Jeff Bezos’ rocket tests Nasa Moon landing tech

New Shepard launch
Tuesday’s launch took place from Blue Origin’s test facility in West Texas

A rocket built by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space company has tested technology designed to return humans to the Moon in 2024.

The New Shepard rocket, developed by Blue Origin, can land vertically on the ground after returning from space.

The rocket was carrying sensors, a computer and software designed to help space vehicles perform precision landings on other planetary bodies.

Nasa wants to see how it performs here on Earth before it’s sent to the Moon.

Tuesday’s test launch was the seventh for Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle, which is designed to carry space tourists on short “sub-orbital” trips.

It will eventually take passengers up to around 100km (60 miles) above the Earth, allowing them to experience microgravity. They will be carried up in a crew capsule mounted on top of New Shepard.

This pressurised capsule features

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China’s digital yuan tests leap forward in Shenzhen

Shenzhen, known for its maker community and manufacturing resources, is taking the lead in trialing China’s digital yuan.

Last week, the city issued 10 million yuan worth of digital currency to 50,000 randomly selected residents who applied. The government doled out the money through mobile “red envelopes,” a tool designed to digitize the custom of gifting money in red packets and first popularized by WeChat’s e-wallet.

“Red packets are a common way we’ve seen in China Internet companies to spur adoption like what we’ve seen with Tencent WeChat and Alibaba’s Alipay in the early days, when these products were first launched,” Flex Yang, CEO of crypto finance firm Babel Finance, told TechCrunch.

The digital yuan is not to be mistaken as a form of cryptocurrency. Rather, it is issued and managed by the central bank, serving as the statutory, digital version of China’s physical currency and giving Beijing a better

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China hands out $1.5 million of its digital currency in one of the country’s biggest public tests

  • Last week, the government in Shenzhen carried out a lottery to give away a total of 10 million yuan (about $1.5 million) worth of the digital currency.
  • The winners can now download a digital renminbi app to receive the digital yuan and spend it at over 3,000 merchants in a particular district of Shenzhen.
  • The digital yuan is not a cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Instead, it is issued and controlled by the People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank.



a close up of Mao Zedong holding a piece of paper: A Chinese clerk counts renminbi yuan banknotes at a bank in China on December 2015.


© Provided by CNBC
A Chinese clerk counts renminbi yuan banknotes at a bank in China on December 2015.

GUANGZHOU, China — China has started one of the biggest real-world trials for its digital currency as it pushes closer toward creating a cashless future.

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Last week, the government in Shenzhen carried out a lottery to give away a total of 10 million yuan (about $1.5 million) worth of the

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Microsoft and Facebook vet leads nonprofit making software to improve COVID-19 rapid tests

Most of the Audere team, gathered together in pre-COVID times. (Audere Photo)

A Seattle-based nonprofit launched to provide digital health solutions for poorer countries is applying its expertise to help with COVID-19 testing.

Audere is building software for administering rapid result COVID tests that can be integrated into products being developed by U.S. manufacturers that use saliva or nasal swab samples.

“There is a critical need for rapid testing,” said Philip Su, CEO and founder of Audere. People are increasingly realizing that the widespread distribution of a vaccine is still many months away. The availability of accurate, inexpensive tests that provide results in minutes can help control the spread of the virus in the meantime, Su said.

Philip Su, Audere CEO and founder. (Audere Photo)

The tests — known generally as rapid diagnostic tests or RDTs — can have high rates of failure, though the basic concept is simple. Imagine

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James Webb Telescope Completes Environmental Tests, A ‘Monumental’ Step Towards Launch

KEY POINTS

  • James Webb Space Telescope finally completed the series of environmental tests
  • It recently passed the tests to make sure that it will survive the launch in 2021
  • The tests simulated what it will likely experience on launch day

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb) recently passed milestone tests. The all-important environment tests help ensure that the telescope will survive the trip to space.

It was only in August when Webb passed what’s called the “Ground Segment Test,” which made sure that it will be able to respond to the commands from Earth and also send back valuable data once in space.

In a NASA news release, on Tuesday, the agency said that Webb just passed more milestone tests, this time to ensure that it will survive the launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket in October 2021.

