SpaceX weathers Irma, no delays to busy October launch schedule

Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station were largely spared the brunt of Hurricane Irma due to last-second changes to its projected path. Both SpaceX and ULA have since reported that damages to their facilities are minimal and unlikely to contribute to any delays in upcoming launches, of which SpaceX has several.

Several days before Hurricane Irma reached Florida, the storm projected to make landfall almost directly on Cape Canaveral, stoking fears of spaceflight journalists and forcing the evacuation of several living on the Space Coast. While Irma’s course veered southeast as it neared the Space Coast, Cape Canaveral eventually experienced some level of heavy rain, flooding, and high winds on Sunday and Monday. A NASA flyover of Kennedy Space Center illustrated this best, with very little damage visible from the helicopter, aside from some limited flooding and some mild damage to the roofs of several buildings.

Modern facilities at the Cape are generally built to tolerate Category 5 winds of 150 mph, and Irma appeared to potentially pose a threat to even those structures in the early days of forecasts. However, with maximum recorded winds of around 100 mph from Irma, worries more centered around tornadoes formed by the hurricane, as well as more temporary structures that were under construction. Gwynne Shotwell commented on this earlier today, speaking at the World Satellite Business Week meeting in Paris, France. SpaceX’s President said that LC-39A and SLC-40 looked fine in initial flyovers performed by the company. Her main concern was an array of construction materials and temporary shelters currently at SLC-40 that were exceptionally vulnerable to hurricane conditions.

SpaceX’s LC-39A launch pad seen from a NASA helicopter on 9/12. Thankfully, no damage is readily apparent. (NASA)

Following natural (and unnatural) disasters at Kennedy Space Center and CCAFS, access is restricted to a select crew of emergency reaction teams that are tasked with combing through the myriad facilities and cataloging any serious damage and potential dangers for workers. Once they are finished with their surveys, nonessential personnel are allowed to return to their workplaces and begin their own surveys and repairs. CCAFS and the 45th Space Wing began allowing nonessential personnel back into the facility on Tuesday, while Kennedy Space Center may open its gates on Thursday. Once allowed back in, SpaceX can begin their own damage survey and conduct any necessary repairs.

The company is planning to conduct its next East Coast launch as early as October 2nd, with a second October launch from Florida expected no earlier than October 14th. SpaceX is also scheduled to launch Iridium’s third group of ten NEXT satellites from California on October 4th, so the company has an extremely busy month ahead. Thankfully, with more than two weeks between now and next launch, SpaceX will likely have plenty of time to undertake all necessary repairs, so long as damage is minimal.

While SpaceX was spared, those more directly in the path of Irma were not nearly as lucky. In Florida, nearly 25% of all residents were without power for days, and many millions are still waiting for utility companies to repair widespread damage to their infrastructure. Many homes have undoubtedly been destroyed beyond repair. Floridans were largely spared from the deadly threat of Irma by widespread evacuation orders on the East coast, but most residents of islands along Irma’s path had nowhere to evacuate. Dozens of deaths have been reported in Barbados, the Virgin Islands, and other islands. Many more were killed and injured in Cuba. Recovery from Irma will undoubtedly take many years.

SpaceX weathers Irma, no delays to busy October launch schedule

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August a busy month for NASA, SpaceX launches from Space Coast

  • Video: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 on third try

    Video: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 on third try

  • SpaceX Falcon 9 launches from KSC, lands on drone ship

    SpaceX Falcon 9 launches from KSC, lands on drone ship

  • SpaceX launches Falcon 9 from KSC, lands at Cape

    SpaceX launches Falcon 9 from KSC, lands at Cape

  • SpaceX launches satellite size of a double-decker bus

    SpaceX launches satellite size of a double-decker bus

  • SpaceX launches Falcon 9 from KSC, nails landing

    SpaceX launches Falcon 9 from KSC, nails landing

  • Atlas V rocket blasts off on mission with Cygnus spacecraft

    Atlas V rocket blasts off on mission with Cygnus spacecraft

  • SpaceX launches, lands 'flight proven' Falcon 9

    SpaceX launches, lands ‘flight proven’ Falcon 9

  • Delta IV rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

    Delta IV rocket launches from Cape Canaveral

  • SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center

    SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Kennedy Space Center

  • Falcon 9 blasts off from KSC, lands at Cape

    Falcon 9 blasts off from KSC, lands at Cape

  • Atlas V rocket blasts off with missile detection satellite

    Atlas V rocket blasts off with missile detection satellite

August promises to be a busy month for rocket launch teams and Space Coast spectators as mission dates shift at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

