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U.K. Plans New Mission to Retrieve Rocks from Mars.
March 28, 2001
India Scrubs New Rocket Launch
Iridium Service Set to Re-Open
U.K. Plans New Mission to Retrieve Rocks from Mars
INDIA SCRUBS NEW ROCKET LAUNCH
The test launch of a newly developed Indian rocket was aborted yesterday when flames spurted out the side of one of the rocket's 4 strap-on boosters. The three-stage GSLV-D1 was scheduled to launch from the Sriharikota launch site, carrying an experimental communications satellite into geosynchronous orbit. Initial investigations point to a failure of the liquid propellant strap-on booster rockets. At this point the mission has been declared cancelled - it's unknown when they'll try to launch again.
IRIDIUM SERVICE SET TO RE-OPEN
After they were nearly deorbited last year, but saved by a $25 million buyout, the Iridium satellites are ready to go back to work, providing communications services to anywhere on the globe. The new company has already signed a deal with the US Department of Defense, and only needs 60,000 customers to cover its costs. To help encourage new customers, it has significantly reduced connection prices, from a former $7/minute to $1.50/minute
U.K. PLANS NEW MISSION TO RETRIEVE ROCKS FROM MARS
British scientists are considering plans to send a spacecraft to Mars to bring a sample back. Launched in 2009 the spacecraft would land on the surface of Mars using airbag technology (similar to the Pathfinder), drill into the ground to retrieve 200 grams of material, and then blast the container into orbit. An orbiter would retrieve the container and then return it to Earth by 2011 - several years before a similar mission by NASA would be complete.
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