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Industry News

It's an Aerospace World. Looking for the latest headlines in the aerospace industry? This is the place to find it. And, on the outside chance we don't have what you're looking for, email Lawrence Garrett, AIAA web editor, and he'll find somebody to help.

*For member access to the AIAA Daily Launch, please log in to www.aiaa.org/MyAIAA, navigate to "Access Publications & Materials" and select "Daily Launch." The AIAA Daily Launch, distributed to AIAA members each weekday morning, is a digest of the most important aerospace news selected from thousands of sources by the editors of Bulletin Media (formerly Custom Briefings).

 


 

20 February 2015
NASA Pushes Spacewalk Back to Saturday

ISS-NASA.jpgThe AP reported that NASA pushed back a spacewalk until Saturday “to complete a spacesuit investigation.” This will be the first of three planned spacewalks to prep the ISS for the arrival of commercial crew spacecraft in 2017. The article noted that while two spacesuits were returned to Earth after “two critical fan and pump units for the astronauts’ spacesuits failed,” the spacesuits Butch Wilmore and Terry Virts are scheduled to wear are “fine.” According to the CBS News website, managers wanted to give those taking part in the spacewalk “a chance to catch their collective breath after exhaustive troubleshooting” found that the astronauts’ suits were “healthy and not likely to suffer failures due to corrosion.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info > (Associated Press)
More Info > (CBS News)



20 February 2015
Somerville Utilizing UAVs to Scan Buildings for Snow Buildup

MicroDrone.jpgThe Boston Globe reported that Somerville, Massachusetts has tasked Above Summit with using UAVs “to survey municipal buildings for excessive snow buildup.” Daniel Hadley, chief of staff to Mayor Joseph Curtatone, said, “They hover the drones right above the city building roofs, and then send us video that they capture as it comes in, almost on a real-time basis.” Jovan Tanasijevic, co-founder of Above Summit, noted that using UAVs in this manner does adhere to FAA regulations. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
More Info > (Boston Globe)



19 February 2015
SpaceX Making Progress On Falcon Heavy Rocket

Falcon9ReusableRocketTest_SpaceX.jpgNASA Space Flight reported that SpaceX is making progress on its Falcon Heavy rocket, with “visible progress” modifying the Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A and the fabrication of hardware. So far, there was no set date for a first launch, but there is an “aim...for a summer debut.” (Image Credit: SpaceX)
More Info > (NASA Space Flight)



19 February 2015
Farmers Not Satisfied with FAA’s New UAV Rules

UAV_Monitors_Idaho_Farm1_AP.jpgReuters reported that U.S. farmers were not fully satisfied by the FAA’s recently released rules for using commercial UAVs. Farmers are critical of the height and visibility restrictions which make UAV-use less effective for those trying to monitor livestock or fields over large areas. Others investing in UAVs warn that the two years before the rules are implemented could result in the rise of competing technologies like micro-satellites. (Image Credit: Associated Press, purchased)
More Info > (Reuters)



18 February 2015
State Department: U.S. Will Sell Armed UAVs to Allies

MQ-9Reaper.jpgBloomberg News reported that the State Department announced “in an e-mailed statement yesterday that the U.S. has for the first time established a policy allowing the sale of armed drones to allies.” The statement indicated that the policy “sets guidelines for all drone exports, which the department said it will assess on a ‘case-by-case basis,’ including armed systems.’” An unnamed “senior State Department official” quoted by the Washington Post said of the U.S. move, “The technology is here to stay. ... It’s to our benefit to have certain allies and partners equipped appropriately.” (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
More Info > (Bloomberg News)
More Info > (Washington Post)



18 February 2015
Progress Spacecraft Launches and Docks at ISS On Tuesday

ProgressDockedAtISS_NASA.jpgThe CBS News website reported that yesterday, a Progress cargo spacecraft launched from Kazakhstan and then docked at the ISS six hours later. There were “no problems” with the automatic docking procedures. Rob Navias, NASA’s mission control commentator, added, “A perfect rendezvous, a perfect docking.” According to the article, the docking starts “a busy two weeks” at the station, including a spacewalk on Friday by astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info > (CBS News)



18 February 2015
SpaceX Must Demonstrate It Can Safely Land Rockets Before Using New Pad

Falcon9ReusableRocketTest_SpaceX.jpgThe Orlando (FL) Sentinel reported on how SpaceX is leasing the Launch Complex 13 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station so that it can land its rockets on land rather than on a barge at sea. However, the article noted that before that can happen, Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida, said that SpaceX has to demonstrate that it can safely land its rockets on a “consistent basis,” potentially through “numerous” tests. Still, DiBello said that the company’s progress is already “impressive.” (Image Credit: YouTube/SpaceX)
More Info > (Orlando Sentinel)



17 February 2015
FAA Proposes Rules for Commercial UAV Use

UAV_Wiki.jpgOn Sunday, the FAA unveiled proposed rules that would permit the commercial operation of unmanned aircraft. Anchor Lester Holt said on NBC Nightly News that although unmanned commercial UAVs are currently banned, with the FAA proposal, “they’re one step closer to getting permission to fly now.” Correspondent Tom Costello reported that, under the rules, drones “would only be permitted to fly during daylight hours, under 500 feet at 100 miles per hour or less and five miles away from airports.” In addition, pilots “would have to maintain constant visual contact with their drones and be required to hold a new FAA flight certificate.” Bloomberg News called the announcements from the FAA and the White House “the most significant attempt so far to set a framework for controlling a new technology that has at times evolved faster than the government was able to react.”  The Washington Post noted that in a conference call on Sunday, Foxx told reporters, “We’re putting forward what we believe to be the safest possible approach at the moment, but of course we look forward to hearing back from the public.” (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
More Info > (Bloomberg News)
More Info > (Washington Post)



17 February 2015
Last ATV Leaves ISS

EuropesATV_Wiki.jpgAFP reported that on Saturday, Europe’s last Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV) undocked from the ISS “ahead of an operation on Sunday” to destructively reenter the atmosphere. The article noted that because of a “minor” power issue, a plan to use the “suicide plunge” to plan for the ISS’ eventual deorbiting was scrapped. Furthermore, the operation was pushed forward to Sunday “as a precaution.” The CBS News website noted that the cargo spacecraft “burned up safely” over the Pacific. ISS astronaut Terry Virts was able to capture the spacecraft leaving the ISS in a time-lapse video. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
More Info > (AFP)
More Info > (CBS News)



