Exploring mysterious worlds in ‘The Hunt for Planet B’

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The mere idea can send you down an existential rabbit hole. Then again I love to check out the universe and take into consideration all of the possibilities merely watching for discovery.

Astronomers have however to find a picture voltaic gadget rather like ours. And of the loads of identified exoplanets, none rather fit up with the planets in our cosmic backyard. Then again scientists have only merely begun to scratch the ground of the ones planets outdoor the picture voltaic gadget. The next step is making an attempt inside of them.

For many who’re intrigued via exploring other worlds, watch “The Hunt for Planet B,” airing on CNN Saturday, November 20, at 9 p.m. ET.

Apply scientists as they plan for the release of NASA’s James Webb House Telescope, the sector’s most powerful space observatory.

Defying gravity

After years of delays, the Webb telescope is scheduled for release December 18 from French Guiana. It will read about exoplanets in new strategies and look deeper into the universe than ever before.
The telescope’s name is not without controversy, and numerous nevertheless hope NASA will exchange it.
Webb will peer into the very atmospheres of exoplanets, a couple of of which can be probably habitable. For those of you who submitted questions regarding the challenge, we’ve got tracked down answers from the experts.

Webb is in a position to lend a hand us understand the origins of the universe and begin to answer key questions about our life, related to where we were given right here from and if we’re by myself inside the cosmos.

Other worlds

Oh, the places Webb will pass! The telescope will take a look at varied gadgets, like stars and galaxies inside the far away universe and planets in our non-public picture voltaic gadget, then again many associate Webb with exoplanets.

As quickly because it launches, the telescope will undergo months of setup to arrange for taking observations a million miles from Earth. Then, the magic begins.

The observatory is slated to check out the TRAPPIST-1 gadget, which contains seven Earth-size exoplanets orbiting a groovy dwarf famous person about 40 light-years away.

Then again astronomers are moreover willing to investigate nevertheless other mysterious exoplanets, like those between the sizes of Earth and Neptune. No identified planet like this exists in our picture voltaic gadget — then again they’re the most typical exoplanet in our galaxy. Now, scientists want to understand how they formed.

All the way through the universe

Scientists agree that for humankind, there’s conceivable no Planet B. We will have to do each little factor we will be able to to handle Earth because of they’re announcing it’s the only international for us.

Then again attempting ahead, this is a question astronomers puzzle over: If Planet B exists, what might it’s like?

Some believe it’s going to most likely be an actual Earth dual where lifestyles types in so much the similar approach as it does proper right here.

Others hope we’ll find out about lifestyles can sort in quite a lot of strategies. When attempting at the number of exoplanets spherical quite a lot of varieties of stars, that doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

And then there’s an a lot more intriguing idea: What if life didn’t begin on Earth at all, then again somewhere else?

Incredible creatures

For many who’ve been operating from place of dwelling inside the pandemic, chances are your puppy has grown used to further top quality time — which makes the separation anxiousness that so much tougher whilst you’re once more inside the administrative center.

Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, a lecturer in animal-computer interaction at the Faculty of Glasgow in Scotland, has set out to exchange that with the DogPhone. Now not like other puppy tech, DogPhone lets in dog to call their householders.

She tested her invention on Zach, her black Labrador retriever, via hiding a sensor inside of a ball. If the ball is moved, it triggers a computer video title. The results are promising.

Ocean secrets and techniques and methods

It’s time to pass to the twilight zone — the only inside the ocean. This space, previous than sunlight supplies strategy to the perpetual dark of the deep sea, is as mysterious to us as space.

The additional researchers find out about, the additional they understand the animals that inhabit it play a a very powerful place in regulating the Earth’s native climate. Proper right here, surprising and bizarre creatures migrate up and down each day.

This zone has a surprising recommend: filmmaker James Cameron.

“It acts as this large carbon pump this is pulling carbon out of our surroundings and taking it down into the deep ocean,” Cameron recommended CNN. It’s merely one of many reasons he wants to preserve this region, the most important biomass on our planet.

Discoveries

Take one different glance:

— Floating junk in home is a emerging problem, and this week it merely won worse, sending space station crew scrambling for cover.
— Over 1,000 manatees in Florida have died this 365 days, the perfect recorded amount in a few years, and the reasons may surprise you.
— Archaeologists have exposed what they believe is one of Egypt’s lost “sun temples,” dating from the mid-Twenty 5th century BCE.
Like what you’ve were given be told? Oh, then again there’s further. Sign up here to procure to your inbox the next model of Marvel Thought, brought to you via CNN House and Science creator Ashley Strickland, who reveals surprise in planets previous our picture voltaic gadget and discoveries from the standard international.

