Rocket Lab deploys satellites for NASA, NRO and UN
Rocket Lab deploys satellites for NASA, NRO and UNSW Canberra on 12th Electron Mission - BroadcastProME.com
Rocket Lab, a space systems company and a global major in dedicated small satellite launch, has successfully launched its 12th
This launch is the first conducted by Rocket Lab since Covid-19 national restrictions were eased earlier this month. Rocket Lab, a space systems company and a global major in dedicated small satellite launch, has successfully launched its 12th Electron mission and deployed satellites to orbit for NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra Space. The Dont Stop Me Now mission launched from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealands M?hia Peninsula on June 13, 2020. The mission was Rocket Labs 12th Electron launch and continued the companys record of 100% mission success for customers since Electrons first orbital mission in January 2018. Rocket Lab has now deployed 53 satellites to orbit with the Electron launch vehicle. This launch is the first conducted by Rocket Lab since Covid-19 national restrictions were eased earlier this month, demonstrating the companys rapid launch and responsive space capability for small satellite customers. The satellites deployed as part of this rideshare mission include NASAs ANDESITE (Ad-Hoc Network Demonstration for Extended Satellite-Based Inquiry and Other Team Endeavors) satellite created by students and professors at Boston University to study Earths magnetic field as part of NASAs CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI); three payloads designed, built and operated by the NRO; and the M2 Pathfinder satellite, a collaboration between the UNSW Canberra Space and the Australian Government, to test communications architecture and other technologies. This latest mission marks the second time NASA and the NRO have launched payloads on Electron, following dedicated missions for each organisation in 2018 and 2020 respectively. Rocket Lab founder and chief executive, Peter Beck, said the mission highlighted Electrons continued ability to meet the needs of government missions, whether payloads required a dedicated mission or could fly as part of rideshare. It was a privilege to once again provide access to space for the NRO and NASA, and to welcome UNSW Canberra Space to orbit for the first time, commented Beck. Missions like this one are a testament to the flexibility we offer small satellite operators through our ability to deploy multiple payloads to precise and individual orbits on the same launch. This collaborative mission was also a great demonstration of Rocket Labs capability in meeting the unique national security needs of the NRO, while on the same mission making space easy and accessible for educational payloads from NASA and UNSW Canberra. Im also incredibly proud of the way our team has quickly adapted to working safely and efficiently to ensure our customers remain connected to space through the challenges posed by Covid-19. With the pandemic restrictions now easing, Rocket Lab has also returned to full production of Electron launch vehicles and Photon satellites. Rocket Lab is now delivering a launch vehicle off the production line every 18 days to meet a busy launch manifest for the rest of the year. Final checks are being completed in the lead up to Rocket Labs first launch from its new U.S. launch site, Launch Complex 2 in Virginia a dedicated mission in partnership with the Department of Defenses Space Test Program, and the Space and Missile Systems Centers Small Launch and Targets Division. The mission is scheduled for Q3 2020. Details of Rocket Labs next launch from Launch Complex 1 will be announced shortly.
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Parents demand clarity on children's return to school - Independent.ie
Parents are becoming increasingly stressed about their children’s welfare as government plans for a reopening of all schools in September remain up in the air.
Parents are becoming increasingly stressed about their childrens welfare as government plans for a reopening of all schools in September remain up in the air. National Parents Council Primary spokeswoman Aine Lynch told the Sunday Independent yesterday: We very strongly feel that children need to be back in schools for their own social and emotional development. The ideal is that they are fully back in September and that is what we should be working towards if it is safe for them to do it. Weve had a lot of parents contacting us in the past few weeks and a lot of their stress comes from feelings that their children are struggling with being out of school so long. She added: Parents are talking to us about their childrens needs, their developmental needs, their emotional needs and then, after that, their educational needs and developmental needs which are connected to their schools. That is the stress parents are talking about, the fact they see the negative impact all of this is having on their children. Parents are very concerned. They are contacting us about children who have special education needs and they feel their children are regressing in terms of their development and that is very worrying for parents. Addressing Education Minister Joe McHughs plan yesterday, Fianna Fail education spokesman Thomas Byrne said: I believe that everybody wants to see a safe return to school for all children, permanently, in September. I believe that we have the time to engage with our public health officials to ensure a safe return for all. The absence from school of children, as a result of the pandemic, has had profound effects on their learning and on their well-being. "Despite incredible efforts by teachers, we cannot easily replace in-person classes - not only for learning but for their socialisation too. "I am calling on the Department to make sure that this long period of absence is properly researched to make sure that we know exactly what 'catch-up' is needed and what well-being measures are needed when schools return." Aine Lynch added that children's needs must be prioritised. "That is why we are supporting the idea of getting schools to reopen," she said. "Children's needs have to be prioritised and see how we can reopen schools fully. "The solution is we all need to work together in partnership and keeping children's needs highest on the agenda. And we need to make sure that staff feel safe coming into schools as well." Current social distancing guidelines of two metres mean at present schools could only partially reopen, but the Government intends to fully reopen schools for all children at the end of August and into September. The Department of Education will work with stakeholders and health authorities in the coming weeks to develop clearer guidelines for how this would work. A bespoke plan, similar to what was developed for the childcare sector, is likely to be published in the coming weeks. Government sources said this would take account of expert views that is not possible for children under the age of 12 to maintain strict social distance and this could mean restricting interaction between different primary school classes and secondary school years. Sunday Independent
Public transport, carbon tax and sustainable farming - the Green price for power revealed - Independent.ie
Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will make major concessions to the Greens on the climate change agenda to convince the party to back a coalition government deal, the Sunday Independent can reveal.
