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Category Archives: Life Extension

Arcadis working with the Georgia Department of Transportation to improve traffic congestion – Benzinga

Posted: February 24, 2020 at 5:43 am

Amsterdam, February 24, 2020 Arcadis (EURONEXT: ARCAD), the leading global Design & Consultancy organization for natural and built assets, today announced that it is continuing its partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation on two critical programs: the Regional Traffic Operations Program (RTOP) with a contract value of $45m through 2024, and the Maintenance, Engineering and Inspection (MEI) program, part of a $15m extension.

Following two decades of population growth, Georgia continues to face challenges when it comes to accommodating more and more drivers on its roads. These projects will help GDOT reduce congestion, cut commute times, and improve safety.

Since 2010, Arcadis has helped GDOT deliver unique active arterial management, coordinating with local agencies to support operation, management and maintenance and developing innovative operational strategies. RTOP now manages over 1,900 traffic signals across 12 counties, using advanced detection technologies, control strategies and communication architecture to optimize traffic flow. The program supports regionwide goals and provides transparent, accessible reporting to all stakeholders.

Through the MEI program, Arcadis has also helped with maintenance, engineering and inspection of all state and federal highways. Through the extension, Arcadis helps with state-wide long line striping, guardrail strike collection and overall maintenance innovation through digital solutions.

"As urbanization increases, it brings unique challenges on how to manage traffic congestion. Arcadis is committed to helping cities solve these problems and improve quality of life for citizens," says Peter Oosterveer, Arcadis CEO.

-End-

Improving quality of life

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:ARCADIS CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONSMonika GrabekMobile: +31 6 11 40 36 96E-mail: monika.grabek@arcadis.com

ARCADIS INVESTOR RELATIONSJurgen PullensMobile: +31 6 51599483E-mail: jurgen.pullens@arcadis.com

ABOUT ARCADIS

Arcadis is the leading global Design & Consultancy organization for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We are 28,000 people, active in over 70 countries that generate 3.5 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world. http://www.arcadis.com

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Life With GDPR: Episode 36- Extension of British Airways Response Time for Proposed Fine – JD Supra

Posted: February 8, 2020 at 3:43 am

Updated: May 25, 2018:

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Life With GDPR: Episode 36- Extension of British Airways Response Time for Proposed Fine - JD Supra

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Max Muncys extension helps the argument for new service time rules – Beyond the Box Score

Posted: at 3:43 am

Late bloomers are a fascinating archetype in baseball. Jos Bautista is probably the modern example I think about the most, a slugger who didnt hit his stride until 29. Nelson Cruz, as another example, was really only a superstar hitter in his 30s. Those two were lucky enough to make plenty of money throughout their careerBautista to the tune of $103 million, Cruz just a shade under at $99 million.

That required a very fortuitous time where teams were still willing to shell out money for older sluggers, and Im talking about less than a decade ago. Bautista received five years and $64 million from the age of 31 to 35, and then the Blue Jays were perfectly fine with taking him year to year given his retirement soon after. Cruz was signed to four years and $57 million at the age of 34.

Now were talking about another late bloomer, this time by the name of Max Muncy. Muncy, like both Bautista and Cruz was a non-factor until the age of 27 when he burst on to the scene with the Dodgers in 2018 after being cut by the Athletics and spending two years languishing in Triple-A.

His debut at 27 means that his free agency would hit at 33; this usually wouldnt be an issue for late bloomers that arent that good, but Muncy almost immediately became a star. He placed in the top 15 in MVP voting both in 2018 and 2019, and he hit a collective .256/.381/.545 with 70 home runs over 1070 plate appearances. Thats no fluke.

In fact, hes been worth, by most WAR measures, about 10 wins over just the past two seasons alone, and thats setting aside his very valuable 129 wRC+ in the postseason. You dont need a TI-84 to calculate that, with a conservative estimate, Muncy has been worth about $80 million or more in surplus value in just those two seasons.

He has made just the league minimum, too, and with his first-year arbitration on the horizon with a projected number of between $4 million and $4.675 million, the Dodgers instead opted to extend him for three years and $26 million with a fourth-year option for $13 million, which would cover his first year of free agency.

