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News briefs: June 25
Posted: Wed, Jun 26, 2002, 8:05 AM ET (1205 GMT)
  • XCOR Aerospace completed the first touch-and-go landing of a rocket-powered aircraft on Tuesday. The EZ-Rocket aircraft made its usual rocket-powered takeoff, then glided to a landing before restarting its engines and taking off again. XCOR is planning two test flights Thursday to demonstrate the rapid turnaround time of its engines. XCOR, which is planning development of a suborbital spacecraft, plans to demonstrate the EZ-Rocket at the Oshkosh air show in Wisconsin next month.
  • An amateur satellite given up for dead more than two decades ago has started transmitting again, the Amateur Radio Relay League reported this week. AMSAT-OSCAR 7, launched in 1974, had stopped transmitting in 1981 after its batteries failed, but amateur radio operators reported picking up its signal earlier this month. The spacecraft program manager believes that the batteries have "un-shorted" and now allow the spacecraft to operate while in sunlight.
  • The second of two communications satellites scheduled for launch next month on an Ariane 5 has arrived at the launch site. N-STAR c, built by a joint Lockheed Martin-Orbital Sciences team, arrived in Kourou earlier this month. The spacecraft is scheduled for launch July 5 on an Ariane 5 along with the Stellat 5 satellite.
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