Fianna Fail and Fine Gael will make major concessions to the Greens on the climate change agenda to convince the party to back a coalition government deal, the Sunday Independent can reveal. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said he expects the carbon tax to increase 100 a tonne over the next decade - 20 more than Fine Gael or Fianna Fail had planned. This will help to meet the Greens' red line of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by an annual average of 7pc as Ryan aims to convince sceptical party members to back a government deal, the detail of which is still being finalised this weekend. "I think it should land on it gradually," Ryan said. "It's a slightly different trajectory, but it is gradual and by returning the revenues, particularly to ensure it doesn't hurt those on lower incomes, that was the key thing that we've all agreed in the Oireachtas committee and since." A carbon tax of 100 will add 17 to the cost of filling a petrol tank, 20 to a tank of diesel, 2.60 to a bag of briquettes and 12 to a bag of coal by 2030, according to Department of Finance figures. Ryan suggested the extra tax income will fund social welfare increases and retro-fitting energy inefficient homes in the midlands, social housing and rental accommodation as well as paying lower-income farmers to plant trees and move to sustainable farming. The Civil War parties have also agreed to major increases in the investment in public transport, cycle paths and walkways and a review of the National Development Plan that will cast doubt over some rural road projects with Ryan demanding the plan be "climate proofed". He is appealing to Green Party members to back the emerging deal after a week in which he was heavily criticised for using the n-word in the Dail. Ryan blamed a "rush of emotion" for his use of the racial slur, but said he would fight on and contest the party leadership when he will face deputy leader Catherine Martin in a vote next month. Martin's support for the deal she is involved in negotiating with the other parties will be crucial to securing support from two-thirds of Green members, the threshold for the party to enter government. In a veiled warning to members, Ryan said he hoped a deal would be agreed. "I grew up in the '80s and we had three elections in 18 months and it didn't serve the Irish people. I think, I hope, that lesson is still there from that time," he said. Ryan also refused to rule out serving as Tanaiste during the next government. "I am not saying no. I am saying it ain't the key thing," he said. Three-way talks continued yesterday although Fine Gael and Green Party sources believe it may be tomorrow before an agreement is struck. A senior Fine Gael source said the party still needed "big concessions" from the other two parties, including on jobs, the economy, income tax, rural Ireland, a new care deal and home ownership. The planned increase in the State pension age to 67 next year is likely to be deferred but with a commitment it will go up in the lifetime of the next government. The Fine Gael source was confident a compromise would be reached on the Fianna Fail demand but warned the rise could not be postponed indefinitely. Fine Gael is expected to secure language in the draft document that will commit to delivering balanced budgets in the second half of its term, while there is also expected to be a commitment to relieve the income tax burden if economic circumstances allow. Ryan confirmed a new tax and social welfare commission will be established. It will examine the future of pensions, replacing local property tax with a site value tax and proposals to introduce a universal basic income. He said the focus of the government would be on public housing, a public health system and climate action. He said there will be a "massive swing towards public housing" delivered partly by the Land Development Agency. The Green wins on climate are likely to be met with resistance among rural TDs in Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, but Eamon Ryan defended the carbon tax increases. "If you look at poverty in our country, a lot of it is people, maybe a lot of our farmers - small farmers tend to have the lowest income - so look at some sort of new REPS [rural environmental protection scheme] packages or other packages where you could improve the local environment, get them involved in planting native forestry on the land," he said. He also said farmers would be encouraged to change the type of grass they grow that would help to reduce the use of fertilisers and reduce emissions "very significantly". Ryan said there would "real rapid advancements" of BusConnects, a major overhaul of Dublin Bus routes, to other cities, and greater investment in cycling and walking infrastructure. He said: "Looking at just where we are in the immediate Covid crisis, the opportunity is that at a time when we can't have the same bus capacity we had in recent years because of the restrictions it is actually a real opportunity and responsibility to develop those active modes in a way that bridges the gap and I think that's the task of the next government as well to be quick and to be ambitious, particularly in our cities, but also in our towns." Ryan also said coal and peat-fired generating stations in the State are likely to be closed immediately. "A lot of them are already closed due to legal [issues]. Also, Moneypoint has been closed because of repairs and also because the price of carbon on the European markets have effectively been shutting it," he said. "There are certain measures you see very immediate or quick reductions, others take time and it's not like it's a switch or a dial that you just turn on and off, it will take time. "Ultimately more than anything else, it takes us working collectively, bottom-up as well as top-down as a country to adopt some of the measures and they will only work if it's moving towards a better system. It won't be brow-beating everyone or putting shame or guilt on people."