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F-35 fighter jets cost the Pentagon dearly. The cost of operating one unit is at least $ 7 million a year, but Lockheed Martin is doing everything possible to reduce the cost of flights

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Back in December 2021, US Air Force Commander-in-Chief General C.K. Brown expressed serious concern about the high operating costs of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Now F-35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin says it has cut the cost of operating the F-35 in half over the past seven years. And in the future they will be reduced by another 35%.

F-35 fighter jets cost the Pentagon dearly.  The cost of operating one unit is at least $ 7 million a year, but Lockheed Martin is doing everything possible to reduce the cost of flights

Lockheed Martin has already delivered more than 825 F-35s to the armed forces of 15 different countries, and it is expected that approximately the same number of aircraft will be shipped to customers over the next five years. But despite the fact that the F-35 has been in production for a long time, there is still one unresolved and very important problem – operating costs.

General Brown has previously said that if the cost of maintaining the F-35 is not reduced, the Air Force will either use them less often, using them only for important missions, or will buy less. However, Lockheed Martin itself has now stated that since the start of production, spending on aircraft operating costs has been significantly reduced: in seven years, the cost of an hour of flight on the F-35 has decreased by 50%, and in the next five years it will decrease by another 35%.

Audrey Brady, vice president of F-35 support at Lockheed Martin, said there are many ways to reduce operating costs. So, according to her, some savings are due to the fact that Lockheed Martin “at its own peril and risk” enters into long-term contracts with suppliers of parts and materials, which allows to reduce prices. Technological processes are also being improved, faster repairs are being carried out, due to which aircraft are less idle on the ground.

The US Air Force spent about $7.8 million per year operating a single F-35A in Fiscal Year 2021, almost double the target of $4.1 million, according to a report from the US Accountability Office. The cost of operating one F-35C for the US Navy (an aircraft deployed on an aircraft carrier) was $9.9 million, with a planned spending of $7.5 million. The cost to operate the F-35B for the Marine Corps (short takeoff and vertical landing versions of the F-35) was $9.1 million. Obviously, even with a 35% reduction in operating costs, the F-35 will still remain a very costly aircraft for the Pentagon.

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Scientists have topographical evidence of the existence of subglacial lakes on Mars

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Scientists have topographical evidence of the existence of subglacial lakes

European planetary scientists have found topographical evidence in images from the Mars Express probe that several subglacial lakes are hidden under the southern polar cap of the fourth planet in the solar system. This discovery contradicts recent statements by their US colleagues that there is no liquid water on Mars, the press office of the University of Cambridge said on Thursday.

Scientists have topographical evidence of the existence of subglacial lakes on Mars

The combination of radar images, computer models, and the topographical evidence we have obtained is a strong argument that at least one region of liquid water exists under the ice cap of the south pole of Mars. If so, then the interior of the planet must remain geothermally active in order to keep this water from freezing.Neil Arnold, a professor at the University of Cambridge (UK), said.

In July 2018, Italian astronomers working with instruments from the European Mars Express probe reported a surprising discovery. They were able to detect on radar images of the south pole of Mars traces of the existence of three subglacial lakes located at a depth of 1.5 km from the surface of the southern ice cap of the planet.

Subsequently, astronomers discovered several more similar anomalies in radar images, which led scientists to actively discuss the nature of these findings. Many planetary scientists immediately doubted these findings and suggested that the instruments of the Mars Express probe discovered deposits of clay or other rocks, and not subglacial lakes of water. This has generated a lot of controversy around radar anomalies.

In particular, at the beginning of 2022, US planetary scientists analyzed images from Mars Express and came to the conclusion that the liquid water reserves discovered by the probe are a kind of “radar mirage”. A group of European astronomers, led by Professor Arnold, have discovered topographical evidence that their fellow skeptics are wrong in their estimates.

As planetologists note, subglacial lakes that exist on Earth have a special effect on the topography of the ice surface in their vicinity. This is due to the fact that these reservoirs reduce the friction force between the base of the glacier and the rocks along which the ice mass moves, as a result of which it “sags” at the point where the under-ice reservoir is invisible to the eye, and then the glacier rises sharply.

Based on similar considerations, Professor Arnold and his colleagues calculated how the glaciers of Mars would behave under similar conditions. Scientists used this information to analyze detailed images of the southern polar cap of the fourth planet in the solar system at the points where Mars Express supposedly discovered subglacial reservoirs.

As it turned out, on the southern polar cap of Mars there are several regions at once with characteristic depressions and rises, similar to how subglacial lakes on Earth influence the topography of the area. The position of many of them coincides with the points where the radars of the Mars Express probe found traces of the existence of lakes. This, according to Professor Arnold and his colleagues, speaks in favor of the fact that liquid water on Mars exists rather than absent.

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AMD is preparing a graphics card with 2 GB of memory and a 32-bit bus? Radeon Pro W6300 already registered in the company’s driver

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AMD is preparing a graphics card with 2 GB of

AMD seems to have prepared another ultra-budget graphics card. There was no announcement of the novelty yet, but it has already been registered in the latest driver.

AMD is preparing a graphics card with 2 GB of memory and a 32-bit bus?  Radeon Pro W6300 already registered in the company's driver

The model is called Radeon Pro W6300, that is, it is a professional accelerator. It has an analogue in the form of a mobile card Radeon Pro W6300M, and you can also expect the appearance of the gaming RX 6300, especially since there have already been rumors about it.

Specifications are not yet known, but it is expected that both professional and gaming new items will receive 2 GB of memory with a 32-bit bus and 768 stream processors. These are the characteristics of the mobile Radeon Pro W6300M. Of course, this is the card of the most basic class, but it is still more productive than most integrated GPUs.

How much such an adapter might cost is anyone’s guess, but an RX 6400 with the same GPU but 4GB of memory and a 64-bit bus costs $160.

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NASA “landed” the unique Boeing 747SP SOFIA. For 8 years he watched the universe from the stratosphere

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NASA landed the unique Boeing 747SP SOFIA For 8 years

Since first flying in 2007, a Boeing 747SP tail number N747NA, modified by NASA into a large flying telescope, has been circling the stratosphere observing the universe in infrared (just like James Webb). But the work of SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) came to an end: on September 28, a unique aircraft completed its last flight.

NASA

The SOFIA project at one time proved to be an innovative way to look at the Universe in the infrared. Unlike ground-based telescopes, which find it difficult to “see” through the water vapor of the earth’s atmosphere, SOFIA observed space from a height of more than 12.5 km, which provided a better view compared to ground-based objects.

The SOFIA project started in 1996. The first flight with a 2.7 m telescope installed on board took place in 2010, but the device was fully operational only in 2014. From 2014 to 2019, the flying observatory completed its five-year mission, but the operation of the unique telescope was extended for another three years. All this time, SOFIA has been observing the Moon, planets, and stars. This telescope was able to detect water on the moon’s sunlit surface in 2020.

NASA

2022 has been a very productive year for SOFIA. According to FlightRadar24.com, the 44-year-old aircraft made 143 flights.

NASA

So, this year, the stratospheric observatory visited South America for the first time: within two weeks, the telescope was deployed in Chile to observe celestial objects that can only be seen in the latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.

In July, during a storm in New Zealand, the aircraft received frontal damage due to the displacement of a ladder placed outside. After that, the aircraft returned to the base in Palmdale in California, but later performed several more flights. The project is closed due to the fact that its scientific productivity no longer justifies the operating costs.

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