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News briefs: March 28
Posted: Fri, Mar 29, 2002, 8:48 AM ET (1348 GMT)
  • ESA's Envisat spacecraft has returned its first images of the Earth, the space agency reported this week. ESA released images taken by Envisat ranging from an Antarctic ice shelf to Senegal. Envisat was launched a month ago on an Ariane 5 and is undergoing a calibration and checkout process.
  • A Proton rocket is scheduled to launch an Intelsat communications satellite on Saturday. The Proton K is scheduled to lift off from Baikonur at 12:25 pm EST (1725 GMT) and place the Intelsat 903 into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The launch is the first commercial Proton launch since June 2001.
  • Sirius Satellite Radio announced this week it was speeding up the national rollout of its satellite radio service. Sirius will be available nationwide by July 1, a month earlier than previously planned. The company also renegotiated a loan with Lehman Brothers to spread out $150 million in payments that had been due by the end of the year.
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