Aerospace & Defense

Elon Musk described a dire situation with SpaceX’s development of Raptor rocket engines the day after Thanksgiving in a company-wide email, a copy of which was obtained by CNBC. “The Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago,” Musk wrote. Raptor engines power the company’s Starship rocket, with Musk adding
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The U.S. on Friday said it would ban visitors from South Africa and 7 other southern African nations after the detection of the omicron variant. Japan, the U.K. and Israel are among the countries that have also put travel restrictions in place to stem the spread of the variant. The variant has already been detected
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Cancellations were minimal compared with mass disruptions earlier this year. Southwest and American were among the airlines that offered staff extra bonus pay for holiday trips. Concern over the omicron variant sparked new travel restrictions in the U.K., U.S., Japan, Israel and elsewhere. U.S. airlines over Thanksgiving week had some of their busiest days since
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The United States will restrict travel for non-U.S. citizens from South Africa and seven other countries starting on Monday as a new Covid variant emerges. President Joe Biden was briefed on Friday by White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. The briefing came as other nations announced travel restrictions on southern Africa. In addition
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The U.K. said it would suspend flights from South Africa and surrounding countries because of the new variant. The European Commission recommended a pause on travel between the EU and southern Africa. The new restrictions highlight how new variants of Covid-19 can quickly disrupt travel, just as many airlines and aircraft manufacturers like Boeing were
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Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck has dramatically changed his tune on reusing rockets, a practice made increasingly popular by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. “I think anybody who’s not developing a reusable launch vehicle at this point in time is developing a dead-end product because it’s just so obvious that this is a fundamental approach that has
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Elon Musk’s SpaceX is set to launch a first-of-its-kind planetary defense mission for NASA in the early hours of Wednesday morning. “We’re smashing into an asteroid,” NASA’s Launch Services Program senior launch director Omar Baez said. The mission is known as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (or DART). NASA is trying to learn how to
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The leadership of SpaceX’s rocket business has been shaken up, CNBC has learned, including the departure of two vice presidents. SpaceX vice president of propulsion Will Heltsley has left, multiple people familiar with the situation told CNBC, having been with the company since 2009. Lee Rosen, SpaceX vice president of mission and launch operations, left
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Space company Firefly is preparing for the second orbital launch attempt of its Alpha rocket, as the venture looks to build out the foundation of its business. “Firefly is aiming to be the next SpaceX, a very transformative space transportation company,” Firefly CEO Tom Markusic told CNBC. The company recently gave CNBC an inside look
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Canadian satellite communications company Telesat went public Friday on the Nasdaq, bringing another space pure-play stock to the market. The listing came following an exchange with Telesat’s shareholders, with the company effectively taking the place of formally public Loral Space & Communications. Telesat’s core growth project is the low Earth orbit broadband satellite network it’s
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The TSA says it expects 20 million travelers, nearly the same number as in 2019. American, Southwest and JetBlue have offered staff attendance bonuses to avoid staffing crunches over the holidays. Airlines and TSA say they’re prepared for the surge of travelers. Travelers are about to find out whether airlines are prepared for a surge
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German laser communications company Mynaric recently listed on the Nasdaq, and CEO Bulent Altan, a former SpaceX executive, spoke to CNBC about the company’s U.S. initial public offering. Mynaric makes optical communication terminals, a device which uses a laser to send data from one point to another. Satellite companies are the firm’s target customer base.
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JetBlue flight attendants will get $1,000 for no call-outs through early January. American Airlines has offered flight attendants extra pay while Southwest says crews will get more than 100,000 frequent flyer miles for meeting attendance goals. Staffing crunches have contributed to hundreds of flight cancellations and delays this year. JetBlue Airways is offering its flight
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Sierra Space, the subsidiary of private aerospace contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation, raised $1.4 billion in new capital. The company’s valuation jumped to $4.5 billion following the raise, with investors including General Atlantic, Coatue, and Moore Strategic Ventures, as well as the funds of private equity firms BlackRock and AE Industrial Partners. Sierra Space has two
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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin raised its offer to cover NASA costs of an astronaut lunar lander from $2 billion to “over $3 billion” as the company battled in federal court. The sweetened offer came as Bezos’ company fought NASA’s decision to solely award SpaceX with a $2.9 billion contract under the agency’s Human Landing System
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Elon Musk on Wednesday said SpaceX is “hoping” to launch the first orbital flight test of its mammoth Starship rocket in January, depending on testing and regulatory approval. Starship is the massive, next-generation rocket SpaceX is developing to launch cargo and people on missions to the moon and Mars. The company’s next major step in testing Starship
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Business travel spending rose more slowly than expected this year, according to a new industry report. Covid variants, uneven vaccination rates and case surges slowed growth. Business travel will likely surge next year but a recovery to pre-pandemic levels isn’t likely until 2024. Business travel spending worldwide will likely jump more than 37% next year
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The Russian military destroyed a defunct satellite on Monday, causing astronauts to shelter on the International Space Station as the debris cloud passed by. U.S. officials from the Pentagon, State Department and NASA condemned Russia’s anti-satellite weapon (or ASAT) test as “reckless” and “dangerous,” while U.S. Space Command confirmed that the test created more than
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U.S. jet-fuel prices have surged past pre-pandemic levels. Air travelers have returned in droves but higher costs are sopping up more of airlines’ revenue. Higher airfares could follow. Demand for air travel is on the rise ahead of the holidays. So are the costs. But jet fuel hasn’t been this expensive since 2019. Airlines also
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Southwest Airlines rolled out the incentives for flight attendants and other staff. Southwest’s incentive programs are aimed at avoiding a repeat of last month’s more than 2,000 flight cancellations. Staffing shortages have led to disruptions at Southwest, American, Spirit and others over the past year. American has also rolled out attendance incentives for its staff.
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Shares of payments processing company Shift4 surged in trading on Wednesday after the company announced a five-year partnership with SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service. “Starlink is a cornerstone, global client opening up opportunity throughout the globe by servicing the business globally, Shift4’s [total addressable market] expands in all the verticals we serve,” the company said.
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The American Federation of Government Employees asked the White House to postpone the deadline until 2022, in line with federal contractors and another for large businesses. The AFGE represents some 700,000 government workers, from TSA agents to food inspectors. The White House last week delayed the deadline for federal contractors from Dec. 8 until Jan.
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