Two days after their successful splashdown, NASA Demo-2 astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken praised the NASA/SpaceX team behind their test flight and expressed hope the public/private partnership continues to thrive as the space agency turns its human exploration focus to the Moon and Mars. Behnken and Hurley splashed down in their Crew Dragon capsule in the Gulf waters off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on Aug. 2, following their extended, two-month test flight to the International Space Station (ISS).
Bartolomeo, Airbus’s Research Satellite Alternative
Bartolomeo, an external platform developed to commercially support scientific research and technology development payloads outside the International Space Station Space (ISS), should be ready to host its first projects by mid-2021, according to developer Airbus Defense and Space.
SpaceX Prototype Starship Survives Low-Altitude Hop
A prototype Mars-class reusable spaceship developed by SpaceX took a nearly 500-ft (150 m) hop off a launch stand near Brownsville, Texas, on Aug. 4, deploying landing legs and touching down 45 sec. later, marking the company’s first successful Starship test flight in a year. Powered by a single, methane- and liquid oxygen-burning Raptor engine, the 98-ft tall, 30-ft dia. vehicle—known as SN5—lifted off shortly before 8 p.m. EDT, live webcasts by freelance photographer Trevor Mahlmann and other independent media sites showed.
U.S. Navy Will Have Active Role In September F135 Test
Next month, Leo Rubio, a test engineer from the Propulsion Systems Evaluation Facility (PSEF) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, will join engineers at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) in Tennessee to run a test and analyze data on the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which powers the F-35 fighter. Rubio will watch and participate from a Remote Data Room in Maryland, while the propulsion system and other engineers will be in Tennessee.
USAFGen. C.Q. Brown
Next Virgin Orbit Flight Test To Carry NASA CubeSats
As it incorporates lessons learned from the abbreviated debut flight of its LauncherOne small satellite rocket, Virgin Orbit said Aug. 3 it is planning for a second demonstration mission before year’s end, with NASA agreeing to use the launch to put 11 experimental cubesats into orbit.
Textron Aviation Introduces King Air 360, 360ER
Textron Aviation has unveiled the Beechcraft King Air 360 and 360ER, an upgrade of the iconic twin turboprop with new autothrottles, avionics upgrades and other enhancements to the cockpit plus a redesigned, more open cabin.
Embraer Launches Phenom 300MED For Medevac Use
Embraer has launched a Medevac version of its Phenom 300 light jet called the Phenom 300MED for civil and government applications. The Medevac configuration is also available for retrofit. Embraer is offering the version through a partnership with European aerospace company Umlaut and Aerolite, a medical interior developer and supplier.
Barfield Enters Drone Market As UAS Repair Station
irline MRO Barfield now repairs unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) components at its facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Barfield, a subsidiary of Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance, announced on Aug. 4 that it has joined the Robotic Skies network of authorized UAS repair stations. The company will focus on supporting local operators of commercial drones.