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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, 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).

17 January 2017
Last Man to Walk On Moon Dies at 82

Eugene-A-Cernan-AP-PurchasedThe New York Times reports that on Monday, NASA announced that “Eugene A. Cernan, the commander of the Apollo 17 lunar-landing mission in 1972 and the last human to walk on the moon, died” in Houston. (Image: U.S. Navy commander and astronaut for the upcoming Apollo 17, Eugene Cernan, is pictured in his space suit (Foto von 1972). Credit: Associated Press–©)
More Info (New York Times)

17 January 2017
SpaceX Launches First Falcon 9 Rocket Since September Mishap

SpaceXFalcon9Launch14Jan2017-AP-PurchasedUSA Today reported that on Saturday, SpaceX successfully launched a reusable Falcon 9 rocket, the company’s first launch since an explosion on the launchpad last September had grounded the company’s fleet of rockets for the past several months. The successful launch on Saturday allowed for the insertion of 10 replacement satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications, Inc. Meanwhile, the AP reported that on its descent to earth, the Falcon 9’s first stage “made a perfect upright touchdown on the floating pad,” an “important step for SpaceX” in its effort to perfect reusable rockets. (Image: Space-X's Falcon 9 rocket with 10 satellites launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA on Saturday, 14 Jan., 2017. Credit: Associated Press–©)
More Info (USA Today)

17 January 2017
Workforce Needs for Advances in Aerospace

StudentMembersAttendSciTech2017SessionThe aerospace industry will undoubtedly continue to transform society in positive ways for decades to come despite the challenges it faces with attracting and retaining younger talent, a panel of industry experts said Jan. 13 at 2017 AIAA SciTech Forum in Grapevine, Texas. Darryll Pines, moderator for the "Next Generation Workforce" panel, said the collective mission is to figure out the needs of the workforce and explore methods by which industry, academia and government can "work together to create the workforce of the future." (Image Credit: AIAA)
More Info (2017 AIAA SciTech Forum Notebook)

17 January 2017
FAA Eager to Start Space Traffic Transition

SpaceTrafficManagementPanel_SciTech2017The U.S. is gravitating toward giving the FAA the job of warning satellite operators about potential collisions, something the Air Force currently does. At the moment, no one knows exactly how the FAA would manage space traffic and what role the industry might play. The "Space Traffic Management" panel discussed those issues Jan. 11 at the 2017 AIAA SciTech Forum in Grapevine, Texas. (Image Credit: AIAA)
Full Story (2017 AIAA SciTech Forum Notebook)

12 January 2017
Balancing Piloted Flight Tests Against Automation

Lab-to-Flight-Test-Panel_SciTech2017Flight testing is vitally important to advance aircraft development, and the industry should not overly rely on machines to do that testing, a panel of experts said Jan. 11 at the 2017 AIAA SciTech Forum in Grapevine, Texas. The "Transitioning Your Idea From the Lab to Flight Test" panel examined the need for flight testing, the ways testing is conducted and the need for humans in the test process. The panel concluded that humans must be part of the flight testing process. (Image Credit: AIAA)
Full Story (2017 AIAA SciTech Forum Notebook)

11 January 2017
Presidential Transitions and How They Shake Things Up

PresidentialTransitionsPanel_SciTech2017Presidential transitions really alter the aerospace landscape, bringing new people, new policies, new politics and new perspectives to Washington, D.C., a panel of experts said Jan. 11 at the 2017 AIAA SciTech Forum in Grapevine, Texas. The "Disruptive Policy Issues — Presidential Transitions" panel examined how presidential transitions shake things up. (Image Credit: AIAA)
More Info (2017 AIAA SciTech 2017 Forum Notebook)

11 January 2017
Wild Ideas for Stopping Climate Change

GeoengineeringPanel_SciTech2017If humanity wants to get serious about stopping human-caused climate change, it's going to have to actively intervene in the functioning of the atmosphere, said panelists Jan. 10 at the 2017 AIAA SciTech Forum in Grapevine, Texas. Exactly how is the question. (Image Credit: AIAA)
More Info (2017 AIAA SciTech Forum Notebook)

10 January 2017
Còrdova: Basic Research Is Key to Sustaining Innovation

Cordova_SciTech2017To ensure the U.S. maintains its standing as the global leader in innovation and scientific advancement, basic research needs support, said France A. Còrdova, director of the National Science Foundation, during the Durand Lecture for Public Service on Jan. 9 at the 2017 AIAA SciTech Forum in Grapevine, Texas. (Image Credit: AIAA)
More Info (2017 AIAA SciTech Forum Notebook)

9 January 2017
NASA Asks Astronomers for JWST Observation Proposals

JamesWebbSpaceTelescope-NASASPACE reported that NASA has asked scientists to start planning proposals for observations by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) scheduled to start in April 2019, about six months after its planned launch. Officials released the call for proposals at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) on January 5. “This year marks the return of the [science] community to the program,” said NASA JWST Program Director Eric Smith, who explained that priorities to this point have focused more on the telescope’s development than what it would observe. The call follows an “anomaly” last month that temporarily halted testing on the telescope. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (SPACE)

9 January 2017
US Air Force Exploring Integrating Commercial Satellite Communication Technology

Satellite-NASADefense Systems reported that the US Air Force is exploring integrating “commercial technology and high-throughput satellites” into its military satellite systems to “help protect communications and reduce vulnerabilities for hacking or jamming.” Hughes Defense Systems Vice President Rick Lober explained that the “military may lease more SatCom bandwidth from commercial suppliers such as Hughes, ViaSat or Intelsat, among others,” in order to increase system diversity. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Defense Systems)

