Blue Origin boss Jeff Bezos set for launch on his New Shepard craft

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Jeff Bezos is the founder of Blue Origin

Blue Origin

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will attempt to make history tomorrow when his space company Blue Origin launches its first crewed mission to space after 15 uncrewed flights. Blue Origin hopes to launch its New Shepard rocket on 20 July at 1pm GMT from a site in west Texas.

On board the reusable rocket will be Bezos himself as well as his brother Mark Bezos 82-year-old Mary Wallace Funk, known as Wally, who was a pioneering female astronaut trainee in 1961 but never got the opportunity to fly to space.

Also aboard will be 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, who will become the company’s first paying passenger as his financier father paid for the seat. Funk will be the oldest person to fly to space, Daemen becomes the youngest.

An unnamed bidder who won an auction for the first paying seat on a Blue Origin launch with a bid of $28 million had to switch to a later flight “due to scheduling conflicts”.

The crew will reach an altitude of 100 kilometres have around three minutes of weightlessness before strapping back into their seats for re-entry landing in Texas just 11 minutes after take-off. The spacecraft is fully autonomous so the astronauts have no responsibilities can enjoy the flight.

Chris Yeager at Blue Origin said in a pre-launch press conference that the rocket was “ready to fly” that the date was chosen because it was 52 years to the day since Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon. Weather forecasts for the time of launch are positive.

If successful, the flight will be the second tourist spaceflight this month. On July 11 Richard Branson reached the edge of space on Virgin Galactic flight. The billionaire narrowly become the first person to fly on a spacecraft of their own making, beating Bezos by a matter of days.

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Haiti’s president pleaded with top officer during raid: ‘Come save my life’

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For about 10 minutes, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse attempted to call security forces to counter the early morning raid that unfolded at his home earlier this month before he was assassinated, according to a report.

The Miami Herald reported that Moïse called the Haitian National Police commissioner, urged him to, “Mobilize people.”

The report said that about 10 minutes passed there were no signs of any security reinforcements at the scene. At one point, he called a “tactically trained officer” from the national force.

BIDEN TO BOLSTER SECURITY AT US EMBASSY IN HAITI, WON’T SEND TROOPS TO STABILIZE COUNTRY

“I need your assistance now!” he said, according to the paper. “My life is in danger. Come quick; come save my life.” 

There was silence then the sound of an assault rifle, the report said. When it was over, Moïse lay sprawled on his bedroom floor. He had been shot in the forehead, chest, hip stomach, his left eye was gouged.

The suspected assassins were made up of Haitians, Haitian-Americans former Colombian soldiers. The shooting occurred at Moïse’s Port-au-Prince home on July 7.

The attack on the 53-year-old “was carried out by foreign mercenaries professional killers — well-orchestrated,” that they were masquerading as agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Bocchit Edmond, the Haitian ambassador to the U.S., said.

WIFE RETURNS TO HAITI AFTER MEDICAL TREATMENT 

The paper said it along with the McClatchy Washington Bureau spoke to “at least three people” who received calls from the president’s house on that morning. The paper said it is still a mystery how the team managed to get past several layers of security at the home.

None of the president’s security guards were hurt.

“When I send you to protect a president, I don’t send you to live, I send you to die protecting him,” one member of the security detail told the paper.

So far, police have detained more than 20 suspects they say were directly involved in the killing, including a contingent of former Colombian special forces soldiers. Other suspects were killed by authorities as they closed in.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Cosmic calculation may settle debate about the rate the universe grows

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The cosmic distance ladder is only metaphorical

NASA/JPL-CALTECH/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

One of the most frustrating questions in modern cosmology may be getting closer to an answer. The different methods we use to measure the rate of expansion of the universe have been in disagreement for years, but a relatively new measurement technique seems to be providing the first steps towards resolving the dispute.

The universe is constantly expanding, the rate at which that expansion accelerates is described by a number called the Hubble constant. There are two main ways that we determine this …

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Trilobite fossil shows it was attacked by a human-sized sea scorpion

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This trilobite might have escaped from the clutches of a giant predator

O. Fatka et al, Int. J. Paleopathol. (2021)

About 453 million years ago, a trilobite might have escaped the claws of a hungry giant sea scorpion. That is according to palaeontologists who analysed an unusual fossil found in the Czech Republic.

Trilobites flourished in the oceans from around 522 million to 252 million years ago before going extinct. These hard-bodied arthropods resembled woodlice ranged between about 1 millimetre 70 centimetres in length. About 20,000 trilobite species are known from the fossil record.

Trilobite fossils …

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Trilobite fossil shows it was attacked by a human-sized sea scorpion

[ad_1]

This trilobite might have escaped from the clutches of a giant predator

O. Fatka et al, Int. J. Paleopathol. (2021)

About 453 million years ago, a trilobite might have escaped the claws of a hungry giant sea scorpion. That is according to palaeontologists who analysed an unusual fossil found in the Czech Republic.

Trilobites flourished in the oceans from around 522 million to 252 million years ago before going extinct. These hard-bodied arthropods resembled woodlice ranged between about 1 millimetre 70 centimetres in length. About 20,000 trilobite species are known from the fossil record.

Trilobite fossils …

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