Sunday, November 18, 2018

Soyuz returns to service with cargo launch to the ISS

Russia’s Progress 71 cargo craft blasts off on time to the International Space Station for a ...

The Russian Soyuz launcher reentered service today as the unmanned Roscosmos Progress 71 cargo ship lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1:14 pm EST (12:14 am Saturday, November 17, Baikonur time zone). Loaded with over three tons of food, fuel, and other supplies, it is currently executing a series of maneuvers to match orbits with the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, November 18.

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Lockheed begins manufacture of X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft

Artist's concept of Lockheed Martin’s Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) X-plane

Commercial supersonic flight has left the drawing board with Lockheed Martin announcing fabrication of the X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST) aircraft has begun. Milling the first part of the test aircraft has commenced at the company's famous Skunk Works, setting the project on course for its maiden flight scheduled for 2021.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

NASA shuts down Kepler, ending nine years of planet-hunting

NASA's Kepler space telescope discovered thousands of planets outside our solar system, and revealed that our ...

After nine years, NASA's exoplanet-hunting Kepler mission came to a final end Thursday as the space agency sent the radio commands ordering the onboard computer to shut down the unmanned space telescope's systems. The "goodnight" commands were sent via the Deep Space Network from Kepler's operations center at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and severed all communications with Earth.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lime is debuting its line of shareable vehicles in Seattle this week

Lime, the well-funded startup known for its fleet of brightly colored dockless bicycles and electric scooters, has a new way for its customers to get around: cars.

Beginning this week, Lime users in Seattle will be able to reserve a “LimePod,” a Lime-branded 2018 Fiat 500, within the Lime mobile app. There will be 50 cars available to start as part of the company’s initial rollout. Lime plans to increase that number at the end of the month.

“LimePods, Lime’s car-sharing product line, a convenient, affordable, weather-resistant mobility solution for communities,” a spokesperson for Lime said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “The ease of use of finding, unlocking, and paying for cars will be consistent with how riders use Lime scooters and e-bikes today.”

Lime will roll out 50 “LimePods” in Seattle this week.

Rides in the LimePod will cost $1 to unlock the car and 40 cents per minute of use. The company plans to unleash additional shareable cars in California early next year. Its scooters and e-bikes, for reference, are $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute and regular pedal bikes are $1 to unlock and 5 cents per minute.

Founded in 2017 by Berkeley graduates Toby Sun and Brad Bao, the startup has raised a total of $467 million to date from GV, Andreessen Horowitz, IVP, Section 32, GGV Capital and more. Reports indicate that Lime is on the fundraising circuit now, targeting a $3 billion valuation, or nearly 3x its latest valuation.

LimePods will be available to order in the Lime mobile app.

The company is expanding rapidly, most recently releasing a fleet of e-scooters and bikes in Australia, as well as making notable hires on what seems like a weekly basis. In the last month, Lime has tapped Joe Kraus, a general partner at Alphabet’s venture arm GV and an existing member of the startup’s board of directors, as its first chief operating officer. Before that, it brought on Uber’s former chief business officer David Richter as its first-ever chief business officer and interim chief financial officer.

In July, the company hired Peter Dempster from ReachNow to lead the LimePod initiative out of Seattle.

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Faraday Future: the rise and fall of the electric car startup

Following the EV company’s best and worst moments, from its 2015 debut to its most recent struggles

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Camp Fire Still Raging in California

Camp Fire Still Raging in California
The fire has become the deadliest in state history.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Volvo's subscription service is so popular it's running out of XC40s

dims?crop=1400%2C800%2C0%2C0&quality=85&Volvo made it clear back in June that its Care by Volvo subscription service was going to be a big hit. Now, it's got the stats to back it up: in just four months the company has sold as many subscriptions as it originally anticipated selling in the... https://ift.tt/2FhAXGF
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The kilogram is dead; long live the kilogram

The US National Prototype Kilogram, a copy of the original International Prototype Kilogram. Credit: Robert Rathe / NIST

This week scientists will meet to redefine the world’s weights

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Watch Rocket Lab try again to launch its first commercial mission to space

Aerospace startup Rocket Lab will try again this weekend to launch its first commercial mission to space, a flight the company has dubbed “It’s Business Time.” The small satellite launcher is aiming to send up seven tiny probes into low Earth orbit on its Electron rocket. If successful, the flight will officially kick off commercial operations for the company, which has only pulled off two test flights so far.

Rocket Lab has had a hard time getting “It’s Business Time” up in the air, though. The company, which launches out of a private site in New Zealand, has tried multiple times to fly this particular mission, but had to stand down after noticing some weird behavior with one of the rocket’s motor controllers. After implementing a few...

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Major UK supermarket launches TV ad with Greenpeace against the use of palm oil, but Clearcast bans it from airing

A popular UK grocery store – Iceland – became the first major supermarket to take palm oil out of all of its own products. The production of palm oil, which is used in everything from cooking oil to snacks and baked goods to cosmetics and shampoos, is contributing to mass deforestation in countries like Malaysia, and is responsible in part for the loss of 25 orangutans per day. The organutans are now classified as critically endangered.

But Iceland took their environmental stance a step further and teamed up with Greenpeace to rebadge this Christmas ad in order to bring awareness to the issue. But, unfortunately, the ad was banned because Clearcast says "it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code."

According to The Guardian:

Clearcast, the body responsible for vetting ads before they are broadcast to the public, said it was in breach of rules banning political advertising laid down by the 2003 Communications Act.

One of the stipulations enshrined in the broadcast code for advertising practice (BCAP), is that an ad is prohibited if it is “directed towards a political end”.

“Clearcast and the broadcasters have to date been unable to clear this Iceland ad because we concerned that it doesn’t comply with the political rules of the BCAP code,” said a spokeswoman for Clearcast. “The creative submitted to us is linked to another organisation who have not yet been able to demonstrate compliance in this area.”

But an Iceland's spokesperson disagrees. “We wanted [the ad] to be our signature campaign...We have said repeatedly we are not anti-palm oil, we are anti-deforestation...We think this is a huge story that needs to be told. We always knew there was a risk, but we gave it our best shot.”

Via The Guardian

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