17 February 2015
Mars One Names Final 100 Candidates for First One-Way Trip

MarsMission_JPLNASA.jpgThe Washington Post “Style Blog” reported that Mars One released the 100 people, 50 men and 50 women, who have made it to the next round of its selection process for one-way trips to Mars starting in 2024. The article noted that of those 100, 38 hail from the U.S. According to Mars One, the remaining candidates will undergo training to form the teams that can survive “all the hardships of a permanent settlement on Mars.” (Image Credit: JPL/NASA)
More Info > (Washington Post)



13 February 2015
Requirements For T-X Trainer Could Be Released In Coming Weeks

USAF_TXTrainers_Wiki.jpgDefense News reported that the Air Force will release its requirements for the next-generation T-X trainer in the next couple of weeks, according to Gen. Robin Rand, head of the Air Education and Training Command. Rand stressed that the exact timing will be contingent upon the Air Force secretary allowing the details to be released. The article noted that at this week’s Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium, Rand did give some “hints” as to what those requirements will be, such as the idea that the T-X would only be “a replacement for the T-38” trainer. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
More Info > (Defense News)



13 February 2015
Virgin Galactic to Build LauncherOne In Long Beach

LauncherOne_Virgin_Wiki.jpgThe Los Angeles Times reported that Virgin Galactic has decided to open a Long Beach, California facility to develop the LauncherOne vehicle, designed to launch satellites into space. Local officials “welcomed” the news because of the potential 100 jobs the region will gain. Mayor Robert Garcia said, “They are bringing excellent jobs we need for the talented and hard-working aerospace professionals who already call Long Beach home.” The company will host a job fair for positions at the facility in March. The Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram reported that Marco Caceres, senior space analyst for Teal Group, said that there was increasing interest in small satellite launchers, “especially for colleges who will now be able to share in the cost of a single launch of 10 to 20 satellites.” (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
More Info > (Los Angeles Times
More Info > (Long Beach Press-Telegram)



12 February 2015
After Multiple Delays, DSCOVR Launches Into Space

DSCOVR_launches_Feb2015_NOAA.jpgNBC Nightly News broadcast that on Wednesday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) into space “to keep watch for solar storms.” The broadcast noted that this was the company’s third launch attempt after delaying two other tries “in part due to weather.” While the weather was good enough to launch, SpaceX decided not to attempt to return the rocket’s first stage booster to its ocean platform because of “rough seas.” The New York Times noted that even though SpaceX did not attempt to land on the platform, it did obtain “useful data for refining future landing attempts” by proceeding with a landing “over the water instead of onto the platform.” The Los Angeles Times reported that SpaceX has another launch planned for later this month. (Image Credit: NOAA)
More Info > (New York Times)
More Info > (Los Angeles Times)



12 February 2015
IXV Conducts Successful Test of Reentry Technology

ESA_IXV.jpgThe AP reported that the ESA’s Intermediate Experimental Vehicle (IXV), a “prototype mini-shuttle,” conducted a successful test flight on Wednesday. The IXV achieved an altitude “high enough to reach the International Space Station” before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain said that the flight “couldn’t have been better.” The article noted that the ESA may develop a future reusable spacecraft called PRIDE, but that program has not been approved for development. Reuters noted that if successful, PRIDE will be similar to the U.S.’ X-37B spaceplane, albeit less costly and smaller in size. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
More Info > (Associated Press)
More Info > (Reuters)



11 February 2015
DSCOVR Launch Delayed Again Due to High Winds

DSCOVR_SpaceX.jpgThe AP reported that on Tuesday, “dangerously high winds” forced the delay of SpaceX’s launch of the DSCOVR satellite and its “radically new” booster landing test. SpaceX must now launch Wednesday or wait until Feb. 20 to make another attempt because of the effects of the moon’s gravity. Meanwhile, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft successfully returned to Earth after departing the ISS. Florida Today noted that when discussing the latest scrub, NASA TV commentator Mike Curie said, “Safety prevails.” According to the CBS News website, SpaceX still had a “busy day” even with the launch scrub. (Image Credit: SpaceX)
More Info > (Associated Press)
More Info > (Florida Today)
More Info > (CBS News)



11 February 2015
Ohio Engineering Firms Want to Use UAS to Monitor Oil and Gas Infrastructure

DSCOVR_SpaceX.jpgThe Columbus (OH) Business First reported in its “EnergyInc” blog that “drones could soon be buzzing over oil and gas infrastructure in eastern Ohio as engineering firms eye the devices as a cost-saving way to better survey massive developments.” Central Ohio firms “are already using or want to use the technology to help clients, but Federal regulations are up in the air.” The FAA “generally forbids drones for commercial use” and has several restrictions in place, and is also expected to release new rules on UAS this year. Jeff Miller, corporate survey practice lead for Civil & Environmental Consultants, said “the big holdback” is the FAA, as they “don’t want to do anything illegal.” (Image Credit: YouTube/BP)
More Info > (Columbus Business First)
More Info > (Orlando Sentinel)
More Info > (Reuters)  



10 February 2015
DSCOVR Scheduled to Launch On Same Day Dragon Returns to Earth

DSCOVR_SpaceX.jpgThe AP reported that the launch of the DSCOVR satellite aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was delayed again, with the next scheduled launch opportunity on Tuesday. The latest postponement was due to poor weather conditions. The article briefly noted that, also on Tuesday, SpaceX’s Dragon capsule will undock from the ISS to return “science samples, broken spacesuit parts and other unneeded gear” to Earth. The Dragon is scheduled to land in the Pacific Ocean “off the Southern California coast.” The Orlando (FL) Sentinel noted that there is a 70 percent chance that the weather conditions will be good enough for the launch on Tuesday. According to Reuters, SpaceX’s simultaneous rocket launch and spacecraft recovery has never been attempted before. (Image Credit: SpaceX)
More Info > (Associated Press) 

More Info > (Orlando Sentinel)
More Info > (Reuters)  



10 February 2015
ESA Ready to Launch IXV On Wednesday

ESA_IXV.jpgSPACE reported that the ESA is on track to launch its Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) on Wednesday. The IXV’s suborbital flight will test technology “needed for vehicles to survive the return to Earth from space.” Giorgio Tumino, ESA’s project manager for IXV, noted that “several missions worldwide” have failed when conducting similar test flights. Meanwhile, the article noted that the ESA is also studying re-entry technology with its Automated Transfer Vehicle-5, now stationed at the ISS. When that spacecraft leaves the ISS on February 27 and breaks apart in the Earth’s atmosphere, it will have “internal sensors to track the vehicle’s behavior.” AFP noted that Tumino said that the IXV is “fundamental” for Europe if it ever wants to return its own astronauts from space aboard European spacecraft. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
More Info > (SPACE)
More Info > (AFP)  



