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News briefs: September 5
Posted: Fri, Sep 6, 2002, 7:54 AM ET (1154 GMT)
  • The inaugural launch of Boeing's Delta 4 rocket will be delayed several weeks because of software glitches, reported Thursday. The launch, scheduled for October 9, will be delayed until the end of the month or early November because of problems with software in ground support equipment. The problem was discovered during a countdown rehearsal last week. The booster was developed by Boeing for the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. Lockheed Martin's EELV design, the Atlas 5, made its first flight last month.
  • A key Pentagon official said Thursday that he had concerns about the merger of Northrop Grumman and TRW. Air Force undersecretary Peter Teets said that he shared concerns raised by Lockheed Martin that the merged company could hold a monopoly in key spacecraft sensor technologies that could hurt other defense contractors. Teets said he and Air Force Secretary James Roche will become "more formally involved" in the merger antitrust review in the next 60 days.
  • Japan plans to conduct a series of tests next month of technology that could be used in a future reusable spacecraft. An unmanned aircraft will test a steep takeoff and landing system during a series of flights from Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean. The technology had been developed for Hope-X, a spaceplane project Japan cancelled two years ago.
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