Space: March 15, 2000


The US has rescheduled the launch of the Multi-Spectral Thermal Imager spy satellite for 19 March. The satellite is designed to detect targets camouflaged against plain optical satellite photography. The launch was originally set for 28 Feb, but when the US issued routine launch warnings of possible falling debris, French Polynesia asked for the mission to be canceled as the inhabited island of Marutea was in the possible impact zone. The US then explained that Marutea was not really in the elliptically-shaped zone, just in the rectangular outline used as a simplified definition of it. --Stephen V Cole


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