9 February 2015
DSCOVR Launch Scrubbed Due to Radar-Tracking System

Falcon9_CapeCanaveral.jpgThe AP reported that the launch of the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was scrubbed because of an issue with “a critical radar-tracking system.” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that another attempt could be made Monday. The Orlando (FL) Sentinel noted that SpaceX also cited an issue with its rocket, but that problem involved “a non-critical video camera on the rocket that will be easily replaced.” According to Florida Today, although Sunday’s weather was “perfect,” there is only a “40 percent chance of acceptable weather” on Monday. (Image Credit: SpaceX)
More Info > (Associated Press)
More Info > (Orlando (FL) Sentinel)
More Info > (Florida Today)



9 February 2015
Dassault Falcon 8X Begins Flight Test Campaign

Falcon8x_YouTube_Dassault.jpgFlightglobal reported that Dassault Aviation began flight testing its Falcon 8X ultra-long-range business jet on Friday. Test pilot Eric Gérard said that the plane had “excellent handling qualities.” Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation chairman and chief executive, added that the plane is now heading toward a 2016 certification. (Image Credit: YouTube/Dassault)
More Info > (Flightglobal)  



9 February 2015
NASA Intends to Purchase Six More Soyuz Seats for 2018 ISS Flights

Soyuz_TMA-13_Launches_NASA.jpg Space News reported that NASA is “hedging its bets” by issuing a sole source notice to purchase “six more round-trip [Soyuz] seats” for astronauts traveling to the ISS in 2018. NASA wrote, “NASA needs to secure crew transportation with a known reliable provider to ensure a continued U.S. presence aboard the ISS until the sustained availability of a U.S. commercial vehicle. .. The intent of this proposed action is to provide the Government the ability to procure these uninterrupted services until a U.S. provider demonstrates full operational capability.” According to the article, NASA has stated that congressional funding will decide whether commercial spacecraft can be ready in 2017 as NASA wants. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info > (Space News)  



6 February 2015
NASA Releases a Better Image of Ceres

Ceres_NASA.jpgThe Washington Post “Speaking of Science” blog reported that NASA released a “better” image of Ceres than the one it released just last week. The Dawn spacecraft took the image on February 4. While an unknown white spot is “becoming more and more clear”; scientists still cannot identify what it is. Because the spacecraft is getting close to the dwarf planet, “obviously” these images will improve, making the upcoming weeks “exciting times.” According to BBC News, the spot is likely an impact crater, but “time will tell.” Popular Science noted that NASA was “not content” with just releasing still images, so it made “a movie, a spinning recreation of what most of Ceres’ surface looks like.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info > (Washington Post)
More Info > (BBC News)
More Info > (Popular Science)  



6 February 2015
Weather Forecast “Excellent” for Sunday’s DSCOVR Launch

Falcon9_CapeCanaveral.jpgFlorida Today reported that the weather forecast for the launch of the DSCOVR satellite aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is “excellent.” Currently, there’s a 90% chance the weather will be good enough for the launch to take place, which is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. EST. (Image Credit: SpaceX)
More Info > (Florida Today)  



5 February 2015
NASA Releases New Images of Pluto

Pluto_NASA.jpgThe Washington Post “Speaking of Science” blog reported that to honor the birthday of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto, NASA released images of the dwarf planet that the New Horizons spacecraft captured on January 25. The new images showed a “fuzzy” Pluto. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything on Wednesday, New Horizons team members said that Pluto will not “start looking like a planet – as opposed to a bright, star-like blur --” until “a few weeks” before the spacecraft’s July flyby. The Baltimore Sun described the new image as “man’s clearest-ever view of the distant dwarf planet.” The image, according to the article, will be used by the spacecraft’s operators to determine if a “slight” course correction is needed. The article noted that Hal Weaver, New Horizons project scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, stated that scientists will also try to learn more about Pluto’s speed of rotation. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info > (Washington Post)
More Info > (Baltimore Sun)



5 February 2015
2014 Was “Safest Year Ever” for Flying

Boeing757_CreditBoeing.jpgBBC News reported that “when you look at the number of crashes and fatalities compared to the huge number of people flying today,” we are “in a golden era of aircraft safety.” According to “safety analysts Ascend, 2014 was narrowly the safest year ever, with one fatal accident per 2.38 million flights, compared to every 1.91 million flights the year before.” According to the article, “every new generation of aircraft has been safer than the one before.” (Image Credit: Boeing)
More Info > (BBC News)  



4 February 2015
TransAsia Airways ATR 72 Crashes Soon After Takeoff

TransAsia_Taiwan_Crash_APpurchased.jpgThe AP reports that a TransAsia Airways ATR 72 propjet aircraft with 58 passengers crashed soon after takeoff in Taiwan after it “turned on its side in midair, clipped an elevated roadway and careened into a river.” Officials are reporting that at least 15 people are dead and that 30 people are still missing. The article notes that this is the second time one of the airline’s ATR 72s has crashed this past year. USA Today, BBC News, and other media sources also cover the story. (Image Credit: Associated Press)
More Info > (Associated Press)
More Info > (USA Today)
More Info > (BBC News)  



4 February 2015
FAA Grants Eight More Exemptions for Commercial UAVs

UAV_Wiki.jpgThe Hill reported that the FAA has granted eight more businesses exemptions from rules prohibiting the commercial use of UAVs. The article noted that the agency has now “granted a total of 24 exemptions for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems.” The Hollywood Reporter reported that Helinet Aviation Services and Alan D. Purwin were among those that were granted exemptions “for film and television production.” Additionally, it noted that the FAA “amended the exemptions previously granted to Pictorvision and Aerial MOB” to allow the companies to “fly additional types of small UAS.” According to the Reporter, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx “found that the drones in the proposed operations” do not require “an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security.” (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
More Info > (The Hill)
More Info > (Hollywood Reporter)  



