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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

NASA Administrator “very confident� SpaceX crew launch could happen in early 2020

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was at SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, California on Thursday, delivering an address alongside NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who will launch aboard SpaceX’s commercial Crew Dragon capsule, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

Bridenstine kicked off  with some brief remarks about the importance and priority of the crew launch mission, which he said both he and Musk are in agreement that the commercial launch of American astronauts is “the highest priority” of the various projects both his agency and SpaceX have under development.

He and Musk then went into some detail about where the program is now, and what remains to be done to get to an actual crewed flight – the first of which will be a test flight. Bridenstine’s comments essentially took 2019 off the table for this to happen, with the Administrator saying he was “very confident that in the first part of next year, we will be able to launch American astronauts on American rockets,” and that if “everything goes according to plan,” it would take place in the first quarter of 2020.

Musk noted that in order for SpaceX to have confidence in its Crew Dragon launch system’s reliability for a crewed mission, they would have to have run 10 successful drop tests using the newly developed Mark 3 parachute system for the capsule occur “in a row.” Bridenstine said that based on the current schedule, SpaceX could run as many as 10 drop tests total using the Mark 3 system between now and the end of this year.

This new Mark 3 system features much stronger lines connecting the sheets of material used in their construction, Musk said, thanks to switching to a material called ‘xylon’ away from nylon, which is three or more times stronger per the CEO. The new version also uses a new stitching pattern compared to Mark 2 for additional strength.

Both Musk and Bridenstine were keen to point out that the timelines discussed, including the 2019 target for the crewed flight that SpaceX has been working towards until now, are “not deadlines,” but are instead a “best guess” in Musk’s words, based on the current state of affairs. Said state of affairs can change quickly, and Bridenstine added that “there are still things we could learn [in testing]” that could alter the timelines later than the first part of next year.

As for Crew Dragon product, Musk said that SpaceX is ramping to a cadence of producing a new capsule around once every three or four months, a rate it hopes to achieve in order to “get in a cadence of operational flights to the space station.”

Bridenstine also addressed the tweet he posted in late September regarding SpaceX’s Starship program update (posted in full below).

“As the NASA Administrator, I have been focused on returning to realism when it comes to costs and schedules,” he said. “And a lot of our programs that not been meeting costs and schedules. And this has been developing over time. And a lot of these programs are, you know, five years old, 10 years old […] so what we’re trying to do is get back to a day where we have realistic costs and schedules, and so I was signaling, and I haven’t done it just the SpaceX, but to all of our contractors that we need more realism built into the development timelines.”

Still, Bridentstine clarified that NASA definitely supports the Starship program as well, even if it’s prioritizing Crew Dragon at the current moment. “I want people to make no mistake: NASA has an interest in seeing starship be successful,” he said, while also pointing out NASA’s recent investment in Starship via its ‘Tipping Point’ project funding.


Source: TechCrunch

Google Maps rolls out detailed voice guidance for people with impaired vision – CNET

The feature will inform people if they’re on the correct route and which direction they’re walking.
Source: CNET

Elon Musk says that NASA is free to share all SpaceX IP with “anyone it wants�

SpaceX CEO joined NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine at SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne today to provide an update on the commercial crew launch program that the company is working on with the agency. During the remarks, which detailed the current state of the program and next steps, Musk reiterated twice that the intellectual property it’s developing in working with the agency is free for NASA to share with whoever it should wish.

Early on in the Q+A portion of the event, Musk said that the learnings that SpaceX has gathered from the Crew Dragon parachute development program is free to share with anyone who wants it – SpaceX is working on its third major iteration of the parachutes it will use to ensure the Crew Capsule’s safe return to Earth.

“I’ve been very very clear with Jim that any SpaceX data should not be considered proprietary,” Musk said during the remarks. “It can be used by any of our competitors […] No charge. ”

Later on, he reiterated that what he meant was literally any of SpaceX’s IP is on the table for NASA to distribute freely as the agency sees fit.

