Motherships are making a comeback for air launching rockets into space

Mothership

We usually think of rockets that are headed to space are being launched from the ground.  But, as demand for satellite launch services rapidly increases year-over-year, interest in air launching rockets is returning to a growing market of lighter-weight payloads. And those might want a mothership.

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The Krossblade SkyCruiser flying car transforms from helicopter to plane in mid-air

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Krossblade SkyCruiser

A new flying car, the Krossblade SkyCruiser, is not like any other flying car.  While folding wings are pretty common among these car/plane prototypes, the SkyCruiser has a Transformer-like power to reconfigure itself in mid-air. (Video)
 

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Using Your Cellphone in Flight Won’t Really Crash Your Plane

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You don’t have to worry about bringing everything crashing down if you accidentally forget to turn off your phone before takeoff.

No one wants their plane to crash, and no one wants to cause a scene during a flight. So, diligent passengers that we are, we turn off our gadgets when we’re told to. But no one’s dying if you don’t.

 

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Phantom Ray UAV Flies For First Time Riding on NASA’s Space Shuttle Carrier

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NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, carries Boeing’s Phantom Ray during a test flight.

As the space shuttle fades into the sunset, NASA’s Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier is looking for a new job. Here’s the first time it has been used for carrying an aircraft other than NASA’s orbiter: The Phantom Ray combat UAV.

 

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NASA Wants to Send a Rocket-Powered, Robotic Plane to Explore Mars

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ARES (Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Surveyor)

As a general rule, when NASA flies a scientific mission all the way to Mars, we expect that mission to last for a while. For instance, the Spirit and Opportunity rovers were slated to run for three months and are still operating 6 years later. But one NASA engineer wants to send a mission all the way to the Red Planet that would last just two hours once deployed: a rocket-powered, robotic airplane that screams over the Martian landscape at more than 450 miles per hour.

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Airbus Hopes to Build Transparent Passenger Plane

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This is your captain speaking, your plane is about to become invisible!

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has revealed it hopes to build a passenger plane with a completely transparent fuselage. At the push of a button the captain would send an electrical pulse through a hi-tech ceramic skin making the main body of the plane see-through, Der Spiegel reports.

 

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SolarEagle – Unmanned Solar Plane Will Fly Uninterrupted for Five Years

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SolarEagle

It seems like a dream! Please can anyone pinch me? Ok, it really isn’t the dream, as Boeing has won an $89 million government contract to build and fly unmanned solar-powered plane that can stay in the air for uninterrupted five years. At first, I kept reading it hours and not years, as I didn’t want to believe it, but then I guess my regression doesn’t work anymore. The aircraft is called SolarEagle and is a part of Vulture II program, which is run by U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. This unmanned solar plane will be demoed in 2014 and it will be an electronic sensor and military communications platform. In the testing phase SolarEagle will stay in the upper atmosphere for 30 days and it will use electric motors and propellers to fly on the solar energy collected during the day.
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Solar Impulse Flight A Great Success, Flies For 26 Straight Hours Powered Only By The Sun

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Go Solar Power!!!

Yes! The Solar Impulse’s flight was a huge success! It landed safely in Switzerland after a 26-hour haul across the Heavens. The people behind the flight hope that it will prove to skeptics that solar power is a viable form of energy after all. I mean, powering all of life on Earth apparently means nothing to these skeptics, but to see an aeroplane in the air? Money.

You may be thinking, “Wait, it was in the air for 26 hours? What happens when the Sun sets?” Nothing more than good, old fashioned batteries.

The plane was loaded with 12,000 solar cells, cells that collected the Sun’s rays as it streaked across the sky. High in the sky, too, reaching an altitude of 28,543 feet.

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The Extreme Sport of Skyaking – Skydiving in a Kayak

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Skyaker Miles Daisher uses his arms to get his ballance and keep the Skyak stable while falling towards Earth at 101 mph

Danger man Miles Daisher casts a bizarre image paddling across the sky – 13,000 feet up in a kayak.  The daredevil has turned extreme sport skydiving on its head after deciding to jump out of a plane in equipment normally used only in water – giving birth to ‘skyaking’.  (Pics and video)

 

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