The eighth J-20 prototype "2017" made its maiden flight on November 24, 2020 at the Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) factory in Chengdu, China. Complete with a red carpet launch ceremony, the event was well attended by AVIC dignitaries, J-20 program personnel and government officials. After several months of preliminary flight testing, "2017" is likely to be taken by the Chine Test Flight Establishment (CTFE) to remote northern China, where it can conduct more significant testing away from prying eyes.
Just before dawn on the morning of November 15, 2020, the Energiya rocket stood fueled and ready on the launch pad at Baikonur, the Soviet Union's launch site. Mated to the booster was the Buran space shuttle orbiter, ready for its maiden flight. It looked to strongly reminiscent of NASA's Space Transportation System, colloquially known as the space shuttle, but the two spacecraft weren't identical.
LAS VEGAS - Military personnel and defense contractors attending the year's largest unmanned systems convention here awoke this morning to a bit of breaking robotics news unraveling thousands of kilometers away from their briefing rooms and exhibition booths. First lighting up Twitter and later acknowledged by the Army, the first flight of Northrop Grumman's robotic Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) took place this morning in New Jersey, marking the first flight of one of the DoD's next generation military airships.
The privately built Dragon space capsule's maiden flight to the International Space Station is just weeks away, but SpaceX and NASA already have big dreams for Dragon's next steps. In a presentation at NASA late last month, SpaceX and space agency officials discussed sending Dragon to Mars. A "Red Dragon" mission, as NASA officials have nicknamed it, would be a low-cost way to send an ice drill to look for signs of life at the Martian poles.