Obviously, good for him. I love late bloomers exactly for the reason they can still get payouts despite nearly flaming out by their late-20s, and Muncy is a testament to that sticktoitiveness. That being said, it also lays out a model for exactly why free agency is pretty broken, putting aside the usual arguments about buying out arbitration (where they undercut his desired earnings) and his free agent year.

The problem is that most players are in fact not Muncy and do not become immediate stars even if they do become late bloomers. The more likely outcome is that they spend years and years grinding it out in the minors only to finally get their cup of coffee, and what they receive is the league minimum scaled to playing time, so if you get to play a third of a season you make just under $175,000.

Thats not too bad, but youve also been paid below a living wage for nearly a decade at this point, and even if you were to stick with the club, you would need to hold on for dear life to make up for all that lost time. In a word, you have both age and the service time clock working against you.

In the wake of the landmark Kris Bryant case, people within the MLBPA are probably asking the same questions. According to The Athletic and Evan Drellich, and this is just speculation, he says that, A major overhaul might determine free agency eligibility by age, rather than days of service. Or the players could offer to mix in a component of age into the current system: Once a player reaches X age or Y service, he is a free agent.

This changes the Muncy formula entirely. If the union is able to say that free agency is 29periodthen Muncy can essentially leap-frog service time and jump straight to earning money once hes an effective player. Seems much more fair.

Not only that, it addresses the concerns around that cup-of-coffee player. Maybe theyre nearing the end of their patience and they just cant seem to crack it, and now theyre about 27 or 28. Instead of giving up on the sport they grind it out until they can at least qualify for free agent eligibility, and once they are able to get on the 26-man (still weird saying that), they can secure a one-year, higher-than-league-minimum deal after just a year of service time. We really have no idea the number of players who have quit and would have stuck around for that chance.

While Muncy is the lucky one, cashing in on his arbitration years and at least a year of free agency, most late bloomers have the unfortunate bad luck of nearing their physical peak just as their baseball skills round into form. For both him and the sport, and in the wake of nearly no relief from the service time manipulation world we live in, an age-based service time clock could give the rare late bloomer the bump he so desperately needs.

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Noah Rubin’s Behind The Racquet With Robert Ryland | Tennis 10sBalls – 10sBalls

Posted: at 3:43 am

Editors note: 10sBalls thanks Noah Rubin for giving us permission to repost these great stories. We wish him and this endeavor the best of luck. Great seeing Noah wearing K-Swiss and playing Solinco Strings.

#MyBTR- I was the first black professional tennis player & today I turn 99. I say it is no big deal, no cause for celebration, just another year. There are many things I can not do now, but I accept that. I enjoy doing what I can do. I have played tennis all my life: Played on my high school team in Chicago and was a finalist in state singles. Played at Wayne State in Detroit and was one of the first black players to compete in the NCAA Championships and the first to reach the quarterfinals. In college I wasnt allowed to eat in restaurants with my teammates. They would bring me my food on the bus, where I sometimes would sleep. I wasnt bitter, all I wanted was to play tennis. After winning the American Tennis Association Mens title I was given a wild card to play at the USLTA Nationals (US Open) at Forest Hills in 1955, as one of the first few African Americans to play there. In 1959 I was invited to join Jack Marchs World Pro Tennis Championships, becoming the first black pro player. When he was a kid, Arthur Ashe said I was his hero and he wanted to be good enough to beat me. I was a teaching pro and coached many young talented players and celebrities all over the world. In 1994 I had the opportunity to coach the Williams sisters a brief time before they became famous. Venus, I believe was 14. I dont play tennis anymore. My balance is bad. I do Yoga. I watch so many new players in person and on TV. At the courts, I enjoy giving pointers to anyone who will listen. There is a Paver at the BIllie Jean King National Tennis Center and it says, Bob Ryland: Coach and Friend. I tell my wife Nancy she can go there to remember me when I am gone. Last week I had a check up on my pacemaker. The doc said the battery is good for another 8 years. It made me feel like I have an eight year life extension. Next year, June 16, 2020, I will be 100. No Big Deal. Robert Ryland

****

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Noah Rubin's Behind The Racquet With Robert Ryland | Tennis 10sBalls - 10sBalls

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Satellites: The $500 billion business | Industry Trends – IBC365

Posted: at 3:42 am

OneWeb satellite: Working to produce 15 satellites per week

Paris-based satellite industry specialists Euroconsult, in its latest report (The Space Economy Report), forecasts a spectacular future for the sector. The firms says that todays commercial revenues from manufacturing, launch and ground equipment (the upstream segment) and the downstream elements of operations and services are already worth some $298 billion at 2018 prices and values.

