Friday, December 22, 2023

Short Takes – 12-22-23

New Speaker Johnson’s budget strategy stretches US response in Middle East. article. Pull quote: “That leaves the Pentagon staring down a government shutdown should no deal get reached, or a full-year CR, with top officials in the building said to be preparing by sending out guidance to the military services to slow spending dramatically come Jan. 1, 2024, according to Eaglen.”

NASA astronauts test SpaceX elevator concept for Artemis lunar lander. article. Pull quote: “The suited crew provided feedback on elevator controls, such as gate latches, ramp deployment interfaces for moving into and out of the elevator basket, available space for cargo, and dynamic operations while the basket moved along a vertical rail system.”

Extremely rare 'rainbow clouds' light up Arctic skies for 3 days in a row. article. Pull quote: “Stratospheric temperatures in the Arctic rarely drop below the threshold needed for PSCs to form, so they are normally only spotted a handful of times every year during winter months. The extreme cold snap that led to the recent appearance of PSCs may have been triggered in part by the current El Niño event, which can impact temperatures around the poles. However, human-caused climate change could also be to blame, according to”

Commerce in Explosives; 2023 Annual List of Explosive Materials. Federal Register ATFEB notice. Summary: “This notice publishes the 2023 List of Explosive Materials, as required by law. The 2023 list is the same as the 2022 list published by ATF, except the 2023 list adds “pyrotechnic stars.” These materials are “pyrotechnic compositions” and have long been covered under that term. ATF is adding “pyrotechnic stars” for clarity.”

Hydrogen Safety Resources Take Center Stage. article. Pull quote: “Now in its twentieth year, the [Hydrogen Safety] panel is led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and includes more than two dozen experts with over 700 years of accumulated experience. Together, these experts—including engineers, scientists, code officials, safety professionals, equipment providers, and others—have developed a trusted resource for best practices for hydrogen energy.”

Our ranking of top US launch companies finds a familiar name on top. article. Pull quote: “Please note that this is a subjective list, although hard metrics such as total launches, tonnage to orbit, success rate, and more were all important factors in the decision. And our focus remains on what each company accomplished in 2023, not on what they might do in the future. Certainly there will be more reshuffling next year.”

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