December 4, 2023

Want to Be A Rocket Scientist?

Right Stuff

Morning Coffee is a robust blend of links to news around the internet concerning the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Morning Coffee logoeconomic community. The opinions expressed here do not reflect opinions of the Leader’s owners or staff.

A new rocket science course lets you learn about spaceflight online for free, reports Varsity Tutors has a class for aspiring rocket scientists, with no experience necessary. The class walks through the basics of how to get a rocket into space, assuming a middle-school level background. The class runs Friday, Oct. 7, 6:30-7:15 pm. Free registration is available now at Varsity Tutors, at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum, which says the course is best for grades 7-12.

Micron to spend up to $100 billion to build a computer chip factory in New York, reports CNBC. The announcement, first reported by The New York Times, said Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra credited the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 for making the investment possible. The law, championed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), allocates $52 billion to encourage more domestic semiconductor production.

A group of Democratic lawmakers wants the Commerce Dept. to take additional steps to ensure semiconductor companies do not use government subsidies to conduct stock buybacks, reports Reuters. The letter was signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin and Representatives Sean Casten, Jamaal Bowman, Pramila Jayapal, and Bill Foster. has recent images from North Korean state media show what Japan’s defense minister said was the missile that Pyongyang launched over Japan Tuesday.

Eleven US and Japanese fighters flew a show of force mission over the Sea of Japan following a North Korean missile test over the Japanese home islands, reports USNI News. Seven Japanese Air Self-Defense Force Mitsubishi F-15J and F-2 Fighters flew with four US Marine F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters over the Sea of Japan following North Korea’s Tuesday test of an intermediate-range ballistic missile.

Okinawa prefecture has filed a third lawsuit against the Japanese government trying to halt ongoing construction of a US military runway into Oura Bay at Henoko, reports Stars and Stripes. The suit seeks to reinstate Okinawa’s decision to reject a construction change to reinforce a softer-than-anticipated seabed, Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki said. Tetsuo Saito, Japan’s minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, had overruled Tamaki earlier this year at the request of Japan’s Ministry of Defense, and ordered the governor to issue the required permits.

US Marines warn against Navy’s FY24 decommission scheme, reports Military Times. The US Navy has spent more than four years and nearly $300 million repairing one of its amphibious ships, it is still not ready to deploy. The Navy would prefer to decommission it, but the Navy isn’t the primary user. The Marine Corps relies on these ships to carry the expeditionary units considered the nation’s crisis response force. Only 45% of the amphibious ship fleet is ready today, already risking the Corps’ ability to quickly react across the globe.

A tear gas video triggers an investigation into the US Navy SEAL selection course, reports CBS News. The admiral in charge of Navy SEALs ordered an investigation when he saw the video saying the it raises questions about “the lawfulness of the behavior.” Regulations for tear gas use in SEAL training limits use of the gas to no more than 15 seconds. The video shows the gas lasting for more than a minute, and recruits, who have already proven themselves tough enough to complete two-thirds of the selection course, crying out in pain. One appears to pass out, which the regulations warn is what happens when you try to hold your breath.

In hurricanes, more people die from indirect causes than the storms themselves, reports The Hill. Not all who died in Hurricane Ian drowned in the storm surge or collapsed beneath falling trees. One Ian casualty, a man of 71, fell from his roof while installing shutters. Two elderly victims succumbed to failed oxygen machines after losing power. One man slipped into the canal behind his home while draining his pool. Storm trackers will probably label those cases “indirect” deaths: casualties that cannot be ascribed directly to the storm’s brutal assault but that would not have happened without it.

Navy boosts its new sailor goal by 3,400 to meet demand in tough recruiting environment, reports USNI. The sea service needs to recruit 37,700 active-duty enlisted sailors in FY23, the goal based upon the number of sailors currently in the service, the targeted end strength set in the budget, and forecast personnel losses. Despite a slightly reduced number of enlisted active-duty sailors, the ’23 recruiting goal had to be boosted by 3,400. The goal for FY 2022 was 33,400, which the sea service exceeded by just 42 sailors.


Apple must switch To USB-C chargers for iPhones by the end of 2024 after an EU vote, reports Forbes. The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing a common charger standard for all mobile devices sold in the bloc by the end of 2024. The law passed with a landslide 602-13 vote, according to an EU press release. Under these new rules, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will be required to have a USB Type-C charging port by the end of 2024, and all laptop computers by the spring of 2026.

