US Navy retires its last T-2C Buckeye

The US Navy has retired it’s last North American T-2C Buckeye on September 25, 2015. The T-2 introduced generations of student naval aviators to jet flight. It was replaced by the T-45 Goshawk. The last T-2 Buckeyes in service were used as chase planes by VX-20 at NAS Patuxent River.

Image credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain/US Navy

Image credit: Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Daniel J. McLain/US Navy

Advertisements

Cessna Citation M2 pilot report

Fred George of Business & Commercial Aviation takes the Cessna Citation M2 for an evaluation flight.

Image credit: Textron Aviation

Perlan 2 first flight

The Perlan 2 glider had its first flight on September 23. The test pilots were Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock.

Perlan 2 is designed to fly to 90,000 feet at the edge of space to explore the science of giant mountain waves that help create the ozone hole and change global climate models. This will require the engineering of a spacecraft with glider wings that can fly in less than 3% of normal air density and at temperatures of -70 degrees C, conditions approximating the surface of Mars.

Photo of the week

An F/A-18E Super Hornet from the "Kestrels" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137 launches from the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). Image credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Mai/Released)

An F/A-18E Super Hornet from the “Kestrels” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137 launches from the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).
Image credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Mai/Released)

NASA’s next set of flagship-class planetary missions

NASA’s last decadal survey report issued in 2011 set NASA’s foremost planetary science objectives as a Mars sample return mission and a probe to Europa.

NASA’s next Mars rover set for launch in 2020 will collect and store rock specimens for retrieval and return to Earth by a future mission, fulfilling the first step in a multi-mission odyssey to bring back samples from the red planet’s surface. NASA formally approved the Europa flyby probe earlier this year to assess the icy moon’s habitability.

The candidates for the round beyond that include:

MUOS-4 launch

The US Navy/Lockheed Martin MUOS-4 communications satellite flew into orbit on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on September 2, 2015 from Cape Canaveral.

The U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed using a combination of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations to significantly improve communications for U.S. forces on the move. MUOS will provide new beyond-line-of-sight communications capabilities, with smartphone-like simultaneous voice, video and data – to connect military users almost anywhere around the globe.

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 551 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter payload fairing along with five Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket motors attached to the Atlas booster. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine.