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News briefs: November 14
Posted: Thu, Nov 15, 2001, 9:36 AM ET (1436 GMT)
  • A Japanese remote sensing satellite is expected to reenter the Earth's atmosphere in early December, the Kyodo News Service reported Wednesday. The Fuyo No. 1 spacecraft, launched in 1992, is expected to come down between December 1-10. Two small propellant tanks, each weighing 7 kg, are expected to survive reentry. No reentry location has been pinpointed yet.
  • Russian aerospace company Khrunichev and satellite operator Kosmicheskaya Svyaz have reached an agreement to build and launch several communications satellites, according to the Moscow Times. One satellite, named Dialog, will be launched on a less-expensive Rockot booster rather than a Proton and be slowly moved into geostationary orbit over several months. Several other satellites may be launched under the agreement.
  • The European Space Agency announced this week that it will convert an old launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, for use by the new Vega launch vehicle. ESA said that the ELA1 pad, used by the Ariane 1 booster, will be converted for use by the small satellite launcher over the next few years. Vega launches will use the same control center that handles Ariane 5 launches.
  • Sirius Satellite Radio announced Wednesday it will begin service in three cities — Houston, Phoenix, and Denver — on February 15. Sirius will provide satellite radio services to the rest of the country by next fall. Sirius is several months behind XM Satellite Radio, which this week rolled out its service nationwide, despite the fact that Sirius launched its satellites before XM.
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