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News briefs: April 1
Posted: Tue, Apr 2, 2002, 8:33 AM ET (1333 GMT)
  • XM Satellite Radio announced Monday that it signed up over 48,000 new subscribers in the first quarter of 2002, exceeding most predictions. The company now has over 76,000 subscribers for its satellite radio service, which began nationwide service late last year, and is on track to reach 350,000 subscribers by the end of 2002. Analysts believe, though, that the company needs several million subscribers in order to make a profit.
  • The US Chamber of Commerce is urging Congress to continue its support of the Space Launch Initiative (SLI). The Chamber's Space Enterprise Council issued a white paper Monday recommending that Congress fully fund SLI in the proposed 2003 budget. "It is difficult to convince Congress that a program is producing results in the absence of flight testing," said Mark Bitterman, an Orbital Sciences Corporation executive and chair of the council's policy committee, "and that's why the space community is committed to rallying widespread support for SLI in this year’s budget."
  • Russian Deputy Defense Minister Lyubov Kudelina visited the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on Monday. Kudelina visited the site in northern Russia to review plans to upgrade Plesetsk's infrastructure to support the launch of new launch vehicles, such as Soyuz-2 and Angara, in the next several years.
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