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A new space race in the offing? – Deccan Herald

As the world is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic and the United States is in a precarious situation, President Donald Trump has passed an executive order allowing Americans the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space.

All major spacefaring nations, including the United States of America and India, are signatories of the Outer Space Treaty, 1967. Article II of The Outer Space Treaty, 1967, states: Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means. The Moon Agreement 1979, although ratified by only 18 countries, the US not being one of them, also prohibits the exploration of the moon. The order highlights that US doesnt consider space as global commons and further states that the US is not a party to the 1979 Moon Agreement and doesnt recognise the Agreement to be an effective or necessary instrument to guide nation-states regarding the promotion of commercial participation in the long-term exploration, scientific discovery, and use of the Moon, Mars, or other celestial bodies.

Commercial exploitation of space

While the legal opinion on the legitimacy of exploiting outer space by the US is divided, the intent of commercial exploration is not entirely new. Over the past couple of years, we are seeing increasing interest in asteroid mining and exploitation of space by nation-states. The US Congress had passed the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act in 2015 giving its citizens the right to possess, own, transport, use, and sell the asteroid resource or space resource obtained. NASAs Artemis Lunar Exploration programme plans to develop a base camp at the south pole of the moon and build other infrastructure to facilitate long-term exploration of the moon. Billionaire explorers like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, are also looking to reach Mars and other celestial bodies and take advantage of the resources found.

Luxembourg, a small European nation, has implemented an even more liberal regime than the US for asteroid mining and harvesting of other resources from space. Trumps executive order is an endorsement of the growing global sentiment and formal recognition of the property rights of private players from the US.

Russia has heavily criticised the US, and Trump for the order, stating, attempts to expropriate outer space and aggressive plans to actually seize territories of other planets hardly set the countries (on course for) fruitful cooperation. However, we need to trust actions, not words when we observe sovereign nation-states in the international arena.

Russias space agency Roscosmos has announced plans for a 2024 orbiter, a 2028 sample-return mission, and human flights by 2029-30. China has an ambitious lunar programme with its Change missions. Russia and China are also planning to build a shared data centre for lunar and deep-sea research. It will be interesting to see whether all these missions are only towards the pursuit of science or are there other strategic and economic interests that the countries will undertake.

New strains in international order

Setting up bases and exploiting and trading resources found in space is also a way of asserting power in space. Most states now acknowledge space as a new domain of security, and thus are building capabilities to safeguard their interests and project power. While building defensive capabilities through specialised defence space agencies is one way, establishing economic avenues through the exploitation of resources and trade is the other way to gain primacy.

The Outer Space Treaty, enacted in 1967, in the wake of the cold war and the height of the space race, has done well to prevent exploitation of space so far. As space exploration and travel is becoming cheaper, and there is increased participation from private players, we are likely to see new strains in the international order. We would observe an increased interest in property rights in space and countries trying to enable, if not encourage, their private players to harvest resources in space.

The executive order says that the US is looking to negotiate multilateral agreements with foreign states for sustainable operations for the recovery of space resources. India needs to be cognizant of the developments in this new space race. While the Moon Agreement which India has signed but not ratified may prove to be a thorn, India must take prudent measures to ensure that its citizens can reap the economic dividends of space exploration while India can safeguard its strategic interests.

(Utkarsh Narain is a technology policy analyst at the Takshashila Institution)

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the authors own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DH.

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A new space race in the offing? - Deccan Herald

Governor DeSantis announces Aerion Supersonic will move global headquarters to Florida – The Apopka Voice

The Space Coast has become a hub for the aviation and aerospace industry, and my administration continues to make it a priority to expand this high-wage and important business sector,said Governor DeSantis. We are thrilled that Aerion has selected Melbourne for its new global headquarters and look forward to the companys success.

We are building the next generation of high-speed transportation networks that will revolutionize global mobility without leaving a carbon footprint on our world,said Tom Vice, Aerion Chairman, President & CEO. Our AS2 business jet the worlds first privately built supersonic aircraft is the first stage in that exciting endeavor. Having evaluated a number of potential locations for our new home, we are excited to partner with Florida and the Melbourne community to create a sustainable supersonic future.

Over the past decade, Floridas Space Coast executed a successful strategy to diversify its economy to drive high-wage job creation. Brevard County now leads Florida in manufacturing job growth and is increasingly home to headquarters for some of the most innovative companies in aerospace. The announcement of Aerion Supersonics integrated campus and long-term investment in Melbourne is a major win for a community looking to emerge from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

Todays announcement is great news for Brevard County,said Jamal Sowell, Florida Secretary of Commerce and EFI president & CEO. Floridas strong talent pipeline and low tax business climate continue to make it top of mind for businesses looking to relocate. We look forward to Aerions success as they start a new chapter in the Sunshine State.

This is a truly transformational project for Florida that changes the game both for high speed air transportation as well for advanced aerospace manufacturing in the state,said Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida. The decision to locate manufacturing of this technologically advanced supersonic flight vehicle here in Florida is a testament to the growing strength and global recognition of the importance of Florida as a world-leading aerospace state. Space Florida is pleased to have provided financing, structure and development assistance to this project.

Brevard County is home to the pioneers of space exploration and now the pioneers of sustainable supersonic transportation.said Economic Development Commission of Floridas Space Coast President and CEO Lynda Weatherman. Aerion Park raises the profile of the Space Coast as the premier site for the most innovative aerospace companies in the world and is an example of what can be accomplished, even in the most challenging times, when the EDC and its state and local partners work together.

Governor DeSantis, Space Florida, the Economic Development Commission of Floridas Space Coast, and private industry are actively taking steps to help our community recover from a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,said Chair of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Bryan A. Lober, Esq. One of the earliest such steps is the introduction of an estimated 675 high-wage jobs to Brevard County in crafting the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet, which will help solidify not only our economy, but also our reputation as the worlds preeminent location for the aerospace industry.

We are incredibly honored and thrilled to bring this news to our community at a time when its needed the most,said Greg Donovan, A.A.E., executive director at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB). We are proud to be the location of the future where Aerion will innovate, create and introduce new technologies and products to the aviation industry worldwide.

We are overjoyed to be a partner in fostering a new era of aviation by assisting in Aerions decision to locate within the City of Melbourne. Aerions business venture to manufacture supersonic business jets in Melbourne reinforces the Space Coasts national reputation as an aerospace industry leader,said the Mayor of the City of Melbourne Kathy Meehan. The City of Melbourne is also proud to collaborate with Governor DeSantis, Space Florida, Orlando-Melbourne International Airport, and the Economic Development Commission of Floridas Space Coast to bring in $300 million of new investment and more than 600 high paying jobs to our community over the next six years.

Dating back to the space race of the 1960s, FPL has a long and proud track record of helping power the innovation and ingenuity synonymous with Floridas Space Coast,said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. Even as we all navigate the economic uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Aerions decision to build its headquarters in Melbourne serves as a reassuring reminder that better days are ahead for our state. FPL remains steadfastly committed to helping re-start Floridas $1 trillion economy and move it forward once its safe to do so.

Aerion will break ground on the new campus later this year ahead of manufacturing of the AS2 business jet commencing in 2023. In addition to the 675 new jobs Aerion will bring to the state, Aerion Park is expected to attract key aerospace suppliers within the supersonic technology ecosystem to bring business to Florida, creating additional roles for scientists, designers, engineers and aircraft builders.

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Governor DeSantis announces Aerion Supersonic will move global headquarters to Florida - The Apopka Voice

Getting Down to Earth with CAVES in Space – Space Daily

NASA astronaut Jessica Meir rocks her CAVES shirt on board the International Space Station. Jessica was the first woman to participate in ESA's underground astronaut training programme in 2016. It might not be obvious, but there are many similarities between working deep underground and in outer space.

Since 2011, ESA's Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills course has been taking astronauts below Earth's surface and preparing them to work safely and effectively as representative spaceflight teams in an environment where risk, scientific operations and living conditions have many similarities to space . At the end of the course astronauts are better prepared to participate in long term ISS expeditions, balancing mission goals, environmental risks, team demands through their individual skills and team processes.

As many as 34 astronauts from six agencies have scouted caves to experience the challenges and excitement of exploring alien environments on Earth.

Jessica joined the 2016 edition along with five astronauts from China, Japan, USA, Spain and Russia in the caves of Sardinia, Italy, to explore the depths and train for life in outer space. As the team's biologist, Jessica was tasked with searching for alien underground life. Jessica talked about her love for exploration and her experience at CAVES in her video before launching to the Space Station.

