simonbp writes: Apple suit against Amazon's use of the name "Appstore" for it's version of the Android Marketplace is being to get bizarre; from El Reg: "The legal reasoning here appears to be pretzellian in the extreme: since an app store is not a store for apps, Apple's App Store and Amazon's Appstore are not app stores, but an App Store and an Appstore — and the Appstore is violating Apple's trademark on App Store. Or so it seems."
simonbp writes: The US House of Representatives has just passed the Senate version of the FY2011 NASA Authorization Act. This bill is a compromise between Obama's proposed budget and earlier House bills. It cancels Ares I in favor of commercially-operated crew transportation to ISS, adds technology development funds, and keeps a version of Orion and a new heavy-lift "Space Launch System" to both be operational by 2016. The timing of this bill was crucial to keeping key NASA personal and contractors from being laid off.
simonbp writes: The Senate Commerce Committee this morning marked up a compromise NASA Authorization Act that rolls back some of Obama's plans for NASA, while keeping others. The bill adds at least one more shuttle flight, keeps Obama's technology demonstrators and commercial access to ISS (albeit at reduced funding), restores the Orion crew capsule, and replaces the Ares rockets with a Shuttle-Derived "Space Launch System" for going to the ISS and Beyond, and which could be ready as soon as 2015.
simonbp writes: "NASA is in the process of rethinking how to save astronauts from an exploding rocket. All previous systems (US, Russian, and Chinese) all used an escape rocket housed in a tower on top of the capsule. A new effort at NASA, though, has redesigned this so that the rockets are mounted next to the capsule and housed in a much more aerodynamic bullet-shaped cover. If approved, the first flight test of the system would be in September 2008."
simonbp writes: "NASA's Orion Spacecraft, designed to return the United States to the Moon, has undergone some massive changes recently. The design, which originally looked like a scaled-up version of Apollo, has evolved considerably under the prime contractor, Lockheed Martin. Changes include an encapsulated service module, circular solar panels, a rearranged reaction-control system, a larger escape rocket system, and deadbeat airbags for landing, rather than Russian-style retrorockets."
simonbp writes: "Looking like it would appear more at home to the nearby Disney attractions in Orlando, NASA is favouring a Rollercoaster Escape System for the Ares I pad. The Emergency Egress Systems (EES) are currently going through trade studies at NASA, with the Rollercoaster option coming out on top... The current slidewire basket system used for Shuttle crew and pad workers will be removed, with a new system installed into the taller pad configuration for the Ares [moon rocket] program."