When Will Obama and Kerry Walk Like Men Out Of Negotiations With The World Leading Terrorist Nation The Islamic Republic of Iran? Never! — Yakety Yak– Where Is The Written Signed Agreement/Treaty Stopping Iran From Having Nuclear Weapons President Obama? — Time To Release Some Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) — Bunker Busters on Iran’s Nuclear Bomb Factories — Bombs Away — Videos

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Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 502  July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501  July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500  July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499  July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498  July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497  July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496  June 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 495  June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494 June 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 493 June 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 492 June 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 491 June 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 490 June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489 June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488 June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487 June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486 June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485 June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484 June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483 June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482 June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481 June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480 June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479 June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478 June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477 June 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 476 June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475 June 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 474 May 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 473 May 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 472 May 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 471 May 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 469 May 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 468 May 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 466 May 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 465 May 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 464 May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Story 1: When Will Obama and Kerry Walk Like Men Out Of Negotiations With The World Leading Terrorist Nation The Islamic Republic of Iran? Never! — Yakety Yak– Where Is The Written Signed Agreement/Treaty Stopping Iran From Having Nuclear Weapons President Obama? — Time To Release Some Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs) — Bunker Busters on Iran’s Nuclear Bomb Factories — Bombs Away — Videos

Divine – Walk Like A Man (1985) HQ

Walk Like a Man – The Four Seasons

“Walk Like A Man”

oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
Walk like a manOh how you tried
To cut me down to size
by telling dirty lies to my friends
But my own father
Said give her up, don’t bother
The world isn’t coming to an endHe said walk like a man
Talk like a man
Walk like a man my son
No woman’s worth
Crawling on the earth
So walk like a man my sonoo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-ooFine eyed baby
I don’t mean maybe
We’re gonna get along somehow
Soon you’ll be crying
On ‘count of all you’re lying
Oh yeah, just look who’s laughing nowI’m gonna walk like a man
Fast as I can
Walk like a man from you
I’ll tell the world
Forget about it girl
And walk like a man from youoo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo
(Wop wop wop wop)
oo woo-oo-oo oo woo-oo-oo

Walk Like a Man Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons Lyrics

July 2015 Breaking News USA ready to attack Iranian nuclear facilities with awe-inspiring plan B

30,000 Pound Bunker Buster Bomb designed to detour Iran Nuclear Threat

As negotiations with Iran continue towards a nuclear arms agreement, the United States still holds a trump card. The 30,000 Pound Boeing GBU-57 Bunker Buster bomb, the largest non-nuclear weapon in U.S. inventory, designed to destroy nuclear weapons bunkers in Iran and North Korea. The bunker buster, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), is 30,000 pounds (13,608 kg.) and has been improved with “adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision and hi-tech equipment intended to allow it to evade Iranian air defenses in order to reach and destroy the Fordow nuclear enrichment complex.”

“Hopefully we never have to use it, but if we had to, it would work.”

The existence of a bomb that has the capability of destroying the underground facility from the air could also give the West extra bargaining power in nuclear negotiations with the Iran.

US officials believe the improved MOP will serve to convince Israel to hold off on unilaterally attacking Iran and give Washington more time to diplomatically neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat.

US military chiefs openly admitted the weapon was built to attack the fortified nuclear facilities of “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea. Although the Pentagon insists that it is not aimed at a specific threat, unnamed officials within the ministry have repeatedly claimed the bomb is being tailor-made to disable Iranian nuclear facilities at Fordo.

Vienna talks on Iran nuclear deal will continue over weekend

U.S.’s Kerry says not in rush to get Iran nuclear deal

Iran Nuclear Deal Deadlocked Over Arms

Weapons of War: Pentagon Upgrades Biggest ‘Bunker Buster’ Bomb

Bunkers & Bunker Busting Bombs

MOP Massive Ordnance Penetrator GBU-57A-B Penetrator bunker buster bomb Iran United States

World War 3 Pentagon unveils 30,000 pound M O P Bunker Buster Bomb against Iran May 03, 2013

Boeing Delivers Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) 37,000 LB Bombs To The USAF – GBU-57

Israel Air Force Refuels Mid-air

Only on AP: US Tankers Refuel for IS Fight

WATCH OUT IRAN Israeli Air Force unveils Refueling aircraft for possible Airstrike

Israel To Buy 25 More F-35 Lockheed Stealth Fighters: Sources

December 2014 Breaking News USA F35 Israel to buy second squadron of stealth F35 jets

News Wrap: As deadline looms, Kerry says Iran nuclear talks not ‘open-ended’

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons In Concert Live

Frankie Valli And 4 Seasons Live on Ice 2008

The Coasters – Yakety Yak – ORIGINAL MONO VERSION

Yakety Yak – The Coasters with lyrics

Where Have all the Flowers Gone: Eve of Destruction

Iran Made Illegal Purchases of Nuclear Weapons Technology Last Month

1:48 AM, JUL 10, 2015 • BY BENJAMIN WEINTHAL AND EMANUELE OTTOLENGHI

The question is not whether Iran can be trusted to uphold the nuclear deal now being negotiated in Vienna (it can’t), but whether the Obama administration and its P5+1 partners can be trusted to punish Iran when it violates the agreement?

Experience shows that unless Iran violates the deal egregiously, the temptation will be to ignore it. For instance, Iran got away with selling more oil than it should have under the interim agreement. More ominously, Tehran repeatedly pushed the envelope on technical aspects of the agreement—such as caps on its uranium stockpile—and got away with it. The Obama administration and other Western powers have so much invested in their diplomatic efforts that they’ll deny such violations ever occurred.

More evidence of Iranian violations has now surfaced. Two reports regarding Iran’s attempts to illicitly and clandestinely procure technology for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs have recently been published. They show that Iran’s procurement continues apace, if not faster than before the Joint Plan of Action was signed in November 2013. But fear of potentially embarrassing negotiators and derailing negotiations has made some states reluctant to report Tehran’s illegal efforts. If these countries have hesitated to expose Iran during the negotiations, it is more likely they will refrain from reporting after a deal is struck.

The first report was released last month by the U.N. panel of experts in charge of reporting compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding Iran. The panel noted that U.N. member states had not reported significant violations of U.N. sanctions and speculated as to why: either Iran was complying, or countries did not wish to interfere with negotiations.

Paddle, pedal, jog or Segway through North America’s largest urban parkland—Edmonton’s river valley.

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More by Benjamin Weinthal

The second report, released last week by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, is less ambiguous. The agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, confirmed to us that Iran continues to seek illicit technology for its nuclear and ballistic missiles programs.

Iran has had a long history of trying to obtain nuclear technology from German companies, particularly by seeking ways to transport merchandise in circumvention of international sanctions. Since November 2013, Tehran has sought industry computers, high-speed cameras, cable fiber, and pumps for its nuclear and missile program. It appears that Iran’s readiness to negotiate does not reflect any substantive policy change. Rather, it is a diplomatic tactic retreat forced by economic distress, not a strategic rethinking of its priorities.

Iran’s cheating should give Western negotiators additional resolve to impose ironclad guarantees in the agreement. They should compel Iran to reveal its past activities, including its post-JPOA procurement efforts, and impose tough, intrusive, “anytime, anywhere” inspections before sanctions are suspended, let alone lifted.

Instead, the lack of reporting to the U.N. despite evidence of cheating suggests a lack of resolve on the part of Western nations, and their willingness to downplay all but the most egregious violations. This does not bode well for the future. If Western powers are reluctant to penalize Iran for trying to evade sanctions because they’re afraid of spoiling the negotiations, what will happen in the future when Western powers have even more invested in preserving an agreement?

Emanuele Ottolenghi is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where Benjamin Weinthal is a research fellow.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/iran-made-illegal-purchases-nuclear-weapons-technology-last-month_988067.html

Massive Ordnance Penetrator

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator
USAF MOP test release crop.jpg

GBU-57 MOP prototype
Type Bunker buster” bomb
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by United States Air Force
Production history
Manufacturer Boeing[1]
Specifications
Weight 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg)
Length 20.5 feet (6.2 m)
Diameter 31.5 inches (0.80 m)

The GBU-57A/BMassive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a U.S. Air Force, precision-guided, 30,000-pound (13,608 kg) “bunker busterbomb.[2] This is substantially larger than the deepest penetrating bunker busters previously available, the 5,000-pound (2,268 kg) GBU-28 and GBU-37.

Development

In 2002, Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin were working on the development of a 30,000-lb (13,600 kg) earth-penetrating weapon, said to be known as “Big BLU“. But funding and technical difficulties resulted in the development work being abandoned. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, analysis of sites that had been attacked with bunker-buster bombs revealed poor penetration and inadequate levels of destruction.[citation needed]This renewed interest in the development of a super-large bunker-buster, and the MOP project was initiated by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to fulfill a long-standing Air Force requirement.[3]

The U.S. Air Force has not officially recognized specific military requirement for an ultra-large bomb, but it does have a concept for a collection of massively sized penetrator and blast weapons, the so-called “Big BLU” collection, which includes the MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Burst) bomb. Development of the MOP was performed at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida with design and testing work performed by Boeing. It is intended that the bomb will be deployed on the B-2 bomber, and will be guided by the use of GPS.[4][5]

Northrop Grumman announced a $2.5-million stealth-bomber refit contract on 19 July 2007. Each of the U.S. Air Force’s B-2s is to be able to carry two 14-ton MOPs.[6][7]

The initial explosive test of MOP took place on 14 March 2007 in a tunnel belonging to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) at the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

On 6 October 2009, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had requested and obtained permission from the U.S. Congress to shift funding in order to accelerate the project.[8][9] It was later announced by the U.S. military that “funding delays and enhancements to the planned test schedule” meant the bomb would not be deployable until December 2010, six months later than the original availability date.[10]

The project has had at least one successful Flight Test MOP launch.[11] The final testing will be completed in 2012.[3]

The Air Force took delivery of 20 bombs, designed to be delivered by the B-2 bomber, in September 2011. In February 2012, Congress approved $81.6 million to further develop and improve the weapon.[12]

Recent development

On 7 April 2011, the USAF ordered eight MOPs plus supporting equipment for $28 million.[13]

On 14 November 2011, Bloomberg reported that the Air Force Global Strike Command started receiving the Massive Ordnance Penetrator and that the deliveries “will meet requirements for the current operational need”.[14] The Air Force now has received delivery of 16 MOPs as of November 2011.[15] And as of March 2012, there is an “operational stockpile” at Whiteman Air Force Base.[16]

In 2012, the Pentagon requested $82 million to develop greater penetration power for the existing weapon.[1] A 2013 report stated that the development had been a success,[17] and B-2 integration testing began that year.[18]

Next-generation Penetrator Munition

On 25 June 2010, USAF Lt. Gen. Phillip Breedlove said that the Next-generation Penetrator Munition should be about a third the size of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator so it could be carried by affordable aircraft.[19] In December 2010, the USAF had a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the Next Generation Penetrator (NGP).[20]

Global Strike Command has indicated that one of the objectives for the Next-Generation Bomber is for it to carry a weapon with the effects of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. This would either be with the same weapon or a smaller weapon that uses rocket power to reach sufficient speed to match the penetrating power of the larger weapon.[21]

One of the current limitations of the MOP is that it lacks a void-sensing fuze and will therefore detonate after it has come to a stop, even if it passed by the target area.[22]

Specifications

  • Length: 20.5 feet (6.2 m)[23]
  • Diameter: 31.5 inches (0.8 m)[23]
  • Weight: 30,000 pounds (13,608 kilograms)
  • Warhead: 5,300 pounds (2,404.0 kilograms) high explosive
  • Penetration: 200 ft (61 m)[6]

See also

Specific large bombs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_Ordnance_Penetrator

  • April 2, 2015
  • 1950s
Nov. 24, 2014

Kerry Announces Extension to Iran Talks Video by Reuters/ Photo by Roland Schlager/European Pressphoto Agency

U.S. and Allies Extend Iran Nuclear Talks by 7 Months

A yearlong effort to reach an enduring accord with Iran to dismantle large parts of its nuclear infrastructure fell short, forcing the United States and its allies to declare a seven-month extension, but with no clear indication of how they plan to bridge fundamental differences.

Nov. 20, 2014

The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, Catherine Ashton, who is representing the European Union, and Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna. Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Negotiators Scrambling as Deadline Looms in Nuclear Talks

As six world powers and Iran race to meet a Monday deadline for an agreement that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program, the United States stakes out an ambitious goal for what an accord should accomplish.

American officials say the agreement should slow the Iranian nuclear program enough that it would take Iran at least a year to make enough material for a nuclear bomb if it decided to ignore the accord.

It has become increasingly unlikely that any accord announced on Monday would be a complete one. And whatever deal is reached, it may not matter if Iranian hard-liners have their way. In Iran, the final decision on a nuclear deal lies with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader.

Nov. 3, 2014

Under a proposed deal, Russia will convert uranium into specialized fuel rods for Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.Majid Asgaripour/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Role for Russia Gives Iran Talks a Possible Boost

Iran tentatively agrees to ship much of its huge stockpile of uranium to Russia for conversion into specialized fuel rods for the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Iran’s only commercial reactor. The agreement is potentially a major breakthrough in talks that have until now been deadlocked.

A key question remains about the negotiations that American officials have been loath to discuss in public: In a final deal, would Iran be required to publicly admit its past activities, or merely provide a mechanism for monitoring its actions in the future?

Aug. 27, 2014

Iran’s nuclear reactor in Arak, about 150 miles southwest of Tehran, is being redesigned.Hamid Foroutan/Iranian Students News Agency, via Associated Press

Iran Altering Arak Reactor in Bid for Nuclear Deal

Atomic power engineers in Iran start redesigning a partly constructed reactor in Arak to limit the amount of plutonium it produces, Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, says, expressing hope that the change will help alleviate Western objections that the plutonium can be used in weapons.

July 18, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks Extended, Diplomats Say

Iran, the United States and the five other countries agree to a four-month extension of the negotiations, giving them more time to try to bridge a major difference over whether the country will be forced to dismantle parts of its nuclear infrastructure, according to senior Western diplomats involved in the talks.

July 14, 2014

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, accuses the West of trying to sabotage a reactor being built near Arak.Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iran Outlines Nuclear Deal; Accepts Limit

As the deadline for the talks approaches on Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, says the country could accept a freeze on its capacity to produce nuclear fuel at current levels for several years, provided it could eventually produce fuel unhindered.

