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News briefs: March 23-24
Posted: Mon, Mar 25, 2002, 8:16 AM ET (1316 GMT)
  • The production of GEO communications satellites will drop 25 percent by the middle of the decade, according to a report by Forecast International. The report predicts that the market for such satellites will drop from 40 in 2003 to 31 by 2006, and then remain flat through 2011. A lack of investor confidence in broadband Internet by satellite projects, like Astrolink, is partially to blame for the drop in demand.
  • The US Space and Rocket Center is seeking a $15 million bond from Alabama state legislators to upgrade the Huntsville museum and accompanying Space Camp facility, the Huntsville Times reported Saturday. Legislators were lukewarm to the proposal, according the report, noting the center's financial problems.
  • A pair of quasars close together in the sky are separate objects and not an optical illusion, astronomers have concluded. The quasar pair Q2345+007 was discovered two decades ago, but many thought the pair was an optical illusion: a single quasar whose light has been split by a gravitational lens. However, Chandra observations show that the two objects have different spectra at x-ray wavelengths, making it likely that the two are different objects that only appear similar in visible light.
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