Meet the amateur astronomers who track secretive spy satellites for fun

lunes, 15 de enero de 2018

If Zuma is still up there, these are the people who might spot it. What the heck happened to Zuma? We know that the super-secret satellite was built by Northrop Grumman for an agency of the United States Government, and that SpaceX launched it on Sunday, January 7. But what we know is vastly outw...


Scientists are making carbon fiber from plants instead of petroleum

Cheaper, plant-based carbon fiber could be used to make lighter cars that consume less fuel. Carbon fiber is the Superman of materials. Five times stronger than steel and a fraction of the weight, it is used in everything from tennis rackets to golf clubs to bicycles to wind turbine blades to pas...


Belgian fighters intercept Russian bombers over North Sea

An F16 at the Volkel airbase. Photo: U.S. Air Force via Wikimedia Commons Two Russian bombers have been intercepted after flying into Dutch airspace over the North Sea on Monday morning. Belgium sent …


Airbus says A380 superjumbo production could end

European planemaker Airbus has said it will stop making its A380 "superjumbo" if it does not get any more orders. Sales director John Leahy said Airbus would have to halt the programme if the plane's main customer, Dubai's Emirates airline, did not place another order. "But I'm hopeful that we wo...


ANALYSIS: Hyperloop link promises Schiphol expansion

ANALYSIS: Hyperloop link promises Schiphol expansion // Airlines news

Hyperloop One, a California-based company that is seeking to make the concept of aircraft-speed ground transportation a commercial reality, is hopeful that talks with the Dutch Government to build a hyperloop track linking Amsterdam Schiphol and Lelystad airports could result in the two facilities effectively becoming one integrated aerodrome within five years.

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Pontifications: Embraer twice became focus of US trade commission complaints - Leeham News and Comment


Airbus delivers record 718 aircraft amid strong sales - Leeham News and Comment


No Deal With Emirates Would Shut Down A380 Program, Predicts Leahy

No Deal With Emirates Would Shut Down A380 Program, Predicts Leahy // Commercial Aviation Channel

Outgoing sales chief believes the A380 is an "aircraft whose time will come," but it needs to go through a period of low demand before additional orders emerge.

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Thai T-50s hit bad weather, welcoming ceremony postponed | Airbus announce Taiwan payout, German one on the cards | New Belgian NH90s need radar fix


Airbus may cut A380 production to six planes a year


Airbus draws up plans to cut A380 output to six per year
Flightglobal-Hace 2 horas
Airbus has drawn up plans which would enable it to take A380 production down to as few as six aircraft per year. The airframer delivered 15 of the type over the course of 2017. Airbus is planning to reduce production this year and intends to deliver 12 A380s. It has also previously stated that it plans to cut ...
Airbus to ditch A380 if new Emirates order falls through
The Nationala
He said the Dubai-based airline is "the only one who has the ability" to commit to a minimum order of six A380s a year for the next 8-10 years, which the manufacturer needs to make the plane financially viable. Airbus has not received an order for the A380 in over two years. Emirates was expected to place ...


GKN Aims to Reorganize After Spurning Takeover


SpaceX's recycled Dragon splashes down after second ISS stint


Planetary Resources Launches Latest Spacecraft in Advance of Space Resource Exploration Mission

Press Release


Redmond, Wash. – January 12, 2018 – Planetary Resources today announced the successful launch of the Arkyd-6, a 6U CubeSat, containing a demonstration of technology designed to detect water resources in space. The team has already begun to receive telemetry from the spacecraft. The data obtained from the Arkyd-6 will be valuable in the development of the Arkyd-301, Planetary Resources’ next spacecraft platform and the beginning of the company’s space resource exploration program.

In the process of engineering the Arkyd-6, the Planetary Resources’ team was able to modify commercial hardware to be used in space, allowing for the possibility of deep-space missions at greatly reduced costs. This process also allows for control at every stage of development and production resulting in a reliable and innovative product.

“The success of the Arykd-6 will validate and inform the design and engineering philosophies we have embraced since the beginning of this innovative project,” said Chris Lewicki, President and CEO, Planetary Resources. “We will continue to employ these methods through the development of the Arkyd-301 and beyond as we progress toward our Space Resource Exploration Mission.”

