21 Jun 04. SpaceDev’s (OTCBB: SPDV – News) proprietary hybrid rocket motor technology successfully powered SpaceShipOne on its fourth and most important history-making flight to space. “SpaceDev is pleased to be a part of the Paul Allen/Scaled Composites team in the development of the first private manned space capability,” said founding chairman and CEO, Jim Benson. “During the development of Scaled’s SpaceShipOne, SpaceDev competed for and won the contract that included SpaceDev’s hybrid rocket technology and the development and production of critical motor components. Also, we developed the system for casting our proprietary rubber fuel into Scaled’s composite motor case.” At approximately 7:45 AM PDT on Monday, June 21st, SpaceDev powered SpaceShipOne well beyond the 50 mile altitude required to be considered a space flight, and created the world’s first private sector astronaut. After being released by the White Knight, the carrier aircraft, SpaceShipOne’s test pilot, Mike Melvill, fired the rocket motor at the planned altitude and the rocket motor then propelled SpaceShipOne to over 328,000 feet in approximately 80 seconds, flying near Mach 5.0. This successful flight brings the Paul Allen/Scaled Composites team closer to winning the $10m Ansari X-Prize.
20 Jun 04. IBM has overtaken Hewlett Packard to become the leading supplier of the world’s most powerful computers with its new breed of “Blue Gene” supercomputers. A Top 500 list published on Monday to coincide with the International Supercomputer Conference in Heidelberg shows IBM as supplying 224 systems on the list with a total aggregate power of 407 teraflops – trillions of calculations per second. This is 50 per cent of the list’s total computing power and well ahead of the 19 per cent share held by HP. In the last Top 500, published in November 2003, HP led with 165 systems to IBM’s 159. Grid computing – the linking of machines in different locations to provide greater and more efficient processing power – has been a hotter topic than supercomputing during the past year, but the dramatic shifts in the list illustrate that stand-alone supercomputers are still a dynamic sector. Research firm IDC says the supercomputer market is set to expand by 6.5 per cent a year, from $5.6bn last year to $7.6bn by 2008 with shipments growing from 91,000 to 146,000 units. The Earth Simulator supercomputer, built by NEC and installed in 2002 in Japan, remains number one on the list, but IBM expects to overtake it as soon as the end of this year with its Blue Gene computer for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – run by the University of California for the US Department of Energy. (Source: FT)
22 Jun 04. Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp., on Tuesday said it bought CTA Inc., a private aerospace robotics maker based in Huntsville, Ala. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “The addition of CTA to our portfolio will strengthen our current capabilities and give us access to new markets,” said Greg Jones, general manager of Pratt & Whitney’s specialty materials and services division, under which the purchase was made. CTA recently received contracts from Lockheed Martin Corp. to supply coatings services for the F/A-22 and Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, Pratt & Whitney said.
23 June 2004. Frazer-Nash Consultancy Limited, acquired in March 2004 by Devonport Management Limited, has released results for the financial year 2003 showing a continuation of the record performance of 2002. Frazer-Nash reported a 16% growth in turnover, resulting in an increase in staff numbers to over 150, and in 2004 this has already grown to 170.
17 Jun 04. One of the most ambitious recent venture capital-backed companies to come out of Silicon Valley reached the end of the road yesterday as it was sold to Cisco Systems for the knock-down price of $89m. At one point, Procket Networks had hoped to vault ahead of Cisco in the market for high-end routers used by telecoms co