Caitlin Fairchild

Web Producer Caitlin Fairchild joined Government Executive in summer 2011 as an editorial fellow, after graduating from the College of William & Mary, where she spent four years writing for the student newspaper, The Flat Hat. In March 2012, she was hired full time as a web producer. She has completed internships at Washingtonian Magazine and at the public affairs office of Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
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Inside the NASA Lab That Builds Model Airplanes

March 23, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Think model airplanes are just a toy? At NASA Armstrong's Sub-scale Research Lab, experiments in model aircraft can change the future of spaceflight. "We use small-scale unmanned aircraft to test out theories and ideas before they go onto the manned world," said Robert Jensen, operations engineer and pilot at the...

One Day You, Too, Could Fly a Jetpack

March 22, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Jetpacks are flying off the movie screen and into reality. Company Jetpack Aviation is just one of the startups dabbling in the sci-fi technology. Company CEO David Maimon used its prototype, the JB9, to fly around the Statue of Liberty in 2015. One lucky civilian, blogger and engineer Mischa Pollack,...

Apps That Organize Your Digital Life

March 21, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow With spring arriving, many people are deep-cleaning their homes and organizing their lives. But what about organizing your digital life? Flic lets users clean up their camera roll via a speedy swiping method: left to trash, right to keep. The app also keeps track of how much space you've cleared...

Robots Are Coming to Your Home: Here's What to Expect

March 17, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Human-like robots have been around for years, such as Honda's ASIMO robot, but they haven't truly become part of people's lives—until now. A new kind of home robot might play a larger role in our daily routines in the years to come. The key aspect manufacturers and developers are changing...

The Jumbo Jet NASA Turned Into a Telescope

March 16, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Sofia isn't your ordinary Boeing 747. Sofia, or Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is co-owned by NASA and Germany's space agency DLR and has been transformed into a flying, infrared telescope. A 16-by-23-foot hole was cut in the fuselage to place the telescope, which is fitted with gyroscopes and precision...

This Smartphone Can Break Your Smartphone Addiction

March 15, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow For many of us, smartphones have become a necessity for work and life. Staying connected 24/7 has its obvious benefits, but saps users focus and shortens our attention spans. One smartphone currently in development, Siempo, bills itself as a solution: A smartphone without distractions. Its interface features only essential functions...

How the Energy Department Uses World's Largest Wind Tunnel

March 14, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Where do you run tests on a "super truck"? At the world's largest wind tunnel, of course. It measures 80 feet high, 120 feet wide and can hold a Boeing 737. Navistar is currently developing these big rigs as part of the Energy Department's super trucking program, which aims to...

When Robots Race, the Student Engineers Win

March 13, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The California Institute of Technology Engineering department recently held its annual robotics competition. This year's theme? The "Robstacle Course." The competition featured five teams of mechanical engineering students and their engineering prowess. The students were told the challenge at the beginning of the year and then spent months developing prototypes...

How to Plan a Mission to the International Space Station

March 10, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Are you a planner? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants? For the crew members aboard the International Space Station, their days are meticulously planned to the minute at least six months in advance before they're even in orbit. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama,...

These Drones Inspect Wind Turbines for Damage

March 9, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow SkySpec's automated drone inspects wind turbines for defects in just 20 minutes. By collecting images and data required for maintenance at a quick pace, it drastically streamlines the whole data collection process. Using a drone to inspect wind turbines is also considerably safer. Currently, humans conduct maintenance checks of turbines,...

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