The proposal will effectively extend a limited series of concessions Iran made last November as part of a temporary deal to get negotiations started on a permanent accord. In return, Iran wants step-by-step relief from sanctions that have substantially weakened its economy.

May 24, 2014

Iran Is Providing Information on Its Detonators, Report Says

The I.A.E.A. releases a report stating that Iran is beginning to turn over information related to its nuclear detonators. The agency says that Iran has provided “additional information and explanations,” including documents, to substantiate its claim that it had tested the detonators for “a civilian application.”

Jan. 12, 2014

From left, Foreign Ministers Laurent Fabius of France and William Hague of Britain, and Secretary of State John Kerry with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh of Jordan, in Paris. Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Negotiators Put Final Touches on Iran Accord

Iran and a group of six world powers complete a deal that will temporarily freeze much of Tehran’s nuclear program starting Jan. 20, in exchange for limited relief from Western economic sanctions.

The agreement faced opposition from Iranian hard-liners and Israeli leaders, as well as heavy criticism from some American lawmakers, who have threatened to approve further sanctions despite President Obama’s promise of a veto.

Nov. 24, 2013

The negotiators in Geneva early Sunday morning. President Obama hailed the agreement. Denis Balibouse/Reuters

Deal With Iran Halts Nuclear Program

The United States and five other world powers announce a landmark accord that would temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program and lay the foundation for a more sweeping agreement.

The aim of the accord, which is to last six months, is to give international negotiators time to pursue a more comprehensive accord that would ratchet back much of Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it could only be used for peaceful purposes.

Nov. 14, 2013

Obama Calls for Patience in Iran Talks

I.A.E.A. inspectors release a report stating that for the first time in years, they saw evidence that the Iranians have put the brakes on their nuclear expansion.

President Obama makes an appeal to Congress to give breathing space to his efforts to forge a nuclear deal with Iran.

Nov. 11, 2013
00:00
00:00

Iran is in a much different position now to negotiate on its nuclear program than it was four years ago when President Obama first broached the subject.

Iran Says It Agrees to ‘Road Map’ With U.N. on Nuclear Inspections

The I.A.E.A. says that Iran has agreed to resolve all outstanding issues with the agency, and will permit “managed access” by international inspectors to two key nuclear facilities. But the promise does not extend to the Parchin military site, which inspectors have been trying to see for months.

Marathon talks between major powers and Iran fail to ease sanctions on the country and produce a deal to freeze its nuclear program.

Oct. 16, 2013
00:00
00:00

Iran Talks Called Substantive

Iran and a group of six world powers say that they have engaged in “substantive” and “forward-looking” discussions on the disputed Iranian nuclear program and that they will reconvene on November 7.

The account of the two days of talks in Geneva came in a rare joint statement from Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Catherine Ashton, the foreign policy chief for the European Union, who is the lead negotiator with Iran.

Sept. 27, 2013
00:00
00:00

First Direct US-Iran Talk Since 1979

President Obama says he has spoken by phone with President Hassan Rouhani, the first direct contact between the leaders of Iran and the United States since 1979. Mr. Obama, speaking in the White House briefing room, said the two leaders discussed Iran’s nuclear program and said he was persuaded there was a basis for an agreement.

Moments before Mr. Obama’s announcement, Mr. Rouhani’s Twitter account posted this now-deleted message: “In a phone conversation b/w #Iranian & #US Presidents just now: @HassanRouhani: “Have a Nice Day!” @BarackObama: “Thank you. Khodahafez.”

Sept. 24, 2013
00:00
00:00

Rouhani, Blunt and Charming, Pitches a Moderate Iran in First U.N. Appearance

Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, turns himself into a high-speed salesman offering a flurry of speeches, tweets, televised interviews and carefully curated private meetings, intended to end Iran’s economic isolation.

At the United Nations General Assembly, he preaches tolerance and understanding, decries as a form of violence the Western sanctions imposed on his country and says nuclear weapons have no place in its future. He takes aim at Israel’s nuclear arsenal in a public – while the country’s leaders caution over what they deem as an empty charm offensive.

Sept. 19, 2013

Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new leader, received a private letter from President Obama about easing tensions between the countries.Vahid Salemi/Associated Press

Iran Said to Seek a Nuclear Accord to End Sanctions

Seizing on a perceived flexibility in a letter from President Obama to President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s leaders are focused on getting quick relief from crippling sanctions, a top adviser to the Iranian leadership says.

The adviser says that Mr. Obama’s letter, delivered about three weeks ago, promised relief from sanctions if Tehran demonstrated a willingness to “cooperate with the international community, keep your commitments and remove ambiguities.”

Aug. 28, 2013

Iran Slows Its Gathering of Enriched Uranium, Report Says

I.A.E.A. inspectors say that Iran is slowing its accumulation of enriched uranium that can be quickly turned into fuel for an atomic bomb. The report’s disclosure is significant politically because it delays the day when Iran could breach what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel last fall called a “red line” beyond which Iran would not be allowed to pass — the point at which it has enough purified uranium to quickly make a single nuclear weapon.

June 15, 2013

Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has been elected the next president of Iran.

Iran Elects New President

Voters overwhelmingly elect Hassan Rouhani, 64, a mild-mannered cleric who advocates greater personal freedoms and a more conciliatory approach to the world.

The diplomat sheik played a key role in Iran’s voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment in 2004, which Western powers responded to by asking for more concessions from Iran.

Mr. Rouhani replaces his predecessors’ foreign minister with Mohammad Javad Zarif, an American-educated diplomat known for his understanding of the West, and makes him responsible for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Rouhani also removes a hard-line nuclear scientists as head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, and replaces him with the former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi. In September, Iran’s longtime ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency will be replaced as well.

June 2013

U.S. Adds to Its List of Sanctions Against Iran

The Obama administration escalates sanctions against Iran for the fourth time in a week, blacklisting what it describes as a global network of front companies controlled by Iran’s top leaders, accusing them of hiding assets and generating billions of dollars worth of revenue to help Tehran evade sanctions.

The White House also accuses Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of personally directing an effort to bypass them.

The United States also blacklists Iranian petrochemical companies, its automotive industry and more than 50 Iranian officials, and threatens to sanction foreign banks that trade or hold Iran’s national currency, the rial.

May 22, 2013

Iran Is Seen Advancing Nuclear Bid

The I.A.E.A. says Iran has made significant progress across the board in its nuclear program, while negotiations with the West dragged on this spring. But it said that it has not gone past the “red line” that Israel’s leaders have declared could trigger military action.

In its last report before the Iranian elections next month, the agency also gives details that point to an emerging production strategy by the Iranians. One strategy involves speeding ahead with another potential route to a bomb: producing plutonium. The report indicates that Iran is making significant progress at its Arak complex, where it has built a heavy-water facility and is expected to have a reactor running by the end of next year.

May 9, 2013

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Those Aiding Iran

The United States expands its roster of those violating Iran sanctions, blacklisting four Iranian companies and one individual suspected of helping the country enrich nuclear fuel. It also singles out two other companies, including a Venezuelan-Iranian bank, accused of helping Iran evade other Western-imposed prohibitions on oil sales and financial dealings.

The penalties came a day after the Senate introduced legislation that could effectively deny the Iran government access to an estimated $100 billion worth of its own money parked in overseas banks, a step that proponents said could significantly damage Iran’s financial stability.

April 23, 2013

Fearing Price Increases, Iranians Hoard Goods

Iranians rush to supermarkets to buy cooking oil, red meat and other staples, stockpiling the goods over new fears of price spikes from a change in the official exchange rate that could severely reduce the already weakened purchasing power of the rial, the national currency.

Prices of staples are set to increase by as much as 60 percent because of the currency change.

Economists say the result is from a combination of severe Western sanctions and what many call the government’s economic mismanagement.

April 18, 2013

Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon. Next week he will travel to the Middle East to finalize the arms sale.Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

U.S. Arms Deal With Israel and 2 Arab Nations Is Near

The Defense Department is expecting to finalize a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates next week that will provide missiles, warplanes and troop transports to help them counter any future threat from Iran.

Israeli Officials Stress Readiness for Lone Strike on Iran

In an interview with the BBC, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, saying Israel has “different vulnerabilities and different capabilities” than the United States. “We have to make our own calculations, when we lose the capacity to defend ourselves by ourselves.”

Israeli defense and military officials have been issuing explicit warnings this week that Israel was prepared and had the capability to carry out a lone military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

April 12, 2013

US Blacklists an Iranian and Businesses Over Violation of Sanctions

The United States blacklists an affluent Iranian business executive, Babak Morteza Zanjani, and what it describes as his multibillion-dollar money laundering network, accusing them of selling oil for Iran in violation of the Western economic sanctions imposed over Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

On March 14, The Treasury Department, which administers the government’s Iran sanctions, blacklisted a Greek shipping tycoon, Dimitris Cambis, over what it called his scheme to acquire a fleet of oil tankers on Iran’s behalf and disguise their ownership to ship Iranian oil.

April 9, 2013

Family members of slain nuclear scientists stood with Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, far right, a nuclear official. Arash Khamoushi/Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA, via Associated Press

After Talks End, Iran Announces an Expansion of Nuclear Fuel Production

Iran’s president announces an expansion of the country’s uranium production and claims other atomic energy advances, striking a pugnacious tone in the aftermath of diplomatic talks thatended in an impasse with the big powers on April 6 in Kazakhstan.

April 8, 2013
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A look, provided by the United States Navy, at how its laser attack weapon works. The video is silent.

Navy Deploying Laser Weapon Prototype Near Iran

The U.S. announces that the Navy will deploy a laser weapon prototype in the Persian Gulf, where Iranian fast-attack boats have harassed American warships and where the government in Tehran is building remotely piloted aircraft carrying surveillance pods and, someday potentially, rockets.

The laser will not be operational until next year. It has been shown in tests to disable patrol boats and blind or destroy surveillance drones.

March 14, 2013

President Obama traveled to Israel on March 20, in a symbolic two-day visit to the country, the first of his presidency.

Iran Nuclear Weapon to Take Year or More, Obama Says

President Obama tells an Israeli television station that his administration believes it would take Iran “over a year or so” to develop a nuclear weapon.

Mr. Obama’s estimated timeline contrasts with Mr. Netanyahu’s stated belief that Israel and its Western allies are likely to have to intervene by the spring or summer, when, he says, Iran’s scientists will have enriched enough uranium to become a nuclear threat.

Feb. 26, 2013

Defiant Mood at Talks

Iran meets with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany in Kazakhstan, but talks end with no specific agreement over a proposal that would sharply constrain Iran’s stockpile of the most dangerous enriched uranium, in return for a modest lifting of some sanctions.

The six powers also agreed that Iran could keep a small amount of 20 percent enriched uranium — which can be converted to bomb grade with modest additional processing — for use in a reactor to produce medical isotopes.

Iranian oil sales have been reduced by half as a result of the international pressure on the country, and restrictions on financial transactions and transportation have created many difficulties for its leaders.

Feb. 23, 2013

New Deposits of Uranium

The state news agency IRNA quotes a report by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, saying that it had found significant new deposits of raw uranium and identified sites for 16 more nuclear power stations.

Iran’s raw uranium reserves now total around 4,400 tons, including discoveries over the past 18 months, IRNA quoted the report as saying.

A few weeks earlier, Ayatollah Khamenei said that his country was not seeking nuclear weapons but added that if Iran ever decided to build them, no “global power” could stop it.

Feb. 6, 2013

Speaking to air force commanders in Tehran on Feb. 6, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran “will not negotiate under pressure.” Khamenei Official Web site, via European Pressphoto Agency

U.S. Bolsters Sanctions

A new round of American sanctions take effect which state that any country that buys Iranian oil must put the purchase money into a local bank account. Iran cannot repatriate the money and can use it only to buy goods within that country. Violators risk severe penalties in doing business with the United States. Oil exports from Iran have already dropped by a million barrels a day.

A week earlier, Iran announces that it would deploy a new generation of centrifuges, four to six times as powerful as the current generation.

October 2012

Iran’s Currency Tumbles

After months of harsh, American-led sanctions, Iran’s currency, the rial, plunges 40 percent. The currency lost about half its value in 2012.

Most of that decline comes in a frenzy of speculative selling by Iranians worried that rapid inflation could render their money worthless. The government responds with a crackdown in which some money traders are arrested.

The depressed value of the rial forces Iranians to carry ever-fatter wads of bank notes to buy everyday items. But the sanctions also present a new complication to Iran’s banking authorities: they may not be able to print enough money.

Meanwhile, the European Union toughens sanctions against Iran, banning trade in industries like finance, metals and natural gas, and making other business transactions far more cumbersome.

Sept. 27, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations, displaying his red line for Iran’s nuclear program. Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Israel’s ‘Red Line’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel tells the United Nations that Iran’s capability to enrich uranium must be stopped before the spring or early summer, arguing that by that time Iran will be in a position to make a short, perhaps undetectable, sprint to manufacture its first nuclear weapon.

August 2012

New Work at Nuclear Site

The United Nations atomic agency reports that Iran has installed three-quarters of the nuclear centrifuges needed to complete a deep-underground site under a mountain near Qum for the production of nuclear fuel.

The I.A.E.A. also says that Iran may have sought to cleanse another site where the agency has said it suspects that the country has conducted explosive experiments that could be relevant to the production of a nuclear weapon.

Meanwhile, the United States imposes more punishing sanctions against Iran, aimed at its oil and petrochemical sectors, as well as its shipping trade, intensifying existing sanctions intended to choke off the revenue that Iran reaps from its two largest export industries.

July 1, 2012

The Neptune, an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, is part of a fleet of about 65 Iranian tankers serving as floating storage facilities for Iranian oil, each one given a nautical makeover to conceal its origin and make a buyer easier to find. Thomas Erdbrink

Embargo on Iranian Oil

A European Union embargo on Iranian oil takes effect, playing a large role in severely restricting Iran’s ability to sell its most important export.

In retaliation, Iran announces legislation intended to disrupt traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, a vital Persian Gulf shipping lane, and tests missiles in a desert drill clearly intended as a warning to Israel and the United States.

In January 2013, Iran’s oil minister, Rostam Qasemi, acknowledged for the first time that petroleum exports and sales had fallen by at least 40 percent in the previous year, costing the country $4 billion to $8 billion each month.

