The failure of SpaceX's latest Falcon launch brings at least one encouraging note: It confirms the daring of the private sector as it explores space flight possibilities. In this case, the rocket was to return itself safely from its mission and land on a barge.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is inviting the public to comment on a proposed rule designating carbon dioxide emissions from certain aircraft engines as a danger to public health. The rule would also allow the agency to work with the International Civil Aviation Organization to set emissions standards.
House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster is expected to submit a bill mandating the creation of a new nongovernmental agency to take over air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration. "After examining various models, I believe we need to establish a federally chartered, fully independent, not-for-profit corporation to operate and modernize our ATC services," Shuster said.
The failure to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank "sends the message to potential overseas customers that they are better served buying products from countries other than ours," said AIA President and CEO David Melcher. "Despite the Export-Import Bank of the United States having the support of broad bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress, a small minority has prevented a vote reauthorizing this important export financing tool for U.S. exporters," he said.
The Justice Department is reportedly pursuing an antitrust investigation of airlines over whether the companies colluded to increase ticket prices and limit capacity. "We are confident that the Justice Department will find what we know to be true: our members compete vigorously every day, and the traveling public has been the beneficiary, as domestic fares are actually down thus far in 2015," said a statement from Airlines for America.
The Defense Department's newly released National Military Strategy says chances of a major war involving the U.S. are increasing. "Since the last National Military Strategy was published in 2011, global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode," wrote Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The U.S. Navy will be calling on industry in September to advance 3D-printing technology with the goal of creating shipboard printers to produce spare parts only as needed. "We're developing quality [additive manufacturing] metal processes for naval applications with titanium, aluminum and stainless-steel alloys," said program manager Billy Short. Aviation and ground applications could follow.
The FBI is warning companies in the U.S. to watch out for the malware behind a recent attack on the Office of Personnel Management, implying that the program is the work of the Chinese government. An alert from the agency cites "cyber actors who have compromised and stolen sensitive business information and personally identifiable information."
The "Power of the Purse Act" introduced by Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., calls for the removal of the barrier separating defense and non-defense spending, which would give Congress more control over allocations. "While it is crucial that we continue to work to rein in federal spending and cut our deficits, the people’s elected representatives must have the power to direct spending where it is needed most," he said.
Alaska Airlines and Boeing are launching the first stage of a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 1 million metric tons. Boeing has analyzed landing patterns at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and found the most fuel efficient landing patterns. This optimized approach, called Greener Skies, has been shown to save 87 gallons of fuel per flight.