• Power Players

    Next time you step aboard an international flight, you may want to think twice about who’s flying your plane.

    “The computers are flying it,” former Marine Corps pilot and ABC News consultant Steve Ganyard told “Power Players” from the cockpit of Boeing’s new 787-9 model on display to the public for the first time ever at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow.

    “The pilots are voting members,” Ganyard said. “This stick will move back and forth, the throttle will move back and forth, but all you’re doing is putting inputs into the computer. The computers says, ‘I know what you want to do, I'll do that for you.’”

    The newest in aviation technology -- both commercial and military -- on display at the premier international airshow in England demonstrates that human pilots are increasingly taking a backseat to computers in the cockpit.

    But before you navigate away from this webpage to cancel your next flight, Ganyard assures that the new computer technology only serves to

    Read More »from The computer in your cockpit: Computers set to replace pilots in future of flight?
  • Power Players

    What’s next for NASA?

    The legendary space agency that landed a man on the moon, launched the Voyager spacecraft into infinity and the Hubble Space Telescope to unlock the mysteries of the universe, and also landed legendary rovers on Mars, is now searching for its next mission.

    It’s tough to plan for a long-term mission, when each new administration presses the reset button, with many programs that have been started and cancelled.

    Can NASA recapture the glory of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, when millions of people around the world watched Neil Armstrong step gingerly onto the lunar surface? Or did the 30 years of space shuttle flights make spaceflight too routine?

    Three years ago the shuttles were retired, sent to museums, and U.S. astronauts lost their own ride to space, forced to buy seats on Russian rockets to get back and forth to the International Space Station.

    That has put the U.S. in a very bad position, former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told "Power

    Read More »from Former NASA leader: U.S. space program held hostage by Russia
  • Top Line

    There may never be a good time to take a vacation when you’re president. But the last couple of weeks made for particularly bad timing.

    Now, as President Obama prepares to return from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, the commander-in-chief might very well want a vacation from his vacation, which was more notable for its many interruptions than its relaxation -- that is, unless you’re counting the president’s many rounds of golf.

    The president held multiple news conferences -- and in an unusual fashion, even broke from his vacation for a two-day trip back to Washington -- as he addressed the developing crises in Iraq and Ferguson, Mo.

    But Obama is just the latest in a long line of presidents to adopt the “working vacation.”

    “Early on, when vacations began to get criticism -- for example, during the Eisenhower administration -- the press secretary, Jim Haggerty, invented the phrase ‘working vacation,’” Larry Knutson, author of the new book “Away From the White House:

    Read More »from Vacationer-in-chief? How Obama’s R&R stacks up to other presidents

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