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News briefs: December 12
Posted: Thu, Dec 13, 2001, 7:57 AM ET (1257 GMT)
  • Two companies announced contracts for new communications satellites Wednesday. Space Systems/Loral said it has reached agreements to build two 1300-series satellites, XTAR EUR for XTAR and SpainSat for Hisdedat. The two satellites will provide X-band communications services for US and allied militaries. Alcatel announced that it will build an SB4000 spacecraft for APT Satellite Holdings. That satellite will provide Ku- and C-band services for the Asia Pacific region.
  • Iridium Satellite released a report Wednesday that states that the company's constellation of satellites will last several years longer than originally thought. The report, prepared by The Aerospace Corporation, concludes that the current satellites will continue to operate until at least 2010. The extended life should make it easier for the company to generate revenue and delay the need to raise money for replacement spacecraft.
  • Officials with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said they have begin a feasibility study for a robotic lunar mission, Reuters reported. No timeframe was given for the mission, although earlier reports suggested that ISRO would not launch such a mission before the end of this decade.
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