Top Headlines: Pence speaks in Huntsville, Navy gives Austal $370M contract

Pence says in Huntsville that we’ll be back on the moon shortly
Americans will return to the moon by 2024, Vice President Mike Pence announced at a meeting of the National Space Council on Tuesday. “It is the stated policy of this administration and the United States of America to return American astronauts to the moon within the next five years,” Pence said. The vice president also said the ambitious target — four years earlier than NASA’s current schedule for a moon landing — would be met “by any means necessary.” – HuffPost

Navy gives Austal $370M contract for two more EFTs
Austal USA has received a potential $370.7 million contract modification to design and construct the U.S. Navy’s 13th and 14th Expeditionary Fast Transport ships. The modification has a face value of $261.8M and spells out contract actions for EPF 13 and 14 long lead-time materials in addition to the detail design and construction effort, the Department of Defense said. EPFs are designed to transport intra-theater personnel, supplies and equipment for the Armed Forces. – GovConWire

Boeing, Missile Defense Agency test scores hit in space
The U.S. Missile Defense Agency and Boeing this week for the first time launched two Ground-based Midcourse Defense system interceptors to destroy a threat-representative target, validating the fielded system protects the United States from intercontinental ballistic missiles. In the test, one interceptor struck the target in space. The second interceptor observed that intercept before destroying additional debris to ensure missile destruction. Lockheed’s Alabama facilities in Huntsville and Pike County represent much of its focus on missile defense. – News release

Analysts ponder CPSI’s CEO pay rate versus company performance
Computer Programs and Systems Inc. has a market capitalization of $416 million and pays its CEO total annual compensation worth $1.8 million. While CEO pay for a company that size is on typical, CPSI on average has shrunk earnings per share by 68 percent each year (measured with a line of best fit). In the last year, its revenue is up 1.3 percent. – Simply Wall St.

State added 1,900 tech jobs in 2018, according to industry source
Alabama’s tech sector contributed more than $13 billion to the state’s economy last year, as tech firms added almost 1,900 workers. That’s according to an analysis by CompTIA, the leading technology industry association. The state’s net tech employment grew by an estimated 1,888 jobs in 2018, a 1.3 percent increase over over the previous year. Overall, Alabama has more than 147,000 tech workers, and has added more than 10,000 jobs in that area since 2010. –

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BL Harbert International breaks ground on two Huntsville projects
BL Harbert International is getting started this month on two new Huntsville projects, with both scheduled for completion next year. One is Fleming Farms along Whitesburg Drive, a new senior housing community developed by Birmingham’s Dominion Partners. The other project is 8800 Redstone Gateway, a 76,000-square-feet office development located in Redstone Gateway. –

Tesla messing with German automakers on their home turf
Tesla has historically been having difficulties penetrating the German auto market, which is known for preferring German vehicles, but it looks like the Model 3 is helping Tesla pierce the market and shake establish automakers. Germany is arguably the most important automotive market in Europe and it also happens to have the biggest automotive industry with companies like Volkswagen, Daimler, and BMW dominating the market. – Electrek

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