Daily Archives: June 24, 2021

Danbury police make some progress on investigation into drive-by shooting that killed 18-year-old – Danbury News Times

Posted: June 24, 2021 at 11:45 pm

DANBURY Police are still searching for the suspect who fatally shot 18-year-old Yhameek Johnson on Sunday.

I think were making some progress, Chief Patrick Ridenhour said Wednesday morning, 2 1/2 days after the Danbury resident was killed in a drive-by shooting on Mill Ridge Road.

Ridenhour declined to give further details, citing the ongoing investigation, which he described as critical.

Its a tragedy, he said. Unfortunately, any time anyone loses a life, especially in this manner, its tragic.

He said the department hopes to solve the case as soon as possible to bring closure to Johnsons family.

Family members have said Johnson attended New Milford High School, enjoyed dancing, and played football and basketball.

At a vigil Monday, family and friends sent red, black and white his favorite colors balloons into the sky. Family urged anyone with information to come forward.

The killing was officially ruled a homicide on Tuesday, the states medical examiner said. Johnson died from a gunshot wound to the torso

This was Danburys first homicide this year. There were four in 2020.

Officers received multiple complaints of gunshots on Mill Ridge Road around 8 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived, Johnson had been shot and was being cared for by nearby residents. Police provided medical aid until paramedics arrived and brought him to Danbury Hospital, where he died.

Police have not announced any arrests or suspects, but have said the suspects vehicle may be a dark-colored SUV. State police stopped a vehicle similar to the one described about an hour after the shooting, but found the driver and car were not involved.

Drive-by shootings are rare in Danbury.

I cannot recall one since Ive been chief, said Ridenhour, who has been in the role for about five years.

Anyone with information should contact Danbury police at 203-790-TIPS or the assigned investigator J.Williams@danbury-ct.gov.

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Mayor Bowser Celebrates 263 New Homes and Progress on Food Retail & Restaurants at Skyland Town Center | mayormb – Executive Office of the Mayor

Posted: at 11:45 pm

(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), along with development partners WCSmith and Rappaport, broke ground on the next phase of retail construction at Skyland Town Center and celebrated the ribbon-cutting of The Crest, a 263-unit residential property.

We are so proud of the progress at Skyland Town Center as new residences deliver and food options take shape with more housing and food retail to come, said Mayor Bowser. By investing in housing, food access, and local retail businesses, we give more residents a fair shot. Thats why I included a $58M Food Access Fund in the budget to build upon this progress at Skyland and across Wards 7 and 8.

During this years DMPED March Madness, Mayor Bowser announced that fast-casual restaurants Tropical Smoothie Caf, Maizal and Mezeh will lease in the new retail block, along with noting that Roaming Rooster will locate in The Crest residential property. A drive-thru Starbucks the first of its kind in Washington, DC will complete the new retail phase. The establishments many of them based in the Washington, DC area will bring new and diverse shopping and dining options to the neighborhoods surrounding the 18.5-acre, mixed-use development. These will join CVS, Skyland Nails and Spa, Chase Bank and Like That Barber, a neighborhood institution that has been serving families in Wards 7 and 8 for thirty years. Lidl will anchor the new retail block with a 29,000 square foot grocery store, its first in the District of Columbia. Slated to open in fall 2022, Lidl will be the first full-service supermarket to locate east of the Anacostia River since 2007.

I worked relentlessly during my time as mayor and with the current administration to bring a solid anchor to Skyland after Walmart renegade. Todays Phase Two Ribbon Cutting ceremony and the announcement of the new amenities coming to the Skyland Town Center is proof that hard labor pays off. I am delighted that these new developments will help to bring to fruition what I have been unfailingly pursuing for Ward 7 residents for decades - more neighborhood amenities, full-service grocery stores and better-quality food service options for not only Hillcrest but for the 80,000 residents of Ward 7, saidCouncilmember Vincent C. Gray.

The Crest is the first residential property to open at Skyland. The 290,000 square foot building features 263 homes, a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, as well as a fitness center and courtyard pool and grills. Of the 263 units, 53 are set-aside for those earning up to 80% of Median Family Income (MFI) and 26 are designated as workforce units (80% to 120% MFI).

Skyland took years to bring to fruition, and so we must double down on our commitment to adding safe affordable housing and food options, said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. The food options at Skyland highlight the importance of Mayor Bowsers $58 million commitment to expand access to grocery stores and sit-down restaurants in Wards 7 and 8 and give residents every opportunity to rise.

For more than 15 years, the District sought to redevelop the area that was once the Skyland Shopping Center, located at the intersection of Alabama Avenue, Naylor Road, and Good Hope Road in Southeast Washington, DC. Mayor Bowser moved the project forward by providing a $7 million grant for infrastructure work, as well as up to $3.6 million to Safeway to release a covenant on the site that was preventing the deal from progressing. Additionally, the mixed-use project was approved for Tax Increment Financing funding, which the Mayor restructured after the anchor tenant broke their commitment to the project. Upon completion, Skyland Town Center will have up to 156,000 square feet of retail, a medical office building and 450 to 500 residential apartments in a vibrant town square setting. Deemed the largest retail development in Southeast Washington, D.C., Skyland Town Center will provide services and amenities to an underserved market east of the Anacostia River.

This is a considerable milestone in realizing the Skyland dream, our vision of a vibrant mixed-use development that empowers the historically underserved community of Wards 7 & 8, said Gary D. Rappaport, Chief Executive Officer of Rappaport. We are proud of the work that went into completing Phase I and excited to break ground on Phase II and theres more to come.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated economic inequities in the District, with Black and Brown workers and residents without college degrees experiencing disproportionally high rates of unemployment and job loss. To address these disparities and make DCs prosperity more inclusive, Mayor Bowsers Fiscal Year 2022 Fair Shot Budget includes workforce investments focused on ensuring DC residents are trained and hired for high-demand, high-wage DC jobs. In addition, the budget prioritizes food access and economic recovery for all 8 wards.

Investments in the Mayors #FairShot FY22 budget proposal include:

$9.2 million over two years to improve businesses navigation of the Districts technical assistance provider network, direct businesses to technical assistance providers best equipped to address businesses' specific needs, and expand technical assistance support for SMBs by scaling operational capacity of 40+ selected District-based providers.

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FIS Releases 2020 Global Sustainability Report, Highlighting Progress in Environmental, Social and Governance Areas – Business Wire

Posted: at 11:45 pm

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Financial technology leader FIS (NYSE: FIS) has released its 2020 Global Sustainability Report which highlights the companys progress in advancing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Among the highlights cited in the report, FIS in 2020:

As a leading global provider of financial technology, FIS is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and helping facilitate financial inclusion for everyone in the rapidly evolving digital economy, said Gary Norcross, Chairman and CEO of FIS. In light of the challenges faced by our stakeholders over the past year, we have increased our commitment to sustainability and to advancing a workplace that values diversity and inclusion. I am proud of the progress we are making across these areas, as highlighted in our new report.

Read the full FIS Global Sustainability Report: https://www.fisglobal.com/en/global-sustainability

About FIS

FIS is a leading provider of technology solutions for merchants, banks and capital markets firms globally. Our employees are dedicated to advancing the way the world pays, banks and invests by applying our scale, deep expertise and data-driven insights. We help our clients use technology in innovative ways to solve business-critical challenges and deliver superior experiences for their customers. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, FIS is a Fortune 500 company and is a member of Standard & Poors 500 Index. To learn more, visit http://www.fisglobal.com. Follow FIS on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@FISGlobal).

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Pogba the leader: France’s Euro 2020 progress is being guided by the Man United star – ESPN

Posted: at 11:45 pm

"Messi or no Messi, I don't give a f---. I am not going home tonight."

Picture the scene: France are about to play Argentina in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It's June 30, and Paul Pogba decided to speak up louder than he'd even done before. In the dressing room of the Kazan Arena, the Manchester United midfielder riled up his team, shouting words of encouragement, before that line about Lionel Messi. The rest is of course history for Les Bleus, who went on to win the competition, and for Pogba, whose status really changed that day.