Just as with spacewalks, the underground 'cavewalks' required safety tethering, 3D orientation, careful planning and teamwork. Jessica and her fellow cave explorers needed to stay alert in an environment where they were deprived of natural light and every move was a step into the unknown.

The experience no doubt complemented the extensive spacewalk training she has since received. Jessica went on to conduct the first ever all-female spacewalk during her 205 days in space. Alongside NASA astronaut and friend Christina Koch, the women totalled 21 hours and 44 minutes outside the Space Station across three historic spacewalks.

The next ESA Caves course will take place in 2021. ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is tentatively booked for the course. Follow all the Caves adventures on the blog.

From under the Earth to above it, Jessica is now back down on our planet. She returned with fellow NASA astronaut Drew Morgan and cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka on 17 April.

Given a global pandemic and strict quarantine measures, the crew were welcomed home, just in time for Earth Day on 22 April. The annual event to mark environmental protection is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is the first to be celebrated from home.

As difficult as quarantine has been for communities across the globe, the impact on our planet is noticeable. Analyses from Earth observation satellites are showing the continued low levels of nitrogen dioxide concentrations across Europe - coinciding with lockdown measures implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

In light of this, staying home does not seem such a bad way to celebrate Earth Day.

Related LinksCooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance SkillsSpace Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

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Getting Down to Earth with CAVES in Space - Space Daily

A Puffy Planet and a Cat on Titan – The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society April24,2020

The Downlink: Weekly resources to fuel your love of space

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This weekly newsletter is your toolkit to learn more about space, share information with your friends and family, and take direct action to support exploration. Anyone can subscribe at planetary.org/connect to receive it as a weekly email.

No matter what day Perseverance launches during its 17 July to 5 August launch window, mission managers will adjust its course so it lands on Mars on exactly 18 February 2021. Its rocket science!

NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASAs OSIRIS-REx spacecraft completed a sample collection rehearsal at asteroid Bennu, coming just 75 meters from the surface before backing away as planned. The probe is scheduled to touch down on Bennu in August, grabbing a small sample of regolith that will be returned to Earth in 2023. The samples could shed light on the connection between asteroids and the formation of our solar system, as well as the role asteroids played in bringing water to Earth.

CHEOPS, the European Space Agencys CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite, has observed its first exoplanet since launching in 2019. The target was a puffy, gaseous planet 30% larger than Jupiter orbiting a star 320 light years away. CHEOPS is designed to precisely measure the diameters of known exoplanets, which will reveal more about their compositions. Learn why and how we study exoplanets, and read about The Planetary Societys exoplanets research.

Japans Hayabusa2 spacecraft tested its navigation cameras by snapping a picture of the Milky Way galaxy from deep space. The probe is on its way back to Earth with samples of asteroid Ryugu. The samples, which will arrive in late 2020, are expected to teach scientists more about the origin and evolution of our solar system.

NASA and SpaceX have set 27 May 2020 as the launch date for SpaceXs Crew Dragon carrying astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. The milestone launch will be the first from Florida since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. Once Behnken and Hurley are aboard the station, NASA will decide how long theyll stay; the first Crew Dragon vehicle is rated for an in-space duration of up to 110 days.

Taking an image of an exoplanet is like photographing a firefly next to a spotlight, and as a result, very few such images exist. Scientists say that a speck of light originally thought to be an exoplanet, seen moving around a star called Fomalhaut, has disappeared and may actually have been a cloud of dust. The discovery was made with NASAs Hubble Space Telescope.

The United Arab Emirates Mars-bound Hope spacecraft is on track to launch from Japan during a 3-week window that opens 14 July 2020. Hope is the Arab worlds first mission to another planet, and one of 3 Mars missions launching this summer. It will study Mars climate to help scientists understand what ancient Mars was like, when liquid water on the surface could have supported life.

NASA / JPL / Ted Stryk, Roane State CC

Things have been tough lately, so weve put together a few ways for you to escape into an exploration of the cosmos. On our In Space Together page, you can find inspiration from our co-founder Carl Sagan, explore real pictures and videos from space, take free online courses, and much more.

Lets have a virtual hangout! Planetary Radios Whats Up with Dr. Bruce Betts and host Mat Kaplan is coming to you live next Thursday, 30 April. This at-home edition of Whats Up will feature the usual night sky highlights, random space facts, and trivia, plus viewers can submit questions for Dr. Betts to answer during the livestream. Check out planetary.org/liveon 30 April at 1:00 pm PT / 4:00 pm ET / 20:00 UTC.

With very little moonlight to get in the way, the next few days are great for stargazing. Venus still shines bright in the evening and night, and you can catch Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in the morning sky.

Tora Greve

Swedish artist Tora Greve made this tapestry, called Cattini. The piece is inspired by the story of a scientists young daughter who thought she could see a cat in one of the pictures the Huygens lander took of Titans surface.

Do you have a suggestion for the Wow of the Week? Were looking for space-related art, music, gadgets, quotes, fashion, burning questions, sci-fi passages, or anything else that will make our readers go Wow! Send us your idea by replying to this email.

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

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A Puffy Planet and a Cat on Titan - The Planetary Society

What are Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites and how do they work? – Metro.co.uk

Starlink satellites will form a chain of lights in the sky (SpaceX)

This week the UK has been treated to a view of SpaceXs Starlink satellites passing overhead each evening.

The satellites appear as bright dots moving across the night sky in a perfect line as they orbit the Earth.

There are currently 420 Starlink satellites in orbit and SpaceX plans to put 12,000 up there eventually. The company, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, says these satellites will create a global internet network accessible from any place on Earth.

With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet, and a global network unbounded by ground infrastructure limitations, Starlink will deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable, SpaceX writes on its website.

At present Starlink is a part of SpaceX but there have been rumours it may be spun-off into a separate company. The eventual aim could be to capture a big piece of the $1 trillion worldwide internet connectivity market. Revenue from that could help fund SpaceXs greater ambitions to colonise Mars.

Each Starlink satellite is equipped with four powerful phased array antennas that are capable of an enormous amount of throughput when it comes to radio waves. Therefore, internet signal can be communicated up to a satellite and spread out through the network before being fired back down again to any location on Earth.

Delivering internet via satellite is much more efficient because the signal travels 47% faster as a wave through the vacuum of space than it does being channelled along a fibre optic cable buried in the ground.

From an infrastructure perspective, it also means theres no need to lay vast amounts of cabling across parts of the world.

Current satellites sending internet signals are around 22,236 miles (35,786 km) above the Earth. This results in a time delay in sending and receiving data. Starlink satellites are smaller and orbit closer, meaning they can carry and triangulate data much faster.

Elon Musk has said the Starlink network would be able to provide minor internet coverage after 400 spacecraft were up and in orbit and moderate coverage after about 800 satellites became operational.

On board each satellite is a powerful Ion propulsion system and a custom-built in-house navigation sensor.

Together the two are able to automatically steer the satellites out of the way of space junk. It also helps guide the satellites to the optimum position for delivering data transfer.

After the first Starlink batch of 60 was launched in May 2018 and the second in November, astronomers complained how the bright satellite chain was hampering their observations.

In response, SpaceX came up with a darkening treatment to lessen reflectivity its a type of coating that is now added to all the satellites.

At the time, Jeff Hall, director of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, said the Starlink satellites have been just an occasional problem so far but noted the risk to stargazing will grow as the constellation expands and other companies launch their own fleets.

He heads the American Astronomical Societys committee on light pollution, space debris, and radio interference, and is working with SpaceX on the issue.

Alan Duffy, an astronomer at Swinburne University in Melbourne and the lead scientist of the Royal Institution of Australia said: A full constellation of Starlink satellites will likely mean the end of Earth-based microwave-radio telescopes able to scan the heavens for faint radio objects.

The enormous benefits of global internet coverage will outweigh the cost to astronomers, but the loss of the radio sky is a cost to humanity as we lose our collective birthright to see the afterglow of the Big Bang or the glow of forming stars from Earth, he toldScienceAlertlast year.

As well as adding the reflective coating, SpaceX will gradually move the satellites further away as the constellation grows. This will reduce their visibility from Earth but may interfere with more powerful deep-space observations.

The South African-born billionaire founded web software company Zip2 in 1995, along with his brother Kimbal which was sold to Compaq in 1999, with Musk receiving $22m (17m) for his share of the sales.

He used part of that money to found the online financial services company X.com which later became PayPal following a merger in 2000 and when that sold to eBay two years later he earned $165m (133.5m).

He is also one of the co-founders, CEO and product architect of Tesla Inc, having taken on the CEO role in 2008 which he still holds to this day.

Musk founded SpaceX or Space Exploration Technologies in May 2002, with $100m (81m) of his fortune.

