Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos will fly to space at their own risk. Does that make it right for everyone?
Now that several companies are signing up wealthy people for flights to space, some in Congress say it may be time for the FAA to more closely regulate the commercial space industry.washingtonpost.com
Seattle suburb OKs camping ban it may not be able to enforce
The Mercer Island City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday to prevent people from staying outside or in their cars overnight, The Seattle Times reported. Mercer Island is an island community directly east of Seattle with a population of about 25,000. AdThere are no homeless shelters on Mercer Island, so officers will direct people to facilities elsewhere. But if there’s no shelter space available, Mercer Island says it can’t enforce the ordinance because of a federal ruling. “I don’t want Mercer Island to become an overflow for Seattle’s problems,” resident Tom Jacobs said.
Fintech start-up Curve raises $95 million to bring its ‘smart’ payment card to the U.S.
LONDON — British financial technology firm Curve announced Tuesday that it's raised $95 million to fuel an expansion into the United States. Unlike digital challenger banks such as Revolut and Monzo, which offer checking accounts via an app, Curve combines all of a customer's debit and credit cards into one platform and a linked "smart" card they can use for payments. The firm's app has a feature called "Go Back in Time" that lets users change the account they paid with after making a transaction. Curve's latest funding round, its Series C, was led by IDC Ventures, Fuel Venture Capital and Vulcan Capital, the investment house of late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Many fintechs are now under pressure to show they can become profitable, and some experts think the sector could be ripe for consolidation.cnbc.com
Stratolaunch starts building Talon hypersonic plane for Mach 6 flights
Stratolaunch has started construction on a prototype hypersonic vehicle designed to launch from the world's biggest airplane. Recent pictures the company shared on Twitter show a prelude of the sleek Stratolaunch Talon-A reusable hypersonic vehicle coming together in a manufacturing facility. In March 2020, however, Stratolaunch announced it would pivot its services to building, testing and operating hypersonic vehicles : vehicles that fly at Mach 5 , or five times faster than the speed of sound. Stratolaunch also signed an agreement with Draper, a decades-old engineering nonprofit, last month to provide guidance, navigation and control software for the hypersonic vehicle. "Under the multi-year contract, Draper will design, develop and deliver a guidance, navigation and control system for the Stratolaunch reusable hypersonic vehicle," Draper representatives wrote in a statement .space.com
Prince William, David Attenborough launch 'Earthshot' award
In this undated handout photo issued by WWF on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, British Naturalist Sir David Attenborough, sits with Prince William for a private outdoor screening of his upcoming film, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, at Kensington Palace, London. William, who has been immersed in environmental issues all his life, said the same resources used to tackle the coronavirus pandemic should be devoted to saving the natural world. “According to the experts, it really is the point of no return," he told Sky News. “It’s a matter of great urgency now.”William also spoke about how his seven-year-old son, Prince George, is getting concerned about what's going on in the world. He said his son was left so saddened by an Attenborough documentary about extinction that he told his father “I don’t want to watch this anymore."
Stratolaunch to launch hypersonic vehicles from world's biggest airplane
Stratolaunch's Talon-A, shown here in an artist's concept, is one of several new hypersonic vehicles to be launched from the company's massive carrier plane, the world's largest aircraft. Stratolaunch's website now reveals that the company has reinvented itself as a builder, tester and operator of hypersonic vehicles those that can travel at least five times the speed of sound , or Mach 5. The huge plane is key to this new mission, hauling vehicles aloft to test various payloads in the extreme environments imposed by hypersonic flight. In August 2018, before Allen's death, Stratolaunch announced plans to use four different satellite-launching vehicles with the huge aircraft, including an orbital space plane. The Stratolaunch Carrier has just one flight under its belt, a 2.5-hour test flight that took place in April 2019.space.com
Travis Kalanick and the four paths of ousted tech founders
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Kalanick co-founded Uber in 2009, then took over as CEO the following year. The second actMarc Andreessen, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, speaks at Recode's 2017 Code Conference. Then, a decade ago, Andreessen co-founded Andreessen Horowitz, where he used his hard-gained knowledge as an entrepreneur to build one of the most successful venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Kalanick sold less than $3 billion worth of Uber stock, which barely buys an NBA team these days.cnbc.com
Bill Gates says it's 'pretty fundamental' for the people he hires to read these 2 books
It's one of Gates' favorite books, and in 2018, he gave away a downloadable copy to anyone who graduated from college. "Although I think everyone should read it, it has especially useful insights for anyone who's making the leap out of college and into the next phase of life," Gates wrote on his blog, Gates Notes. Similarly, "The Better Angels of Our Nature" "offers a really fresh perspective on how to achieve positive outcomes in the world," Gates wrote in another blog post. "Steven Pinker shows us ways we can make those positive trajectories a little more likely," Gates wrote. Gates said that the foundation in particular hires people who have diverse skill sets but share a curiosity about the world.cnbc.com
Researchers find 2nd warship from WWII Battle of Midway
A crew of deep-sea explorers and historians looking for lost World War II warships have found a second Japanese aircraft carrier that went down in the historic Battle of Midway. The researchers used an autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV, equipped with sonar to find the ship. The vehicle had been out overnight collecting data, and the image of a warship appeared in the first set of readings Sunday morning. The first scan used low-resolution sonar, so the crew sent their AUV back to get higher-quality images. Until now, only one of the seven ships that went down in the June 1942 air and sea battle five Japanese vessels and two American had been located.chicagotribune.com
Deep-sea explorers find Japanese ship that sank during WWII
Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the Petrel to one sunken warship, the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga. Historians consider the Battle of Midway an essential U.S. victory and a key turning point in WWII. Crawford doesn't see much value in these missions to find lost ships, unless they can get some useful information on how the Japanese ships went down. A piece of the Japanese aircraft carrier was discovered in 1999, but its main wreckage was still missing until last week. The other three Japanese aircraft carriers the Akagi, Soryu and Hiryu and the Japanese cruiser Mikuma are still unaccounted for.chicagotribune.com