Prior to that competition, Pogba was one of France's key players, but from that day on, he became one of its leaders. He continued in that role through the rest of that World Cup and during the wild celebrations when they claimed their second win; since then, his leadership has gone from strength to strength. At Euro 2020, with one Group F game to come vs. Portugal -- stream LIVE on Wednesday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN+ (U.S.) -- he's showing that he's now "Pogboss," the guide of this French team.

- Euro 2020 on ESPN: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)- European Soccer Pick 'Em: Compete to win $10,000- Euro 2020 bracket and fixture schedule

He is not just the "ambianceur" any more, like he was in his early years at the international level; back then, he'd be tasked with choosing the music, telling jokes and making fun of his teammates. He was loud and positive, always bringing a party atmosphere to national team camps, even going so far as to arrange the winning chants in the dressing room after a victory. These days, he's so much more.

These days, Pogba is the one who, for example, stepped in at the last minute to do a press conference defusing the incident between Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud -- the latter was frustrated at not getting good scoring chances in a pre-Euros friendly vs. Bulgaria, which upset the PSG forward. (It worked, too; when asked about tension in the team, Pogba calmly replied "No, the only tension is in the back and legs... maybe what was said was conveyed incorrectly.")

Pogba is the one Didier Deschamps sends to speak to players individually, whether to boost their confidence, correct something or discuss tactics, as he did recently with Mbappe over his defensive duties. He's also the player closest to defender Clement Lenglet when the team celebrated his birthday last week, and leading the goodbyes to Ousmane Dembele after a thigh injury ruled him out of the remainder of the Euros.

"I like to talk one-on-one with the boys. I like saying to the guys 'how are you feeling? If you don't think we should do it like this, let me know...' I try to make [my teammates] feel at ease so we can be better on the pitch. I want to get the best out of everyone," Pogba explained recently in an interview with French newspaper L'Equipe.

In any team, regardless of the level, it is always the players and the staff who hand such leadership to a member of the team. It was never in doubt that Pogba would be recognised by all the squad as a leader, but he still had to accept that label and be good at it, both on and off the pitch.

"You saw how he evolved in this role, game after game, month after month, but he always had it in him," a source within the France camp tells ESPN. "Pogba was always a captain, in every age group. Even at Manchester United he wore the armband under Jos Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It is natural for him to be a leader and to be an excellent one as well."

2 Related

So he talks, more than ever these days: in the hotel, in the dressing room, on the pitch, collectively, individually, about tactics, about life, about NBA, about everything. He's careful to find the right words that motivate or reassure, depending on the context.

Before their first Group F game vs. Germany, he urged his teammates to send a message to the rest of the competition with a big win. (They responded, gritting out a 1-0 victory.) On Saturday, when the French were briefly dazed by Attila Fiola's goal just before the break in the heat of Budapest, he made sure everyone stayed calm and composed.

Overall, France were disappointing against Hungary, but Pogba's words helped keep French minds focused as they worked their way back in the game. "Don't worry. There are no reasons to worry. We are creating chances, we will score. Let's keep going," he told his team while Deschamps watched on in the dressing room at half-time.

(Sure enough, Antoine Griezmann equalized in the second half and kept France on course for the round of 16.)

Deschamps and Pogba are more than just a head coach and an important player. They have an incredibly strong bond, too. They trust each other implicitly, and Deschamps consults his number 6 on a lot of choices and decisions, whether it was the decision to recall Karim Benzema, the tactical formation from game to game, or even his starting XI. The midfielder's opinion -- like that of Hugo Lloris or Raphael Varane, the other two big leaders in this squad -- is important and valued.

After the victory against Germany, Pogba had a message for all the families and friends of the players who were together in one of the stands at the Allianz arena in Munich. While punching his chest with his fist, he told them: "We are going to get this trophy. It is not finished. It is only the beginning. We are all in this together."

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Spacewalk to wrap up second solar array installation at space station – CBS News

Posted: at 11:44 pm

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA crewmate Shane Kimbrough prepped for a third spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Friday to install the second of six roll-out solar arrays. It's part of a major upgrade to offset age-related degradation in the lab's existing solar wings.

As with all NASA spacewalks, the excursion is expected to begin when Pesquet and Kimbrough, floating in the station's Quest airlock, switch their spacesuits to battery power around 8 a.m. EDT. It will be Kimbrough's ninth spacewalk, Pesquet's fifth and the 241st in the 23-year history of the space station.

