KC-46A first flight

Boeing conducted the first flight of the KC-46A Pegasus tanker for the US Air Force.

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Airbus makes first customer deliver of A350 XWB

Airbus made its first customer deliver of an A350 XWB to launch customer Qatar Airways on December 22, 2014.

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First flight of new Russian rocket

The first launch of a heavy-lift version of Russia’s Angara rocket was declared a success Tuesday, placing a dummy payload into orbit. The Angara A5.1L lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 12:57 am EST (0557 GMT, 8:57 Moscow time) Tuesday. The Angara 5 is a more powerful version of the Angara 1 rocket tested earlier this year, using five “universal rocket module” cores, powered by engines using liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants, for the first stage, along with a second stage and a Briz-M upper stage. The rocket placed a dummy satellite, which remained attached to the Briz0M, into geostationary orbit; the upper stage then maneuvered the payload into a graveyard orbit. Russia developed the Angara to allow it to launch payloads to geostationary orbit from Russian facilities, without requiring the use of Proton rockets from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Development of Angara, though, suffered many years of delays. (copied from spacetoday.net)

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Image credit: RIA Novosti/Russian Defense Ministry

Lockheed T-33 pilot report

Barry Schiff flies the T-33 at the Jet Warbird Center.

Orion EFT-1 successful

The NASA/Lockheed Martin Orion spacecraft had a completely successful unmanned orbital test mission on December 5, 2014, after the launch was scrubbed the previous day. Launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy booster, the Orion conduct low and high apogee orbital operations before its high-energy reentry and splashdown.

Image credit: United Launch Alliance

Image credit: United Launch Alliance

Image credit: NASA

Image credit: NASA