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February 6, 2013

Headlines: February 6, 2013

Business

Dreamliner probe results “weeks away,” NTSB chief says

The National Transportation Safety Board is “probably weeks away” from completing its probe into battery problems on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, but will share its latest information on the jet Feb. 7, agency head Deborah Hersman said.

Boeing asks for permission to start new Dreamliner flights despite ‘exploding battery’ mystery

Boeing has asked for permission to start test flights of its 787 Dreamliner as the investigation into the battery fires which have grounded the flagship aircraft continues. The company is awaiting the green light from the U.S Federal Aviation Administration to resume flights with test planes so that investigators can study the lithium-ion packs in the air.

Charred to a crisp: New pictures show full extent of damage to burnt Dreamliner batteries which prompted emergency landing

Experts probing the fire on a Dreamliner which has grounded the whole fleet today released fresh images of the charred battery at the centre of the investigation. Pictures show the blackened remains of the lithium device as well as a frayed and broken earth wire, designed to reduce the risk of electric shock, which was attached to it at the time it ignited.

EADS set to bolster independence with new chairman

European aerospace group EADS was putting finishing touches Feb. 5 to a board shake-up which is likely to see former Thales boss Denis Ranque emerge as the company’s first independent chairman, people familiar with the matter said.

 

 

Defense

Budget cuts would reduce flying hours, F-35 orders

The U.S. Air Force will have to curtail its orders for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, restructure a $52 billion tanker contract with Boeing and reduce its flying hours by 18 percent if lawmakers do not avert impending across-the-board spending cuts, the service told Congress Feb. 6.

Revealed: CIA runs secret airbase in Saudi Arabia to launch deadly drone attacks against al Qaeda in Yemen

Lethal United States drones are launched from a top secret base in Saudi Arabia, it has emerged. The CIA uses the base to target al Qaeda operatives in neighboring Yemen, according to the New York Times.

 

Space

The view from the International Space Station: Astronaut posts breathtaking pictures of Earth

Canadian Chris Hadfield snapped astonishing images over the past few days to give space fans an insight into the incredible views enjoyed from 250 miles above the planet’s surface.

 

 

Technology

ESA moon base plan vould use 3D printing, lunar soil

As if planning to build a moon base weren’t enough, the European Space Agency may try to do it with 3D printing.

 

 

International

India says budget cuts won’t delay Rafale talks

India pledged Feb. 6 not to let defense cuts disrupt efforts to finalize a potential $10 billion purchase of French warplanes, but both sides played down expectations of a landmark deal in time for a visit by French President Francois Hollande next week.

It looks like a toy cockpit! Western critics take aim at Iran’s home-made stealth fighter that ‘can’t be detected by radar’

Iran is hailing it as one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world, capable of evading radar, landing on short airstrips and controlling the skies with its deadly arsenal. The jet, known as the ‘Qaher 313′, was unveiled Feb. 2 at a ceremony involving Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other high-ranking officials.

United Kingdom: MP Jack Straw joins in row over fighter jet U-turn

Blackburn MP Jack Straw has joined an influential commons committee in criticizing the Ministry of Defence over its ‘rushed and flawed’ decision to switch fighter aircraft for the Royal Navy’s new carriers. The all-party group of MPs said the 2010 decision to opt for the carrier variant of the joint strike fighter rather than the jump jet, had been a mistake.

 

 

Viewpoint

We must restore our commitment to U.S. space exploration

by Jerry L. Ross, Former astronaut and author of SPACEWALKER

As the wheels stopped on the Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center on July 11, 2011, I was standing on the runway waiting to greet the crew.

It was a poignant moment for me. Each of our shuttles had its own unique personality and I knew Atlantis best. Five of my seven space flights had been on that ship, and this was its last mission. At the time I was serving as Chief of the Vehicle Integration Test Office, responsible for providing technical support to Shuttle and International Space Station crews. It was my last mission, too.

Chuck Hagel not in same league with Robert Gates, Leon Panetta

The Kansas City Star

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel went through three mock confirmation hearings to prepare for the real thing, but still left many supporters surprised at his poor performance. It’s a shame President Barack Obama didn’t tap a better nominee for secretary of defense.

 

 

 

 

 




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NASA chooses American companies to transport U.S. astronauts to ISS

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