Archive for January, 2013

Go, Naro, Go!

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

The payload was only 220 lbs., but a launch is a launch and this one worked.

The AP puts it in context, via the Houston Chronicle

The first satellite launched from South Korean soil is working normally, officials said Thursday, a day after Seoul achieved its space milestone amid high tensions over archrival North Korea’s recent threat to test a third nuclear device.

A South Korean rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from a launch pad Wednesday in the southwestern coastal village of Goheung. Science officials told cheering spectators minutes later that the rocket delivered an observational satellite into orbit. In a brief statement Thursday, the Science Ministry said the satellite was working normally and transmitting data on its orbit.

A crowd gathered around a TV at a train station in downtown Seoul to watch the afternoon launch. “I’m proud we have entered the ranks of satellite powers,” office worker Hyun Day-sun said.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 01/25/2013

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Eutelsat to field test experimental anti-jamming capability on one of its upcoming satellites to be stationed over the Middle East.
[Space News – 01/25/2013]

Fit-check completed for Azerspace and Africasat-1a aboard Ariane 5 for February 7 launch.
[Space Travel – 01/25/2013]

Could Israel and Ukraine join the European Space Agency?
[Space News – 01/25/2013]

China introduces special funding for satellite industrialization program.
[Satellite Spotlight – 01/25/2013]

Iran’s Space Agency officials announce they are manufacturing hi-tech spacesuits.
[Space Travel – 01/25/2013]

European Space Agency activates the Search-and-Rescue payload aboard one of the Galileo positioning, navigation and timing satellites.
[Space News – 01/25/2013]

British Science Minister announces some $95 million in new investments in space technology.
[Space News – 01/25/2013]

General Dynamics upgrading their Manpack radios with kits to add MUOS communication capability.
[SatNews – 01/25/2013]

Inmarsat selects Metaswitch for advanced VoIP products for its Global Xpress Communication Service.
[TMCnet – 01/25/2013]

Translation errors delay ESA’s formal approval of ExoMars pact with Russia.
[Space News – 01/24/2013]

Russia warns Kazakhstan it might withdraw from joint projects if Astana insists on restricting satellite launches from Russia’s rented Baikonur cosmodrome.
[Space Daily – 01/24/2013]

Raytheon bids for U.S. Air Force contract to build a new nuclear command and control communications system using both Extremely High Frequency and Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite waveforms.
[UPI – 01/24/2013]

German space chief feels NASA has made “fundamental change in its thinking” and will allow Europe to build all future propulsion modules for NASA’s Orion crew-transport vehicle.
[Space News – 01/24/2013]

Arabsat concludes first hosted payload deal in the Middle East.
[Satellite Today – 01/24/2013]

Atlas V rocket defect delays launch of NASA’s next Tracking and Data Relay satellite.
[Satellite Today – 01/24/2013]

Glitch in upper stage Rockot vehicle causes further delay in ESA’s Swarm mission.
[Space News – 01/24/2013]

Newtec is selected by Gazprom Space Systems to provide equipment for a new FST platform to be run via the Yamal-402 satellite.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/24/2013]

Eutelsat will offer in-flight connectivity services through KA-SAT.
[Satellite Today – 01/24/2013]

KVH makes satellite TV more affordable for boat owners, dropping price of its 12.5 inch TracVision M1 marine satellite TV antenna by 20 percent.
[SatNews – 01/24/2013]

Norsat launches new Machine-To-Machine satellite product line.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 01/24/2013]

Spain-based Global IP signs multi-year agreements with Intelsat allowing it to provide broadband service to maritime customers in Indian Ocean region.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/24/2013]

Georgian mobile and telecommunication company MagtiCom signs agreement with SES for fourth transponder at ASTRA 31.5 East for Georgia’s first domestic DTH platform. [Satellite Evolution – 01/24/2013]

Resurrecting dead satellites – Pentagon research aims at recovering valuable parts from de-commissioned satellites.
[R&D Magazine – 01/23/2013]

Sea Launch prepares for January 30 launch of Intelsat 27.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/23/2013]

Gilat Peru wins $9.6 million contract to provide satellite connectivity for 320 remote locations and a disaster recovery site for Banco de la Nacion.
[msnbc – 01/23/2013]

GeoEye fails to capture satellite image of Presidential Inauguration in two attempts.
[Satellite Today – 01/23/2013]

