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News briefs: February 4
Posted: Tue, Feb 5, 2002, 7:06 AM ET (1206 GMT)
  • A Pegasus XL rocket is ready to launch NASA's High Energy Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) spacecraft Tuesday afternoon. Launch of HESSI is scheduled for 3:26 pm EST (2026 GMT) off the coast from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Launch of HESSI has been delayed for over a year to repair damage to the spacecraft caused during a ground test as well as investigations into the failure of a booster similar to the Pegasus XL.
  • Mars is the most popular destination for future planetary science missions, according to the results of a Planetary Society released Monday. The Moon, Europa, Pluto, and Io were also popular proposed destinations. Over 50,000 people completed surveys on the future of NASA's planetary science programs on the society's web site last month.
  • The first Russian launches of 2002 are scheduled for the end of this month, RIA Novosti reported Monday. An unnamed booster, believed to be a Soyuz, is scheduled to launch a military payload from Plesetsk on February 27. Another Soyuz rocket will launch a Progress cargo spacecraft to ISS one day later from Baikonur.
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