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News briefs: February 9-10
Posted: Mon, Feb 11, 2002, 8:34 AM ET (1334 GMT)
  • The Indian Space Resource Organization (ISRO) successfully completed the first full test firing of a new cryogenic engine, the AFP news agency reported Sunday. The engine test took place Saturday at a facility in southern India and lasted ten seconds. The engine will be used in the upper stage of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
  • ESA announced Friday that the space agency has signed a contract with Astrium for the construction of the CryoSat remote sensing satellite. The 70-million euro (US$61 million) CryoSat, scheduled for launch in April 2004, will measure the thickness and coverage of polar ice sheets.
  • A Russian government official clarified recent statements about plans to transfer launches from Baikonur, saying that only military launches would be moved to Plesetsk by 2005. Deputy defense minister Alexander Kosovan told AFP that military launches will be transferred to Plesetsk by 2005, using the new Angara booster, while ISS launches will continue to use Baikonur. Earlier statements by Kosovan and others indicated that all launches would be moved from Baikonur, which outside experts found unlikely.
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