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Pima Air and Space MuseumExperience the magic of Tucson’s Pima Air & Space Museum by night—come to Night Wings 3 this Saturday evening, August 24, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.

All of the museum’s hangars are open for the event, with hands-on activities for kids in every hangar. The Physics Factory crew is conducting demonstrations throughout the evening. And to include dinner plans in your visit, check out the Flight Grill. Trams (at an additional cost) are giving tours of the outdoor aircraft until sundown.

Admission to Night Wings 3 is $10.00 for adults, with free admission for children ages 12 and younger. Museum members are admitted free of charge. And please note that no one will be admitted after 8:00 p.m. The Pima Air & Space Museum is at 6000 E. Valencia Road, in Tucson. For more details, please contact Mina Stafford, the museum’s curator of education, at mstafford@pimaair.org.

Curiosity Rover Parachuting to Mars

UA-run HiRISE camera snaps parachuting rover of Mars rover as it lands

Source: Arizona Daily Star

Date/Time: August 7, 2012

Author: TOM BEAL

HiRISE has done it again.

The UA Lunar and Planetary Lab team that operates the high-resolution camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a clear, stunning image of the Mars rover Curiosity descending by parachute toward the surface of Mars on Sunday night.

The single image had been planned for months, and after Curiosity, formally known as the Mars Science Laboratory, landed at 10:31 p.m. Sunday, the Tucson-based team waited for it.

About 1:30 a.m. Monday it received it. It clearly showed the Curiosity capsule suspended from its giant parachute, plunging toward the Martian surface.

It was the second image of a Martian landing caught by the HiRISE team, led by Alfred McEwen. HiRISE had also captured the descent of the Phoenix Mars Lander in May 2008.

The photo was planned months in advance, said McEwen of the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab.

The orbiter and the HiRISE camera had to be carefully positioned at the right place at the right time. The time delay in transmissions left no room for last-minute changes.

 

 

News & Notes

August 2, 2012 - Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

TUCSON

Raytheon wins 2 contracts totaling almost $130 million

Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems has won two contracts totaling nearly $130 million for a new missile interceptor and a ship-defense missile system, the Pentagon announced.

Raytheon wins $925 million missile deal

Contract now totals more than $1.5 billion for latest in SM-3 line

13 HOURS AGO  •  DAVID WICHNER ARIZONA DAILY STAR

July 26,  2012

Despite looming defense budget cuts, Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems keeps winning funding for its missile-defense programs.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has awarded the company a five-year, $925 million contract to continue development of a new ship-based missile interceptor with Japan.

The contract increases the total value of work on the the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA missile to more than $1.5 billion, according to the Pentagon.

 

Original Story

Jarvis, 48, a project manager at Intel, is the head of Space Transport and Recovery, or STAR, Systems, a commercial space-travel company based out of his east Mesa home.

The company has built the Hermes, a prototype shuttle 27 feet long with a 21-foot wingspan. It is a proof-of-concept model, made of lightweight airplane fiberglass built for wind-tunnel and landing tests.

The final version will be built of space-worthy aluminum and steel and have a thermal protection shield for re-entry.

Jarvis compared the prototype to NASA’s space shuttle Enterprise, which never made it to space and was used mainly for landing tests.

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Raytheon Press Release

Raytheon Awarded $636 Million for Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle

Raytheon awarded $636 million for Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle

TUCSON, Ariz., July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) was awarded a $636 million development and sustainment contract to provide the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle to The Boeing Company, which is the prime contractor for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program. Raytheon booked the award during its second quarter.

EKV represents the centerpiece for the Missile Defense Agency’s GMD as the intercept component of the Ground Based Interceptor, also known as GBI, which is designed to engage high-speed ballistic missile warheads in space.

“When it comes to developing, testing and deploying technologies that enable the intercept of threats in space, Raytheon is a world leader,” said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. “We are proud to contribute to our nation’s first line of defense against the threat of ballistic missiles.”

Diversity may help Raytheon avoid cuts

Layoffs possible, but analysts like missile maker’s wide product line

JULY 08, 2012 12:00 AM  •  DAVID WICHNER ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Looming defense budget cuts – including the possibly of deep, automatic cuts come January – have raised the prospect of massive layoffs by defense contractors, including Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems.

But the diversity of Raytheon’s military electronics and missile business makes the company less vulnerable to the budget ax than other defense companies, analysts say.

Raytheon Missile Systems makes most of the nation’s guided missiles and munitions including the Tomahawk cruise missile, Standard Missile interceptors and Sidewinder and AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.

Raytheon Press Release

US Navy awards Raytheon $338 million for Tomahawk

TUCSON, Ariz., June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) a $338 million contract for the Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missile. The contract, which was announced by the Department of Defense on June 7, includes replenishment of weapons used during Operation ODYSSEY DAWN and procurement for the government’s fiscal year 2012.

“Tomahawk Block IV is important for U.S. national security because it enables commanders to precisely engage heavily-defended and high-value targets from extremely long distances,” said Capt. Joseph Mauser, the U.S. Navy’s Tomahawk program manager. “With more than 2,000 combat uses and 500 successful tests, Tomahawk has proven highly reliable and effective.”

The contract calls for Raytheon to build and deliver the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles, and provide warranties, flight test and life-cycle support. Production is scheduled to begin this year.

Raytheon Press Release

Raytheon Awarded $313.8 Million for Standard Missile-6 All-up Rounds

TUCSON, Ariz., May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Navy awarded Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) a $313.8 million contract for low-rate initial production of Standard Missile-6 all-up rounds.

SM-6 leverages the legacy Standard Missile airframe and propulsion elements, while incorporating the advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities of Raytheon’s Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.

Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz.; Camden, Ark.; Andover, Mass.; Huntsville, Ala.; Dallas, Texas; Hanahan, S.C.; Anniston, Ala.; San Jose, Calif.; and Middletown, Ohio, and is expected to completed by March 2015.

Raytheon Press Release

Raytheon Completes First Flight Test of Improved SM-3

Demonstrates Phased Adaptive Approach phase two capability

PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY, KAUAI, Hawaii, May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) completed the first successful flight test of the Standard Missile-3 Block IB, which is the cornerstone of phase two of the administration’s Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA). This is the 20th successful intercept for Raytheon’s SM-3 program.

“This next-generation variant of the SM-3 is critical to the ballistic missile defense of the U.S. and our allies, because it can defeat the more sophisticated threats emerging around the world today,” said Dr. Taylor Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president.

During the test, the target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai. As the target rose above the horizon, the USS Lake Erie’s SPY-1 radar acquired and began tracking the target. After target launch, the ship’s crew fired a SM-3 Block IB. During flight, the missile’s kinetic warhead acquired the target with its two-color infrared seeker and tracked it through intercept.