The Missile Defense Agency’s airborne laser weapon is supposed to save us all from imminent nuclear demise, but after yesterday’s botched test firing – the second failure in a row – the Airborne Laser Test Bed program may not be able to save itself. During a test run off the California coast yesterday, the high-energy lasing Boeing 747 located a test missile in the sky but never got down to the very important business of blasting it out of the sky.
Despite several setbacks — and some troubling news from the FAA this week — Boeing is plugging along with tests on its super-sized 787 Dreamliner. The aerospace giant added a sixth and final plane to its test fleet this week and recently performed a particularly strange takeoff maneuver that involves dragging the plane’s tail on the ground.
Rare earth elements have received a good deal of attention lately, not least because they are indeed very rare, and the country holding most known reserves – China – is gobbling them up faster than it can mine them, leaving few leftovers for export. But now Boeing has announced a deal to deploy its remote sensing technology to map out possible U.S. deposits of rare earth elements in an effort to rebuild a domestic supply chain for U.S. industry.
American space ambitions have, for the most part, maintained a well-defined line between space exploration and space tourism, But that line has now blurred considerably as Boeing announced that it is entering the space tourism business, selling leftover seats in its Crew Space Transportation (CST) spacecraft after the initial four are filled by embarking and returning crews bound for the International Space Station.
Boeing’s spyplane development wing won an $89 million contract this week to build the SolarEagle unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, designed to fly continuously for five years at 65,000 feet.
As the winner of Darpa’s Vulture II program, the plane really only has to fly for one to three months by 2014, however.
It's been eight months since Boeing's 787 Dreamliner first took to the skies. Back then, Japan's ANA was expecting to have their first 787 roll into the hanger by the close of 2010. Now, thanks to a delay in production of the plane's Rolls-Royce engines, first deliveries are now slated for first quarter 2011 at the earliest.
The solar flare that slammed into Earth's atmosphere earlier this month was a prescient reminder that solar weather -- though sometimes beautiful -- can have serious impacts on the Earth. So perhaps the timing is right for something like AMPERE, the first space-based system capable of monitoring the Earth's immediate space environment in real-time. The system is the first step in a process that will enable around-the-clock monitoring and eventual prediction of solar and space weather and its effects on Earth.
Space is like the Mojave Desert; once you get out there past a certain point, there's really nowhere convenient to pull over, stretch your legs, buy a Red Bull, and top up the gas tank. But Canadian company MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) have hatched an ambitious scheme to build a satellite fueling station in space that could service and restore aging satellites to working order, extending their lives for years.
Raytheon revealed its next-gen directed energy weapon at the Farnborough Air Show today, releasing video showing its Laser Weapons System (LaWS) -- a six-laser weapon that focuses on a single target -- engaging and then destroying an unmanned aerial vehicle from the deck of a Navy vessel at sea.
The future of spycraft looks pretty heavy, if this new Boeing plane is any indication. Adding to today's parade of pretty new planes, Boeing unveiled a hydrogen-powered unmanned aircraft system Monday that will stay aloft at 65,000 feet for four days.
The Phantom Eye is not exactly sleek, but it's one of the greenest aircraft out there -- its only byproduct is water.