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The Solar Orbiter

Enduring molten heat and fierce radiation, the Solar Orbiter aims to show us the Sun as we’ve never seen it before.

The Sun has been subject to detailed scientific scrutiny for decades now. The many filtered images from both terrestrial and orbital telescopes aside, NASA launched the Helios spacecraft in the mid-Seventies to enter an elliptical orbit around the Sun, Helios 2 achieving a world speed record (relative to the Sun) at 252,792 kilometres per hour (149,967 miles per hour).

The Helios spacecraft ceased transmitting data in 1985, however, so the European Space Agency is developing its own solar-orbiting spacecraft,

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SOAR mini-shuttle

An ambitious Swiss company has come up with a novel and incredibly economic concept to launch satellites into orbit by 2017.

Written by Ben Biggs

S3 (otherwise known as Swiss Space Systems) is based in the western part of Switzerland and was founded in 2012 by military pilot and mechanical engineer Pascal Jaussi. Its motto is ‘Space for all’ and one of its ambitious goals is to open a space port by the year 2015 then start test-launching by 2017. S3 is aiming to put small satellites of up to 250 kilograms (551 pounds) into a standard satellite orbit in

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Green Light for Watchkeeper

UK DEFENCE Secretary John Reid gave the go-ahead on July 20 for the UK Armed Forces’ Watchkeeper battlefield surveillance unmanned air vehicle (UAV) programme, for which Thales UK was selected as prime contractor exactly 12 months ago. It was then expected that an S800 million contract for the programme would have been signed by the end of 2004, but revised thinking on Watchkeeper requirements have led to delays in signing the firm order. Reid now says that the contract will be for around $700 million, suggesting some cutback in overall requirements. He added: «The aim is to bring Watchkeeper into

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BUELL MAKES BANK

Hero Buys a $25-Million Stake in Erik Buell Racing

More than 3 years of hard work and lean operating have now paid off for Erik Buell with the recent announcement that New Delhi-based Hero MotoCorp, India’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, has purchased a 49.2% stake of Erik Buell Racing for a cost of $25 million. Acting through its newly formed American subsidiary, Hero MotoCorp Ltd., the Indian firm has invested $15 million already, with $10 million to follow over the next 9 months. This is Hero’s first-ever equity partnership with an overseas company. Buell, who retains majority ownership in his company,

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Eighty million years on land or problems herbivores.

On the problem of power first tetrapods noticed Philip Anderson, an evolutionary paleobiologist from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, USA). Together with his colleagues, Matthew Friedman of the University of Oxford and Marcello Ruta of the University of Lincoln (UK), he analyzed the jaw representatives of 89 genera of fossil vertebrates that lived on the Devonian (416 million years ago) to the Early Permian (295 million years ago). It was in this period were formed joints and limbs of tetrapods belt and separated from amphibians amniotes (reptiles, mammals and birds). Among the fossils studied the so-called four-legged fish Acanthostega,

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AIRPLANES

AIR TRANSPORT

FDR Found

Indonesian authorities have recovered the flight data recorder (FDR) of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jet that crashed there on May 9. The cockpit voice recorder has already been recovered and analyzed, with officials saying there are no indications of a technical fault. The FDR was recovered May 30 around 1 km (0.6 mi.) from the main crash zone in mountainous terrain. Sukhoi says the FDR, now with the Indonesian Investigation Commission of the National Committee for Transport Safety, appears undamaged.

AF447 Final Report

The French air accident investigation office, BEA, will issue its final report

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AirForces News 02 1991

A-12 Cancelled & B-2 Delayed

AFTER MONTHS OF uncertainty, the A-12A Avenger II development programme has been scrapped. The decision, announced by US Defence Secretary Dick Cheney after he had been briefed on the revised project programme on January 4, has stunned defence chiefs and comes as a bitter blow to General Dynamics and McDonnell Douglas which had jointly developed the aircraft as a next-generation carrier-borne replacement for the US Navy Grumman A-6E Intruder fleet. Original USN requirement for the type had been for 858 to be in service eventually but constant USN budget restrictions and cost overruns on the

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Air Combat Capability Review

AUSTRALIA’S MINISTER for Defence, the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP, announced details on February 18 of the new government’s intention to review the adequacy of current planning for Australia’s air combat capability through to 2045. The first stage will assess air combat capability requirements from 2010 to 2015. It will also examine the feasibility of retaining the F-lll in service beyond its scheduled retirement date of 2010. A comparative analysis will be undertaken of aircraft available to fill the gap that may be left by the withdrawal of the F-lll, and the status of plans to acquire the F/A-18F Super Hornet

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5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT The Apollo spacecraft

The Apollo programme cost $200 billion

The initial estimated cost of the Apollo programme was around $7 billion (£4.6 billion), before it was revised to $20 billion (£13.2 billion) by the first NASA administrator, James Webb. By the end of the programme, the 17 missions had cost the US government $23.9 billion (£15.8 billion), around $200 billion (£132 billion) in today’s money.

Apollo 1 met a tragic end

The first manned Apollo mission was scheduled to launch on 21 February 1967 but never made it. During a launch pad test on 27 January, a cabin fire broke out destroying the

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The Nobel Prize in Literature — British writer Doris Lesing

Winners in the middle This year called Philip Roth (USA), Haruki Murakami (Japan), Amoz Oz (Israel), Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (France), Adonis (Syria), Thomas Transtromer (Sweden), Mario Vargas Destiny (Peru), Joyce Carol Ovts ( USA)Nobel prize of 10 million Swedish kronor (1.5 million bucks).

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