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News briefs: August 20
Posted: Wed, Aug 21, 2002, 8:03 AM ET (1203 GMT)
  • The US Air Force has delayed a request for proposals for the next generation of GPS satellites, Aerospace Daily reported Tuesday. The Air Force had planned to release the RFP for the GPS 3 constellation in August, but now plans to wait until early 2003. GPS 3, whose first launch is planned for no earlier than 2010, will offer enhanced capabilities, including greater resistance to jamming.
  • Russian scientists have proposed a sample return mission to the Martian moon Phobos that could launch as early as 2007, AFP reported Tuesday. The Russian company Lavochkin Association said the proposed spacecraft would be able to return 100 grams of soil samples from the small Martian moon. No other details about the proposed mission, including the cost of the project and how the company plans to obtain the funding, were released.
  • A prototype Mars rover conducted a field test earlier this week designed to test the ability of controllers to remotely operate the vehicle. The Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) travelled over desert terrain in Arizona while controllers at JPL operated the vehicle. FIDO is a stripped-down version of the Mars Exploration Rovers scheduled for launch next year.
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news links
Thursday, November 16
Delta II rocket launch at Vandenberg AFB rescheduled for early Saturday morning
KSBY-TV San Luis Obispo, CA — 12:03 am ET (0503 GMT)
Long Beach-based Virgin Orbit scores Department of Defense deal
Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram — 12:02 am ET (0502 GMT)

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