A Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15J Eagle taxis to the runway for takeoff during a bilateral Aviation Training Relocation event at Chitose Air Base, Japan, Sept. 14, 2021.

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15J Eagle taxis to the runway for takeoff during a bilateral Aviation Training Relocation event at Chitose Air Base, Japan, Sept. 14, 2021. U. S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Benjamin Raughton

The Air & Space Brief: New hypersonics missile developments, Shatner treks to space, Russia beats Cruise to ISS movie

Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:  

Lockheed opens hypersonics factory: Created to make missiles for the Army and Navy, the plant is Lockheed’s third new all-digital facility this year, part of a company-wide focus on purpose-built factories that can build next-generation weapons faster and more cheaply.

The Air Force has hypersonics news too: The service’s successful demonstration of its glide vehicle is a “step in the right direction” in closing the hypersonics research and testing gap between the United States and rivals Russia and China,  Brig. Gen. John M. Olson, the Air Force’s acting Chief Technology and Innovation officer, told Defense One

Missed Defense One’s exclusive interviews with Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. C.Q. Brown? You can find both here, where the leaders talk B-21, China, new uniforms and more. 

To boldly go: Star Trek actor William Shatner will blast off aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket from West Texas on Oct. 12, becoming the oldest person to launch into space. 

Space movie race: Russia is going to beat Tom Cruise to filming a movie in space, with Tuesday’s successful flight of actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko to the International Space Station, where they will film “The Challenge.” Cruise is to blast off aboard Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket at a yet-unannounced date to also film a movie aboard the space station. 

Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Tara Copp, Defense One’s Senior Pentagon Reporter. Space fact: Oct. 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1.


From Defense One

Lockheed Opens New Hypersonic Weapons Factory In Alabama // Marcus Weisgerber: The manufacturing plant is the third digital factory opened by the world’s largest defense contractor this year.

Hypersonics Test Shows the US Is Catching Up in the New Missile Race // Patrick Tucker: But questions remain about costs and priorities remain.

AFA Conference Wire: Keeping AI Safe From Bad Data // Defense One staff

AFA Conference Wire: New Space Force Uniforms, Hub-and-Spoke // Defense One staff

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