Euroconsult takes a look forward and says that the Upstream portion - worth $8 billion in 2018 - will grow over the following 10 years to 2028 to around $11 billion, while the Downstream segments will expand at some 5% annually to reach an impressive $474 billion by 2028.

Drilling down into the study - and important as the five key industry segments all are - but in 2018 the value of satellite navigation overtook satellite communications as the top commercial revenue sector. This might be hard to imagine, but the value of GPS-based devices is truly huge, and these days includes high-value aircraft navigation as well as the millions of vehicle and maritime GPS devices installed each year.

For example, in February it was announced that satellite operator Eutelsat, despite having a major glitch with its Eutelsat 5 West B satellite (launched in October 2019), was still able to operate its EGNOS device. EGNOS (European Global Satellite Navigation Overlay Service) is added to ordinary GPS systems making them more accurate. One end result is that aircraft can depend on its signals on their final approach to an airport, and then move safely around an airport during fog and bad weather.

Not helping conventional satellite-based TV and communications is the downward pressure on pricing. This is good for the consumer and business end-user but not so appealing to the infrastructure owners. Satellite operators are discovering that their well-established businesses are now being commoditised. The only premium for transponder rentals, for example, is the fact that millions of dishes are pointed towards a particular satellite. Moving them to another operators orbital location would be massively expensive.

Nevertheless, Euroconsult says that the satellite market will experience a radical transformation in the quantity, value and mass of the satellites to be built and launched with a four-fold increase in the number of satellites at a yearly average of 990 satellites to be launched, compared to a yearly average of 230 satellites in the previous decade. This market value will reach $292 billion over the next decade. This reflects a 28 per cent increase over the previous decade which totalled $228 billion in revenues.

This near-explosive rise in value is largely attributed to the boom in orders for smallish but numerous satellites for the mega-constellations from the likes of Elon Musks Starlink system and OneWeb.

Newcomers like OneWeb, SpaceXs Starlink or Amazons Project Kuiper are becoming the largest owners of assets in orbit, challenging the satellite industry in many ways, said Maxime Puteaux, editor-in-chief of this research product and senior consultant at Euroconsult.

These changes are characterized by several factors:

New Low (LEO) and Medium Earth (MEO) orbiting constellations are expected to account for 77% of the projected demand in the next decade driven by broadband projects like SpaceXs Starlink, OneWeb, Amazons Project Kuiper, Telesat LEO and SESs O3b mPOWER.

Starlinks plan: To build and launch up to 42,000 satellites

Source: University College, London

Incumbent Geostationary (GEO) commercial satellite operators, such as SES, Intelsat and Eutelsat are transitioning from a legacy of their established GEO broadcasting business to more data-centric use cases, impacting satellites orders.

Euroconsult says the gradual recovery of contracts will continue, following the low point of just seven new satellite orders in 2017 with demand driven by the first orders of satellites with much more sophisticated fully reconfigurable digital payloads.

DynamicThese new digital satellites are wonderful in that they can reassign spectrum dynamically and thus allow much more flexibility over their 15-20 year lifetimes in orbit.

Euroconsult expects an average of 13 GEO communications/broadcasting orders per year post-2020 based on a replacement scenario that considers the competition of Non-GEO satellite systems and the introduction of life extension services. Demand from global and regional GEO comsat operators will reach a yearly average of $8 billion over the next ten years.

Euroconsults hint that life extension services will be important. Theyre right, and the worlds first space tug or mission extension vehicle was launched in October last year, by Northrop Grumman. MEV-1 has been designed initially to mate with an old satellite (Intelsats I-901) that is very low on fuel and then take over the pointing and positioning of the old satellite.