For identification, Pesquet, call sign EV-1, will be wearing a suit with red stripes while Kimbrough, EV-2, will be wearing an unmarked suit. Both men will be equipped with high-definition helmet cameras.

Robot arm operator Megan McArthur tweeted a photo Thursday of the crew rehearsing spacewalk procedures in the Destiny laboratory module, saying "practice makes perfect (we hope!)." McArthur (in light blue shirt) will operate the station's Canadian-built robot arm to help Kimbrough (at top, black shirt) and Pesquet (arms folded) move a new solar array into position for installation. Also visible is Mark Vande Hei (foreground).

The first two ISS roll-out solar arrays, or iROSAs, were delivered to the lab complex aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship on June 5. The astronauts originally planned to install them in a pair of spacewalks, but it took two outings, one on June 16 and another on June 20, to get the first new array installed.

That panel was mounted on a fixture at the base of an existing solar wing on the far left, port 6 segment of the station's power truss. The P6 truss segment supports two wings, feeding electricity into two of the lab's eight major power circuits: 2B and 4B.

The first iROSA was mounted on a fixture at the base of the P6/2B array, extending out 60 feet and tilted away from the original wing by 10 degrees. The second iROSA will be attached in similar fashion to the P6/4B wing.

As the name suggests, the new panels are designed to deploy from spools, unrolling on their own when tightly wound carbon composite support struts on either side are released.

NASA plans to install iROSA panels on six of the space station's eight original solar wings, all of which have suffered age-related degradation, including rocket plume deposits from visiting cargo and crew ships and impacts from micrometeoroids.

Each new iROSA blanket will generate 20 kilowatts of power and, acting in concert with the original arrays, boost power output back to factory fresh levels.

Pesquet tweeted a time-lapse video of first iROSA installation that was shot by Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, showing the spacewalkers working in orbital daylight and darkness as the station's other original arrays tracked the sun:

"So the new arrays are installed on top, over in front of the existing solar arrays," said Dana Weigel, deputy manager of the space station program at the Johnson Space Center. "The exposed portion of the old arrays will still be generating power in parallel with the new arrays.

"Those new iROSA arrays have solar cells on them that are more efficient than our original cells, they have a higher energy density, and together in combination, they generate more power than what our original array, when it was new, did on its own."

The six roll-out arrays will generate a combined 120 kilowatts of power. Combined with 95 kilowatts generated by the unshaded portions of the original arrays, the station's total solar power output will reach 215 kilowatts when the upgrade is complete.

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China’s Tiangong space station: What it is, what it’s for, and how to see it – Space.com

Posted: at 11:44 pm

This article was originally published atThe Conversation.The publication contributed the article to Space.com'sExpert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Paulo de Souza, Professor, Griffith University

China's space program is making impressive progress. The country only launched itsfirst crewed flightin 2003, more than 40 years after the Soviet Union's Yuri Gagarinbecame the first human in space. China'sfirst successful Mars missionlaunched in 2020, half a century after the U.S. Mariner 9 probe flew past the Red Planet.

But the rising Asian superpower is catching up fast: flying missions to themoonandMars, launching heavy-lift rockets, building a newspace telescopeset to fly in 2024, and, most recently, putting thefirst pieceof the Tiangong space station (the name means"Heavenly Palace") into orbit.

In photos: Tiangong-1, China's space station fell to Earth

Tiangongis the successor to China's Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 space laboratories, launched in 2011 and 2016, respectively. It will be built on a modular design, similar to the International Space Station operated by the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and the European Space Agency. When complete, Tiangong will consist of a core module attached to two laboratories with a combined weight of nearly 77 tons (70 tonnes).

The core capsule, named Tianhe ("Harmony of Heavens"), is about the size of a bus. Containing life support and control systems, this core will be the stations living quarters. At 25 tons (22.5 metric tonnes), the Tianhe capsule is the biggest and heaviest spacecraft China has ever constructed.

The capsule will be central to the space stations future operations. In 2022, two slightly smaller modules are expected to join Tianhe to extend the space station and make it possible to carry out various scientific and technological experiments. Ultimately, the station will include 14 internal experiment racks and 50 external ports for studies of the space environment.

