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Space / SpaceX Starship Booster 4
« on: Today at 08:29:05 AM »

Duterte keeps VFA after getting ‘clarity’ on US commitment to defense treaty
Published July 30, 2021, 12:04 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Philippines’ military alliance with the United States remained intact after President Duterte reconsidered an earlier decision to scrap the visiting forces agreement (VFA) on the final year of his presidency.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque explained that the President’s decision to keep the VFA was reached after getting the US commitment to regard the Philippines as a “sovereign equal” and reaffirm its obligation under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

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General Discussion / Olympic boxing: Carlo Paalam
« on: August 03, 2021, 01:20:21 PM »
Paalam gives Philippines 4th medal in Tokyo Olympics
By Niel Victor C. Masoy
August 3, 2021

Carlo Paalam stunned 2016 Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan via majority decision to enter the semifinals and secure the Philippines its first-ever 4-medal finish in the Olympics on Tuesday in the men's flyweight quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics at the Kokugikan Arena.

Four judges scored 20-18 in favor of Paalam, while the other judge scored a 19-19 tie for the boxers when the bout was stopped with 1:44 left in the second round due to cuts on both fighters caused by bumping of heads.

But even before the stoppage, Paalam showed the judges that he has the upperhand in the fight, as he hit Zoirov with clean shots in the first round.

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Thailand signs $78 mln deal to purchase two more T-50 trainers from KAI
Lim Chang-won Reporter
Posted : 2021-08-02 11:40:55

SEOUL -- South Korea's sole aircraft maker has secured a new deal worth $78 million to deliver two more T-50 military trainers by the end of November 2023 to Thailand. The contract comes on the heels of efforts by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to sell its trainer to Malaysia and other countries in Africa and South America.

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NASA Statement on GAO Ruling Regarding Human Landing System Protest
Jul 30, 2021
RELEASE 21-102

The following is the NASA statement in response to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision released Friday on the human landing system protest:

“NASA was notified Friday, July 30, that the U.S. Government Accountability Office has denied the protests filed by Blue Origin Federation and Dynetics and has upheld the agency’s source selection of SpaceX to continue the development of its human landing system. The decision enables NASA to award the contract that will ultimately result in the first crewed demonstration landing on the surface of the Moon under NASA’s Artemis plan. Importantly, the GAO’s decision will allow NASA and SpaceX to establish a timeline for the first crewed landing on the Moon in more than 50 years.

“NASA recognizes that sending American astronauts back to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo program and establishing a long-term presence on the Moon is a priority for the Biden Administration and is imperative for maintaining American leadership in space. In the face of challenges during the last year, NASA and its partners have made significant achievements to advance Artemis, including a successful hot fire test for the Space Launch System rocket. An uncrewed flight of Artemis I is on track for this year and a crewed Artemis II mission is planned for 2023.

“NASA is moving forward with urgency, but astronaut safety is the priority and the agency will not sacrifice the safety of the crew in the steadfast pursuit of the goal to establish a long-term presence on the Moon.

“As soon as possible, NASA will provide an update on the way ahead for Artemis, the human landing system, and humanity’s return to the Moon. We will continue to work with the Biden Administration and Congress to ensure funding for a robust and sustainable approach for the nation’s return to the Moon in a collaborative effort with U.S. commercial partners.”

General Discussion / Olympic boxing: Nesthy Petecio
« on: July 31, 2021, 01:54:50 PM »
Nesthy Petecio punches way to Olympic boxing medal round
JUL 28, 2021 10:54 AM PHT


Petecio, the 2019 world champion, became the first Filipina boxer to win an Olympic medal, securing at least a bronze for the country in the quadrennial meet's featherweight event on Wednesday, July 28, at the Kokugikan Arena.

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With the win, Petecio became the first Filipino boxer to secure a podium finish in the Tokyo Games. She also became Philippine boxing's first Olympic medalist since Onyok Velasco won a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

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General Discussion / Olympic boxing: Eumir Marcial
« on: July 31, 2021, 01:52:46 PM »
Olympics-Boxing-'One win away from medal'
July 29, 2021
5:39 AM PDT

TOKYO, July 29 (Reuters) - Filipino Eumir Marcial advanced to the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Games middleweight boxing tournament on Thursday after an accidental headbutt opened up a gash above his opponent's eye and forced the referee to stop the bout.

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Marcial said he was just grateful to be at the Tokyo Games after failing to qualify for Rio in 2016.

