Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pakistan moves troops to India border

Pakistan moves troops to India border: "Pakistani troops have been moved to the Indian border amid fears of an Indian ground incursion, two Pakistani military officials told CNN today. Pakistan's armed forces have been on high alert in anticipation of a possible conflict with India following last month's terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed 160 people. India believes the 10 men who carried out the attacks were trained at a terrorist camp in the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir.



Israeli air attacks on Gaza kill 155

Israeli air attacks on Gaza kill 155: "Israeli aircraft launched air attacks across Gaza today, killing at least 155 people, including the Hamas police chief and other officials, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources. Palestinian medical sources said 250 people were wounded. The strikes followed several days of rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.



Suspected U.S. missiles kill 8 in Pakistan

Suspected U.S. missiles kill 8 in Pakistan: "DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — Suspected U.S. missile strikes killed eight people Monday in northwest Pakistan, where al-Qaida and Taliban leaders are believed to be hiding, officials and witnesses said."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

Homes Wanted for NASA's Shuttles

Homes Wanted for NASA's Shuttles: "

Want a Space Shuttle Orbiter in your driveway, or a Space Shuttle Main Engine'as a'garden ornament? Better still, do you want to put either or both on public display in your museum? Then let NASA know. The agency has just issued a request for information to find out which 'educational institutions, science museums, and other appropriate organizations' are interested in acquiring Shuttle-related artifacts following the last flight - current scheduled for September 2010.

Before you'register interest'on behalf of your local Boy Scout Troop, be aware there is a catch. NASA expects the recipient to bear the full cost - an estimated $42 million - of getting an Orbiter safe and ready for public display.'That price includes shipping, thankfully - $6 million for delivery by Shuttle Carrier'Aircraft ferry flight from Kennedy Space Center to an airport in the U.S. The Orbiters will not come with main engines, but an SSME will'set you back a mere $400,000-800,000 - sadly shipping is extra in this case.

NASA has reserved one of the three flying Orbiters for the National Air & Space Museum, and is looking'to find'homes for the other two. They are planned to placed in storage at Kennedy and be available after September 2011. NASA wants to get them to their destinations no later than May 2012. There is a caveat. As the RFI notes: 'The Government may elect to change the scheduled date for the last flight.' So don't move that '76 AMC Gremlin off the driveway yet, even though it's been up on bricks for years...


(Via On Space.)

WhiteKnightTwo airborne!

WhiteKnightTwo airborne!: "

Taking advantage of a spell of clear weather before the expected arrival of another low pressure system in southern Calfornia, Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic successfully flew the SpaceShipTwo mothership WhiteKnightTwo on its maiden flight from Mojave on Dec 21.

blog post photo

(photo: Alan Radecki)


The unusually configured aircraft made a 59min maiden flight, taking off from Mojave at 08:16 local time, and reached a maximum altitude of 16,000ft. The twin-boomed aircraft, powered by four Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308A turbofans, had been undergoing a series of high-speed taxi and brake tests in the run up to the first flight. However recent bad weather had pushed the first flight attempt back and it was unknown if Scaled Composites would successfully manage to achieve this before the company’s upcoming holiday break which begins later this week.

A second test flight, marking the start of an 18-month long test effort, is expected in early January. Captive carry flights with the SpaceShipTwo sub-orbital space tourist vehicle are not likely to begin until the last quarter of 2009. The first SpaceShipTwo is due to be unveiled around mid-year, says Virgin Galactic.


(Via On Space.)


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