flight of an X-34 test vehicle by its L-1011 carrier aircraft was cut short last week when a chase plane pilot noticed a vibration on two small fuselage skin panels located aft of the X-34. Program officials said aerodynamic wake from the mated X-34 apparently caused panel fasteners to come loose, allowing two panels on the right and left sides of the aircraft to vibrate—especially the panel on the right side of the fuselage.

2829

HEADLINE NEWS

Thaicom Sets Ambitious Broadband Launch Goal

SINGAPORE Thailand’s Shinawatra Satellite Group says it is likely to be the first to take the next step in satellite development: introduction of broadband multimedia technology that will bring 25 times more capacity than Asian customers—or anyone else—can now get.

June 281999 July 121999