Archive for July, 2008

X-37 – ready for a real test?


Originally uploaded by ryanclark75

AviationWeek’s Ares blog reported yesterday that the X-37 unmanned space plane – has been scheduled to be launched later this Fall – for an on Orbit shakedown.

The X-37 was originally built for NASA by Boeing, but when NASA’s funding was cut the project was taken over by DARPA. DARPA in their cost cutting best – brought Scaled Composite (now owned by Northrup-Grumman) on-board.

[Scaled Composite used White Knight (the same mothership for the SpaceShipOne effort) to perform the drop tests. It turns out that Scaled by using WK – was able to conduct the drop tests for 1/10th what it was costing NASA to use their B-52

SpaceflightNow’s launch schedule is already showing the LRO launch being pushed back to the Spring (2009) – but doesn’t yet show the new Atlas launch for the X-37 demonstrator.

Stay tuned.

[Update – Mon, Aug 4th – Aviation Week has published a broader article listing some of the milestones of the project, as well as the expected goals from the on orbit shakedown flight]


Scaled Composite’s A-10-like bird: The Ares

This is interesting….this thing already flew…YEARS ago.


Where’s Ivan flying today?

Buried at the bottom of an Area/AvWeek post about the Russian’s trying to overfly Denmark w/ a pair of Fencer’s (Su-24), was this blurb;

However, the activity has prompted NATO to resume air patrols from Iceland, something that had stopped for several years. In recent months, F-22s, Typhoons and others have been able to get a close-up look at Russian air force aircraft on long-range patrol exercises.

Time to get the parkas back out, and allocate those E-3’s that have been working Northern Command since 9/11 – and send them back to Keflavik.

Have we run out of things for the F-22’s to do yet?¬† Maybe we should be BUYING MORE!?!?


US Army Human Terrain System in Disarray

US Army Human Terrain System in Disarray

Millions of Dollars Wasted, Two Lives Sacrificed*

by John Stanton

John Stanton is a Virginia-based writer specializing in national security and political matters. His latest book is Talking Politics with God & the Devil in Washington, DC. Reach him at cioran123[at] * Part II of this subject to follow at a later date.
According to sources, United States Army brigade commanders privately believe that the US Army’s TRADOC Human Terrain System (HTS) program is a “joke” and completely unnecessary. The HTS program is publicly supported by brigade military commanders, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, only because it is a “pet project” of the currently
politically popular US Army General David Petraeus.

BAE Systems, the prime contractor on the project, has repeatedly been pressured by the HTS program manager and his staff to hire individuals who are not field-experienced ethnographers/anthropologists, but rather Google-fed political and social scientists. In two cases, pre-security clearance award investigations revealed that one candidate recommended for hire by senior staff was a felon. The other candidate had health problems that would have compromised the functions of a deployed Human Terrain Team (HTT). BAE Systems has been the punching bag for the poor decision-making of HTS program managers and advisors.

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