Two major defense corporations are competing to build a series of satellite communications mechanisms that would allow an American president to remain in contact with military commanders even after a nuclear attack, according to Military.com.
Raytheon was asked last year by the Air Force to compete with Boeing, whose design has faced multiple changes and delays, according to the website.
Military.com reported that the Raytheon system, based on technology that was developed for the Army and Navy, had cleared a design review in June and is set to be part of a satellite test in October.
In response to requests from the Air Force, Boeing adjusted a number of design features, including adding a system that would allow officials to speak to one another using a series of satellites and terminals. The system is to be based on the ground and installed in airplanes. However, the Air Force reportedly does not want to add the terminals to its bomber aircraft, a move that the GAO warned would cause the system to “not meet its full range of planned communications capabilities.”
The bomber fleet has been threatened recently by sequestration cuts, reportedly leaving the Air Force with two options: retire old bombers and sustain funding for new planes or maintain a larger fleet of aging bombers.
The program’s costs have gone up 48 percent from the original estimates, partly because of the lengthy delays that the program has faced, according to the website.
Military.com reported that the Air Force intends for the competition to help control costs and ensure that the system is ready by 2015.
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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”