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Aerospace News

Wed, Jan 19, 2022

5G Debacle Continues... AT&T, Verizon Back Down Again

Select Airport-Adjacent 5G Networks Rollout to Be Delayed

The game of chicken continues, on the eve of the twice-postponed activation date for some 5G cell networks. The networks have blinked once again, as AT&T agreed to defer deployment of certain towers near a few airports. The move comes following strong hints that unabated activation on the formerly agreed-upon date, the 19th, would result in a cascade of airline delays. Exactly which areas will be affected remains unknown. Earlier this week, airlines executives made statement imploring the government to once again delay the activation of 5G networks. “result in not only hundreds of thousands of flight cancellations and disruptions for customers across the industry in 2022, but also the suspension of cargo flights into these locations, causing a negative ripple-effect on an already fragile supply chain.”

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Wed, Jan 19, 2022

FAA Grants $5 Million For Pilot Creation

Grantees Able to Create Suitable Projects to Foster New Aviators 

The US Department of Transportation has awarded $5 million in grants in an effort to "educate the next generation of pilots and other aviation professionals." The projected shortfall of aviators in the next 5 years may not be significantly alleviated with the creation of more entry-level pilots, but the following decade will require just as much replenishment for its retiring baby boom pilots. The Aircraft Pilots Aviation Workforce Development Grant program will see higher-education institutions, high schools, and local governments receive funding to provide enhanced flight training for the fundamental building blocks of a career in aviation. 

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Tue, Jan 18, 2022

Stratolaunch Completes 3rd Test Flight

Hypersonic Launch Vehicle On Track for Customer Flights in 2023

Stratolaunch LLC has seen the third successful Roc carrier aircraft test flight, finally taking the prototype above and beyond all previous records to an altitude of 23,500 feet at 180 knots. The flight has further proven the aircraft ahead of future testing for its hypersonic testbed vehicle, the Talon-A. The Roc is currently the largest flying aircraft in the world, boasting a 385-foot wingspan, originally conceived in the same vein as Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo carrier craft. A program pivot away from orbital payload delivery towards hypersonic research has brought the company into a niche of its own.

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Tue, Jan 18, 2022

Planet Ecological Survey Constellation Reaches 200

SpaceX Launch Delivers 44 SuperDove Satellites

Planet, an ecological space surveillance company, has successfully launched their Flock 4X satellite cloud, adding 44 to their fleet of roughly 200 already in orbit. The delivery was made in conjunction with SpaceX by sending the new additions aboard a Falcon 9X, bringing its track record with Planet up to 127 satellites across 8 launches. The new mission was the first under a recent multi-year, multiple launch rideshare agreement between the two. Planet said that contact was quickly made with their satellite cloud additions, establishing connections within minutes. The constellation allows Planet to obtain daily insights about the Earth's resources and global events under the firm's PlanetScope program.

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Tue, Jan 18, 2022

Airborne 01.18.22: HIGH Alt Perlan II, 5G NOTAMs!, Virgin Orbit

Also: SuperBowl TFR, Piper Adds MSU, Boeing's 4th Quarter, Collier Nominations
 
Thales and Iridium have joined the infamous ultra-high-altitude Perlan continuous flight program. The engineless glider can now avail itself of the Iridium communications network, offering the world's highest internet hot spot at more than 65,000 feet. Perlan will use their newfound connectivity for inflight communications, as well as live streaming from both the glider and its Egret super tow plane. The FAA has published its first round of Notices To Air Missions regarding the soon-to-be activated 5G cell networks, placing warnings over 1,462 airports in an effort to ease the industry into a post-5G world with minimal issue. The restrictions put into place warn that radio altimeters are unreliable and not authorized for use unless equipped with approved alternative methods of compliance. Virgin Orbit confirmed it successfully deployed into orbit all 7 customer satellites

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Mon, Jan 17, 2022

Virgin Orbit's Above the Clouds Mission Successful

Once Again Proves Utility of Air-Launch as Quick Option As Last-Minute Payload Delivered Successfully

The most recent satellite launch from Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket has successfully deployed all 7 of its assigned customer satellites after a flawless launch on January 13. The Boeing 747 mothership Cosmic Girl took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port to a launch site over the Pacific before detaching the rocket. LauncherOne successfully ignited and launched into space, delivering its payload into a precise target orbit just over 300 miles in orbit. The mission is the 3rd for the company, quickly on its way to establishing a successful track record of orbital equipment placement for clients around the world.

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