Jul 17, 2009 | 6
Yesterday, in a nonjury trial, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney convicted Dongfan “Greg” Chung, a 73-year-old Orange County, Calif., resident, on six counts of economic espionage for stealing trade secrets from Boeing.
Chung, a former engineer at Boeing and previously for Rockwell International, was also found guilty of two non-economic charges, one count of acting as an agent of the People’s Republic of China and one count of lying to the FBI. He is the first person to be indicted and convicted under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which makes theft or misappropriations of trade secrets a federal crime.
Agents from the FBI and NASA raided Chung’s home on September 11, 2006, where they found about 250,000 pages of Boeing and Rockwell materials, including trade secrets on communication upgrade plans for the shuttle, the “next generation booster rocket” Delta 4, and the C-17 Globemaster III airlifter, which is used to rapidly move troops and cargo to military bases. According to the February 2008 indictment, Chung did not work on either the Delta 4 or C-17 projects while he was at Boeing and Rockwell, suggesting that he never should have had possession of those particular documents.
Jun 17, 2009 | 1
Another hydrogen leak will keep the space shuttle Endeavour's crew on the ground for another month while NASA investigates the problem. The space agency scrubbed today's scheduled launch early this morning when a gaseous hydrogen leak was detected at the same location where a similar leak halted the shuttle's original June 13 launch.
"We're going to step back and figure out what the problem is and go fix it," Deputy Space Shuttle Program Manager LeRoy Cain said in a statement. Even if all goes well, NASA expects the shuttle to launch no earlier than July 11.
NASA engineers found the leak at the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate (GUCP), which is the vent to the launch pad and the flare stack (or elevated chimney) where the vented hydrogen is burned off. (For pictures of what the GUCP looks like, visit GalaxyWire.net.) The venting system (pdf), located outside the shuttle's external fuel tank, is designed to carry excess hydrogen safely away from the launch pad as the Endeavor blasts off. During launch, the external fuel tank supplies the shuttle's main engines with liquid oxygen and hydrogen propellants.
Jun 15, 2009 | 2
As NASA engineers ponder how the shuttle Endeavor's gaseous hydrogen venting system started leaking and delayed the spacecraft's launch, the agency said it will try to put the shuttle in orbit on Wednesday at 5:40 a.m. ET. The shuttle's problems likewise push the launch of the moon-probing Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) back at least one day, to Thursday, June 18.
NASA believes a seal on the external fuel tank that was misaligned when it was coupled to one of the shuttle's engines caused the leak, NASA Shuttle Test Director Stephen Payne, said today during a press conference. "Our teams have been working very hard over the last couple of days to get this piece of equipment fixed," he said, adding, however, that the space agency was unsure of what's causing the misalignment.
Mar 16, 2009
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) may have to maneuver the station to evade flying junk as the space shuttle Discovery closes in for docking. The warning comes just four days after the crew was forced to take refuge in an escape capsule as a last-minute risk of debris strike was discovered.
Like last week's chunk of debris, which passed without incident as the three ISS members huddled in the station's Soyuz capsule, tomorrow's threatening object is not related to last month's collision between a Russian satellite and a commercial communications satellite.
Dec 31, 2008 | 2
The astronauts on the shuttle Columbia tried to control the spacecraft as it broke up over Texas on its way back from a 16-day mission on February 1, 2003, but they had no chance of surviving, NASA says in a sobering report.
All seven crew members were killed when the craft split apart from damage the left wing suffered after a huge chunk of insulating foam from the shuttle’s external tank broke off during its launch.
At least one crew member tried to reset the shuttle’s autopilot and had flipped cockpit switches as alarms sounded on board, according to the report released yesterday. But all of the astronauts lost consciousness within seconds as the spacecraft depressurized and spiraled out of control.
Nov 14, 2008 | 1
Tonight's scheduled launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, weather permitting, may be visible to viewers along the East Coast of the U.S.—also weather permitting.
If the skies are clear, the shuttle's engines should burn bright enough to show up during its initial climb. Joe Rao of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City blogs: "For most locations, Endeavour ... should appear as a very bright, pulsating, fast-moving star, shining with a yellowish-orange glow."
Rao advises that shuttle-gazers in the Southeast U.S. look toward Cape Canaveral, midway down Florida's Atlantic coast; that those in the mid-Atlantic look southwest three to six minutes after liftoff (scheduled for 7:55 P.M. in the East); and that those in the Northeast look low along the horizon to the south or south-southwest, six to eight minutes after takeoff.
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