May 24, 2012

Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, in Baghdad. Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

Talks With West Falter

After a brief spurt of optimism, talks between Iran and six world powers on its disputed nuclear program fail to produce a breakthrough in Baghdad. The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany wanted a freeze on Iranian production of uranium enriched to 20 percent purity, which is considered a short step from bomb grade. The Iranians wanted an easing of the onerous economic sanctions imposed by the West and a recognition of what they call their right to enrich. The countries agree to meet again in June, but talks were further slowed after a new regimen of harsh economic sanctions and a statement from the International Atomic Energy Agency that said Iran had made ”no progress” toward providing access to restricted sites it suspects of being used to test potential triggers for nuclear warheads.

March 2012

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad surveying the centrifuges at Iran’s underground complex at Natanz in March 2007.Office of the Iranian President

New Centrifuges at Natanz

Iran says it is building about3,000 advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz plant.

Meanwhile, I.A.E.A. inspectors are still trying to gain access to the Parchin site, 20 miles south of Tehran, to ascertain whether tests have been carried out there on nuclear bomb triggers.

But satellites images show that the site has been extensively cleaned by the Iranians.

Jan. 11, 2012
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Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency supplied this photo of what it said was Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan’s car after the bombing.Meghdad Madadi/Fars News Agency, via Associated Press

Bomb Kills Nuclear Scientist

A bomber on a motorcycle kills Mostafa Ahmadi Rosha, a scientist from the Natanz site, and his bodyguard. Iran blames Israel and the United States. The Americans deny the accusation, but Israel is more circumspect.

Dec. 4, 2011

Iran displayed the drone for propaganda purposes, with photographs of ayatollahs who led Iran’s revolution behind it and a desecrated version of the American flag. Revolutionary Guards, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A Blow to U.S., as Drone Crashes

A stealth C.I.A. drone, the RQ-170 Sentinel, crashes near the Iranian town of Kashmar, 140 miles from the Afghan border. It is part of a stepped-up surveillance program that has frequently sent the United States’ most hard-to-detect drone into Iran to map suspected nuclear sites.

Iran asserts that its military downed the aircraft, but American officials say the drone was lost because of a malfunction.

Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz.Hasan Sarbakhshian/Associated Press

Natanz Plant Recovers

After a dip in enriched uranium production in 2010 because of the cyberattacks, Iranian production recovers. While the United States and Israel never acknowledged responsibility for the cyberprogram, Olympic Games, some experts argue that it set the Iranians back a year or two. Others say that estimate overstates the effect.

With the program still running, intelligence agencies in the United States and Israel seek out new targets that could further slow Iran’s progress.

November 2011

A poster of an Iranian gas field is a backdrop to passers-by in Asaluyeh. Newsha Tavakolian for The New York Times

West Expands Sanctions, and U.N. Offers Evidence on Nuclear Work

Major Western powers take significant steps to cut Iran off from the international financial system, announcing coordinated sanctions aimed at its central bank and commercial banks. The United States also imposes sanctions on companies involved in Iran’s nuclear industry, as well as on its petrochemical and oil industries.

The United Nations atomic agency releases evidence that it says make a “credible” case that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device” at its Parchin military base and that the project may still be under way.

Nov. 29, 2010

One of the two cars bombed in Tehran. Reuters

Bombings Strike Scientists in Iran

Unidentified attackers riding motorcycles bomb two of Iran’s top nuclear scientists, killing one and prompting accusations that the United States and Israel are again trying to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

The scientist who was killed, Majid Shahriari, reportedly managed a ”major project” for the country’s Atomic Energy Organization. His wounded colleague, Fereydoon Abbasi, is believed to be even more important; he is on the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions list for ties to the Iranian nuclear effort.

July 15, 2010

The Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, with his 7-year-old son, greeting family members in Tehran.Newsha Tavakolian/Polaris, for The New York Times

Iranian Scientist Defects to U.S., Then Reconsiders

Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist who American officials say defected to the United States in 2009, provided information about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and then developed second thoughts, returning to Iran. (After a hero’s welcome, he was imprisoned on treason charges and tortured, according to reports from Iran.)

The bizarre episode was the latest in a tale that has featured a mysterious disappearance from a hotel room in Saudi Arabia, rumors of a trove of new intelligence about Iran’s nuclear plants and a series of contradictory YouTube videos. It immediately set off a renewed propaganda war between Iran and the United States.

June 2010

Ambassadors to the United Nations, from right: Susan E. Rice of the United States, Mark Lyall Grant of Britain and Ruhakana Rugunda of Uganda voted to affirm a Security Council resolution on Iran while Turkey’s ambassador, Ertugrul Apakan, voted against it. Mario Tama/Getty Images

U.N. Approves New Sanctions

The United Nations Security Council levels its fourth round of sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions curtail military purchases, trade and financial transactions carried out by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which controls the nuclear program.

The Security Council also requires countries to inspect ships or planes headed to or from Iran if they suspect banned cargo. In addition, Iran is barred from investing in other countries’ nuclear enrichment plants, uranium mines and related technologies, and the Security Council sets up a committee to monitor enforcement.

Summer 2010

Computer Worms Leak Online; 1,000 Centrifuges Destroyed

The United States and Israel realize that copies of the computer sabotage program introduced in Natanz are available on the Internet, where they are replicating quickly. In a few weeks, articles appear in the news media about a mysterious new computer worm carried on USB keys that exploits a hole in the Windows operating system. The worm is named Stuxnet.

President Obama decides not to kill the program, and a subsequent attack takes out nearly 1,000 Iranian centrifuges, nearly a fifth of those operating.

February 2010

Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.Herwig Prammer/Reuters

Work on Warhead

The United Nations’ nuclear inspectors declare for the first time that they have extensive evidence of “past or current undisclosed activities” by Iran’s military to develop a nuclear warhead.

The report also concludes that some Iranian weapons-related activity apparently continued “beyond 2004,” contradicting an American intelligence assessment published in 2008 that concluded that work on a bomb was suspended at the end of 2003.

January 2010

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in 2011. Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Leaked Gates Memo on U.S. Policy

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warns in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability.

When the memo becomes public in April, Mr. Gates issues a statement saying that he wishes to dispel any perception among allies that the administration had failed to adequately think through how to deal with Iran.

September 2009

Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and President Obama, in Pittsburgh, accused Iran of building a secret nuclear fuel plant.Doug Mills/The New York Times

Warning on Nuclear ‘Deception’

American, British and French officials declassify some of their most closely held intelligence and describe a multiyear Iranian effort, tracked by spies and satellites, to build a secret uranium enrichment plant deep inside a mountain.

The new plant, which Iran strongly denies is intended to be kept secret or used for making weapons, is months from completion and does nothing to shorten intelligence estimates of how long it would take Iran to produce a bomb. American intelligence officials say it will take at least a year, perhaps five, for Iran to develop the full ability to make a nuclear weapon.

April 8, 2009

U.S. Joins Regular Iran Talks

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announces that the United States will participate in talks with Iran involving five other nations: Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.

July 19, 2008

The negotiators Saeed Jalili of Iran, left, and William J. Burns, third from right, in Geneva. Pool photo by Denis Balibouse

Talks End in Deadlock

International talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions end in deadlock despite the Bush administration’s decision to reverse policy and send William J. Burns, a senior American official, to the table for the first time.

Iran responds with a written document that fails to address the main issue: international demands that it stop enriching uranium. Iranian diplomats reiterate before the talks that they consider the issue nonnegotiable.

2008

U.S. – Israel Cyberattacks Begin

President George W. Bush rejects a secret request by Israel for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wants for an attack on Iran’s nuclear program. The Bush administration is alarmed by the Israeli idea to fly over Iraq to reach Iran’s major nuclear complex at Natanz and decides to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Mr. Bush will hand off the major covert program to President Obama.

The United States works with Israel to begin cyberattacks, code-named Olympic Games, on computer systems at the Natanz plant. A year later, the program is introduced undetected into a controller computer at Natanz. Centrifuges begin crashing and engineers have no clue that the plant is under attack.

December 2006

First Round of U.N. Sanctions

The Security Council unanimously approves sanctions intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program. The sanctions ban the import and export of materials and technology used in uranium enrichment and reprocessing and in the production of ballistic missiles.

Aug. 26, 2006

The heavy-water plant in Arak, south of Tehran.Iran/Reuters

Iran Opens a Heavy-Water Reactor

Just days before Iran is supposed to suspend enrichment of uranium or face the prospect of sanctions, President Ahmadinejad formally kicks off a heavy-water production plant in Arak, 120 miles southwest of Tehran, which would put Iran on the path to obtaining plutonium, a fuel used in nuclear weapons.

In November, Iran seeks international assistance to ensure safe operation for a 40-megawatt reactor it is building. Citing broader doubts about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the United Nations atomic agency, the United States and European countries oppose offering help.

January 2006

A satellite image of Natanz in 2007.GeoEye/SIME, via Associated Press

Natanz Production Is Restarted

Iran resumes uranium enrichment at Natanz after negotiations with European and American officials collapse.

The I.A.E.A. approves a resolution to report Iran’s nuclear program to the Security Council, citing “the absence of confidence” among the atomic agency’s members “that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.”

Aug. 3, 2005

President Ahmadinejad offended Israel in his speech on the rule of law at a United Nations conference in 2012. Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Ahmadinejad Elected President

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, known only as a secular conservative and a former mayor of Tehran, becomes president. He becomes a divisive figure in world affairs, cheering on the development of Iran’s nuclear program despite orders from the United Nations Security Council to halt it, calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map’’ and describing the Holocaust as “a myth.”

Mid-July, 2005

With Laptop Files, U.S. Seeks to Prove Iran’s Nuclear Aims

Senior American intelligence officials present the International Atomic Energy Agency with the contents of what they say is a stolen Iranian laptop containing more than a thousand pages of Iranian computer simulations and accounts of experiments — studies for crucial features of a nuclear warhead.

Intelligence reports reveal that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a little-known Iranian scientist, leads elements of Iran’s weaponization program known as Project 110 and Project 111.

But doubts about the intelligence persist among some experts, in part because American officials, citing the need to protect their source, have largely refused to provide details of the origins of the laptop beyond saying that they obtained it in mid-2004 from a source in Iran who they said had received it from a second person, now believed to be dead.

Nov. 7, 2004

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi talking to reporters in Tehran ahead of nuclear talks in Paris. Abedin Taherkenareh/European Pressphoto Agency

Violation and New Agreement

Iran violates the agreement, charging that the Europeans reneged on their promises of economic and political incentives. After 22 hours of negotiations, an Iranian delegation and senior officials from France, Germany, Britain and the European Union come to a preliminary agreement to immediately suspend Iran’s production of enriched uranium. The Iranian foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, praises the so-called Paris Agreement but emphasizes that any suspension will be temporary.

In a few weeks, the I.A.E.A verifies Iran’s suspension of its enrichment activities, with one exception: its request to use up to 20 sets of centrifuge components for research and development.

2003

An Iranian missile displayed by the Revolutionary Guards under a portrait of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, in September 2003. Henghameh Fahimi/Agence France-Presse

Nuclear Program Is Suspended

Possibly in response to the American invasion of Iraq, which was originally justified by the Bush administration on the grounds that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Ayatollah Khamenei orders a suspension of work on what appear to be weapons-related technologies, although he allows uranium enrichment efforts to continue.

Inspectors with the United Nations atomic agency find traces of highly enriched uranium at the Natanz plant, and Iran concedes to demands, after talks with Britain, France and Germany, to accept stricter international inspections of its nuclear sites and to suspend production of enriched uranium.

2002

Discovery of Secret Plants

Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iranian dissident group also known as the M.E.K., obtains and shares documents revealing a clandestine nuclear program previously unknown to the United Nations.

The program includes a vast uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water plant at Arak. In December, satellite photographs of Natanz and Arak appear widely in the news media. The United States accuses Tehran of an “across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction,” but takes relatively little action because it is focused on the approaching invasion of Iraq the next year.

Iran agrees to inspections by the I.A.E.A. It also signs an accord with Russia to speed up completion of the nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

May 1999

Mohammad Khatami in 2009. Hasan Sarbakhshian/Associated Press

Proposal for Nuclear-Free Mideast

President Mohammad Khatami of Iran goes to Saudi Arabia, becoming the first Iranian leader since 1979 to visit the Arab world.

He issues a joint statement with King Fahd expressing concerns about Israel’s nuclear weapons program and support for ridding the Middle East of nuclear weapons. In 2003, Iran supports such a proposal initiated by Syria.

July 1996

President Bill Clinton addressing reporters in July 1996. Joe Marquette/Associated Press

Sanctions Against Iran and Libya

With growing intelligence estimates that Iran may secretly be trying to build a nuclear weapon, President Bill Clinton signs a bill imposing sanctions on foreign companies with investments in Iran and Libya. Such rules are already in place for American companies.

Jan. 8, 1995

A Russian engineer checking equipment at the Bushehr nuclear plant in April 2007.Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iran and Russia Sign Nuclear Contract

Iran announces that it will sign an $800 million contract with Russia to complete construction on one of two light water reactors at the Bushehr nuclear plant within four years. After many delays, the project was completed in 2010.

The United States has been persuading countries like Argentina, India, Spain, Germany and France to prohibit the sale of nuclear technology to Iran’s civilian program.

June 4, 1989

The body of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was displayed to hundreds of thousands of Iranians at his funeral.Agence France-Presse

New Supreme Leader

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s nominal president for eight years, becomes supreme leader after Ayatollah Khomeini dies.

Late 1980s

The Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan in Islamabad in 1988.B.K.Bangash/Associated Press

Help From Pakistani Scientist

In the late 1980s, Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani metallurgist and the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, sells Iran, North Korea and Libya his uranium enrichment technology, and in Libya’s case, a bomb design. The transactions do not become public until years later.

In 2005, the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency is on the verge of reviewing Tehran’s nuclear program when Iranian officials admit to a 1987 meetingwith Dr. Khan’s representatives. But Tehran tells the agency that it turned down the chance to buy the equipment required to build the core of a bomb.

1984

Iraqi gunners used a Soviet 130-milllimeter field gun to shell the Iranian cities of Abadan and Khurramshahr.United Press International

Nuclear Program Restarts

The Iran-Iraq war, from 1980 to 1988, changes Iran’s thinking about the nuclear program. With Saddam Hussein pursuing a nuclear program in Iraq, Ayatollah Khomeini secretly decides to restart Iran’s program and seeks the assistance of German partners to complete the construction at Bushehr, which was damaged by bombs during the war.

Feb. 11, 1979

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini descending from the Air France plane that returned him to Tehran after 15 years in exile.United Press International

Khomeini Comes to Power

Prime Minister Bakhtiar is overthrown by followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, an exiled cleric, after bloody clashes in Tehran.

