2020-07-01 00:00:00 ..
2020-07-06 14:30:24 UTC
2020-07-07 03:15:40 UTC
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[Update 2: Successful mission! Successful separation, clean booster and escape capsule landing.
Mission launch time: 11:11AM EDT (15:11 UTC)
Max ascent velocity: 2,236 mph
max capsule apogee: 389,846ft (119km)
Mission elapsed time: 11m17s
Overheard on the live feed that max G forces for the escape capsule was: 10G.]
[Update 1: there was a brief hold of approximately 10 minutes; countdown has resumed.]
As it continues to progress toward human flights, Blue Origin will perform another potentially dangerous, uncrewed test today of its New Shepard rocket and spacecraft. Although it has not yet provided details, the company says it will fly "a high altitude escape motor test—pushing the rocket to its limits." The test is scheduled to begin at 11 am EDT (15:00 UTC) [corrected times] at the company's West Texas launch site.
This is the ninth test of the reusable New Shepard system, and the third in which it has included commercial payloads on it short suborbital flights. This time, the company is also flying a suite of materials from Blue Origin employees as a part of its internal “Fly My Stuff” program. (It's unclear at this point exactly how "abort test" and "payload" fit together in the same mission—presumably the high altitude abort will be followed by the New Shepard spacecraft pressing to orbit, but we're not exactly sure. Blue Origin will have more details about exactly what's going on when its webcast starts.)
This is not the first high-energy test of New Shepard. In October, 2016, the company conducted a lower altitude in-flight escape test when engineers intentionally triggered the spacecraft's launch abort system at about 45 seconds after launch, and an altitude of 16,000 feet. Such systems are designed to fire quickly and separate the crew capsule from the booster during an emergency.
Live feed on YouTube should start approximately 20 minutes before the 11:00 EDT (15:00 UTC) launch.
Note: it appears the launch may have originally been scheduled at 14:00 UTC but now appears to be scheduled for 15:00 UTC.
[Update (06:00 EDT / 10:00 UTC): Launch was a success. Dragon module separated cleanly and is on route to the ISS.]
CRS-15 Mission Overview (PDF)
SpaceX is targeting Friday, June 29 for an instantaneous launch of its fifteenth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-15) at 5:42 a.m. EDT, or 9:42 UTC, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Dragon will separate from Falcon 9's second stage about nine minutes and thirty seconds after liftoff and attach to the space station on Monday, July 2. An instantaneous backup launch opportunity is available on Sunday, July 1 at 4:54 a.m. EDT, or 8:54 UTC.
Both Falcon 9 and the Dragon spacecraft for the CRS-15 mission are flight-proven. Falcon 9's first stage previously supported the TESS mission in April 2018, and Dragon previously supported the CRS-9 mission in July 2016. SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage after launch.
Follow along on the YouTube Live Stream.
SpaceX will fly the Falcon 9 Block 4 for the last time on its June 29, 2018 launch of cargo to the ISS:
Because SpaceX has no plans to fly Friday's booster again, it will be expended into the ocean. However, the rocket's second stage will make a much longer "coast" in space before de-orbiting after four revolutions around Earth. This is likely another test of the second-stage engine's ability to fire after a longer period of dormancy in space.
The equipment launching to the space station inside the Dragon's trunk includes a spare Canadian-built latching end effector for the research lab's robotic arm, plus a 1,213-pound (550-kilogram) instrument developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to be mounted outside the station's Japanese Kibo lab module to measure the temperature of plants from space.
The robot's name is CIMON — for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion — and it looks a bit like a volleyball with a computer screen on one side. The screen displays a simplified cartoon face that the bot will use to interact with the humans on the ISS. And to maneuver around, CIMON is equipped with 14 internal fans that propel the white ball, by sucking in the station's air and expelling it to move in whatever direction it needs. That means CIMON can "float" throughout the station, zooming up to astronauts that call its name and nodding in response to questions.
