Each week the Product Design & Development staff scours the internet for design engineering news, research, and updates. Unfortunately, not all of the news is positive. A few lackluster designs that don’t quite make the cut for commercial use are reported on each week. Thankfully, a handful of design wins make up for the mistakes of others.
The following company and organization have received the Product Design and Development titles of “Loser” and “Winner” of the week:
Last Friday, Dec. 12, a major computer failure at one of Britain’s two air traffic control centers stalled air traffic into and out of London. The airspace was closed for 35 minutes, while officials sought a solution to the problem.
After investigating, the issue was traced to a computer system at NATS, a U.K.-based air traffic management company. British officials were furious over the disruption, especially after London’s Heathrow Airport had to cancel more than 100 flights. In all, the shutdown affected London’s five commercial airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Stansted, and Luton.
Winner: Indian Space and Research Organization
NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have received quite a bit of press lately after the return of NASA’s Orion spacecraft and the ESA’s successful Rosetta mission. However, the Indian Space and Research Organization has been hitting some milestones of its own.
Yesterday, India announced the launch of the country’s largest rocket. The 630-ton rocket released an unmanned crew module 78 miles above the earth, which landed in the Bay of Bengal about 20 minutes after lift-off. Indian officials hope the successful reentry will bring the country’s space program one step closer to sending humans into space.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense