Weather delays are inevitable realities that disrupt our travel plans sometimes to the point of cancellation. Typically, Dallas, Miami and New York are places to encounter thunderstorms, hurricanes and blizzards, respectively. However, when was the last time your flight was delayed due to happenings beyond the confides of earth? You may ask yourself, what weather could possibly exist beyond the reaches of the atmosphere? The answer does not come from a science-fiction screenplay or book about alien encounters. The answer is a rare and widely unknown phenomenon called “solar-flare”, and its effects can be potentially hazardous to airplanes. Solar-flare occurs when parts of the sun “flare” outward into the solar system. When these flares come close to earth they can harm satellites, impact power grids, and affect aircraft communication and navigation equipment.
Several trans-arctic flights between Asia and North America were re-routed this morning as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the passengers. Some flights suffered minor delays as a result of the re-routing; however, no flights were harmed during the event. Whether it is a blizzard, tornado, solar-flare, or the most vicious workings of Mother Nature, Magellan Jets’ dedicated concierge team is ready 24/7 to quickly handle any variable that may impact your trip. On a traditional airline, weather creates a logistical nightmare and the focus quickly shifts from the passenger to the operational needs of the airline. At Magellan Jets, the focus is
always on you, the client, and we will stop at nothing to make sure a weather anomaly is but a minor wrinkle in an otherwise seamless journey aboard a charter jet.
Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, has taken on Burt Rutan as his partner in his plan to design the world’s largest aircraft. Rutan is recently retired from Scaled Composites, the company he founded in Mojave, California. Allen is no stranger to the world of aviation – he was the funding behind the SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded manned rocket. His most recent endeavor is his company, Stratolaunch Systems. The objective for Stratolaunch is to deliver payloads (including people) to orbit Earth.
The Stratolaunch mother ship being created by Allen and Ruton will be powered by six Boeing 747 engines and have an mtow of about 1.2 million pounds. The 380-plus-foot wingspan will be supported by a multi-stage air-launchable booster. Rutan’s company, Scaled Composites, is building the carrier aircraft at their new facility. Dynetics will be handling the mating and integration system. The rockets will eventually carry people, however, the first test set for 2016, will be unmanned. It will be an estimated five years before people can fly on the Stratolaunch.
Can you believe over 5 billion in the world do not have access to the internet? I know, hard to believe considering how ubiquitous it has become in our everyday lives. You’re on it now. You use it at home, you use it at work. On the road, on the plane, on a train. The internet is everywhere for many of us, but nowhere to be found for so many more.
Luckily, this is where the brilliant mind of Kosta Grammatis steps in. Founding the charity
ahumanright.org, he began solving the problem of providing free internet to the world at minimal cost, without massive changes in infrastructure. Quickly, his team developed the idea of a satellite-based network which would direct signals from space down to modems on the ground. Currently, they plan to raise $150,000 to among other things, bid for an already orbiting satellite so they can reposition it, as well as develop a $100 modem to connect those in need.
buythissatellite.org was established, providing the charity a solid plan and slogan in order to achieve their goal. Since then, over 100 people from around the world have offered their skills & expertise in an effort to get the program off the ground and into space, so to speak.
Check out the following video for a great, simple rundown of this innovative project straight from ahumanright.org.
After years of teases, the public will get its first complete look at world's only commercial spacecraft in a naming ceremony at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
SpaceShipTwo plane will be christened the V.S.S. Enterprise, short for Virgin Space Ship Enterprise, said Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn. Virgin Galactic chose "Enterprise" for its long tradition in maritime and aviation history. "It was the name of the first NASA space shuttle, and it has dominated science fiction as a kind of watchword for human spaceflight in the future," Whitehorn said. V.S.S. Enterprise is based on SpaceShipOne, a reusable manned spacecraft designed by aviation designer Burt Rutan, which won the U.S. $10-million Ansari X Prize in 2004. Whitehorn said the Enterprise had recently been "married" to EVE, the twin-fuselage mother ship that will ferry it to launch altitude, about 50,000 feet (15,200 meters)—the space shuttle, by contrast, separates from its booster rockets at about 150,000 feet (45,700 meters).
Enterprise is the first of five planned SpaceShipTwo planes. It measures 60 feet (18 meters) long and is intended to carry two pilots and six passengers, who will pay handsomely for two-and-a-half-hour flights into suborbital space, where they'll experience weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth. Today's unveiling (with cocktails to follow) will be attended by some of the 300 or so potential passengers who have already put down at least a deposit in a U.S. $200,000 Virgin Galactic ticket. "We've all been patiently waiting to see exactly what the vehicle is going to look like," Virgin Galactic ticket holder Peter Cheney of Seattle said in a statement. "It would be nice to see it in the flesh."
In the coming months
Enterprise will undergo a battery of ground and flight tests designed to test the craft's safety. The exact date of the first suborbital passenger flight has not been set yet but is expected to occur sometime in 2011. "We're looking at a test program that will stretch for at least 18 months," Whitehorn said. "This is a unique project and we're not in a race with anyone. We're only in a race with safety."
by Ker Than