NASA’s International Space Station will be the target of the first launch on Sunday, August 13 when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from KSC’s pad 39A at 12:56 p.m. with a Dragon spacecraft. The unmanned capsule will fly with nearly 6,000 pounds of supplies and science experiments for the 12th mission under the Commercial Resupply Services contract, known as CRS-12.

Pushed forward from its previous launch target of August 14, CRS-12 is expected to feature a Falcon 9 first stage landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Landing Zone 1 shortly after liftoff. As usual, spectators and residents can expect a thunderous sonic boom to reverberate across the Space Coast as the 156-foot-tall Falcon booster crosses the speed-of-sound threshold during its computer-controlled descent.

[Elon Musk: SpaceX’s mighty Falcon Heavy rocket will launch from KSC in November]

[Supersonic research at Kennedy Space Center to produce sonic booms near coast]

United Launch Alliance, meanwhile, is tasked with launching its roughly 200-foot-tall Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Sunday, August 20 with NASA’s newest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, labeled TDRS-M.

Some reports have indicated that the Boeing-built spacecraft could launch as soon as August 18 if officials approve.

The $408 million satellite, however, sustained antenna damage in July during a crane operation at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, delaying its planned August 3 launch. A NASA official in late July said teams were scheduled to swap out the antenna with a new one.

TDRS-M will join NASA’s existing TDRS network, which facilitates communications to and from the ground for spacecraft such as the ISS and Hubble Space Telescope.

The 7:56 a.m. liftoff from Launch Complex 41 marks ULA’s first mission since April’s launch of an Atlas V rocket with a Cygnus spacecraft loaded with ISS supplies and cargo.

Minotaur IV (Photo: Orbital ATK)

Finally, an Orbital ATK Minotaur IV rocket that has already launched from every possible United States launch site except Cape Canaveral will lift off with a surveillance satellite for the Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space program on Friday, August 25.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 46 will play host to the mission labeled ORS-5, which was made possible through a recent $4 million investment by the state. 

Spectators, however, will need to stay up late – or wake up early – to see the Minotaur IV. A four-hour launch window opens at 11:15 p.m. and closes at 3:15 a.m. the following day.

Contact Emre Kelly at or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook at @EmreKelly.

[SpaceX’s pivot: Elon Musk downsizes some of his ambitious goals]

[Target, CASIS team up for sustainable cotton research on ISS]

Launch Sunday, August 13

Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9

Mission: Dragon spacecraft to International Space Station

Launch Time: 12:56 p.m.

Launch Complex: 39A at Kennedy Space Center

Join for countdown chat and live video starting at 11:30 a.m.


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Roombas have been busy mapping our homes, and now that data could be up for sale

Over the past couple of years, Roombas haven’t just been picking up dust and chauffeuring cats around, they’ve also been mapping the layout of your home. Now, Colin Angle, the chief executive of Roomba maker iRobot, has said he wants to sell the data from these maps in order to improve the future of smart home technology.

In 2015, iRobot introduced the Roomba 980, its first W-Fi-connected model. This meant that while a Roomba was quietly whirring around your floors, it was also collecting spacial data using visual localization, sensors, and more. This data helps the Roomba figure out how your home is laid out and adjust cleaning patterns on-the-fly to deal with things like moved furniture. But Angle thinks it could be put to use by more devices.

“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” Angle told Reuters. Angle says that this data won’t be sold without permission, but Reuters says he thinks “most would give their consent in order to access the smart home functions.”

According to Reuters, iRobot hopes to reach a deal to sell these maps to Google, Apple, or Amazon within the next couple of years. Roomba is already compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home — Apple’s HomePod speaker is also on the way — and all could greatly benefit from the data within these home maps as they vie to offer the smart home assistant of choice.

