Rapid Fire 2010-12-09: Northern Asian Maritime Disputes

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* SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule launch successfully (webcast & tweets | PDF briefing | Space.com). This is the first flight under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) project, and the 1st new American human capable spacecraft to travel to orbit and back since the Space Shuttle took flight in 1981. * US F-15 fighters scramble to intercept Russian Navy Illyshin Il-38 patrol aircraft gathering intel on US-Japan military exercises. * Asia Sentinel maps out key northern Asian maritime disputes and flashpoints. * Eight companies, including Boeing and L-3, win contracts worth up to $900 million to support military training simulators for the US services, Kuwait, and Malaysia. * Kazakhstan to pay $150 million for Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles as part of regional missile defense system. * GeoEye agrees to pay $46 million for SPADAC, a McLean, VA-based provider of geospatial predictive analytics to defense, intelligence, and homeland security customers. * CACI gets $34 million contract to maintain budget systems for the Pentagon’s Comptroller under the $12.3 billion Encore II contract vehicle. * RQ-4 Global Hawks to replace KC-135 Stratotankers at Grand Forks Air Force Base, after a 50-year KC-135 air refueling mission at the base.

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