Azerbaijan expects to launch its first telecommunications satellite in early February. [UPI – 01/22/2013]

U.S. Export Import Bank guarantees $87.1 million loan to finance Hispasat satellite.
[Satellite Today – 010/22/2013]

UltraHD – a niche opportunity for satellite carriers, according to NSR report.
[NSR – 01/22/2013]

Belgium Satellite Services signs long-term contract with Eutelsat for C-band capacity on Eutelsat 10A.
[Satellite Spotlight – 01/22/2013]

Explorersweb takes a look at satellite phones during its Expedition Tech Week. [Explorersweb – 01/22/2013]

New Trimble service uses satellite broadcast capabilities to deliver high accuracy correction service (better than 20 inch or better than 6 inch) to farmers.
[Yahoo Finance – 01/21/2013]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 01/18/2013

Friday, January 18th, 2013

U.S. Air Force engages U.S. arm of British small-satellite specialist Surrey Satellite Technology to examine new approaches to satellite navigation using small platforms to augment the GPS constellation.
[Space News – 01/18/20013]

More than 3 dozen developing nations have purchased satellites or begun early design in recent years, risking destabilization of global market for satellite capacity; more than half have secured Chinese financing in return for using China’s Long March rocket for launch.
[Space News – 01/18/2013]

Six student alliances from Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal compete in developing software codes to control movements of two mini-robots aboard the International Space Station from ESA’s Netherlands research and technology center.
[Space Daily – 01/18/2013]

NASA beams image of the Mona Lisa to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, nearly 240,000 miles away, in test of communicating with a satellite using a laser.
[CBS News – 01/18/20103]

RapidEye satellites likely to operate into 2019 or later, extending their life beyond design by some 3 years.
[Space News – 01/18/2013]

American Samoa Telecommunications Authority signs agreement with O3b for up to 1.2Gbps of broadband connectivity on the O3b constellation expected to be in place in the third quater this year.
[SatNews – 01/18/2013]

SpaceX plans a pad abort test for its Dragon capsule at Cape Canaveral in December 2013 to demonstrate how passengers could fly away from malfunctioning Falcon rocket.
[Space News – 01/18/2013]

Pactel International signs multi-year multi-transponder deal with SES for capacity on NSS-9 to ramp up voice and data service offerings in the Pacific.
[SatNews – 01/18/2013]

NASA says SpaceX’s Merlin engines are “good to go” for March 1 launch to International Space Station.
[Space News – 01/18/2013]

GEO-2 satellite delivered by U.S.A.F. and Lockheed Martin to Cape Canaveral for March launch.
[SatNews – 01/18/2013]

Pre-launch checkout of Azerspace/Africasat-1a, one of two payloads to be launched on Arianespace’s first 2013 flight, is now underway.
[SatNews – 01/17/2013]

NASA ordered batteries for International Space Station from same Japanese supplier whose batteries are implicated in Boeing 787 Dreamliner troubles.
[NextGov – 01/17/2013]

Thales Alenia expects renewed competition from U.S. satellite manufacturers.
[Space News – 01/17/2013]

NASA and European Space Agency agree to use European service module on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle’s second mission – NASA offers details about fix necessary for Orion crew module whose bulkhead cracked during a test.
[Space News – 01/17/2013]

With four government and two commercial payloads competing for space on four Soyuz rockets scheduled for 203 launches, Arianespace hopes satellite deliver delays will allow it to satisfy all the high-value customers.
[Space News – 01/17/2013]

Lockheed Martin completes work on second MUOS satellite for U.S. Navy.
[Space Daily – 01/17/2013]

South Korea to make third attempt to reach orbit with a launch scheduled between Jan. 30 and Feb 8.
[Space News – 01/17/2013]

Spacecom is chosen to provide broadcast capacity for the 29th Africa Cup of Nations being held in South Africa January 19 through February 10.
Satellite Evolution Group – 01/17/2013]

Belgium Satellite Services signs new long-term contact for 46 MHz of C-band capacity on EUTELSAT 10A satellite.
[msn Money – 01/17/2013]

Telkenor Satellite Broadcasting, a DTV provider in the Nordic region, chooses Thomson Video Networks’ ViBE VS7000 multi-screen video platform to deliver streaming services for its key broadcast clients.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 01/17/2013]

TeleCommunications Systems gets order from Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation for deployable VSAT satellite systems.
[msn Money – 01/17/2013]