Out of 17 elements that will be tested during Arkyd-6’s flight, one of the most crucial technologies is the onboard mid-wave infrared (MWIR) imager. The technical team qualified a commercial sensor to collect pixel-level data and integrated custom optics, creating the world’s first commercial MWIR instrument to be used in space. Based on the findings from this initial flight, Planetary Resources will further develop this sensor technology into the most advanced water resource detection hardware available, which will be incorporated into Arkyd-301.

Chris Voorhees, Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources, said, “If all of the experimental systems operate successfully, Planetary Resources intends to use the Arkyd-6 satellite to capture MWIR images of targets on Earth’s surface, including agricultural land, resource exploration regions, and infrastructure for mining and energy. In addition, we will also have the opportunity to perform specific celestial observations from our vantage point in low Earth orbit. Lessons learned from Arkyd-6 will inform the company’s approach as it builds on this technology to enable the scientific and economic evaluation of asteroids during its future Space Resource Exploration Mission.”

Arkyd-6 will be testing additional technologies such as power generation, attitude determination, instrument operation and two-way communication. Although the spacecraft is fully autonomous and able to execute all functions independently, it will continue to communicate with Mission Control through every critical check point.

About Planetary Resources
Planetary Resources was founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis and Chris Lewicki. The company’s vision is to establish a new paradigm for resource utilization that will bring the Solar System within humanity’s economic sphere of influence. The pathway in identifying the most commercially viable near-Earth water-rich asteroids has led to the development of multiple transformative technologies that are applicable to global markets, including the agriculture, oil & gas, mining and insurance industries.

Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries who are committed to expanding the world’s resource base so humanity can continue to grow and prosper for centuries to come. Some of the company’s partners and advisors include the Government of Luxembourg’s initiative, 3D Systems, the Bechtel Corporation and Analytical Graphics Incorporated; Sara Seager, Ph.D., professor of Planetary Science & Physics at MIT and TED fellow; Dante Lauretta, Ph.D., professor of Planetary Science at the University of Arizona and principal investigator of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission; Members of the company’s technical staff have worked on every recent U.S. Mars lander including Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity, and include other key non-aerospace and safety-critical disciplines. For more information, please visit


Virgin Galactic completes high speed glide test

Virgin's press release

Update from Mojave: VSS Unity successfully completes high speed glide flight

January blues? Not a problem in Mojave today as VSS Unity successfully completed her seventh glide flight!

It’s been a few months since our last flight, during which we worked through a planned period of focused ground time. This involved extensive analysis, testing and small modifications to ensure vehicle readiness for the higher loads and forces of powered test flight. Today we tested that work by pushing Unity’s atmospheric capabilities hard, touching top-end glide speeds as pilots Mark ‘Forger’ Stucky and Michael ‘Sooch’ Masucci completed a busy test card.

Alongside confirming the work that has taken place on the ground, the glide flight tested transonic flight performance, stability and control. After release from mothership VMS Eve, the spaceship was immediately pushed into a sharp descent, accelerating to Mach 0.9 which is around the maximum airspeed we can achieve without igniting the rocket motor!

At this stage of the glide flight programme, each flight is essentially a dry run for rocket-powered test flights. Where possible the team replicates those powered flight conditions by, for example, adding water ballast to simulate the weight and positioning of the rocket motor. As during previous flights, the water ballast was jettisoned at around 22,000 feet, allowing the pilots to complete the flight and land in a lighter configuration, again simulating the conditions which will apply during space flight. Also as a precursor to powered flight, VSS Unity flew today with her thermal protection system (TPS) fully applied. This ensures that heat loads generated by air friction during rocket-powered boost and supersonic re-entry cause no damage to the vehicle. It’s a good look though, with the upper surfaces of the previously white feather flaps now covered in a protective silvered film.

Congratulations to Forger and Sooch, as well as VMS Eve crew, CJ Sturckow, Kelly Latimer and Richard Starke, for a well-executed flight, supported of course by the Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company teams on the ground. Please stay tuned to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn as well as this site to keep fully updated on our test flight program and other news.


El libro "Aviones Bizarros" y uno de sus autores en RNE

Hablamos con el ingeniero y piloto José Manuel Gil García, co autor de "Aviones Bizarros: Los aparatos más asombrosos de la historia de la aviación".


NASA tests X-ray-based "Space-GPS" navigation system