A test rover at Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., zoomed around its field late last week, operated by a man far away in space. International Space Station astronaut Luca Parmitano commanded the rover via computer, in a test designed to see how a radio telescope on the moon might be run by people on the station.
Bombardier is modifying its corporate jet designs for use the military marketplace, a plan that may allow the company to make military aircraft less expensively. Planes such as the Challenger 605 and Learjet 70 are being adapted to defense use. "Defense is part of their backlog, but it's a small part," said David Tyerman, a Canaccord Genuity analyst, said of Bombardier. "They obviously see a new opportunity and they're going to put a lot more resources into it."
Maj. Gen. Robert Abrams, the top Army general at Georgia's Fort Stewart, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's top military assistant. Abrams, who will be promoted to lieutenant general, recently returned from leading international forces in Kandahar and other Afghanistan provinces.
Airbus is in discussions with Spirit AeroSystems about buying a Spirit assembly plant in France, according to French media reports. The plant assembles the center fuselage section for the Airbus A350 XWB. Neither Spirit nor Airbus would confirm the reports.
Spirit AeroSystems' professional and technical union sent a message to investors saying that the firm was on the "verge of a strike that would shut down operations" in the U.S and overseas. The e-mail message might have contributed to the drop in the company's shares late last week. Spirit's 9 1/2-year contract offer was rejected last month by members of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace.