March 2004 Space News
- MARS ROVERS VOA 08 Apr 2004 -- The U-S space agency NASA says its twin Mars rovers appear healthy enough to last at least five more months. It has extended their water-seeking odyssey now that the "Spirit" rover has completed its 90 day prime mission and the "Opportunity" robot is approaching that goal.
- Transformation Director Says Cold War Space Approach Must Change AFPS 31 Mar 2004 -- Transformation across the armed forces is happening much faster than expected when the concept was announced two years ago, the Defense Department's director of force transformation told lawmakers during recent testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.
- A decisive step in the development of the European Space transporter ATV EADS 31 Mar 2004 -- Europe's first Automated Transfer Vehicle, ATV, has been integrated and is currently being electrically tested in Bremen. For the first time the three ATV elements are linked electrically in order to verify flight readiness: the propulsion module, the fully equipped avionics bay and the integrated cargo carrier. With the completion of these tests, the engineers from EADS SPACE Transportation have achieved another milestone on the way towards the first flight of the unmanned space transporter to the International Space Station, ISS. Under contract to the European Space Agency ESA, EADS SPACE Transportation is developing and building this completely new space vehicle. "We are highly satisfied with the test results. We have relied heavily on the expertise and competence of our engineers and the excellence of our facilities," said Josef Kind, President of EADS SPACE Transportation, in Bremen on Wednesday.
- Boeing Selected to Co-Develop and Launch Next DigitalGlobe Imaging Satellite Boeing 30 Mar 2004 -- For the second time, Boeing [NYSE: BA] has been selected to launch another satellite for DigitalGlobe in support of the Colorado-based company's expanding space imaging business.
- Boeing Awarded $189 Million Space-Based Surveillance System Contract Boeing 30 Mar 2004 -- A Boeing [BA: NYSE] and Ball Aerospace team has won a $189 million contract to develop and initially operate the Space-Based Space Surveillance System (SBSS) for the U.S. Air Force.
- Northrop Grumman Successfully Tests New Engine for Next-Generation Space Launch Vehicles Northrop Grumman 30 Mar 2004 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has developed and successfully tested a Reaction Control Subsystem (RCS) engine for next-generation reusable space launch and transportation vehicles. The new engine burns nontoxic propellants, an achievement that enhances safety, reliability and affordability.
- International Interest in Missile Defense Rising, Kadish Says Washington File 29 Mar 2004 -- The director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) says governments and companies around the world are expressing greater interest in participating in the widening effort to develop defenses against ballistic missiles.
- Northrop Grumman's AstroMesh Reflector Successfully Deployed on MBSAT Satellite Northrop Grumman 29 Mar 2004 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) AstroMesh deployable reflector system successfully deployed aboard the MBSAT satellite early today. The MBSAT satellite was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral for Mobile Broadcasting Corporation (MBCO) of Japan and SK Telecom (SKT) of Korea.
- Orbital's Hyper-X Rocket Successfully Launches NASA's X-43A Hypersonic Scramjet Orbital Sciences Corp. 27 Mar 2004 -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that its Hyper-X Launch Vehicle was successfully launched on Saturday, March 27 in a flight test that originated from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center located at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The Hyper-X launch vehicle uses a modified first stage rocket motor, originally designed and flight-proven aboard Orbital's Pegasus® space launch vehicle, to accelerate NASA's X-43A air-breathing scramjet to seven times the speed of sound.
- General Explains Missile Defense Funding Request AFPS 26 Mar 2004 -- The man in charge of safeguarding the United States against a ballistic missile attack warned members of the House Armed Services Committee's Strategic Forces Subcommittee on March 25 that in the coming years the country will face a ballistic threat from a variety of sources.
- Rover Finds More Evidence of Water on Ancient Mars Washington File 24 Mar 2004 -- The Opportunity rover has detected rocks on the surface of Mars marked by patterns that suggest the stones formed as deposits in a saltwater body, according to an announcement from the National Air and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory March 23.
- World: Mars Mission Finds Evidence Of A Salty Sea Hospitable To Life RFE/RL 24 Mar 2004 -- U.S. space scientists have moved one step closer to determining whether Mars once harbored life. Earlier this month, one of two robotic vehicles roaming the planet found evidence that water had once eroded stone. Now they've announced that the evidence points to something even more important.
- Eutelsat W3A, the first Eurostar E3000 satellite, reaches geostationary orbit EADS 24 Mar 2004 -- After its launch from Baikonur by a Proton launch vehicle, the satellite’s perigee altitude was raised in several burns of its own engine until it reached geostationary orbit. Its solar arrays were successfully deployed as were the antenna reflectors, and the satellite is now accurately pointing to Earth. All systems are behaving nominally. As planned the satellite is slowly drifting round to its orbital position where it will be thoroughly tested before the payload can be brought into full operational service.
- Israel Aircraft Industries Delivers AMOS 2 Communications Satellite to Spacecom Following Successful Post Launch Tests Israel Aerospace Industries 24 Mar 2004 -- Following a series of successful post-launch tests of the AMOS 2 communications satellite, which was launched December 28, 2003, Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)'s MBT Space Division, officially delivered the $130 million operational satellite to Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. on March 24, 2004.
