US astronauts speed through spacewalk at orbiting lab

Miami (AFP) March 1, 2015

Two US astronauts on Sunday made speedy work of their third spacewalk to get the International Space Station ready for the arrival of more commercial spacecraft in the coming years.

Tethered to the outside of the orbiting outpost, space station commander Barry Wilmore and flight engineer Terry Virts reported no problems with their spacesuits during the outing, but Virts discovered a small am —> Read More Here

Climate Academic Probed by Congress Falsely Charges Colleagues With Conflict of Interest

Professor Roger J. Pielke, Jr. of the University of Colorado recently compared many widely-published energy and climate experts with Dr. Wei-Hock Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Dr. Soon is the subject of recent media attention for failing to follow conflict of interest (COI) rules at some scientific journals. There is no comparison whatsoever, and we ask Dr. Pielke to retract his accusations and apologize.

Last week, the New York Times reported that Dr. Soon “has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers.” In particular, recently released documents revealed that “Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as ‘deliverables’ that he completed in exchange for their money.” Also, the agreement between the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Southern Company required the Smithsonian to provide the coal utility “advanced written copy of proposed publications … for comment and input.”

On February 27, 2015, Professor Pielke wrote on his blog:

I have Tweeted that undisclosed COI is endemic in scientific publishing. I have had several requests —> Read More Here

Integration of Small UAS into U.S. Aviation System

Photographer and National Geographic Expert Kike Calvo testing the Iris+ made by 3DRobotics

This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, which profiles interesting information, thoughts and research into using drones, UAVs or remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels.

WASHINGTON – The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration recently proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today’s aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations.

Photographer and National Geographic Creative Photographer Kike Calvo testing the Iris+ made by 3DRobotics.

The FAA proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.

The proposed rule also includes extensive discussion of the possibility of an additional, more flexible framework for “micro” UAS under 4.4 pounds. The FAA is asking the public to comment on this possible classification to determine whether it should include this option as part of a final rule. The FAA is also asking for comment about how the agency can —> Read More Here

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