The companys aim is to develop and manufacture space vehicles with a focus on advancing rocket technology.

As of April 2020 he is said to be worth around $38bn (25bn) making him the 23rd richest person in the world.

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What are Elon Musk's Starlink satellites and how do they work? - Metro.co.uk

This Monroeville businessman created the modern conference call, and he’s not done yet – TribLIVE

TribLIVE's Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox.

About an hour ago

Its mid-afternoon. Youre in your home office when the laptop pings to remind you of the daily meeting starting in five minutes. If its a video call, you make sure your face is presentable. Maybe you slip on a work shirt and smile, knowing theyll never suspect how your bottom half is clothed.

You join the virtual meeting space and suddenly your speakers are alive with the sound of co-workers and bosses.

Its the digital conference call the technology of choice during the coronavirus pandemic, as millions worldwide are working from home.

Would you believe a man from Pittsburghs Point Breeze neighborhood made it all possible?

His name is Giorgio Coraluppi, an 86-year-old Italian immigrant who lives in the same house that he bought in 1976. He came to the U.S. in 1964 with his wife, Luisa, to whom hes been married 57 years. He walks with a walker and talks slowly and deliberately with a deep accent.

Uninterested in retirement, he daily leads his approximately 650 employees of Chorus Call, Compunetix and Compunetics from his Monroeville office with the same voracity of a 40-Under-40 leader. They call him Dr. C.

Coraluppi is an engineer, a mathematician and an inventor who in October will be inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame for inventing the set of computer codes powering the technology thats keeping the world connected these days: the digital teleconference call.

The technology an algorithm supported by a computer chip was first designed for NASA. It has spawned a global industry that helps people communicate more effectively.

Behind this half-century of innovation, there is a man who talks of his career thus far in abstract anecdotes that, when seen altogether, illuminate a character unwavered by the risk of failure and buoyed by a seemingly unquenchable drive to solve problems.

Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review

Dr. Giorgio Coraluppi, CEO of Compunetix, stands in his office building in Monroeville. Coraluppis inventiveness will be inducted into the Space Foundation Technology Hall of Fame in October for creating the conference call and other accomplishments.

Dr. Giorgio Coraluppi, CEO of Compunetix, stands for a photo inside the Monroeville building Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Coraluppi will be inducted into the Space Foundation Technology Hall of Fame in April for inventing the conference call and other accomplishments. Photo by Kristina Serafini

Good vs. Bad

On a recent morning in his office, Coraluppi demonstrated his philosophy of entrepreneurial risk-reward. He grabbed a piece of paper and drew a cross.

On one side, he wrote Good, on the other, Bad. Under the Good column, he scribbled a bunch of squiggly lines as he vocalized hypothetical achievements until the column was full of squigglies.

In the Bad column, he drew one squiggly line. He paused for effect, then drew a definitive X through the entire Good column.

One mistake can wipe away all the good your company does, he said.

But making mistakes does not have to mean failure. For this inventor, as long as he comes out with what he calls an enhanced set of professional capabilities, hes satisfied. Those professional capabilities can serve as foundational knowledge for the next project.

The honey woman

One of the earliest risks Coraluppi took was when he was 10 years old. One day in 1944, he was riding a bicycle through his Italian hometown, LAquila, when he came upon a strange alley.

And I wanted to test myself: How long could I drive with closed eyes? So he did. The experiment ended when he ran into a woman carrying a load of honey on her bike. The impact caused her to spill it all, wasting it.

She was furious, Coraluppi remembers. She raised hell with me.

The young, questing boy couldnt fully grasp the depth of the honey womans anger. But it didnt take long to get a clue. Italy was in the middle of war. Food and other goods were scarce.

The honey woman demanded that the reckless boy take her to his parents. They must learn of this grave crime. When she briefed his father, he soothed her by giving her kitchen salt, a valuable commodity at the time.

It was his fathers example of preparedness that helped shape an ethic in Coraluppi which later helped his business thrive.

And the run-in with the honey woman perhaps began a lifetime of innate curiosity.

Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review

Dr. Giorgio Coraluppi, CEO of Compunetix in Monroeville, looks through papers near his desk Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Coraluppis inventiveness will be inducted into the Space Foundation Technology Hall of Fame in October for creating the conference call and other accomplishments.

Dr. Giorgio Coraluppi, CEO of Compunetix in Monroeville, looks through papers near his desk Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Coraluppis inventiveness will be inducted into the Space Foundation Technology Hall of Fame in April for creating the conference call and other accomplishments. Photo by Kristina Serafini

We can do that

Coraluppi married Luisa in 1963, while still living in Italy. By that time, he had graduated from a technical school in Milan with a doctorate in electrical engineering and served a year-and-a-half in the Aeronautica Militare, the Italian Air Force. Service in Italys military at that time was mandatory but it was there that his interest in the technology behind communications sprouted.

About a year into the marriage, the couple packed everything and moved to America, the land of opportunity. They landed in a house in Gibsonia that they rented for about two years.

While here, he worked for the American Optical Company in its endeavors with NASA. His role was to engineer a program that controlled the NASA-Lewis Flight Simulator and other space-related projects.

Three years after immigrating, Coraluppi enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University to freshen up on his education, a sort of intellectual curiosity. He never intended to graduate, but he did, earning a masters degree in electrical engineering after being nudged by a professor to complete the coursework and exams.

The collegiate experience exposed him to the nascent world of computer chips, which were just beginning to take hold of the electronics industry. The microchips had an endless appeal, and a promise to keep bringing new opportunities, both commercially and intellectually.

While a student, he befriended a technician, Michael Gielas, and an engineer, Csaba Besko. The three co-founded Compunetics Inc., in 1968, in a rented space behind an ice cream parlor along Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills. (Gielas and Besko left the company in the late 1970s.)

The idea behind the new business was idealistic and open-ended. In fact, the company didnt even have a five-year plan, said Robert Haley, Compunetixs director of marketing.

It was really to go after complex problems and solve them electronically. It was like (Coraluppi) was saying, I know there are big problems out there I have the wherewithal to solve those. Lets find out what they are and well build solutions for them, Haley said.

So it didnt take long for the three Compunetics founders to sniff out a problem to solve. And they aimed high.

Six months in, Compunetics had its potential first client: The U.S. Navy.

I saw an interesting request for proposal. And I say, We can do that, he said. Coraluppi, desperate for a contract for his young company, bid the project unusually low, only asking enough for the price of materials. Almost in a call-your-bluff sort of way, the Navy sent representatives to visit the companys humble headquarters but not before Coraluppi bought some folding chairs for his guests. He also called upon a lawyer friend whom he said he needed merely as a warm body.

Apparently, the meeting went well.

Compunetics was hired for the project, which was part of the Navys anti-submarine campaign during the Cold War. Compunetics produced equipment for bases in Jacksonville, Fla., Guam and others.

Eventually, the Navy tapped Compunetics again to develop the electronics used to better detect enemy submarines. That program spanned decades.

Giorgio Coraluppi, circa 1970s.

Giorgio Coraluppi, circa 1970s. Courtesy of Compunetix

Competing with Goliath

It was this proven track record of working well with governmental agencies that thrust Coraluppis company into space with NASA. But the space agency didnt just hand them a contract.

Coming out of a dark economic period in the 1970s that nearly swallowed his company, Coraluppi invented an algorithm. This algorithm a complicated set of mathematical rules governed by a computer chip allowed thousands of callers to join in on one telephone call. It was a groundbreaking advancement in digital technology. In 1984, he filed an application for the invention to be patented.

Meanwhile, NASA needed a more efficient way to communicate with the many teams of people involved with shuttle launches in a single conference call at the same time. By the 1980s, the analog NASA Communications (NASCOM) system was around 30 years old. It was time for an upgrade; NASA put out a call for proposals. Coraluppi knew his invention fit the bill. But Compunetics wasnt the only company with an appetite for working with NASA. AT&T held similar ambitions, and soon the two found themselves competing for a multimillion-dollar contract that would supply one of the worlds leading space exploration agencies with its communication systems.

NASA eventually chose Compunetics. It was a modern-day story of David defeating Goliath, said Jerry Pompa, Compunetixs senior vice president.

He summed up his bosss attitude at the time: Sure AT&T is gigantic. Their name alone sets them apart. But one-on-one, theyre no better than us. Were just as good as they are. Why shouldnt we win?

Pompas position at the company is a direct result of the NASA contract. Coraluppi hired him and many others after Compunetics won the bid against AT&T.

Hes not intimidated by competing with Goliath, Pompa said of his boss.

