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Space

Submission + - SpaceShipTwo completes first manned glide flight (virgingalactic.com)

incognito84 writes: Good news for anyone interested in future space tourism ventures. From the news article: "10th October 2010, Mojave, CA. Virgin Galactic, the US company developing the world’s first commercial manned space flight system and tourism business, is delighted to announce the successful completion today of the first piloted free flight of SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Enterprise. The spaceship was released from its mothership at an altitude of 45,000 ft
(13,700 metres)." I look forward to buying a ticket on one of these flights when they become affordable for run-of-the-mill dreamers.

Submission + - MIT-led team designs planes that use 70% less fuel (mit.edu)

incognito84 writes: From the article: "In what could set the stage for a fundamental shift in commercial aviation, an MIT-led team has designed a green airplane that is estimated to use 70 percent less fuel than current planes while also reducing noise and emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The design was one of two that the team, led by faculty from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, presented to NASA last month as part of a $2.1 million research contract to develop environmental and performance concepts that will help guide the agency’s aeronautics research over the next 25 years. Known as “N+3” to denote three generations beyond today’s commercial transport fleet, the research program is aimed at identifying key technologies, such as advanced airframe configurations and propulsion systems, that will enable greener airplanes to take flight around 2035."

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