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SMDR for Mon., May 22, Vol. 17, Issue 11

Orbital ATK’s Income Falls In First Quarter Despite Increase In Sales

Orbital ATK [OA] on May 11 posted a decline in earnings in its first quarter despite an increase in sales, results the company said were in line with its expectations as the second half of 2017 is expected to be stronger.Bookings were very strong, more than $1.6 billion, about 1.5 times sales, and the company reaffirmed…

Advanced Integration Acquires KUKA Systems’ North American Aerospace Division

Advanced Integration Technology in April completed the acquisition of KUKA’s Systems U.S. aerospace division, strengthening its robotics solutions capabilities for customers in the aerospace and defense space.Terms of the deal, which was first announced in December 2016, were not disclosed. The acquisition satisfies requirements of U.S. regulators related to the sale of Germany-based KUKA AG to China’s Midea.KUKA Aerospace…

Air Force Expects FY 2018 Budget To Continue Funding Improved Satellite Resiliency

The U.S. Air Force, which has strived in recent years to make its satellites more resilient to potential attack, expects to receive funding in the Trump administration’s upcoming fiscal year 2018 budget request to continue those efforts, service officials said May 9.“I think what you’ll see in the budget is measured steps across the enterprise…

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 Engine Completes Critical Design Review

Aerojet Rocketdyne [AJRD] announced May 8 that its AR1 engine, one of two contenders for the first stage of United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) Vulcan next-generation launch vehicle, has successfully completed its critical design review (CDR).The milestone keeps the liquid-fueled AR1 on track for flight certification and readiness for production in 2019, Aerojet Rocketdyne said. The CDR was preceded…

Air Force’s X-37B Spaceplane Finishes Two-Year Trip

The U.S. Air Force’s X-37B reusable spaceplane returned to Earth May 7 after spending almost two years in space, its longest mission ever.The Boeing [BA]-built orbital test vehicle landed on a runway at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, completing the secretive program’s fourth mission, which lasted 718 days.“We are incredibly pleased with the performance of the space…

SpaceX Tests Falcon Heavy’s Center Booster

SpaceX has test-fired the center booster of its new Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time, the company announced May 9.The “center core” test occurred the week of May 1 at the company’s facility in McGregor, Texas, SpaceX tweeted. The Falcon Heavy’s first stage has three boosters, or cores, each of which has nine Merlin engines.SpaceX…

Time Ripe For U.S. Military To Pursue Fast Access To Space, Experts Say

Efforts to achieve low-cost, fast access to space for the U.S. military stand to benefit from an increasingly favorable financial, political and technological climate, Air Force and industry experts said May 8.The current willingness of billionaires, such as Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos and SpaceX’s Elon Musk, to invest their own money on space would have been hard to imagine…