Roomba owners can opt out of cloud-sharing functions within the iRobot Home app, but technically, the iRobot terms of service and privacy policy say they have the right to share your personal information. The information is buried, laden in legal language, and, as Gizmodo points out, includes this clause which could allow iRobot to sell the information without consent:

[We may share your personal information with] other parties in connection with any company transaction, such as a merger, sale of all or a portion of company assets or shares, reorganization, financing, change of control or acquisition of all or a portion of our business by another company or third party or in the event of bankruptcy or related or similar proceeding.

Most don’t thoroughly comb over entire terms of service agreements and privacy policies before agreeing to use apps and products. While blame could easily be placed on the user, the power dynamic between service and consumer gives tech companies leverage to exploit their customers. This was recently demonstrated when the CEO of email service said he was “heartbroken” that users were upset it sold their data to Uber for an undisclosed fee. “Sure we have a Terms of Service Agreement and a plain-English Privacy Policy,” said the CEO in the apology post, “but the reality is most of us — myself included — don’t take the time to thoroughly review them.”

Will people buy into iRobot’s vision of a smart home utopia and give up data maps of their home? Will that data actually be used to make home assistants work smarter for you, or just give them more advanced and targeted ways to sell you things? Perhaps the most important question is: do we ultimately value utility over privacy? It seems iRobot and its CEO are betting the answer to that is yes.

Uber warns riders of driver impersonators ahead of busy Memorial Day weekend

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – There is a right and wrong way to take an Uber. After reporters of Uber driver impersonators trying to scam you, rob you, or worse, Uber is launching an awareness campaign. 

On busy holiday weekends, you want more fun and less hassle. 

“We will be taking an Uber tonight,” said Wendy Rodriguez.

“Sometimes, I just try to avoid parking entirely and take an Uber,” said Jared Fishman.

But Uber scammers are counting on that. In March, a man pretending to be an Uber driver assaulted a woman in Atlanta. Uber has been receiving similar reports from law enforcement and is now launching a campaign to prevent it. 

There is a right way to accept an Uber driver. Make sure you check the make and model of the car and the tag before getting in. Also, look at the name and picture of  your driver on your app and make sure they match the driver in the car. 

Eric Humphrey has been driving for Uber for 2 years and is still surprised when people don’t make sure they’re in the right car.

“I call the name of the person on the app,” said Humphrey. 

Joe Russo always double-checks his app. He’s not an Uber driver but has seen how trusting people can be. 

“Somebody tried to get in my car thinking I’m an Uber. He was confused, I was confused, but it happens because people expect ‘oh this looks like the car, it must be my Uber,” said Russo. 

Eric also suggests people call or text their driver after they request a ride. 

“When that person pulls up and you’ve just spoken to, that’s another connection you had,” added Humphrey. 

Another tip, if you or your friends plan on drinking, make sure one person is able to look after those who may not be as alert. Help a friend get into their Uber, but first help them make sure they’re getting in the right car. 

Remember the app can only track you if you’re in the Uber driver’s car. 

Busy Philipps Describes Her ‘Freaking Creepy’ Uber Scare

Busy Philipps described an Uber scare she experienced early Sunday morning on her Instagram story, prefacing her story with, “The craziest thing just happened to me.”

Philipps, 37, said she tried to call an Uber with her husband, Marc Silverstein, and when she got into the car, things took a weird turn.

She begins saying she is now safe in a Lyft, but she felt immediate unease when she got into her Uber.

“I said to my husband, ‘Oh, that guy was weird. Are you sure he’s not going to kill us?’ And then from the f— way back, a voice is like, ‘I promise that won’t happen’ and there was just like a f— crazy, scary dude in way back of this Uber,” Philipps shared on Instagram about an unknown man in the third row of the car who “didn’t make himself known.”

She continued, “Basically I was like, ‘I will not be killed tonight!’ and I jumped out and started screaming at this freaking creepy Uber driver. I was like, ‘This is not happening. I will not be killed tonight.’ ”

While recounting her story, Philipps alternated between nervous laughter and shaking.
Busy Phillips/Instagram

“I’m not trying to be alarmist or whatever, but I definitely feel like those guys were trying to murder me tonight. I legitimately feel that way and it was really scary,” she added.

