Top-secret U.S. space plane about to leave Earth f
Top-secret U.S. space plane about to leave Earth for years - Big Think
The reusable plane shares some similarities with the Space Shuttle, although being much smaller at 29 feet long, and is also made by Boeing. Its new flight, dubbed mission OTV-6 (with "OTV" standing in for "Orbital Test Vehicle") will supposedly have the mini…
The U.S. Space Force is about to launch the sixth mission of the secretive X-37B space plane. Where will the plane go and what will it do? Specific details about the robotic spacecraft and its missions are highly classified by the United States government, fueling speculation and conspiracies. The new mission is expected to see the plane away from Earth for at least two years. The last mission of the X-37B had the plane away from our planet for a total of 780 days, from Sept. 7, 2017 until October 27, 2019. That flight broke the record for the longest amount of time in space by a spacecraft. The reusable plane shares some similarities with the Space Shuttle, although being much smaller at 29 feet long, and is also made by Boeing. Its new flight, dubbed mission OTV-6 (with "OTV" standing in for "Orbital Test Vehicle") will supposedly have the mini-shuttle testing out new technologies, as reports The National Interest. In reality, its purpose is likely geared more specifically towards space weaponry. Much like its global counterparts Russia and China, the United States is working on a new generation of military technology for space. The Air Force tends to not disclose the X37B's payloads, leading experts to conjecture that it may be carrying sensors, spy satellites or even munitions. The Air Force certainly denies such allegations, saying the X-37B never carries weapons, which would be a violation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. The unmanned X-37B is scheduled to launch into low-Earth orbit on May 16, 2020. It will ride atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The last time the space drone was launched it was carried by the Falcon 9 made by Elon Musk's SpaceX. The official goal of that mission was test "experimental electronics and oscillating heat pipes in the long duration space environment." The space plane's first mission took place in 2010. Subsequent missions have seen seen it stay out longer and longer. Once in orbit, it gets the power from solar panels for its on-board systems. The vehicle's thrusters for maneuvering run on liquid fuel. Whenever the landing of the X-37B takes place, it will do so on its own, like an airplane. The Air Force actually has two such spacecraft. They take turns going to space and getting refurbished.
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Investigators from Kiwi science alliance tackling COVID-19 with new research projects - New Zealand Doctor Online
A global pandemic like COVID-19 was a matter of ‘when not if’ according to a diverse group of Kiwi scientists who formed an alliance almost a decade ago in anticipation for such an eventuality
Investigators from Kiwi science alliance tackling COVID-19 with new research projects A global pandemic like COVID-19 was a matter of when not if according to a diverse group of Kiwi scientists who formed an alliance almost a decade ago in anticipation for such an eventuality. Many of the group called One Health Aotearoa - are playing key roles in recently-announced Government-funded COVID-19 research projects, such as trialling potential cures and developing DNA-scanning technology to give near-real-time data on the virus spread. One Health Aotearoa (OHA) was formed in 2013 around a core alliance between the University of Otago Medical School, Massey University Veterinary School and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR). The now more-than-120-strong collection of scientists from 17 different institutions has become New Zealands leading infectious diseases research, education and advocacy group. Many are advising the Government and have been prominent in providing expert commentary during the COVID crisis. University of Otago, Christchurch infectious diseases expert Professor David Murdoch is co-director of OHA. He says a global pandemic caused by a new virus, such as has happened with COVID-19, had been anticipated for some time. A global pandemic was always a matter of when, not if. Experts in infectious diseases have predicted this sort of outbreak for some time and know that it wont be the last. COVID-19 is yet another infectious disease emerging at the animal-human interface, and the third major outbreak of a new coronavirus this century. Factors such as increased urbanisation, overcrowded living conditions, and increased global migration have created environments that promote the transmission of infections. Professor Murdoch said a One Health approach which brings together expertise and experiences from a wide range of backgrounds is ideally suited in the current situation. Understanding the complex systems that drive the spread of such disease is essential for informing strategies to tackle emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. This usually requires responses from multiple disciplines and an awareness of what is happening globally. Consequently, professionals and researchers from a wide range of disciplines must work together and with communities to prevent and control infectious disease impacts through actions at all levels. OHA scientists are now playing key roles in almost all of the Governments recently announced COVID-19 research. The Health Research Council projects aim to:
- Develop a way to screen patient samples for COVID-19 at the front-line, for example doctors clinics or airports, to provide more rapid triaging or identification of virus carriers. (OHA investigators Jo-Ann Stanton, James Ussher, Miguel Quiñones-Mateu)
- Trial the effectiveness of existing drugs lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of patients hospitalised by COVID-19. (OHA investigators Mike Maze, Sandy Slow, Stephen Ritchie, Ayesha Verrall)
- Study the quarantine and isolation experiences and practises of at-risk New Zealand groups to understand our countrys strengths or vulnerabilities in this area and optimising communication to these groups. (OHA investigator Nigel French)
- Study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand and identifying vulnerable populations to produce public health guidance for the Government on this and future pandemics. (OHA investigators Michael Baker, Amanda Kvalsvig, Mat Walton, Ayesha Verrall)
