A Quest for the Skies

Swaziland, a small country in Southern Africa, is in the beginning stages of a growing aviation industry. With only one registered air carrier and 89,791 annual passengers, the country offers 14 airports including two with paved runways*. “There are very few female pilots in Swaziland, not more than five,” explained Zandile “Pepe” Sibandze, a Swazi native currently enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. Sibandze may be the first woman to study aerospace engineering in her country.
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Featured News

When Southwest flight 1380 started descending quickly and making an abrupt turn after an engine was damaged and rapid depressurization occurred in the cabin on April 17, Embry-Riddle alumnus Cory Davids, an air traffic controller with the New York Center, knew something wasn’t right.
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Graduates, government and corporate partners, and university representatives were among those who attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Europe commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12 at the Lufthansa Training and Conference Centre in Seeheim, Germany. 
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News Briefs

Outtakes

Soon you will see a new, bright light in the night sky. However, it is not a star or even a plane. According to Popular Mechanics, it’s a satellite sent to orbit by New Zealand company Rocket Lab. The small satellite, called the Humanity Star, is a carbon fibre, geodesic sphere made of 65 highly reflective panels. As it orbits, the Humanity Star spins rapidly and reflects sunlight back to Earth. Rocket Lab Founder and CEO Peter Beck hopes this satellite will encourage people to consider their place in the universe and reflect on their lives and humanity as a species. “Seldom do we as a species stop, look to the stars and realize our position in the universe as an achingly tiny speck of dust in the grandness of it all,” said Beck in a statement on the Humanity Star website. “Humanity is finite, and we won't be here forever. Yet in the face of this almost inconceivable insignificance, humanity is capable of great and kind things when we recognize we are one species, responsible for the care of each other, and our planet, together. The Humanity Star is to remind us of this.” The Humanity Star is best visible to the United States in March, so make sure to keep a look out. You can also track the Humanity Star to find out when it is most visible for your location. However, don’t wait too long. The Humanity Star will only orbit the earth for nine months, before it falls back to earth and burns up upon re-entry into the atmosphere.
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Earlier this month, more than 165,000 attendees visited the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Each year, this unique conference unveils some of the most brilliant, innovative technology, along with a collection of outlandish products. Check out Digital Trends’ look at the wackiest gadgets from CES 2018. Some of our favorites include the PowerDolphin water drone, Aibo robot dog, a flying-selfie phone case, and a robot that folds your clothes.
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According to a recent Popular Mechanics report, the Russian space agency has plans for an out-of-this-world tourism opportunity in 2022. Once complete, guests can stay in a luxury orbital suite at the International Space Station (ISS). The planned hotel spans approximately 50 feet and offers private cabins, bathroom facilities, exercise equipment and Wi-Fi. The trip also features a hefty price tag of $40 million per person for a one- to two-week trip. Space travelers will have the opportunity to splurge for an additional spacewalk accompanied by a professional cosmonaut or an extended month-long stay. The ISS is scheduled to retire in 2028, limiting this space tourism opportunity to a maximum of six years.   Space tourism is certainly on the horizon, with companies like Virgin Galactic and SpaceX also pursuing to blast customers into the cosmos. However, if you are interested in one of these astounding experiences, you may want to start saving now.
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Thanks to General Motors, getting your coffee fix just got a little easier. This month, the automotive retailer launched its Marketplace technology, which allows drivers to order food, reserve a table at a restaurant and locate nearby gas stations from their car’s in-vehicle touchscreen. The platform also affords users other expediencies such as paying for gas from the car, finding and paying for parking, and much more. With major brands like Applebee’s, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Shell, TGI Fridays and Wingstop already on board, Marketplace offers increasing convenience at the touch of button. “The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving. Leveraging connectivity and our unique data capabilities, we have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back,” said Santiago Chamorro, vice president for Global Connected Customer Experience, GM. “Marketplace is the first of a suite of new personalization features that we will roll out over the next 12 to 18 months to nearly four million U.S. drivers.” Marketplace is designed for use while driving and is available in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles with compatible infotainment systems. The platform utilizes the car’s embedded 4G LTE connectivity and does not require a separate data plan.
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More Headlines

On Aug. 14, 2005, a Helios Airways Boeing 737-300, en route from Lanarco to Prague by way of Athens climbed to 16,000 feet altitude before the captain reported an alarm. For eight minutes, the Boeing flew to 28,900 feet while the captain communicated with a ground team. Passenger oxygen masks deployed. Transmissions went silent. Fighter jet pilots, once airborne, saw the Boeing’s first officer slumped over the controls.
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A College of Engineering capstone project at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott Campus is receiving a lot of attention both inside and outside of the University.
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--> Veteran Embry-Riddle pilot Michele Halleran, along with Advanced Simulation Program Manager Thomas Peterson, used the university’s full-motion, Level D flight simulator to explain to ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz how Captain Tammie Jo Shults reacted when her Boeing 737-700 aircraft experienced engine failure shortly after takeoff on April 17. The steps Captain Shults took to safely land Southwest Flight 1380 were reenacted for Raddatz and a crew from ABC News 20/20. "Watch Pilots Who Safely Landed Deadly Southwest Flight May Have Experienced in Cockpit"
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Profiles

Courtney Thurston, a junior Honors Program student at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach Campus, is one of 211 undergraduate students nationwide that have been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships in the country.
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Graduating with his business degrees from Embry-Riddle, standout student athlete Jason Alvarez knows what it takes to succeed. As a Procurement Agent and Supplier Integration leader for The Boeing Company, Jason travels the globe meeting with seat suppliers to ensure Boeing delivers the best products and services to their airline customers. He also offers some advice to current and prospective business students.
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Dr. Jason M. Ruckert, Vice Chancellor of Online Education at Embry-Riddle Worldwide, has been appointed to distinguished leadership positions with two national organizations focused on shaping the future of online higher education. Earlier this month, Ruckert was named vice chair of the WCET Steering Committee. WCET is the leader in the practice, policy and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. This summer, Ruckert was appointed to UPCEA’s National Council for Online Education Advisory Board. The national council is the first of its kind and focuses on leadership; strategy; financial models; marketing and program development; student services; and effective partnerships within online education. “Both national boards have plans to do some pretty amazing things in the future, and the institutions represented are certainly those that plan to be on the cutting edge of online education. My goal is to ensure Embry-Riddle is always synonymous with world-class online education" Ruckert said.
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