The new leader is uninterested in the nuclear program and ends the shah’s effort. Many nuclear experts flee the country.

Any nuclear cooperation between Iran and the United States breaks down completely with the American Embassy hostage crisis from November 1979 until January 1981.

Jan. 16, 1979

The deposed shah, with Empress Farah and two of their children, in the Bahamas in 1979, where they dodged questions from photographers. Associated Press

Shah Flees

The shah is overthrown and flees the country, in what becomes known as the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar takes over and cancels the $6.2 billion contract for the construction of two nuclear power plants at the Bushehr complex.

The United States retracts a deal it had made with Iran a year earlier and stops supplying enriched uranium for the Tehran research reactor.

1973

The Bushehr nuclear plant on Aug. 21, 2010, as its first fuel rod was loaded. Getty Images

Creation of Atomic Energy Body

The shah creates the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which conducts training for its personnel and nuclear deals with countries including the United States, France, West Germany, Namibia and South Africa. By training engineers in Iran and abroad, the country gains a solid understanding of nuclear technologies and capabilities.

A year later, Kraftwerk Union, a West German company, agrees to construct two light water reactors to produce nuclear energy at the Bushehr complex, 470 miles south of Tehran. Construction begins in 1974 but the contract is not signed until 1976.

By the late 1970s, the United States becomes worried that Iran may harbor nuclear weapon ambitions.

July 1, 1968

Iran Signs Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

With the American-provided research reactor running, starting in 1967, Iran becomes one of 51 nations to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, agreeing to never become a nuclear-weapon state.

1950s

Nuclear Program Begins

Iran begins a civilian nuclear program in the 1950s, led by Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who reaches a deal through the Eisenhower administration’s Atoms for Peace program. Under the agreement, the United States agrees to provide a nuclear research reactor in Tehran and power plants.

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Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 423: February 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 422: February 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 420: February 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 407: January 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 406: January 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 405: January 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 404: January 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 403: January 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 402: January 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 401: January 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Story 1: Army Charges Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl For Dissertion and Miss Behavior — If Found Guilty Should Be Executed — Death To Deserters and Traitors — Remember The Six Soldiers Who Were Killed Searching For Bergdahl — Pfc. Matthew Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen. Bottom row from left: Pfc. Morris Walker, Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey, 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews — Do Not Forget President Obama Released 5 Taliban Commanders For 1 Deserter — A Federal Crime of Giving Aid and Support To Terrorists — Impeach Obama — Videos

US-AFGHANISTAN-MILITARY-HOSTAGE-BERGDAHLheroes_bergdahl_AWOL

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl charged with desertion

Army statement on Sgt Bowe Bergdahl court martial

Could This POW Be Charged With Desertion

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters Smoking Hot ➡ Nukes Obama Admin On Bergdahl Return To Regular Duty

The Bergdahl Decision – Lt Col Ralph Peters: The White House Is Pressuring The Army – Hannity

Six Soldiers Who Served with Bergdahl Speak Out • Kelly File • 6/5/14 •

Platoon Mates Say Bowe Bergdahl Was A Deserter • Kelly File • 6/2/14

What happened the night he disappeared

O’Reilly: Bergdahl Deal Another Example of Obama’s Damaged Leadership

Col. David Hunt: Clean up Bergdahl and then court martial him for being a deserter

Bergdahl’s Fellow Soldier: He’s “At Best A Defector, At Worst A Traitor”

Bowe Bergdahl: A Case Study In Desertion (Part 1)

Bowe Bergdahl: A Case Study In Desertion (Part 2)

Priceless cost for Bowe Bergdahl desertion 6 killed searching

High Priceless cost for Bowe Bergdahl desertion and the minimum six men reportedly killed during the search for him. Top row from left: Pfc. Matthew Martinek, Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen. Bottom row from left: Pfc. Morris Walker, Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey, 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews

Bowe Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers consider him a deserter

The REAL Reason Obama Traded Taliban Defector Bergdahl For Five Terrorists

Bill O’Reilly: Is Susan Rice a moron?

Susan Rice: Bergdahl Served With ‘Honor and Distinction’

Ambassador Susan Rice on Release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

Susan Rice: Bergdahl Served with “Honor and Distinction” 

Carney Won’t Say If Susan Rice Misspoke When She Said Bergdahl Served “With Honor And Distinction”

Susan Rice Defends Bowe Bergdahl Comments

Army nears decision on charges of desertion for Bergdahl

Officials: Detainee Swapped For Bergdahl Suspected Of Militant Activities

Bowe Bergdahl to face desertion charges: NBC

Michael Hastings Widow Speaks Out For The First Time To Piers Morgan,Piers Asks Was His Death

Traitor Bowe Bergdahl Linked to Michael Hastings Murder

Bowe Bergdahl Charged With Desertion and Misbehavior Before the Enemy

Bowe Bergdahl, once missing U.S. soldier, charged with desertion

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who was recovered in Afghanistan last spring after five years in captivity, is being charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s attorney, told The Washington Post that his client was handed a charge sheet on Tuesday. Army officials announced they will provide an update in his case at 3:30 p.m. at Fort Bragg, N.C., but declined to discuss new developments ahead of the news conference.

Bergdahl, 28, went missing from his base in Paktika province on June 30, 2009, and is believed to have grown disillusioned with the U.S. military’s mission in Afghanistan. He was held captive in Pakistan by the Haqqani network, an insurgent group allied with the Taliban, until the White House swapped him for five Taliban officials in a deal brokered through the government of Qatar.

The charges come after a lengthy investigation launched last June after his recovery and a review by Gen. Mark A. Milley, the commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg. Bergdahl has faced a slew of accusations from his fellow soldiers that he abandoned them on the battlefield and triggered a manhunt that diverted resources from the war effort and put lives in danger.

Bergdahl will faces charges under articles 85 and 99 of the military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice, Fidell said.

Article 85, desertion, applies to a service member who “quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service.” The maximum sentence for those convicted is death, although no soldier has faced that punishment since 1944, when Pvt. Eddie Slovik was executed by a firing squad after running away from combat duty in France.

Article 99, misbehavior before the enemy, applies to a service member who has run away in the face of the enemy, abandoned his unit, cast aside his weapon or ammunition or willfully failed “to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy.”

Thousands of U.S. service members are believed to have deserted their units during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Bergdahl’s case is uncommon because he allegedly did so while on the battlefield. Most have escaped while in the United States, escaping prosecution in Canada, parts of Europe or other relatively friendly locations.

Bergdahl’s case has been controversial, with questions over whether the Obama administration handled the prisoner swap legally. Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security, also provoked criticism when she said after Bergdahl’s recovery that he had served “with honor and distinction.” She later acknowledged the remark was controversial, and said she was referring to the soldier’s decision to enlist in the first place.

“That, in and of itself, is a very honorable thing,” she said.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/03/25/bowe-bergdahl-once-missing-u-s-soldier-charged-with-desertion/?hpid=z1

How did 6 die after Bowe Bergdahl’s disappearance?

By Jake Tapper, CNN

Much attention has been given to the claim made by the former platoonmates of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that he is partly to blame for the deaths of six soldiers who were killed in the months after Bergdahl disappeared.

Some soldiers have gone so far as to say the six died while searching for Bergdahl. Others say he is indirectly to blame — after Bergdahl vanished, essentially every operation became a mission to find their lost colleague in one way or another, they say.

“I can’t really say I blame Bergdahl to the fullest extent,” former Staff Sgt. Justin Gerleve, Bergdahl’s squad leader, told CNN last week, “but if he wouldn’t have deserted us, these soldiers very well could have been in a different place at a different time, rather than the place at the time of their death.”

Soldiers killed after Bergdahl left unitSoldiers killed after Bergdahl left unit

Interviews with soldiers familiar with the specific missions in which the six died suggest the charge is complicated — but not without merit given how much the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment became focused on “PR” — personnel recovery — after Bergdahl vanished from his guard post on June 30, 2009.

Bergdahl’s five years in captivity

Bergdahl’s friend: I want to know why

Who is Bowe Bergdahl?

“The fact of the matter is, when those soldiers were killed, they would not have been where they were at if Bergdahl had not have left,” said former Sgt. Evan Buetow, Bergdahl’s former team leader. “Bergdahl leaving changed the mission.”

Those charges were repeated by a noncommissioned officer who requested anonymity because he is still in the Army, one who described himself as a two-time voter for President Obama, lest anyone think his comments were political in any way.

“If Bergdahl hadn’t left it’s entirely plausible that they wouldn’t have had those follow-on missions or been where they were,” said the NCO, who served in the 501st.

Some also argue that the personnel recovery mission angered the local population, and created patterns in troops’ movement that made insurgent attacks easier.

None of that has been enough to quell critics who accuse the soldiers of smearing Bergdahl and exaggerating the role his disappearance played in the deaths of the six men.

A New York Times story cited by critics of the soldiers from the 501st now calling Bergdahl a deserter doesn’t go into much detail about the six men from Bergdahl’s battalion, instead focusing on a separate attack that killed two mortarmen.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he didn’t “know of circumstances or details of U.S. soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find and rescue Sgt. Bergdahl.”

A U.S. official told CNN last week that Pentagon and Army officials have looked at the claims, and “right now there is no evidence to back that up.”

The six men killed were in the 501st Infantry. All of them were killed in Paktika Province between August 18 and September 6, 2009, after the intense initial search for Bergdahl concluded but within the two- to three-month period when, by accounts from more than 20 members of the 501st, essentially every mission in the province had a PR component to it. One of those killed was from Comanche Company, two of those killed were in Bergdahl’s Blackfoot Company, three were from Headquarters Company.

Here are the circumstances and details, gleaned from interviews with more than a dozen troops in the 501st, all of whom said they were motivated entirely by getting the truth out, regardless of the politics.

1) August 18, 2009 — Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen and Pfc. Morris Walker were killed by an IED

Bowen and Morris were part of Headquarters Company, but attached to Comanche Company, which “was conducting a recon of polling sites in order to prepare for the election on August 20,” recalls a former officer from the 501st, one of whom describes his politics as left of center but who asked not to be named because of the rhetoric and accusations being leveled against troops who served with Bergdahl.

In the aftermath of the initial search for Bergdahl, called DUSTWUN (for DUTY STATUS: WHEREABOUTS UNKNOWN), the officer recalls, “there were numerous polling sites that had to be closed because security was so poor. Their platoon slept overnight at a remote site, and when they started rolling again the next morning, an IED detonated.

A 501st soldier with Comanche Company recalled the device “had been located right under their right back tire.”

The mission was not specifically focused on personnel recovery but the officer said he believes Bergdahl’s disappearance played something of a role in the attack since this “was the absolute worst part of western Paktika province, and it was the subject of numerous air assaults in July” that were directly focused on Bergdahl. “I believe those contributed to the worsening security situation.”

Bowen, 29, was from San Antonio, Texas. Walker, 23, was from Fayetteville, North Carolina.

2) August 26, 2009 — Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss is killed by small arms fire

This incident occurred after the battalion received information that the Taliban shadow sub-governor of Sar Hawza district in Paktika province — a man who went by the name “Muslim” — had effectively taken a local clinic hostage as he received medical treatment for wounds he received during the election, according to the former officer from the 501st.

To the leadership of the 501st, the name “Muslim” prompted an immediate response as he was supposedly connected to Bergdahl’s captors, the former officer said.

An intelligence source told CNN the incident involved a commander with the terrorist Haqqani network, working directly for Mullah Sangin Zadran, the Paktika shadow governor, widely believed to have Bergdahl in his custody. “He was important as part of the mission to get to Bergdahl,” the source said.

The former 501st officer echoed that detail: “The relation to Bergdahl made him a priority target.”

The 4th Platoon from Delaware Company was sent to seize the Taliban official. Some from the insurgent group surrendered, but “Muslim” was nowhere to be found.

“Curtiss took his squad to search an empty building adjacent to the clinic that the Afghan National Police had supposedly cleared,” the officer recalled. “It was empty, but a storage room door was wedged shut. He and his squad kicked in the door, and Curtiss was the first guy in.”

Troops there that day say “Muslim” had been in the room hiding with three bodyguards, who shot Curtiss.

Additionally, 501st sources say, the insurgents threw Curtiss’ grenades at the squad, after which a two-hour firefight ensued — one that ended with Apache helicopters strafing the building. The building caught fire and killed all the insurgents except for one bodyguard, who was severely wounded. Curtiss’ body was recovered before the fire.

Curtiss, 27, was from Salt Lake City, and had already done two deployments in Iraq. He left behind a wife, son and daughter.

3) September 4, 2009 — 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews and Pfc.Matthew Michael Martinek are attacked by an IED and a rocket-propelled grenade

Andrews and Martinek were in Bergdahl’s company, Blackfoot, and were in the village of Palau, just outside of Yaya Kayhl, one of the last places where Bergdahl was believed to have gone. After Bergdahl disappeared, local Afghans and intercepted insurgent chatter placed him in that area, according to multiple sources with the 501st.

Andrews and Martinek were there to conduct atmospherics — basically check anything and everything around Palau.

According to several sources in Blackfoot Company, among the many questions those soldiers wanted answered was: where is Bergdahl? Where are the guys who have him? Was Palau connected with the insurgents — who by then it was believed — had transported Bergdahl to Pakistan?

But the platoon hit an IED. In the aftermath, a cluster of soldiers tried to hook the vehicle up to chains for the wrecker and were stuck out there for hours on end. In the midst of the effort, an RPG hit them and an insurgent ambush began, according to multiple soldiers with Blackfoot company.

Andrews yelled that the RPG was coming and knocked a bunch of guys out of the way. “Jason watch out,” were said to have been his last words, soldiers told Andrews’ father. He was killed instantly.

The ambush brought relentless amounts of RPG and heavy artillery fire on the platoon. Martinek was trying to call for air support when he took a severely debilitating artillery round. He lived long enough to get to Landstuhl in Germany where he was taken off life support and died on September 11.

Other members of the platoon faced severe wounds, from a jaw blown off, to deafness, to severe psychological issues from that day, according to sources in Blackfoot company and the 501st. It wasn’t a formal DUSTWUN mission, but it wasn’t unrelated, the former 501st officer said.

Moreover, says Buetow, Blackfoot Company’s mission tasking was about to change.