- MARS / WATER VOA 23 Mar 2004 -- The U-S space agency NASA says Mars once had a shallow, salty sea that could have supported life. The evidence has come from chemical and physical traits of rocks being explored by one of the two robotic rovers on the red planet.
- ATK supports launch of Boeing Delta II rocket ATK 22 Mar 2004 -- ATK (Alliant Techsystems, NYSE: ATK) solid propulsion and composite technologies supported Saturday’s successful launch of a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. that successfully placed into orbit the 11th Class 2R satellite for the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System (GPS 2R-11) constellation.
- SHUTTLE REPAIRS VOA 22 Mar 2004 -- The U-S space agency NASA is conducting an investigation into the failure of inspections over the years to find that a critical gear in a shuttle tail rudder was improperly installed when the orbiters were built in the 1970s. The part is being replaced, but one NASA official says the mistake could have been catastrophic to a shuttle crew.
- Boeing Delta II Deploys 50th GPS Satellite Boeing 20 Mar 2004 -- The 50th satellite launched for the U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS), GPS IIR-11, was delivered to space today by a Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II rocket.
- U.S. Air Force Successfully Launches Upgraded GPS Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin 20 Mar 2004 -- A Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for the U.S. Air Force was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The satellite features significant upgrades, including an advanced antenna panel, which will deliver greater performance and power for GPS receivers. Today's launch represented the 50th GPS mission for the nation.
- U.S. AIR FORCE PREPARES TO LAUNCH ADVANCED GPS SATELLITE Lockheed Martin 19 Mar 2004 -- The U.S. Air Force is ready to launch an upgraded Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] aboard a Delta II rocket on March 20, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Improved satellite features include an advanced antenna panel, which will deliver greater performance and power for GPS receivers.
- General Dynamics to Acquire Spectrum Astro, Inc. General Dynamics 18 Mar 2004 -- General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Gilbert, Ariz.-based Spectrum Astro, Inc., a privately held space systems integrator for the U.S. government. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is subject to normal regulatory approval; it is expected to close within 60 days. The acquisition will be accretive to General Dynamics. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
- MARS / WATER VOA 18 Mar 2004 -- The European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter has sent back images that show there is plenty of icy water at the red planet's southern pole. The finding confirms previous scientific studies suggesting the presence of icy water in the far reaches of earth's closest neighbor.
- Carrier rocket for Shenzhou VI to be shipped in June or July,2005 PLA Daily 17 Mar 2004 -- China will see the shipment of the carrier rocket for Shenzhou VI, the country's second manned space flight to be launched in 2005, in June or July next year, revealed a top scientist Monday.
- Space Digest VOA 17 Mar 2004 -- Water on Mars; Tumbleweed Rover; New Comet; Photos of Distant Galaxies
- Boeing Establishes Space Exploration Systems and Earth Science Boeing 15 Mar 2004 -- To better support the President's new space exploration policy, Boeing [NYSE: BA] has established the Space Exploration Systems (SES) office and the Earth Science Applications office.
- ILS Launches Loral-Built MBSAT Satellite; Atlas Rocket Marks 70th Straight Success Lockheed Martin 13 Mar 2004 -- An International Launch Services (ILS) Atlas III rocket blasted off early this morning, successfully orbiting the MBSAT satellite for Space Systems/Loral (SS/L). This was the 70th consecutive successful flight of an Atlas vehicle, and the second launch of the year conducted by ILS, a Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) joint venture.
- W3A spacecraft ready for launch EADS 12 Mar 2004 -- Designed and built by EADS Astrium for EUTELSAT, the W3A spacecraft, the first of the Eurostar E3000 series, is scheduled for launch on a PROTON launch vehicle from Baikonur on 16 March 2004 at 04:07 (00:07 CET time). When in orbit, it will provide a full range of services in Ku and Ka-bands, to include business communications and Internet and television transmission over a large area covering Europe and Africa, from its 7° degree East orbit location.
- NATO, Russia Conduct First Joint Missile Defense Exercise Washington File 11 Mar 2004 -- NATO and Russia are conducting their first joint exercise to test the interoperability of missile defense systems.
- NASA Looks a Decade Ahead in Planning Its Mars Missions Washington File 11 Mar 2004 -- The two exploratory vehicles currently roaming the surface of Mars are sending back data that have been "incredibly revealing," National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Associate Administrator Edward Weiler told the Senate Space subcommittee March 10.
- Hubble Telescope Sees Deep into the Universe Washington File 10 Mar 2004 -- The Hubble Space Telescope has achieved its most probing view ever of the visible universe, according to a March 9 press release from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
- ILS' ATLAS III LAUNCH OF MBSAT SATELLITE POSTPONED FOR 24 HOURS Lockheed Martin 10 Mar 2004 -- International Launch Services has rescheduled the launch of the MBSAT satellite on an Atlas III rocket, AC-202, to 12:40 a.m. EST Saturday. The one-day extension was granted at the request of Space Systems/Loral for administrative purposes.
