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How SpaceX Leapfrogged NASA and Became a Serious Space Company

October 22, 2014 This post has been corrected. The Space Exploration Technology rocket factory is a large, white hangar-like building near Los Angeles international airport, with a parking lot filled with late-model motorcycles and Tesla electric cars. The vast metal structure once churned out 737 fuselages for Boeing. When you get through the ...

from govexec

The US Government Actually Stood Up To a Would-be Corporate Tax Dodger

October 21, 2014 This summer, Richard Gonzalez, the CEO of US pharmaceutical maker AbbVie, said of his company’s plan to merge with UK-based Shire: “We wouldn’t be doing it just for the tax impact.” Today, after scuttling the deal, the CEO blamed the US Treasury Department, which “re-interpreted longstanding tax principles in a ...

Top-Secret US Space Drone Returns to Earth

October 14, 2014 America’s top-secret space drone is coming home today after a record 22 months in orbit—and we have no idea how it spent its time up there. The X-37B, made by Boeing for the U.S. Air Force, is catnip for space fans, but despite lots of public interest and plenty of ...

The Air Force's Top-Secret Space Drone Is Finally Coming Back Home

October 14, 2014 America’s top-secret space drone is coming home today after a record 22 months in orbit—and we have no idea how it spent its time up there. The X-37B, made by Boeing for the US Air Force, is catnip for space fans, but despite lots of public interest and plenty of ...

from govexec

The U.S. Is Saving Nukes So It Can Blow Up Asteroids

October 1, 2014 Why is the U.S. falling behind on its promises to destroy old nuclear weapons? Here’s one reason given to government auditors (pdf): Government Accountability Office That’s right, the U.S. isn’t dismantling its old nuclear weapons, because we might need them to destroy an asteroid hurtling toward earth. To clarify some ...

The Strange But True Reason the US Isn't Destroying Its Old Nukes

October 1, 2014 Why is the US falling behind on its promises to destroy old nuclear weapons? Here’s one reason given to government auditors (pdf): For potential use in planetary defense against earthbound asteroids.NNSA officials told us that CSAs associated with a certain warhead indicated as excess in the 2012 Production and Planning ...

US Is Saving Nukes So It Can Blow Up Asteroids

October 1, 2014 Why is the U.S. falling behind on its promises to destroy old nuclear weapons? Here’s one reason given to government auditors (pdf): ​ That’s right, the U.S. isn’t dismantling its old nuclear weapons, because we might need them to destroy an asteroid hurtling toward earth. To clarify some of the ...

Meet the Other Terror Group in Syria That Could Actually Threaten the US

September 22, 2014 For all the barbarity of ISIL and the focus on the military campaign against them, security analysts say the group doesn’t have the capability to directly attack the US—its threat is regional disruption. But US intelligence officials have spent the last week dropping hints about another al Qaeda off-shoot that ...

from govexec

Here Are The Defense Industry Dollars Behind The Votes to Arm Syria’s Rebels

September 19, 2014 This week, US lawmakers voted to arm and train “vetted” Syrian rebels as part of the US efforts to fight the extremist group ISIL. Each chamber voted separately on the issue, which was packaged in a relatively uncontroversial bill to keep the US government funded through November’s elections. The House ...

Air Power Alone Can't Defeat the Islamic State

September 17, 2014 Barack Obama says that there aren’t going to be US combat troops fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. His top generals say, well,maybe there will be. No one should be surprised. The recent history of US interventions suggests that air power alone isn’t enough to defeat insurgents. While ...