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News briefs: January 19-20
Posted: Mon, Jan 21, 2002, 10:14 AM ET (1514 GMT)
  • The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) has ended its contract with Space Imaging to purchase Ikonos satellite images of Afghanistan, Wired News reported. NIMA let its existing contract with Space Imaging expire December 5, but only recently decided not to renewal the month-to-month deal. NIMA officials said that the reevaluated the Space Imaging deal because "the situation had changed" in Afghanistan.
  • Boeing's financial division, Boeing Capital, secured $300 million in loans for several satellite projects, Space News reported this weekend. The loans include a deal to finance the construction of a spare satellite for XM Satellite Radio. Boeing Capital, which traditionally has loaned money to companies purchasing Boeing aircraft, started arranging satellite loans in October 2000.
  • NASA successfully tested a powerful hybrid rocket motor last week. Engineers at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi successfully fired a 1100-kilonewton hybrid engine for 27 seconds. The engine used liquid oxygen and a solid fuel for propellants. NASA officials said the test was "a giant step" towards developing larger hybrid engines for future launch vehicles.
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