MEV-1 brings with it a full tank of fuel. This will not be injected into the old satellite but MEV-1 will act as a space buddy (officially a Combined Vehicle Stack:), linking itself to I-901 and then taking over the normal station-keeping duties of the old satellite.

Intelsat 901 carries 72 C-band transponders and also providing Ku-band spot beam coverage for Europe, as well as C-band coverage for much of North America, all of South America, Europe and almost all of Africa.

Rescuing a craft by these means has never been done before and if the experiment succeeds means that lower-cost servicing/rescue craft could be launched and totally revolutionise the economics of satellite replacement.

Euroconsult says that Civil government agencies are projected to be the top drivers of satellite demand, accounting for 40% of the entire market value, ahead of both defense and commercial demand. This is a result of increasing interest in space science, exploration, and Earth observation. On the defense side, a new cycle of orders is beginning with new strategies and replacement satellites needed by the US, China, Russia, Japan, India and Europe.

Added together these new systems are making a dramatic difference as Euroconsult suggests. Elon Musks Starlink system has plans to build and launch up to 42,000 satellites. The first iteration sees 12,000 in place by the mid-2020s and delivering broadband to every part of the planet.

Greg Wylers OneWeb has similar ambitions and is working to produce 15 satellites per week and to start broadband services by the end of this year.

Broadband is seen as crucial in todays world, and while fibre-to-the-home is a reality for some consumers and businesses, satellite is a key component. This growth, forecast by Euroconsult, might even be an understatement.

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The many lives of charcoal – Penn: Office of University Communications

Posted: at 3:42 am

In Africa, charcoal is ubiquitous as an energy source for cooking, even in urban areas where electricity and gas are available. Yet when Catherine Nabukalu was taking courses on energy as part of her degree in the Master ofEnvironmental Studies program at Penn, she noticed charcoal was often left out of the conversation about energy sources and their contribution to global carbon emissions.

We would systematically go through coal, then nuclear, then hydropower, then geothermal, solar, etc., says Nabukalu, now a project coordinator at the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility. You become aware that something is missing. Just because you dont have electricity, doesnt mean you dont have energy.

Reto Gier, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, encouraged her to research charcoal as an energy source for her final paper in his course, Energy, Waste, and the Environment. He then helped her get funding to travel to her native Uganda to continue to pursue the topic as an independent project that they conceptualized together. Nabukalu and Gier shared the findings in a paper published in the journal Resources.

Im African, and Ive used charcoal personally, says Nabukalu. Its not fun to use, cooking is often not a healthy or enjoyable experience, but its a big part of the energy mix. Its not the only source, but its one of them.

As a step toward better understanding the full life cycle of charcoal, from creation to consumption, Nabukalu spent time at a number of sites in Uganda where charcoal is created, traded, sold, and consumed. She observed and interviewed participants at each of these stages and reviewed the literature about charcoal production and use worldwide. Gier and Nabukalu shared some of the key results from this research with Penn Today that shed light on an overlooked source of energy.

In the locations Nabukalu visited, people produced charcoal by felling trees, stacking their trunks, and covering them with branches and leaves. A final layer of damp soil serves to keep as much oxygen as possible out when the pile is set alight. In this way, the wood undergoes pyrolysis instead of combustion, leaving behind carbon-dense charcoal.

These kiln installations are created and used only once. In some cases, this necessitates that the people who use them are nomads, Gier notes.

Indeed, some workers interviewed had moved to northern Uganda from the central region specifically for the opportunity to produce charcoal. Some were entrepreneurs who moved on their own because they thought the trees were disappearing in the more southern areas, says Nabukalu. But others were contracted by entrepreneurs that had informal companies to do this work.

Despite efforts by the Ugandan government to regulate charcoal production, it takes place by and large on private lands and thus is nearly impossible to suppress. Partially, its because the government has limited power on private land, but also there is strong demand for the product, Nabukalu says. Neighboring Tanzania attempted a ban that lasted only a couple of weeks, she found, as prices for charcoal soared on a quickly established black market.

For landowners, allowing charcoal production on their property can be a win-win. They may wish to clear land for agriculture and can invite charcoal producers onto their land, receiving a portion of the proceeds of the products eventual sale. For the producers, it gives them a source of income without needing to own land.

