Space: October 16, 1999


: The first flight test of the Roton (a possible space vehicle with rotating blades allowing it to land safely for re-use) was conducted on 23 July; it made three short hops without enough thrust for a continuous hover. During the second test on 16 Sept, more power rotor tip rocket motors allowed it to hover for 2.5 minutes.--Stephen V Cole

Intelsat (the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization) is so peeved at new US controls over satellite exports that it is threatening to pull its headquarters out of Washington DC and move it to Europe. Intelsat plans to privatize itself and offer stock to the market, and this could result in foreign governments (e.g., China) gaining an inside look at Intelsat's technology database. US export controls could derail the privatization plan.--Stephen V Cole