The pair exited the car and made it home safely, she said. Philipps brought Silverstein into the camera for his take, and they eventually begin snacking on pizza at home.

“It was the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me,” Silverstein said. He estimated Philipps said “no!” 50 times as they continued to theorize what happened with their ride. (Silverstein thought maybe there happened to be two pick-ups at once and things got messed up, but Philipps shot down the idea.)

Michelle Williams’ BFF claimed she is done with Uber and is taking away a lesson from her experience.

“If you’re ever faced with this, your answer is no!” she emphasized.

Will she press charges?

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“I don’t feel like the police would have been helpful,” she said, adding that it’s not illegal to be creepy.

Though the company did not provide an official statement, an Uber communications source told PEOPLE they received feedback about the trip from the couple indicating a second person was in the car, but no further safety incident was reported by Philipps or Silverstein.

“We take allegations like that seriously and we’re looking into it further,” the source said.


Nvidia’s Busy Week In Self-Driving Deals (NASDAQ:NVDA)

Nvidia's Busy Week In Self-Driving Deals

Intel Corporation’s (NASDAQ: INTC) $15 billion acquisition of Mobileye NV (NYSE: MBLY) gives the company immediate access to the autonomous driving and driver safety markets. But after the acquisition, some analysts argued Intel will have a lot of catching up to do to industry leaders, including NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA).

Intel now has even more catching up to do after Nvidia had a busy week in announcing new self-driving deals.

Working With A Truckmaker

Nvidia announced on Thursday it’s working with PACCAR, a global truck manufacturer. The agreement calls for the companies working together to develop solutions for autonomous vehicles.

PACCAR’s CEO Ron Armstrong said it’s exploring automated driving systems with Nvidia, which also includes artificial intelligence capabilities.

Mass Market Cars

Just one day prior to the PACCAR announcement, Nvidia said it’s working with Bosch, the world’s largest automotive supplier. As part of the new agreement, the two companies will also be developing artificial intelligence self-driving systems for mass market cars.

Nvidia noted it’s developing an artificial intelligence driving car computer, which is based on Nvidia’s deep learning software and hardware. The technology will enable vehicles to learn the complexities of driving, operated autonomously while also receiving updates over the air with new features and capabilities.

See Also:

The Current Legal Minefield In Automated Autos

When Will We See Fully Autonomous Vehicles? This Famous Hedge Fund Manager Thinks It Will Take 20 Years

Posted-In: Autonomous Driving Self DrivingNews Contracts Tech Best of Benzinga

SpaceX science – Dragon delivers experiments for busy science period

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SpaceX’s CRS-10 resupply mission has enjoyed a smooth period following its somewhat eventful berthing to the Station last month.  In the two weeks since the cargo craft arrived at the orbital outpost, the Expedition 50 crew has unloaded all experiments and cargo from the internal and external compartments of Dragon and is now busy reloading the vehicle with experiments and equipment that will return to Earth for recovery later this month.

CRS-10 delivers multitude of experiments:

Given the unexpectedly fun start to Dragon’s time at the Station for CRS-10, which saw a flawless launch from the Kennedy Space Center followed by a rendezvous abort – the first ever for Dragon – during approach to the ISS, the Expedition 50 crew has made quick work of unloading the vehicle of all of its supplies from both inside and outside the spacecraft.

In all, this marks the start of a particularly busy science period for the ISS, with over 300 individual experiments scheduled to be conducted over the next six months.

Moreover, the vast majority of these experiments are slated to be brought to the Station over the course of the CRS-10, -11, and -12 missions (with -11 and -12 launching in April and June, respectively) from SpaceX and the Orbital ATK OA-7 mission later this month.

With the first of these supplies arriving on CRS-10, the Expedition 50 crew got right to work following the Dragon’s berthing on 23 February.

