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SpaceShipTwo accident caused by pilot error, lack of safeguards
Posted: Fri, Jul 31 2:34 PM ET (1834 GMT)
SpaceShipTwo wreckage and investigtors (NTSB) Last October's crash of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipTwo vehicle was caused by pilot error that was not foreseen by the vehicle's developers, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded Tuesday. The NTSB said that the vehicle's copilot prematurely unlocked the feathering system on the vehicle during the October 31 test, and aerodynamic forces caused the feather to deploy as the vehicle accelerated through the sound barrier. Engineers at Scaled Composites, who developed SpaceShipTwo for Virgin Galactic, knew that an early feather deployment would be "catastrophic" for the vehicle but did not consider that the pilots might accidentally unlock the feather early, and thus did not put in safeguards to prevent that from happening. The NTSB made a number of recommendations to the FAA to improve its review of experimental permit applications and make other steps to examine human factors in such vehicles.

China launches navigation satellites
Posted: Fri, Jul 31 2:20 PM ET (1820 GMT)
Long March 3B Beidou launch, July 2015 (Xinhua) China launched a pair of Beidou navigation satellites July 25. The Long March 3B rocket lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 8:29 am EDT (1229 GMT, 8:29 pm Beijing time) July 25 and placed the two satellites into medium Earth orbit. The satellites are part of the third phase of the country's navigation system, expanding its coverage from its current regional scope to a global one.

Sunday, August 2
Looking to the future in space
Rio Grande Valley Morning Star — 9:46 am ET (1346 GMT)
Human Error in Test Flight Disasters
Discover — 9:45 am ET (1345 GMT)
Mentoring, half-time work help NASA Glenn address aging workforce
Crain's Cleveland Business — 9:36 am ET (1336 GMT)
Veteran astronaut Mike Foreman leaves NASA
SpaceFlight Insider — 9:31 am ET (1331 GMT)
Spitzer Space Telescope confirms super-Earth nearby
SpaceFlight Insider — 9:30 am ET (1330 GMT)
Russia reveals long-term plans for its Angara launch vehicle
SpaceFlight Insider — 9:30 am ET (1330 GMT)
Summer of Discontent: 25 Years Since the Shuttle Hydrogen Leaks (Part 2)
Sputnik International — 9:29 am ET (1329 GMT)
Could Human Beings Ever Reach 'Earth 2.0'?
NBC — 9:02 am ET (1302 GMT)
Two companies end partnership with NASA
Florida Today — 8:55 am ET (1255 GMT)
NASA Pings a Passing Space Peanut — 8:54 am ET (1254 GMT)
Globalstar tracking system 'open to attack'
BBC — 8:51 am ET (1251 GMT)

Saturday, August 1
Simulated map of missing satellite galaxies could answer dark matter puzzle
Rochester Institute of Technology — 8:22 pm ET (0022 GMT)
New Director of Astronomy at the Maria Mitchell Association
Maria Mitchell Association — 8:20 pm ET (0020 GMT)
Binary Star System Precisely Timed with Pulsar's Gamma-rays
Max-Planck-Institut — 8:17 pm ET (0017 GMT)
Cassiopeia's Hidden Gem: The Closest Rocky, Transiting Planet
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics — 8:16 pm ET (0016 GMT)

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