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Marcial has been preparing under the tutelage of Pacquiao's Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach after turning professional last year.

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Space / Russia's new Nauka space module docks with ISS
« on: July 30, 2021, 02:46:31 AM »
Russia's new Nauka space module docks with ISS
July 29, 2021

MOSCOW, July 29 (Reuters) - Russia upgraded its capabilities on the International Space Station on Thursday after its new Nauka module, set to serve as a research lab, storage unit and airlock, successfully docked with it after a nervy journey from Earth.

A live broadcast from Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, showed the module, a multipurpose laboratory named after the Russian word for 'science', docking with the ISS at 1329 GMT, a few minutes later than scheduled.

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Since it launch last week from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome, the module had suffered a series of glitches that had raised concerns about whether the docking procedure would go smoothly.

Thursday's development suggests Russia is interested in maintaining the ISS despite previous comments from Rogozin who last month suggested Moscow would withdraw from it in 2025 unless Washington lifted sanctions on the space sector that he said were hampering Russian satellite launches.

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Space / SpaceX launch mount and integration tower
« on: July 30, 2021, 02:12:29 AM »

Miscellaneous / Why did the Airbus A380 fail?
« on: July 30, 2021, 01:57:56 AM »
Why did the Airbus A380 fail?
By Daniel Thomas
Business reporter, BBC News

Published14 February 2019

When Singapore Airlines took the A380 superjumbo for its first commercial flight in 2007, there was widespread applause that the future of air travel had arrived.

But the Airbus programme, long-delayed and over-budget, never really shook off predictions that it would be a white elephant of the skies.

So why did the world's largest passenger aircraft, described as a "hotel in the sky", fail after just 12 years of production?

The A380, whose wings are made at Airbus UK, was a bold challenger to US rival Boeing's dominance of the large aircraft market.

While Airbus was taking a multi-billion-dollar bet that airlines would want big aircraft in the future, Boeing was developing its smaller, nimbler (and seemingly more successful) 787 Dreamliner.

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But after an initial surge of orders, especially from Dubai-based Emirates, demand dried up and the programme has never turned a profit.

The whole programme is thought to have cost $25bn (£19.4bn) and has been dogged by controversies over subsidies from the French and German governments.

Last year, the World Trade Organisation ruled that the EU failed to comply with requests to end state aid to the planemaker, ramping up trade tensions between the bloc and the US.

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Ironically, the double-decker planes are popular with passengers, but airlines have come to view them as inefficient.

Some argue that the A380 is too large, making it unprofitable when too many seats go unfilled. And Willie Walsh, boss of British Airways-owner IAG, just last week suggested that the plane - while good - was too pricey.

With fuel prices rising and campaigners questioning the environmental impact of aircraft, some airlines chose to opt for smaller, but more efficient, planes produced by both Boeing and Airbus.

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Since 2005, a total of 57 firm orders for the A380 have been cancelled by airlines including Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa. A cargo version of the plane also never took off because of a lack of interest.

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DND doubles down on push for AFP modernization, more reforms
By Priam Nepomuceno  July 27, 2021, 10:31 amShare

MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he will continue to push for the military's modernization and measures to improve its personnel management in the remaining months of the Duterte administration.

"In the remaining 11 months in this administration, we will push for the continued modernization of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), enactment of laws to improve the personnel management of the AFP and focus on the other priorities we set for ourselves when we assumed our posts back in 2016," Lorenzana said in a statement late Monday night.

Inspired by the overwhelming support from the President, Lorenzana said his agency will spare no effort in fulfilling its mandate to secure the country and contribute to national development.

"At the DND, we are grateful for the enduring support of the President for the improvement of the welfare and capabilities of the AFP when he increased the salaries of the soldiers. We are thankful for his leadership and direction to end the local communist insurgency, the provision of benefits for rebel returnees, and the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law that would address the grievances of our Muslim brothers," Lorenzana said.

While taking pride in accomplishments during the past five years, the DND chief said that there is still a lot of work to be done before Duterte's term ends.

"In this year's State of the Nation Address (SONA), we at the DND were reminded once again that everything we do is for the benefit of the Filipino people. Speaking from the heart in his own, simple and inimitable way, the President showed that even as we aim and work for grandiose goals for our country, at the core of it all is protecting and upholding the dignity of every Filipino from all walks of life," Lorenzana added.

