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News briefs: October 3
Posted: Thu, Oct 4, 2001, 11:09 AM ET (1509 GMT)
Another day, another delay. The launch of a Titan 4B on a classified military mission has been postponed another day, to Friday, the Air Force announced late Wednesday. A "stray voltage problem" with an umbilical cable between the rocket and launch pad forced this delay, as other problems that caused delays earlier in the week have been fixed. Spaceflight Now reports that if the Titan 4B does not lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday, the launch will likely be delayed at least a few days to replace batteries in the booster, and could be delayed further if the Air Force elects to press ahead with the October 10 launch of an Atlas from Cape Canaveral carrying a National Reconnaissance Office payload... An effort to attach a provision to a defense budget bill that would support the development of reusable launch vehicles has failed, according to a Spacelift Washington report published on SpaceRef.com. The Senate decided to strip all non-essential amendments from the bill, including one by Sen. Pete Dominici (R-NM) that would have aided private development of RLVs, in light of recent events... Russian military officials said Wednesday that they plan to launch new reconnaissance satellites to keep track on events in Afghanistan, according to various Russian and other media reports. However, an AFP report quoted a Russian general as saying that any satellite launches planned for the rest of the year were planned far in advance, and are not a response to terrorist activity based in or support by Afghanistan.
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