Tianhe will be just one-fifth of the size of the International Space Station, and will host up to three crew members at a time. The first three "taikonauts" (as Chinese astronauts are often known) are expected to take up residence in June this year.

Tianhe was launched from China's Hainan island on April 29 aboard a Long March 5B rocket.

These rockets have one core stage and four boosters, each of which is more than 90 foot tall (nearly 28 meters tall) the height of a nine-story building and almost 10 foot wide (more than 3 meters). The Long March 5B weighs about 940 tons (850 metric tonnes) when fully fueled, and can lift a 28-ton (25 metric tonnes) payload into low Earth orbit.

During the Tianhe launch, the gigantic core stage of the rocket weighing around 22 tons (20 metric tonnes) spun out of control, eventually splashing down more than a week later in the Indian Ocean. The absence of a control system for the return of the rocket to Earth has raised criticism from the international community.

However, these rockets are a key element of Chinas short-term ambitions in space. They are planned to be used to deliver modules and crew to Tiangong, as well as launching exploratory probes to the moon and eventually Mars.

Despite leaving behind an enormous hunk of space junk, Tianhe made it safely to orbit. An hour and 13 minutes after launch, its solar panels started operating and the module powered up.

Tianhe is now sitting in low Earth orbit at the altitude of about 250 miles (400 kilometers), waiting for the first of the ten supply missions scheduled over the next 18 months that are required to complete the Tiangong station.

A pair of experimental modules named Wentian ("Quest for Heavens") and Mengtian ("Dreaming of Heavens") are planned for launch in 2022. Although the station is being built by China alone, nine other nations have already signed on to fly experiments aboard Tiangong.

To find out when the space station might be visible from where you are, you can check websites such asn2yo.com, which show the stations current location and its predicted path for the next 10 days. Note that these predictions are based on models that can change quite quickly, because the space station is slowly falling in its orbit and periodically boosts itself back up to higher altitudes.

The station orbits Earth every 91 minutes. Once you find the time of the stations next pass over your location (at night, you wont be able to see it in the daytime), check the direction it will be coming from, find yourself a dark spot away from bright lights, and look out for a tiny, fast-moving spark of light trailing across the heavens.

This article is republished fromThe Conversationunder a Creative Commons license. Read theoriginal article.

Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates and become part of the discussion on Facebook and Twitter. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

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Astronauts will install a new solar array on the International Space Station in a spacewalk today. Here’s how to watch. – Space.com

Posted: at 11:44 pm

Two astronauts will attempt to complete the installation of a new solar array on the International Space Station today (June 20) after running out of time last week and you can watch it live here.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet, from the European Space Agency, will exit the Quest airlock around 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT), if the extravehicular activity preps go to plan. You can watch the spacewalk live here in the window above, courtesy of NASA TV, or directly via the agency's website.

On Wednesday (June 16), Kimbrough and Pesquet partially installed the first of six new solar arrays on the space station, but some technical issues and problems with the equipment delayed their attempts to complete the work.

Pesquet, who will be spacewalking for the fourth time, will be wearing the spacesuit with red stripes on it to designate him as lead spacewalker, known as extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV1). Kimbrough, wearing a plain white spacesuit as EV2, will be on his eighth spacewalk, according to NASA.

It will be their fourth spacewalk together; the pair took two spacewalks together duringExpedition 50, in 2017. They are currently part of the station's Expedition 65 crew.

Related: Spacewalking astronauts prepare International Space Station for new solar arrays

"Space is hard ... on our spacewalk, we encountered several issues that the entire team worked through incredibly well," Kimbrough said on Twitter on Thursday (June 17).

The spacewalk is expected to troubleshoot the installation of the first of the planned ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays (iROSA) in front of a 20-year-old array located on the far end of the left side of the space station's backbone truss. If there's time, the astronauts will also deploy a second iROSA to augment the P6/4B solar array.

NASA is working on the spacewalks to boost the station's power system, after a more than four-year effort to put in newer and more efficient batteries on the ISS. The eight solar wings had an original design life of 15 years and are showing signs of degraded production of power after exceeding their planned time in orbit.

