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SpaceX Launch: Nasa Astronauts Launch into Orbit in Historic Mission on Private Spaceship

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken lifts off during NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 30, 2020.  (Photo: Reuters)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken lifts off during NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 30, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

High above the Earth, the Crew Dragon jettisoned moments later from the second-stage rocket, sending the capsule on its way to the space station.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: May 31, 2020, 7:22 AM IST

Cape Canaveral, Florida: SpaceX, the private rocket company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, launched two Americans into orbit from Florida on Saturday in a landmark mission marking the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from US soil in nine years.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 3:22 p.m. EDT (1922 GMT), launching Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on a 19-hour ride aboard the company’s newly designed Crew Dragon capsule bound for the International Space Station.

Just before liftoff, Hurley said, “SpaceX, we’re go for launch. Let’s light this candle,” paraphrasing the famous comment uttered on the launch pad in 1961 by Alan Shepard, the first American flown into space.

Minutes after launch, the first-stage booster rocket of the Falcon 9 separated from the upper second-stage rocket and flew itself back to Earth to descend safely onto a landing platform floating in the Atlantic.

High above the Earth, the Crew Dragon jettisoned moments later from the second-stage rocket, sending the capsule on its way to the space station.

The exhilarating spectacle of the rocket soaring flawlessly into the heavens came as a welcome triumph for a nation gripped by racially-charged civil unrest as well as ongoing fear and economic upheaval from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Falcon 9 took off from the same launch pad used by NASA’s final space shuttle flight, piloted by Hurley, in 2011. Since then, NASA astronauts have had to hitch rides into orbit aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.

“It’s incredible, the power, the technology,” said US President Donald Trump, who was at Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida for the launch. “That was a beautiful sight to see.”

The mission’s first launch attempt on Wednesday was called off with less than 17 minutes remaining on the countdown clock. Weather again threatened Saturday’s launch, but cleared in time to proceed with the mission.

SPACEFLIGHT MILESTONES

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine has said resuming launches of American astronauts on American-made rockets from US soil is the space agency’s top priority.

“I’m breathing a sigh of relief, but I will also tell you I’m not gonna celebrate until Bob and Doug are home safely.” Bridenstine said.

For Musk, the launch represents another milestone for the reusable rockets his company pioneered to make spaceflight less costly and more frequent. And it marks the first time commercially developed space vehicles – owned and operated by a private entity rather than NASA – have carried Americans into orbit.

The last time NASA launched astronauts into space aboard a brand new vehicle was 40 years ago at the start of the space shuttle program.

Musk, the South African-born high-tech entrepreneur who made his fortune in Silicon Valley, is also chief executive of electric carmaker and battery manufacturer Tesla Inc. He founded Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies, in 2002.

Hurley, 53, and Behnken, 49, NASA employees under contract to fly with SpaceX, are expected to remain at the space station for several weeks, assisting a short-handed crew aboard the orbital laboratory.

Boeing Co, producing its own launch system in competition with SpaceX, is expected to fly its CST-100 Starliner vehicle with astronauts aboard for the first time next year. NASA has awarded nearly $8 billion combined to SpaceX and Boeing for development of their rival rockets.

Trump also hailed the launch as a major advance toward the goal of eventually sending humans to Mars.

He was joined at the viewing by Musk, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Florida congressman Matt Gaetz and Senator Rick Scott.

Earlier on Saturday, the crew bid goodbye to their families. Prior to climbing into a specially designed Tesla automobile for the ride to the launch site, Behnken told his young son, “Be good for mom. Make her life easy.”

During the drive, Behnken and Hurley passed former astronaut Garrett Reisman who held a sign saying, “Take me with you.”






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SpaceX Crew Dragon Launches for ISS, #LaunchAmerica En Route Historic Success

NASA and SpaceX's Demo-2 mission goes underway as the Crew Dragon, sitting atop the Falcon 9, launches into space right on schedule. (Image: SpaceX)

NASA and SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission goes underway as the Crew Dragon, sitting atop the Falcon 9, launches into space right on schedule. (Image: SpaceX)

After its initial launch got postponed on May 27, SpaceX managed to create history by being the first private company to launch humans to space, onboard the swanky Crew Dragon.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 31, 2020, 1:35 AM IST

NASA and SpaceX have pulled off a historic launch, with Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon taking off from Launch Pad 39a of NASA Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. Crew Dragon has embarked on what is a near-24 hour journey that will take NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Center, after its May 27 launch was cancelled due to bad weather. The launch sequence was executed perfectly, with the Crew Dragon launching atop the Falcon 9 and heading into orbit.

