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March 13, 2004

Still Going...

Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena (CA) say they now expect both Mars rovers -- Spirit and Opportunity -- will last almost twice as long as had originally been projected. They were built to keep going for three months.

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First Flight: Embraer 190 Flies in Sao Jose Dos Campos

Embraer is crowing about the maiden flight of the EMBRAER 190, the third member of a family of new-generation commercial jets specifically designed for the untapped 70- to 110-seat market. The first flight marked the beginning of the EMBRAER 190's flight test campaign, which will be conducted at Gaviao Peixoto, in the interior of Sao Paulo state. The EMBRAER 190, serial number 0001, took off Friday from the company's Sao Jose dos Campos facility at 10:30 am (local time). In its 2.45-hour mission, the new aircraft successfully performed a range of systems validation tests and started the expansion of its flight envelope.

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UN: Whoops, Our Bad

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says he's "incredulous." How a cockpit recorder from the 1994 crash that killed the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi got lost is, in his words, "a real foul-up, a first-class foul-up."

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Kitfox Getting Ready To Roll

SkyStar Aircraft Corporation says it is taking the next step in preparing for Sport Pilot. This time, however, it's more than simple reorganization.

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FedEx A300 Blows Tires On Landing

Well, any landing you can walk away from, right? And then there are those you run away from. The two pilots aboard FedEx flight 1954 from Newark (NJ) ran alright, after eight tires on their Airbus A300's main gear blew out upon landing at Fort Lauderdale (FL) Thursday. Neither was hurt. Both will probably be telling the story for years, though.

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The Sappers Among Us

Starting with the commander's in-brief on Monday and continuing through next Friday, a crack team of highly trained professionals will infiltrate Bolling, its tenant commands and its Navy neighbors. Operating almost entirely undetected, its mission is to seek out and identify areas that are potentially susceptible to terrorist attack. Our mission is to be alert: "JSIVA" is coming.

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Aero-News Quote Of The Day (03.13.04)

"A real foul-up, a first-class foul-up." Source: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, upon learning that a flight recorder, missing since 1994, had been found locked away in a file cabinet at the agency's headquarters in New York. The black box was salvaged from the crash of a Falcon-50, in which the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were killed. The aircraft had been downed by a pair of SAMs. The shoot-down sparked 100 days of genocide in the African nations, leaving 800,000 people dead.

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Virgin USA Picks Frederick Reid to Form Low Fare Airline

Virgin USA says Frederick W. Reid will lead the formation of a Virgin branded future US domestic low fare airline, scheduled to launch first quarter 2005. In that role Reid will oversee all operational and executive facets of the airline, including its upcoming certification process. Reid joins from Delta Air Lines where he was President and Chief Operating Officer.

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