3 February 2015
Administration Would Give NASA $18.5 Billion In 2016 Budget

SLS-NASA-2013.jpgThe Washington Post “Federal Eye” reported that the Obama administration has requested that NASA receive $18.5 billion in 2016, keeping NASA “on its current trajectory” with projects like the Orion capsule, Space Launch System, and the James Webb Space Telescope. Furthermore, the administration is requesting $1.2 billion, a “significant” amount, for the Commercial Crew program. The Houston Chronicle reported that in a speech at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said that the budget proposal was “a clear vote of confidence” in the agency adding, “Some have said that NASA is adrift. ... If you travel the world, as I regularly do, and see the enthusiasm I see for NASA everywhere I go, or interact with, as I do regularly, the tens of thousands of students around the world from elementary through graduate school who are excited about the dream of one day traveling into space and visiting Mars, I think you’ll come to a different conclusion.” Meanwhile, David Radzanowski, NASA’s chief financial officer, said that if Congress does not fully fund the Commercial Crew program, “we would no longer be able to commit to having certified vehicles by the end of 2017.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info > (Washington Post)
More Info > (Houston Chronicle)



3 February 2015
SpaceX to Make Another Booster Landing Attempt During DSCOVR Launch

Falcon9_CapeCanaveral.jpgFlorida Today reported that NASA confirmed last week that SpaceX plans to launch the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) mission on Sunday. SpaceX also plans to use the opportunity to make another attempt to land the Falcon 9 rocket’s booster on an ocean platform after the satellite is launched. (Image Credit: SpaceX)
More Info > (Florida Today)



2 February 2015
SMAP Satellite Successfully Launched

SMAPSat_ReadiesForLaunch_NASAJPL.jpgThe AP reported on the successful launch of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite aboard a Delta 2 rocket on Saturday. NASA Launch Manager Tim Dunn reportedly stated that there were “zero launch problems.” Geoffery Yoder, NASA’s deputy associate administrator for Programs, said that the data that SMAP will return when commissioned “will benefit not only scientists seeking a better understanding of our planet, climate and environment ... it’s a boon for emergency planners and policy makers.” The Los Angeles Times noted that it will be a year before the satellite can “gather, calibrate, verify and analyze the information in a way that is suitable for scientific research.” (Image Credit: JPL/NASA)
More Info > (Associated Press)
More Info > (Los Angeles Times)



30 January 2015
First Citation Latitude Rolls Off Production Line

CessnaLatitude_Cessna.jpgFlightglobal reported that Cessna has rolled the first Citation Latitude off its production line. According to the article, Scott Donnelly, chief executive of Cessna’s parent company, Textron Aviation, said during an earnings call that the FAA could certify the plane in the second quarter of this year. Donnelly said that he sees a “kind of a stabilisation” in the light and mid-size jet market, which the article noted went against “Bombardier’s pessimistic outlook” when it stopped work on the potential rival plane, the Learjet 85. (Image Credit: Cessna)
More Info > (Flightglobal)



29 January 2015
Boeing to Build Next Version of Air Force One

AirForceOne_Wiki.jpgNBC Nightly News reported that, “The Pentagon announced [Wednesday] the contract” to build the next version of Air Force One, which “as expected will stay in this country. It [will go to] Boeing for the latest generation 747, the 800 series.” Defense News reported that Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said the Boeing plane “is the only aircraft manufactured in the United States” that also “meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission, while reflecting the office of the president of the United States of America consistent with the national public interest.” The Washington Post reported that James said in a statement that the Pentagon “will insist upon program affordability through cost-conscious procurement practices.” Politico reported that “delivery of any new jets is not expected for at least five years.” (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
More Info > (Defense News)
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29 January 2015
FAA Prohibits UAVs and Aircraft Near Super Bowl

SuperBowlSite2015_2_AP.jpgUSA Today reported that the FAA “released a video Wednesday urging fans to enjoy” the Super Bowl “but to leave their unmanned aircraft at home.” The FAA has restricted “nearby flights from 3:25 p.m. until midnight,” extending “10 miles from the stadium in all directions, up to 18,000 feet in the air.” Anyone caught flying a UAV could be “intercepted, detained and interviewed,” as well as fined or put in jail. (Image Credit: Associated Press)
More Info > (USA Today)



28 January 2015
UAV that Landed On White House Grounds Illustrates “Broader Problem”

WhiteHouse_Wiki.jpgMcClatchy reported that President Obama said “the drone that dropped into the White House grounds on Monday” highlighted the “broader problem” posed by the need to balance security and privacy with recreational activities. In an interview conducted with CNN before he left for India, Obama said he has “asked federal agencies to look into the issue.” Obama noted that UAVs serve “incredibly useful functions,” but “we don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it.” Bloomberg News reported that the comments are some of “Obama’s first about regulating the drone industry.” (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
More Info > (McClatchy)
More Info > (Bloomberg News)



28 January 2015
Astronauts to Continue Launching On Soyuz Spacecraft to Prevent Potential Problems

SoyuzLaunch_Wiki.jpgThe CBS News website continued coverage of how NASA plans to continue sending astronauts to the ISS aboard Russian Soyuz rockets even after commercial spacecraft developed by SpaceX and Boeing are ready for service. This was considered “a hedge against problems, like crew illness,” which could result in a spacecraft’s crew returning to Earth. If the crews were not mixed, that would leave the ISS entirely in the hands of one nation. However, ISS Program Manager Mike Suffredini said on Tuesday, “We would not be buying seats from each other,” but instead engage in “an operational understanding.” (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
More Info > (CBS News)



28 January 2015
SpaceX Will Initially Return Astronauts Using Water Landings

SpaceXFalcon9_Launchpad_NASA.jpgSpaceflight Now reported that during Monday’s press conference at the Johnson Space Center, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said that for initial astronaut flights, SpaceX will “not execute helicopter-like propulsive touchdowns” when returning astronauts to Earth aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, instead landing in the Pacific Ocean. The article noted that SpaceX had been touting the ability to descend onto land during previous events, like its “glitzy” unveiling of the spacecraft back in May. However, SpaceX plans to add the capability after testing it in a manner “similar to the way engineers wrung out the design of the Falcon 9 booster’s vertical landing capability.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info > (Spaceflight Now)



27 January 2015
UAV Crashes On White House Lawn

WhiteHouse_Wiki.jpgABC World News broadcast that a “small drone” crashed onto the White House grounds early Monday morning, “raising alarms.” ABC reported that about six hours after the crash, “a man called the Secret Service to tell them that he lost control of the device, which he says he was using recreationally.” The Secret Service said “it is developing counter measures, concerned that future drones might well be dangerous.” The New York Times reported that a government employee, who “does not work for the White House,” told the Secret Service that he was “flying the drone for recreational purposes at about 3 a.m. in the area around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when he lost control of it.” The “small drone” crashed into a tree on the South Lawn, forcing “a brief lockdown of the White House complex.” The Washington Post noted that the “latest security breach at the executive mansion came as President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were visiting India, but their two daughters remained behind in Washington.” (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
More Info > (New York Times)
More Info > (Washington Post)