What set Compunetics apart was Coraluppis seminal Compunetics Switching Network invention. It made it possible for literally thousands of people in this case engineers, technicians and astronauts to join in on one call. It was all done digitally and automatically by a computer chip.

Before the invention, getting multiple people on the same NASA call was possible, but cumbersome. It was a manual duty done by up to 50 trained technicians, according to a Technology.org article written about the system.

With the invention, NASA no longer needed to be preoccupied with the mechanics behind communicating with the people dispersed through a network of 18 ground stations and three ships in different oceans. Those engineers, technicians and astronauts could communicate freely about important details germane to a space launch: monitoring a spacecrafts fuel levels, watching the weather at a landing site, updating the astronauts realtime biometric readings.

His invention made it possible for all those people to instantly connect.

In 1987, NASA awarded Compunetics a $4 million contract to install the conferencing technology for the Goddard Space Flight Center. And earlier that same year, the invention became the first of five USPTO patents awarded to Coraluppi and the company.

An Aug. 29, 2000 Tribune-Review article written about Compunetics teleconferencing technology.

An Aug. 29, 2000 Tribune-Review article written about Compunetics teleconferencing technology. Courtesy of Compunetix

By 1992, Compunetics technology had replaced all of NASCOMs technology and it was used for more than two decades. Eventually, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded them a $4.5 million contract to use the technology, which served as the basis for founding Compunetix, a company that today manufactures electronic products.

Coraluppi then earned another USPTO patent to reproduce the technology for commercial purposes, thus making way for his third company, Chorus Call, a conference service provider.

Since then, tech companies around the world have used Coraluppis invention to spawn their versions of it: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime, SnapChat, Whats App, etc., etc.

He was the first one to do it, said Monica Coraluppi. The company provided the first digital teleconferencing solution in the world. Monica, 54, is one of Coraluppis daughters. She works at Chorus Call as its director of special projects.

Today, the companys digital teleconference and videoconference technology is highly used and sought after. Some of the companies clients who use the commercial version of the conferencing technology today include Verizon, First Energy, Subway and ESPN. There are also several governmental clients: the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Justice and the Department of State, to name a few.

The headquarters for Compunetics, including its two spin-off companies Compunetix and Chorus Call remains in Monroeville. Compunetix and Chorus Call are in a six-floor office building nestled in some woods just off Mosside Boulevard, down the road from Forbes Hospital. Compunetics is located in a nondescript industrial park building about two miles north on Seco Road.

Compunetics rented out a space next to "A Different Twist," a Penn Hills ice cream parlor in the late 1960s.

Compunetics rented out a space next to A Different Twist, a Penn Hills ice cream parlor in the late 1960s. Courtesy of Compunetix

The photograph and the letter

Giorgio and Luisa Coraluppis time in Pittsburgh was only supposed to last a couple years before moving back to Italy. Fifty-two years later, sitting behind his wooden desk in Monroeville, he chuckled at that wistful goal as he peered through his window at the naked mid-March trees. He took a deep breath. It was almost as if the exhale said, Its been wonderful.

At this point, Coraluppis success as a business owner has earned him regional, state and national recognition. The debts taken on to start Compunetics without a business plan have long ago been paid. (The company as a whole expects around $100 million in 2019 profits.) His name is printed on five U.S. patents. He employs hundreds of people, here and in other parts of the world. Those people have given him a loving nickname.

But then another memory floated up into Dr. Cs mind. It was a memory that led the 86-year-old out of his chair.

He walked, without the help of his walker, to a room across the hall from his office. About a minute later, he came back with a wide smile on his face. In his hands he held a framed, underwhelming picture of a machine in a dark room. This, for me, is more memorable.

In 1988, he got a call from IBM, a company Dr. Cs had worked with before but not like this. Their engineers were encountering an issue while building their RP3X 64-Way Parallel Processor Prototype System. The supercomputer was designed to process a billion instructions every second, but it wasnt working. Would Coraluppi come to help them?

Intrigued by the prospect of helping IBM build a supercomputer, which he called a major, major development in computing technology, he agreed.

He quickly learned, however, management at IBM had run out of patience and money for the project, which had been fruitless for years prior. Dr. C remembered some of projects leads had said this issue they were encountering was going to cost them too much money to fix. One of the managers even became hostile by telling him dont expect too much money on the table for you.

I got upset. I never announced a digit. I didnt talk about money. I said, Lets not talk about money right now forget the money. Im willing to do this for nothing. Lets look at the problem and lets fix the problem, he said.

And so the arrangement meant leaving his company behind while he and two colleagues worked to fix the problem for free.

After two months, Dr. C and his engineers had solved the supercomputers problem.

His success led IBMs then-director of strategic development, Alan E. Baratz, to send a framed photograph of the supercomputer with a personal message typed on the back: Your efforts were critical to the successful completion of the RP3X 64-Way Parallel Processor Prototype System.

Dillon Carr | Tribune-Review

In March 1989, Giorgio Coraluppi received a photograph of an IBM supercomputer he helped fix with a letter attched the back. It was from IBMs then-president, Alan Baratz, who went on to hold executive positions at Symphony, Avaya and Cisco before landing his current job for British Columbia-based D-Wave Systems Inc., a company developing quantum computers.

In March 1989, Giorgio Coraluppi received a photograph of an IBM supercomputer he helped fix with a letter attached to the back. It was from IBMs then-president, Alan Baratz, who went on to hold executive positions at Symphony, Avaya and Cisco before landing his current job for British Columbia-based D-Wave Systems Inc., a company developing quantum computers. Photo by Dillon Carr

That happened 31 years ago.

And I still keep it, Dr. C said about the photograph and the letter. He said only two physical copies of that photo exist. The other is with Baratz.

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This Monroeville businessman created the modern conference call, and he's not done yet - TribLIVE

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Aerion Supersonic Will Move Global Headquarters to Florida – Orlando Political Observer

Tallahassee, Fla. Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Aerion Supersonic will construct a new state-of-the-art campus Aerion Park in Melbourne, Florida. Aerion Park will form a new global headquarters and integrated campus for research, design, build and maintenance of the companys supersonic aircraft. The new project involves a multi-year $300 million investment that is expected to generate at least 675 jobs in Florida by 2026.

The Space Coast has become a hub for the aviation and aerospace industry, and my administration continues to make it a priority to expand this high-wage and important business sector,said Governor DeSantis. We are thrilled that Aerion has selected Melbourne for its new global headquarters and look forward to the companys success.

We are building the next generation of high-speed transportation networks that will revolutionize global mobility without leaving a carbon footprint on our world,said Tom Vice, Aerion Chairman, President & CEO. Our AS2 business jet the worlds first privately built supersonic aircraft is the first stage in that exciting endeavor. Having evaluated a number of potential locations for our new home, we are excited to partner with Florida and the Melbourne community to create a sustainable supersonic future.

Over the past decade, Floridas Space Coast executed a successful strategy to diversify its economy to drive high-wage job creation. Brevard County now leads Florida in manufacturing job growth and is increasingly home to headquarters for some of the most innovative companies in aerospace. The announcement of Aerion Supersonics integrated campus and long-term investment in Melbourne is a major win for a community looking to emerge from the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

Todays announcement is great news for Brevard County,said Jamal Sowell, Florida Secretary of Commerce and EFI president & CEO. Floridas strong talent pipeline and low tax business climate continue to make it top of mind for businesses looking to relocate. We look forward to Aerions success as they start a new chapter in the Sunshine State.

This is a truly transformational project for Florida that changes the game both for high speed air transportation as well for advanced aerospace manufacturing in the state,said Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida. The decision to locate manufacturing of this technologically advanced supersonic flight vehicle here in Florida is a testament to the growing strength and global recognition of the importance of Florida as a world-leading aerospace state. Space Florida is pleased to have provided financing, structure and development assistance to this project.

Brevard County is home to the pioneers of space exploration and now the pioneers of sustainable supersonic transportation.said Economic Development Commission of Floridas Space Coast President and CEO Lynda Weatherman. Aerion Park raises the profile of the Space Coast as the premier site for the most innovative aerospace companies in the world and is an example of what can be accomplished, even in the most challenging times, when the EDC and its state and local partners work together.

Governor DeSantis, Space Florida, the Economic Development Commission of Floridas Space Coast, and private industry are actively taking steps to help our community recover from a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,said Chair of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Bryan A. Lober, Esq. One of the earliest such steps is the introduction of an estimated 675 high-wage jobs to Brevard County in crafting the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet, which will help solidify not only our economy, but also our reputation as the worlds preeminent location for the aerospace industry.

We are incredibly honored and thrilled to bring this news to our community at a time when its needed the most,said Greg Donovan, A.A.E., executive director at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB). We are proud to be the location of the future where Aerion will innovate, create and introduce new technologies and products to the aviation industry worldwide.