While this type of small-scale charcoal production doesnt involve clearcutting, it still leads to forest degradation as the felled trees are unlikely to be replaced. Each year, Africa produces 24.5 million metric tons of charcoal, nearly 60% of the worlds supply. In addition, much of the supply chain is informal, without any oversight. With traders selling charcoal far from where it is sourced, it is hard to track or quantify how much is actually being produced.

I think a lot of reports grossly underestimate how much charcoal is being produced and used, Nabukalu says.

Nabukalu knew from personal experience that access to electricity did not obviate charcoal use. Its a matter of home economics, she says. When cooking, either youre going to use charcoal which youve already paid for, or youre going to turn on the gas or the electricity, but you dont know how high the bill will be.

In her research she found that Egypt, a country with a diversified mix of modern sources of energy, was still a top producer and importer of charcoal.

Thats true not only in Africa but around the world.

Take a look at Europe: Having wide and reliable access to electricity hasnt stopped usage there, she says, noting that Germany is the worlds top charcoal importer. You could ask, Gier says, do people in Germany really need to be using it? There its for a Sunday barbecue as a leisure fuel, whereas in Uganda its used for daily cooking.

Nabukalu and Gier note the health impacts of cooking with charcoal, especially when done without proper ventilation.

Burning biomass of any kind, whether it be firewood or charcoal, in a confined space exposes those nearby to fumes containing gases and particulates, says Gier. Similarly, producing the charcoal generates vapors during the pyrolysis process, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane, which all deteriorate air quality in the area surrounding the kilns.

In follow-up work, Hope Elliott, a student in Penns Master of Science in Applied Geology program, also working with Gier, is analyzing samples of the charcoal Nabukalu collected. In her research, Elliot is determining the chemical makeup of the charcoal and, by extension, the potential health effects of burning it.

Images courtesy ofCatherine Nabukalu.

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[The Turning Point] How a family car led to the idea of deep tech startup ION Energy – YourStory

Posted: at 3:42 am

Akhil Aryan, the Co-founder of ION Energy, was interested in the physics of energy and software since he was a young boy. He was managing product and growth at Haptik as CPO in 2015. This was the time when there was a lot of hype surrounding Tesla Model S, which had just come out.

So instead of selling the car, he suggested his father let him convert it into an electric car. He started reading books on how to convert an internal combustion engine into an electric one, and bought components online.

Co-founder ION Energy, Akhil Aryan

As he read up more on batteries, he understood that the battery is the most expensive and complicated component of an EV and if you solve that problem and make the battery accessible in a way that it lasts longer or performs better, then you can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of the vehicle even though the upfront costs might be similar.

This is when Akhil decided to go deeper into the battery management space and realised that nobody at the time was doing it in India.

Thus, in 2016, he started ION Energy in Mumbai. ION is a deep technology platform to optimise battery performance and life-extension for the new era of electric vehicles, energy storage, and connected devices. The startup supplies its product to companies that are building EVs and energy storage systems for renewable energy.

In 2017, ION acquired Freemens SAS, an eight-year-old French company that is building battery management systems. Today, ION has offices in India and France.

Alexandre Collet, who was the founder of Freemens SAS, joined ION as the co-founder in 2017. Today ION has a total team strength of 53 people.

Akhil considers his startup journey as unusual.

The startup today has operations in 12 countries, the biggest markets being India, France, Germany, and the UK.

ION has raised over $1 million in three transactions from Tessellate Ventures and other undisclosed investors.

Talking about the future, Akhil says,

The startup is focused on continued investments in product innovation. We want to build a deep link between hardware and software so that we can continue to innovate software to improve the quality of our hardware and build partnership with period OEM that can be built over time as the market matures, he adds.

(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)

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[The Turning Point] How a family car led to the idea of deep tech startup ION Energy - YourStory

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Space Mining the Quest for the Worlds First Trillionaire Amid Earths Growing Resource Scarcity – Wccftech

Posted: at 3:42 am

Those of you who have watched Syfys Expanse season resurrected by Amazon for its fourth iteration would be well aware of the concept of space mining. Set in a future where humans have colonized the entire solar system, the series explores a realistic take on what may well become reality in the near-future. After all, humans have a rapacious appetite and our sole planetary home, the Earth, does not possess unlimited depositories of resources that have become so vital in the modern era.

