Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Finalists Chosen for Satellite Project

Three companies are finalists for the Chilean air force's contract to build and launch a research and surveillance satellite. Europe's EADS, Israel Aircraft Industries and MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates of Canada remain from seven original contenders, according to elmostrador.cl. The project, which may cost $80 million, would serve to monitor climate, oceanic, forestry and other geologic trends. It may help watch over Chile's borders, too. The project includes technology transfers to Chile's military and universities. In 1994, Chile's first satellite was a dud: The British-built orbiter couldn't be dislodged from its Ukrainian launcher. A second satellite was put in space in 1998, ending its life in 2001. The winner of the new contract is expected to be announced by the end of April. An earlier contract, with EADS, was voided after controversy over the selection process.

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