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Another week in the history books – well done! As our gift to you we've wrangled some of the more interesting stories in manufacturing and aerospace including the debut of Virgin Galactic's new spacewear line which is sure to be must-have attire for amateur rocketeers.
The hits just keep on coming for U.S. manufacturing which saw production fall %0.5 in September. Ongoing trade frictions, slowing global growth, a decrease in mining production, and the not-yet settled strike at General Motors are all weighing on the industry. Economists fear that the weakness may spread to other sectors like retail and construction which both experienced softening last month. Still, consumer spending remains solid which augurs well for the economy.
The 32-day General Motors strike is almost at an end. A tentative agreement has been struck between the company and the United Automobile Workers, but the deal still needs to be ratified by the union. According to reports, the new four-year contract includes pay increases, $11,000 ratification bonuses, and the company's commitment to generously funding workers' health insurance. GM will get something it wants out of the negotiation, namely, the closing of three U.S. assembly plants and a parts distribution facility.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced "LA MADE 4.0," a citywide initiative aimed at preparing Angelenos for new technologies and providing middle-class career opportunities to those interested in manufacturing. LA MADE 4.0 – a partnership between the City of Los Angeles, Goodwill Southern California, the UCLA-based Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII), and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering – will retrain 3,000 workers and develop 500 manufacturing pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships. While the City of Angels has traditionally been a hub for aerospace and defense, LA Made 4.0 will extend to other core manufacturing sectors including food and beverage, biotechnology, and fashion.
A $250K ticket aboard Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic rocket doesn't just get you a flight off this dying planet, it also gets you some très chic duds. The aerospace company has partnered with Under Armour on spacewear for private astronauts. The attire includes a spacesuit, footwear, training suit and limited edition astronaut jacket. Sir Richard Branson and some models debuted the fashion on a zero-gravity catwalk, which you can watch at the link.
If you've got 26 minutes and 22 seconds to burn then might we recommend a viewing of Rocket Lab's launch of its Electron rocket which went down (or up, rather) on Wednesday. It was the ninth such launch for the aerospace company, and the mission, codenamed "As the Crow Flies", delivered an imagining satellite into orbit. If you're watching with headphones then be sure to turn the volume down as sending a launch vehicle supersonic is, unsurprisingly, super loud.
Can't get enough of these sweet sweet roundups? Check out last week's while it's still kinda fresh.