The recent tests are called the “acoustic” and

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The Technology 202: Trump’s ‘Don’t be afraid of Covid’ post tests Facebook and Twitter

From Lena Wen, a visiting professor at George Washington University and emergency room doctor:

And former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden:

The companies’ hands-off approach to Trump’s posts undermines their longstanding promises to crack down on specific kinds of coronavirus misinformation.

Twitter and Facebook have promised to be vigilant about coronavirus-related posts that could pose a risk to people’s health or well-being. Trump’s posts were viewed by millions on both services, even as users warned they could lead to a false sense of security that might endanger people’s lives. 

Trump’s initial “Don’t be afraid” tweet garnered more than 275,000 retweets and more than 556,000 likes. On Facebook, the post was liked at least 1.2 million times and shared more than 100,000 times. 

Facebook and Instagram’s policies state the companies will remove covid-19 misinformation “that could lead to imminent physical harm.” Twitter meanwhile says it will remove

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Tesla Model 3 scores poorly on European assisted driving tests

Europe’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) has released its second series of assisted driving grades, and despite having the best technology, Tesla’s Model 3 came away with a mediocre score. The reason? Driver engagement is a key factor and Tesla’s Autopilot system “encourages the driver to relinquish too much control,” according to the testers (via RoadShow).

The results from the test don’t show that Tesla’s systems are bad, in fact far from it. Tesla had the top score in vehicle assistance, meaning its automatic braking, lane-keeping and other systems all work well together. It also beat all rivals in the “safety backup” section, as it can handle things like a system failure, unresponsive driver and collision avoidance with aplomb — as we’ve seen before in viral Tesla videos.

According to NCAP, however, the problems lie within a category called “driver engagement.” Testers said that the marketing materials don’t line

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Toyota-Backed Startup Successfully Tests Manned Electric Flying Car, Plans Launch By 2023

KEY POINTS

  • Tokyo-based SkyDrive successfully tests flying car
  • Startup claims its prototype is the smallest flying car
  • The vehicle may be commercially available in 2023

A Toyota-backed Japanese startup has said it successfully tested a manned flying car prototype, crossing a major milestone in the race to a trillion dollar futuristic industry that could transform urban transport. SkyDrive expects to market its flying car in Japan in 2023.

The company said its prototype is the smallest electric flying car. About 6.5 feet tall and 13 feet wide, the SD-03 prototype is a little bigger than a standard sedan. It can carry up to 500 kilograms and travel up to 60 kilometers/hour.

It hovered in an enclosed field in Japan before landing safely, the company said. It runs on electric motors that charge four pairs of rotors, lights and other parts.

SkyDrive chief technology officer Nobuo Kishi said the vehicle will

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NASA tests Artemis spacesuits underwater for possible moon landing

  • NASA is developing new spacesuits for its planned missions to the moon.
  • Astronauts are testing the spacesuits in a giant pool: the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas.
  • The pool mimics the feeling of microgravity and serves as a training ground for astronauts learning how to do spacewalks. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

NASA is racing to get astronauts back to the moon in 2024. But before that can happen, the agency needs to perfect its spacesuits.

NASA has already designed the new suits that astronauts will wear on its Artemis moon missions. Now it’s testing the suits to make sure people can actually walk in them and perform complex tasks, like handling tools and checking equipment.

Many of those tests happen underwater.

At NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas, astronauts-in-training wear spacesuits in a giant pool to simulate what they’ll feel like in microgravity.

The pool

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India and Denmark to benefit from NTNU COVID-19 tests

A highly sensitive COVID-19 test, developed by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), relies on magnetic nanoparticles to extract viral RNA. More than 5 million NTNU COVID-19 tests have already been supplied to the Norwegian health authorities. Now India and Denmark will benefit from the technology.

“Testing and infection tracking are absolutely essential to maintaining control of the infection situation. The fact that NTNU has developed a new test method for detecting the coronavirus means that more people can be tested and that patients can get answers faster. It is very positive that this technology can now also be useful internationally,” says Bent Høie, Norway’s Minister of Health and Care Services.

We have been contacted by health ministries and private companies from countries in Asia, Africa, North and South America and Europe. We are delighted to announce

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