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News briefs: August 15
Posted: Fri, Aug 16, 2002, 8:16 AM ET (1216 GMT)
  • EchoStar reported a second-quarter profit on Thursday. The direct television broadcaster said it recorded a profit of $37 million, or $.08 a share, in the second quarter, compared to a $6 million loss in the same quarter a year ago. The company also reported that it is under investigation by ten states for failure to comply with consumer protection laws.
  • German doctors are studying ways to prevent future long-duration space crews from suffering boredom and depression. Doctors say that astronauts on long-duration station flights may not have enough interesting work to keep them occupied, leading to emotional problems. They say this could be a major problem for crews on future human missions to Mars.
  • NASA has assigned astronauts to a future shuttle mission and ISS expedition. Six astronauts have been assigned to STS-117, a shuttle mission tentatively planned for the fall of 2003; the mission will be commanded by Fred Sturckow, a two-time shuttle pilot. NASA has also selected Leroy Chiao, John Phillips, and Salizhan Sharipov as the crew for the Expedition Ten ISS crew.
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