File Name: aviation week and space technology magazine .zip
- Aviation Week Magazine
- Solvay and Vertical Aerospace partner on electric air-taxi programme
Aviation Week Magazine
DIA briefings arranged by Gen. Credit: Energia. Military Space reporter Craig Covault spent nearly 40 years, is celebrating its th anniversary. Since Covault provided decades of award winning coverage, the current editors asked that he write a piece for the Aviation Week anniversary issue detailing the process behind two particular scoops that have become legend at AWST. The story is reproduced here with permission along with two corrections that have come to light.
I joined Aviation Week in , just after the launch of Landsat 1, whose unclassified, digital low-resolution multispectral imagery created a sensation at the time. They clued me in on the digital imaging technology and what was to come—including the Hubble Space Telescope.
Klass, who had become a legend in his own time reporting on intelligence programs. We calculated the Titan had to be carrying about a 30,lb.
By early , with the Goddard tips supplemented by many others received from military personnel, I had surmised that the big mystery payload:. I also learned the program apparently used relay satellites. The relay evidence fit the modus operandi of another brand-new secret program—the SDS Satellite Data System spacecraft in highly elliptical orbits. Two were launched, in June and August , just a few months before the mystery Titan 3 payload. Together it all meant a huge revolution in U.
It clearly had to be a multibillion-dollar program, because it teamed three big new projects, a KH satellite production line, an SDS satellite production line and a ground processing capability created specifically to process real-time digital images.
Hotz cautioned, however, that we needed to get a U. Air Force security blessing before we published because we did not want to give away to the Soviets and Chinese anything of extreme national security value.
I called a top Air Force public affairs officer in the Pentagon and told him about my straw man reconnaissance program theory, as if I had it cold. David Jones. He wants to see you at 2 p. If he sells you on national security specifics, we will hold. But if he waffles and it sounds like political-based security, we are going to publish.
This accurate model shows the original KH design that, like Hubble, carried about a 2. Credit: NASA. At the Pentagon Gen. It was a bit of a bluff, because nobody had told me exactly how it all fit together. Now I am going to explain why Aviation Week should hold it. To my surprise, he revealed that signals-intelligence intercepts proved the Soviets were talking a lot about what the payload might be and had assessed that it was likely an advanced weather satellite.
There was no talk among them that there was a hugely advanced overhead reconnaissance system they should have been worrying about. As a result, Jones said, the Soviets were not closing doors on missile silos or putting new aircraft under cover during KH passes over Soviet territory.
In the midst of the Cold War, the U. I told Jones that he had made a convincing case and Aviation Week would hold the story. We exchanged a few more thanks, and I headed for the door. But Jones called me back.
I told him I had not come with any quid pro quo in mind. He praised that but reiterated the offer more strongly. For Jones, it was also a way to really seal Aviation Week to a deal. Shortly thereafter, the Defense Intelligence Agency DIA called to invite me to the first of several top-secret-level Soviet space backgrounders that continued every few months up to mid Buran 1. The Soviets knew what the KH was, diagrams and all. Jones again. This time, however, the chairman elevated it even higher.
The presence of the Justice official signified that the Carter administration was putting on the heat. I explained Aviation Week was going to go with the story now that the Soviets had the manual. The Justice Department has already made that public, not Aviation Week.
That paused the debate. And I volunteered that I would keep the relay SDS birds secret for a while because they were the key to the real-time transmission of imagery. Aviation Week did not publish the full story about the SDS relay spacecraft until Phil Klass wrote about them in detail on page 46 of the April 2, , issue.
As another concession, I said I would just dribble in the details across many issues of the magazine, not trumpet the whole program at once. That seemed to quiet them, but I remember that our goodbyes this time around were not as friendly. Our 18 months of sleuthing finally resulted in the scoop of the KH, as well as a major exclusive on the Soviet space shuttle.
The first plain vanilla KH story was published in the August 28, , issue on page It did not even mention digital imaging. The first mention of that did not come until after the second KH was launched, a year after our White House meeting. The story I want to hear is how Aviation Week was making so little money that they had to let Craig Covault go. He and a number of other amazing journalists have been let go by the journalism industry over the last many years.
Many excellent journalists have been left aside because news as a business is failing. Nobody knows how to reverse that trend. And, yes, it sucks on a great many levels. India could take advantage of the Andaman Islands and get the first stage to land there after equatorial launches from Sriharikota, Sivan remarked. Saddam Hussein agreed to fund the project, but only if Bull helped with their efforts to re-design the re-entry vehicle of the SCUD missiles to improve range.
