When historians come to write about technological innovation in the first half of this century, they are likely to pay special attention to a US Navy drone called the X-47B — otherwise known as the Salty Dog.
U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain on Wednesday (Jan 27) said he planned to introduce legislation that would strike language included in a massive 2016 spending bill that eased a congressional ban on the use of Russian rocket engines. McCain said he would introduce the legislation on Thursday, the first of many actions he planned "to ensure we end our dependence on Russian rocket engines and stop subsidizing Vladimir Putin and his gang of corrupt cronies."
SpaceX's successful landing of a reusable rocket booster last month opens a new frontier for commercial space startups by offering tremendous cost savings and attracting venture capitalists who once shied away from spatial ventures. Space startups include nano-satellite makers, earth-imaging and weather-tracking technology developers, and ventures with ambitious plans to mine asteroids.
The number represents a big jump on the initial 45,000 registrations when the system went live on December 21, but falls well short of preholiday industry estimates of several hundred thousand drone sales during the year-end period. That either means the number of new drone sales was much lower than hoped, or a significant number of people have not yet conducted the mandatory registration.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. executed an impressive return to flight Monday (Dec. 21) by flawlessly launching an upgraded variant of its Falcon 9 rocket and then maneuvering a big part back to earth for a pinpoint, precedent-setting landing. SpaceX, as the closely held Southern California company is known, achieved the dual goals in the wake of a high-profile launch explosion six months ago, which put all Falcon 9 flights on hold and prompted a broad reassessment of the booster’s design and inspection procedures.
As CEO of Lockheed Martin, I continue to seek opportunities to apply our technology and expertise to the challenges that will define the 21st century. Launching satellites that will give cars the data they need to drive themselves, creating aircraft that can travel around the world faster than ever, using remotely controlled aircraft to fight forest fires, and even establishing a human presence on Mars — all of these innovative breakthroughs are made possible by the ingenuity of today's aerospace and defense industry.
If aerospace engineering is envisioned to be divided into two major and overlapping branches — aeronautical and astronautical — teaching general engineering practices leading toward a myriad of specializations within the aerospace sector would appear to be a fundamental step for future progress. Yet, historically, teaching complex subjects has been an indestructible barrier for many educators. Teaching aerospace engineering is a convoluted task. The complexity becomes significantly elevated when students struggle with basic mathematics, science and technology skills.
With the numbers of pilots and air traffic controllers falling, the aviation industry is attempting to buck the trend by increasing the amount of schools that incorporate aspects of aeronautics into the classroom. That effort starts in earnest Monday (11/9), as hundreds of teachers, principals and school administrators from around the country gather in Lakeland, Florida, to hear from experts in the field about why aviation belongs in a high school curriculum, how to launch high school aviation education programs and where to find funding to do so.
Internet giant Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), the new holding company for Google, expects to begin delivering packages to consumers via drones sometime in 2017, the executive in charge of its drone effort said on Monday. David Vos, the leader for Alphabet's Project Wing, said his company is in talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and other stakeholders about setting up an air traffic control system for drones that would use cellular and Internet technology to coordinate unmanned aerial vehicle flights at altitudes under 500 feet (152 meters).
The Air Force announced October 27th, that it chose Northrop Grumman to build the next generation long-range strike bomber. The Air Force has not yet chosen a name for the aircraft, which folks are referring to as “B-3”. The new strike bomber will start deploying in about a decade. The aircraft is expected to replace the nearly four-decades old B-1 as well as the legendary B-52 Stratofortress that has served the country for about six decades.