27 January 2015
Commercial Crew Providers On Course For 2017 Flights

Boeing_CST-100.jpgThe AP reported that yesterday at the Johnson Space Center, Boeing and SpaceX said that they are on pace to deliver NASA astronauts to the ISS in 2017 at a lower cost than what Russia charges today. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said that after 2017, “I don’t ever want to have to write another check” to Russia. The article noted that Bolden also stressed that without commercial companies delivering supplies to the ISS, NASA would not be able to afford going deeper into space. Kathy Lueders, commercial crew program manager, said that NASA wants to have two “robust providers” in case there is an accident with one of them. According to the article, the event was “the first in-depth public description” of the program with NASA and the spacecraft providers, which had been “stalled” while a challenge by Sierra Nevada was being resolved. (Image Credit: Boeing)
More Info > (Associated Press)



26 January 2015
SpaceX Settles Its Lawsuit With Air Force

SpaceXFalcon_SpaceX.jpgThe AP reported that SpaceX and the Air Force announced Friday that they have come to a settlement over SpaceX’s lawsuit alleging that the Air Force “improperly” gave United Launch Alliance a “lucrative” contract. SpaceX dropped its case after coming to an agreement through sessions mediated by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, according to court documents. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
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26 January 2015
FAA Finalizing New UAV Rules

Assortment_of_UAVs_Wiki.jpgThe Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the federal government is finalizing new rules for using UAVs “for uses such as monitoring oil fields and pipelines, and real-estate photography.” The regulations have been eagerly awaited by “businesses, including the news media, the motion-picture industry, and farmers.” FAA spokesman Les Dorr said, “We are trying to write regulations that will maintain today’s extremely high level of safety in the nation’s airspace, while at the same time not putting an undue regulatory burden on this emerging industry.” (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
More Info > (Philadelphia Inquirer)



23 January 2015
NTSB Calls for Improvements In Locating Downed Aircraft

Search_for_MA_Flight370_wiki.jpgAviation Week reported that Aurora Flight Sciences claims that its Orion UAV achieved “a world endurance record” when it flew for 80 hours in December. The article compared this feat with the current record holder, a Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, which flew for 30.4 hours back in 2001. The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) could certify the accomplishment “within weeks.” According to the article, the Orion UAV is being developed to provide the Air Force with a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) vehicle that can fly up to five days. (Image Credit: Aurora Flight Sciences)
More Info > (Aviation Week)



23 January 2015
Aurora Flight Sciences Claims Orion UAV Achieved Endurance Record

Aurora_OrionUAV.jpgAviation Week reported that Aurora Flight Sciences claims that its Orion UAV achieved “a world endurance record” when it flew for 80 hours in December. The article compared this feat with the current record holder, a Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, which flew for 30.4 hours back in 2001. The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) could certify the accomplishment “within weeks.” According to the article, the Orion UAV is being developed to provide the Air Force with a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) vehicle that can fly up to five days. (Image Credit: Aurora Flight Sciences)
More Info > (Aviation Week)



22 January 2015
UAV Crashes During Demonstration at Capitol Hill Hearing

UAVDemo_CapitolHill_21Jan2015_1_AP.jpgThe Washington Post reported that on Wednesday at a House Science, Space and Technology Committee meeting regarding the FAA’s UAV regulations, a Parrot Bebop UAV “stole the show” when it crashed during a demonstration. The article noted that the UAV was able to continue with the display. The Dallas (TX) Morning News reported on the testimony at the hearing, emphasizing claims that there would be substantial job creation if it is legal to use UAVs commercially. The National Journal also covered the story. (Image Credit: AP)
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22 January 2015
Next Orion Flight Will Include 11 Scientific Missions

ArtistConceptOfSLSOrion_NASA.jpgThe WAAY-TV Huntsville, AL “Space Alabama” website reported that when the Orion capsule next launches on the Space Launch System (SLS) in 2018, the rocket will be carrying “eleven different scientific missions.” Joseph Pelfry, a deputy project manager at the Marshall Space Flight Center, said, “What we’re really excited about is the fact that we’re able to take this [unmanned] test flight and actually get science out of it, and we’re expanding the capability. ... SLS is designed for a lot more payload capability, but we’re trying to take advantage of every bit of capability the vehicle has.” Pelfry added, “Flying these secondary payloads is something we’re going to do for missions to come and really provide the science community an opportunity that they haven’t had before. ... That’s what the SLS enables beyond the journey to Mars.” The article noted that because these missions are not the primary cargo, they will not “threaten” the main task of testing Orion and the SLS.
(Image Credit: NASA)
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21 January 2015
Google, Fidelity to Invest $1 Billion In SpaceX

SpaceXFalcon_SpaceX.jpgThe AP reported that Google and Fidelity will invest a total of $1 billion into SpaceX, garnering them “a nearly 10 percent stake” in the company. The deal would increase the value of SpaceX to $10 billion. The article noted that the funds could help SpaceX conduct a manned Mars mission “within the next 12 years.” SpaceX’s mission of launching a satellite Internet program also aligns with one of Google’s projects, according to the article. The New York Times noted that Google may have invested in SpaceX because it wants to develop “satellites with other kinds of sensors, like infrared detectors that show the health of crops, or lasers that can pierce forest canopies to show underlying terrain.” SpaceX said that it will use the funds “to support continued innovation in the areas of space transport, reusability and satellite manufacturing.” (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
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21 January 2015
DSCOVR Will Not Launch Before 8 February

DSCOVR_graphic_NOAA.jpgThe Boulder (CO) Daily Camera reported that SpaceX, “with concurrence from NOAA and NASA,” has announced that the launch of the DSCOVR satellite will take place no earlier than 8 February. NOAA, on its website, said that it “continues to monitor any risk to the schedule in close coordination with its partners and will provide updates as they are available.” (Image Credit: NOAA)
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20 January 2015
SpaceX Announces Satellite Internet Venture

Satellite_Wiki.jpgBloomberg BusinessWeek reported that on Friday, Elon Musk hosted an event in Seattle to launch a new satellite Internet venture. According to the article, it will be a “hugely ambitious” project involving “hundreds of satellites.” The article noted that last week, OneWeb’s Greg Wyler announced a similar venture being funded by Qualcomm and the Virgin Group. Musk said that his project, which will take at least five years or more to complete, can compete with Wyler’s because his project has a distinct architecture that’s “an order of magnitude more sophisticated.” However, Virgin’s Richard Branson said that Musk cannot compete because he does not own the spectrum rights the satellites will use yet, unlike OneWeb. GeekWire has a full transcript of Musk’s talk in Seattle. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
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20 January 2015
Lightfoot: Next Three Years “Exciting” Because of SLS

