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News briefs: October 4
Posted: Fri, Oct 5, 2001, 12:34 AM ET (0434 GMT)
The Air Force has finally cleared a Titan 4B to launch a classified military satellite Friday. The launch, delayed since Monday because of a number of minor technical problems, is now slated for 5:19 pm EDT (2119 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Independent analysts believe the Titan will place an advanced imaging satellite into orbit... NASA will press ahead with the November 29 launch of the shuttle Endeavour but will delay two missions scheduled for early next year, SPACE.com reported Thursday. The launch of Columbia on STS-109, a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, has been delayed from January 17 to February 14, while the launch of Atlantis on STS-110, an ISS mission, has been pushed back from February 28 to March 21. The delays were required because extra time was needed to prepare the shuttles for the missions, shuttle managers decided during a Thursday teleconference. Officials decided to keep Endeavour's November 29 launch date for mission STS-108, and are likely to decide Friday that bolt problems found on the shuttle Columbia do not necessitate inspections of the other three orbiters... The US Federal Communications Commission has given its blessing for European satellite operator SES to acquire an American rival, GE Americom. As the deal has already been approved by US and EU antitrust regulators, SES expects the deal to be completed by the end of this year.
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