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World’s Hottest Hot Sauce | OT 27

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New Zealand kea can use touchscreens but can’t distinguish between real and virtual worlds | Birds

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The kea, an endangered New Zealand parrot, is clever enough to use touchscreens but don’t appear to be able to tell the difference between the real and virtual worlds, according to a new study.

Researchers taught six kea at the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch to operate touchscreens. The birds were presented with a series of tasks that were either entirely physical, entirely on-screen or a mixture of both.

Amalia Bastos, a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland and the study’s first author, said while kea have been trained to use electronic devices in the past, the research showed virtual tests could be used to accurately study the bird’s natural behaviour in the real world.

Bastos hopes the research could improve the success of breed-and-release conservation programs for the endangered parrot. “They’re really hard to keep in captivity because they’re so intelligent, so they need to constantly be mentally enriched so that they stay mentally healthy,” she said.

This requires zookeepers giving the birds fun games to play, Bastos said, but “they’re very curious and they will very quickly learn that if they spend time around humans, humans are positive thing”.

Crowned New Zealand’s bird of the year in 2017, the kea is the world’s only alpine parrot. It is a highly inquisitive and mischievous species, notorious for attacking windscreen wipers and rummaging through bags, in one case stealing a Scottish man’s passport. Threats to its survival include lead poisoning from housing finishings and deaths from human interactions.

Bastos said kea bred in captivity and given mental enrichment through screens, without human interaction, might be more suitable for release in the wild. “It’s really important to keep them away from human environments as much as possible,” she said.

Because the birds’ beaks are made of keratin – like human fingernails – which cannot activate touch screens, the researchers smeared peanut butter on the devices and trained the kea to activate the screens by licking them.

The team presented the kea with a black ball on a seesaw, which tilted so the ball fell into one of two boxes. The kea learned to track the ball and pick the box where it was hidden, in exchange for food.

The task was replicated on-screen with an entirely virtual ball and boxes, before the researchers repeated the task with a mixture of virtual and physical elements.

The kea expected a real box to contain a virtual ball, suggesting the birds believed an on-screen event continued in the real world.

A similar study testing cognition in humans found that 19-month-old toddlers can distinguish between the real and virtual worlds and don’t expect events to crossover between the two.

“We would expect that younger infants might behave more like kea in that they might think that it’s continuous,” Bastos said.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Biology Letters.

Previous research from the University of Auckland team includes a study on Bruce, a disabled kea with a damaged beak, who taught himself to use pebbles as tools to preen himself.

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World’s most dangerous bird raised by humans 18,000 years ago, study suggests

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The earliest bird reared by humans may have been a cassowary — often called the world’s most dangerous bird because of its long, dagger-like toe.

Territorial, aggressive and often compared to a dinosaur in looks, the bird is a surprising candidate for domestication.

However, a new study of more than 1,000 fossilized eggshell fragments, excavated from two rock shelters used by hunter-gatherers in New Guinea, has suggested early humans may have collected the eggs of the large flightless bird before they hatched and then raised the chicks to adulthood. New Guinea is a large island north of Australia. The eastern half of the island is Papua New Guinea, while the western half forms part of Indonesia.

“This behavior that we are seeing is coming thousands of years before domestication of the chicken,” said lead study author Kristina Douglass, an assistant professor of anthropology and African studies at Penn State University.

“And this is not some small fowl, it is a huge, ornery, flightless bird that can eviscerate you,” she said in a news statement.

The researchers said that while a cassowary can be aggressive (a man in Florida was killed by one in 2019), it “imprints” easily — it becomes attached to the first thing it sees after hatching. This means it’s easy to maintain and raise up to adult size.

Today, the cassowary is New Guinea’s largest vertebrate, and its feathers and bones are prized materials for making bodily adornments and ceremonial wear. The bird’s meat is considered a delicacy in New Guinea.

There are three species of cassowary, and they are native to parts of northern Queensland, Australia, and New Guinea. Douglass thought our ancient ancestors most likely reared the smallest species, the dwarf cassowary, that weighs around 20 kilograms (44 pounds).

The fossilized eggshells were carbon-dated as part of the study, and their ages ranged from 18,000 to 6,000 years old.

Humans are believed to have first domesticated chickens no earlier than 9,500 years ago.

NOT FOR SNACKING

To reach their conclusions, the researchers first studied the eggshells of living birds, including turkeys, emus and ostriches.