Russian rocket carrying three military satellites blasts off from cosmodrome in Northern Russia.
[SatNews – 01/16/2013]

Astronauts at International Space Station may get inflatable rooms.
[R&D Magazine – 01/16/2013]

EUTELSAT 70B goes into commercial service at 70.5 degrees east to serve users in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
[SatNews – 01/16/2013]

Six Globalstar satellites ready for next Soyuz launch from Baikonur.
[SatNews – 01/16/2013]

China plans to launch 20 spacecraft in 2013.
[SatNews – 01/16/2013]

Research and Markets 2012 report analyzes global trends and prospects within the major maritime satellite communications markets.
[Satellite Spotlight – 01/16/2013]

United Airlines spends $550 million to become first international carrier in the U.S. to introduce onboard satellite-based Wi-Fi Internet connectivity, using Panasonic Avionics Ku-band service on select international flights.
[Satellite Today – 01/16/2013]

SpeedCast of Hong Kong completes buyout of Elektrikom Satellite Services, a leading maritime satellite communications service provider in the Netherlands.
[Satellite Spotlight – 01/16/2013]

Eutelsat’s next generation of advanced functions satellites designed to mitigate effects of interference by increasing control over uplink frequencies, optimising electrical power use to increase active channels, expanding satellite relocation capabilities, and allowing uplink signal frequency change without affecting downlink frequency.
[SatNews – 01/15/2013]

United States is concerned about China’s space capabilities.
[Economic Times – 01/14/2013]

Value-Added Services market associated with the Global Navigation Satellite System is expected to more than double its current intake of some 22 billion Euros by 2021.
[Satellite Today – 01/14/2013]

First Ka-band satellite built to serve Latin America, Amazonas 3 multi-mission satellite built for Hispasat, arrives in Kourou.
[Satellite Today – 01/14/2013]

NSR report, “UltraHD Via Satellite,” analyzes key elements for satellite-based UltraHD demand in terms of market viability, cost considerations, ecosystem development, and end user adoption issues.
[NSR – January 2013]

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Big Bang Monday: Kepler Found Billions

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Pretty awesome of MSNBC to report on the Kepler mission’s discoveries…

Our Milky Way galaxy is home to at least 100 billion alien planets, and possibly many more, a new study suggests.

“It’s a staggering number, if you think about it,” lead author Jonathan Swift, of Caltech in Pasadena, said in a statement. “Basically there’s one of these planets per star.”

Swift and his colleagues arrived at their estimate after studying a five-planet system called Kepler-32, which lies about 915 light-years from Earth. The five worlds were detected by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, which flags the tiny brightness dips caused when exoplanets cross their star’s face from the instrument’s perspective.

It was recently published in The Astrophysical Journal. Good luck finding the abstract.

Hoping some of these images make it to the gallery.

Death Star Petition

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

What a great story. The White House’s “open government” approach gives visitors to their Web site a chance to ask for an answer to a question once 25,000 visitors sign a petition.

A petition to “Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016” got 34,000+ signatures and got a response: This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For, written by Paul Shawcross (Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget).

It’s brilliant…

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:

  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky — that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts — American, Russian, and Canadian — living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs — one wielding a laser — roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo — and soon, crew — to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.

Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.

We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.

We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White Housescience fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.

If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 01/11/2013

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Cape Canaveral launch manifest for 2013 includes 16 launches, 4 more than 2012, but availability of booster rockets may slow the planned launch rate.
[Space News – 01/11/2013]

Arianespace targets total of 12 missions with Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega in 2013.
[Space Travel – 01/11/2013]

Landsat Data Continuity Mission is scheduled for February 11th launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
[SatNews – 01/11/2013]

AXE looking for men and women from 60 countries to sign up for 22 seats aboard the suborbital spacecraft Lynx  under its new Apollo campaign, created by AXE with one of first men to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin.
[Space Travel – 01/11/2013]

TCS gets another $3.4 million in incremental funding from U.S. Army for SNAP deployable satellite systems equipment and support.
[msn Money – 01/11/2013]

Com Dev says it will refuse to build the central electronics system it has been designing for Canada’s Radarsat Constellation Mission once the program transitions to a fixed price contract, citing high technical risk.
[Space News – 01/11/2013]

KVH launches new Unrestricted Rate Plans featuring Business Class Service for its mini-VSAT Broadband network.
[Space Daily – 01/11/2013]

