News briefs: July 24
Posted: Thu, Jul 25, 2002, 7:54 AM ET (1154 GMT)
- Russia is giving Lance Bass ten days to raise a $1.5-million down payment for his space flight, SPACE.com reported Wednesday. The deadline was part of an agreement Bass and Rosaviakosmos signed earlier this week. According to SPACE.com, MTV has signed on as the flight's media partner, but wants Bass to find other sponsors to pay for the $20 million flight.
- Surrey Space Technology Ltd. (SSTL) and Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport signed an agreement Wednesday for the launch of eight microsatellites on three Kosmos launch vehicles. The eight satellites, built by SSTL with the cooperation of seven nations, will make up the Disaster Monitoring Constellation, a series of spacecraft that will monitor the Earth for accidents and natural disasters. The launches will take place between now and 2004.
- Russia has suspended the search for a suborbital spacecraft launched earlier this month, AFP reported Wednesday. The Demonstrator 2 spacecraft was launched from a sub in the Barents Sea on July 12, and was to land on the Kamchatka Peninsula, but the spacecraft was not found. The spacecraft was designed to test an inflatable reentry shield and landing system.
- Stennis Space Center director Roy Estess announced plans Wednesday to retire from the space agency, 37 years after joining the agency. Estess had been director of Stennis since 1989, with stints during that time at NASA Headquarters and as acting director of the Johnson Space Center. Estess will be succeeded by Bill Parsons, the current center operations and support director.