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News briefs: August 26
Posted: Tue, Aug 27, 2002, 8:00 AM ET (1200 GMT)
  • NASA has appointed a team to investigate the apparent failure of the CONTOUR spacecraft, the agency announced Monday. NASA chief engineer Theron Bradley will lead the investigation team, which will issue a preliminary report in six to eight weeks. Project officials, meanwhile, said on Monday that they were beginning to look into the possibility of building a replacement spacecraft similar to the original CONTOUR to visit the same comets.
  • NASDA engineers completed a cryogenic tanking test of an H-2A booster Monday. Several minor technical problems cropped up during the test which caused it to last eight and a half hours longer than planned. Those problems, which included a faulty automated control device and fuel sensor, should not cause a delay to the scheduled September 10 launch of the Japanese booster.
  • Aerojet announced Monday that it is acquiring the space propulsion division of General Dynamics for $90 million in cash. The 300-person division will continue to operate in Redmond, Washington, as a branch of GenCorp-owned Aerojet. The space propulsion group builds a wide range of propulsion systems, from hydrazine thrusters to electric propulsion units.
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