In his final SONA at the Batasang Pambansa on Monday, Duterte said strengthening the capability of the country's military and police has always been a priority under his administration.

In 2018, Duterte said the salaries of military and uniformed policemen and personnel were raised to a level that is "commensurate to the critical role they play in upholding national security and maintaining order".

Under his term, the country's defense capability also got a boost with the acquisition of two missile frigates -- the BRP Jose Rizal and the BRP Antonio Luna.

AFP modernization entering Horizon 2

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it is now transitioning from Horizon 1 to Horizon 2 of its modernization program.

In a Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday, AFP public affairs office chief Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata, said around PHP600 billion is allocated for projects for this period.

"Tayo po ay magta-transition na from Horizon 1 to Horizon 2 at meron po tayong mga nakalaan na PHP600 billion para po sa mga proyektong ito. Nasa 107 na 'yung mga projects na yan ay naisakatuparan na (sa ilalim ng Horizon 1) (We are now transitioning from Horizon 1 to Horizon 2 and around PHP600 billion are allocated for projects under it. Some 107 projects are already completed so far under Horizon 1)," he added.

The AFP Modernization Program has three horizons -- Horizon 1 which started in 2013 and ended in 2017, Horizon 2 from 2018 to 2022, and Horizon 3 from 2023 to 2028.

However, the AFP said unforeseeable circumstances were among the reasons for the delay in the implementation of some of its modernization projects.

This is in response to a Commission on Audit (COA) report saying 22 AFP modernization projects remain unfinished as of June 30 this year.

The equipment delivered for Horizon 1, Zata said, includes the six A-29B "Super Tucano" close-air support aircraft, S-70i "Black Hawk" helicopters, of which 10 are already delivered and five more for delivery this year, and the two brand-new missile frigates BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna.

Also in various stages of completion are the force protection equipment of the Philippine Army, Zata said.

"The AFP has always been grateful for the direction and support of the Commander-in-Chief (President Rodrigo Duterte) in continuously improving its capabilities,” he earlier said.

He added that these capabilities improved the conduct of military operations against terrorists both on land and sea and persistent monitoring to protect the country's interests in the West Philippine Sea.

"Many more lives and communities are saved during HADR (humanitarian assistance disaster relief) operations since most equipment needed during these instances are further improved. While more work is still needed, these capabilities are likewise forthcoming," Zata said. (PNA)

Bezos offers NASA $2 billion in exchange for moon mission contract
Eric Johnson

SEATTLE, July 26 (Reuters) - Fresh off his trip to space, billionaire businessman Jeff Bezos on Monday offered to cover up to $2 billion in NASA costs if the U.S. space agency awards his company Blue Origin a contract to make a spacecraft designed to land astronauts back on the moon.

NASA in April awarded rival billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to build a spacecraft to bring astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2024, rejecting bids from Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics. Blue Origin had partnered with Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) and Draper in the bid.

The space agency cited its own funding shortfalls, SpaceX's proven record of orbital missions and other factors in a contract decision that senior NASA official Kathy Lueders called "what's the best value to the government."

In a letter to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Bezos said Blue Origin would waive payments in the government's current fiscal year and the next ones after that up to $2 billion, and pay for an orbital mission to vet its technology. In exchange, Blue Origin would accept a firm, fixed-priced contract, and cover any system development cost overruns, Bezos said.

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A NASA spokesperson said the agency was aware of Bezos' letter but declined to comment further, citing the protest Blue Origin filed with the U.S. Government Accountability Office accusing the agency of giving SpaceX an unfair advantage by allowing it to revise its pricing.

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Japan pulls the HUGE upset to deny China's table tennis sweep | Tokyo Olympics | NBC Sports
Jul 26, 2021

Air Force salutes airwoman Hidilyn Diaz for Olympic gold win

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Monday congratulated Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz for capturing the country's first ever gold medal in the 2022 Tokyo Olympics.

PAF commanding general Lieutenant General Allen Paredes extended his congratulations to Diaz, who is also a sergeant in the PAF.

"The men and women of the PAF join the country in celebrating this historic event," Paredes said in a statement.

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The 30-year-old Diaz, who hails from Zamboanga entered the PAF as an active personnel in 2013. She is currently an organic personnel of the PAF Civil Military Operations Group.

Before her history gold medal victory, Diaz won a silver medal in the women's 53-kg category in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Weightlifting - Women's 55kg - Group A - Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan - July 26, 2021. Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines celebrates after a lift. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido


From the same video above

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