The insides of the eggshells change as the developing chicks get calcium from the eggshell. Using high-resolution 3D images and inspecting the inside of the eggs, the researchers were able to build a model of what the eggs looked like during different stages of incubation.

The scientists tested their model on modern emu and ostrich eggs before applying it to the fossilized eggshell fragments found in New Guinea. The team found that most of the eggshells found at the sites were all near maturity.

“What we found was that a large majority of the eggshells were harvested during late stages,” Douglass said. “The eggshells look very late; the pattern is not random.”

These late-stage eggshells indicate people living at these two rock shelter sites were harvesting eggs when the cassowary embryos had fully formed limbs, beaks, claws and feathers, the study said.

But were humans purposefully collecting these eggs to allow them to hatch or collecting the eggs to eat? It’s possible they were doing both, Douglass said.

Consuming eggs with fully formed embryos is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, but Douglass said the research team’s analysis suggested people were hatching the chicks.

“We also looked at burning on the eggshells,” Douglass said in the news release. “There are enough samples of late stage eggshells that do not show burning that we can say they were hatching and not eating them.”

BIG BIRD AS VALUABLE RESEARCH

Less mature eggshells showed more signs of burning — suggesting that when cassowary eggs were consumed they were cooked and eaten when their contents were primarily liquid.

“In the highlands today people raise cassowary chicks to adulthood, in order to collect feathers, and consume or trade the birds. It is possible cassowaries were also highly valued in the past, since they are among the largest vertebrate animals on New Guinea. Raising cassowaries from chicks would provide a readily available source of feathers and meat for an animal that is otherwise challenging to hunt in the wild as an adult,” she explained via email.

However, there is still much the researchers don’t know.

To successfully hatch and raise cassowary chicks, people would need to know where the nests were, know when the eggs were laid and remove them from the nest just before hatching. This is no easy feat as birds don’t nest at the same sites each year. Once a female lays the eggs, male birds take over nest duty and don’t leave for 50 days while incubating the eggs.

“People may have hunted the male and then collected the eggs. Because males don’t leave the nest unattended they also don’t feed much during the incubation period making them more vulnerable to predators,” she said.

The research was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PNAS on Monday.



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Oceanside action sports athlete is the world’s No. 1 wingsuit flyer

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If you ever wondered what it feels like to jump out of a plane and free-glide through the sky in a kite-like wingsuit at 200 miles an hour, Chris Geiler is the best person to ask.

Last month, the 41-year-old Oceanside resident won the global championship as the No. 1 individual wingsuit performance flyer at the 2021 World Parachuting Championships in Russia. And with his two teammates, Joe Ridler and Alexey Galda of Chicago, he also earned the team wingsuit gold medal for the United States.

gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== Oceanside action sports athlete is the world's No. 1 wingsuit flyer

Oceanside skydiver Chris Geiler puts on his wingsuit before his skydive at GoJump Oceanside on Thursday, Sept. 23.

(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Geiler describes the sensation he feels as he soars through the sky at 4,000 to 12,000 feet as intense, exciting and a little nerve-wracking, since it’s very windy up there and a challenge to stay in control. But the married dad — who works full-time for GoJump Oceanside at the Oceanside Municipal Airport — said what drives him most isn’t the fun of flying but his desire to be the best. He first claimed the No. 1 title in 2016 and has spent the past five years working his way back to the top.

“Because of my competitive nature, how I do up there is never good enough. Every run I do, I could have done it better. I’m not finished yet,” he said.

gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== Oceanside action sports athlete is the world's No. 1 wingsuit flyer

World champion wingsuit flyer Chris Geiler returns to the ground after doing a wingsuit flight with parachute landing at GoJump Oceanside on Thursday.

(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The first wingsuit was created in 1930 by a Los Angeles parachutist who wanted to achieve more horizontal flight during his vertical skydiving. The suit design was inspired by flying squirrels who can glide a surprising distance by catching air in the pocketlike flaps of skin between their arms and legs. The modern jumpsuit came along in the 1990s. Today, the suits are made of materials like Parapack, a durable and densely woven nylon fabric.

When the flyer drops out of a plane, air chambers in the suit fill up with air and give the suit a semi-rigidity that allows the flyer to travel horizontally like a human glider plane for up to three minutes before they open their parachute at 3,000 to 4,000 feet and drift to the ground.

Geiler got into competitive wingsuit flying in 2015. It was the latest in a long line of sports pursuits. He grew up on the southern coast of Australia in the town of Torquay, which is home to the famous surfing spot Bells Beach. He surfed and scuba-dived but his first competitive sport of choice as a boy was running, both cross-country and road racing. He made it to the state finals in running, but problems with his knees led him to switch to competitive bicycle racing.