- Find new ways to use genomic data as well as human movement and location data to understand the near-real-time spread of COVID-19 though the population. (OHA investigators Colin Simpson, Alexei Drummond, David Murdoch, Nigel French and Michael Baker)
- Improve effectiveness and equity in the operation of COVID-19 self-isolation. (OHA investigators Michael Baker, Amanda Kvalsvig, Siouxsie Wiles)
Jacinda Ardern's earrings help jewellery firm through financial downturn - 1News
It's not the first time the Prime Minister's earring choices have sparked an uptake in sales, either.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's feather-earring fashion statement at a recent media briefing has seen demand for the upcycled jewellery soar. Clockwise: Jacinda Ardern, Ronja Schipper, 'feather' earrings and Haley Lowe. Source: rnz.co.nz By Michael Hall for rnz.co.nz A fledgling business in the Far North now is considering hiring staff to meet demand and the Auckland-based artist behind the earrings has seen her stock sell-out multiple times. The spike in sales comes after Ms Ardern raised eyebrows when she attended a Covid-19 media briefing on 14 April wearing the long black 'feather' earrings. She received some criticism on social media for presenting herself inappropriately, while others gave her kudos for rocking the jewellery, made from repurposed bicycle tires. Many admirers went online and spoke with their wallets. That prompted artist Ronja Schipper, who made Ms Ardern's earrings, to post on Facebook letting people know products featured in her online Felt store re:purpose had sold out six times within 48 hours, leaving her with huge orders to fulfil. Auckland-based artist and graphic designer Ronja Schipper, who up-cycled Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's earrings. Source: rnz.co.nz "A friend rang me on Waitangi Day to say they'd seen her wearing my earrings," she told RNZ. "I can't be 100 percent sure they were mine. Then another friend messaged to tell me about the media conference and it's been crazy since." The Auckland-based graphic designer said it was great to see Ms Ardern making a statement championing a repurposed piece of art and creating a greater environmental appreciation doing so. The Munich native has been repurposing material for five years. "It was never meant to be a business, it was originally just a statement on the discrepancy in the relationship with our resources," she said. "It started with me wearing the upcycled earrings while taking the kids to school and friends asking where I got them. It grew from there. I now supply 12 galleries nationwide." To meet orders she has enlisted the help of her partner and even neighbours, who sourced additional inner bicycle tubes when materials became scarce. With clients of her graphic design firm Bureau55 struggling to survive, she said the side business could become a means of weathering the financial storm circling the globe. "I could never do 100 orders a day - I don't want to disappoint people trying to meet demand and making them wait a long time, and it was never just about the money." Her business was not the only one to benefit from the Jacinda effect amid the economic doom and gloom of the Covid-19 shutdown. Hundreds more ended up inundating a small business in the Far North with enquiries looking to purchase similar-style upcycled earrings. Hokianga-based O Te Motu Creations director Haley Lowe said she was also run off her feet. Ms Ardern had previously worn her earrings too. O Te Motu Creations boss Haley Lowe, who runs her business from Kohukohu in the Hokianga. Source: rnz.co.nz The Kohukohu resident had been steadily supplying 26 galleries nationwide and an outlet in Rarotonga, after establishing her creative enterprise two years ago. However, after posting on Facebook's NZ Products page - set up to give creative businesses a chance to trade during the Covid-19 restrictions - interest in the earrings became overwhelming. "Jacinda's appearance with the earrings and the launch of the NZ Products page coincided and we benefited from that," she said. "We didn't have a website so we posted on the page and received 80 orders overnight, along with about 600 enquiries." Knowing that the venture was struggling to respond to demand, Kaiuku-based business associate Kimi Johnson approached Ms Lowe and offered to set up a website for her, free of charge. "The fact Kimi stepped in to help shows how this Covid-19 crisis has weaved us closer together, creating opportunities for people to help each other," Ms Lowe said. The website was up and running on Sunday, bringing more interest. "When the website went live we had our first order within 15 seconds. We've now got another 120 orders to fulfil," she said. "It's looking like we may need to hire someone locally to help us meet demand." Originally from Auckland, Ms Lowe and her partner moved to the Hokianga two years ago and the business evolved from a period when she was home-schooling her 8-year-old daughter Mereana-Wairua. The pair began repurposing parts of bicycles. It wasn't until Ms Lowe started using Auckland accountants WE Accounting 18 months ago that it became a viable business model. "They understand our kaupapa, we share the same values and vision of working together," she said. Ms Lowe, who is of Ngi Thoe and Ngti Raukawa descent, said her earrings were sent to people with a personalised karakia reflecting the brand's values - care of the land, the people and moving forward. O Te Motu feather earrings include a personalised karakia. Source: rnz.co.nz "Although we run a business to make money for ourselves, it is kaupapa-driven," she said. "All proceeds from our stock in Rarotonga go to the environmental group Te Ipukarea Society over there. "We also support Kohanga Reo and Manawatu Manaaki Tangata - Mori Men Living with cancer." Her daughter has written to Ms Ardern thanking her for her leadership and the letter will include pair of Huia feathers as a gift, which will be passed on to her through a mutual acquaintance. It is not the first time Ms Ardern has caused a spike in earring sales. In April 2018 she wore two pairs of earrings from New Zealand jeweller Meadowlark on a trip to Europe for a Commonwealth Heads of State meeting. Meadowlark told media it had observed a lift in sales traffic afterwards.