Mars Rover Takes Test Drive

By Irene Klotz Mar 08, 2021
NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has made an initial 21-ft. test drive in its Jezero Crater landing site as flight controllers continue instrument checkouts and scout a location for a flight demonstration by a companion miniature helicopter.
Space

Study Suggests Oort Cloud Comets Delivered Life-Enabling Carbon

By Mark Carreau Mar 08, 2021
As NASA’s Perseverance Mars 2020 rover touched down at Jezero Crater just north of the equator on the Red Planet last month, the odds of answering the lingering question of whether life arose beyond Earth seemed to increase.
Space

MQ-Next Offers Path To Counter-Air Role For MQ-9 Replacement

By Steve Trimble Mar 08, 2021
Destroying enemy fighters has emerged as the initial focus of the U.S. Air Force's nearly year-old MQ-Next program, which seeks to field a replacement for the MQ-9 by the end of the decade.
Sensors & Electronic Warfare

Test Pilot School MB-326 Impala Crashes By Edwards AFB

By Steve Trimble Mar 05, 2021
An Aermacchi MB-326 Impala jet trainer crashed about 10 mi. northwest of Edwards AFB, California, around 10:10 a.m. on March 5, the National Test…
Aircraft & Propulsion

KAI Plans KF-X Fighter Rollout In April

By Kim Minseok Mar 05, 2021
Korea Aerospace Industries plans to roll out its first KF-X 001 fighter prototype in April, the company said.
Aircraft & Propulsion

Spacewalkers Advance Efforts To Upgrade ISS Solar Arrays

By Mark Carreau Mar 05, 2021
U.S. and Japanese spacewalking astronauts Kate Rubins and Soichi Noguchi joined outside the International Space Station on March 5 to complete modifications to two of six solar power channels on the orbital science lab’s long support truss due to be equipped with new ISS Roll Out Solar Arrays over the coming year.
Space

Hypersonic Cruise Missile Solicitation Canceled After Three Days

By Steve Trimble Mar 05, 2021
The status of the short-lived Screaming Arrow program changed with no official explanation, but a source familiar with the issue told Aviation Week the cancellation may be temporary. 
Missile Defense & Weapons

Time To ‘Cut Our Losses’ On F-35, HASC Chairman Says

By Lee Hudson Mar 05, 2021
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee believes it is time for Congress and the Pentagon to “cut our losses” on the F-35 program and begin to debate a future fighter mix that does not depend as heavily on the Joint Strike Fighter.
Aircraft & Propulsion

Work Sharing Key FCAS Issue, Dassault CEO Says

By Thierry Dubois Mar 05, 2021
The difficulties of the Future Combat Air System program not only hinge on intellectual property issues, but also on work sharing between its French, German and Spanish partners, Dassault Aviation Chairman and CEO Eric Trappier says.
Aircraft & Propulsion

Indian Indigenous Ramjet For Missiles Tested Successfully

By Tony Osborne Mar 05, 2021
India has carried out a successful launch and flight test of a solid-fuel ducted ramjet missile demonstrator, technology the country’s defense ministry hopes can be integrated onto long-range air-to-air missiles.
Missile Defense & Weapons

Ukraine Wants To Build Hueys, No License From Bell Yet

By Tony Osborne Mar 05, 2021
Ukraine’s state-owned arms manufacturer says it plans to build Bell’s UH-1 Iroquois helicopter in Odessa. 
Aircraft & Propulsion

Drone Registrations With FAA Plummet By 50%

By Bill Carey Mar 05, 2021
The FAA plans to launch a public outreach effort to replenish its drone registration system, which this year has experienced a 50% decline in the number of people who have registered or renewed registrations of their aircraft.
Safety, Ops & Regulation

French Air Force Declares Meteor Operational On Rafales

By Tony Osborne Mar 05, 2021
The French Air Force has declared the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual range air-to-air missile operational on the Dassault Rafale.
Aircraft & Propulsion

Boom Supersonic Gets Backing From American Express Ventures

By Guy Norris Mar 05, 2021
Boom Supersonic has secured a strategic investment from the venture capital arm of American Express which will support development of the Denver, Colorado-based aerospace company’s Mach 2-plus 88-seat Overture airliner project.
Aircraft & Propulsion

Screaming Arrow Adds Hypersonic Missile Option For U.S. Navy

By Steve Trimble Mar 05, 2021
A second airbreathing, hypersonic cruise missile program may give the U.S. Navy multiple options for a carrier-compliant, F/A-18E/F-compatible weapon.
Missile Defense & Weapons

Lockheed Martin Completes First Extended Range GMLRS Test

By Steve Trimble Mar 05, 2021
The ER GMLRS is designed to more than double the 70 km.-range of the baseline GMLRS, but the first flight met test objectives with an 80 km. flight.
Missile Defense & Weapons

NASA Awards Mars Ascent Vehicle Contract

By Irene Klotz Mar 04, 2021
NASA has awarded Northrop Grumman a sole-source contract worth up to $84.5 million to provide the two-stage ascent vehicle needed to launch samples from the surface of Mars into Mars orbit, where they can be retrieved by a return ship and flown back to Earth.
Space

NASA Bumps Starliner Reflight Behind SpaceX Crew-2 Launch

By Irene Klotz Mar 04, 2021
NASA is bumping the upcoming reflight of Boeing’s uncrewed CST-100 Starliner spacecraft until sometime after the arrival of four astronauts aboard SpaceX’s second operational Crew Dragon taxi flight to the International Space Station. 
Space

Damaged C-150 Tanker Returns As RCAF Plans Replacement

By Steve Trimble Mar 04, 2021
One of five RCAF C-150s, a military derivative of the A310, rejoined the fleet, the RCAF announced in a March 4 Tweet. The aircraft, which also is used as a VIP transport, was damaged in 2019 while being towed into a hangar. 
Aircraft & Propulsion

HASC Launches Defense Critical Supply Chain Task Force

By Lee Hudson Mar 04, 2021
The bipartisan task force will review the industrial base supply chain to identify threats and vulnerabilities.
Supply Chain

AR-based Air Combat Trainer Startup Red 6 Lands Roper, $7M

By Michael Bruno Mar 04, 2021
Red 6, a California startup aiming to provide air combat training with augmented reality technology, has landed $7 million in new funding and signed former U.S. Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper to its advisory board.
Sensors & Electronic Warfare

Starlink Gains Another 60 Satellites

By Irene Klotz Mar 04, 2021
Nine hours after a SpaceX team in Texas landed a full-scale Starship prototype for the first time, colleagues in Florida launched a Falcon 9 rocket with 60 more satellites for the company’s high-speed internet service system. 
Commercial Space

Belgian Politicians To Question F-35 Buy After USAF Chief’s Remarks

By Tony Osborne Mar 04, 2021
Belgian politicians are set to question the country’s need to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter after the chief of the U.S. Air Force announced plans for studies into its future force mix and a potential clean-sheet fighter design to replace the F-16.
Aircraft & Propulsion

Daily Memo: What Happened To Kelly Ortberg?

Mar 04, 2021
Kelly Ortberg’s quiet departure from the executive ranks of Raytheon Technologies was a jolt to some veterans in the aerospace business community, where he has long been regarded as an exceptional talent in the prime of his career. 
Aircraft & Propulsion

Starship Flies, Soft Lands, Then Explodes

By Irene Klotz Mar 04, 2021
SpaceX’s March 3 high-altitude test of a full-scale Starship prototype managed a soft landing—unlike two previous test vehicles—but then exploded 3 min. after touching down at the company’s facility in Boca Chica Beach, Texas.
Space