Hong Kong telecom and services distributor Neo Telemedia acquires HCH Investments for $273 million in effort to enter satellite telecommunication operator business.
[Satellite Today – 01/10/2013]

Ball Aerospace completes successful critical design review for Joint Polar Satellite System spacecraft.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/10/2013]

MDA gets $706 million contract from Canadian Space Agency to build, launch, and provide initial operations for the Canadian government’s Radarsat Constellation Mission.
[Satellite Today – 01/10/2013]

Israel’s Aerospace to use ATK’s PUMA solar array on AMOS-6.
[SatNews – 01/10/2013]

GeoEye announces first sale of stereo imagery from high resolution GeoEye-1 satellite to Government of India to support development of India’s freight-railway corridor.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/10/2013]

Lockheed Martin Solar Ultraviolet Imager for GOES-R series meets requirements of Pre-Environmental Review.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/10/2013]

Hughes gets New England Telehealth Consortium contract to provide high-speed satellite services for mobile telehealth clinics throughout rural Northern New England. [Satellite Evolution – 01/10/2013]

GeoEye receives antitrust clearance from U.S. Department of Justice for pending combination with DigitalGlobe.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/10/02013]

Toyota to equip its entire vehicle line-up with SirusXM radio equipment starting in 2013.
[SatNews – 01/09/2013]

Dish outbids Sprint in attempt to acquire Clearwire.
[Android Police – 01/08/2013]

SES mourns loss of satellite executive Rob Bednarek.
[Fort Mill Times – 01/08/2013]

Orbcomm gets additional $45 million loan to help secure investment in OG2 satellite constellation.
[Satellite Today – 01/10/2013]

Lockheed Martin completes and delivers software waveform to enable military satellite communications terminal providers to deploy equipment taking full advantage of enhanced MUOS capabilities.
[Satellite Spotlight – 01/08/2013]

ViaSat ships 500th ultra-small airborne satellite terminal.
[TMCnet – 01/08/2013]

iDirect is recipient of 2012 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year award for its cost effective Evolution X1 satellite remote DVB-S2/ACM TDMA narrow-band product for SCADA/M2M applications.
[SatNews – 01/08/2013]

SkyBitz inclusion of cellular 3G in its portfolio of SCADA/M2M solutions may signal cellular threat to satellite SCADA/M2M.
[NSR – 01/08/2013]

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov instructs communications ministry to provide efficient and well-organised functioning of communications companies.
[Satellite Spotlight – 01/08/2013]

Space Systems/Loral determines that inability to vent air led to honeycomb central solar panel failures during the Telstar-14, Telstar 14R, and Intelsat-19 launches. [SatNews – 01/07/2013]

ATK to conduct study of network-centric small satellites under U.S. Air Force contract.
[Satellite Today – 01/07/2013]

Despite today’s almost exclusive focus on big-pipe broadband VSAT services for high value segments, recent Hughes India contract to connect 27,000 ATMs in a narrow-band network is like hearing a great, forgotten classic on the radio.
[NSR – 01/07/2013]

MTN signs contracts with Windstar Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises and The World to provide array of VSAT services.
[Satellite Today – 01/07/2013]

Marlink completes series of new FSAT installations aboard De Poli Tankers BV vessels.
[SatNews – 01/07/2013]

NSR’s Broadband Satellite Markets report, 11th edition, assesses installed base of sites or subscribers in seven different regional markets, investigates market growth trends, forecasts service and equipment revenue, and predicts satellite capacity requirements.
[NSR – December 2012]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

RB Has Left The Building

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Rob Bednarek passed into the next life over the weekend.

Mr. Bednarek had been an industry innovator and leader for over 30 years and held a bunch of U.S. patents related to Global Positioning System (GPS). Mr. Bednarek led entrepreneurial organizations, major public and private companies including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PanAmSat. As the engineering and technology leader for PanAmSat, he was instrumental in the success of the world’s first competitive international satellite operator before its acquisition by Intelsat.

He joined SES in 2002 to run corporate development, where his tit-for-tat emails with Dean O. became legendary. In 2006 he was rewarded with the title president and CEO of SES NewSkies (changed to WorldSkies in 2009). Under his management, NewSkies swallowed Americom to become SES WorldSkies. His leadership was recognized not only for his management and technology strengths, but also for the dignity and respect with which he treated his clients, peers, colleagues, and co-workers.