“We were told we were moving south to start focusing on another area of the province,” Buetow says. “Our four-day mission to Observation Post Mest was going to be our last trip out there before moving south. Bowe Bergdahl left, so we then stayed in that area for several more months. We stayed in the area because Bergdahl was last known to be in that area. If he had never deserted, Andrews and Martinek would not have been on patrol in that area.”

Andrews, 34, was from Dallas. He and his wife had a 2-year-old son and were expecting their second child when he was killed. Martinek, 20, was from Dekalb, Illinois.

Andrews’ heroism eats at former Spc. Jose Baggett, a member of Blackfoot Company. “He pushed a sergeant out of the way” of the RPG, “and now I’m stuck watching” Bergdahl get attention from politicians, the military and the media “and they’re dead and he’s alive.”

4) September 5, 2009 — Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey is hit by an IED

Da Dila Panegir village was part of an area that had been subject to searches during the DUSTWUN, and Comanche Company was charged with trying to win the locals back. That day they conducted a foot patrol to hand out supplies and meet with the leaders. In the course of the mission, Murphrey stepped on a pressurized plate that unleashed an IED and was severely wounded; he died at Forward Operating Base Sharana’s hospital the next day.

That mission “wasn’t an exact search, it was a ‘Keep your eyes out for Bowe Bergdahl while you’re there,'” said former Spc. Joseph Cox of Comanche Company, who calls Murphrey his best friend and squad leader.

And yet, the intensity of the DUSTWUN search had also enraged Afghans, soldiers said.

“Our platoon alone conducted more than 20 inserted missions operations within three days. There were massive insertions to find him,” Cox said.

“This mission was probably the least related to Bergdahl” of the four missions, the former officer said, “but it was definitely in an area previously targeted — an area where they already hated us before, but hated us more because of the search.”

Murphrey, 25, left behind a wife, son, and daughter.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby had no specific comment about the four operations.

“Each death in war is tragic in its own right,” Kirby said. “We will always keep in our thoughts and prayers those we have lost, as well as their families. The Army will review the circumstances surrounding Sgt. Bergdahl’s disappearance and captivity. Our focus right now is on making sure Sgt. Bergdahl gets the care he needs to recover and reunite with his family.”

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/08/us/bergdahl-search-soldiers/

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Breaking News Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes in Test Flight — One Test Pilot Killed and One Test Pilot Seriously Injured — Are You Going Into Space — You Bet — The X Prize — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 361: October 31, 2014

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Story 1: Breaking News Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes in Test Flight — One Test Pilot Killed and One Test Pilot Seriously Injured — Are You Going Into Space — You Bet — The X Prize Vision — Videos

how-virgin-galactic’s-space-ship-two-passengers-space-plane-works spaceship-2virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-seating Virgin-Galactic-VSS-Enterprise-2WhiteKnight2 and SpaceShip2 over the Mojave, Ca area July 15, 2010._46877588_virgin_spaceship1_2Inside-the-Virgin-Space-Shipspaceship2-recordspaceship2-virgin-galactic-supersonic-record-branson-10 Virgin-Galactic-Spaceship-Two-testparachutetotal lossvirgin_spacecrafvirgin-galactic-2injured pilot

STATEMENT FROM VIRGIN GALACTIC

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Virgin Galactic’s partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo earlier today. During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle. Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time. We will work closely with the relevant authorities to determine the cause of the accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so.

http://www.virgingalactic.com/news/item/statement-from-virgin-galactic/

Virgin Galactic

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Pilot killed in Virgin spaceship crash -VIRGIN GALACTIC SPACESHIPTWO CRASHES, OCT. 31, 2014

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$500 Million Spaceship Explodes, Crashes in Calif. Desert

 

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test (VIDEO)

Virgin Atlantic Spaceship 2 Explodes In Flight and Crashes Virgin Calls it an “Anomaly” happened

BREAKING NEWS SPACE ROCKET ACCIDENT VIRGIN GALACTIC SPACESHIP TWO TEST MOJAVE CALIFORNIA 10/31/2014

Virgin Galactic spaceship crash in Mojave desert – the remains of the spacecraft – October 31 2014

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Virgin Galactic’s Second Rocket Powered Flight Tail Footage

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Exclusive footage of the first feather flight, Mojave, CA, May 2011. Filmed by Mobile Aerospace Reconnaissance System (MARS) & The Clay Center Observatory.

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Breaking

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes during testing

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed after it had an “in-flight anomaly” during testing Friday, according to a Mojave Air and Space Port spokesperson.

The status of its pilots is unknown.

A statement from Virgin Galactic said its partner Scaled Composites conducted the test flight Friday, during which a “serious anomaly” led to the “loss of the vehicle.”

This was the company’s first rocket-powered test flight in nine months. In January, SpaceShipTwo reached 71,000 feet – its highest altitude so far.
Virgin Galactic has conducted testing for the spacecraft in the Mojave Desert at Mojave Air and Space Port, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

British billionaire Richard Branson’s commercial space venture in May announced an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration that helped clear the path to send paying customers on a suborbital flight.

 

The agreement sets the parameters for how routine missions to space will take place in national airspace. It does not yet give the company a license to launch these missions.

The company’s plans have been repeatedly delayed. Branson said earlier this month at a celebration in Mojave that it was “on the verge” of going to space, but he did not give a timeframe.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-virgin-galactics-spaceship-anomaly-testing-20141031-story.html

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes: 1 Dead, 1 Injured

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane exploded and crashed during a powered test flight on Friday, resulting in one fatality and one injury, authorities said.

The explosion occurred after the plane was released from its WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane and fired up its rocket engine in flight for the first time in more than nine months.

“During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement. “The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft landed safely. Our first concern is the status of the pilots.”

Jesse Borne, an officer at the California Highway Patrol, told NBC News that there was one fatality and one major injury.

The flight originated from the Mojave Air and Space Port, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of Los Angeles. The Federal Aviation Administration said two crew members were aboard SpaceShipTwo — which is consistent with Virgin Galactic’s practice of having two test pilots who are equipped with parachutes. The pilots have not yet been identified.

Photographer Ken Brown, who was covering the test flight, told NBC News that he saw an explosion high in the air and later came upon SpaceShipTwo debris scattered across a small area of the desert. The Mojave airport’s director, Stuart Witt, said the craft crashed north of Mojave. He deferred further comment pending a news conference that is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET).

Keith Holloway, a Washington-based spokesman for the National Transportation and Safety Board, said “we are in the process of collecting information.” The FAA said it was also investigating the incident.

New kind of fuel tested

During the nine months since the previous rocket-powered test in January, Virgin Galactic switched SpaceShipTwo’s fuel mixture from a rubber-based compound to a plastic-based mix — in hopes that the new formulation would boost the hybrid rocket engine’s performance.

Before Friday’s flight, the most recent aerial outing was on Oct. 7, when SpaceShipTwo took an unpowered, gliding flight back to the Mojave runway.

The latest test got off to a slow start. SpaceShipTwo spent more than three hours on the Mojave runway, slung beneath its WhiteKnightTwo mothership, while the ground team assessed whether the weather was right for flight. The go-ahead was finally given for takeoff at 9:19 a.m. PT (12:19 p.m. ET).

It took WhiteKnightTwo about 45 minutes to get to 50,000 feet, the altitude at which it released SpaceShipTwo for free flight.

The flight was part of Virgin Galactic’s long-running program to test SpaceShipTwo in preparation for suborbital trips to the edge of outer space. Virgin Galactic had said the first trip to an outer-space altitude — usually defined as 100 kilometers, or 62 miles — could have taken place before the end of the year, depending on how the tests went. The company’s billionaire founder, Richard Branson, was hoping to ride on the first commercial flight next year.

More than 700 customers have paid as much as $250,000 for a ride on the rocket plane.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/virgin-voyage/virgin-galactics-spaceshiptwo-crashes-1-dead-1-injured-n238376

Branson’s Virgin Galactic Spaceship in catastrophic explosion and crash: One pilot dead and another critical as experimental plane blows up on test flight over California

  • SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power and then tweeted that it had ‘experienced an in-flight anomaly’
  • Virgin Galactic confirmed craft had exploded 
  • Images show parts of the craft on the ground 
  • Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Kate Winslet among those who have signed up to fly in the spacecraft 
  • Second space disaster in a week after Antares rocket exploded 
  • Sir Richard Branson had pledged to be on first commercial flight with his family 
  • More than 700 customers have paid as much as $250,000 for a seat on the plane, which cost $500 million to develop 

Virgin Galactic’sSpaceShipTwo spacecraft has exploded during a test flight over the Mojave desert, killing one of the two pilots onboard.

Onlookers reported seeing an explosion and debris from the craft.

Two pilots were onboard, and authorities confirmed one was dead, with the second being taken to hospital in Lancaster with serious injuries aboard a helicopter.

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Parts of the crashed spacecraft in the Mojave desert. SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power after being released from its mothership - then Virgin tweeted that it had 'experienced an in-flight anomaly.'

Parts of the crashed spacecraft in the Mojave desert. SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power after being released from its mothership – then Virgin tweeted that it had ‘experienced an in-flight anomaly.’

Two pilots were onboard, and authorities confirmed one was dead, with the second being taken to hospital in Lancaster with serious injuries aboard a helicopter (pictured)

Two pilots were onboard, and authorities confirmed one was dead, with the second being taken to hospital in Lancaster with serious injuries aboard a helicopter (pictured)

Part of SpaceShip Two's fuselage on the desert floor

Part of SpaceShip Two’s fuselage on the desert floor

Onlookers saw at least one parachute from the craft, which has two crew members.

‘Virgin Galactic’s partner Scaled Composites conducted a powered test flight of #SpaceShipTwo earlier today,’ Virgin Galactic said in a tweeted statement.

‘During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo. WK2 landed safely.

‘Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time.

‘We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates ASAP.’

The company earlier tweeted that SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power and then tweeted that it had ‘experienced an in-flight anomaly.’

Richard Branson said in a statement, ‘Thoughts with all at Virgin Galactic & Scaled, thanks for all your messages of support. I’m flying to Mojave immediately to be with the team.’

Wreckage of Virgin Galactic’s space tourism rocket

Parachutes were spotted in the area, and ABC captured this image of them on the ground

Parachutes were spotted in the area, and ABC captured this image of them on the ground

Twitter users have begun posting pictures of the debris to Twitter

Twitter users have begun posting pictures of the debris to Twitter

Virgin Galactic's Spaceship 2 in flight. The rocket exploded today, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another

Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship 2 in flight. The rocket exploded today, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another

The FAA is investigating and released a statement saying, ‘Just after 10 a.m. PDT today, ground controllers at the Mojave Spaceport lost contact with SpaceShipTwo, an experimental space flight vehicle.

‘The incident occurred over the Mojave Desert shortly after the space flight vehicle separated from WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle that carried it aloft.

‘Two crew members were on board SpaceShipTwo at the time of the incident. WhiteKnightTwo remained airborne after the incident.’

HOW VIRGIN GALACTIC WILL TAKE PASSENGERS TO SPACE

SpaceShipTwo has been under development at Mojave Air and Spaceport in the desert northeast of Los Angeles.

SpaceShipTwo is carried aloft by a specially designed mothership and then released before igniting its rocket for suborbital thrill ride into space and then a return to Earth as a glider.

Ticket cost: The starting price for flights is $250,000 (£150,000) – the first ceremonial flight will be undertaken by Richard Branson and his family.

Training: Passengers are required to go through a ‘Pre-Flight Experience Programme’, including three days of pre-flight preparing onsite at the spaceport to ensure passengers are physically and mentally fit to fly.

Once aboard: SpaceShipTwo will carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows – one to the side and one overhead.

A climb to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. Passengers become 'astronauts' when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth's atmosphere, at which point SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier aircraft, White Knight II. The spaceship will make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 3.5 hours.The spaceship accelerates to approximately 3,000 mph - or nearly four times the speed of sound

A climb to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere, at which point SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier aircraft, White Knight II. The spaceship will make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 3.5 hours.The spaceship accelerates to approximately 3,000 mph – or nearly four times the speed of sound

The space ship is 60ft long with a 90inch diameter cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity.

Flight path: A climb to 50,000ft before the rocket engine ignites. Passengers become ‘astronauts’ when they reach the Karman line, the boundary of Earth’s atmosphere, at which point SpaceShipTwo separates from its carrier aircraft, White Knight II.

The spaceship will make a sub-orbital journey with approximately six minutes of weightlessness, with the entire flight lasting approximately 3.5 hours.

The spaceship accelerates to approximately 3,000 mph – or nearly four times the speed of sound

Flight frequency: Initially one per week, eventually to have two flights per day.

Photographer Ken Brown, who was covering the test flight, told NBC News that he saw a midflight explosion and later came upon SpaceShipTwo debris scattered across a small area of the desert.

Two pilots fly in SpaceShipTwo’s cockpit during a test.

Those pilots are equipped with parachutes, and after the anomaly, at least one chute was reportedly sighted over the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, the base from which SpaceShipTwo and its WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane took off.

Bakersfield’s KGET-TV quoted the Mojave airport’s director, Stuart Witt, as saying that the craft crashed east of Mojave.

A tweet from Virgin Galactic said more information would be forthcoming.

Kern County Fire Department reports it is heading to a location in the Mojave Desert.

California Highway Patrol Officer Darlena Dotson says the agency is responding to a report of a crash in the Cantil area.

SpaceShipTwo made its last powered test flight on Jan. 10.

The Virgin logo is seen clearly in this image of the wreckage

The Virgin logo is seen clearly in this image of the wreckage

Cars and emergency vehicles line up near the crash site

Cars and emergency vehicles line up near the crash site

A closer look at the wreckage from the explosion

A closer look at the wreckage from the explosion

SpaceShipTwo’s pilots include, among other, Frederick ‘CJ’ Sturckow, Michael Masucci and Peter Siebold.

Sturckow, 53, is a former NASA pilot and was snapped up by Virgin Galactic in May 2013 after an illustrious career including 1,200 hours in space and lengthy military service.

He lives in Lakeside, California with his wife, earned his aviator wings in 1987 and was deployed overseas with the military to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Bahrain. He flew 41 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm and led 30 plane airstrikes into Iraq and Kuwait. During his service, he logged more than 6,500 fight hours in more than 60 different aircraft.

According to his NASA profile, he was selected by the space agency in December 1994 and subsequently worked in roles including the Lead for Kennedy Space Center and Chief of the Astronaut Office International Space Station Branch. He went on to log 1,200 hours in space, including during the first International Space Station assembly mission in 1998 and aboard three other missions to the International Space Station between 2001 and 2009.

