The Defense Department is as committed as ever to bringing home the thousands of US military personnel who remain missing in action from the Korean War and other conflicts, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michelle Flournoy said Thursday. “Your loved ones gave their lives for this country. We honor their sacrifice. We are committed to their recovery,” she said in a speech to families of MIAs in Arlington, Va. As a sign of this commitment, DOD, with Congress’ support, is increasing its recovery activities so that it is able to identify the remains of up to 200 individuals per year by 2015, up from 85 today, she said. While North Korea is currently inaccessible to recovery teams, progress is being made with Russia and China. For example, China provided information last year on the crash site of a Korean War-era Navy aircraft in Chinese territory, she said. (AFPS report by Lisa Daniel)
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.