SLSLaunches_artistsConcept_NASA.jpgThe Huntsville (AL) Times reported on NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot’s visit to Huntsville on Friday. Lightfoot said that when it comes to the three years between now and when the Space Launch System (SLS) launches, “our teams aren’t thinking it’s a long time. ... They’re actually thinking we’ve got a ways to go to get there. It’s exciting.” The article listed seven milestones NASA plans to accomplish, “working hard” at centers like the Marshall Space Flight Center and Michoud Assembly Facility before the SLS is sent off to the Kennedy Space Center for integration with the Orion capsule. (Image Credit: NASA)
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20 January 2015
FAA Approves UAS Testing at University of Missouri

Assortment_of_UAVs_Wiki.jpgThe Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune reported that the University of Missouri (MU) won federal approval “to fly drones over university-owned lands in south-central Missouri,” making it “the first approval the university has received for a drone project.” The FAA granted approval to the joint application between MU, the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Saint Louis University, which plan to do “a slew of research and economic development projects at the Wurdack Research Center in Cook Station.” (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
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16 January 2015
Navy Secretary Says USMC F-35 Should Be Ready On Time For Combat Operations

F35CarrierLanding_Wiki.jpgReuters reported that on Thursday, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said that the Lockheed Martin F-35 B-model, the Marine version of the plane, is on schedule to meet the Marine’s target date for being declared ready for combat use. The F-35 C-model, which can be flown off of aircraft carriers, should also be ready for operations as planned. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
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16 January 2015
Ten News Outlets to Test UAVs for Journalism

MicroDrone.jpgBloomberg News reported that ten U.S. news companies are following CNN’s lead in testing UAVs for news gathering, in efforts to persuade the FAA to remove the ban on UAVs for reporting purposes. Virginia Tech University will assist the UAV study at one of the six test areas approved by Congress. The media outlets include the New York Times Co., the AP, NBCUniversal, Advance Publications, A.H. Belo, Gannett, Getty Images, E.W. Scripps, Sinclair Broadcast Group and the Washington Post. According to the New York Times, the news companies said in a statement that the study is “designed to conduct controlled safety testing of a series of real-life scenarios where the news media could use small U.A.S. technology to gather the news.” (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
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16 January 2015
New Horizons Spacecraft Begins Approach Phase for Pluto Flyby

NewHorizonsSpacecraft_NASA.jpgNewsweek reported that yesterday was a “significant day” for NASA and the New Horizons mission with the start of “the first phrase of approach” of Pluto. The spacecraft is still 135 million miles away from its closest approach, which will come in July. According to the article, later this month, New Horizons will begin taking images that will help it navigate, with scientific observations starting in April. By mid-May, the images of Pluto are expected to “surpass” those taken by the Hubble telescope. Sen noted that while New Horizons approaches Pluto, it will take daily “measurements of dust, the solar wind and high-energy particles in the region near Pluto.” NASA will also continuously track the spacecraft to see whether an engine burn will be necessary in March. According to the article, NASA is expected to submit a budget request to extend the mission so it can try to reach a second Kuiper Belt object once it flies past Pluto. (Image Credi: NASA)
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15 January 2015
False Alarm Causes Astronauts to Relocate to Russian Segment of ISS

ISS-NASA.jpgNBC Nightly News broadcast on the “tense day” at the ISS when astronauts had to relocate to the Russian segment following an alarm concerning a potential ammonia leak. Reporter Tom Costello said that after checking equipment, operators became “more convinced” that this was just a false alarm and later gave the astronauts permission to resume “normal operations.” The AP called the situation a “rare scare” for the station, describing how it took 11 hours to resolve before measurements taken by astronauts concluded there were no leaks. Suffredini said that NASA wanted to take the time to ensure “that the system is tight like we believe it to be.” According to the article, Suffredini also stressed that this event does not seem to have “jeopardized” any of the SpaceX cargo that was being unloaded at the time of the alarm. (Image Credit: NASA)
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15 January 2015
Airbus A330-300 Makes Its First Flight

AirbusA330-300_Airbus.jpgAerospace Manufacturing and Design reported that on 12 January, Airbus A330-300, an A330 “with an increased 242-tonne maximum takeoff weight capability” made its first flight in its test campaign. If all goes as planned, it should be delivered to its first customer in the second quarter. The article noted that this version of the A330 is the “basis” for the A330neo now under development. (Image Credit: Airbus)
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14 January 2015
Airbus Launches New A321 Model to Fill Boeing 757’s Market

AibusA321_CreditAirbus.jpgBloomberg News reported on how both Boeing and Airbus are aiming to “fill the market void for trans-Atlantic flying” created when Boeing discontinued its 757. Airbus just announced a new long-range A321 model, while Boeing has spoken with 30 customers about what they would like for a replacement. Airbus’ new plane will include “a third auxiliary tank to fly 206 passengers across the Atlantic and other routes as long as 4,000 nautical miles.” However, Randy Tinseth, Boeing vice president for Marketing, said that it was “laughable” that Airbus thinks it can sell 1,000 of the planes when only about 50 or 60 757s currently fly the long distances. (Image Credit: Airbus)
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14 January 2015
Navy Chooses V-22 Osprey for Future COD

V-22Osprey_Wiki.jpgBreaking Defense reported on the U.S. Navy’s decision to replace its C-2A Greyhound turboprop aircraft with V-22 Osprey tiltrotors for carrier on board delivery missions after obtaining a January 5 memo signed by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford. The memorandum of understanding said that the Navy will purchase four Osprey aircraft “each year from fiscal 2018 to 2020.” Breaking Defense called the decision a “milestone in the history of the revolutionary V-22” and “a major triumph for the Naval Air Systems Command V-22 program office, the Marine Corps and other Osprey advocates.” The article noted that the memorandum of understanding between the Navy and Marine Corps “must be ratified in the next defense budget and by Congress” and also partly depends on “a prospective third V-22 multiyear procurement contract that would begin in fiscal year 2018.” (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
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14 January 2015
Cape Canaveral Could Be World’s Busiest Spaceport In 2015