- PROS, CONS EXCHANGED IN DEBATE ON PURCHASE OF ANTI-MISSILE EQUIPMENT CNA 10 Mar 2004 -- Two debaters expressed their pros and cons in a televised debate Wednesday over the question of Taiwan's anti-missile military procurement, one of the two questions to be raised in a referendum planned for March 20 to coincide with the presidential election.
- HUBBLE IMAGE VOA 09 Mar 2004 -- Just-released photos from the Hubble space telescope have unveiled the earliest and deepest images into the universe to date. Scientists around the world are trying to decipher the Hubble images that peer into space 13 billion light years away to try to understand how galaxies originate.
- MARS ROVER VOA 07 Mar 2004 -- The Mars twin rovers are preparing to search for more evidence of water on the red planet. Last week, scientists announced Opportunity had found geological signs of great amounts of water, an ingredient necessary to sustain life.
- NATO-Russia Council Theatre Missile Defence Command Post Exercise (TMD CPX) NATO 05 Mar 2004 -- Under the aegis of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), the Theatre Missile Defence Ad Hoc Working Group will conduct the first joint NATO-Russia TMD Command Post Exercise from 8-12 March 2004 at the United States Joint National Integration Center (JNIC) (1) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- MARS / WATER VOA 05 Mar 2004 -- A U-S Mars rover has found more hints that water once existed on the planet. The latest evidence is on the other side of the planet from where scientists showed earlier this week that water once drenched the region.
- Lockheed Martin's PAC-3 Missile Successfully Intercepts Tactical Ballistic Missile in Test Lockheed Martin 04 Mar 2004 -- Lockheed Martin's [NYSE: LMT] Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile successfully intercepted and destroyed an incoming tactical ballistic missile (TBM) in a test today at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The battle-proven PAC-3 Missile is the world's only fielded hit-to-kill, kinetic energy air defense missile.
- Spacecraft Finds Evidence of Water in Martian Past Washington File 03 Mar 2004 -- The rocks of Mars seem to reveal a past in which the Red Planet was a wet planet. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, headquarters for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) MARS mission, announced March 2 that the exploratory rover on Mars has discovered strong evidence that the area of the planet under investigation was once soaking wet.
- MEADS International Announces New Leadership as Company Readies for Upcoming Design & Development Program Lockheed Martin 03 Mar 2004 -- The MEADS International (MI) Board of Directors today announced that James J. Cravens, Jr., has been named the next president of MI, an international company developing the next-generation ground-mobile air and missile defense system for the United States, Germany, and Italy. The leadership change readies MI for entry into the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) Design & Development contract in the months ahead.
- TAIWAN TO PURCHASE SIX PATRIOT PAC-3 MISSILE BATTERIES: MND CNA 03 Mar 2004 -- Taiwan will purchase six Patriot PAC-3 missile batteries from the United States under a 10-year weaponry system procurement plan, a high ranking Ministry of National Defense (MND) official said Wednesday.
- Rosetta Successfully Launched - EADS SPACE has a major role in this mission EADS 02 Mar 2004 -- This morning, at 8:17:44 CET, the European Ariane 5 lifted off successfully from the spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana). The cometary probe Rosetta, built under the leadership of EADS Astrium is now on its long journey to the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
- ILS To Launch NRO Mission As First Atlas V Flight From Upgraded Pad Lockheed Martin 02 Mar 2004 -- International Launch Services (ILS), a Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT) joint venture, has been given the green light for what will be the first Atlas V launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The launch will be from Space Launch Complex (SLC) 3-East, which is being refurbished to support a late 2005 launch for this national security mission.
- ILS, Alcatel Sign Contract To Launch WORLDSAT 3 Satellite Lockheed Martin 02 Mar 2004 -- International Launch Services (ILS) will provide a Russian Proton rocket to launch the WORLDSAT 3 communications satellite, under a contract with Alcatel Space of Paris announced today.
- Space Digest VOA 02 Mar 2004 -- " Today we tell the latest news from the International Space Station. We tell about new evidence of a black hole, one of the most powerful objects in space. We report about problems that must be solved before people can be sent to the planet Mars. We begin our report with news about the two vehicles that are now exploring that planet."
- Europe: Comet-Chasing Spacecraft Due To Blast Off RFE/RL 01 Mar 2004 -- The European Space Agency is due this week to launch a mission to explore a distant comet. The spacecraft will eventually orbit the comet and -- for the first time ever -- send a lander to its surface to look for clues to the origins of the solar system.
- NATO Statement on the EU Commission - US Agreement on GPS/Galileo cooperation NATO 01 Mar 2004 -- "NATO welcomes the agreements reached between the United States and the European Commission on overall principles governing Galileo/GPS cooperation."
- Sea Launch and Inmarsat Sign Launch Agreement Boeing 01 Mar 2004 -- Sea Launch Company, LLC, and Inmarsat Ltd, the Total Communications Network TM announce the signing of a launch services agreement under which Sea Launch will be the contractor for the launch of the second Inmarsat I-4 satellite, presently planned for 2005. The agreement, signed on December 16, 2003, includes an option for an additional launch at a later date and for Sea Launch to be the backup on the first Inmarsat I-4 launch, currently planned for late 2004.
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