Thursday, 6 October 2011

Missile defense system hits 2 targets over Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — A missile defense system successfully intercepted two different targets at the same time during a test in Hawaii, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said Wednesday.
It was the first time the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense Element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System intercepted twoballistic missile targets simultaneously, the agency said. It was designed to shoot down ballistic missiles in their last stage of flight.
The test took place at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai just before 8 p.m. local time Tuesday. It involved dropping one target from an airplane over the ocean and launching a second target from a decommissioned helicopter carrier on the ocean.
The successful test, which was conducted under simulated combat conditions, brings the system a step closer to actual deployment, said Richard Lehner, an agency spokesman in Washington, D.C.
"Since we can expect missile attacks to include more than one missile, it's important that we are able to conduct tests against what we call 'raids,' and that we can exercise the radars and command and control system necessary to thwart such raids under realistic conditions," he said.
It was the first time soldiers participated in a test of the system under those conditions — with limitations for safety — including not knowing what time the exercise would occur, said Cammy Montoya, spokeswoman for the Army Test and Evaluation Command. Previous tests have been conducted during planned times.
The missile defense system is one of two tested at the facility on Kauai's west coast. The other is the sea-based Aegis system.
"THAAD is the only missile defense system that can intercept missile both inside the atmosphere and outside the atmosphere," Lehner said. "Other missile defense technologies do either one or the other."
The Missile Defense Agency coordinates U.S. missile tests in cooperation with the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Officials will review data gathered from the test to evaluate the effectiveness of the system.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dies aged 56

Jobs introduced the iPod and the iPhone to the world

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Former chief executive and co-founder of US technology giant Apple Steve Jobs has died, the company says. He was 56.
"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve," Apple said.
Jobs announced he was suffering from pancreatic cancer in 2004.
Microsoft boss Bill Gates said Jobs' "profound impact" would " be felt for many generations to come".
Mr Gates added: "For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it's been an insanely great honour. I will miss Steve immensely."
US President Barack Obama also paid tribute: "Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it."
And New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that "America lost a genius who will be remembered with Edison and Einstein, and whose ideas will shape the world for generations to come".
'The face of Apple'
In the statement Apple said: "Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being".
"Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."
Jobs had built a reputation as a forthright and demanding leader who could take niche technologies - such as the mouse and the graphical window-based interface - and make them popular with the general public.
He introduced the colourful iMac computer, the iPod and the iPhone to the world. His death came just a day after Apple unveiled its latest iPhone 4S model.
In 2004, Jobs announced that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer and he had a liver transplant five years later.
In January, he took medical leave, before resigning as CEO in August and handing over his duties to Tim Cook.
In his resignation letter, Jobs said: "I believe Apple's brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role."
However, Jobs stayed on as Apple's chairman.
More than almost any other business leader, he was indistinguishable from his company, which he co-founded in the 1970s.
Apple - whose market value is estimated at $351bn (£227bn) - is now the world's most valuable technology company. Only oil giant Exxon Mobil is worth more.
As the face of Apple, Jobs represented its dedication to high-end technology and fashionable design.
And inside the company he exerted a level of influence unheard of in most businesses.
Despite a high profile, however, he remained fiercely protective of his private life.
He married his wife Laurene in 1991, and the couple had three children.
Jobs also leaves a daughter from a previous relationship, and as an adult discovered that he had a biological sister, US novelist Mona Simpson.