In 2011, he was named as the backup commander for the penultimate mission of the Space Shuttle program, allowing Commander Mark Kelly to support his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, as she recovered from an attempted assassination in Tuscon.

CJ Sturckow gets splashed with water after guiding Virgin Galactic's private SpaceShipTwo through an unpowered 'glide flight'

CJ Sturckow gets splashed with water after guiding Virgin Galactic’s private SpaceShipTwo through an unpowered ‘glide flight’

Pilot Michael Masucci celebrates as well with a little water

Pilot Michael Masucci celebrates as well with a little water

Sturckow (in red hat), Pete Siebold (with arms crossed in sunglasses) and Masucci (far right)

Sturckow (in red hat), Pete Siebold (with arms crossed in sunglasses) and Masucci (far right)

Along with Sturckow, 51-year-old Michael Masucci – known as ‘Sooch’ – works out of Virgin Galactic’s Mojave, California location to conduct flight training and testing. He joined the team in 2013.

Masucci, a retired U.S. Air Force (USAF) Lieutenant Colonel has more than 30 years of civilian and military operational and test flying experience and has logged more than 9,000 flying hours in 70 different types of airplanes and gliders.

Before joining Virgin Galactic, he served as a U-2 combat pilot in several operations and instructed at the USAF Test Pilot School, while also serving as a Branch Chief. As a U-2 test pilot he was instrumental in the development and testing of the aircraft’s glass cockpit and power upgrade programs, according to AeroNews. The married dad also worked for XOJET Inc., a private company based in Brisbane, California where he captained a Citation X, a business jet aircraft.

FAA Inspector John Penney, pilot Todd 'Leif' Ericson and Masucci

FAA Inspector John Penney, pilot Todd ‘Leif’ Ericson and Masucci

SpaceShip2 coming in for a safe landing during a previous run

SpaceShip2 coming in for a safe landing during a previous run

Branson christening the WhiteKnightTwo, which landed safely today

Branson christening the WhiteKnightTwo, which landed safely today

Siebold flew his first solo flight and gained his pilot’s license at 16 – the youngest age possible – and went on to teach flight classes at the San Luis Obispo Airport while he was a student at Cal Poly. He completed his degree in 2001.

The 43-year-old, who lives in Tehachapi, California with his wife, was one of the test pilots for SpaceShipOne, a experimental spaceplane that completed the first manned private spaceflight in 2004. As a design engineer at its aerospace company Scaled Composites, Siebold was responsible for the simulator, navigation system, and ground control system for the SpaceShipOne project.

In 2009, he was awarded the Iven C. Kincheloe award – the most prestigious award a test pilot can receive – for his role as chief test pilot on the Model 348 WhiteKnightTwo plane, used to lift the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft to release altitude.

By the time of his award, he had logged about 2,500 hours of flight time in 40 different types of fixed wing aircraft, MustangNews reported.

On October 7, Virgin Galactic tweeted: ‘Pilots Pete Siebold (Scaled) and CJ Sturckow (Virgin Galactic) have landed #SpaceShipTwo safely after another great test flight.’

Incredible footage of Virgin Galactic’s third flight (Archive)

SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power after being released from its mothership - then Virgin tweeted that it had 'experienced an in-flight anomaly.'

SpaceShipTwo was flying under rocket power after being released from its mothership – then Virgin tweeted that it had ‘experienced an in-flight anomaly.’

In May, the company announced it was switching the fuel used in the vehicle’s hybrid rocket motor, hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene, a form of rubber, to a polyamide-based plastic.

During a media tour of Virgin Galactic’s Mojave facilities on Oct. 4 that marked the tenth anniversary of the final flight of SpaceShipOne, the suborbital vehicle that won the $10-million Ansari X Prize, company officials said they expected to resume powered test flights ‘imminently’ once qualification tests of the new motor were done.

At the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Oct. 15, Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said the company had completed those qualification tests.

‘We expect to get back into powered test flight quite soon,’ he said.

A HISTORY OF DELAYS

July 2008 – Branson predicts that  the maiden space voyage will take place within 18 months

October 2009 – Virgin Galactic says initial flights will take place from Spaceport America ‘within two years’

December 7, 2009 – SpaceShipTwo unveiled and Branson tells ticket holders that flights will being in 2011

April 2011 – Branson says that due to delays flights will not begin for another 18 months

April 29, 2013 – SpaceShipTwo has first test flight, but only achieves a speed of 920 mph, less than half the speed Branson predicted

May 14, 2013 – Branson says first flight will take place on December 25, 2013

September 2014 – Branson says first flight will happen in February or March of 2015

SpaceShipTwo has been under development at Mojave Air and Spaceport in the desert northeast of Los Angeles.

SpaceShipTwo is carried aloft by a specially designed jet and then released before igniting its rocket for suborbital thrill ride into space and then a return to Earth as a glider.

Seats on the flights into space are already being snapped for £250,000 ahead of the spring launch at Spaceport America in New Mexico.

Branson’s big project has also attracted a slew of big name passengers happy to pay for this once in a lifetime experience, including newlyweds Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; Justin Bieber and his manager Scooter Braun; Lady Gaga, who plans to try and sing in space; former pop star Lance Bass, who has long been vocal about his desire to head to space; and Ashton Kutcher, who was the 500th customer to purchase a ticket. Russell Brand also got a ticket for his birthday from ex-wife Katy Perry when the two were married. Perry bought a ticket as well so Brand would not have to go alone.

Stephen Hawking and Kate Winslet are also set to fly, but got their seats for free. Winslet because she is married to Branson’s nephew, Ned RocknRoll, and Hawking because Branson wanted to offer the legendary astrophysicist a chance to go into space.

The ship attached to its mothership

The ship attached to its mothership

However, Sir Richard is facing a ‘backlash’ from some of the nearly 700 passengers who have already paid for a ticket on the craft.

Some stumped up the fee as long ago as 2005, but still have no idea when they will eventually reach space.

The 600-plus takers for the flights are already benefiting from their ticket purchase, which by extension enters them into an exclusive club that has seen them visit Necker Island and the Mojave Desert with Branson along with undertaking G-force training.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2816224/Virgin-Galactic-spaceship-flight-problem.html#ixzz3Hl17hd8L
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SpaceShipTwo Flew on Untested Rocket

Richard Branson’s plane meant to carry tourists into space never tested a new engine using new fuel before it flew—and exploded—over California on Friday.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed in the California desert Friday after testing a new rocket motor for the first time in flight. The company said an “in-flight anomaly” occurred. Law enforcement said one pilot was killed and the other was seriously injured.

“During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement it released to NBC News. “Our first concern is the status of the pilots, which is unknown at this time. We will work closely with relevant authorities to determine the cause of this accident and provide updates as soon as we are able to do so.”

SpaceShipTwo had been slung under the jet-powered carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo before taking off. WhiteKnightTwo carried SpaceShipTwo to 50,000 feet before releasing it for free flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration provided additional details on what happened next.

“Just after 10 a.m. PDT today, ground controllers at the Mojave Spaceport lost contact with SpaceShipTwo, an experimental space flight vehicle,” FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told The Daily Beast in an email. “The incident occurred over the Mojave Desert shortly after the space flight vehicle separated from WhiteKnightTwo, the vehicle that carried it aloft. Two crew members were on board SpaceShipTwo at the time of the incident.”
The WhiteKnightTwo remained airborne after the incident and landed safely.

The National Transportation Safety Board also will investigate the crash, a spokesman told The Daily Beast.

SpaceShipTwo was testing a new plastic-based rocket fuel for the first time Friday. An eyewitness told The Daily Beast that the spacecraft exploded shortly after the rocket motor was ignited. The spaceship had not flown a powered flight in about nine months because engineers were switching out its original engine that used rubber-based rocket fuel for the new engine, which used plastic-based fuel.

Scaled Composites, which built the spacecraft, had experienced some problems with the new rocket, which until Friday had only been tested on the ground. While the new motor holds much promise of greatly increased performance, there were some serious risks associated with the new rocket—as Friday’s incident proved.

With the new rocket installed, SpaceShipTwo was expected to fly more than five times higher than it had ever flown before—right to the edge of space at 62 miles above the Earth. In some ways, SpaceShipTwo, which was to reach a maximum speed of about 2,500 miles per hour during its ascent into space, was pushing the limits of its virtually untested design.

It was not the first time Virgin pushed limits to get into space. A new biography about SpaceShipTwo’s patron, Richard Branson, by investigative journalist Tom Bower makes that clear. Rocket engineers Geoff Daly and Caroline Campbell were critical of one of the components of the original rubber-based fuel: nitrous oxide. Campbell warned: “Nitrous oxide can explode on its own.” Another toxic component of the fuel was hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene, a form of rubber. Campbell said that when the engine ran there was “so much soot coming out the back, burning rubber, that it could be carcinogenic.”
In 2007, the unattached rocket engine using that fuel was being tested on the ground in the Mojave desert when it exploded and killed three of 40 engineers observing the test. Investigators found that safety regulations at the site had been violated and that the men killed had been too close to the rocket motor.

After tests this January, it was decided to the fuel powering the rocket engine should have its rubber removed. The reason was not toxicity but that the fuel did not provide consistent and stable power, and the test pilots had to shut down the engine prematurely. Before SpaceShipTwo could fly with the new fuel aboard it had to be extensively tested on the ground. As those tests were taking place, Branson told Bloomberg TV: “It took us a lot longer to build rockets that we felt completely comfortable with.”
SpaceShipTwo was expected to usher in a new era of commercial space travel: More than 700 people had already paid more than $250,000 each for a chance to leave the planet and experience the weightlessness of space flight. Branson himself had been planning to fly onboard the spacecraft by next year.

Friday’s incident, however, throws all of that into question.

 

Virgin Galactic’s Flight Path to Disaster: A Clash of High Risk and Hyperbole

Sir Richard Branson’s a consummate salesman, but his rhetoric and hopes got ahead of his company’s engineers.
It was always recklessly optimistic of Sir Richard Branson to imagine that he could go straight from experimental test flights of his Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two to carrying passengers in a matter of months.

That’s not the way that things work when you’re pushing at the edge of the unknown, as this program was.

And yet there was Sir Richard, only a few weeks ago, suggesting that once the ship had fired up its rocket motor with a new kind of fuel he would be riding the first passenger-carrying flight early next year.

He’s never seemed either to understand or admit how many technical challenges had to be faced before space tourism could be an everyday event, as safe and simple as flying an airline.

Every milestone in aviation and aerospace has been reached only after exhaustive and often dangerous testing.

The closest parallel to the Galactic challenge is the example of Chuck Yaeger being the first man to successfully fly at supersonic speed in 1947.

It was called, rather dramatically, breaking the sound barrier. In fact, there was no barrier but there was much to be discovered about changes to the controllability of an airplane as it surged beyond the speed of sound.

Yaeger’s Bell X-1 rocket ship was a one-off experimental machine. It would be years before air force pilots could safely fly the supersonic fighters that evolved from these test flights into a very different form.

Yet Virgin Galactic posited the notion that an experimental test vehicle and the final form of a “spaceship for tourists” could be identical.

Both a rocket engine with a temperamental record and an airframe of revolutionary design and construction had to be proved safe. And not just safe for test pilots, but safe enough for the long line of celebrities who had signed up to ride the rocket.

All the Virgin Galactic test flying was done under a special experimental permit issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. To reach the point where SpaceShip Two could be cleared for carrying passengers Galactic needed to move from the experimental permit to being awarded an operator’s license.

That required a new 180-day review by the FAA to establish that all the systems were thoroughly tested and fail-safe. But remember, this was uncharted territory for the FAA just as it was for Galactic. Indeed, by submitting to the FAA review Galactic was being asked to set the standards for all who followed… if they could.

It was a very tall order. Branson wanted a vehicle that could carry six passengers, two pilots and reach a speed of 2,500mph and a height of around 65 miles, ten times the height at which an airliner cruises.

By any measure, this accident will have set back the development program by years. Will backers want to pour ever more money into this black hole?
When the FAA certifies a new airliner as safe it is normal for the airplane builder, like Boeing or Airbus, to put as many a six airplanes into the test program, all flying at the same time, to test every aspect of the design and its safety—and this for a technology that is in most parts wholly mature. Even then it can take several years to receive certification. The principle is clear: the design must have multiple redundancies so that no single failure can jeopardize the airplane.

But here Virgin was fielding only one test vehicle that embodied a whole set of completely untried systems. Everything was being staked on the two test pilots being able to anticipate potential failures and the ground engineers likewise poring over the test results to detect weak points before they had catastrophic results. Despite this, Virgin asked the FAA to begin their review for the operator’s license in August 2013, and that was when the 180-day clock started ticking.

However, as that period neared its end it was obvious that SpaceShip Two was nowhere near completing its test flights and passing every safety milestone that it needed to. So Virgin voluntarily asked the FAA to stop the clock.

The program was facing its most daunting test, firing up the rocket engine to full power and for long enough to reach that apogee of 65 miles high.

Early this year a test flight proved that the fuel being used for the rocket would never meet that goal. The power delivered by the rocket motor was uneven and tricky to control. On the first powered test flights the pilots had prematurely to shut down the engine.
Then a critical change was ordered—a fuel using a new formula that was thought to be more stable and deliver more power. This fuel was repeatedly tested on the ground. But no ground test can replicate the conditions of a flight—key factors like temperature, air pressure and far lower gravitational pull affect the way the fuel behaves.

On Friday morning the pilots prepared for the first flight with the new fuel. There was, I am told, a two-hour delay caused by concerns about the temperature of the fuel. Nonetheless, the test pilots, both known to be scrupulous in their preparations, felt confident enough to go. So SpaceShip Two was lifted aloft by the mother ship, WhiteKnight Two, and separated at 40,000 feet to “light the candle” as rocket ignition is called. Disaster followed.

There are many consequences to this failure. Not the least is what it implies for the financing of the project. After years of delays the costs have gone beyond a billion dollars. More than a third of that money has come from Abar, an investment fund based in Abu Dhabi. (This was made available in return for an undertaking by Virgin to build a space tourism base in the Gulf.) By any measure, this accident will have set back the development program by years. Will backers want to pour ever more money into this black hole?

Then there is the case of Spaceport America in New Mexico, near the small city of Truth & Consequences. This cost local taxpayers $212 million to build in the hope that they would become the center of the new industry of space tourism.