STP-H5 SpaceCube Mini:

On 26 February, the ISS crew removed the Space Test Program – Houston 5 (STP-H5) experiment package from Dragon’s external trunk using the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRSM) – more commonly known as Canada Arm 2 or the Station’s robotic arm.

On 27 February, the crew used the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM, or Dextre) to remove the Optical PAyload for Lasercom Science (OPALS) experiment from the Express Logistics Carrier 1 (ELC 1) and move it to the Enhanced ORU Temporary (EOTP) platform.

This was done to make room for STP-H5 installation on ELC 1, which was accomplished on 27 February.

Overall, STP-H5 includes numerous payloads for NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Navy: including: the Raven autonomous space navigation demonstration, Lightning Imaging Sensor, and SpaceCube Mini for NASA; the Spacecraft Structural Health Monitoring payload and the Radiation Hardened Electronic Memory Experiment for the U.S Air Force; and two Naval Research Laboratory payloads.

The U.S. Navy experiments will examine the structure, composition, and density of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere while the Air Force’s Spacecraft Structural Health Monitoring payload will examine the effects of space on fasteners and mechanical components of spacecraft.

For NASA, the SpaceCube Mini experiment is a miniaturized version of the SpaceCube 2.0 system – a hybrid computer processor that can provide a 10- to 100-fold improvement in computing power while lowering power consumption and cost.

The SpaceCube Mini experiment will remain attached to the ISS through at least September 2017 (with the goal of remaining on Station for a full year or longer), will validate the advanced onboard processing capabilities for Earth Science/atmospheric chemistry, and will increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of this technology from TRL 6 to TRL 8 while reducing overall programmatic risk of using such technology on future missions.

Previous versions of this experiment have already flown three times – the first aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope in May 2009, as a SpaceCube on MISSE (Materials on International Space Station Experiment) 7/8, and as a SpaceCube on STP-H4.

Running in conjunction with STP-H4, the -H5 SpaceCube Mini will validate the miniaturized version of the SpaceCube 2.0 system as well as perform real-time onboard Earth science product generation algorithms for atmospheric methane.

Earth- and Space-based applications for this technology included use on future small satellite missions to study and generate a better understanding of climate change, natural disasters, weather, land use, and ecosystem changes.


Continuing with robotic operations within Dragon’s trunk, the Expedition 50 crew removed the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) instrument payload (IP) on 2 March and installed it onto the EOTP.

This was followed on 3 March by the removal of the SAGE Nadir Viewing Platform (NVP) from Dragon and the subsequent installation into the trunk of the OPALS experiment – which will be discarded into Earth’s atmosphere when Dragon returns to Earth later this month.

The following day, the SSRMS was commanded through a choreographed sequence that involved stowage of Dextre, with SAGE NVP firmly grasped in Dextre’s Arm 1, on the Power and Data Grapple Fixture 2 (PDGF 2) on the Mobile Base System (MBS) before the SSRMS walked itself from the Node 2 PDGF to the MBS PDGF 1.

The entire Mobile Transporter (MT) was then translated from WS6 (Workstation 6) to WS2.

On 5 March, the SPDM Dextre removed the Robotics Refueling Mission (RRM) payload from ELC4 with Arm 2 before using Arm 1 to place the SAGE NVP experiment on to ELC4.

This was then followed on 7 March by the use of Dextre to remove the SAGE IP from its temporary storage location on EOTP and install the IP onto the SAGE NVP.

SAGE III is a key part of NASA’s mission to provide crucial, long-term measurements that will help humans understand and care for Earth’s atmosphere and is part of NASA’s mission to measure the composition of the middle and lower atmosphere.

Specifically, SAGE III will measure Earth’s ozone layer along with other gases and aerosols by scanning the limb, or thin profile, of Earth’s atmosphere.

In all, SAGE III’s role is to provide global, long-term measurements of key components of the Earth’s atmosphere, the most important of which is the vertical distribution of aerosols and ozone from the upper troposphere through the stratosphere.

SAGE III also provides unique measurements of temperatures in the stratosphere and mesosphere and profiles of trace gases such as water vapor and nitrogen dioxide that play significant roles in atmospheric radiative and chemical processes.

