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DARPA reveals design of its space plane for faster, cheaper satellite launches

DARPA reveals design of its space plane for faster, cheaper satellite launchesLaunching satellites into orbit could get a lot cheaper thanks to an experimental space plane.  SEE ALSO: NASA's new space fabric looks like chain mail and can protect astronauts This week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) revealed the design for the XS-1, which is set to be built by Boeing. The hypersonic aircraft would launch vertically, deploy a second stage to carry a satellite into orbit, and then land like a normal airplane.  Although the aircraft is still in the concept phase, DARPA believes the final result will be a vehicle that will provide "short-notice, low-cost access to space" for both military and commercial use. Initial tests of the XS-1 technology will attempt 10 flights over the course of 10 days with the ultimate goal being routine low-Earth orbit flights for around $5 million or less per launch. (Currently, it costs SpaceX about $62 million to launch its Falcon 9 rocket into orbit.) "We're delighted to see this truly futuristic capability coming closer to reality," DARPA's Brad Tousley said in a statement on the agency's website. "Demonstration of aircraft-like, on-demand, and routine access to space is important for meeting critical Defense Department needs and could help open the door to a range of next-generation commercial opportunities." And while this futuristic space plane and the opportunities it may afford sound exciting, actual flight tests aren't scheduled to happen until 2020. For now, you'll have to use the concept video (above) to imagine this very near future of space travel.  WATCH:...

Congress ends effort to kill limits on debit card fees

Congress ends effort to kill limits on debit card feesBy Pete Schroeder Washington (Reuters) - Banks were regrouping on Thursday, a day after being handed a large defeat in the U.S. House, where Republicans sided with retailers in agreeing to preserve limits on debit card fees. The financial industry insisted it was not done fighting to remove limits on the fees. "We are glad this fight is over, and are happy with our victory," said Austen Jensen with the Retail Industry Leaders Association....

Report yields new details in 2014 Yosemite air tanker crash

Report yields new details in 2014 Yosemite air tanker crashLOS ANGELES (AP) — The 2014 fatal crash of an air tanker fighting a forest fire in Yosemite National Park came just after the pilot was warned to avoid a tree to the right but then struck trees to the left, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report....

The Latest: Democrat concedes to Gianforte in Montana race

The Latest: Democrat concedes to Gianforte in Montana raceBOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on the misdemeanor assault case against Greg Gianforte, a Republican candidate for a Montana congressional seat in a special election Thursday. (all times local):...

The Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron bromance is in full bloom, and we are swooning

The Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron bromance is in full bloom, and we are swooningSpring is here and we're happy to report that a hot new bromance is in full bloom. The newly appointed president of France, Emmanuel Macron, is hitting it off with everyone's favorite Canadian heartthrob, Prime Minister Justin Truedeau, and the world may not be ready for this. SEE ALSO: People are hilariously confusing Emmanuel Macron for a beloved French cookie Footage of the two leaders meeting at the G7 summit in Sicily, Italy found its way to our hearts on Friday. In the video, Trudeau, 45, and Macron, 39, take a long bromantic stroll through beautiful, lush, flower-filled shrubbery. They walked along stone paths side-by-side, chatting about the challenges faced by our generation in French....

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