Do we really want the kind of world where cheap, highly accurate, and relatively low tech ICBMs are common? James, We do need a reason to continue and develop laser beam weapons for aircraft and ship utilization and are scheduled for deployment or already deployed…. Lap dog journalism could become even more common. Eventually, the global economic impact from Cislunar Space, which legally includes the surface of the Moon, is going to be in the trillions of dollars and could include serious international political and economic cooperation.
Smith is running while carrying his gun, stumbles over some bushes, and accidentally fires a shot at Angelina Jolie as Mrs. Stumbling into war is always an option.
And that suggests we could eventually use electromagnetic guns to cheaply shoot Lunar resources and products, to Earth and Earth orbit or even to Mars. One way or another the Moon could become the resource, manufacturing, and transportation hub of the inner Solar System. I recall a photo of a large, white delta-shaped wing which did not at the time resemble the eventual Buran design. Tom: Appreciate your comments. The visual you remember from 39 years ago was simply an artist concept.
The story text itself was accurate in every way and reflected the final Buran design details. In the same high bay area they had the high fidelity mockup of the Buran. During a work break an astronaut who shall remain nameless and I walked over and examined the mockup. While that was needed for the American design, it was not for the Russian design where the main engines were on the tank, not the Orbiter.
Joe: I have been in that same high bay with the Buran mockup. But they would not let me near it, as I was there to see testing on the full scale Mir they had in there at the time.
But the aerodynamics are the aerodynamics for either side and if you put a payload bay between the wings you end up with Soviet shuttle that looks a lot like an American shuttle.
I did get a very detailed look at the No. This was years before the Columbia accident and such a backup covering of tiles on the wing box may not have saved Columbia, but at least it was something. I had forgotten that Soviet feature until years after Columbia I was shocked relooking at my old pictures and came across my older image of the tiled Soviet wing box. As to copying the U S shuttle I noticed the payload bay door mechanisms and payload bay details looked like a copy of US orbiter mechanisms.
Overall I believe the Soviets had a better design because they put their SSMEs on the Energia giving them a dual system right off the bat—an unmanned Energia heavy lift and when needed a reusable shuttle.
And we got a good laugh out of that when I noted if the Soviets were designing their shuttle from my stories the were doing it from a person who had barely passed high school algebra! Greatly agree. Worked with people in the Shuttle Program and the fact that the Side Mount configuration was never developed is a tragedy. Actually, there was extensive analysis done that showed that a crew abort from the Side Mount was practical unfortunately, as far as I know, none of the evaluations, is available on line.
In any case the window of opportunity for the Side Mount has sadly passed. To my nontechnical perspective, risk reduction to the lowest doable level is the key to both politically and commercially sustainable space transportation systems.
Unfortunately the Commission ignored not refuted, but ignored the Shannon presentation and at least as far as I know neither set of results have ever been made available on the internet. Now what side mount does is to allow wider disk like payloads—perhaps for OMvs—wide rigid aerobrakes. Energiya Buran would have allowed orbiter sized hypersonic boilerplantes—worth more than CFD studies.
Heck—Each spaceplane might have been different. One a Faget striaght wing—one a lifting body—one a wave rider, etc. Keep engines off the orbiter. Sidemount was pretty much everything good about the shuttle with all the bad removed. It would have been flying a couple years by now with a dozen flights accomplished and 6 to 8 per year scheduled for the next couple decades. The best possible scenario would have the ISS decommissioned at this point and cislunar missions being the focus.
Solvay and Vertical Aerospace partner on electric air-taxi programme
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It also describes just how difficult a challenge it will be for Perseverance to collect and return Martian samples to Earth. Featured Content. March 05, See Our Coverage and Analysis.
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Particularly important in this regard were CoCom sanctions, which prevented Moscow from acquiring modern, high-bypass turbofan power plants from the West. Consequently, bloc aviation remained stranded without the new technology it needed. It was dealt a deadly blow with the increasing price of oil, which exposed the shortcomings of its petrochemical sector.
The weekly magazine is available in print and online, reporting on the aerospace, defense and aviation industries, with a core focus on aerospace technology. It has a reputation for its contacts inside the United States military and industry organizations. Aviation Week was a favorite conduit for defense-related companies and labs to leak information to the public as part of their policy by press release efforts.
It also describes just how difficult a challenge it will be for Perseverance to collect and return Martian samples to Earth. Featured Content. March 05, See Our Coverage and Analysis. It has been a roller coaster ride in aerospace over the last year.
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