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SMALLER SATELLITES OK’D FOR U.S. SPACE SYSTEM

SHARE SMALLER SATELLITES OK’D FOR U.S. SPACE SYSTEM

President Bush has made formal a policy shift under which the nation's space agency will use more and smaller satellites for its Earth Observation System intead of the two huge and costly ones originally planned, the White House said Friday.

The decision affects satellites to be sent aloft near the end of the decade to begin a 30-year study of factors that influence the Earth's environment.The Space Council, chaired by Vice President Dan Quayle, had urged NASA to switch to a network of smaller satellites to trim launch costs and avoid the risks of relying on only two, more expensive platforms. The space agency agreed, and Bush's policy directive merely makes it official.