Vega Rocket Failure Apparently Caused by Human Error

Screen capture from yesterday’s failed launch.

Screen capture from yesterday’s failed launch.
Image: Arianespace

An Arianespace Vega rocket carrying two satellites failed to reach orbit yesterday after experiencing a catastrophic failure eight minutes into the launch. Officials are attributing the loss of the rocket to a “series of human errors.”

Vega Flight VV17 started off well, with the 98-foot-tall (30-meter) rocket departing the Guiana Space Center at 8:52 p.m. ET. The first three stages, all powered by solid-fuel, did their job, propelling the vehicle and its cargo over the Atlantic ocean toward space. It was when the liquid-fueled upper stage kicked in that things went sideways.

According to satellite launch company Arianespace, the trouble began around the eight-minute mark of the mission. At that point, the upper stage, called AVUM (Attitude and Vernier Upper Module), correctly detached itself and ignited, in what was supposed to be the first of four consecutive

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Data Breach Hits 1 Million Swedes After Insurance Firm Error

(Bloomberg) — One of Sweden’s largest private insurers says it inadvertently allowed some of the world’s biggest tech companies to gain access to private data in a breach that affected up to 1 million clients.



a large room: High End Data Cables Feed Into Servers


© Bloomberg
High End Data Cables Feed Into Servers

Folksam Group, which oversees about $50 billion in insurance assets, said it shared client data with Facebook, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Adobe, according to a statement on Tuesday. The firm said it discovered the breach after an internal audit.

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“We understand that this can cause concern among our customers and we take what has happened seriously,” Folksam said. “We have immediately stopped sharing this personal information and requested that it be deleted.”

Folksam, which is a major investor in a number of Sweden’s biggest companies, said the breach happened as it was trying to “analyze and give our customers customized offers.”

“But unfortunately we

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New Poll Shows Biden’s Lead Over Trump Grows to 9 Points in Wisconsin, Beyond the Margin of Error

New polling out of Wisconsin shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a 9-point lead over Donald Trump in the key swing state, well outside of the margin of error just over a week until Election Day.



a man holding a sign: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden delivers remarks at an aluminum manufacturing facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on September 21


© JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden delivers remarks at an aluminum manufacturing facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on September 21

The survey, which was conducted by YouGov for the University of Wisconsin-Madison from October 13 to 21, shows Biden backed by 53 percent of likely voters, while just 44 percent support the president. Notably, that’s a gain of 3 percentage points for the former vice president and a loss of 2 percentage points for Trump, compared with results from the survey when it was carried out in September.

“It’s actually the first time that the margin is big enough that we can say it’s statistically significant, even accounting for the margin

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