Airbus developed CIMON for Germany's national space agency, and the goal is to see whether intelligent bots can cooperate with astronauts to simplify work life in space. CIMON's already been tested out on a parabolic flight — an airplane that flies a special trajectory to create brief moments of weightlessness. And CIMON has trained a few times on Earth with German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is already on board the ISS. So the bot's microphones and cameras are specially tuned to recognize his voice and face. However, CIMON's makers say the bot's voice-controlled AI capabilities, provided by IBM, allow the companion to interact with any astronaut that calls its name.
Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, has resigned because of a "a violation of Intel's non-fraternisation policy". The BBC reports:
Chipmaker Intel has announced that its chief executive, Brian Krzanich, is stepping down with immediate effect because of "a violation of Intel's non-fraternisation policy".
[...] Intel said an inquiry had revealed that Mr Krzanich had had a consensual relationship with an Intel employee, which was against company rules.
His successor has been named as Robert Swan, currently the company's chief financial officer.
The company said the relevant policy applied to all managers.
"Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel's values and adhere to the company's code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr Krzanich's resignation."
The Register reports:
Intel chief exec Brian Krzanich has quit after his "consensual relationship" with an employee came to light.
Staff flings are frowned upon in US corporate tech world, and against Intel company policy. In a statement within the past hour, the chip maker said:
Intel was recently informed that Mr. Krzanich had a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee. An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel's values and adhere to the company's code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich's resignation.
Krzanich – who has two daughters with wife Brandee – will be replaced by interim CEO Bob Swan, who is otherwise the chief financial officer and an exec veep.
"The board believes strongly in Intel's strategy and we are confident in Bob Swan's ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO," said Intel chairman Andy Bryant in a statement.
How will this affect Intel's competitive efforts with respect to AMD, ARM, and Nvidia?
President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un will meet in just a few hours. Here's what to watch for and when, according to the White House schedule.
- 8 p.m. ET (June 11) / 8 a.m. Singapore (June 12): President Trump departs Shangri-La Hotel en route to Capella Singapore, where the two leaders will meet.
- 8:20 p.m. ET (June 11) / 8:20 a.m. Singapore (June 12): Trump arrives at Capella Singapore.
- 9 p.m. ET (June 11) / 9 a.m. Singapore (June 12): President Trump and Kim Jong Un greet each other. This is the big moment. Cameras will be there to capture their expected handshake.
- 9:15 p.m. ET (June 11) / 9:15 a.m. Singapore (June 12): President Trump and Kim Jong Un participate in a one-on-one bilateral meeting.
- 10 p.m. ET (June 11) / 10 a.m. Singapore (June 12): President Trump and Kim Jong Un participate in an expanded bilateral meeting.
- 11:30 p.m. ET (June 11) / 11:30 a.m. Singapore (June 12): President Trump and Kim Jong Un have a working lunch.
- 4 a.m. ET (June 12) / 4 p.m. Singapore: President Trump is expected to speak with reporters.
- 6:30 a.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. Singapore: President Trump departs Capella Singapore for Paya Lebar Air Base Singapore.
- 7 a.m. ET / 7 p.m. Singapore: Trump departs Paya Lebar Air Base, Singapore, en route to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. From there, he will travel on to the United States.
A man has shot dead two police officers and a civilian in the eastern Belgian city of Liège.
The gunman took a female cleaner hostage at a school before being killed by police. Two other police officers were also injured.
The man's motive is not yet clear but the incident is being treated as terrorism.
Police sources quoted in local media said the man was heard shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic).
Belgian broadcaster RTBF said the gunman was let out from prison on temporary release on Monday where he had been serving time on drug offenses. It said that he may have been radicalised while in jail.
The shooting unfolded late morning on Tuesday near a cafe in the city centre.
Update: 16:56 UTC
More recent reporting states:
The incident occurred at around 10:30 a.m. when an assailant stabbed two policewomen from behind, before stealing their service weapons and using them on the officers, Liege Prosecutor Philippe Dulieu said at a news conference on Tuesday.
After killing the two officers, the attacker continued walking through the street and opened fire on a parked vehicle, fatally wounding the driver inside, Dulieu added.
The gunman also killed a 22-year-old male car passenger on the Boulevard d'Avory, before taking a female cleaner hostage at a nearby high school.
She was released when police shot dead the attacker, who has been named by local media as Belgian national Benjamin Herman.
See also, thanks to C0lo: