Virgin Galactic gets NASA contract, prepares for test flight

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SpaceX’s next Starship rocket may soar to 15 kilometers this weekend, but Elon Musk says there’s a 2-in-3 chance the flight may fail



a man standing in front of a tall building: SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, is building and launching Starship prototypes in Boca Chica, Texas. SpaceX; Mark Brake/Getty Images; Business Insider


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SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, is building and launching Starship prototypes in Boca Chica, Texas. SpaceX; Mark Brake/Getty Images; Business Insider

  • SpaceX is planning to fly a Starship rocket prototype to its highest altitude yet this weekend, according to road closures and a Notice to Airmen issued for the aerospace company’s launch site in southern Texas. 
  • The spacecraft should fly 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) into the air. Previous prototypes have only made short hops of about 150 meters (492 feet).
  • SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said there was a lot that could go wrong, and gave the rocket a one-in-three chance of landing in one piece.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

This weekend, Elon Musk’s space-exploration company, SpaceX, is poised to take a big step forward in its quest to further revolutionize space travel.

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Musk tweeted on Sunday that a prototype of

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Space balloon company raises funds, will conduct first test flight next year

A company that plans to send passengers to the edge of space in a pressurized vehicle beneath a large balloon said Wednesday it is on track to fly a demonstration mission next year and has raised the funds needed to accomplish this.

Space Perspective, which is based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, announced it has raised $7 million in seed funding in a round of funding

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New drone technology uses data from mobile networks to chart flight paths. Here are the two companies behind it

By Jack Denton

The telecom companies say they can use mobile network data to facilitate flight corridors

Ericsson (ERIC-B.SK) and Vodafone said that they have successfully tested technology that uses mobile network data to facilitate flight corridors for drones, opening the door to safer and more accurate flights for commercial and emergency purposes.

In a trial this month in Germany, the two European telecom giants used data from mobile networks to produce coverage maps to allow a drone to stay in areas with good signal up in the air.

The technology allows drone operators, including emergency services, to deliver supplies quickly, while maintaining and optimizing the connection to the mobile network, which is crucial for flight.

The trial also used another technology from Vodafone to collate anonymized and secured mobile user data on the ground, which allowed the drone to avoid heavily crowded areas.

“The mobile network is a data-rich

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With ability to fly anywhere in the world, ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator’ players choose this special place

Paris? New York? Hawaii? Over the Grand Canyon? If you could fly anywhere, even on an imaginary flight via “Microsoft Flight Simulator,” where would you go? The answer to the question is a bit surprising, but actually makes perfect sense in the age of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a new documentary about the making of the rebooted video game, when faced with the ability to fly anywhere in the world, 70% of players chose the same place. They flew home.

Microsoft’s longest running product franchise returned to the skies in August with its first refresh in 14 years. The game takes advantage technology enhancements including use of Bing Maps’ global imagery and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, along with artificial intelligence tech that enables live traffic and real-time weather.

PREVIOUSLY: ‘Flight Simulator’ is back, and it’s real: Microsoft uses cloud to help classic franchise soar again

The 30-minute documentary

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Tech’s flight from San Francisco is a relief to some advocates

SAN FRANCISCO — When Chirag Bhakta saw a headline recently that said tech workers were fleeing San Francisco, he had a quick reaction: “Good riddance.”

Bhakta, a San Francisco native and tenant organizer for affordable housing nonprofit Mission Housing, is well-versed in the seismic impact that the growth of the tech industry has had on the city. As software companies expanded over the past decade, they drew thousands of well-off newcomers who bid up rents and remade the city’s economy and culture.

He said the sudden departure of many tech workers and executives — often to less expensive, rural areas where they can telecommute during the coronavirus pandemic — reveals that their relationship with San Francisco was “transactional” all along.

“They used their capital to radically shift the makeup of poor, working-class communities,” Bhakta said. “We’re left with ‘for sale’ signs and price points that are still out of reach

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Microsoft Flight Simulator’s Next World Update Focuses On The UK

Microsoft Flight Simulator developer Asobo Studios has revealed plans to tweak the United Kingdom in its next World Update for the flight sim. Japan was the first area to receive a new lick of paint back in September, while a number of new airports and points of interest were added to the USA earlier this week.

In a recent Twitch stream, Asobo laid out its roadmap for future updates, and the UK is next on the list with World Update 3 due out on January 28. The British Isles are set to be spruced up now that the studio has a new set of data for England, Scotland, and Wales. There’s no map information for Northern Ireland available just yet, but head of Microsoft Flight Simulator Jorg Neumann says the entirety of Ireland will be updated at some point in the future.

There will be between 50 and 60 points

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New insights on health effects of long-duration space flight — ScienceDaily

The historic NASA Twins Study investigated identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly and provided new information on the health effects of spending time in space.

Colorado State University Professor Susan Bailey was one of more than 80 scientists across 12 universities who conducted research on the textbook experiment; Mark remained on Earth while Scott orbited high above for nearly one year. The massive effort was coordinated by NASA’s Human Research Program.

Bailey has continued her NASA research and now joins more than 200 investigators from dozens of academic, government, aerospace and industry groups to publish a package of 30 scientific papers in five Cell Press journals on Nov. 25.

Jared Luxton, who recently received his doctoral degree in cell and molecular biology at CSU, is the first author of two of the studies. He is now a data scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture in Fort Collins.

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‘Saved By The Bell’ And ‘The Flight Attendant’ Compete For Thanksgiving Streams

One is a revival of a classic 1990s sitcom. And the other stars one of the leading actors from the biggest sitcom in recent history. Saved by the Bell (Peacock) and The Flight Attendant (HBO Max) have both landed on streaming in time for Thanksgiving, but which one is America watching?

The long-awaited reboot of Saved by the Bell is one of the calling cards of NBC Universal’s
UVV
new Peacock streaming service and premiered its entire first season on Wednesday. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max launched the first three episodes of Flight Attendant Thursday after a weeklong preview window of the first episode for non-subscribers.

Both Peacock and Max are betting big on these buzzy new shows helping the fledgling streamers break big in Year 1, relying on familiar intellectual property and familiar names to draw in subscribers to compete with Disney+ and Netflix

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SpaceX could send next-gen Starship rocket on its first big flight next week

Starship could get much closer to Mars than it’s ever been by the end of this month, but even if it succeeds it will still have a long way to go.



SpaceX assembled the shiny pieces of its planned Starship orbital prototype in late 2019. This wasn't a launch-ready version, but it shows what the spacecraft will likely look like when it's finally ready for testing. SpaceX


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SpaceX assembled the shiny pieces of its planned Starship orbital prototype in late 2019. This wasn’t a launch-ready version, but it shows what the spacecraft will likely look like when it’s finally ready for testing. SpaceX

Elon Musk and SpaceX have continued to improve the company’s next-generation rocket intended to eventually transport thousands of Earthlings to Mars, the moon and other destinations. Over the past 18 months, a handful of short test flights, or “hops,” have seen a few prototypes lift off a pad in Texas, rise to an elevation of about 500 feet (150 meters) and then come back down for a soft landing.

SpaceX Starship prototype takes first ‘hop’

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