SpaceX has also succeeded in retrieving the booster stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, which separated from the rest of the rocket minutes into lift-off. The booster stage rocket then re-entered Earth and landed back on the SpaceX drone ship ‘Of Course I Still Love You’, all in a smooth sequence. The next sequence of the mission went smoothly as well, with the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket separating according to schedule, leaving Crew Dragon on its gradual trajectory to the ISS.

In the next course of events, Crew Dragon will now fire its engines in a series of sequences to bring it up to altitude with the ISS, and then begin its approach to the ISS. It will then cross over the Keep-Out Zone of the ISS and begin a slow, sequential approach to docking. Once it reaches the aligned axis, it will attempt to dock with the ISS at PMA-2 of the Station’s Harmony module. The entire process until docking will take close to 24 hours.

While this will conclude the first phase of the mission, Crew Dragon’s Demo-2 mission will also include bringing Behnken and Hurley back to Earth, which can be anytime between one and four months. On its way back, Crew Dragon will lose its ‘trunk’ in a bid to offload some weight, before re-entering Earth and splashing back on the sea. On this occasion, SpaceX’s Go Navigator search and rescue ship will be on hand to retrieve the astronauts and bring them back to ground station.

Follow this space for further updates about Crew Dragon’s journey to the ISS, and its eventual docking sequence.




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SpaceX Launch LIVE: Watch Here as Crew Dragon Attempts to Make History Again

SpaceX Launch LIVE: Watch Here as Crew Dragon Attempts to Make History Again

After the Florida weather spoiled SpaceX’s party, the Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission will attempt a second launch later today, at 3:22PM EDT (12:52AM IST on May 31).

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 10:32 PM IST

SpaceX is geared up and rolling for round two of trying to make history as the first commercial company to carry humans to space. After the Florida weather played spoilsport and cancelled the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch on May 27 with barely 15 minutes left on the timer, all eyes are on SpaceX and NASA’s first manned mission, titled Demo-2, to suggest that this is the final “trial” mission of SpaceX’s efforts, which the latter will try really hard to get right. To watch the historic launch’s live stream for yourself, tune in to SpaceX’s stream on YouTube, in the video here.

SpaceX has, over the past years, been pitching for privatisation of space missions. Its big advantage, as claimed by its founder Elon Musk, is the usage of reusable space rockets, wherein the initial booster stage can be recovered and reused in multiple missions. This will make scheduled space runs, such as trips to the International Space Station for both crew and cargo, more affordable. Today’s Demo-2 second launch attempt is the final hurdle to this process, which SpaceX will aim to cross, subject to good weather conditions.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken arrived at the NASA Kennedy Space Center earlier today in shiny white Tesla Model X cars, with redesigned space suits also looking more suave in comparison to NASA’s previous suits. As per the launch day schedule, the astronauts are presently undergoing the final crew module checks post breakfast and ascent, following which the hatch will be closed shortly. The next time the hatch will be reopened is close to 24 hours later, when the SpaceX Crew Dragon module will dock itself at the PMA-2 docking station on ISS’ Harmony module.

If SpaceX gets its launch right, it will be scheduled for more crew missions going forward, starting as early as later this year. This is a part of SpaceX’s eventual plan to play a role in manned missions to the moon and Mars as well, later in this decade. If today’s launch is held successfully, this will mark the first time since 2011 that NASA’s astronauts will take off for space from American soil. So far, NASA has been piggybacking rides to the ISS aboard the Russian Soyuz crew module, from the Kazakhstan launch site.




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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Likely To Feature 5nm-Based Exynos 992 Chipset

Representative image.

Representative image.

The standard Galaxy Note 20 will sport a 6.42-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 1084*2345 resolution.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 11:48 AM IST

South Korean tech giant Samsung is working on a new chipset called the Exynos 992 and now a new report has claimed that the chipset may debut with the Galaxy Note 20 lineup in August. Exynos 992 will be Samsung’s first mobile chipset to be built using a 5nm EUV process and the company has completed mass production preparations for the same, ZDNet Korea reported recently.

Interestingly, the report states the Exynos 992 will use the all-new ARM Cortex-A78 CPU and Mali-G78 GPU designs. The Cortex-A78 CPU is claimed to offer 20 percent higher performance compared to the previous-gen Cortex-A77, which is used in the Snapdragon 865 chipset. Samsung is planning to skip the physical event to launch its Galaxy Note 20 series and, instead, aims to host it online owing to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ahead of the launch, some specifications of the Galaxy Note 20 series surfaced online.