In high school, he was cycling up to 500 miles every week, with the goal of competing on the European bike-racing circuit. But at the time, cycle-racing was plagued with doping problems and Geiler didn’t want to compete against bikers who cheated. In his early 20s, he took his first skydiving lesson and was hooked. But as much as he enjoyed the sport, it was too expensive to pursue in Australia, so he started traveling.

gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== Oceanside action sports athlete is the world's No. 1 wingsuit flyer

Wingsuit flyer Chris Geiler carefully packs his parachute before putting on his wingsuit at GoJump Oceanside on Thursday. Geiler, 41, of Oceanside recently won the international champion as the No. 1 wingsuit flyer in the world.

(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Over the next decade, Geiler spent a snow season in Canada working at a ski resort, bought a van with a friend and drove it across the United States to Florida, and then spent the next six years crewing yachts in the U.S. and Europe. Then in Italy in 2012, Geiler and a friend started training seriously in skydiving and wingsuit flying.

Eight years ago, he moved to California, where it’s easier and more affordable to train in the year-round sunny weather. After six years in Santa Cruz, he moved to Oceanside in 2019 with his wife and son, who will turn 3 next month. Geiler said he prefers Southern California because it’s a major hub for the skydiving industry and he wants his son to grow up next to a beach, like he did.

Wingsuit-flying can be dangerous, but Geiler said jumping from a plane and landing with a parachute is much safer than base-jump wingsuit flying. In his more than 3,500 jumps, Geiler said he’s never had a close call with death.

“I pride myself on being level-headed,” he said.

In competition, wingsuit flyers are judged on three criteria: horizontal distance, flight time and speed. Geiler said in order to inflate the suit, wingsuit flyers dive straight down and can reach a vertical speed of up to 200 miles an hour before leveling off to fly horizontally. In order to fly your body like a glider plane, he said, a wingsuit flyer must learn to understand the physics of wind pressure, lift and other principles.

“It’s like you’re balancing on the fine line between being in control and being out of control,” he said.

gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== Oceanside action sports athlete is the world's No. 1 wingsuit flyer

Chris Geiler, who last month won the international championship as the world’s No. 1 wingsuit flyer, gets dressed for a wingsuit flight on Thursday at GoJump Oceanside.

(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

At the 2021 World Parachuting Championships in August, Geiler amassed a near-perfect score of 299.1 total points for distance, speed and time, beating out his nearest competitor, Polish flyer Dawid Winczewski, by more than 10 points. His U.S. teammates, Galda and Ridler, came in third and fifth, respectively, which helped power the trio to the team gold medal ahead of Russia, Poland, Denmark and Finland. The wingsuit performance division had 35 individual flyers from 13 countries.

In order to compete at the international championship, the three flyers who earn the most points at the national level are chosen each year. The next national tournament takes place in Arizona in late October. Unlike many competitive sports, wingsuit flying doesn’t attract many well-heeled sponsors or any federal funding. So Geiler pays for his jumps and training by working at GoJump. He also serves as a test pilot for Squirrel, a Seattle-based wingsuit and parachute maker.

“I like helping consult for them to create new suits,” he said. “They’re always on the cutting edge, and everything we learn there trickles down to create better performance for everyone in the industry.”

gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw== Oceanside action sports athlete is the world's No. 1 wingsuit flyer

Skydiver Chris Geiler boards the plane to make a jump in his wingsuit at GoJump Oceanside on Thursday, Sept. 23.

(Eduardo Contreras/The San Diego Union-Tribune)



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Inspiration4 Lift Off: SpaceX Launches World’s First All-Citizen Mission in Earth’s Orbit

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Tampa, Florida (WFLA) — SpaceX made history on Wednesday night when it launched the world’s first all-civil mission to get going from the Space Coast, Florida.

The Inspiration4 mission took off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center around 8:03 pm on Wednesday. The four crew members on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft were launched onto a reusable Falcon 9 rocket and later separated from the spacecraft and landed on the drone.

The mission’s five-hour launch window began at 8:02 EST. The window was very large, as the crew was sent to orbit the Earth rather than the International Space Station, and therefore did not have such strict time constraints.

The crew is set to travel 350 miles above the surface of the Earth, about 100 miles higher than the International Space Station.

“This is important and historic, because it’s the best time humans have been in orbit since the Hubble Space Telescope mission,” said Benjireed, SpaceX’s manned spaceflight director.

