Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) successfully launched a Soyuz-U rocket yesterday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It carried the Kosmos-2359 military satellite which will be used by the Russian Defence Ministry, Itar-Tass reported.
Another Soyuz launched Kosmos-2358 spacecraft on Wednesday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.
An additional rocket launch had been planned from Baikonur on Wednesday morning, but was postponed because of a malfunction in the Zenit-2 booster rocket. That rocket was to have carried one Russian (Resurs-O) and five foreign satellites (from Australia, Chile, Germany, Israel, and Thailand respectively) into orbit. The launch will not take place before July 8, Itar-Tass reported, adding it took two weeks to repair the rocket. The Zenit rocket is manufactured by the Ukrainian production amalgamation Yuzhmash. Launchers of this type are to be used for the SeaLaunch venture, the news agency said.
The launch of an American satellite on a Russian Proton K has been postponed for almost a year, reported news agency Interfax. GE Americom, the owner of the unidentified satellite, told its Russian partners it wanted to install a new antenna array on the spacecraft. It is unknown whether the original array was faulty or whether the satellite will be modified for whatever reason. The launch had been scheduled for July. The Proton K rocket that was to launch the satellite will now be used to put AT&T Skynet's Telstar VI into orbit in October.
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"Contracts for the development and production of solid rocket motors to power strategic missiles have shrunk from the principal source of our business to a relatively small part of our annual sales," Paul A. Ross, group Vice President for Space and Strategic Systems, Allient Techsystems, told the U.S. House Committee on Science.
"The U.S. government has spent billions of dollars over decades to develop the technology of solid propulsion," Ross said. "Today, that capability is being sustained by the use of the motors to launch commercial satellites," he added.
Ross and Thiokol Vice President for Business Development Oren B. Phillips said that the portion of rocket motor sales associated with commercial launch now exceeds 80 percent of the companies' business.
Both said that on the technical side there was no difference in developing and maintaining missiles for either the commercial or the military sector. Should the commercial market crumble, "the cost of the missile systems sold to the Defense sector would drastically increase," Ross said.
Same with Mr Phillips: "A healthy, robust U.S. commercial launch industry is critical to our strategic missile capability and our future." He added that "Each foreign launch improves that countries' space capability and indirectly strengthens their strategic missile capability while damaging our own."
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Flight 503 was always meant to be an Arianespace flight, even if it would be a qualification flight with data for ESA... Prior to the 501 failure it was even the first commercial flight.
After the A502 launch, the launch complex has already been officially handed over to Arianespace. Even the responsibility for flight 503 lies fully in Arianespace's hands.
The rest of the story [in Sat-ND, 24.06.1998] is as far as I can oversee, correct. There is however a slight new twist: As Sat-ND already questioned: Why build a dummy satellite if you already could get the perfect one?
Arianespace is in discussion with the present owners of the W1 satellite (an unknown insurance company) to buy the damaged satellite back, get it in shape (possibly even in a working order) and put it on the A503. The estimated price lies around US$15 million higher as budgeted, but the availability of the craft has to be taken into account. To construct a dummy satellite would delay the launch most definitely by another two to three months. This would delay all contractual flights with following Ariane 5 rockets. Arianespace cannot afford more launch delays, owing to unavailable spacecraft as in the last months.
Arianespace is also in discussion with Eutelsat, that after an eventual successful launch and an eventual working satellite, the cost will be shared and the satellite to be controlled from the ESA centre in Spain. It could be that Arianespace finally becomes a satellite operator after all. What a chance for Eutelsat however to get a cheap bird on 29 East!
Henk's site: http://www.sat-net.com/sat-mideast/
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SOHO went into emergency sun re-acquisition mode. This mode is activated when an anomaly occurs and the spacecraft loses its orientation toward the sun. When this happens, the spacecraft automatically tries to point itself toward the sun again by firing its attitude control thrusters under the guidance of an onboard sun sensor.
Efforts to re-establish contact with SOHO did not succeed and telemetry was lost. Subsequent attempts using the full NASA Deep Space Network capabilities have so far also not been successful.
Engineers from NASA and ESA are attempting to re-establish contact with the spacecraft.
SOHO is a joint mission of the European Space Agency and NASA. It was launched aboard an Atlas 2AS rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL, on Dec. 2, 1995. In April 1998, SOHO successfully completed its nominal two-year mission to study the Sun's atmosphere, surface and interior.
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Yuri Semenov, president of RKK Energia, accused the government of not any bills towards maintenance of Mir this year. Semyonov was quoted as saying "we might as well pack up and go on vacation." The station's operators held a meeting today to devise "non-standard" ways to keep Mir in orbit. Nothing is known about the outcome yet. However, scientists today also planned to brief Russian Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko on the situation.
"If there's no response, we will meet again with all the scientists present, in order to take a final decision on the fate of the station," said Semenov. "Once we abandon the station, its fate will be the government's responsibility."
He said the technical staff would soon have no choice but to order the current two-man crew of Mir to return to Earth, leaving the station unmanned. The 130-tonnes Mir, left unsupervised, may within two years fall to Earth and could crash in a populated area, causing massive loss of life.
Keeping Mir in orbit will, at least in the short run, be cheaper anyway. Abandoning the station in a controlled fashion requires several cargo ships sent up over a short period to disassemble the station and to use their engines to direct it into lower orbits.
Russian space officials originally planned to keep the 12-year-old Mir flying until the end of 1999.
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State Department spokesman James Rubin even was quoted as saying "There is some chance that a third party could examine recovered devices to gain some knowledge." Oh yeah, that's it! Aliens abducted Intelsat 708!
All lived happily ever after.
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by Dr Sarmaz
Culture Secretary Chris Smith announced that the matches were dropped from the so-called "A"-list of protected events, which means that pay-TV broadcasters (or rather: the pay-TV broadcaster) will be able to bid for the rights to Test matches and limited overs internationals played in England.
The Australian Associated Press said the move "virtually ensures that BSkyB ... will take over all English cricket telecasts from the BBC." However, secondary broadcast rights will have to be left to terrestrial stations.
The government has at the same time added some other events to the protected list: the European football [soccer] championship finals, the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final, and the Rugby World Cup Final.
Critics pointed to the fact that KRM's tabloids, which so far supported Prime Minister Tony Blair, seem to have turned against him. The Scum... the Stun... no, silly typos, the Sun this week asked whether Blair was "the most dangerous man in Britain" because he favoured the idea of a single European currency.
"You have got a prime minister who is beleaguered by the Sun at the moment and who would clearly like to do some favours to restore the special relationship he has with those newspapers," Conservative member of parliament Roger Gale commented on BBC radio.
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"If Mr. Hanrick had listed a couple of more U.S. satellite manufacturers, he'd have it right and fewer people would be confused. The satellites were actually built by Hughes and were the first sale of the HS-601."
Oh good. Any other suggestions? I most certainly won't check all that and make no attempts to find out the ultimate truth. Yeah mahn!
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"Honey," he shouted at her, "don't ask questions. Just drop your clothes and hop into bed." Caught up in his excitement, she did. He undressed nervously and hurried in after her. Just as he was climbing into bed, he said, "beep," and he was up. He was just starting to enter his young wife when she said, "What's all this beep beep shit?"
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