Dec. 18, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The special US Senate election last week in Alabama drew world attention of the showdown between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore.
Jones eked out a victory, becoming the first Democrat in 25 years to be elected to the Senate from Alabama.
I’m not going to get into all the issues, allegations and political implications of this race. Instead, a new item from Defense News caught my eye about the implications to the Alabama aerospace position in Congress.
Defense News’ headline is eye-catching: “Election leaves Alabama-shaped hole on Senate Armed Services Committee.”
Oct. 31, 2017: A new event, the Southeast Aerospace and Defence Conference (SADC) scheduled for June 25-27 in Mobile (AL), will examine the commercial, defense, space and corporate aerospace sectors in the US Southeast.
The conference is organized by Airfinance Journal and Leeham Co., the first joint venture between the two companies.
The US Southeast is a growing aerospace center. Defense and space clusters have decades-long histories in the Southeast. Corporate and commercial clusters are more recent developments, albeit in some cases now well within a second decade.
Airbus’ A320 family Final Assembly Line in Mobile opened in September 2015. The FAL is producing 3.5 A320s per month and will reach its initial target of 4/mo by year end, slightly ahead of schedule. There is land capacity to expand to 8/mo.
Earlier this month, Airbus and Bombardier announced that their new venture will establish an FAL in Mobile.
Oct. 27, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The US is considering new trade sanctions against Russia, and Russia is considering retaliatory sanctions, that could have major implications in US aerospace—including on Boeing.
The US sanctions would be for meddling in the US presidential election in 2016 and for activities in Eastern Europe. The Russian sanctions are a tit-for-tat retaliation if the US sanctions are adopted.
Among the Russian companies that may be targeted:
Oct. 23, 2017, © Leeham Co.: New Orleans: Going to Mars is a daunting task, says John Shannon, a Boeing vice president and program manager of the SLS
But it’s one of the greatest and most exciting challenges of today’s science community.
In a speech before the annual conference of the Aerospace Alliance Oct. 12 in New Orleans, Shannon used illustrations to explain the challenges of going to Mars. Some of the art he used are contained in this presentation (NASA Space Launch System). Boeing did not make its presentation available.
The SLS, or Space Launch System, is larger than the Saturn 5 rocket used in the Apollo astronaut and Skylab space programs in the 1960s and 1970s. It was used to send Apollo to the moon and it was the only rocket capable of launching beyond low earth orbit.
Boeing is building the rocket, which will be capable of sending supplies to Mars, followed by astronauts.