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News briefs: April 22
Posted: Tue, Apr 23, 2002, 8:09 AM ET (1209 GMT)
  • Northrop Grumman and TRW exchanged press releases Monday in a dispute over a confidentiality agreement. Northrop said it rejected an agreement provided by TRW as a condition of sharing financial information because it found TRW's agreement too restrictive. TRW claimed the agreement was reasonable, and said one other, unnamed company had signed it, suggesting the beginning of a bidding war for the company.
  • In the latest series of conflicting signals about the future of Baikonur, the head of the Russian Space Forces said Monday that the Russian military will continuing using the launch site until at least 2011. Previous reports had suggested that the military would transfer launch operations to Plesetsk as soon as 2005 in an effort to save money. Baikonur will continue to be used for ISS and commercial launches for the foreseeable future, regardless of the military's decision.
  • A Titan 2 booster whose launch has been delayed for over a year has been destacked from the launch pad to clear the way for another launch. The Titan 2 was supposed to launch a military weather satellite in January 2001, but a series of launch vehicle and spacecraft problems have delayed that launch until at least October. Another Titan 2 will be stacked on the pad to launch a NOAA weather satellite in June. This was the first time a Titan 2 was defueled and destacked on the pad.
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