A Look Inside The FAA Office That Regulates Commercial Manned
Since 1984, Patricia Grace Smith's office at the FAA has been
licensing commercial rocket launches. The payloads have always been
satellites or research equipment -- until Burt Rutan and Paul Allen
changed things with the flight of SpaceShipOne back in June. It was
Smith's office that gave Scaled Composites and pilot Mike Melvill
the final regulatory go-ahead for that record flight and it was
Smith who pinned the first ever commercial astronaut wings on
Melvill's chest when he returned. Somewhere in that entire process,
someone had to do a lot of paperwork.
The rising cost of oil is outpacing the rising number of
passengers in the air -- and that's bad news for the airline
industry. The IATA now says airlines worldwide will lose another $4
billion this year.
Former Learjet CEO Sets Out To Build Supersonic Bizjet
Pop quiz: What's the biggest hurdle to developing a supersonic
A. Lack of a sufficiently powerful, yet economical
B. That loud, pesky sound barrier
C. The fact that no company has yet strapped on the cojones to
overcome obstacles A and B
D. All of the above.
AOPA Asks Questions, Gets Answers From Presidential
(In a continuing effort to get the presidential candidates
on record about issues important to general aviation, AOPA asked
both President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry for some
specific answers. This is the second of a two-part story on where
both men stand --ed.)
NASA aeronautics researchers are looking forward to flying the
X-43A research aircraft at speeds up to 10 times the speed of sound
later this fall, following a successful "captive carry" dress
rehearsal flight from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Sept.
It was slow and ugly and... remarkably effective against German
U-Boats. Not only that, but a British Faery Swordfish also crippled
the pocket battleship Bismark, leading to its ultimate destruction
at the hands of the Royal Navy.
Northrop Grumman And JPL Team Up To Go To Moons Of Jupiter
NASA's JPL has chosen Northrop Grumman Corp. as a partner in
developing a preliminary design for the Prometheus Jupiter Icy
Moons Orbiter (JIMO), an electric propulsion vehicle powered by a
nuclear fission reactor. The contract award is for approximately
$400 million, covering work through mid-2008.
TSA Adding to the Pilot Projects Ongoing at Four Other
The TSA Tuesday said it's expanding to a fifth airport the
capability of detecting explosives on passengers at the security
checkpoint. Testing and evaluation of the explosives detection
trace portal will begin this week at Gulfport-Biloxi International
Airport. TSA also announced that this pilot project, along with
those initiated at four other airports, will continue for the
Plan: Promote International Air Traffic Management
FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey Tuesday signed a Memo of
Cooperation with Victor M. Aguado, Director General of EUROCONTROL,
to expand and promote cooperative air traffic management and
research initiatives between the two organizations.
"By 1973, we had a space station, the Skylab, and we had
multiple probes going up to planets. So, all this wonderful stuff
happened in 10 to 15 years," he told the BBC. "About that time,
there should have been enormous initiatives to make it affordable
for people to fly in space, not just a handful of trained NASA
astronauts and Russian cosmonauts. If you asked NASA in those days
how long will it be until it is affordable so that I can fly, the
answer would be, 'we're working on it and in 30 years there will be
affordability.' If it is (still) 30 years, I will 90 and will a guy
who is 90 get to fly?"
Source: Burt Rutan, in an interview with the BBC,
on the eve of SpaceShipOne's first official X-Prize flight.