We are overjoyed to be a partner in fostering a new era of aviation by assisting in Aerions decision to locate within the City of Melbourne. Aerions business venture to manufacture supersonic business jets in Melbourne reinforces the Space Coasts national reputation as an aerospace industry leader,said the Mayor of the City of Melbourne Kathy Meehan. The City of Melbourne is also proud to collaborate with Governor DeSantis, Space Florida, Orlando-Melbourne International Airport, and the Economic Development Commission of Floridas Space Coast to bring in $300 million of new investment and more than 600 high paying jobs to our community over the next six years.

Dating back to the space race of the 1960s, FPL has a long and proud track record of helping power the innovation and ingenuity synonymous with Floridas Space Coast,said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. Even as we all navigate the economic uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Aerions decision to build its headquarters in Melbourne serves as a reassuring reminder that better days are ahead for our state. FPL remains steadfastly committed to helping re-start Floridas $1 trillion economy and move it forward once its safe to do so.

Aerion will break ground on the new campus later this year ahead of manufacturing of the AS2 business jet commencing in 2023. In addition to the 675 new jobs Aerion will bring to the state, Aerion Park is expected to attract key aerospace suppliers within the supersonic technology ecosystem to bring business to Florida, creating additional roles for scientists, designers, engineers and aircraft builders.

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Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Aerion Supersonic Will Move Global Headquarters to Florida - Orlando Political Observer

The week in radio: Black Music in Europe; A History of the World in 100 Objects; Prison Bag review – The Guardian

Black Music in Europe: A Hidden History (Radio 4) | BBC Sounds

A History of the World In 100 Objects (Radio 4) | BBC Sounds

Prison Bag (Resonance FM)

Several Radio 4 fans, including Kathy Burke, have rightly been raving about Clarke Peterss series Black Music in Europe: A Hidden History. Last week, in the third and last episode of the third series, we got up to the 1970s.

The three series have been riveting, so check out the earlier shows. Peters presents beautifully, and I forgive him for being the standard reads out whats in front of you actor host, because he has a long connection with UK music (through Five Guys Named Moe), because he was Lester Freamon in The Wire and because, well, he does his job so well.

But, as ever, the true credit should go to the producer; this time, Tom Woolfenden from Loftus Media. It was Woolfenden who found the relevant archives, whether that be Neneh Cherry talking in 2011 about her father, the jazz musician Don Cherry; Martin Simpson, in 2005, explaining the Moroccan way of tuning a guitar; John Craven doing a Newsround round-up of the 1975 decolonisation of Suriname. And it was Woolfenden who did the interviews: with Johny Pitts, the British writer of Afropean; Surinamese flute player Ronald Snijders in the Netherlands; Patrick Bebey, son of Cameroonian guitarist and composer Francis Bebey; Janet Kay, of Silly Games fame So many excellent interviews: informative and detailed, well edited, revelatory. They underpin these shows.

The story, this series, is of post-colonialism, and how the people of former British, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch and Belgian colonies used their newly given freedom (after the second world war, many colonial countries waived restrictions on visitors from colonies) to come to Europe. Many stayed. And over and over again, those that did stay explain how its this consequent mix of cultures that results in their brilliant music. They make us understand that its not just the bumping up of different musical techniques, but how the new arrivals optimism and hope were muddied and muddled with the racism that they encountered, and how they eventually reclaimed their musical heritage to show it off to Europe. Its this musical melange that creates the gorgeous soundtrack that we hear throughout the shows. And, in the background, the political culture is creaking. General Franco and Eric Clapton make passing appearances, as baddies.

A lot of work has gone into this series and it shows. When a flamenco dancer walks into a Spanish studio, we hear her footsteps; her voice is beautifully recorded. The levels of music and speech are impeccable, the sound moving from ear to ear in your headphones, but remaining clear at all times. Its all lovely stuff. Theres a list of the tracks played on the shows website: the BBC should make it into a playlist and put it up on Sounds.

For a different angle on colonialism, Neil MacGregors classic series The History of the World In 100 Objects is being repeated, reassuringly, on Radio 4. Were just in the early stages last week we had objects 6 through to 10 so a nice long way to go. Colonialism is relevant throughout the series, of course, with MacGregors none-more-educated, mellifluous voice telling the stories of far-flung objects that somehow, through Britains immensely mixed history, have ended up in London.

An interesting new documentary series on Resonance FM: Prison Bag. Josie Bevan, who writes a blog with the same name, is our host: shes telling the story of what its like to be a prison wife. Middle-class and a bit naive, Bevan confesses that, after her husband Rob was sentenced to nine years (for tax fraud), she expected a phone call from someone social services? The police? The prison system? asking her if she was OK. There was no phone call. There is not much help for anyone wanting to support their partner in prison. I spend my life trying to get into prison, she says, early on in the programme.

Bevan talks to Lisa, a university lecturer who has experience of addiction and prison. They are different, but connected. I talk about this stuff in front of a lot of people, says Lisa, but I feel overwhelmed and tearful. I think its because you understand.

Understanding people who come from a different place, being kind when theyre in a new alien environment. Its how great art comes about; more importantly, its how we all survive.

5 Live DriveDrive presenters Anna Foster and Tony Livesey have the unlovable job of broadcasting the daily 5pm government shamblathon slap in the middle of their regular three-hour show. They manage this by bringing on experts and politicians, then getting on with the more important job of making lockdown bearable. Theyve tackled at-home dentistry, small business loan applications, online haircuts. They have a daily homework quiz, Learner Drivers, and, on Thursdays, a whole hour of listener-generated positivity, The Extra Mile. A great mix of spiky current affairs and silly home life, just whats needed at the moment.

Fun Kids Fun Kids, the UKs best audio offering made especially for children, has seen an 80% increase in its streaming hours since the lockdown started. Fun Kids has a live radio station and loads of podcasts, and its specially made pandemic show, Stuck @ Home, is the first ever non-BBC podcast that the Beeb has listed on BBC Sounds. The website has a great selection of shows for younger children: from drama to the human body to the inevitable space exploration. And everything springs from a dedication to making audio programmes that children actually like.

LBC Radio has, broadly, benefited from people not going to work, as were listening for longer to the shows we like; and commercial radio is no different (advertising is another matter). All commercial broadcasters are reporting big jumps in reach and hours of listening, mostly around the 10% to 15% mark. But LBCs daily reach has gone up 43%, and its listening hours 17%. As with Brexit, the news-based station has gone big on coronavirus, with presenters taking politicians to task. And listeners are responding, whether by tuning in for longer, or by phoning in and asking silly, obvious, unexpected or intelligent questions.

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The week in radio: Black Music in Europe; A History of the World in 100 Objects; Prison Bag review - The Guardian

From liftoff to touchdown: The hectic timeline of Apollo 13 – Space.com

After performing two successful moon landings, NASA had pulled ahead of the Soviet Union as the undisputed leader in the Space Race. But a potentially fatal accident on its third lunar surface-bound mission was about to bring it back down to Earth.

Apollo 13 was surrounded by superstition from the start, the number 13 believed to be unlucky, but NASA wasnt going to let that get in the way of Science. The unfortunate events that transpired left Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and John Swigert in the belly of the beast as they were put on a timer to return back to Earth.

Related: Apollo 13 in Real Time website offers new insight into mission, 50 years later

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The crew was commanded by Jim Lovell, a NASA veteran who had flown across the Gemini and Apollo programs, with command module (CM) pilot John "Jack" Swigert and lunar module (LM) pilot Fred Haise, both of whom hadnt yet traveled to space.

The three men boarded the CM, nicknamed Odyssey, at the tip of a Saturn V rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 11, 1970. Here, NASA was reminded again of waning interest in space exploration with a launch turnout of around 200,000 people. It was a crowd that paled in comparison to the 7 million who had come to see Apollo 11 liftoff almost a year earlier.

Related: Where are NASA's extra Saturn V moon rockets from the Apollo era?

Approaching 56 hours into the mission and around 205,000 miles (330,000 kilometers) from home, the crew had just ended a live TV broadcast though not many TV stations were interested enough to show it. Noticing a slight drop in pressure, Houston flight controllers wanted to check the oxygen levels in the Service Module (SM), so they asked Swigert to perform a routine cryo stir on the tanks.

This is where things went horribly wrong.

The crew heard a loud bang from outside and called down to Houston to report, with Swigert famously saying, "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here."

