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News briefs: November 5
Posted: Tue, Nov 6, 2001, 10:15 AM ET (1515 GMT)
  • Tests have begun on an upgraded version of the upper stage engine that failed during an Ariane 5 mission in July, AviationNow reported Monday. About 60 test firings of the P4.2 engine are planned this month at a German facility to test improvements to the engine. A combustion instability during the engine's ignition sequence was blamed for the July 12 failure that placed two spacecraft in lower than planned orbits. If the tests are successful, the Ariane 5 will likely return to service in January 2002.
  • Actor Tom Cruise will narrate the first IMAX 3D space film, "Space Station", IMAX Corporation announced Monday. The film, based on footage taken between December 1998 and July 2001, is scheduled for release in spring 2002. The film is sponsored by Lockheed Martin in cooperation with NASA.
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