CapeCanaveralSpaceport_wiki.jpgFlorida Today reported that during a meeting of the National Space Club Florida Committee, Col. Thomas Falzarano, commander of the 45th Operations Group, said that Cape Canaveral could launch “10 missions by United Launch Alliance – eight on Atlas V rockets and two on Delta IVs – and as many as 14 launches by SpaceX’s Falcon rockets” this year, making it “the world’s busiest spaceport in 2015” if it holds. One of those SpaceX missions includes the debut of the Falcon Heavy at the Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39A. The article noted that the spaceport will likely not conduct all of these missions due to how “frequently” the launch schedule changes. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
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13 January 2015
CNN Teaming with FAA to Test UAVs for Reporting

Mini_UAV_Credit_YouTube_Amazon.jpgUSA Today reported on CNN’s announcement Monday that the cable network is teaming with the FAA in a “Cooperative Research and Development Agreement” to advance efforts to use UAVs as a reporting tool, attempting to find solutions to obstacles before possible widespread deployment by the media. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said: “Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities. ... We hope this agreement with CNN and the work we are doing with other news organizations and associations will help safely integrate unmanned newsgathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System.” The Wall Street Journal reported that CNN is testing a range of UAV types, and that NBC and others are also considering researching how to use UAVs for reporting at the Mid-Atlantic test site. CNN’s Money added that CNN partnered with the Georgia Tech Research Institute to collect data, which the FAA will analyze. The article noted that many companies have already hired staff for UAV-related projects, including Amazon, Facebook and Google. (Image Credit: YouTube/Amazon)
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13 January 2015
Dragon Arrives with Supplies for ISS

DragonAttachedtoISS_Jan2015_NASA.jpgThe AP, in continuing coverage, reported that a SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully arrived at the ISS with its “shipment of much-needed groceries and belated Christmas presents.” ISS Commander Butch Wilmore, after grabbing the Dragon with the ISS’ robotic arm for berthing, said, “We’re excited to have it on board. ... We’ll be digging in soon.” Meanwhile, the article noted that SpaceX is still examining the data to see why its Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage was not able to successfully land after launching the Dragon. The Washington Post “The Switch” blog noted that even though the landing attempt was not completely successful, it was still “a major coup” because the rocket’s first stage made it back to the landing barge. (Image Credit: NASA)
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12 January 2015
Teams Gathering More Data On How Well Orion Performed

Orion_Crew_Vehicle_NASA.jpgSpaceflight Now reported that Lockheed Martin engineers at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) are now starting to disassemble part of the Orion capsule to get more data on how it performed during December’s first flight. So far it is known that Orion completed “all but two of 87 demo objectives.” Jules Schneider, Lockheed Martin’s Orion operations manager at KSC, said that because of how well the vehicle performed, there is now “a lot of debate” about how much will be disassembled. Schneider added that overall, engineers are “incredibly pleased” by how well Orion performed. Meanwhile, a final report is expected to be submitted to NASA by March 5. (Image Credit: NASA)
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12 January 2015
SpaceX Rocket Main Booster Returns to Platform but Fails to Stick Landing

ISScapturesDragon_Jan2015_NASA.jpgThe AP reported that on Saturday, SpaceX “flawlessly” launched a Dragon capsule with cargo to the ISS, with its “hasty replacements” for cargo lost during Orbital Sciences’ launch failure in October. However, SpaceX suffered a “high-profile flop” when its “unprecedented” attempt to land the Falcon 9’s main booster on a barge failed. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was reportedly “encouraged” that the booster was able to fly back to the barge even though it landed too hard. Musk is already planning another test in February with more hydraulic fluid in the booster’s fins, which ran out during the latest test. Meanwhile, according to the article, NASA had a “keen interest” in the results of SpaceX’s test, even if it was more focused on the cargo heading to the station. The Wall Street Journal similarly contrasted SpaceX’s flawless launch with the failed landing attempt. According to Florida Today, SpaceX’s failed landing attempt “was of little consequence to NASA,” which was more concerned with the cargo. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said in a statement, “We are delighted to kick off 2015 with our first commercial cargo launch of the year.” (Image Credit: NASA)
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12 January 2015
Teams Gathering More Data On How Well Orion Performed

Orion_Crew_Vehicle_NASA.jpgSpaceflight Now reported that Lockheed Martin engineers at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) are now starting to disassemble part of the Orion capsule to get more data on how it performed during December’s first flight. So far it is known that Orion completed “all but two of 87 demo objectives.” Jules Schneider, Lockheed Martin’s Orion operations manager at KSC, said that because of how well the vehicle performed, there is now “a lot of debate” about how much will be disassembled. Schneider added that overall, engineers are “incredibly pleased” by how well Orion performed. Meanwhile, a final report is expected to be submitted to NASA by March 5. (Image Credit: NASA)
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12 January 2015
North Dakota Companies Want To Work At UAS Test Site

Assortment_of_UAVs_Wiki.jpgThe AP reported that “hundreds of companies” want to work at North Dakota’s UAS test site, contacting the site “over the past year hoping to test drones, cameras or other technology.” While there is a real need for research, what lacks in turn “are rules,” because the FAA “has yet to write regulations governing drone use in the United States.” Still, the agency could release its regulatory proposals for commercial UAS under 55 pounds “within the next month,” but then “those rules won’t likely be final until 2017, extending the uncertainty for unmanned aircraft businesses.” (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
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9 January 2015
FAA Outlines Its UAV Efforts at This Year’s CES

UAV_Wiki.jpgU.S. News & World Report continued coverage of how UAVs have their own section at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The FAA was also in attendance, with Jim Williams, the manager of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Office, discussing efforts to integrate UAVs into the national airspace. Speaking about the exemptions the agency has handed out, Williams said, “We are now up to 15 permissions granted. ... We are also in the process of streamlining in and accelerating that effort, because we now have over 200 applications for those permissions.” Meanwhile, the FAA also has a booth at the show “to educate businesses and drone users about the safe – and legal – way to operate the machines.” (Image credit: Wikipedia)
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8 January 2015
Next SpaceX Launch Attempt Pushed Back to Saturday

SpaceXFalcon9_Launchpad_NASA.jpgThe AP reported that SpaceX has pushed back its next attempt to launch a Falcon 9 rocket with cargo for the ISS to Saturday. No reason for the change was provided by the AP. According to Reuters, NASA spokesperson Allard Beutel said that SpaceX requires “more time to work the issue that caused the scrub.” (Image Credit: NASA)
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8 January 2015
Researchers Working On Developing Sense and Avoid Technology for UAVs