Both the crew and the ground team noticed that the oxygen tanks and fuel cells were showing alarming readings, with oxygen tank two completely depleted and tank one falling at a steady rate. Several people at Mission Control assumed this was a fault with instrumentation, but Lovell reported he could see gas leaking out of the SM, confirming their readings were worryingly correct.

They would later discover that a current overload in an oxygen tank during routine testing shorted out the heater switch and had fused the circuit breaker shut, turning the tank into a bomb. A bomb that had been set off when Swigert had started the stir, and blown a 13-foot (3.9-meter) panel off the SM. With power and oxygen failing fast, Apollo 13s mission was no longer to land on the moon, but to return home alive.

It was decided that the remaining fuel cell for the CM needed to be preserved for re-entry since this was impossible in the LM, called Aquarius. The crew would need to power down the CM and evacuate to the Aquarius, which could be used as a lifeboat because it had its own life support system. This, however, presented problems: the LM was only designed for two astronauts to visit the Moon for around 20 hours, whereas the trip home would require all three men to be stuffed in the capsule for four or five days.

As the craft drifted 157 miles (254 km) beyond the far side of the moon, another maneuver was planned to speed up the journey two hours after pericynthion, the closest approach to the moon. It was also debated whether the SM should be jettisoned to increase speed further, but some argued this could expose the CMs heat shield to the freezing cold of space for too long, risking it breaking on re-entry. This would also involve using all remaining fuel, meaning no other course corrections could be performed later. NASA chose the safer option of a four-minute burn, which would shave off 12 hours of flight and put the craft on target with the Pacific Ocean. Almost 24 hours after the explosion, the crew completed another successful burn.

Related: This stunning 4K video re-creates Apollo 13's perilous trip around moon

However, now carbon dioxide levels were rising. The scrubbing system aboard the LM wasnt designed to filter the air for three, and calculations saw that the lithium hydroxide canisters that removed the CO2 would not support the crew until return. The CM had its own supply of canisters, but because of a different design, these were incompatible. It was up to Houston to find a makeshift filtration method using only items on board Apollo 13. Within 35 hours of testing, they had a fix utilizing spacesuit hoses, plastic bags and duct tape.

Next was to jettison the damaged SM while using the LM thrusters to move a safe distance from it. This was the first time the crew saw the extent of the explosion, relaying the damage down to the ground. The LM jettison was next, and a special last-minute procedure had been designed to keep distance by pressurizing the connecting tunnel before release. Calculations were a success, and the crew bid farewell to Aquarius, the reason they had made it this far.

As Odyssey began its descent, tensions were high and the world was watching. Ionized air around the craft upon re-entry meant a total communications blackout, and for over four minutes NASA had no contact, fearing the shields or parachutes could still fail. After a longer-than-expected blackout, the crew finally made contact. They had made it home, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean to be picked up by USS Iwo Jima. The mission was dubbed a "successful failure," proving NASA could work well in a crisis.

Related: Apollo 13's importance: How failure can lead to great success

Additional resources:

This article was adapted from a previous version published in All About Space Bookazine, a Future Ltd. publication. Follow us on Twitter@Spacedotcomand onFacebook.

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From liftoff to touchdown: The hectic timeline of Apollo 13 - Space.com

Space exploration is booming now’s the time to back it – MoneyWeek

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Temple honors 30th anniversary of PA space grant in Washington, DC – Temple Universirty College of Engineering

In late-February, Temple engineering faculty and students from a NASA-funded space lab celebrated the 30th anniversary of the NASA Space Grant with a special trip to Washington, DC.

John Helferty, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Student Space Exploration and Embedded Systems Lab, helped to organize the trip.

"It was a great way to highlight the work that's been done over the last three decades," Dr. Helferty said. "Students have truly benefited from NASA's support in bringing space-related engineering projects and opportunities for discovery."

The team brought completed robotics projects to showcase to members of Congress and their staffs, such as a high-altitude balloon payload launched during the 2017 solar eclipse. Students also met NASA Administrator Jim Brindistine for a Q&A session at NASA headquarters, and heard about the NASA Artemis program.

"It was kind of surreal." added Melony Breeze, a mechanical engineering major who was joined by fellow students Morgan Basileo, Darshan Patel and David Fiel. "It was great to see how many different facets there are at work and research being done at both graduate and undergraduate levels, all covered under the space umbrella."

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Temple honors 30th anniversary of PA space grant in Washington, DC - Temple Universirty College of Engineering

On Orbit Live at SATELLITE What Does ‘New Space’ Really Mean? – Via Satellite

The topic of this episode our first live podcast is more or less a question. What exactly do we, people in the space and satellite industry, mean when we use the term New Space? New Space is often used to describe new companies, new ideas, and new technologies. Is New Space a technical term? Or, is it a cultural identity?

This episode was recorded during the SATELLITE 2020 show in Washington D.C., and its co-hosted by our good friends Grace Graham (Brooke Owens Fellow, Utah State University, Via Satellite contributor) and Brian Garret-Glazer (Avionics Magazine). Our special guest panelists are Dr. Tanya Harrison (Planet), Charlie Nitschelm (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space SEDS), Rafferty Jackson (Jack Industries, Astia) and Ali Younis (Astranis). Via Satellite also covered the panel during SATELLITE.

Wed like to thank Charlie and SEDS for sponsoring this episode. SEDS is a non-profit that empowers young people to participate and make an impact in space exploration. Visit SEDS website for more information about how you can join or volunteer for SEDS and their many causes and events throughout the year.

Finally, the Via Satellite team would like to send our best wishes to all of our listeners as we deal with this global health crisis. We hope all of you stay safe and healthy, and we also thank you for listening to this podcast. We may be stuck inside, but thanks to modern technology, we can still talk to people all around the world. So, if you have an idea for an episode, or are interested in participating in a discussion, please follow us and message us on Twitter (@OnOrbitPodcast). Enjoy the show!

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On Orbit Live at SATELLITE What Does 'New Space' Really Mean? - Via Satellite

Russia Says Trump’s Space Mining Order Is an Attempt to ‘Seize’ Other Planets – PCMag

Russian space agency Roscosmos has accused Donald Trump of attempting to seize other planets, through the executive order the President signed on Monday.

The executive order proposes that the United States mine celestial bodies including the moon and Mars for water and certain minerals. The Trump administration does not view [space] as a global commons and therefore encourages the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space.

Legislation already exists that puts jurisdiction of all celestial bodies under international law. It's called the 1979 Moon Agreement, but only 18 states have signed it and no state that engages in space exploration, such as Russia, China, the United States, Japan, or countries included in the European Space Agency, have ratified it. In the executive order, the Trump administration states that it does not consider this treaty effective, and would object to any attempt by any other state or international organization to treat the Moon Agreement as reflecting or otherwise expressing customary international law.

Roscomos claims the order puts the United States against the notion of space belonging to humanity as a whole. Attempts to expropriate outer space and aggressive plans to actually seize territories of other planets hardly set the countries (on course for) fruitful cooperation, it said in a statement, reported by Reuters.

Sergei Savelyev, Roscomos deputy head in charge of international cooperation, alluded that Trumps executive order was similar to colonialism, commenting that there have already been examples in history when one country decided to start seizing territories in its own interests and everyone remembers how that turned out, according to the Moscow Times.

A spokesperson for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, said that any kind of attempt to privatise space in one form or another - and I find it difficult to say now whether this can be seen as an attempt to privatise space - would be unacceptable.

Last year, Donald Trump introduced the Space Force to the US military, giving it the authority to "organize, train, and equip military space forces to ensure unfettered access to, and freedom to operate in space, and to provide vital capabilities to joint and coalition forces in peacetime and across the spectrum of conflict." In March, the Space Force launched its first satellite.

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Russia Says Trump's Space Mining Order Is an Attempt to 'Seize' Other Planets - PCMag

NASA to invest in lots of new and exciting space stuff with NIAC – Warrior Trading News

The space race is on again!

A rare press release this week by NASA reveals that the agency is investing in no less than 23 of what it calls potentially revolutionary concepts that may promote more extensive exploration of outer space in the next generation of space study.

With a $7 million investment, the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program or NIAC funds early-stage technologies, including a solar gravity lens for telescoping viewing, and a plan to identify earth-like planets outside of our solar system.

NIAC is an innovative program that encourages researchers and the agency to think outside of the box for solutions that could overcome challenges facing future science and exploration missions, said Walt Engelund, deputy associate administrator for programs within NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate in a press statement around the program. Were excited about the new concepts and to see how additional time and resources advances the research selected for follow-on Phase II and III studies.

Another major innovation mentioned in the report is also still in the concept stage, but has enormous potential for inspiring us to think bigger when it comes to space exploration NASA reports on research simulating the idea of moving 50 billion miles from Earth using multiple small spacecrafts and solar sail technology.