We are currently in an ecological overshoot. This means that our demand for resources that the Earths land and oceans can provide food, wood, cotton for clothing, carbon dioxide absorption, etc. far exceeds what the planets ecosystems can renew. Moreover, this imbalance is only growing more pronounced with time. Today it takes the equivalent of 1.75 Earths to provide the resources that we currently consume. In other words, the Earth now requires one year and eight months to regenerate what we use in a single year. This manner of consumption is unsustainable in the long run.

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Then there are resources, such as rare metals, that have a very limited supply on Earth and whose scarcity is increasing day by day.

The following infographic from Visually illustrates how long some of our most vital resources will last at the current consumption rate (for a detailed view, head to this link):

Fortunately for us, our immediate celestial neighborhood is literally brimming with resources that can be accessed via space mining. For example, a resident of the asteroid belt 16 Psyche is worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion or $10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! Bear in mind that 1 quadrillion equals a whopping 1 million trillion. So why is this chunk of rock so valuable? It is thought to be the exposed iron core of a protoplanet and is considered one of the most massive metallic M-type asteroids. Additionally, it is believed that the asteroid contains gigantic deposits of gold.

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Moreover, at current market price, an ounce of platinum is worth around $1,500. A single 500-meter platinum-rich asteroid can meet the entire global annual demand. A 450-meter wide platinum-rich asteroid, officially named 2011 UW158, passed Earth in 2015 at a distance of 2.4 million kilometers. This asteroid is believed to contain an astonishing 90 million tons of platinum in its core!

The following infographic from Statista details some of the other valuable asteroids in our vicinity:

Then there are other uses of space mining without which extraterrestrial exploration will remain unviable. For example, an astronaut staying on the International Space Station for six month requires 1 ton of water. At present, this water has to be transported from the Earth and costs around $50 million. However, numerous asteroids are believed to be extremely rich in water and may serve as a crucial node to sustain humans in their extraterrestrial voyages.

The infographic below from 'Planetary Resources' visualizes the space economy of the future:

Given the size of wealth that awaits explorers in our celestial vicinity, it is hardly surprising that key players are gearing up to take a bite out of the space mining goldrush.

On the 25th of November 2015, the U.S administration brought this new frontier into the limelight when President Obama signed the so-called Space Law. The law facilitates private American companies in exploring space resources commercially and makes it clear that whoever is capable of recovering resources from an asteroid has the right to own, transport, use and sell it. Bear in mind that previously space was considered publicly-owned which barred any single entity from claiming ownership over any space resource. This law, however, upended that regime by opening space mining to the competitive forces of capitalism which, in turn, have responded both swiftly and decisively.

At present, a number of entities are vying for their place in history as the pioneers of space mining.

At the forefront is SpaceX, founded by Teslas (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk. The company transports satellites into orbit for the U.S. military as well as other customers, carries cargo to the International Space Station and aims to start flying NASA astronauts and high-paying tourists soon.

Currently, SpaceX primarily relies on its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets for orbit and space missions. Moreover, the companys rocket retrieval and reuse technology has allowed it to cut costs significantly. However, the company is also developing a new and fully reusable launch system known as Starship which also includes a novel Super Heavy booster. Eventually, Starship could replace both Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy and become SpaceXs sole launch vehicle, thereby, reducing launch costs and boosting profitability in the process. Starship may also prove to be a crucial node in achieving Elon Musks long-stated goal of colonizing Mars which, in turn, could go a long way in facilitating space mining. The enterprise is currently valued at $33 billion and may be worth as much as $120 billion in a few years.

Next, we have the Blue Origin aerospace company owned by Amazons (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos. The company envisions a future where millions of people will live and work in space. Its New Shepard is a reusable suborbital rocket system designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Krmn line the internationally recognized boundary of space in 11 minutes.

