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News briefs: August 9
Posted: Sat, Aug 10, 2002, 11:48 AM ET (1548 GMT)
  • Repairs have started on one of the space shuttle orbiters with cracked flow liners in its fuel lines. Work on shuttle Atlantis started Friday as one welder, picked from a group through a competition dubbed the "Super Bowl of welders", started sealing cracks. The work is expected to continue Saturday and possibly Sunday, with inspections of the welded cracks planned for Monday.
  • Orbital Sciences Corporation announced Friday that it will take out $135 million in four-year notes to pay existing debt. The money will be used to pay $100 million of convertible bonds that were due in October, as well as a separate $25 million loan taken out earlier this year. Payment of the bonds had been an issue for many financial analysts, who expressed concern that the company did not have money needed to pay the bonds when they became due.
  • The payload for the first Atlas 5 launch was successfully integrated with the launch vehicle Friday. The Hot Bird 6 satellite, encased in the booster's payload fairing, was hoisted into position atop the Atlas 5 at Pad 41 at Cape Canaveral. Launch is still scheduled for early evening on August 21.
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