The standard Galaxy Note 20 will sport a 6.42-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 1084*2345 resolution. The top-end Note 20 smartphone will get slightly bigger and sport a massive 6.87-inch LTPO screen with an AMOLED panel.




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Microsoft Replacing Journalists with AI is Our Nightmare Coming True

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

These news production contractors work with Microsoft News, the company’s news content arm that operates MSN.com and other properties

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 3:29 PM IST

Microsoft is reportedly laying off at least 50 news production workers and replacing them with artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms to perform their editorial duties. According to a report in the Seattle Times on Saturday, the roughly 50 employees — contracted through staffing agencies Aquent, IFG and MAQ Consulting — have been notified “that their services would no longer be needed beyond June 30”.

These news production contractors work with Microsoft News, the company’s news content arm that operates MSN.com and other properties. A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement that like all companies, they evaluate the business on a regular basis.

“This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic,” said the Microsoft spokesperson. Some employees told Seattle Times that “MSN will use AI to replace the production work they’d been doing”.

The work includes using algorithms to identify trending news stories from dozens of publishing partners, rewrite headlines or adding better photographs or slide shows. Besides the production work, the contract employees also planned content, maintained the editorial calendars of partner news websites and assigned content to them.




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Android 11 Beta Launch Postponed from June 3 Due to Protests in USA

The official icon of the Android 11 Developer Preview. (Illustration altered by News18.com)

The official icon of the Android 11 Developer Preview. (Illustration altered by News18.com)

The event was originally scheduled to take place virtually on Wednesday, according to the website.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 3:13 PM IST

Alphabet Inc’s Google on Saturday said it has postponed next week’s planned unveiling of the beta version of its latest Android 11 mobile operating system in light of protests and unrest in the United States.

“We are excited to tell you more about Android 11, but now is not the time to celebrate,” Google said in a message posted on its Android developer’s website.

The event was originally scheduled to take place virtually on Wednesday, according to the website. In a tweet, it said that it will announce more details on the new version of Android “soon,” without specifying any dates.

Protests have spread across the United States over the killing of George Floyd, a Minneapolis black man who died after being pinned by the neck under a white police officer’s knee.




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Google Maps Will Now Allow Android Users To Share Their Location Using 'Plus Codes'

Google Maps Will Now Allow Android Users To Share Their Location Using 'Plus Codes'

A Plus Code is essentially a digital address and it’s derived from latitude and longitude coordinates. It can be generated for any location.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 2:49 PM IST

Google Maps app for Android has received a new update where users can share their locations using Plus Codes. Google Maps has the option to show Plus Codes since August 2015. The new change, however, is aimed to expand Plus Codes usage by allowing users to easily share their locations.

A Plus Code is essentially a digital address and it’s derived from latitude and longitude coordinates. It can be generated for any location. “The technology to generate Plus Codes is also open source, which means the technology is easy and free to use, so anyone can see how the technology works and develop their own applications for any use case,” David Martin, Director of Program Management, Google Maps, said in a statement on Friday.

Users will be able to tap on the blue dot representing their current location and get a Plus Code for it. Alternatively, they can long tap on a spot to put a pin on it and get a code for that.

Alongside the Plus Code, the application will also show other options including options to see nearby places, share your location and save your parking. Once the app shows the Plus Code on the screen, one will be able to copy it just by tapping on it. Now, one will be able to share it among contacts by pasting it on apps like WhatsApp, Messages and more.




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Three Indian Firms Get Approval to Manufacture NASA's COVID-19 Ventilators

Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

This high-pressure ventilator offers a simple, affordable option for treating critical patients while freeing up traditional ventilators.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 2:48 PM IST

Three Indian companies have got licences from NASA to manufacture its indigenously developed ventilators for critical COVID-19 patients. The three Indian companies are Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd, Bharat Forge Ltd and Medha Servo Drives Pvt Ltd, the space organisation said in a statement on Friday.

Apart from the Indian firms, 18 other companies, including eight American and three Brazilian, have been selected to manufacture the critical breathing devices. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is an independent agency for space research, aeronautics and related programmes in the US, developed the ventilator specifically for coronavirus patients at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JLP) in Southern California.

The JPL engineers designed the special ventilator — called VITAL — in little over a month and received ‘Emergency Use Authorization’ from the Food and Drug Administration on April 30. The VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally) equipment uses one-seventh the parts of a traditional ventilator, relying on parts already available in supply chains, the space organisation said.

This high-pressure ventilator offers a simple, affordable option for treating critical patients while freeing up traditional ventilators for those with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms. Its flexible design means it also can be modified for use in field hospitals, the NASA statement read.