Also, Blue Origins New Glenn is a single configuration heavy-lift launch vehicle capable of carrying people and payloads routinely to Earth's orbit and beyond. Featuring a reusable first stage built for 25 missions, the vehicle is key to the companys vision of building a road to space and, ultimately, space mining and exploration.

Bear in mind that Jeff Bezos is currently the richest person on the planet with a net worth of $126 billion. Elon Musk, on the other hand, has a relatively modest net worth of $38.2 billion. However, should either of these two entrepreneurs deliver a viable space mining operation, we would be looking at a net worth counted in trillions of dollars.

The Deep Space Industries (DSI) is another valid contender in this arena. The company was acquired on the 1st of January 2019 by Bradford Space. DSI's stated goal is to democratize access to deep space and the company is currently working on a number of projects to achieve its aim.

Its Xplorer spacecraft is being designed to use its own propulsion system to travel from low Earth orbit (LEO) to an Earth departure trajectory or higher Earth orbits such as geostationary orbit (GEO). It will enable exploration and high delta-V applications within low Earth orbits, geosynchronous orbit, near-Earth asteroids, and deep space destinations such as Lunar orbits, Venus, or Mars.

Similarly, DSIs Comet is a launch-safe electrothermal propulsion system being designed for orbit raising, life extension, and de-orbit. It uses water as a propellant, and is scalable for a wide range of spacecrafts.

These are just a handful of companies vying for space mining and exploration. Others include Mars One, Bigelow Aerospace, and ConsenSys Space (previously called Planetary Resources).

In conclusion, I would like to point out that the endeavor of space mining is not without its challenges. The logistical complications and financial costs involved are astronomical. However, given the current rate of depletion of Earths resources, we have no other viable option than to look beyond our planet for sustenance and continued economic progression. This is not a matter of choice but of necessity. One incontrovertible conclusion that can be drawn from looking at the collective human history is that when push comes to shove, we deliver!

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Trump travel ban extension leaves Africans angry and disappointed – The Guardian

Posted: at 3:42 am

New travel bans imposed by Donald Trump on four African countries have prompted anger, concern, disappointment and resignation on the continent.

The measures significantly restrict visas that could end with permanent residency in the US for Eritreans and Nigerians, and end so-called diversity migration visas from Tanzania and Sudan.

Chad Wolf, the acting homeland security secretary, said the countries hit by the new measures failed to meet US security and information-sharing standards. Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar were also included in the list.

Trump has made cracking down on immigration a focus of his 2020 re-election campaign, and his travel ban policy is popular with Republican supporters but experts say that it will harm US efforts to roll back the growing influence of Russia and China in Africa.

A previous ban, introduced in 2017, barred nearly all immigrants and travellers from three African countries Libya, Somalia and Chad and five elsewhere. The policy sparked outrage and was revised amid court challenges before the US supreme court ultimately upheld it in June 2018.

I think we are seeing a domestic political agenda steamrolling foreign policy concerns, said Matthew T Page, an associate fellow with the Africa programme at Chatham House, London.

Eritrea is a minor economic and diplomatic player on the continent, but is strategically situated on the Red Sea. The repressive, authoritarian regime has been courted by Moscow, which wants to build a major logistics base there to rival the vast US base in nearby Djibouti.

The Eritrean foreign minister, Osman Saleh Mohammed, said the government saw the ban as a political move that would hurt the countrys relations with the United States.

We find this move unacceptable, he told Reuters by telephone.

An official statement from Asmara said the measure was an unfriendly act.

Page said that the new measures sent an alienating and patronising message to Nigeria, Africas most populous country with 206 million inhabitants and its biggest economy.

The country sent 7,900 immigrants to the US in 2018, by far the biggest number for any African nation. Almost all visas went to relatives of US citizens.

Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigerias foreign affairs minister, said he was disappointed by the decision, and President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a minister to examine the problems that led to Nigerias inclusion.

Nigeria has been a key ally of the US in Africa, consistently voting with Washington in international forums. Economic and cultural ties between the more than 400,000 Nigerian Americans and the country are strong.

Atiku Abubakar, an opposition leader, said he was saddened by the decision.

The ban does not take into account the pro-American sentiments of the Nigerian public and the solidarity previous Nigerian administrations have had with the United States, Abubakar said on Twitter.