It’s not exactly clear how many people have signed up to ride SpaceShip One – Galactic has claimed that as many as 800 people have paid deposits on the $250,000 fare but the numbers are squishy. For these people the disaster over the Mojave Desert is a sobering wake-up call. What to many must have seemed the prospect of a spectacular joy ride is now better appreciated as a thrill from the very edge of what is safely attainable.

From the beginning in 2004 there has always been a credibility gap between the fairground hyperbole of Branson’s formidable publicity machine and the scientific reality of the enterprise. Somehow, probably because he is such a consummate showman, Branson has been able, year after year, to override the story of continual delays, flagrant over-promises and a voracious, seemingly open-ended budget. This time it’s different. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation will deliver a forensic rigor that has been so far lacking. It will strip away the vocabulary of the promoter. And it will reveal the world as lived daily by the engineers and test pilots who knew how much was left to be understood among the hazards of the dream.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/31/spaceshiptwo-flew-on-untested-rocket-motor.html

 

SpaceShipTwo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SpaceShipTwo
SS2 and VMS Eve.jpg
SpaceShipTwo (central fuselage) carried under itsmothership, White Knight Two.
Role Passenger spaceplane
Manufacturer The Spaceship Company
First flight 10 October 2010 (first glide flight)
29 April 2013 (first powered flight)
Primary user Virgin Galactic
Developed from SpaceShipOne

The Scaled Composites Model 339 SpaceShipTwo (SS2) is a suborbital, air-launched spaceplane designed for space tourism. It is under development as part of the Tier 1b program[1] under contract to The Spaceship Company, a California-based company that is wholly owned by its sister company Virgin Galactic. The Spaceship Company was formerly a joint venture between Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, but Virgin became the company’s sole owner in 2012.[2]

SpaceShipTwo is carried to its launch altitude by a jet-powered mothership, the Scaled Composites White Knight Two, before being released to fly on into the upper atmosphere, powered by a rocket motor. It then glides back to Earth and performs a conventional runway landing.[3] The spaceship was officially unveiled to the public on 7 December 2009 at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.[4] On 29 April 2013, after nearly three years of unpowered testing, the spacecraft successfully performed its first powered test flight.[5]

Virgin Galactic plans to operate a fleet of five SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes in a private passenger-carrying service, starting in 2014,[6][7][8][9] and have been taking bookings for some time, with a suborbital flight carrying an initial ticket price of US$200,000.[10] The spaceplane could also be used to carry scientific payloads for NASA and other organizations.[11]

On 31 October 2014 during a test flight, VSS Enterprise, the first SpaceShipTwo craft, experienced an in-flight anomaly followed by a catastrophic explosion and crash in the Mojave desert.[12][13][14] One pilot was confirmed dead, another is being treated for serious injuries. [15]

Design overview

A schematic diagram of SpaceShipTwo.

The SpaceShipTwo project is based in part on technology developed for the first-generation SpaceShipOne, which was part of the Scaled Composites Tier One program, funded by Paul Allen. The Spaceship Company licenses this technology from Mojave Aerospace Ventures, a joint venture of Paul Allen and Burt Rutan, the designer of the predecessor technology.

SpaceShipTwo is a low-aspect-ratio passenger spaceplane. Its capacity will be eight people: six passengers and two pilots. The apogee of the new craft will be approximately 110 km (68 mi) in the lower thermosphere, 10 km (6.2 mi) higher than the Kármán line which was SpaceShipOne’s target (though the last flight of SpaceShipOne reached a one-time altitude of 112 km (70 mi)). SpaceShipTwo will reach 4,200 km/h (2,600 mph), using a single hybrid rocket motor – the RocketMotorTwo.[16] It launches from its mothership,White Knight Two, at an altitude of 15,000 metres (50,000 ft), and reaches supersonic speed within 8 seconds. After 70 seconds, the rocket motor cuts out and the spacecraft will coast to its peak altitude. SpaceShipTwo’s crew cabin is 3.7 m (12 ft) long and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) in diameter.[17] The wing span is 8.2 m (27 ft), the length is 18 m (60 ft) and the tail height is 4.6 m (15 ft) .[18]

SpaceShipTwo uses a feathered reentry system, feasible due to the low speed of reentry – by contrast, the Space Shuttle and other orbital spacecraft re-enter at orbital speeds, closer to 25,000 km/h (16,000 mph) , using heat shields. SpaceShipTwo is furthermore designed to re-enter the atmosphere at any angle.[19] It will decelerate through the atmosphere, switching to a gliding position at an altitude of 24 km (15 mi), and will take 25 minutes to glide back to the spaceport.

SpaceShipTwo and White Knight Two are, respectively, roughly twice the size of the first-generation SpaceShipOne and mothership White Knight, which won theAnsari X Prize in 2004. SpaceShipTwo has 43 and 33 cm (17 and 13 in) -diameter windows for the passengers’ viewing pleasure,[18] and all seats will recline back during landing to decrease the discomfort of G-forces.[20] Reportedly, the craft can land safely even if a catastrophic failure occurs during flight.[21] In 2008, Burt Rutan remarked on the safety of the vehicle:

This vehicle is designed to go into the atmosphere in the worst case straight in or upside down and it’ll correct. This is designed to be at least as safe as the early airliners in the 1920s…Don’t believe anyone that tells you that the safety will be the same as a modern airliner, which has been around for 70 years.[19]

In September 2011, the safety of SpaceShipTwo’s feathered reentry system was tested when the crew briefly lost control of the craft during a gliding test flight. Control was reestablished after the spaceplane entered its feathered configuration, and it landed safely after a 7-minute flight.[22]

Fleet and launch site

The launch customer of SpaceShipTwo is Virgin Galactic, who have ordered five vehicles.[23][24] The first two were named VSS (Virgin Space Ship) Enterprise[25]and VSS Voyager. As of August 2013, only VSS Enterprise has been flown;[26] VSS Voyager has yet to begin flight tests. The WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo crafts will take off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California during testing. Spaceport America – formerly Southwest Regional Spaceport, a US$212 million spaceport in New Mexico partly funded by the state government[27] – will become the permanent launch site when commercial launches begin.[17]

Development

On 28 September 2006, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson unveiled a mock-up of the SpaceShipTwo passenger cabin at the NextFest exposition at theJavits Convention Center in New York.[28] The design of the vehicle was revealed to the press in January 2008, with the statement that the vehicle itself was around 60% complete.[17] On 7 December 2009, the official unveiling and rollout of SpaceShipTwo took place. The event involved the first SpaceShipTwo being christened by then-Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger as the VSS Enterprise.[29]

2007 test explosion

On 26 July 2007, an explosion occurred during an oxidizer flow test at the Mojave Air and Space Port, where early-stage tests were being conducted on SpaceShipTwo’s systems. The oxidizer test included filling the oxidizer tank with 4,500 kilograms (10,000 lb) of nitrous oxide, followed by a 15-second cold-flow injector test. Although the tests did not ignite the gas, three employees were killed and three injured, two critically and one seriously, by flying shrapnel.[30]

Rocket engine

The hybrid rocket engine design for SpaceShipTwo has been problematic and caused extensive delays to the flight test program. The original rocket motor design was based on hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) fuel and nitrous oxide oxidizer – sometimes referred to as an N2O/HTPB engine[31][32] – from 2009–early 2014. In May 2014, the engine design was switched from a HTPB to a polyamide fuel formulation.

RocketMotorTwo

Main article: RocketMotorTwo

Between 2005 and 2009, Scaled Composites conducted numerous small-scale rocket tests to evaluate SpaceShipTwo’s engine design. After settling on the RocketMotorTwo hybrid rocket design, the company began performing full-scale hot-fire rocket tests in April 2009.[33] By December 2012, 15 full-scale tests had been successfully conducted,[33][34] and additional ground tests continued into March 2013.[35] In June 2012, the FAA issued a rocket testing permit to Scaled Composites, allowing it to begin SS2 test flights powered by RocketMotorTwo;[36] the first such powered flight took place on 29 April 2013.[37] The HTPB RocketMotorTwo design generated 60,000 lbf (270 kN) of thrust.[38]

2014 Change of fuel

In May 2014, Virgin Galactic announced a change to the fuel to be used in the SpaceShipTwo rocket engine. Rather than the rubber-based HTPB—HTPB engines had experienced serious engine stability issues on firings longer than approximately 20 seconds—the engine will now use a type of plastic called thermoplasticpolyamide as the solid fuel. The plastic fuel is projected to have better performance (by several unspecified measures) and will allow SpaceShipTwo to make flights to a higher altitude.[39][40][41]

As of May 2014, the new engine has already completed full-duration burns of over 60 seconds in ground tests on an engine test stand.[40]

SpaceShipTwo test flights

Main article: VSS Enterprise

SpaceShipTwo in a captive flight configuration underneath White Knight Two, during the runway dedication ofSpaceport America in October 2010.VMS Eve is shown carrying VSSEnterprise.

A view of the firing of SpaceShipTwo’s rocket motors during its first powered flight in April 2013.

As of October 2014, SpaceShipTwo has conducted 54 test flights.[42] The spacecraft has used its “feathered” wing configuration during ten of these test flights.[42][43][44]

In September 2012, Virgin Galactic announced that the unpowered subsonic glide flight test program was essentially complete.[45] In October 2012, Scaled Composites installed key components of the rocket motor, and SpaceShipTwo performed its first glide flight with the engine installed in December 2012.[46][47]

The spacecraft’s first powered test flight took place on 29 April 2013. Spaceshiptwo reached supersonic speeds in this first powered flight.[48][49] On 5 September 2013, the second powered flight was made by SpaceShipTwo.[50] The first powered test flight of 2014—and third overall—occurred 10 January 2014. The spacecraft reached an altitude of 22,000 metres (71,000 ft) (the highest to date) and a speed of Mach 1.4. The WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft released SpaceShipTwo (VSS Enterprise) at an altitude of 14,000 metres (46,000 ft) .[51]

Costs

SpaceShipTwo’s total development costs were estimated at around $400 million in May 2011, a significant increase over the 2007 estimate of $108 million.[52]

October 2014 crash

On October 31, 2014, SpaceShipTwo suffered an “anomaly” during a powered flight test,[53] resulting in a crash killing one pilot and injuring the other.[54] It was the first flight to use the new type of fuel.[55]

Commercial operation

The duration of the flights will be approximately 2.5 hours, though only a few minutes of that will be in space. The price will initially be $200,000.[56] More than 65,000 would-be space tourists applied for the first batch of 100 tickets. By December 2007, Virgin Galactic had 200 paid-up customers on its books for the early flights, and 95% were passing the 6-8 g centrifuge tests.[57] By the start of 2011, that number had increased to over 400 paid customers,[58] and to 575 by early 2013.[59] In April 2013, Virgin Galactic announced that the price for a seat would increase 25 percent to $250,000 before the middle of May 2013,[59] and would remain at $250,000 “until the first 1,000 people have traveled, so that it matches up with inflation since [Virgin Galactic] started.”[60]

Following 50–100 test flights, the first paying customers are expected to fly aboard the craft in 2014.[6] Refining the projected schedule in late 2009, Virgin Galactic declined to announce a firm timetable for commercial flights, but did reiterate that initial flights would take place from Spaceport America. Operational roll-out will be based on a “safety-driven schedule”.[61] In addition to making suborbital passenger launches, Virgin Galactic will market SpaceShipTwo for suborbital space sciencemissions.[61]

NASA sRLV program

By March 2011, Virgin Galactic had submitted SpaceShipTwo as a reusable launch vehicle for carrying research payloads in response to NASA‘s suborbital reusable launch vehicle (sRLV) solicitation, which is a part of the agency’s Flight Opportunities Program. Virgin projects research flights with a peak altitude of 110 km (68 mi) and a duration of approximately 90 minutes. These flights will provide approximately four minutes of microgravity for research payloads. Payload mass and microgravity levels have not yet been specified.[3] The NASA research flights could begin during the test flight certification program for SpaceShipTwo.

Future spacecraft

In August 2005, the president of Virgin Galactic stated that if the suborbital service with SpaceShipTwo is successful, the follow-up SpaceShipThree will be an orbital craft. In 2008, Virgin Galactic changed their plans and decided to make it a high-speed passenger vehicle, offering transport through point-to-point suborbital spaceflight.[62]

Production

While the first WhiteKnightTwo and the first SpaceShipTwo were built by Scaled Composites, The Spaceship Company has responsibility for the manufacture of the second WK2 aircraft and the second SS2 spacecraft for Virgin Galactic, as well as additional production craft as other customers for the vehicles emerge.[63] In October 2010, TSC announced plans to build three WhiteKnightTwo aircraft and five SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes.[64]

Specifications

Sources: [65][66]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 6 passengers
  • Length: 18.3 m (60 ft)
  • Wingspan: 8.3 m (27 ft)
  • Height: 5.5 m (18 ft – rudders down)
  • Loaded weight: 9,740 kg (21,428 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × RocketMotorTwo liquid/solid hybrid rocket engine

