AerospaceThe technology and science of commercial and military air and space flight
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To the Federal Aviation Administration, civilian
UAVs are the new barbarians at the gate.
July 2009 | By Douglas Gantenbein
A B-47 pilot remembers when an airplane—and Curtis LeMay—stiffened the spine of the Strategic Air Command
July 2009 | By Walter J. Boyne
July 2009 | By Paul Hoversten
NASA's newly named Astronaut Class of 2009 had better be a patient lot, because they probably won't reach orbit anytime soon. But they can look forward to walking on the moon if and when we return there sometime in the 2020s. And even if we don't, it must be pretty satisfying to be one of only nine...
June 30, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
The new Augustine Commission met for the first time last week (June 17). The one-day agenda was filled with presentations on rocket-building, including reviews of NASA’s current efforts along those lines, followed by briefings on a number of possible alternatives. Suddenly, the space blogosphere ...
June 25, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
And would they have been visible from space?
June 24, 2009 | By Rebecca Maksel
In the March 2008 issue, we published "High Fashion," which chronicled the state of the art in orbital couture, including "a dress that looked like a giant upside-down shredded coffee filter." Last Saturday, high over Florida, bride Erin Finnegan, wearing Eri Matsui's zero-G wedding gown, exchange...
June 22, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
During World War II, WASPs proved that an airplane couldn’t tell the difference between a male and female pilot.
June 22, 2009 | By Jonna Dootlittle Hoppes
Now that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is enroute to the moon (it arrives Tuesday) we might ask where it will point its high-resolution cameras when observations get underway. In fact, scientists have been thinking about that for years; last week they met in Tempe, Arizona, to discuss LRO target...
June 19, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
It took 400,000 people, working under extreme pressure, to reach the moon in 1969. Like any army, they suffered casualties.
June 18, 2009 | By The Editors
The most important review of NASA space policy since the Columbia accident investigation kicks off today with its first public hearing. Watch it live on NASA Television.
June 17, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Next month, when space shuttle Endeavour arrives in orbit to begin its 16-day space station construction mission (Note: The launch has been postponed to July 11), Chris Cassidy might feel more than the usual satisfaction. On his first shuttle flight, the former Navy SEAL, who wasn't even born when ...
June 12, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Despite what you've read, NASA doesn't really have a moon program. Not yet. But it will as of next Thursday. That's the day the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is scheduled to launch on a year-long (at least) mission to send back our best pictures of the moon since astronauts stopped visiting there a ...
June 12, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Bill Elkins has been outfitting astronauts since before NASA was born.
June 10, 2009 | By Michael Klesius
Even 20 years later, this is an amazing piece of footage: Russian test pilot Anatoly Kvochur bailing out of his MiG-29, just 300 feet off the ground, at the 1989 Paris Air Show. I actually saw this happen—or rather, I was standing talking to a friend when we saw a cloud of black smoke and people r...
June 08, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Grumman has built some venerable seaplanes—think Goose, Albatross, Mallard, and Widgeon—but it ran aground when it put a portly F4F-3 Wildcat on floats and called it an F4F-3S seaplane fighter (a classic oxymoron). The only redeeming feature of the F4F-3S was its nickname: Wildcatfish.
In 1942, th...
June 05, 2009 | By Pat Trenner
Last time, I outlined some of the basic principles of lunar resource utilization. The Moon is our nearest source of material resources in space and learning how to extract what we need from the Moon is a key skill in our expansion into the Solar System.All this is very well and good, but how do we...
June 05, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
Am I the only one vacationing on the ground this year?This guy is traveling to the space station on what he calls a "Poetic Social Mission." He's the Canadian billionaire who started Cirque du Soleil.These two are getting married on one of Zero-G's weightless flights. Here's their website. They're ...
June 04, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
While the resources of space have the potential to revolutionize spaceflight—giving us a much wider range of activities than are now possible, including habitation of other planetary bodies—discussions on various internet forums show that there is a lot of confusion and lack of knowledge about spac...
May 30, 2009 | By Paul D. Spudis
Over at the Flickr photo sharing site, they've found a creative new use for all those zillions of photos NASA posts on the web for free.The NASA Remix Project invites people to grab their favorite images of planets, rockets, and astronauts, and turn them into something more artistic. Or fanciful. ...
May 29, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt