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News briefs: November 13
Posted: Wed, Nov 14, 2001, 9:04 AM ET (1404 GMT)
  • Satellite operator SES Global may cancel up to $1 billion in satellite and launch vehicle orders as a result of its merger with GE Americom, Space News reported Tuesday. Romain Bausch, chairman of the company, said in a conference call that at least two satellites planned by GE Americom for European markets before the merger, GE-2E and GE-3E, both to be built by Alcatel, would be scrapped since existing SES spacecraft cover the region sufficiently. Other satellites currently planned may be cancelled after a thorough review of the assets of the combined company.
  • Orbital Sciences Corporation and NASA have finished a review for an autonomous rendezvous spacecraft mission Orbital is building as part of the Space Launch Initiative program, AviationNow reported Tuesday. The $47 million mission, scheduled for launch on a Pegasus XL in 2004, will test technologies for automated rendezvous and capture operations.
  • The European Space Agency may select a Briton to join ESA's astronaut corps, the BBC reported Tuesday. ESA, meeting in Edinburgh this week, will discuss an initiative that would allow more British science experiments on the International Space Station. An agreement there could clear the way for British astronauts to be selected by ESA for the first time. Britons have been excluded from the corps in the past in part because of strong opposition to manned space flight by British officials.
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