6 January 2017
Aerospace Firms Looking to Promote STEM Careers as Early as Kindergarten

STEM-K12-AIAAThe Los Angeles Times reports that US aerospace firms have faced challenges in recent years in recruiting young engineers, who have tended to prefer tech firms in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Moreover, “aerospace companies are facing an even stiffer challenge as Web and computer companies, and other sectors like the auto industry, move into areas like drones and autonomous systems.” Such firms as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corp. are “realizing they have to dig deeper – and adjust their messaging – to capture top tech talent.” Such firms are “starting to reach out earlier to potential employees – as early as elementary school or even pre-kindergarten – to get them interested in science and math.” (Image Credit: AIAA)
More Info (Los Angeles Times)

6 January 2017
Airbus Moves US Engineering Unit to Wichita State University Facility

AirbusEngineeringCenter-AirbusThe Wichita Eagle reported that Airbus has moved its “US engineering outpost” to “a new building at Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus.” Airbus Americas Engineering’s move “was more than just a means to consolidate its work into one building,” said John O’Leary, vice president of Airbus Americas Engineering, adding that the draw “is being at the university and its new Innovation Campus, where new ideas flourish and a pipeline for its future workforce exists.” (Image Credit: Airbus)
More Info (Wichita Eagle)

5 January 2017
F-35C Report Finds Variant Hurts And Disorients Pilots

F-35_Keith_Simmons_USN_wikimedia Business Insider reports that an F-35C “red team” has issued a report in which it has determined that the F-35C remains behind the other F-35 variants due to “rough takeoffs that hurt and disorient pilots at the critical moment when they’re taking off from a carrier.” The team concluded that the problem stems from “several factors central to the plane’s design” and will require fixes that would begin in 2019 and would require up to 36 months to implement. (Image Credit: U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons)
More Info (Business Insider)

5 January 2017
Space Shuttle Veteran, Former CIA Intel Officer Selected for 2018 ISS Mission

InternationalSpaceStation_NASA SPACE reports that on Wednesday, NASA announced the names of two American astronauts selected to visit the ISS in 2018, Andrew Feustel and Jeanette Epps. Feustel, a veteran of two NASA space shuttle missions, will launch in March 2018 as a flight engineer and “then take command of the station’s Expedition 56 crew a few months later.” Epps, who will be making her first visit to space, joined NASA’s astronaut corps “in 2009 after serving seven years as a technical intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency,” and will become “the first African-American crewmember of an ISS expedition.” (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (SPACE)

4 January 2017
NASA Awards Crew Missions to Boeing, SpaceX

Boeing_CST-100 Defense Daily reports that NASA has awarded “four additional Commercial Crew missions each” to Boeing and SpaceX under current Commercial Crew Transportation Capabilities contracts. Boeing has an unmanned flight test scheduled for June 2018, and a manned test scheduled for August 2018, while Space X has unmanned and manned tests scheduled for November 2017 and May 2018, respectively. Following testing, NASA is expected to certify the companies for flight ahead of missions to the ISS. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (Defense Daily)

3 January 2017
SpaceX Announces Its Ready to Resume Launch Operations

SpaceX_Falcon9_onLaunchPad_Wiki AFP reports that SpaceX announced Monday that following its determination of the cause of a launchpad explosion in September it is now ready to resume launches “as early as Sunday.” According to the article, in a statement released Monday, SpaceX said it had identified the issue to a pressure vessel in the second-stage liquid oxygen tank, and that the company hopes to launch 10 communications satellites from California on Sunday. (Image Credit: NASA)
More Info (AFP)

3 January 2017
NASA Delivers OMS Engine to Germany for Orion Service Module

OMS_Pod_removal-NASA Spaceflight Now reports that a “former space shuttle orbital maneuvering system [OMS] engine” refurbished by NASA has been delivered to Airbus Defense and Space’s spacecraft assembly facility in Germany, to be attached to an Orion spacecraft module for use in ESA’s Exploration Mission-1. The article notes that “Lockheed Martin is prime contractor for the Orion crew module, which will house the astronauts, their living quarters and the cockpit.” The refurbished OMS engine was built by Aerojet Rocketdyne, flew on 19 space shuttle missions, and is rated for 100 missions “rated for multiple restarts on each flight.” (Image: View of shuttle Endeavour’s left-hand orbiter maneuvering system, or OMS, pod. Credit: NASA)
More Info (Spaceflight Now)

3 January 2017
Government’s “Slow Pace” Increases Demand for Counter-UAV Technologies

DJIPhantom_AP_Purchased Reuters reports that the “slow pace of government regulation” for UAVs and the increase in consumer UAV sales “has spawned a counter-industry of start-ups aiming to stop drones flying where they shouldn’t, by disabling them or knocking them out of the sky.” The article reports that dozens of start-up firms from around the world “are developing techniques – from deploying birds of prey to firing gas through a bazooka – to take on UAVs that are being used to smuggle drugs, drop bombs, spy on enemy lines or buzz public spaces.” Reuters mentions that the FAA “is testing various counter-drone technologies at several airports” in the US. (Image: DJI Phantom 2. Credit: Associated Press–©)
More Info (Reuters)