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News briefs: May 7
Posted: Wed, May 8, 2002, 10:06 AM ET (1406 GMT)
  • Mark Shuttleworth will not be able to buy the Soyuz spacecraft he returned to Earth in, Russian officials said Tuesday. Shuttleworth had expressed an interest in purchasing the Soyuz TM-33 spacecraft, but Russian officials nixed the bid, saying the spacecraft was federal property and export controls prevented its sale. Shuttleworth may instead purchase a replica of the Soyuz. Russian officials did say that Shuttleworth was welcome to keep his spacesuit.
  • NASA and a group of black workers have reached a settlement over a discrimination complaint, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. A total of 120 workers at the Goddard Space Flight Center and Wallops Flight Facility complained that were systematically denied promotions years ago, according to the complaint files with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The employees will receive $3.75 million in compensation, and NASA agreed to spend an additional $500,000 to evaluate its promotion system.
  • The Teal Group consulting firm announced Tuesday that it estimates there are 1,547 payloads planned for launch in the next ten years. The number, down nearly 30 percent from last year, includes all commercial, civilian, and military spacecraft that have been proposed for launch between 2002 and 2011. Just over half of the payloads are American, and at least 61 percent are planned for low-Earth orbits.
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