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PRIVATE MISSIONS TO THE ISS
NASA & Virgin Galactic Offer Private ISS Missions
Virgin Galactic's Share Price Soars
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and NASA announced today that they are jointly developing a program for private missions to the International Space Station (ISS). Likely candidates for the private missions include scientific researchers, wealthy private citizens and space tourists. The announcement sent shares of Virgin Galactic soaring by more than 14% as the NYSE opened. Virgin Galactic, like Elon Musk's SpaceX, is building a growing portfolio of business relationships with NASA.
Virgin Galactic's Role
Virgin Galactic will identify entities interested in buying private missions to the ISS. The cost is extremely pricey. A ticket to and from the ISS costs an estimated $58 million plus $35,000 per night onboard the ISS. The company will provide members of the private missions astronaut training programs, transportation and necessary resources both while in orbit and on the ground as part of the preparations for the mission.
NASA's Strategy of Working with Private Companies
NASA is increasingly working with companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic as it prepares for its manned mission to the Moon in 2024. NASA's strategy is to reduce costs through the partnerships. A few weeks ago, SpaceX successfully transported two US astronauts to the ISS. That was the first launch of US astronauts from US soil in more than a decade. NASA will debut a new space launch system for the journey to the Moon in 2021. NASA has big plans for a long-term presence on the Moon and a manned mission to Mars during the 2020's...all of which will be accomplished with strategic business partnerships.
Technical University of Vienna's Landmark Cloaking Technology Research Source: Technical University of Vienna - Light Beams of Invisibility - Cloaking Tech Viennese Cloaking Cloaking technology has been a source of fascination in Star Trek and Harry Potter adventures. It's also among the Holy Grail for technologists. According to a study by physicists at Technical University of Vienna, it could become a reality with a specially designed material that can mask itself from other forms of light when it's hit with a "beam of invisibility". The Viennese have developed a special light wave, masking technology that they think delivers cloaking. They're experimenting with it and developing it. Shining the Light on New Cloaking Tech The concept involves shining a beam, like a laser, onto material from above to pump it full of energy. Here's the trick. The pattern that's projected into the object to render it invisible has to perfectly match the
Robot, Cut My Lawn Source: Husqvarna Mowers Robo Mowers Powered by Batteries - No Gas It's at the top of my robotic wish list. A robot lawn mower. No astronomical bills and upselling from lawn service companies. Just a nicely cut lawn and no hassles. Innovation seems to be knocking at the front door with news on robotic mowers. Green Robots at the Cutting Edge There's a slew of new robot mowers. Models include Worx Landroid for smaller lawns, Honda that cuts and feeds lawns, Robomow for all-purpose mowing and Husqvarna that's loaded with cell & GPS tech. These mowers aren't cheap. Prices range from $1000 to $3500. They're powered by rechargeable batteries so they're quiet. You pay more for online enhancements. And, if your lawn is loaded with trees and hills, your robot mower is going to be a lot more expensive. Grass Vacuums Robot mowers look a lot like big robot vacuums such as iRobot's Roomba. They roam and groom your lawn. Their
New Fun Tech - Powered, Standup Water Board Source: Yanmar's on-water gadget Wheeebo From Japan, for Calm Waters It's called Wheebo and it's new, fun tech from Japan. Wheeebo is a battery powered, standup water board that can glide you across the water up to 3&1/2 mph. Invented by the marine engine manufacturer Yanmar, it's designed for relatively calm waters, controlled by shifting your weight on the board, has a hand held remote control for acceleration and is said to be easy for anyone to enjoy. For more details, go to Important Innovations Collection: New Water Sport - Wheeebo : Powered Board "Water Gadget" Source: Yanmar's Wheeebo From Japan at Speeds Up To 3&1/2 MPH This looks like a fun...