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News briefs: February 1
Posted: Sat, Feb 2, 2002, 10:47 AM ET (1547 GMT)
  • Orbital Imaging, also known as Orbimage, is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection next month as part of a prearranged restructuring plan, the Washington Post reported this week. The company had planned to file as early as December, but was able to delay bankruptcy proceedings after receiving a $13 million insurance payout for the OrbView-4 spacecraft lost in a September Taurus launch failure. The company hopes to reemerge from Chapter 11 protection within two to three months of filing.
  • NASA's proposed 2003 budget will include funding for the development of a space nuclear reactor, reported Friday. The funding will be part of a joint effort with the Departments of Defense and Energy to restart space nuclear reactor studies, which had been stopped for a decade. While such reactors could prove to be a boon for future long-range exploration and settlement of space, the studies will also likely generate opposition by environmentalists and activists opposed to the "militarization" of space.
  • The Space Transportation Association (STA) named Frank Sietzen as its new president on Friday. Sietzen had previously served as director of communications for the National Space Society (NSS) and editor of NSS's Ad Astra magazine. Sietzen replaces Eric Stallmer, who left STA to join Analytical Graphics as its director of government relations.
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