Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, the rocket engine maker, celebrated another milestone in its effort to conserve energy and reduce waste with the commissioning of United Technology Corp.’s (UTC) first operational large (400kW) fuel cell in California’s San Fernando Valley.
WASHINGTON: Just when United Technologies’s Pratt & Whitney subsidiary seemed to have put the troubles with its F135 engine for the Joint Strike fighter behind it, there comes news that the company violated the so-called Tianamen sanctions and illegally sold engine control software to China for use in an attack helicopter.
Perhaps worse than the sales themselves, the company “made false and belated disclosures to the U.S. government about these illegal exports,” the Justice Department said in its press release announcing a plea agreement reached between UTC and the government. Keep reading →
Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to lift off from Earth on July 8 and is the final space shuttle mission, ending a very successful program which has brought so much pride to the United States for more than three decades.
Similar to when the Apollo program ended in 1975, this final flight is truly a historic moment for human space flight and the U.S. space program. However, there is one very big difference between the end of the Apollo program and the end of the shuttle program. When the Apollo program ended in 1975, the space shuttle program had already been in development since 1972 allowing for a three year overlap between programs. This was healthy for the development and safety of both programs while also maximizing use of the highly skilled U.S. space industrial base. That is not the case now. The shuttle program is ending in a few short weeks, and NASA has yet to lay out a vision of future U.S. space exploration and a strategy and architecture that will safely get us there. Keep reading →