Performance

See also

References

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  2. Jump up^ “The Spaceship Company: Virgin Galactic acquires full ownership of The Spaceship Company”. Virgin Galactic. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “sRLV platforms compared”. NASA. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011. “SpaceShipTwo: Type: HTHL/Piloted”
  4. Jump up^ Amos, Jonathan (8 December 2009). “Richard Branson unveils Virgin Galactic spaceplane”. BBC News. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  5. Jump up^ “Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceship ignites engine in flight”. BBC. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b “Space Ship Completes 24th Test Flight in Mojave”. HispanicBusiness.com. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  7. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic to Launch Passengers on Private Spaceship in 2013”. Space.com. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  8. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic space tourism could begin in 2013”. BBC. 26 October 2011.
  9. Jump up^ John Schwartz (23 January 2008). “New Tourist Spacecraft Unveiled”. New York Times. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  10. Jump up^ Booking. Virgin Galactic. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  11. Jump up^ “Virgin spaceship aims to be science lab”. BBC. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  12. Jump up^ Foust, Jeff (2014-10-31). “SpaceShipTwo Destroyed in Fatal Test Flight Accident”. Space News. Retrieved 2014-10-31.
  13. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test”. October 31, 2014.
  14. Jump up^ Durden, Rick (31 October 2014). “Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes”.AVweb. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  15. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane crashes”. October 31, 2014.
  16. Jump up^ Scaled Composites LLC. “Project Test Summaries”. Scaled.com. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  17. ^ Jump up to:a b c Rob Coppinger. “Pictures: Virgin Galactic unveils Dyna-Soar style SpaceShipTwo design and twin-fuselage White Knight II configuration”. flightglobal.com. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  18. ^ Jump up to:a b “Spaceship Unveil Presspack”. Virgin Galactic. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  19. ^ Jump up to:a b Dignan, Larry (23 January 2008). “Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo; Plans open architecture spaceship”. Between the lines. ZDnet.com. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  20. Jump up^ Tariq Malik (28 September 2006). “Virgin Galactic Unveils SpaceShipTwo Interior Concept”. Space News. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
  21. Jump up^ Peter de Selding. “Virgin Galactic Customers Parting with Their Cash”. Space News. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
  22. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic’s private spaceship makes safe landing after tense test flight”.Space.com. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  23. Jump up^ “Richard Branson and Burt Rutan Form Spacecraft Building Company”.Space.com. 27 July 2005. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
  24. Jump up^ Malik, Tariq (23 January 2008). “Virgin Galactic Unveils Suborbital Spaceliner Design”. Space.com. Retrieved 25 January 2008.
  25. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic to Offer Public Space Flights”. Space.com. 27 September 2004. Retrieved 20 December 2007.
  26. Jump up^ “Scale comparison chart of Spaceshipone and Spaceshiptwo”. Gizmodo. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
  27. Jump up^ New era draws closer: Spaceport dedicates runway on New Mexico ranch. El Paso Times. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2010. “two-thirds of the $212 million required to build the spaceport came from the state of New Mexico…The rest came from construction bonds backed by a tax approved by voters in Doña Ana and Sierra counties.”
  28. Jump up^ Sophie Morrison (30 September 2006). “Buckled up for white knuckle ride”. BBC News. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
  29. Jump up^ Richard Branson unveils Virgin Galactic spaceplane. BBC News, 7 December 2009.
  30. Jump up^ Abdollah, Tami and Silverstein, Stuart (27 June 2007). “Test Site Explosion Kills Three”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 July 2007.
  31. Jump up^ “Propulsion Systems: multiple-burn, green and low-cost” (PDF). Sierra Nevada. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  32. Jump up^ “Safe Hybrid Rocket”. Overview – Safety. Virgin Galactic. 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  33. ^ Jump up to:a b RocketMotorTwo Hot-Fire Test Summaries. Scaled.com. Updated 9 August 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  34. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic successfully completes SpaceShipTwo glide flight test and rocket motor firing on same day”. SpaceRef.com. 28 June 2012.
  35. Jump up^ Richard Branson (5 March 2013). “This isn’t sci-fi”. Virgin.com. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  36. Jump up^ “SpaceShipTwo Gets Thumbs Up for Rocket-Powered Flights”. Flying Magazine. 1 June 2012.
  37. Jump up^ “SpaceShipTwo Test Summaries”. Scaled Composites. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  38. Jump up^ “SpaceShipTwo performs first Rocket-Powered Flight”. Spaceflight101.com. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  39. Jump up^ Foust, Jeff (2014-05-24). “Virgin Galactic changes fuels as it prepares for its next round of test flights”. NewSpace Journal. Retrieved 2014-05-25.
  40. ^ Jump up to:a b Boyle, Alan (2014-05-23). “Virgin Galactic Makes a Switch in SpaceShipTwo’s Rocket Motor”. NBC News. Retrieved 2014-05-24.
  41. Jump up^ “New Fuel to Boost SpaceShip Two”. Aviation Week. 2014-05-24. Retrieved 2014-05-27.
  42. ^ Jump up to:a b Wall, Mike (8 October 2014). “Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Aces Glide Test Flight”. Space.com. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  43. Jump up^ “Feather flight and nitrous vent test success”. Virgin Galactic. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  44. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic Reaches New Heights in Third Supersonic Test Flight”.virgingalactic.com. 10 Jan 2014. Retrieved 13 Jan 2014.
  45. Jump up^ Rosenberg, Zach. “Virgin Galactic finishes unpowered flight test”. FlightGlobal.com. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
  46. Jump up^ “SpaceShipTwo straps on its engine”. NBC. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  47. Jump up^ “SpaceShipTwo Fitted With Rocket Propulsion System”. Aviation Week. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  48. Jump up^ “SpaceShipTwo Test Summaries”. Scaled Composites. 8 August 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  49. Jump up^ “VIRGIN GALACTIC BREAKS SPEED OF SOUND IN FIRST ROCKET-POWERED FLIGHT OF SPACESHIPTWO”. Virgin Galactic. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  50. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Succeeds In Second Rocket-Powered Flight”. Forbes. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  51. Jump up^ http://www.universetoday.com/107979/spaceshiptwo-goes-supersonic-in-third-test-flight/
  52. Jump up^ “A Look at Cost Overuns and Schedule Delays in Major Space Programs”. ParabolicArc.com. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  53. Jump up^ http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/local/x1143260271/SpaceShipTwo-experiences-in-flight-anomaly
  54. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane crashes”. October 31, 2014.
  55. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Has Crashed, Possible Casualties”. Gizmodo. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  56. Jump up^ “Rich Chinese buying tickets to space”. Zee News. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
  57. Jump up^ “Virgin Galactic’s timetable for progress”. Spaceflight. Volume 50. British Interplanetary Society. February 2008. p.48.
  58. Jump up^ “Hold tight: SpaceShipTwo makes near-vertical plunge towards Earth on test flight as space tourism dream edges closer”. Daily Mail (London). 5 May 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  59. ^ Jump up to:a b Messier, Doug (29 April 2013). “Reserve Your SpaceShipTwo Seat Now — Big Price Increase Coming Soon”. ParabolicArc.com. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  60. Jump up^ “Ticket Price for Private Spaceflights on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Going Up”. Space.com. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  61. ^ Jump up to:a b Will Whitehorn (27 October 2009). International Astronautical Congress 2009: Civilian Access to Space (Video – comments at c. 20:00). Daejeon, Korea:Flightglobal Hyperbola. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  62. Jump up^ “SpaceShipThree poised to follow if SS2 succeeds”. Flight International. 23 August 2005. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
  63. Jump up^ Norris, Guy (8 July 2011). “An Inside Look At A New Spaceship Factory”.Aviation Week and Space Technology. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  64. Jump up^ “Spacecraft factory to break ground in Mojave”. Los Angeles Times. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  65. Jump up^ Overview – Spaceships. Virgin Galactic. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  66. Jump up^ “How Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Passenger Space Plane Works (Infographic)”. Space.com. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2012.

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceShipTwo

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Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                 USDL-14-1796
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, October 3, 2014

Technical information:
 Household data:	(202) 691-6378  •  cpsinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:	(202) 691-6555  •  cesinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:		(202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov


                        THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- SEPTEMBER 2014


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 248,000 in September, and the 
unemployment rate declined to 5.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, 
retail trade, and health care.

Household Survey Data

In September, the unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.9
percent. The number of unemployed persons decreased by 329,000 to 9.3 million.
Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were
down by 1.3 percentage points and 1.9 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates declined in September for
adult men (5.3 percent), whites (5.1 percent), and Hispanics (6.9 percent). The
rates for adult women (5.5 percent), teenagers (20.0 percent), and blacks (11.0
percent) showed little change over the month. The jobless rate for Asians was
4.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.
(See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary
jobs decreased by 306,000 in September to 4.5 million. The number of long-term
unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 3.0
million in September. These individuals accounted for 31.9 percent of the unemployed.
Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 1.2 million.
(See tables A-11 and A-12.) 

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, changed little in
September. The employment-population ratio was 59.0 percent for the fourth
consecutive month. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred
to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in September at 7.1 million.
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part
time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a
full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In September, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,
essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work,
and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as
unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
(See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 698,000 discouraged workers in September,
down by 154,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the labor
force in September had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or
family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 248,000 in September, compared with an
average monthly gain of 213,000 over the prior 12 months. In September, job growth
occurred in professional and business services, retail trade, and health care.
(See table B-1.)

Professional and business services added 81,000 jobs in September, compared with an
average gain of 56,000 per month over the prior 12 months. In September, job gains
occurred in employment services (+34,000), management and technical consulting
services (+12,000), and architectural and engineering services (+6,000). Employment
in legal services declined by 5,000 over the month.

Employment in retail trade rose by 35,000 in September. Food and beverage stores
added 20,000 jobs, largely reflecting the return of workers who had been off payrolls
in August due to employment disruptions at a grocery store chain in New England.
Employment in retail trade has increased by 264,000 over the past 12 months.

Health care added 23,000 jobs in September, in line with the prior 12-month average
gain of 20,000 jobs per month. In September, employment rose in home health care
services (+7,000) and hospitals (+6,000).

Employment in information increased by 12,000 in September, with a gain of 5,000
in telecommunications. Over the year, employment in information has shown little net
change.

Mining employment rose by 9,000 in September, with the majority of the increase
occurring in support activities for mining (+7,000). Over the year, mining has added
50,000 jobs.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places
continued to trend up in September (+20,000) and is up by 290,000 over the year.

In September, construction employment continued on an upward trend (+16,000).
Within the industry, employment in residential building increased by 6,000. Over
the year, construction has added 230,000 jobs.

Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in September (+12,000) and
has added 89,000 jobs over the year. In September, job growth occurred in insurance
carriers and related activities (+6,000) and in securities, commodity contracts,
and investments (+5,000).

Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade,
transportation and warehousing, and government, showed little change over the month.

In September, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.6 hours. The manufacturing workweek was unchanged at
40.9 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.5 hours. The average
workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls
edged down by 0.1 hour to 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $24.53,
changed little in September (-1 cent). Over the year, average hourly earnings
have risen by 2.0 percent. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector
production and nonsupervisory employees were unchanged at $20.67. 
(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +212,000
to +243,000, and the change for August was revised from +142,000 to +180,000.
With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 69,000 more
than previously reported.

_____________
The Employment Situation for October is scheduled to be released on Friday,
November 7, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).



 

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

[Numbers in thousands]
Category Sept.
2013
July
2014
Aug.
2014
Sept.
2014
Change from:
Aug.
2014-
Sept.
2014

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

246,168 248,023 248,229 248,446 217

Civilian labor force

155,473 156,023 155,959 155,862 -97

Participation rate

63.2 62.9 62.8 62.7 -0.1

Employed

144,270 146,352 146,368 146,600 232

Employment-population ratio

58.6 59.0 59.0 59.0 0.0

Unemployed

11,203 9,671 9,591 9,262 -329

Unemployment rate

7.2 6.2 6.1 5.9 -0.2

Not in labor force

90,695 92,001 92,269 92,584 315

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

7.2 6.2 6.1 5.9 -0.2

Adult men (20 years and over)

7.0 5.7 5.7 5.3 -0.4

Adult women (20 years and over)

6.2 5.7 5.7 5.5 -0.2

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

21.3 20.2 19.6 20.0 0.4

White

6.3 5.3 5.3 5.1 -0.2

Black or African American

13.0 11.4 11.4 11.0 -0.4

Asian (not seasonally adjusted)

5.3 4.5 4.5 4.3

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

8.9 7.8 7.5 6.9 -0.6

Total, 25 years and over

5.9 5.0 5.1 4.7 -0.4

Less than a high school diploma

10.4 9.6 9.1 8.4 -0.7

High school graduates, no college

7.5 6.1 6.2 5.3 -0.9

Some college or associate degree

6.1 5.3 5.4 5.4 0.0

Bachelor’s degree and higher

3.7 3.1 3.2 2.9 -0.3

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

5,803 4,859 4,836 4,530 -306

Job leavers

984 862 860 829 -31

Reentrants

3,165 2,848 2,845 2,809 -36

New entrants

1,211 1,087 1,066 1,105 39

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,571 2,587 2,609 2,383 -226

5 to 14 weeks

2,685 2,431 2,449 2,508 59

15 to 26 weeks

1,802 1,412 1,486 1,416 -70

27 weeks and over

4,125 3,155 2,963 2,954 -9

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

7,914 7,511 7,277 7,103 -174

Slack work or business conditions

4,955 4,609 4,261 4,162 -99

Could only find part-time work

2,548 2,519 2,587 2,562 -25

Part time for noneconomic reasons

18,919 19,662 19,526 19,561 35

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

2,302 2,178 2,141 2,226

Discouraged workers

852 741 775 698

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Sept.
2013
July
2014
Aug.
2014(p)
Sept.
2014(p)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

164 243 180 248

Total private

153 239 175 236

Goods-producing

22 63 14 29

Mining and logging

6 9 2 9

Construction

13 30 16 16

Manufacturing

3 24 -4 4

Durable goods(1)

9 27 0 7

Motor vehicles and parts

2.9 13.7 -4.5 3.3

Nondurable goods

-6 -3 -4 -3

Private service-providing(1)

131 176 161 207

Wholesale trade

11.3 3.0 2.5 1.8

Retail trade

27.3 25.4 -4.7 35.3

Transportation and warehousing

23.1 21.1 8.5 1.9

Information

13 10 5 12

Financial activities

-1 15 12 12

Professional and business services(1)

37 50 63 81

Temporary help services

19.7 15.7 24.6 19.7

Education and health services(1)

9 37 42 32

Health care and social assistance

14.5 40.7 40.7 22.7

Leisure and hospitality

9 10 20 33

Other services

2 3 10 0

Government

11 4 5 12

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES(2)
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES

Total nonfarm women employees

49.5 49.4 49.4 49.3

Total private women employees

48.1 47.9 47.9 47.9

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.6 82.6 82.6 82.6

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.5 34.5 34.5 34.6

Average hourly earnings

$24.06 $24.46 $24.54 $24.53

Average weekly earnings

$830.07 $843.87 $846.63 $848.74

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

99.1 101.0 101.2 101.7

Over-the-month percent change

0.1 0.2 0.2 0.5

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

113.8 117.9 118.5 119.0

Over-the-month percent change

0.3 0.3 0.5 0.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

33.6 33.7 33.8 33.7

Average hourly earnings

$20.21 $20.61 $20.67 $20.67

Average weekly earnings

$679.06 $694.56 $698.65 $696.58

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2002=100)(3)

106.3 108.7 109.2 109.1

Over-the-month percent change

-0.2 0.2 0.5 -0.1

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2002=100)(4)

143.5 149.7 150.8 150.6

Over-the-month percent change

0.0 0.3 0.7 -0.1

DIFFUSION INDEX(5)
(Over 1-month span)

Total private (264 industries)

59.8 67.8 62.7 57.8

Manufacturing (81 industries)

54.9 56.2 54.9 51.9

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(p) Preliminary

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