The newer solar arrays, made by Boeing and arriving at the ISS on a SpaceX Dragon June 5, are designed to deploy in front of the older ones. Once complete, electricity supply on the space station will be boosted by 20% to 30%.

NASA Expedition 65 astronauts Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei will support the spacewalkers from inside the space station, while a socially distanced team at NASA Mission Control in Houston will also assist the crew.

NASA says the spacewalk will be the 240th in support of station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Astronauts will install a new solar array on the International Space Station in a spacewalk today. Here's how to watch. - Space.com

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Starliner capsule fueled for unpiloted test flight to International Space Station Spaceflight Now – Spaceflight Now

Posted: at 11:44 pm

Boeings Starliner spacecraft is prepared for launch on the Orbital Flight Test-2, or OFT-2, mission. Credit: Boeing

Boeing finished loading hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide maneuvering propellants over the weekend into the companys second space-rated Starliner capsule at the Kennedy Space Center, days after stacking of its Atlas 5 launcher began a few miles away at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The capsule is scheduled to launch July 30 at 2:53 p.m. EDT (1853 GMT) on a test flight to the space station. If all goes according to plan, it will clear the way for Boeing to carry astronauts to the station, possibly before the end of this year.

That will be welcome news to NASA, which has funded the Starliner spacecrafts development through its a commercial crew program in a cost-sharing arrangement with Boeing. NASAs commercial crew contracts with Boeing since 2010 are valued at more than $5 billion.

NASA has a similar set of contracts with SpaceX valued at more than $3 billion for development of the Crew Dragon spacecraft. The contracts for both companies included a minimum of six operational crew rotation flights to the International Space Station.

Boeing appeared on track to launch its first Starliner crew mission in 2020, but the Starliners first unpiloted test flight in December 2019 ended prematurely without docking with the space station. Boeing and NASA officials blamed the botched test flight on software issues, including amission elapsed timer clock that was incorrectly set before launch.

The problem caused the spacecrafts computer to think it was in a different flight phase after deployment from the Atlas 5 rocket in orbit, causing the to capsule fire thrusters and burntoo much propellant.The higher-than-expected fuel usage prevented the Starliner spacecraft from docking with the space station.

Ground teams uncovered another software coding error that could have caused the spacecrafts service module to collide with the crew module after the two elements separated just before re-entry. During certain parts of the shortened two-day mission, there were also difficulties establishing a stable communications link between the Starliner spacecraft and NASAs network of tracking and data relay satellites.

Despite the problems, the capsule returned to Earth for a parachute-assisted, airbag-cushioned landing at White Sands Space Harbor, New Mexico.

Boeing is now refurbishing that capsule for the Starliner Crew Flight Test. But first, Boeing and NASA managers agreed to launch a second Orbital Flight Test, a mission called OFT-2, to wring out the spacecrafts software and complete the demonstration tasks left unaccomplished by the OFT-1 mission in 2019.

A second Starliner crew module will fly on the OFT-2 mission. Once it is back on Earth, Boeing will refurbish the capsule for future crew missions. Every Starliner mission will feature a new service module, which burns up during re-entry.

But the OFT-2 mission has to well before Boeing and NASA can finalize a schedule for the Crew Flight Test.

Boeing said last week that engineers have closed out all recommendations from a joint NASA-Boeing independent review team set up to investigate the problems on the OFT-1 mission. The review team issued 80 recommendations, including more thorough integrated software testing and mission simulations, process improvements, crew module communication system improvements, and organizational changes.

Boeing has implemented all recommendations, even those that were not mandatory, ahead of Starliners upcoming flight, the company said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Boeing completed an end-to-end mission simulation in the companysAvionics and Software Integration Lab in Houston. The test combined flight hardware and the final version of the spacecrafts flight software.

The end-to-end rehearsal was not performed to verify software code before the OFT-1 mission in 2019.

I am extremely proud of the NASA and Boeing Starliner teams as they methodically work toward the OFT-2 mission next month with final checks of the crew module and service module hardware and software as we prepare for this important uncrewed test mission, said Steve Stich, manager of NASAs commercial crew program.

