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January 6, 2014

News Briefs – January 6, 2014

Florida space center home to secret spacecraft

Kennedy Space Center will be the testing site for a top-secret Air Force space plane.

Boeing is working on the spacecraft, and the company announced Jan. 3 that it will convert a former space shuttle building for the X-37B orbital test vehicle program.

An undisclosed number of workers will recover, refurbish and relaunch the 29-foot(8.8-meter)-long unmanned spacecraft.

The Air Force launched the most recent flight of the unmanned spacecraft from Florida’s Space Coast more than a year ago.

It was the second flight for the original X-37B space plane. The craft circled the planet for seven months in 2010. A second X-37B spacecraft spent more than a year in orbit.

The mystery machines are about one-quarter the size of NASA’s old space shuttles and can land automatically on a runway. AP

 

U.S. Marines delay women fitness test as half fail

More than half of female U.S. Marines in training can’t do three pullups, the minimum standard that was supposed to take effect with the new year. That has led the Marine Corps to delay the requirement that’s part of the process of integrating women into combat jobs.

The delay has led to sharp debate in the military over whether women have the physical strength for some military jobs, as service branches move toward opening thousands of combat roles to them in 2016.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos wants training officials to “continue to gather data and ensure that female Marines are provided with the best opportunity to succeed,” Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine spokeswoman, said Thursday.

Starting with the New Year, all female Marines were supposed to be able to do at least three pullups on their annual physical fitness test and eight for a perfect score. The requirement was tested in 2013 on female recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in South Carolina, but only 45 percent of women met the minimum, Krebs said.

The belief is that pullups require the muscular strength necessary to perform common military tasks such as scaling a wall, climbing up a rope or lifting and carrying heavy munitions. AP




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Headlines April 21, 2014

News: Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him - Almost 10 years after the friendly fire death of former NFL star turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman, a fellow ranger admits that he may have been the one who fired the fatal shot.   Business: Ship study should favor existing designs -...
 
 

News Briefs April 21, 2014

Navy OKs changes for submariners’ sleep schedules The U.S. Navy has endorsed changes to submarine sailors’ schedules based on research into sleep patterns by a military laboratory in Connecticut. With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the Navy for decades has staggered sailors’ working hours on schedules with little resemblance...
 
 

NASA cargo launches to space station aboard SpaceX resupply mission

Nearly 2.5 tons of NASA science investigations and cargo are on the way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. The spacecraft launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:25 p.m., EDT, April 18. The mission is the company’s third...
 

 

Second series of CASIS-sponsored research payloads launch to ISS

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space is proud to announce several sponsored research payloads have launched to the International Space Station onboard the Space Exploration Technology Corporation’s Dragon cargo capsule. This marks the second series of investigations headed to the station that are sponsored by CASIS, the nonprofit responsible for managing research...
 
 

Boeing to give California workers $47 million in back pay

PALMDALE, Calif. – Boeing will pay $47 million to hundreds of current and former Southern California employees who are owed back pay and benefits, a union announced April 18. An arbitrator ruled against the aerospace giant in January and laid down guidelines for the payments and interest, but it took months to cull through records...
 
 

NASA selects commercial crew program manager

NASA has selected Kathy Lueders as program manager for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Lueders, who has served as acting program manager since October 2013, will help keep the nation’s space program on course to launch astronauts from American soil by 2017 aboard spacecraft built by American companies. “This is a particularly critical time for...
 




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