Easy On The ITAR for Satcom

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Wow, that was quite a Christmas present for the rocket scientists: ITAR restrictions for spacecraft are now for the Pentagon to decide. It passed the senate on 21 December 2012 and President Obama signed it into law on 3 January 2013. Sen. M. Bennett of Colorado wrote most of it, as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.

To the delight of American satellite makers, communications satellites — which orbit Earth to relay phone calls, link ships to shore and broadcast television programs — will become legal for civilian export under legislation that President Obama signed into law on Thursday.

Although the United States founded the industry, manufacturers were forced to pull back from international markets after a 1999 law categorized the satellites as weapons and restricted their export. At the time, Congress was fearful that selling satellites abroad could allow technology secrets to fall into the wrong hands.

The defense bill that President Obama signed will undo that step and let American companies sell communications satellites as civilian technology rather than as deadly arms. Among the beneficiaries will be companies like Boeing, Hughes and Space Systems/Loral.

“This is a tremendous assist for an industry that is inherently international,” said Patricia A. Cooper, president of the Satellite Industry Association, a business group in Washington. “It will ensure our place at the forefront of space.”

Last week’s NYT piece on the topic made it widely known, although I suspect the folks at Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Orbital, SpaceSystems/Loral, Northrop Grumman and a host of subcontractors were celebrating through the holiday break.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 01/04/2013

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Congress approves bill supporting human space exploration.
[Space Travel – 01/04/2013]

Florida state conducts studies on viability of new commercial launch complex at north end of Kennedy Space Center.
[Satellite Today – 01/04/2013]

Vietnam’s first Earth observation satellite, VNREDSat-a, to be launched in April by Arianespace aboard new Vega small-satellite launcher.
[Space News – 01/04/2013]

New ground-based positioning technology that works indoors as well as out could compete with satellite-based global positioning systems (GPS).
[Space Daily – 01/04/2012]

Landsat 5 to be decommissioned over the coming months.
[SatNews – 01/03/2013]

THAICOM reaches Framework Agreement with China Telcom Satellite and Synertone Communication Corporation to sell IPSTAR bandwidth in China.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/03/2013]

Harris is awarded fifth year of its Network and Space Operations and Maintenance contract, worth $151 Million.
[Satellite Today – 01/03/2013]

FleetBroadband Multi-voice is integrated with RRsat Global Communications’ Crewtalk solution.
[Sacramento Bee – 01/03/2012]

South Atlantic British dependency St. Helena island pleas for undersea cable connection for Internet.
[BBC News – 12/03/2012]

“Triple-seven” goal set for Ariane 6 rocket – seven years of development, seven metric tons of satellite payload to geostationary transfer orbit, and a price of 70 million euros for satellite launch customers.
[Space News – 01/02/2013]

A fourth British military communications satellite built by Astrium is launched.
[UPI – 01/02/2012]

Boeing and NASA complete Preliminary Design Review for the Space Launch System core stage and avionics, validating design of rocket to send humans beyond low Earth orbit to places like the moon and Mars.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/02/2013]

Patent issued to ViaSat for Flexible Forward and Return Capacity Allocation in a Hub-Spoke Satellite Communication System.
[ – 01/02/2012]

KVH doubles capacity in Caribbean region for its mini-VSAT broadband network.
[Satellite Evolution – 01/02/2013]

ITC Global to provide C-band services to mining customers in eastern Russia using Intelsat 18 capacity under two multi-year agreements with Intelsat.
[SatNews – 01/02/2013]

Roscosmos identifies turbopump of the Briz-M upper stage as most likely reason for initial failure of theYamal-402 satellite to reach designated orbit.
[SatNews – 01/02/2013]

FCC moves to ease restrictions on Internet use in commercial airlines with new regulations.
[TechWeek Europe – 01/01/2013]

FCC extends deadline for comments on Comprehensive Review of Licensing and Operating Rules for Satellite Services to January 14, 2013.
[Satellite Spotlight – 12/31/2012]

SES offers consumer broadband in France with downlink speeds up to 20 Mbit/s using Ka-band on ASTRA 2F.
[Satellite Spotlight – 12/31/2012]

SES signs long-term capacity deal with Anadolu Networks for 1 transponder on ASTRA 31.5 degrees East for DTH  broadcast of local TV channels to all of Turkey. [Satellite Evolution – 12/29/2012]

Lockheed Martin will build two more AEHF military satellites for $1.9 billion.
[Chicago Tribune – 12/28/2012]

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