“The VITAL team is very excited to see their technology licenced,” said Leon Alkalai, manager of the JPL Office of Strategic Partnerships. “Our hope is to have this technology reach across the world and provide an additional source of solutions to deal with the on-going COVID-19 crisis,” he said.

NASA said VITAL was developed with input from doctors and medical device manufacturers. A prototype of the JPL device was successfully tested by the Human Simulation Lab in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Mount Sinai on April 23.

A modified design, which uses compressed air and can be deployed by a greater range of hospitals, was recently tested at the UCLA Simulation Center in Los Angeles. A high-fidelity lung simulator tested almost 20 different ventilator settings, representing a number of scenarios that could be seen in critically ill patients in an intensive care unit, it said.

“VITAL performed well in simulation testing with both precise and reproducible results,” said Dr Tisha Wang, clinical chief of the UCLA Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “In addition, the setup and operation of the ventilator was quick and user-friendly. The UCLA team commends JPL for actively contributing to the COVID-19 response and successfully addressing one of the key medical needs in the sickest group of patients,” a media statement said.

The coronavirus, which first emerged in China’s Wuhan city, has claimed 1,02,836 lives in the US, with over 1.7 million confirmed cases so far. The global death toll has crossed 3,50,000.



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Microsoft Reportedly Lays Off Dozens of Editorial Workers and Replace Them With AI

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

These news production contractors work with Microsoft News, the company’s news content arm that operates MSN.com and other properties

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 11:47 AM IST

Microsoft is reportedly laying off at least 50 news production workers and replacing them with artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms to perform their editorial duties. According to a report in the Seattle Times on Saturday, the roughly 50 employees — contracted through staffing agencies Aquent, IFG and MAQ Consulting — have been notified “that their services would no longer be needed beyond June 30”.

These news production contractors work with Microsoft News, the company’s news content arm that operates MSN.com and other properties. A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement that like all companies, they evaluate the business on a regular basis.

“This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time to time, redeployment in others. These decisions are not the result of the current pandemic,” said the Microsoft spokesperson. Some employees told Seattle Times that “MSN will use AI to replace the production work they’d been doing”.

The work includes using algorithms to identify trending news stories from dozens of publishing partners, rewrite headlines or adding better photographs or slide shows. Besides the production work, the contract employees also planned content, maintained the editorial calendars of partner news websites and assigned content to them.




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iQoo 3 Receives Second Price Cut in Two Months, Now Available for Rs 31,990

iQoo 3 Receives Second Price Cut in Two Months, Now Available for Rs 31,990

This is the second time iQoo has announced a price cut for the handset which raises the question- is the handset selling at all?

  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 1:22 PM IST

Smartphone maker Vivo’s sub-brand iQoo entered the Indian smartphone market earlier this year. The company’s first handset made headlines as it became one of the most affordable phones with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. Last month the company announced a revised price tag for the handset and now the company has announced a second price cut.

HOW MUCH DOES THE IQOO 3 COST?

The iQoo3 is now selling for Rs 31,990 for the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage model. The 8GB RAM + 256GB storage variant sells for Rs 34,990 while the top variant which offers 5G connectivity along with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is now selling at Rs 41,990.

IQOO 3 SPECIFICATIONS

The iQoo 3 features a 6.44-inch full-HD+ (1080×2400 pixels) Super AMOLED display with support for HDR 10+ and 91.40 percent screen-to-body ratio with Schott Xensation UP protective layer. There is a punch-hole on the top right corner for the camera and other features include a 180Hz touch sampling rate and 800 nits of peak brightness that can max out at 1200 nits in certain cases. as per iQoo.

The handset is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC paired with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. There is a quad-camera setup at the back with a 48-megapixel primary camera with the Sony IMX582 sensor and an f/1.79 aperture lens. This is paired to a 13-megapixel telephoto lens with an f/2.46 aperture and 20x digital zoom, a 13-megapixel wide-angle snapper with an f/2.2 aperture and a 120-degree field of view, and a 2-megapixel portrait camera with an f/2.4 aperture. At the front, there is a 16-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.45 aperture. for gamers, there are two shoulder buttons and a dedicated game mode to tinker with the settings.

Rest of the features include 5G, 4G, Bluetooth 5.1, dual-SIM card tray, USB Type-C 2.0, GPS, Glonass and a 4,440mAh battery. The large battery can be charged from 0-50% in just 15 mins using the proprietary 55W Super FlashCharge technology. The handset will be offered in Quantum Silver, Tornado Black and Volcano Orange colour options.




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