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News briefs: May 20
Posted: Tue, May 21, 2002, 9:07 AM ET (1307 GMT)
  • A coolant glitch in one ISS module shut down power throughout the station for several hours Sunday, NASA officials reported Monday. Bad data sent by a pump in the Zvezda module to a computer system caused that computer system to start shutting down systems in the orbiting outpost. Ground controllers were able to stop the shutdown before attitude control systems were affected, and power was completely restored in about three hours.
  • A haze that had hampered the view of the main camera on the Cassini spacecraft has largely cleared, mission officials reported this weekend. Heaters in the camera were left on throughout March and April, and images taken of the bright star Spica after the heating was completed showed that 90 percent of image diffusion previously seen had disappeared. Another heating period began on May 9 and is scheduled to last through early June in an effort to remove all the haze.
  • Launch controllers successfully completed a dress rehearsal for the launch of the first Atlas 5 booster late last week, Spaceflight Now reported. The launch of the new booster, carrying the Hot Bird 6 communications satellite, is currently scheduled for July 8, although that launch date may change to late July to provide some additional "contingency time" according to Lockheed Martin officials.
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