An inflatable habitat may be orbiting the moon by 2022, thanks to a partnership between Bigelow Aerospace and United Launch Alliance. ULA's Vulcan launch vehicle will place the module in low lunar orbit to serve as a depot or base station for missions to the moon and beyond.
Searching for the ideal light-attack aircraft to support ground troops in battle, the US Air Force is weighing a cost-effective return to old-tech, prop-driven planes like the legendary A-1E Skyraiders used effectively in the Vietnam War. Three turboprops recently were put to the test along with one jet in New Mexico trials.
Researchers at the Italian National Research Council are developing bee-size drones for farm work. Using "swarm robotics," tiny robots would connect with one another to survey fields and identify the weediest areas, thus reducing the monetary and environmental cost of herbicide applications.
A Raytheon Standard Missile (SM)-3 Block IB guided-missile system aboard the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Donald Cook tracked and downed a medium-range ballistic missile target over the weekend. It was the 36th successful test out of 43 tests to date.
Skirting the longstanding backlog of work at public shipyards, the Navy has tapped Huntington Ingalls to overhaul the attack submarine USS Boise. The initial $59.7 million contract could ultimately rise to $385 million if all options are exercised.
The Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project will be getting more federal funding than it expected for designing and building 16 coastal restoration projects. The $10 million will go toward salt marsh restorations, repairing fish runs and remediation at stormwater discharge sites.
About 40 ships of the US and South Korean navies are conducting exercises off the Korean Peninsula amid tensions with North Korea. The exercises, which include the carrier USS Ronald Reagan, were due to last from Monday through Friday.
The Navy's quietest and most sophisticated attack submarine has been christened the USS South Dakota. The sub's ability to evade detection is credited to advances in electromagnetic and acoustic underwater technologies.
The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Helena will be upgraded under a $65 million-plus contract with Huntington Ingalls. It's the second overhaul for the Helena; previous work was done in 2009 in San Diego.
Cost constraints and crackdowns on sulfur pollution and other emissions are forcing major changes in shipping propulsion. Next month's Power & Propulsion Alternatives for Ships conference, organized by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, will focus on alternative fuel options and other solutions.
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