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News briefs: May 23
Posted: Fri, May 24, 2002, 10:33 AM ET (1433 GMT)
  • A problem with the tape recorder on the Galileo spacecraft could hamper its last scientific flyby later this year. Engineers are trying to troubleshoot a problem that has stalled the spacecraft's tape recorder, used to record data before relaying it to Earth. If the problem cannot be corrected before Galileo flies by the small inner moon Amalthea in November, scientists will be limited to the data that can be immediately transmitted back to Earth by the spacecraft's antenna.
  • Commercial launch activity will continue at only modest levels for the next decade, according to a pair of forecasts released Thursday. A model of launches of commercial geosynchronous orbit payloads, prepared by the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), predicts an average of 20.5 launches a year between 2002 and 2011. A separate forecast of commercial non-geosynchronous orbit launch activity by the FAA's Office of the Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (AST) predicts an average of 6.3 launches a year. Overall launch demand is down 16.5 percent from last year's forecast.
  • A Buran put up for auction by a Los Angeles radio station failed to attract any bids, reported Wednesday. The auction, by KFWB-AM, ended Wednesday with no qualifying bids; the minimum amount was $6 million. The Buran model for auction was the one shipped to Australia and put on exhibition in Sydney in 2000.
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news links
Wednesday, May 23
NASA, Iridium carpooled on Tuesday’s SpaceX mission
Los Angeles Business Journal — 6:01 am ET (1001 GMT)

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