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News briefs: April 19
Posted: Sat, Apr 20, 2002, 12:31 PM ET (1631 GMT)
  • The use of space-based missile defense or anti-satellite systems could render low-Earth orbit unusable, one scientist warned Friday. Joel Primack of the University of California Santa Cruz told attendees of a UNESCO conference that the orbital debris generated by the use of such systems could render low-Earth orbits useless for years to even a century, depending on altitude. Former astronaut Sally Ride expressed similar concerns during a speech at Stanford University earlier this month.
  • The crew of the next Soyuz taxi mission arrived at Baikonur on Friday. The crew of the taxi mission includes commander Yuri Gizdenko, ESA astronaut Roberto Vittori, and South African space tourist Mark Shuttleworth. The launch of the flight, known as ISS 4S, is scheduled for 2:26 am EDT (0626 GMT) April 25.
  • Russia and China announced plans Friday to cooperate more closely in space ventures. The two countries plan to increase cooperation in "interplanetary studies, solar-terrestrial relations, space observatories and terrestrial infrastructure", according to RIA Novosti, but did not provide additional details.
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