China to develop space rocketsto launch from planes

 

SHANGHAI (Reuters): China will develop rockets that can be launched into space from aircraft, a senior official told the state-run China Daily newspaper, as Beijing aims to send hundreds of satellites into orbit for military, commercial and scientific aims. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has designed a solid-fuel rocket that could carry a 100 kg (220 lb) payload into low Earth orbit, said Li Tongyu, the head of the agency’s carrier rocket development. Chinese President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China’s space programme, saying it was needed to enhance national security and defence, although its progress still lags behind the United States and Russia.

 

Self-driving bus with no back-updriver nears California street

 

SAN RAMON (Reuters): A pair of $250,000 autonomous buses began driving around an empty San Francisco Bay Area parking lot on Monday, preparing to move onto a local public road in California’s first pilot program for a self-driving vehicle without steering wheel or human operator. California and other states are weighing the opportunities of becoming a hub of testing a technology that is seen as the future of transportation and the risks from giving up active control of a large, potentially dangerous vehicle. In most tests of self-driving cars there is still a person seated at the steering wheel, ready to take over, although Alphabet Inc’s Waymo tested a car with no steering wheel or pedals in Austin, Texas, as early as 2015.