We take a look at our planet from a new perspective, one that more tourists will be visiting in the coming years. Pilots react against the newest cutbacks in security. And, we note the surprising list of the world’s busiest airports. (Where’s the USA and Europe?)

The impact of space travel

Phil Plait in his Bad Astronomy blog, notes the way that space travel might change our perspective of our planet. To him, this is enormously important. In this post he explains the Manicouagan impact crater that from earth is unimpressive, but from space unique and noteable.

But look again. To the right, see that big circle, like a giant Q stamped into the land? It looks like a circular lake, or, to be more accurate, an annular (ringlike) one. But that’s no ordinary lake. That’s the Manicouagan impact crater.

A little over 200 million years ago, an asteroid or comet the size of a small mountain (maybe five or so kilometers across) slammed into the ground about 200 kilometers north of where the St. Lawrence is now. The impact was massive, and left a complex, multi-ringed crater over 100 km (60 miles) across. The lake is actually filling the inner ring, which is about 70 km (40 miles) across.

President’s budget slashes in-flight airline security program

The Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program has been training volunteer pilots, flight engineers or navigators in use of firearms, use of force, defensive tactics and other survival procedures. These FFDO-trained crew members provide a last line of defense in the air should a flight encounter a problem.

The President’s budget cuts layer out our security system.

Federal Flight Deck Officers are sworn and deputized federal law enforcement officers commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security/TSA Law Enforcement Division. It is one layer of security that should probably stay with the elimination of the ban of knives onboard. It seems that a firearm will trump a two-and-a-half inch knife.

“While it is unlikely that the President’s budget will be adopted as written, any attempts to defund an effective, cost-efficient program should be flatly rejected by Congress,” said Mark Richardson, SWAPA President. “Our union and pilots will continue to make the case that this is simply one of the best federal programs to protect passengers, pilots and staff, and the general public from acts of terrorism.”

Top 10 busiest air travel routes in the world

A report from travel-tech and GDS company Amadeus shows that 300 “super air-travel routes” carried 22 percent of the world’s airline traffic last year. The most surprising news is that none of the Top 10 routes are in North America or Europe!