CamcloneT21_wiki.jpgThe AP reported that if UAVs are ever going to be able to be integrated into civilian airspace, engineers need to develop a “fully autonomous” way for them “to sense and avoid...objects like trees, streetlights, buildings and even other drones.” While this kind of software is available on commercial jets, it has yet to be scaled down or made inexpensive enough for use on UAVs, according to the article. The article noted that “researchers around the world” are working on solutions to the problem. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
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8 January 2015
McGee: 2015 Will Be Worse Year for Air Travel

DeltaAirlinesFlight_Wiki.jpgIn his column for USA Today, Bill Mcgee wrote about five key stressors that will make 2015 a worse year for air travel than 2014: tighter seating, airplane crowding, more “economy-minus” service, less competition among merged air carriers, and fee increases. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)
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7 January 2015
FAA Grants UAV Permits for Agriculture, Real Estate Companies

UAV_Monitors_Idaho_Farm1_AP.jpgThe Associated Press reports that on Tuesday, the FAA issued exceptions to the commercial UAV ban, permitting Advanced Aviation Solutions in Star, Idaho, to monitor crops and Douglas Trudeau of Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, Arizona, to photograph properties for sale. This is the first time permits have been granted to agriculture and real estate companies. The FAA had previously granted exemptions for the oil and gas, filmmaking, landfill, and other industries. The permits are conditional upon UAV operations using both a ground pilot and an observer; the pilot having at least an FAA private pilot certificate and a current medical certificate; and the UAV remaining within sight of the operator. FAA officials said that preventing potentially deadly collisions between UAVs and manned aircraft is their top priority. (Image Credit: Associated Press)
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7 January 2015
Steering Mechanism Issue Stops SpaceX Launch with Minute to Go

SpaceXFalcon9_Launchpad_NASA.jpgThe Associated Press continued coverage of SpaceX’s failed launch attempt yesterday, noting that the countdown ended “just over a minute before launch” because of a malfunctioning “steering mechanism.” With the next attempt set for Friday, NASA took this latest delay “in stride.” ISS Commander Butch Wilmore said, “Certainly, there’s a little bit of disappointment because it had fresh fruit and those types of things that we’re all interested in getting. ... But they’ll get off the ground here in a couple of days and it will all be great.” Meanwhile, according to the article, ISS Program Manager Mike Suffredini stated that even with the delays and the loss of an Orbital Sciences rocket back in October, the ISS is “nowhere near being short on food or other critical supplies.” Bloomberg News similarly reported that NASA spokesperson Jay Bolden said before the launch that the ISS has enough materials “to last until the summer.” (Image Credit: NASA)
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7 January 2015
Small UAV Market To Exceed $8 Billion by 2019

UAV_Wiki.jpgFlightglobal reported that according to ABI Research, the small UAV market will exceed “$8.4 billion by 2019.” It is estimated that commercial usage alone will reach $5.1 billion or more. ABI categorizes small UAVs as those with “a maximum take-off weight of less than 11kg.” Dan Kara, practice director at ABI Research, said that the dominance of commercial UAV use is leading defense contractors and hobbyist manufactures to engage in “acquisitions, internal development, partnerships and investment” to better access that market. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
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6 January 2015
SpaceX Launch Delayed Until Friday

Falcon9LaunchScrubbed6Jan15_NASA.jpgThe SpaceX Falcon 9 launch scheduled for this morning at 6:20 a.m. EST was forced to abort with one minute, 21 seconds left on the countdown clock. A thrust vector control actuator for the Falcon 9’s second stage failed to perform as anticipated, resulting in a launch abort. SpaceX is currently evaluating the issue and will determine the next opportunity to launch its next commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. The next available launch opportunity is Friday, 9 January. (Image Credit: NASA)
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5 January 2015
Tuesday’s SpaceX Launch Features Reusable Rocket Test

Falcon9_CapeCanaveral.jpgThe New York Times reported that when SpaceX makes its next launch to the International Space Station on Tuesday, it will try “to upend the economics of space travel” by attempting to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform. If that works, SpaceX will reuse the stage on a future launch, bringing it one step closer to its goal of developing a reusable rocket. Florida Today reported that according to weather forecasters, there is only “a 60 percent [chance] of acceptable conditions” for Tuesday’s launch. If there is a delay, SpaceX will try again on Friday when there’s a “70 percent chance of acceptable weather.” Spaceflight Insider detailed where the public can watch the launch live. (Image Credit: SpaceX)
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5 January 2015
Testing About to Begin On SLS Engines

RS-25Engine_NASA.jpgNASA Space Flight reported that this month, NASA will start the test program at the Stennis Space Center for the Space Launch System’s (SLS) RS-25 engines, “formally known as the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME).” SLS Program Manager Todd May said, “We’ve got three things that we’re really interested in making sure that we shake out on these engines, because you’re actually talking about engines that have flown in space before. These are engines that have flown on the Shuttle before – they’re qualified engines.” Meanwhile, the article noted that more hardware is under development at the Michoud Assembly Facility, “utilizing an array of new machinery.” (Image Credit: NASA)
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2 January 2015
FAA Fails to Meet 2014 Goal for UAV Regulations

UAV_Wiki.jpgReuters reported that the FAA missed a self-imposed year-end deadline for releasing rules for commercial UAVs, much to the chagrin of a multi-billion-dollar industry that was eagerly awaiting the regulations. The FAA sent a draft of the rules to the White House on Oct. 23, but the Office of Management and Budget has not released them yet. The FAA asserted that they are more focused on getting the rules right than releasing them quickly, as they contend they must deal with complex issues. Bloomberg News reported that the FAA said, “We are continuing to work with our administration colleagues to finish the rule[s]. ... It is our goal to get the proposal right.” In 2012, Congress ordered the FAA to publish rules to integrate commercial drones by Sept. 30, 2015. (Image Credit: Wikimedia)
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2 January 2015
ISS Experiences The New Year 16 Times

ISS-NASA.jpgThe ABC News website continued coverage of how the ISS would celebrate the New Year, noting that the station would “be over midnight somewhere on earth sixteen times.” ISS Commander Barry Wilmore said in a video, “We plan to celebrate New Year’s sixteen times with our comrades, our people down on Earth that are doing it at that very moment, so we’re going to do the same thing, that’s our plan.” The WAAY-TV Huntsville, AL website noted that the astronauts took time to discuss how they celebrate the New Year while “in the midst of scientific work.” According to the article, astronauts were “working hard” on their experiments. (Image Credit: NASA)
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