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News briefs: April 27-28
Posted: Mon, Apr 29, 2002, 9:49 AM ET (1349 GMT)
  • A long term master plan for the Cape Canaveral spaceport should be ready by July, Florida Today reported this weekend. The report will plan the use of the spaceport for the next 50 years, with a growing emphasis on future commercial, horizontally-launched vehicles. An update on the status of the study will be provided this week during the 39th Space Congress meeting at the Cape.
  • A small student-built spacecraft deployed by the shuttle last year reentered the Earth's atmosphere early Friday. The Starshine-2 spacecraft reentered at around 7:00 am EDT (1100 GMT) Friday near the British Isles, according to Spaceflight Now. Deployed by the shuttle Endeavour in December, the spacecraft was itended to remain in orbit for eight months, but strong solar activity increased atmospheric drag and caused the orbit to decay faster than planned.
  • NASA's Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft started a second extended mission this month, according to JPL. The extended mission will continue until late 2004, and will include stereo imaging of potential landing sites for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, scheduled for launch next year. MGS completed its prime mission in early 2001 and started an extended mission immediately thereafter.
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