The ban also seems to run counter to a new US policy for Africa unveiled in 2018 by Trumps then national security adviser, John Bolton prioritising trade and the fight against Islamic militants. At the time, Bolton accused great power competitors, namely China and Russia of predatory practices.

In recent years, Russia has sought to increase influence in Nigeria, offering military cooperation to help Abujas weak military fight a tenacious Islamic extremist insurgency in the countrys north-east. The country is also a fast-growing market for Chinese exports, and Beijings state-owned companies have built airports and railways financed by major loans from Chinese banks.

Beyond the geopolitics, the new US measures will have significant impact on individuals.

Trumps new law is very hurtful for us, said Awet, an Eritrean refugee who is now a US citizen.

Awet, who used a nickname to avoid reprisals against his family, was resettled to the United States in 2009. When a 2018 peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea made it possible for his four children to leave Eritrea safely, Awet began trying to bring them over on family visas.

At least let the children in those who want to come to be with their mother or father, he said.

According to official figures quoted by Fox News, 1,674 such visas were awarded in Sudan last year.

A fierce battle for influence in Khartoum is under way, pitting western powers against Middle Eastern states as well as Russia and China. General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who took power following the fall of the dictator Omar al-Bashir last year, recently received an invitation to visit Washington as part of a new push by the US to improve relations.

But the decision to restrict visas has disappointed many Sudanese young people.

It was disappointing. I was thinking that could be an opportunity to upgrade oneself in terms of work and study in America, said Muzamil Abdulmola, 31, who has a degree in agricultural engineering.

Trump is viewed coolly across much of the continent though he has significant popularity in some places, including Nigeria. The president prompted fury after it was credibly reported he had described African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador as shitholes and questioned why so many of their citizens had ever been permitted to enter America.

Ahmed Abdulkarim, a Sudanese who works with an NGO helping refugees and has applied three times for the diversity visa, said the ruling had dismayed many family members and friends.

Trump is racist and hates Sudan I hope opportunities open up and we get treated equally like other nations, Abulkarim, 41, said. It could have been an opportunity to let my daughter have a decent life in the States.

Additional reporting by Zeinab Mohammed Salih, Khartoum

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Trump travel ban extension leaves Africans angry and disappointed - The Guardian

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Los Angeles Lakers: Not trading for Andre Iguodala was the right move – Lake Show Life

Posted: at 3:42 am

With the trade deadline nearly here, the Los Angeles Lakers have had some rumors surrounding them about some of the marquee names available.

One player who the Lakers have been linked to since the summer is Andre Iguodala. The hope for the Lakers was that Iguodala was going to be bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies after the Golden State Warriors traded him there.

However, the Grizzlies were insistent on trading him, and it looks like they were able to get a decent asset in return for him with Justise Winslow.

Considering Iguodala never showed up to play for the Grizzlies, this is certainly a good deal for Memphis. In addition to being traded to the Miami Heat, Iguodala also is reportedly getting a contract extension.

Considering Iguodala is 36-years-old, this is quite the extension for him. While the Heat are looking to make a run for it in the Eastern Conference and compete with the Milwaukee Bucks, handing an extension to Iguodala is a bit surprising.

For the Lakers, even though Iguodala would have helped them, trading for him was never going to be a good option. If the Lakers were to trade for Iguodala, they would have not only had to find a way to match his salary, but the Grizzlies would have also wanted some sort of young asset or a pick.

In order to fill those needs, a potential Danny Green and Kyle Kuzmapackage for Iguodala would have been an awful move for the Lakers. While Iguodala was part of the Warriors dynasty, he is essentially a very good role player at this point.

Last season, Iguodala averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 23.2 minutes per game in the regular season. In the playoffs, those numbers did go up, as he averaged 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 30 minutes per game. Iguodala certainly plays strong defense, but it would have been a lateral move if the Lakers had to send Green to Memphis for him.

Iguodala is certainly a player that could have helped the Lakers come playoff time, but trading anything of value for him wouldnt have really upgraded the team all that much. If he was a free agent and bought out, the Lakers absolutely would have pursued him. However, not trading for Iguodala was the right move for the Lakers at this point.

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