Governmental Aerospace ProgramsThe Federal Aviation Administration, air mail, space programs and military aviation
"Those who have never seen a living Martian can scarcely imagine the strange horror of its appearance.... Even at this first encounter, this first glimpse, I was overcome with disgust and dread." —H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds, 1898.Wells wasn't alone in thinking Red Planet Dwellers would be a comp...
February 10, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
The X-47B, an unmanned combat vehicle being developed by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy, made a successful first flight at California's Edwards Air Force Base on February 4.The X-47B is no small toy—it's about the size of the retired Grumman F-14 Tomcat. It will continue to work toward the ...
February 07, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
The F-111, beloved by pilots in America and Australia, takes to the air for the last time.
January 31, 2011 | By Michael Klesius
No, it's not some freakish genetics experiment. It's NASA's Super Guppy transport hauling around a couple of T-38s. Read about it here.
January 26, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
Balkan military officials report that China's new stealth fighter might have some technology acquired from a Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk that was shot down over Serbia in 1999.Whoever recently took this footage of the new fighter doing high-speed taxi tests gets plenty fired up about it around ...
January 25, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
It was "the end of innocence," according to veteran space shuttle commander Hoot Gibson—the last flight before the Challenger tragedy, which shocked the nation less than two weeks later and changed the course of the shuttle program.On that evening, though, 25 years ago exactly, the mood was all upb...
January 18, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
A real comedy of errors and misunderstandings collided this week between the new NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and the agency’s Human Exploration Framework Team (HEFT) Congressionally mandated 90-day report (their initial findings on how to implement agency direction). Though flush with the usua...
January 14, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
Had you heard about it? It's a NASA mission, the largest airborne survey ever carried out to measure Earth's polar ice. Scientists plan to build a three-dimensional model of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves, and sea ice in an effort to bridge the gap in polar observations by one NASA sa...
January 11, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
As in any year, there are winners and losers in the 2012 Pentagon budget announced yesterday. The Defense Department plans to buy more Reaper unmanned drones, but the Marine Corps' short takeoff and landing version of the F-35 was put on two-year "probation," and may not happen at all. Pretty stand...
January 07, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
In civil engineering, one of the most important material resources on Earth is “construction aggregate” – the sand, gravel and cement building materials that make up the infrastructure of modern industrial life. Aggregate is easily one of the biggest, most valuable economic resources of all mined ...
January 05, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
How engineers altered a jumbo jet to carry the world's biggest airborne telescope.
January 2011 | By Trudy E. Bell
How the U.S. military is training Afghans to fly.
January 2011 | By Stewart Nusbaumer
Man cannot zoom by blended wing alone; he must have an engine that, well, works.
January 2011 | By Stephan Wilkinson
For U.S. airmen trapped in Yugoslavia during World War II, building a secret airstrip was their only way out.
January 2011 | By Phil Scott
The faces of the Space Shuttle Era.
January 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
We told you all about electromagnetic catapults in this story from January 2007. Now the first airplane has been launched with an EMALS system: an F/A-18E Super Hornet, at a Navy test site in Lakehurst, New Jersey.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euLsg_viWW0
December 30, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
I was surprised by these photos, but I shouldn't have been.Most pictures of Russian space crews in the Soyuz TMA vehicle show them squished together like sardines, sitting side by side on their launch "couches." I've always wondered how they can move their arms, let alone get anything done, during ...
December 22, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Lots of space station astronauts have narrated video tours of their digs in space. This one, by current ISS commander Scott Kelly, struck me as more intimate, like a friend showing you around his new house:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4dG9vSyUFQSpeaking of Kelly, the recent slip of his twin brot...
December 21, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
We are almost at the end of a year that has seen major changes in our space program. We have in hand a report from a “blue ribbon” Presidential committee that concluded that Project Constellation, the architecture NASA had chosen to implement the Vision for Space Exploration, was not affordable at...
December 21, 2010 | By Paul D. Spudis
A new image released this week by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Team shows the lighting conditions of the south pole of the Moon. This new data supports the conclusions of many previous studies that areas exist on the Moon that are illuminated by the sun for more than one-half the lunar ...
December 17, 2010 | By Paul D. Spudis