Military

X-37B Air Force space plane set for mysterious Dec 11 blast-off

X-37B Air Force space plane set for mysterious Dec 11 blast-off

US Air Force robo-space plane X-37B will begin its third mission on Tuesday,it's been confirmed, finally taking a classified payload into Earth orbit after having been delayed by launch rocket safety testing. The flight of the mysterious plane - also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV-3 - was intended to take place earlier this year, but plans were frozen after a Delta 4 rocket fault back in October. Exactly what the X-36B is carrying, and how long it will be in orbit for, are unclear.

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Live USA Map of Unmanned Drones released by EEF

Live USA Map of Unmanned Drones released by EEF

The term "unmanned aerial drone" might strike a bit of fear into your heart when you see the live tracking map of the USA that's been made available this week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but not to worry - not all of them are flying overhead right this minute. Instead this is a map that's the result of the EEF's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that covers the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)'s full knowledge of unmanned flights across the United States and what you're looking at is a tracking of project licenses rather than actually flying objects. That said, this map is exciting in its coverage for our greater understanding of unmanned drone flight projects as initiated by state and local law agencies, universities, and US Military operations.

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SpaceX scores contract with the U.S. Air Force

SpaceX scores contract with the U.S. Air Force

Space Exploration Technologies, more commonly known as simply SpaceX, has scored a contract with one of its most sought-after customers, the United States Air Force. The USAF has granted two missions to SpaceX, which will allow it to demonstrate its vehicle capabilities as part of the EELV program. SpaceX will perform two missions, both of which are covered by the same contract.

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Navy to retire its mine hunting dolphins by 2017

Navy to retire its mine hunting dolphins by 2017

The United States Navy has been using specially trained dolphins for a number of years to find mines in waterways around the world. Currently the Navy has 24 specially trained dolphins that can find mines and warn Navy personnel. The Navy has 80 dolphins in total within its $24 million Marine mammal program.

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Human rights groups call for ban on automated killer robots

Human rights groups call for ban on automated killer robots

Human rights groups are calling for a universal ban on robotic weapons systems that are able to determine when to fire without human interaction. Clearly, someone has watched The Terminator too many times. Human Rights Watch and Harvard Law School's International Human Rights Clinic have both called for all states to agree to ban the development, production, and use of fully autonomous weapons.

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Lockheed Martin submits final proposal for Space Fence radar the USAF

Lockheed Martin submits final proposal for Space Fence radar the USAF

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has announced that it has submitted its final proposal to the United States Air Force for its Space Fence Radar. Space Fence is an advanced ground-based radar system aimed at improving the ability of the United States Air Force to identify and track objects in orbit around Earth. The proposal would replace the current Air Force Space Surveillance System installed in 1961.

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Wearable Technology startup mc10 grabs Army contract and chats with SlashGear

Wearable Technology startup mc10 grabs Army contract and chats with SlashGear

This afternoon we got the chance to exchange words with mc10 co-founder Ben Schlatka on how the company's "electronics anywhere" tagline is being made a reality right here and now. Not only are they developing wearable technology for Medical and Industrial projects, they've also got consumer technology in the pipeline - and with their new R&D contract that includes Wearable Electronics for the Battlefield with NSRDEC, you'll see how the modern soldier will soon be benefitting in full from renewable power sources that are as natural to wear as a helmet.

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Remember that “UFO” spotted in June? Well, here it is in daylight

Remember that “UFO” spotted in June? Well, here it is in daylight

Not so much little green men as no men at all: the craft that triggered 911 calls and Twitter furore after being mistaken for a UFO back in June has been put on show by the US Navy, a human-made drone rather than ET's escape pod. The X-47B is a new, experimental unmanned aircraft the Navy has admitted, with a spokesperson telling Fox 5 that while the stealth aircraft wasn't meant to be a secret, the team "all got a laugh" after it was confused for something extraterrestrial while being transported on a truck two months ago.

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Drone hacking by UT researchers catches Feds off guard

Drone hacking by UT researchers catches Feds off guard

About a month ago, a group of researchers from the University of Texas from the UT Radionavigation Laboratory demonstrated to the military and other US officials how a hacker could completely take control of an automated drone operating within US airspace. The demonstration exposed a very serious flaw in plans to allow the civilian operation of drone aircraft within US airspace.

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