Closing all of the independent review team findings for the software and communications systems is a huge milestone for the commercial crew program and included many long hours of testing and reviews by our dedicated Boeing and NASA teams during this Covid-19 pandemic, Stich said in a statement.

In parallel with the software testing, Boeing technicians at the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center have finished the bulk of the preparations on the spacecraft for the OFT-2 mission.

In January, Boeing mated the crew module and service module inside the processing facility, a former space shuttle hangar.

A Boeing spokesperson said Monday that the crew and service modules have been fully loaded with their mix of hypergolic propellants, which will feed the spacecrafts thrusters for maneuvers to rendezvous with the space station and the de-orbit burn at the end of the mission.

United Launch Alliance, a 50-50 joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, is the launch provider for Starliner missions. On June 17, ULA raised the first stage of the Atlas 5 rocket for the OFT-2 mission on its launch platform inside the Vertical Integration Facility near pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

ULA planned to install two strap-on solid rocket boosters and a dual-engine Centaur upper stage on the Atlas 5 rocket, setting the stage for delivery of the Starliner spacecraft to the VIF in mid-July.There will be no pre-launch fueling rehearsal on the Atlas 5 rocket before the OFT-2 mission.

In the weeks ahead, mission control teams in Florida and Texas will continue conducting simulated mission dress rehearsals for the uncrewed OFT-2 and follow-on crewed missions. Starliners landing and recovery teams also will perform an on-site checkout of one of the vehicles landing zones, Boeing said in a statement.

Technicians also loaded cargo into the Starliners pressurized crew module, which will fly with an instrumented test dummy in one of its seats. The OFT-2 mission will deliver around 440 pounds (200 kilograms) of cargo and crew supplies to the space station.

Assuming the mission launches July 30, the Starliner spacecraft is scheduled to dock July 31 with the forward port of the space stations Harmony module.

In late July, before the Starliners arrival, four of the space stations seven crew members will strap into their SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship for a relocation from thee forward docking port to an upper port on the Harmony module. That will clear the way for the Starliners docking.

Boeing said the OFT-2 mission is expected to last about five to 10 days before undocking from the station and returning to Earth. The capsule will target one of five landing zones in the Western United States, including two locations at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, and sites in Utah, Arizona, and California.

The Starliners undocking, re-entry, and landing is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 5. On that date, the primary landing site will be at White Sands.

If the OFT-2 mission achieves all its objectives, Boeing and NASA officials will look for opportunities toward the end of the year to launch the Starliner Crew Flight Test. That mission, which also launch on an Atlas 5 rocket, will carry NASA astronauts Barry Butch Wilmore, Mike Fincke, and Nicole Mann to the International Space Station.

The Atlas 5 first stage and Centaur upper stage for the Crew Flight Test arrived Sunday at Port Canaveral after riding ULAs transport ship from a factory in Decatur, Alabama.

Ground crews unloaded the rocket stages from the vessel Monday to begin launch processing at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The OFT-2 mission will use the Atlas 5 rocket originally assigned to the Crew Flight Test.

If the piloted demonstration flight goes well, NASA will clear Boeing for the first of its six operational crew rotation missions to the space station in 2022.

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Starliner capsule fueled for unpiloted test flight to International Space Station Spaceflight Now - Spaceflight Now

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Dozens of Hawaiian baby squid aboard space station for study – The Guardian

Posted: at 11:44 pm

Dozens of baby squid from Hawaii are aboard the International Space Station, for a study which scientists hope can help bolster human health during long space missions.

The baby Hawaiian bobtail squid were raised at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory at the University of Hawaii, then blasted into space earlier this month on a SpaceX resupply mission.

Researcher Jamie Foster, who completed her doctorate at the University of Hawaii, is studying how spaceflight affects the squid, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The squid have a symbiotic relationship with natural bacteria that help regulate their bioluminescence. When an astronaut is in low gravity their bodys relationship with microbes changes, said University of Hawaii professor Margaret McFall-Ngai, who Foster studied under in the 1990s.

We have found that the symbiosis of humans with their microbes is perturbed in microgravity, and Jamie has shown that is true in squid, said McFall-Ngai. And, because its a simple system, she can get to the bottom of whats going wrong.