Earth-based benefits of SAGE III include enhancement of our understanding of Earth’s atmosphere and enabling informed policy decisions regarding climate.

Of particular interest for the various science teams that study Earth’s ozone layer and the damage that has been inflicted to it by aerosoles is SAGE III’s ability to confirm just how much progress has been made in reversing ozone layer damage.

Internal experiments:

Impressively, prior to the start of robotics operations to remove the external elements of Dragon’s payload, the Expedition 50 crew completed the removal of all 1,530 kg  (3,373.1 lbs) of internal cargo and supplies within three days of the vehicle’s arrival at the Station.

As stated by the 27 February 2017 ISS daily summary report, “Crew completed unloading the Dragon vehicle on Saturday.  Instructions for loading cargo for return will be uplinked to the crew later this week.”

Of the 1,530 kg of internal cargo, 732 kg (1,613.8 lbs) comprises science experiments/hardware for 35 separate investigations sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory project.

Some of these experiments include: the Merck Microgravity Crystallization Projects (CASIS PCG-5), CASIS Stem Cell Mayo, the Effect of Macromolecular Transport On Microgravity PCG (Protein Crystal Growth), NANOBIOSYM Predictive Pathogen Mutation Study, and Rodent Research-4.

The Merck Microgravity Crystallization Projects, a CASSIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) sponsored PCG experiment, aims to gather information on the impact of the microgravity environment on the structure, delivery method, and purification of KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy.

KEYTRUDA is a humanized monoclonal antibody that works by increasing the ability of the body’s immune system to help detect and fight tumor cells.

Meanwhile, the CASIS Stem Cell Mayo will investigate the microgravity environment of the Station to cultivate clinical-grade stem cells for therapeutic applications in humans.

Currently, there is no safe, reliable, and effective method to rapidly grow certain types of human stem cells on Earth for use in the treatment of disease, and this experiment’s results will help support clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of microgravity-expanded stem cells as well as support subsequent studies for large-scale expansion of clinical-grade stem cells for the treatment of stroke patients.

The Effect of Macromolecular Transport On Microgravity PCG will test the idea that the improved quality of microgravity-grown biological crystals – or proteins – is the result of a buoyancy free, diffusion-dominated solution environment.

Specifically, the experiment will examine if slower crystal growth rates are due to slower protein transport to the growing crystal surface as well as if the proclivity of growing crystals to incorporate protein monomers versus higher protein aggregates is due to differences in transport rates.

This project seeks to improve the understanding of fluid dynamics and reaction kinetics in microgravity to enhance models of protein crystal growth that will promote utilization of the ISS for drug discovery.

Moreover, the NANOBIOSYM Predictive Pathogen Mutation Study will explore the ability of computational algorithms to predict mutations in the genes of pathogenic bacteria grown in microgravity.

As numerous species of bacteria have evolved resistance to one or more antibiotics used to treat common infections, there is now concern that some bacteria may develop resistance to multiple antibiotics that would make infections by them difficult to eradicate.

Thus, the NANOBIOSYM Predictive Pathogen Mutation Study is a proof-of-concept experiment that will provide data regarding the evolution of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, which will be of significant value to antibiotic drug development.

Lastly, the Rodent Research-4 experiment is part of a broader effort to understand the effects of spaceflight on tissue healing.

Microgravity impairs the wound healing process and has been shown to have negative effects on skin health in astronauts.

Thus, the Rodent Research-4 experiment will attempt to identify the molecular foundations of skin wound healing that are vulnerable to spaceflight-induced stress, potentially unlocking treatment methods for the next generation of wound healing therapies.

Additionally, the experiment could yield new treatment approaches for more than 30% of the patient population that do not respond to current therapeutic options for chronic, non-healing wounds.

Rodent Research-4 will be the first time a comprehensive systems biology approach is used to understand the impact of spaceflight on wound healing.

CRS-10 – coming home:

Currently, the Expedition 50 crew is in the process of loading the CRS-10 Dragon with thousands of pounds of now unneeded cargo, supplies, and trash as well as various experiments and hardware that will be returned to Earth for recovery.

