The Air Force has just ordered four more C-130J tactical airlifters, three of which possibly would go to replenish its special operations Hercules based on a request the service issued just last month. The fourth aircraft goes to the Marine Corps as an aerial refueling KC-130J. Prime contractor Lockheed Martin is to deliver the four Herks in 2010. Several lawmakers have been pushing the Air Force to order additional J Models, which have proven highly capable in Southwest Asia operations, to keep the production line open.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.