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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 December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 

Lockheed to settle suit over retirement accounts

Lockheed Martin agreed Dec. 16 to settle a federal class-action lawsuit accusing the aerospace and defense behemoth of mismanaging the investment accounts of its employees and retirees, charging the investors high fees along the way. The tentative deal announced in federal court in Illinois’ East St. Louis averted an anticipated four-week trial in the 8-year-old...
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

Headlines December 15, 2014

News: Defense authorization bill heads to White House - Senate lawmakers finalized work on the $584.2 billion annual defense authorization bill Dec .12, putting in place a 1 percent pay raise for troops starting in January and limiting growth in housing allowance rates. Senators make final push for vets suicide-prevention bill - An effort to get a...
 
 

News Briefs December 15, 2014

Official: Afghan insurgents kill two U.S. troops An international military official has told The Associated Press that an insurgent attack on a convoy in eastern Afghanistan has killed two U.S. troops. The official says the attack happened by the Bagram air base in Parwan province near the capital, Kabul, late Dec. 12. The official spoke...
 




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