(Photo provided by SpaceX)

The crew will spend three days in orbit to participate in research experiments on human health and performance. We hope that the results of our research will apply not only to future space flight, but also to human health here on Earth.

Inspiration4’s main goal is to provide and inspire support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They want to raise $ 200 million for St. Jude in a three-day mission.

According to SpaceX, each of the four members of the crew was chosen to represent the pillars of a mission of prosperity, generosity, hope and leadership. The Inspiration 4 crew and the pillars they represent are:

  • leadership: 38 years old Jared Isaacman – Founder and CEO of Shift4Payments
  • Hope: 29-year-old Haley Arseno – Doctor assistants and childhood cancer survivors treated with St. Jude
  • Generosity: 41 years old Chris Sembroski – Lockheed Martin US Air Force veteran and aerospace employee
  • prosperity: 51 years old Dr. Cyan Proctor – Entrepreneurs, educators, trained pilots, and the active voice of the space exploration community

SpaceX trained all four crew members as commercial astronauts on Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft. The crew was trained in orbital mechanics, microgravity, weightlessness, other stress tests, emergency preparedness, and spacesuit training.

The mission was funded by Isaacman in a private transaction with SpaceX. Isaacman has also invested $ 100 million towards a funding target for the St. Jude mission.

Inspiration4 Lift Off: SpaceX Launches World’s First All-Citizen Mission in Earth’s Orbit

Source link Inspiration4 Lift Off: SpaceX Launches World’s First All-Citizen Mission in Earth’s Orbit

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Inspiration4, the World’s First All-Civilian Mission to Space, Provides In-Flight Update

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Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to space, provides an in-flight update on September 17, 2021, during their three-day mission. Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Christopher Sembroski, and Dr. Sian Proctor launched into space onboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft on September 15. During that time, they performed several science experiments and video conferenced with individuals at Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Photo by SpaceX/UPI



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SpaceX capsule with world’s first all-civilian orbital crew set for splashdown

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The quartet of newly minted citizen astronauts comprising the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission were due to splash down in the Atlantic off Florida on Saturday, completing a three-day flight of the first all-civilian crew ever launched into Earth orbit.

To prepare for atmospheric re-entry and return to Earth, the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle completed two rocket “burns” on Friday to lower its altitude and line up the capsule’s trajectory with the targeted landing site.

The Dragon capsule, dubbed Resilience, is scheduled to parachute into the sea around 7 p.m. Eastern time, shortly before sunset, according to SpaceX, the private rocketry company founded by Tesla Inc electric automaker CEO Elon Musk.

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SpaceX supplied the spacecraft, launched it from Florida and flew it from the company’s suburban Los Angeles headquarters.

The Inspiration4 team blasted off on Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral atop one of SpaceX’s two-stage reusable Falcon 9 rockets.

Within three hours the crew capsule had reached a cruising orbital altitude of just over 363 miles (585 km) – higher than the International Space Station or Hubble Space Telescope, and the farthest any human has flown from Earth since NASA’s Apollo moon program ended in 1972.

It also marked the debut flight of Musk’s new space tourism business and a leap ahead of competitors likewise offering rides on rocket ships to well-heeled customers willing to pay a small fortune to experience the exhilaration of spaceflight and earn amateur astronaut wings.

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The Inspiration4 team was led by its wealthy benefactor, Jared Isaacman, chief executive of the e-commerce firm Shift4 Payments Inc, who assumed the role of mission “commander.”

He had paid an undisclosed but reportedly enormous sum – put by Time magazine at roughly $200 million – to fellow billionaire Musk for all four seats aboard the Crew Dragon.

Isaacman was joined by three less affluent crewmates he had selected – geoscientist and former NASA astronaut candidate Sian Proctor, 51, physician’s assistant and childhood bone cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux, 29, and aerospace data engineer and Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski, 42.

Isaacman conceived of the flight primarily to raise awareness and donations for one of his favorite causes, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a leading pediatric cancer center in Memphis, Tennessee, where Arceneaux was a patient and now works.

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The Inspiration4 crew had no part to play in flying the spacecraft, which was operated by ground-based flight teams and onboard guidance systems, even though Isaacman and Proctor are both licensed pilots.

SpaceX already ranked as the most well-established player in the burgeoning constellation of commercial rocket ventures, having launched numerous cargo payloads and astronauts to the space station for NASA.

Two rival operators, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc and Blue Origin, inaugurated their own astro-tourism services in recent months, with their respective founding executives, billionaires Richard Branson and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, each going along for the ride.

Those suborbital flights, lasting a matter of minutes, were short hops compared with Inspiration4’s three days in orbit. (Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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