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December 3, 1995 | From Associated Press
A solar observatory hurtled toward the sun Saturday after rocketing into space on a $1-billion mission. An unmanned Atlas rocket carrying the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, called Soho, blasted off at 12:08 a.m. PST from Cape Canaveral Air Station. Within a few hours, the spacecraft was boosted out of Earth's orbit and heading toward the sun, with its power-generating solar panels and antennas fully extended.
March 2, 1986 | LEE DYE, Times Science Writer
The roar of a rocket blasting off the launching pad will soon fill the air here again as an enormously successful space program lumbers toward its demise. The launching from this saddened spaceport is set for May 1, long before the next space shuttle is likely to lift off, and there will be no astronauts on this flight. The rocket will be a Delta and will carry a weather satellite into orbit. It is part of the program that sent astronomical observatories into orbit, delivered the first U.S.
July 27, 2007 | Tami Abdollah and Stuart Silverstein, Times Staff Writers
Three workers were killed and three others were badly hurt Thursday afternoon in an explosion on the edge of Kern County's Mojave airport during the test of a propellant system for a pioneering private spaceship. The blast occurred at a private test site run by Scaled Composites, a company founded by high-profile aviation entrepreneur Burt Rutan. In June 2004, the firm became the first business to launch a reusable manned rocket into space, a craft known as SpaceShip One.
August 23, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Iran unveiled an unmanned bomber jet Sunday that will probably fail to tip the region's strategic balance but suggests Tehran continues to invest in shoring up its conventional weapons capabilities. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking during annual Defense Industry Day ceremonies, described the Karrar drone as "a messenger of honor and human generosity" before also terming it a "messenger of death for the enemies of humanity. " The audience applauded and praised the prophet Muhammad and his descendants as a sheet covering the olive-green aircraft was removed.
May 10, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Japan's space agency said Wednesday that it will test-launch a reusable, unmanned shuttle in Sweden, possibly this month. The brief test flights, planned between late May and July 24 at a facility in Kiruna, are intended to measure the pressure that can stabilize the shuttle, which travels at the speed of sound.
October 9, 2007 | From the Associated Press
providence, r.i. -- Textron Inc. said Monday that it would purchase United Industrial Corp. for about $1.1 billion in a deal that company officials said underscored the importance of unmanned aircraft to the U.S. military. The transaction would help Textron expand its aerospace and defense business. United Industrial's AAI Corp. unit, based in Hunt Valley, Md., makes aerospace and defense systems including unmanned aircraft and ground control stations and counter-sniper devices.
October 12, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
Boeing Co. said it would stop research and development on its Little Bird unmanned aircraft in favor of a newer program. Little Bird, an update of a utility helicopter used in Vietnam, is an older technology that had largely been funded by Boeing. The company instead will focus on its new unmanned aircraft, the A160 Hummingbird, which has received more government funds, Boeing said this week.
December 30, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
China's fourth unmanned space capsule, the Shenzhou IV, blasted into orbit today from the Gobi Desert in a launch that could soon lead to a manned flight, the official New China News Agency said. The capsule carries equipment for manned flight, and life support and other systems will be tested in orbit. A successful manned launch would make China the third country, after Russia and the U.S., to send a human into space on its own.
August 10, 1995 | From Times staff and wire reports
Russia plans to launch an unmanned probe to Mars late next year to check for signs of life just beneath the surface of Earth's closest planetary neighbor. In 1975, the U.S. Viking probe discovered no signs of life on the surface of Mars itself. But Russian space officials said it was possible that their Mars-96 probe might have more luck when it takes samples of soil up to 11 inches beneath the planet surface in November, 1996.
February 5, 2005 | Peter Pae, Times Staff Writer
In a landmark test flight Friday, two kite-shaped unmanned jets took off from Edwards Air Force Base and flew to 25,000 feet to begin a simulated bombing run, Boeing Co. executives said. The flight marked the first time that an aircraft solely controlled by its own onboard computers took off and attacked ground targets, Boeing and aerospace analysts said. "We've demonstrated the autonomous attack capability" of unmanned aircraft, said Jim Martin, Boeing's test director for the X-45A aircraft.
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