Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Missile Officer Charged With Stealing Classified Device

Missileer charged with stealing tamper device
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Sep 30, 2008 6:40:02 EDT
An Air Force missile officer charged with stealing a classified device designed to protect nuclear missile launch secrets will face an Article 32 investigation hearing on Tuesday.

Capt. Paul A. Borowiecki was charged after he allegedly admitted stealing the tamper device, said Maj. Laurie Arellano, a service spokeswoman.

During a recent interview for a new assignment that requires a security clearance, Borowiecki allegedly admitted that he and another unnamed officer didn’t destroy the bandage-sized devices that dispense a residue to alert security personnel if launch code components have been improperly removed, Arellano said.

The investigation into the second officer is still ongoing, she said.

The two signed a document in July 2005 stating they had destroyed them.

Borowiecki, assigned to the 91st Space Wing, was charged with dereliction of duty, false official statements, and wrongful appropriation of military property under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. His Article 32 will be held at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.

First Privately Owned Rocket Makes Orbit

Rocket successfully launched from South Pacific

The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 09/28/2008 04:42:39 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES—An Internet entrepreneur's latest effort to make space launch more affordable paid off Sunday when his commercial rocket carrying a dummy payload was lofted into orbit.
It was the fourth attempt by Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, to launch its two-stage Falcon 1 rocket into orbit.

"Fourth time's a charm," said Elon Musk, the multimillionaire who started up SpaceX after making his fortune as the co-founder of PayPal Inc., the electronic payment system.

The rocket carried a 364-pound dummy payload designed and built by SpaceX for the launch.

"This really means a lot," Musk told a crowd of whooping employees. "There's only a handful of countries on earth that have done this. It's usually a country thing, not a company thing. We did it."

Musk pledged to continue getting rockets into orbit, saying the company has resolved design issues that plagued previous attempts.

Last month, SpaceX lost three government satellites and human ashes including the remains of astronaut Gordon Cooper and "Star Trek" actor James Doohan after its third rocket was lost en route to space. The company blamed a timing error for the failure that caused the rocket's first stage to bump into the second stage after separation.

SpaceX's maiden launch in 2006 failed due to a fuel line leak. Last year, another rocket reached some 180 miles above Earth, but its second stage prematurely shut off.

70-foot-long rocket powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene, is the first in a family of low-cost launch vehicles priced at $7.9 million each.
Besides the Falcon 1, SpaceX is developing for NASA a larger launch vehicle, Falcon 9, capable of flying to the international space station.

A Glorious Death: Jules Verne's ATV reentry spectacular

The unmanned Jules Verne ATV cargo ship breaks up in a spectacular display
during re-entry, as seen on Monday over the Pacific from an observation plane.
The European Space Agency's first cargo mission to the international space station ended in a spectacular fireworks show today, with the fiery re-entry of the unmanned Jules Verne ATV spaceship over the South Pacific.

"Jules Verne has now successfully completed its mission," ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain declared at the International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow, Scotland.

The end came at around 9:30 a.m. ET, when controllers back at Europe's mission control in Toulouse, France, directed the 17-ton craft into its final plunge. Jules Verne, the first of Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicles, was launched from the ESA spaceport in French Guiana early March 9. It linked up with the space station almost a month later, delivering tons of food, water and equipment.

During its stay, Jules Verne periodically boosted the space station's orbit, and in fact helped the station dodge a passing piece of Russian space junk last month.

But all good things must come to an end: Unlike the Italian-built space cargo modules that are carried back and forth inside NASA's space shuttle, the Euroean-built ATVs are not designed for return or reuse. Instead, each spent craft has to be disposed of safely, by directing it remotely on a plunge through the atmosphere. The wide-open South Pacific is the favorite dumping ground for such space junk, as we saw back in 2001 when Russia's Mir space station fell to its doom.

Jules Verne's re-entry was witnessed by an international team of scientists flying aboard a NASA DC-8 observation plane. Studying the spacecraft's controlled fall could lead to fresh insights about the chemical and radiation effects of falling meteors - as well as better computer models for predicting how objects fragment as the blast through the atmosphere.

The Jules Verne ATV cargo craft glows during its atmospheric re-entry, in a view
captured Monday from a DC-8 observation plane flying over the Pacific. A lens
diffraction flare can be seen in rainbow colors at lower right.


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