Under the current plan, the CRS-10 Dragon will be unberthed from the Station on 19 March, at which point the vehicle will begin a choreographed sequence to dispose of its trunk before reentering the atmosphere for splashdown and recovery in the Pacific Ocean.

Presently, the next resupply mission to the ISS is Orbital ATK’S OA-7 Cygnus spacecraft, which has been named for former NASA astronaut and the first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn.

OA-7 is set to launch on 19 March aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station within a 30min launch window extending from 2256-2326 EDT (0256-0326 GMT on 20 March).

After OA-7, the next resupply flight is slated to be the CRS-11 mission from SpaceX – which is currently targeting liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on 9 April.

(Images: NASA, SpaceX, CASIS, JAXA)

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Google Maps To Show How Busy An Area Is In Real-Time : TECH : Tech Times

Google offered a “Popular Times” feature on its Google Maps app last year to allow users to assess how busy an establishment would be at specific times of the week or day according to past history.

Last year, Google introduced a new Google Search feature showing users when a bar, restaurant, retailer store or any other location was the busiest and most popular.

When Is The Best Time Visit To Avoid Crowds

In the place’s listing, a “Popular Times” section could be accessed to show a graph highlighting the best times to visit an establishment in order to avoid crowds. And just recently, Google upgraded this nifty feature with a real-time depiction of how popular and busy a specific area is at a certain moment.

Google would be strengthening the functionality of the “Popular Times” feature found in Google Maps and Search app. But this would also lock out users from a number of handy features including Global Positioning System (GPS) and the usable Google Now cards.

While Google Maps and Search have allowed users since last year to determine the times of the day or week a business establishment is the busiest and most crowded, this would be the first time real-time information would be available for use. The announcement about the update could just make holiday shopping significantly smoother and easier this year.

Handy Tool For Black Friday 2016

“Just in time for the Black Friday swarms, we’re adding a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now, to help you decide where and when to go,” Google’s product manager Jamie Aspinall wrote.

In addition, the latest feature would use anonymous information that locates where a gadget was just found by Google Maps. In particular, Google’s location data code traces whenever users enter and leave predestinated geographical coordinates such as an exact GPS location or address. Because Google Maps among, if not, is the most recognized mapping tools widely used around, this could effectively mean that Google also knows approximately where users are most of the times.

This idea of Google following users around could be uncomfortable and uneasy so turning off the location history on the device would be better. Although Google emphasized that doing so would keep users from other location-based features that might be helpful for daily use.

Google Maps also provides users other features that could help them navigate around holiday shopping groups at any particular time. The new update also shows in the “Popular Times” section an estimated timeframe of how long people stayed at the area, which could be effective in finding out how long it could take to wait in line for one’s turn.

Google Maps could also show the times stores open and close on certain days of the week.

© 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Google can show you how busy stores are for Black Friday

Thanksgiving is finally here. Most of us will be spending the day with family and friends, sharing a wonderful holiday feast, reminiscing about those special moments from years gone by. Good times!

If you’re like me, the thought of the day after Thanksgiving gives you anxiety. That’s right, Black Friday.

For years now, the day after Thanksgiving has been known as Black Friday. It’s considered the first traditional day of Christmas shopping. Retailers sell select items at a very reduced price, drawing massive crowds of shoppers all across the country.

It’s a great way to check off gifts for people on your Christmas shopping list, at bargain prices. However, the crowds are usually super-sized and the shoppers can sometimes be ruthless. It’s overwhelming.

It doesn’t have to be a spooky adventure, though. Google has a couple of tools that could make your Black Friday shopping experience a little less scary.

A great way to stay ahead of the crowds is to use Google Maps and Google Search. When you search for a specific store, you not only will find its location but also what hours it will be open that day.

One of the newer Google features involves giving real-time updates letting you know how busy a business is at the moment.

This information will let you plan ahead and time your trip to retailers when they are not overcrowded. Of course, small crowds will be more difficult to find on Black Friday, but every little bit helps.

If you miss any of the Black Friday deals, don’t fret. There’s always Cyber Monday.

Click here to take advantage of the Cyber Monday deals in Kim’s shop.

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