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Constellation of satellites.
Sep 18, 2003 The European Union announced on Thursday that China will play a role in the development of the Galileo constellation of satellites, which are designed to provide a similar solution as the US-based Global Positioning System. The exact commitments from China haven't been detailed yet, but the two groups have set up a training, cooperation, and information centre for satellite navigation in China at Beijing University. Galileo will be built with 30 navigation satellites to provide complete global coverage - it's expected to be fully operational by 2008.
Sep 18, 2003 Scaled Composites announced today that it has selected San Diego-based SpaceDev to build the rocket engine for SpaceShipOne. The hybrid engine uses nitrous oxide and rubber, and was chosen for both safety and performance. SpaceShipOne is Scaled Composite's entrant into the X-Prize; a $10 million prize to the first private company able to launch a 2-person crew to an altitude of 100 km. No future plans or launch dates have been announced but the spacecraft must complete a successful flight before the end of 2004 to claim the prize.
Sep 18, 2003 The European Space Agency is helping to track the movement of Hurricane Isabel using its ERS-2 spacecraft, and released this photo of the storm Thursday morning as it menaced the East Coast of the US. ERS-2 has also been gathering other information about the storm, including sea surface temperatures, wind and rainfall levels. Isabel is a Category 2 hurricane, and expected to make landfall in the early afternoon on Thursday in North Carolina.
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