Thousands of Navy personnel living off base in any of seven US areas will temporarily see increases of as much as $1,260 per month in their housing stipends, reports Stars and Stripes. The increase took effect Oct. 1 and will run through Dec. 31, 2022, when new housing allowance rates take effect. The areas are San Diego, CA; Miami and Fort Lauderdale, FL; Kings Bay and Brunswick, GA; Newport, and Providence, RI.

A church former members have described as a cult, House of Prayer, has lost its GI Bill eligibility after two decades of allegedly bilking Bible school students out of millions of dollars of veterans benefits, reports On Monday, officials from state regulatory agencies in Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas disclosed that schools connected to the House of Prayer church had been stripped of their eligibility for GI Bill money.

An Artificial intelligence ‘Bill of Rights’ was unveiled by the White House, reports The Federal Times, with a set of far-reaching goals to align artificial intelligence-powered tools with what it called the values of Democracy and equity, including guidelines for how to protect people’s personal data and limit surveillance. The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights notably does not set out specific enforcement actions, but instead is intended as a White House call to action for the US government to safeguard digital and civil rights in an AI-fueled world, officials said.

New Air Force special ops teams model the future of ‘agile’ air wars, reports Air Force Times. AFSOC is experimenting with what it calls “mission sustainment teams,” or groups of several dozen airmen from different career fields that train as a deployable unit separate from their home squadrons. The 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, NM, became the first to create one of the cross-functional support teams in March 2021. Since then, AFSOC has broadened the number of specialties included in each team from 19 to 27 and begun to plant the seeds for more teams around the world.

GI Gmail: US Army launches Google Workspace for troops, reports Military Times. Army Chief Information Officer Raj Iyer in a social media post this week announced that Army Google Workspace had gone live, adding that the service “implemented the first Impact Level 4 Google Workspace in the Federal Government to process Controlled Unclassified Information.”

As online scams against active and retired military personnel and their families grows, Military Times reports from experts on how to best protect against online scams targeting service members. Over the summer, during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing, lawmakers discussed the increase in financial scams targeting the military community.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday and unveiled a $625 million security assistance package to Ukraine amid Russia’s annexation of regions in the eastern and southern parts of the country. The Hill reports, Biden and Harris underscored that the US “will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Ukrainian territory.”

Pentagon sending Excalibur guided artillery, more HIMARS to Ukraine, reports Military Times. The Pentagon said Tuesday it’s arming Ukraine with Excalibur satellite-guided artillery rounds and four more High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems to help repel Russia’s invasion force. The $625 million in weapons and equipment, provided from US military stockpiles under presidential drawdown authority, comes amid battlefield wins for Ukrainian forces. The DoD also is contracting with industry for the supplies.

Iron Beam, Israel’s laser air defense system, could be ready in 2-3 years, reports Breaking Defense. Iron Beam is a complimentary capability to the Rafael-built Iron Dome defense system, which uses kinetic interceptors to protect Israel against incoming rockets, mortars, and small drones. “We don’t have a technology problem or a scientific problem anymore… it’s now an engineering problem. The science is there, we’ve shown that it works,” said Rafael executive Michael Lurie.

General Atomics developing hybrid-electric engine for stealthy ‘MQ-Next’ drone design, reports Breaking Defense. “We are working on hybrid electric propulsion,” said Mike Atwood, the firm’s senior director of advanced programs. “We believe that GA is going to pioneer a completely new way to propel airborne air-breathing [vehicles]. That will be unveiled in the coming years, but it is a completely disruptive technology. It uses a hybrid electric system where it’s basically a Tesla Model S and an RQ-170 got together and you have a fully electric aircraft” capable of traveling greater distances.


Washington Business Dynamics, LLC, of Washington, District of Columbia, was awarded a $66,906,179 firm fixed price Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) (HT0015-23-A-0001) under the General Services Administration multiple award schedule 541611 (Professional Services – Business Administrative Services). This BPA supports fiscal-year financial planning, budget reporting, budget analysis, execution and out-year resourcing to include development and preparation of necessary documentation for the program budget decisions, the future years defense program, program objective memorandums, audits and budget estimate submissions, risk management and internal control/performance metrics, contracts database support, cost estimating, evaluation support, technical writing support, and administrative support for the Defense Health Agency Deputy Assistant Director for Information Operations, Portfolio and Resource Management Division. This BPA will support DHA’s finance, acquisition, and business efforts across the Military Health System. The solicitation provided a fair opportunity with nine offers received. This is a one-year base BPA with a five-year ordering period. The base year will be funded with fiscal year 2023 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $11,407,843 subject to the availability of funds. The place of performance will be Washington, District of Columbia. The Defense Health Agency, Enterprise Medical Services Contracting Division, San Antonio, Texas, is the contracting activity.


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