Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Boeing

Artist's concept of the 702SP satellite (Image; Boeing

The launch of two new communications satellites may not seem like news these days, but it is when they're the first satellites with all-electric propulsion. Boeing announced that the two 702SP small platform satellites, called ABS-3A and EUTELSAT 115 West B, that launched on Sunday evening are sending back signals to mission control as they power towards geosynchronous orbit under ion drive.  Read More

The Joint Direct Attack Munition-Extended Range (JDAM-ER) precision bomb kit developed by ...

Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have carried out tests of the Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM-ER), which showed a three-times increase in range while maintaining accuracy. The add-on guidance kit for bombs was put through its paces at Australia's Woomera Test Range, where the 500-lb (227 kg) ordnance was dropped by RAAF F/A-18 Classic Hornets from altitudes ranging from 40,000 ft (12,190 m) down to 10,000 ft (3,048 m).  Read More

Astronauts Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore working on the exterior of ISS's Harmony module (...

NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts have successfully completed a grueling six hour and 41 minute spacewalk. It saw the Americans route 340 ft (104 m) of cable in order to facilitate the fitting of a future docking system that will allow the next generation of unmanned and manned commercial craft (such as SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft), to berth at the station's harmony docking node. The installation of the new system will represent the most significant reconfiguration of the ISS since the US Space Shuttle Program.  Read More

The ALASA concept uses an expendable rocket dropped from a conventional aircraft to launch...

If you've ever dreamed of turning your municipal airport into a satellite launching facility, then DARPA has your number. At this week's 18th Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, DC, Bradford Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office reported on the progress of the agency's Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program, which is designed to launch 100-lb (45-kg) satellites into low-Earth orbit using an expendable rocket dropped from a conventional aircraft.  Read More

NASA's Stephanie Schierholz introduces the panel of NASA and commercial representatives (P...

For several years, NASA and its private enterprise partners have been working on the space agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) to provide an astronaut ferry service from US soil to the International Space Station. Now a panel from NASA, Boeing, and SpaceX has outlined the latest timetable leading up to the first commercial flights.  Read More

The new rotary weapons bay allows for a wider variety of munitions to be carried (Photo: B...

For a plane that's now being flown by the original crews' grandchildren, the B-52 is still going strong. For its latest upgrade, Boeing has installed a new weapons bay launcher that will allow the venerable bomber to carry smart weapons inside and reduce fuel consumption.  Read More

The awarding of NASA's most recent Commercial Crew Program contract will see an end to Ame...

The push to return manned launch capabilities to United States soil is bringing about an exciting period in the commercial space industry. September 2014 saw the awarding of the US Government's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, with both Boeing and SpaceX benefiting from a significant investment of US$6.8 billion. The contract has the ultimate goal of expediting the development and production of commercial spacecraft specializing in low-Earth orbit operations to the ISS. But what were the driving factors behind the change, and how do the planned replacements match up to the capabilities and conditions of the long standing Soyuz program? Read on as we delve deeper into NASA's mission to end the nation's reliance on Russia by 2017.  Read More

The KC-46A tanker program makes its first flight (Photo: Boeing)

Boeing and the US Air force have announced the successful first test flight of the KC-46A tanker program. Set to replace the Air Force's aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers, the KC-46A is designed to act primarily as an airborne refueling tanker, but can also carry passengers and cargo, or act as a medivac airplane.  Read More

The University of Cambridge and Boeing have partnered to create an electric-hybrid test ai...

We're all familiar with hybrid cars, but hybrid planes are virtually unheard of. Now though, researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK, have partnered with Boeing to test what they say is the first hybrid-electric aircraft. It is said to use 30 percent less fuel than a gas-only equivalent.  Read More

The ecoDemonstrator 787 lifts off yesterday at Boeing Field in Seattle (Photo: Boeing)

Almost a year ago, Boeing announced that it was looking into running airliners on a mixture of jet fuel and "green diesel" – the latter of which is made from vegetable oils, waste cooking oil and waste animal fats. Yesterday in Seattle the corporation followed through on that plan, flying its ecoDemonstrator 787 flight test airplane on the fuel blend.  Read More

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