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David Szondy

Space

SES-9 mission launch successful, but Falcon 9 landing less so

After successfully delivering a satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, SpaceX attempted to land its Falcon 9 booster on a seabarge, the "Of Course I still Love You," in the Atlantic Ocean. The video feed cut out at the last instant, keeping everyone guessing as to the fate of the unmanned first stage rocket, but SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has now confirmed in a tweet that the landing attempt was unsuccessful.Read More

Automotive

Spherical tire takes autonomous cars sideways into the future

As autonomous cars move closer to the showroom, it's clear that they'll be more than just conventional vehicles minus the driver. It means rethinking every major system down to the tires. At the 86th Geneva International Motor show, Goodyear has taken the wraps off two concept tires designed for the autonomous cars of tomorrow – including a spherical tire that allow cars to drive sideways and one that can sense road conditions and adapt to them.Read More

Space

Orion's solar panels readied for Moon mission

When NASA's Orion capsule made its maiden flight in 2014, it was easy to forget that only half of the spacecraft actually went into orbit. A dummy version of the European Service Module (ESM), which is still undergoing development, sat behind the the unmanned capsule as it lifted off from Cape Canaveral. That development has just passed a major milestone according to the main contractor, Airbus Defence and Space, with a model of the ESM's solar array performing "flawlessly" in a deployment test this week.Read More

Military

HMS Artful uses new "brain" to fire torpedo

The Royal Navy's latest and most advanced nuclear submarine, HMS Artful, has successfully fired its first test torpedo using a state-of-the-art "brain." According to the British Ministry of Defence, the 7,400-tonne hunter-killer used the new Command Combat System to integrate data from its suite of sensors to track and hit the moving target with an unarmed practice weapon. The Artful is the third of the Astute class submarines and is the first to have the CCS installed.Read More

Space

NASA green-lights supersonic passenger plane project

NASA is moving ahead with its new X-planes program by awarding its first contract to design a prototype "low-boom" supersonic passenger jet. At a ceremony today at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced that a team led by Lockheed Martin will develop the preliminary designs for a demonstration aircraft.Read More

Aircraft

Long-endurance Predator drone spreads its wings

The Predator B (AKA the MQ-9 Reaper) is one of the mainstay drones of the US Air Force and is also flown by the air forces of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. In the latest of a long series of upgrades, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has announced the maiden flight of the Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper Extended Range (ER) Long Wing. Retrofitted with long-endurance wings with greater internal fuel capacity and a raft of other features, the improvements bring the drone into the reconnaissance class.Read More

Space

SpaceX SES-9 launch aborted at last second

SpaceX dramatically aborted its third attempt to launch the SES 9 mission today at literally the last second. At 7:21 pm EST, the lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was called off with the order to shutdown the engines of the Falcon 9 rocket at the moment of ignition. Today's launch would have been SpaceX's most ambitious to date, as it was to be the first attempt at a powered landing of the Falcon 9 on a sea barge after returning from a geostationary transfer orbit launch.Read More

Military

US Army researchers patent limited-range bullet to reduce chances of collateral damage

Safer munitions may seem like a contradiction in terms, but modern designers put a lot of effort into creating weapons that do the least unintentional harm after or if they fail to do their job. A case in point is a new limited-range bullet invented by Brian Kim, Mark Minisi, and Stephen McFarlane at the US Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC). Recently awarded a US patent, the proof-of-concept bullet disables itself after flying a preset distance.Read More

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