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News briefs: February 5
Posted: Wed, Feb 6, 2002, 7:54 AM ET (1254 GMT)
  • At least two potential space tourists are undergoing medical examinations in Russia, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday. The report claimed that one potential tourists was undergoing tests at the Moscow-based research Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, and another is preparing paperwork to undergo similar tests. The identity of neither was disclosed. Either could be candidates to be the third space tourist on a flight as soon as this fall.
  • Five Iridium satellites are scheduled for launch on a Delta 2 from Vandenberg Air Force Base Friday. The launch will be the first since the original Iridium corporation went bankrupt and its assets, including this launch, was purchased by the new Iridium Satellite LLC. The five satellite will be used to replenish the existing constellation.
  • Former Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin is working with three universities to refine a concept for "cycler" spacecraft that would ferry crews between the Earth and Mars. Aldrin developed the cycler concept, which uses spacecraft that fly in orbits that permanently cycle between the Earth in Mars, years ago. Students from Purdue University, the University of Texas, and MIT are working on various aspects of the concept, including "taxis" that would fly between the cyclers and planets.
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