Foster is now a professor in Florida and principal investigator for a Nasa program that researches how microgravity affects the interactions between animals and microbes.

As astronauts spend more and more time in space, their immune systems become whats called dysregulated. It doesnt function as well, Foster said. Their immune systems dont recognize bacteria as easily. They sometimes get sick.

Foster said understanding what happens to the squid in space could help solve such problems.

There are aspects of the immune system that just dont work properly under long-duration spaceflights, she said. If humans want to spend time on the moon or Mars, we have to solve health problems to get them there safely.

The Kewalo Marine Laboratory breeds the squid for research projects around the world. The tiny animals are plentiful in Hawaiian waters and are about 3in long as adults. The squid will come back to Earth in July.

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Squids in space! Hawaiian squid tied to UH lab visits space station | University of Hawaii System News – UH System Current News

Posted: at 11:44 pm

Baby Hawaiian bobtail squid. (Photo credit: Margaret McFall-Ngai)

More than 120 baby Hawaiian bobtail squid born from a mother squid collected at Maunalua Bay were sent to the International Space Station in June to help scientists understand how astronauts health is affected during long space missions. The squid were launched into space as part of NASAs SpaceX 22nd resupply mission and are scheduled to return in July.

Jamie Foster, a University of Hawaii Kewalo Marine Laboratory alumna who completed her doctorate in 2000 under the guidance of UH Professor Margaret McFall-Ngai, a professor at the University of Florida, and principal investigator for a NASA research program Understanding of Microgravity on Animal-Microbe Interactions (UMAMI), will be investigating how squids are affected by spaceflight.

The goal of the UMAMI project is to better understand the effects of microgravity, or spaceflight, on the beneficial interactions between animals and microbes, said Foster. Beneficial interactions with microbes are critical for animal health. Studying the bobtail squid helps us understand fundamental ways bacteria initiate relationships with their animal hosts.

Hawaiian bobtail squids have one host and one microbial species, in comparison to humans, which have one host and more than 1,000 microbial species. When baby squid are born, they pick out their symbiont (the bacteria they partner with), and that partner has to drive the development of the tissues it associates with and has to stay in balance to keep animals healthy. This process is the same in humans.

Foster is trying to determine how the squids symbiont-induced development is perturbed in space, to help address health problems that astronauts face during long space missions, such as compromised immune systems and the potential for microbes to become more pathogenic.

We know that when astronauts go to space, it is not uncommon at all for them to have immune problems, and changes to their microbiota, said McFall-Ngai, who has been studying squid since 1989. You have microbes that keep you healthy on your skin and in your digestive system, and there is something about microgravity that disturbs that balance. In sending these squid into space, Jamie hopes to find basic evolutionarily conserved principles that can be applied to the human microbiome.

McFall-Ngai learned of the Hawaiian bobtail squid as a graduate student, and has spent her professional career of more than 30 years studying the species.

This particular little squid lends itself to studying symbiosis everywhere from ecology and evolutionary biology all the way up to molecular mechanisms, said McFall-Ngai. You can do just about any level of biology with this animal.

Today, there are many labs across the U.S. and Europe that study squid-vibrio symbiosis, all of which have originated out of UH.

The community we have is very tightly woven, added McFall-Ngai. Jamie got her degree at the University of Hawaii, she comes here often, and she works with the people here and other academics who have come through UH. Hawaii is like the nexus, the center, of the studies.

I first thought of the idea for UMAMI while a graduate student at UH, added Foster. My work with Dr. Margaret McFall-Ngai showed me the importance of beneficial microbes in animal health, but there were no comparable studies being done in the field of space biology. I thought the Hawaiian bobtail squid would be a perfect model organism for this type of spaceflight research. It took 10 years before the first squid went to space in 2011 and another 10 years for the UMAMI mission, but each mission builds on the previous research, and I hope there will be more opportunities for this UMAMI mission to continue.

This research is an example of UH Mnoas goal of Excellence in Research: Advancing the Research and Creative Work Enterprise (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 201525 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

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Squids in space! Hawaiian squid tied to UH lab visits space station | University of Hawaii System News - UH System Current News

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