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News briefs: May 4-5
Posted: Mon, May 6, 2002, 2:15 PM ET (1815 GMT)
  • PanAmSat will likely remain an autonomous entity even after EchoStar acquires the communications satellite operator, Space News reported Friday. PanAmSat is currently 81 percent owned by Hughes, and EchoStar agreed to purchase Hughes' share of the company even if the larger DIRECTV-EchoStar merger fails to go through. Analysts had speculated that EchoStar would spin off or sell PanAmSat to another company, since it does not fit in well with the rest of EchoStar.
  • The SETI@home project achieved a major milestone late last week when the number of results exceeded 500 million. Those results are the efforts of several million users analyzing bits of data, known as "work units", from SETI search efforts when their computers would otherwise be idle. The project is now nearly three years old and has used nearly one million year's worth of computer time in an effort to detect signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.
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