The U.S. unmanned space operations crisis continued to unfold last week with the malfunction and possible loss in orbit of a new science satellite and a finding by Lockheed Martin that an inherent design flaw in its Athena vehicle caused the earlier failure of the Ikonos commercial remote sensing mission. Further, the failure of a Pratt&Whitney RL10B upper stage engine on a Boeing Delta III on May 4 has now also resulted in the grounding of the Atlas-Centaur commercial booster, ...

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