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December 20, 1999

HEADLINE NEWS

Shuttle Quality Control Now a Major Concern

HEADLINE NEWS

Critical Ariane 5 Mission Orbits 'Europe’s Hubble’

HEADLINE NEWS

Army Reconsiders Lasing Satellite

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HEADLINE NEWS

Shuttle Quality Control Now a Major Concern

With reduced workforce challenged to increase flight rate, managers are taking action

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HEADLINE NEWS

Critical Ariane 5 Mission Orbits 'Europe’s Hubble’

KOUROU, FRENCH GUIANA and PARIS The largest European science satellite ever built was undergoing checkout in orbit following a launch that greatly boosted the commercial prospects of the new Ariane 5 heavy-lift booster. The X-ray Multi Mirror (XMM) spacecraft is designed to make far-reaching studies of gamma ray bursts, black holes, pulsars, exploding stars and other phenomena that cannot be readily studied with optical telescopes.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Army Reconsiders Lasing Satellite

WASHINGTON The U.S. Army is considering duplicating a controversial test of a megawatt-class laser against a satellite to learn more about the impact of directed energy weapons on a spacecraft. Despite widespread opposition in Congress and Russia, the Defense Dept, in early 1998 conducted a lasing experiment involving the Mid-Infrared Chemical Laser (Miracl) and the MSTI-3—a Miniature Sensor Technology Integration spacecraft that tested new ways of tracking missile launches—which had completed its in-or-bit mission.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Mars Probes: Did ‘Cheaper' and ‘Faster' Preclude ‘Better’?

DENVER Severe cost constraints that led to "acceptable" risks created a stressful environment during development of the Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO) and Mars Polar Lander (MPL) and could have contributed to loss of the spacecraft. However, no shortcuts were taken, according to Lockheed Martin Astronautics officials.

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HEADLINE NEWS

X-32 Demonstrator Readied for Flight

PALMDALE, CALIF. Boeing has unveiled its X-32A and X-32B demonstrator aircraft for the Joint Strike Fighter program as development work begins to transition to ground test activity aimed at a first flight within the next several months.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Mars Reassessment to Goldin in March

LOS ANGELES In the wake of the apparent loss of Mars Polar Lander, NASA has formed a blue-ribbon Mars Program Assessment Team (MPAT) to examine the entire Mars exploration effort and provide a final report to Administrator Daniel Goldin in mid-March.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Mms to Build Taiwanese Sat

Paris After a year of political wrangling, the Taiwanese government has finally selected Matra Marconi Space to supply a high-resolution Earth observation satellite, the first such system ever exported by a European country. The award, worth 2.37 billion Taiwan dollars ($75 million), was announced on Dec. 9 by Huang Chen-tai, chairman of Taiwan’s science coun cil, which is responsible for the national space program.
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HEADLINE NEWS

NH-90 Buy Delayed Again, But Delivery Still Set for 2004

MARIGNANE, FRANCE Europe’s long-delayed NH-90 transport/frigate helicopter program is set to slip once again, but the new delay is not likely to affect initial deliveries, program officials said here. The contracts had initially been set for signature in early 1999, after the submittal in late 1998 of a revised bid by NH Industries, the Eurocopter-led consortium that is developing and building the NH-90 (AW&STNov. 2, 1998, p. 46).

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HEADLINE NEWS

Flight-Rated Engine Installed in X-35A

Dallas Lockheed Martin has completed installation of a Pratt & Whitney JSF119611 flight-rated engine in its X-35A Joint Strike Fighter concept demonstrator aircraft in preparation for initial runs in the first quarter of next year.

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WORLD NEWS ROUNDUP

World News Roundup

EUROPE Airbus Industrie gained another customer last week when Scandinavian Airlines System said it would order four A330300s and six A340-300s, and place options for a further seven. They will be the first Airbus aircraft in SAS’ fleet, now dominated by Boeing and McDonnell Douglas products, in more than 10 years.
December 131999 January 12000