At the same time, researchers are also looking into understanding nearer deep space by mapping asteroids and other celestial bodies within our solar system.

In the generations to come, what was originally seen as the deepest reaches of space may be as familiar to us as our own backyards.

NASAs investment could have an impact in some technology sectors, and has its place among the various national efforts being announced now to advance deep space research.

From commercial crew to a flood of Mars missions, 2020 promises to be an exciting year for spaceflight, wrote Elizabeth Howell at Space.com on Dec. 31, the last day of 2019. Companies and space agencies alike have a series of interesting missions on deck for the year, from returning lunar samples to studying the sun up close.

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NASA to invest in lots of new and exciting space stuff with NIAC - Warrior Trading News

Space Lettuce Is Out of This World Good – HowStuffWorks

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Growing lettuce in space isn't just another small step for man, it's a giant leap for vegetables everywhere. Peas, radishes and lettuce are all being grown in special growth chambers on the International Space Station, and a study published March 6, 2020, in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science proves space lettuce is not only safe to eat but just as healthy as its earthly counterpart. It's even got potential to be a game changer for longer missions, and the lessons learned will help greenhouse gardeners grow healthier veggies here on Earth.

Astronauts normally rely on a limited menu made up of mostly packaged foods, often with lower levels of vitamins and minerals. But lettuce has key nutrients as well as phenolics, molecules that have anticancer, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that give space travelers both a physical and psychological boost. American astronaut Joseph M. Acaba shared on Twitter"... Nothing beats fresh, homegrown food."

Space lettuce is grown under LED lights and of course less gravity. And after 33 to 56 days, it's ready to be safely enjoyed fresh and full of nutrition.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of an outer space salad is its ability to help extend exploration missions. Mars isn't exactly just around the corner it can take six months to travel the 140 million-mile (225 million-kilometer) distance to the red planet. And that's just one-way. Plus, growing food while in orbit naturally cuts down on the astronomical budget of space travel.

While only a lucky few will get the chance to make the trip into outer space, anyone can visit The Kennedy Space Center outside of Orlando, Florida, to get a feel for the experience. Time your visit right and you may even see a rocket launch. Of course you won't be able to try the space lettuce, but the veggies you buy at the grocery may soon benefit from the lessons learned in space. NASA's data will help farmers use optimal amounts of water and nutrients to grow healthier crops in greenhouses and small spaces.

The science of food is quickly expanding into the last frontier, and space lettuce is graciously leading the way. Its journey will help scientists grow other types of leafy vegetables as well as tomatoes and peppers, giving astronauts, as well as us here on Earth, more access to the nutrients we need.

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Space Lettuce Is Out of This World Good - HowStuffWorks

2020-2026 Artificial Intelligence in Space Exploration Industry Production, Sales and Consumption Status and Prospects Professional Market Research…

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Video games we’re playing during the coronavirus lockdown – CNET

In the age of the coronavirus lockdown, many of us have more time than we know what to do with. We also more than likely have the urge to indulge in a bit of escapism. Which can only mean on thing: Folks, it's time for video games.

Here's what some of the CNET staff have been playing over the last couple of weeks.

Read more: TV shows we're watching during the coronavirus lockdown

I'm normally obsessed with playing whatever is brand new, right now. By that logic I should be putting hours into Doom Eternal or Animal Crossing, but I'm not. I'm playing Halo.

And not even Halo 5, the most recent Halo. I'm playing the old ones.

For some reason I recently had the urge to revisit my "glory" days playing Halo multiplayer, so I jumped into Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It's been an absolute blast. I'm especially shocked by how good Halo: CE multiplayer holds up.

Gonna drown in nostalgia for the next few months. Halo is my 70s classic rock station.

-- Mark Serrels

Since I can't take any real life trips, Outer Wilds helped save my sanity during this isolation with amazing simulated space exploration. I finished Outer Wilds over the weekend and this Indie sci-fi gem ended up being one of my favorite gaming experiences ever.

In the game, you're tasked with exploring your solar system in a rickety ship and figuring out what happened to the mysterious species who predated you in the galaxy. What follows is a game filled with magical discoveries and breathtaking moments. It actually makes you feel like you're exploring outer space -- with all of the wonder and terror that entails.

Note: Outer Wilds came out around the same time as a game with a similar title called Outer Worlds. I played that one too. It's Fallout in space and it's fine. Outer Wilds is the magical one.

-- Andrew Gebhart

The first week of working from home was the hardest for me. I'm not a morning person at the best of times and my flat is freezing cold. Between the physical discomfort, the anxious state of the world and the fact that I was now averaging 650 steps a day on my Fitbit, I was utterly miserable. Only one thing could save me: My housemate's Nintendo Switch and Ring Fit Adventure.

Nintendo's home fitness game can't cure a global pandemic or make the future any more certain. I'm not even convinced it can give me a six pack. But it's done wonders for my mental health. A 20-minute session warms me up, pumps me full of endorphins and challenges me without wearing me out before the day's even started.

It also gives me an artificial sense of purpose that "real" exercise just can't provide: I've never responded well to arbitrary, seemingly impossible fitness goals like "run 5K" or "complete a single press-up." But if doing some knee lifts will help me defeat a beefy dragon, it turns out I'm on board.

-- Sarah McDermott

Now's not the time for new games. Now's not the time for new anything. Now's the time for wallowing in your PJs, eating peanut butter and apples, and going back to the things you love most deeply.

For me that's Civ. I've spent thousands of hours on Sid Meier's venerable series, going back to Civilization II on my dad's first PC, marveling at its Encarta-like animations when you built a Wonder.

In a time of upheaval and uncertainty, what better than a game where you control a whole nation? And instead of crushing and nuking your rivals, why not challenge them to make a fairer, wiser society, or race them to the stars?

-- Nick Hide

No, no, no, not me -- my sons, ages 17 and 14. They're both baseball and hockey players, and with no on-ice or on-field activities, they've been putting in the hours on the Xbox (which recently displaced the PS4).

It was a favorite activity anyway, but now it's their stand-in for the real thing. The 17-year-old is more likely to play solo, while the 14-year-old has been tearing it up virtually with some of his hockey teammates -- likewise with his forays into Fortnite. It's loud. It's enthusiastic. It's intense.

-- Jon Skillings

Board game hobbyists like me are having a hard time coping with the quarantine. Not only are we all discouraged from meeting up with our friends and game groups in person, but most game stores are closed as well. While many stores are still shipping products and doing curb-side pickup, the central congregation place for tournaments and casual meet-ups are basically gone. In this environment, Tabletop Simulator has become a godsend for my friends and I.

If you've never heard of Tabletop Simulator it is exactly what it sounds like, a digital environment for you and your friends to play board games online. The best thing about it is the vast array of mods that let you play any game you can think of (past and present). It not only means the staples of my game group are easily accessible, but other titles we've yet to try are at our fingertips as well.

I've found myself playing board games with friends online almost every night since the shelter orders took effect in our state. While it doesn't replace the feeling of shuffling Magic cards, screaming accusations at your friends over Secret Hitler, or moving your traveler across the Japanese countryside in Tokaido, Tabletop Simulator will at least keep people like me sane while we're all locked inside for the foreseeable future.

-- Joshua Mobley

Yes, I have ADD, which seems even worse than usual now. I'll start playing something based on my mood, hit a snag and jump to another game -- I've been known to start as many as 5 games sequentially. I also get cramped sitting at my desk in the dining room chair not intended for long sessions, which forces me to stop playing games I'm better at with keyboard and mouse -- Doom Eternal and Control, to name two -- and switch to controller-preferred games I can play in bed. That would be everything else. Clearly, I'm not a completionist.

Don't Starve seems to be my most frequent go-to game, in part because it's also playable on phone via GeForce now. (At least until a cat decided one of my Junglecat controllers was a toy and hid it.) There's actually something soothing, for a while at least, about its constant permadeath-restart repetitiveness that I normally don't like.

-- Lori Grunin

I've had Death Stranding since it came out last November, but I've been putting off playing it for a variety of reasons. Now seems to be an appropriate time to play a game about Americans being confined indoors and separated from each other due to an invisible enemy.

The Division, on the other hand, is about a virus that originated in New York City causing it to be quarantined. That game was my favorite when it came out in 2016, but the sequel hasn't won me over.

I had been anticipating the Warlords of New York expansion for some time as it moves the game's setting from Washington D.C. back to New York City. Little did I know the new content would come just days before the real city would be shutdown due to a virus.

