aerospace

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Look Out, Boeing: Airbus A350 Takes 1st Flight

Light-weight, wide-body plane a serious competitor to 787

(Newser) - The Airbus A350's maiden flight ended with a safe landing today, setting the stage for intensifying competition with US rival Boeing in the long-haul wide-body aircraft market. Airspace at the airport in the southern French city of Toulouse, where Airbus has its headquarters, closed for both take-off and landing.... More »

Solar Plane Sets Distance Record in 18-Hour Flight

But Phoenix-Dallas flight wasn't exactly shredding any speed records

(Newser) - The Solar Impulse—the entirely solar-powered plane you have to be a little bit crazy to fly —isn't even close to finished with its ambitious cross-country odyssey , but it's already made history. The Impulse broke its own record for the longest solar-powered flight today when it landed... More »

First Cross-Country Solar-Fueled Flight Takes Off

Pilots to undergo amazing physical feat of endurance

(Newser) - A solar-powered plane took off this morning for what will be the first exclusively sun-fueled cross-country flight . The Solar Impulse left a California airfield at 6am, and should ultimately land in Washington by mid-June, with five stops along the way, the Washington Post reports. It's the first solar-powered plane... More »

Team Creates Lightest Material on the Planet

'Ultralight metallic microlattice' 100 times lighter than Styrofoam

(Newser) - A University of California team says it has created a material lighter than any other on Earth. The team's "ultralight metallic microlattice" is 100 times lighter than Styrofoam, and can sit atop a fluffy dandelion without crushing its seeds, the Los Angeles Times reports. The material is 99.... More »

Airbus Shows Off Transparent Jet of the Future

Imaginary jet features bar, video game area

(Newser) - Someday, Wonder Woman won’t be the only one with an invisible jet. Airbus has been showing the media a virtual “Concept Cabin” of what it imagines its passenger jets will look like in 40 years. The showiest feature: The jets' walls can turn see-through at the touch of... More »

Private Firm to Launch Moon Rover

Astrobotic plans to sling robot at moon in 2013

(Newser) - Rovers aren’t just NASA’s purview anymore. In what would be a major milestone for the private space industry, Astrobotic Technology says it’s going to land a solar-powered robot on the moon—a feat that would earn the company a $24 million piece of the Google Lunar X... More »

'Sexy Spy' Anna Chapman Lands New Job

Her new boss? FondServisBank

(Newser) - What's a sexy former spy to do? Get a job at a bank, apparently. Anna Chapman, the 28-year old Russian operative whose "007-worthy beauty" caught America's attention has now been hired by Russia's FondServisBank, reports the Telegraph . The bank, which works in the aerospace industry, has hired Chapman to... More »

Boeing to Launch Space Tourism Business

Looks to have capsule up and running by 2015

(Newser) - Boeing would like to fly you to your next vacation destination—in space. The aerospace giant is developing a space capsule that it thinks will be ready to launch tourists by 2015, the company has announced. The capsule will have seven seats, enough to carry a few spectators alongside a... More »

On the Horizon: Space Flights for $475

Cheap, sub-orbital trips could be reality in a decade

(Newser) - Need a vacation? Aerospace engineer Burt Rutan says in the next 10 years a flight to space may be as cheap as $475. In an interview with BigThink , the space pioneer who famously designed the first plane to fly around the world without stopping explains how he, under the auspices... More »

Ares Test Rocket Blasts Off

Possible space shuttle replacement launches after long delay

(Newser) - NASA’s Ares I-X test rocket finally blasted off this morning, after several delays and a storm-foiled first attempt. The $445 million rocket is the first of its kind, and NASA hopes it’ll eventually replace the space shuttle and take astronauts to the moon. Originally it was supposed to... More »

South Korea Launches Space Rocket

First attempt from own soil; satellite aboard fails to reach orbit

(Newser) - South Korea's first rocket blasted off into space today following an aborted attempt last week and just months after its rival North Korea drew international ire for its own launch. A problem quickly surfaced, however, when the satellite the rocket was carrying apparently failed to enter its intended orbit. ... More »

Problems Sour Boeing's 'Dream Summer'

(Newser) - Boeing was expecting to ride high on defense contracts in mid-2009 even as its 787 Dreamliner transformed air travel—but widespread problems have shadowed the firm's "dream summer," Dan Reed writes in USA Today. The Dreamliner's launch was delayed for a fifth time after structural problems were discovered,... More »

Obama Will Face Shuttle Dilemma

NASA to transition team: We have a problem

(Newser) - America's aging space shuttle fleet will pose some tough questions for Barack Obama, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Bush administration has recommended the shuttle be mothballed by 2010. To avoid leaving a potentially crippling 5-year gap in America's manned space flight program, Obama's NASA team will need to decide... More »

Boeing to Delay Launch of Dreamliner—Again

Machinists strike, other bugs throw more wrenches into Boeing's production

(Newser) - Wheels-up time for Boeing’s much-anticipated Dreamliner jet will likely be delayed at least another 6 months, leaving customers wondering if the aircraft will ever take to the skies, the Wall Street Journal reports. The fourth delay, attributed to the recent machinists strike, bugs in the plane’s computer software,... More »

Boeing Reaches Deal With Striking Union

Tentative agreement would end 52-day machinists walkout

(Newser) - Boeing's 27,000 striking machinists could be back to work within days if they approve a deal hammered out with the help of a federal mediator late last night, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. The deal will give machinists a 15% pay increase over four years and limit the amount of... More »

Time to Ditch the Shuttle

Let the Russians fly us; shuttle is too dangerous

(Newser) - It’s past time to put the US space shuttle fleet out to pasture, according to John Logsdon, a member of the 2003 Columbia Accident Investigation Board. That panel recommended the US “replace the shuttle as soon as possible,” and Logsdon stands by that assessment, even though it... More »

Boeing Machinists Vote to Strike; Postpone 48 Hours

After voting to strike, union agrees to mediator plea to return to bargaining

(Newser) - Boeing's largest union voted overwhelmingly to strike last night, but agreed to extend the current contract 48 hours for a last-ditch effort at the bargaining table to avert a walkout. Federal mediators urged the delay, after 87% of the company's machinists voted to reject Boeing's offer for a new 3-year... More »

Boeing Threatens to Ditch Air Force Tanker Bid

Boeing demands extra 4 months in new bid in tanker war

(Newser) - Boeing has warned the Pentagon it will pull out of the new bidding to build a fleet of air tankers unless it gets an extra four months to prepare a bid, the Wall Street Journal reports. A Boeing pullout would leave the Air Force with no competition for a $35... More »

Canada Could Hurt Firms It Tries to 'Protect'

Blocking US purchase of space division is 'significant risk'

(Newser) - A move last month by the Canadian government to block the country's top space-tech firm from selling one of its divisions to a US buyer illustrates a tricky balancing act, Christopher Sands writes in the American: How far should Ottawa go to appease nationalist sentiment if it eats into economic... More »

Strange Object Baffles Astronauts

Mysterious rectangle floats by

(Newser) - The Discovery’s crew was perplexed today when it spotted a mysterious object floating past the right wing, the Houston Chronicle reports. The astronauts sent videos and photos of the light-colored, rectangular object to NASA. They also noticed an unusual protrusion on the tail rudder. “We’re in data... More »

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