“I want to be clear: NASA can share all of our IP with anyone that NASA wants,” Musk said. To which Bridentstine replied that the agency genuinely appreciated this freedom but that it has limits on that potential sharing to consider.

“There is IP that it is in the inters of the nation that we cannot be sharing with people, or with countries that would not have our interest at heart,” adding that this is why it’s important that the partners have all their information technology secured and protection measures in place.


Source: TechCrunch

California proposes regulations to enforce new privacy law – CNET

New rules would require companies to include a ‘Do Not Sell’ link on websites.
Source: CNET

The Microsoft Surface Go is back to its best price after Walmart’s $60 discount

The Microsoft Surface Go gets a $60 discount on Walmart, which drops the 10-inch tablet back to its best price. Jump on this chance to save on one of the best 2-in-1s today.
Source: Digital trends

"Me preocupa la biometría asociada a cosas como cajeros automáticos"

El CTO y cofundador de Veracode, Chris Wysopal, lleva trabajando en ciberseguridad desde los albores de internet. A lo largo de los años ha visto muchas mejoras, como la doble autenticación, pero le preocupa que los desarrolladores de software no tienen responsabilidades si su producto falla
Source: MIT

La habitabilidad en los exoplanetas de 'Interestelar' sería casi imposible

A pesar del excelente asesoramiento científico de la película, la cinta plantea la posibilidad de planetas habitables en torno a un agujero negro masivo, pero Â¿es eso posible? Según un científico de la NASA, las probabilidades de que se den esas condiciones en los alrededores de Gargantúa con casi nulas
Source: MIT

The Queer Rights Movement Faces Down the Supreme Court

Photographer Tasos Katopodis captures a historical effort for civil rights in America’s capital.
Source: Wired

The ‘Forever Chemicals’ You Eat, a $200 Spy Setup, and More News

Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.
Source: Wired

Why venture capital firms need culture experts

When Susan Fowler’s 2017 blog post shined a light on Uber’s raucous culture, outlining rampant harassment and sexism, a debate erupted. What role do the deep-pocketed investors behind the company, those who allowed it to scale to monstrous proportions, have in developing and nurturing its culture? Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists themselves wondered aloud, how involved should a venture fund be in early-stage recruiting processes and ensuring a safe environment for employees? If a culture is bad, unsafe, damaging, is it the VC’s fault?

Late-stage venture funds, for the most part, miss the opportunity to deeply impact their portfolio companies’ cultures. When they invest, typically large sums of capital in companies with hundreds of employees and multiple offices, the company’s culture is formed and, as Uber and others have proven, rebuilding culture a decade in is no easy challenge. Early-stage funds, however, the people that write the very first check in startups, have a front-row seat to decisions crucial to defining how a company operates and treats its employees in the long term. These people, if they care to, have the power to help determine key hires and establish company values, norms and behaviors from the get-go.

This week, San Francisco-based early-stage fund True Ventures hired its first-ever vice president of culture, a move that suggests VCs are taking concrete steps toward further involving themselves in the company-building process from a D&I and hiring perspective. Madeline Kolbe Saltzman joins the firm, which raised $635 million across two new funds last year, from Handshake, where she was the VP of people and talent.

“There’s a responsibility to guide the company and the founder to being the best they can be, and that involves paying attention to who you’re hiring and how people are being treated,” Saltzman tells TechCrunch. “If we can come in and establish inclusive norms, my hope is that our companies will scale inclusively as well.”

Most venture capitalists are in regular communication with active investments. Early-stage investors, particularly, are very involved with building businesses, facilitating hires and scaling. But as they seek to decrease cash-burn or find product-market fit, VCs are not often very concerned with issues of diversity and inclusion, something that’s became increasingly important as companies are finally being held accountable for the diversity of their workforces.


Source: TechCrunch

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