-- Oscar Gonzalez

Despite how many incredible games have come out recently, all I want to do is bury myself within The Sims. Coping mechanism? Perhaps. Maybe I'm opting to spend time in a simulated world instead of the real world for a reason. But then, maybe that reason is because I'm determined and focused to turn myself into a Sims building expert within the next few months.

Some people have fitness or productivity goals -- maybe writing a book or starting a podcast -- but I want to learn how to make realistic looking houses and community lots on The Sims 4. My Sims deserve better than boxy houses that look unlived in!

And yes, I'm simultaneously (pun not entirely intended) giving myself actual Sim challenges too. I tried the 100 baby challenge once before and HATED it but this time I might actually give the others a proper crack. Or I might strategically design a hell house that will test my Sims to within an inch of their simmy lives. Who's to say?

-- Steph Panecasio

Back in the innocent days of Black Friday 2019, an incredible PS4 Pro deal won me over -- mainly because it included three exclusives I've always wanted to play: Horizon Zero Dawn (which I finished and FRIGGIN LOVED, of course), Spider-Man (which I started and couldn't get into, but will give it another chance) and God of War.

I finished GoW last night at 12:15 AM and I'm still filled with joy at the sheer awesomeness of it all. Stunning graphics, clever puzzles, just the right amount of lore, perfectly endless tough-complex-rewarding combat and a surprisingly strong story driven by a comically stoic badass father and piggybacking smart-alec son had me looking forward to every free night I had to play (and there've been plenty of them).

Now that I'm done I've already downloaded another exclusive I'm psyched to start tonight --the PS4 Plus freebie Uncharted 4-- and have taken advantage of the Spring Sale to stuff my game pantry with more shelf-safe entertainment: Jedi: Fallen Order, Death Stranding, NBA 2K20 and Outer Wilds. Bring it on, quarantine.

-- David Katzmaier

Originally posted here:

Video games we're playing during the coronavirus lockdown - CNET

Escape from isolation by exploring space from home – CBC.ca

NASA has developed a new website called NASA at Home that is full of activities for young and old to explore the universe from home during these times of physical distancing.

Many parents are struggling to keep young minds occupied during this extended home isolation, and this site provides a wide variety of space videos, podcasts, e-books, games, VR tours and science activities that can be done at home using everyday materials.

It is an out-of-this-world escape from the difficulties we are all facing on this planet.

The space agency has an enormous library of videos dating back to the earliest days of space flight. You can re-live the Apollo missions to the moon, and get the latest on the plans to return there by 2024 through the eyes of the newest generation of astronauts. Or you can leave Earth entirely to explore the solar system through the eyes of robots that have visited other planets.

A series of podcasts narrated by NASA scientists keep you up to date on the latest developments in space exploration.

For the younger kids, a segment called Space Place has a series of computer games and activities such as building indoor rockets or balloon-powered rovers.

The older crowd can take 3D VR tours of NASA facilities or the International Space Station, plus there is a library of space themed e-books to read.

Beyond entertainment, if you like, you can participate in real space science from your own home through a platform called Zooniverse .You can pitch in on the mission of the planet hunter TESS space telescope,searching for planets around other stars. These missions involve so much data that NASA is inviting the public to help analyze it. Who knows, perhaps you could discover a planet of your own!

The Juno mission to Jupiter involves a camera called JunoCamdedicated to public access where you can help decide what part of the giant planet the spacecraft photographs next.

There is even an environmental program called GLOBE Observer which allows you to take daily measurements from your backyard or balcony to track environmental changes that are then compared to satellite observations of the Earth from space.

During this time when our own planet seems to be getting more dangerous with the spread of a deadly disease around the globe, it is a refreshing escape to explore other worlds that are so different, alien and far away. But having said that, remember, that despite the challenges we face from nature, whether it is disease, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, or whatever is thrown at us, we can deal with them and move on, as humans have always done.

Because no matter how tough it seems at times, when compared to all the other planets we know of, the Earth is still the only planet we can live on the crown jewel of the solar system.

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Escape from isolation by exploring space from home - CBC.ca

Google bans employees from using this video chat app – Times of India

NEW DELHI: After NASA and Elon Musks space exploration company SpaceX, its now Googles turn to ban its employees from using the Zoom app. Ever since work from home has become a norm across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, professionals have turned to apps like Zoom. The teleconferencing app has seen its popularity go through the charts but comes with its fair share of privacy concerns. As reported by BuzzFeed, Google sent an email last week to all its employees about banning the app. Google told its employees that whoever had Zoom installed on their machines, the software will soon not function. Google emailed employees last week about the ban, telling workers who had the Zoom app installed on their Google-provided machines that the software would soon no longer function. Interestingly, Google does have its own Zoom competitor, Meet, which is a part of the G-Suite apps. Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda told BuzzFeed News that the company has had a policy of not allowing employees to use unapproved apps for work. Recently, our security team informed employees using Zoom Desktop Client that it will no longer run on corporate computers as it does not meet our security standards for apps used by our employees. Employees who have been using Zoom to stay in touch with family and friends can continue to do so through a web browser or via mobile, Castenada told BuzzFeed News. '; var randomNumber = Math.random(); var isIndia = (window.geoinfo && window.geoinfo.CountryCode === 'IN') && (window.location.href.indexOf('outsideindia') === -1 ); console.log(isIndia && randomNumber Elon Musks space exploration company SpaceX has also told its employees not to use Zoom. According to a report by Reuters, SpaceX sent a memo to its employees on March 28 where it clearly stated that employees shouldnt use Zoom. We understand that many of us were using this tool for conferences and meeting support. Please use email, text or phone as alternate means of communication, the memo noted. The report further stated that the company had taken the decision to not use Zoom as the app was facing significant privacy and security concerns. A flurry of online reports has suggested that Zoom does have privacy and security concerns. Lack of end-to-end encryption has been a big concern. Zoom CEO Eric S Yuan said that the company is taking the necessary steps to meet the challenges. The company for the next 90 days will not launch any new features but instead work on security and privacy issues.

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Google bans employees from using this video chat app - Times of India

Chamath Palihapitiya Blasts Fed for Bailing Out Billionaires and CEOs Amid Pandemic – Observer

On Thursday morning, the Federal Reserve announced a string of new moves to inject $2.3 trillion into embattled businesses and municipal governments, on top of the $2.2 trillion rescue package passed in March, to help the economy tackle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The business pillar of the new stimulus plan includes details of the Feds Main Street Lending Program, targeting small to mid-size businesses, and market intervention measures, including plans to buy corporate bonds regardless of their investment grades.

SEE ALSO: How to Receive Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check Fast and Hassle-Free

But as billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya sees it, the central bank might as well has given money directly to American people, instead of their employers, since the beginning of this crisis. Im not disagreeing with what the Fed has to do, he said in CNBCs Halftime Report interview on Thursday. It would be better for Fed to have given half a million [dollars] to every man, woman and child in the United States.

On Main Street today, people are getting wiped out. Right now, rich CEOs are not, boards that have horrible governance are not. People are, the Social Capital founder and CEOwent on to explain. What weve done is disproportionately prop up poor performing CEOs and boards, and you have to wash these people out.

Just to be clear on who we are talking about, he added. Were talking about a hedge fund that serves a bunch of billionaire family offices. Who cares? They dont get the summer in the Hamptons?

To be fair, the Feds first round of coronavirus rescue plan did include a budget to deposit money directly to peoples bank accounts. About one-eighth of Marchs $2.2 trillion stimulus package, or $250 billion, was allocated for sending checks of up to $1,200 per person to eligible Americans. In fact, the Internal Revenue Service just started sending out those checks on Thursday.

But Palihapitiya has a better idea: instead of giving people a small check that wont last long while leaving a much bigger chunk of money to large businesses in hopes that their employees will benefit, why not give people a larger check and skip businesses in the first place?

We should spend $8 trillion and give every American their 2019 taxes back, he suggested in a Tweet on Thursday in response to a person asking how workers would get paid if their employers, like airlines, go bankrupt and have no revenue.

Palihapitiya has always been a central bank skeptic when it comes to market intervention. I am generally of the view that we have exhausted the ability for central banks to meaningfully manage inflation, in either direction, but that doesnt mean it wont continue to drive stock prices higher by unnecessarily cutting rates and flooding markets with money, he wrote in Social Capitals 2019 annual letter to investors.

Social Capital prides itself on investing in promising businesses that also serve greater good, such as curing cancer, space exploration and mitigating climate change. Over the course from 2011 to 2019, the venture capital firm realized an economic return of 32.9 percent, compared to S&P 500 indexs 15 percent, per its 2019 report.

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Chamath Palihapitiya Blasts Fed for Bailing Out Billionaires and CEOs Amid Pandemic - Observer


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