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Business briefs: April 10
Posted: Thu, Apr 11, 2002, 8:04 AM ET (1204 GMT)
  • Lockheed will cut 325 jobs at the New Orleans facility that builds space shuttle external tanks, the AP reported Wednesday. The layoffs at the Michoud Operations plant were triggered by NASA's plans to reduce the number of tanks it procures from eight to six a year.
  • Aerojet announced Wednesday that it has validated the design for a tri-fluid propellant injector for a reusable rocket engine. A series of hot fire tests in February and March confirmed the capabilities of the injector design. The system uses decomposed peroxide, used to drive the turbopump, to ignite the hydrogen peroxide and jet fuel propellents. The engine is being developed for the Air Force's Space Maneuver Vehicle project.
  • The failure of a number of satellite communications ventures has put a squeeze on the US military's operations, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The article noted that the military decided in the 1990s to put a greater reliance on commercial communications systems, including those under development. However, the failure or delay of many of those efforts, like Teledesic, Astrolink, and Spaceway has limited the amount of bandwidth available for military use. Future military communications satellites will fill only part of the bandwidth gap, according to the article
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