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Clash Of The Titans! It’s SpaceX VS Blue Origin!

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SpaceX and Blue Origin are in the race to make the best use of rockets which are a part of NASA’s suborbital reusable launch of vehicle flight contract. Yes, you heard it right! Not so long ago the idea of a man going to the moon or outer space was considered a fantasy! With the latest happenings and technology enhancements, people could now think of travelling and catching up flights to visit Mars and explore the outer space. One of the greatest news for the space travellers enthusiasts flourished, this week. Blue Origin, the reusable rocket company founded by Jeff Bezos announced that it will begin selling tickets for suborbital commercial space flights next year. According to reports, Blue Origin began to test its space vehicle successfully eight times, with the latest being on April 29, 2018. With Elon Musk revolutionizing the transport system on earth and space as well, this tech billionaire is also geared up! Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. Elon Musk led SpaceX is hitting all the headlines on future space travel, while, Jeff Bezos owned Blue Origin is catching up fast. At the AWS public sector summit, the Senior Vice President of Blue Origin, Rob Meyerson said Setting up colonies on the Moon and other planets are our primary target and we will need large payloads for surface landing. We are building the appropriate technology for that. However, Elon Musk led SpaceX has postponed its plans to send space tourists this year to circle the Moon due to technical and production challenges. SpaceX plans to start building mining, power and life support infrastructure to prepare for the first settlers that could arrive as soon as 2024. A Blue Origin Executive said the suborbital space tours will make a good market for us and our customers are very excited. Once we become the most-skilled reusable rocket company in the low-orbit, we can plan to go further, deeper into space.

There are speculations that the prices would be lower than the prices of Elon Musk SpaceX’s for carrying people to the moon in 2022. The cost of the SpaceX flight is around $ 35 million. Two people have apparently booked it, Musk didn’t say much about the two unidentified passengers. SpaceX is planning to make an uncrewed flight of its Dragon spacecraft to the space station this year and its first crewed flights are expected to happen in mid 2018. However, there are no further updates on this!

Currently, Blue Origin’s focus is on its New Shepard which is a fully reusable vertical takeoff, vertical landing (VTVL) space vehicle, consisting of a pressurised capsule atop a booster that can be reused for at least 25 times. The vehicle is named after the first American who went in space, Alan Shepard. It can carry six astronauts to spend approximately three minutes in a high quality, microgravity environment at an apogee of over 100 km.  April 30 marked the company’s first test flight of the New Shepard in 2018 and second flight of the New Shepard 2.0 spacecraft. Meyerson said Right now, we are living in a world where we need to throw away rockets within a year to ocean floors and millions of dollars go down the drain. With ‘New Shepard’, we can reuse the vehicle multiple times to significantly lower the travel cost.  

Speaking about the remarkable developments, Meyerson added space travel is a marathon, not a sprint. We are on the right track to write another chapter in the history of space travel.

However, Blue Origin isn’t the first company to go live with the tickets. Earlier, Virgin Galactic, a space flight company has booked hundreds of reservations for tickets at $ 250,000 each, while flight dates are yet to be confirmed! The story is different with Blue Origin, the company announced a policy of not taking reservations until its New Shepherd suborbital vehicle is ready for flights.

So, when are you grabbing your seat to the journey to space? Will it be SpaceX or will it be Blue Origin? Share your views in the comments section below!

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William H Gates Sr., The Father Of Bill Gates Passes Away

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William H Gates Sr The Father Of Bill Gates Passes Away,Startup Stories,William H Gates Sr,William H Gates Sr No More,William H Gates Sr Passees,Bill Gates Father Passes Away,Bill Gates Sr,William Henry Gates Sr Passes Away,William H Gates Sr RIP,William H Gates Sr Latest News,Bill Gates Sr Passes Away At 94

Bill Gates shared the news of the demise of his father William H. Gates Sr., in a blog post.  Bill Gates announced the news in a blog post saying his father passed away peacefully on Monday at their family residence in Washington.  William Gates was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is the most likely cause of his death.  

William Gates Sr.,was a well known civic leader, attorney and philanthropist and is also one of the key figures in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  In an obituary the family credited the patriarch with a “deep commitment to social and economic equity,” noting that he was responsible for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s first efforts to improve global health as well as his advocacy for progressive taxation, especially unsuccessful efforts to pass a state income tax on the wealthy in Washington.

Bill Gates mentioned in his blog that his father always had the knack for taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture.  Bill Gates also mentions how his father’s legal advice has helped him a lot and other famous personalities which include Howard Schultz of Starbucks.

Bill said his father wrote him a letter and one of the excerpts from it was “I have cautioned you and others about the overuse of the adjective ‘incredible’ to apply to facts that were short of meeting its high standard. This is a word with huge meaning to be used only in extraordinary settings. What I want to say, here, is simply that the experience of being your father has been… incredible (sic.)”

Bill Gates summed up William H. Gates’ life in the best way possible in his blog post.  Bill said “I know he would not want me to overuse the word, but there is no danger of doing that now.  The experience of being the son of Bill Gates was incredible.  People used to ask my dad if he was the real Bill Gates.  The truth is, he was everything I try to be.  I will miss him every day (sic.)”

We at Startup Stories extend our deepest condolences to the Gates family as they mourn the death of William H. Gates Sr.

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TikTok Ban Paves The Way For YouTube Shorts

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TikTok Ban Paves The Way For YouTube Shorts

Google is the latest entity to take advantage of the Indian Government’s ban of the viral application TikTok.  Google plans to introduce a new feature on YouTube called YouTube Shorts.  The feature for all intents and purposes mimics the same features TikTok used to provide.  The new feature will mimic many of TikTok’s most popular features, allowing users to make and post 15 second videos with built in creative tools encouraging them to add licensed music and more.

The YouTube Shorts is being bundled into the main YouTube app for Indian users, where it will appear with a prominent “create” button.  The videos can also be set to music, thanks to YouTube’s access to a large library of songs that it says will continue to grow over time.  India will be the first country where YouTube Shorts will be launched.  YouTube said “Music for these videos will be available through in-product music picker feature. The picker currently has 100,000s of tracks, and we’re working with music artists, labels, and publishers to make more of their content available to continue expanding our catalogue (sic.)”

TikTok was enjoying an unrivalled popularity in India as it became a means to keep boredom at bay during the nationwide lockdown which was imposed in light of the COVID-19 virus.  TikTok amassed more than 200 million users in India and this is mostly due to the cheap internet plans rolled out by Jio Telecommunications, which made the internet accessible to every person even in the remote corners of India.

ALSO READ: 4 Things To Know About Instagram Reels

However, the Indian government announced that it would ban 59 Chinese applications in which TikTok was one, along with WeChat, Helo, Cam Scanner and many others.  The ban was imposed citing data security and concerns about data being shared with the Chinese Government.  This left a huge void in the instant video sharing space and Facebook was the first to cash in on it by releasing Instagram Reels.  Even Instagram Reels does not have any standalone application but is instead a feature in the Instagram app where it is promoted heavily.

Neither Instagram nor YouTube have tried to clone TikTok’s patented search algorithm and are instead relying on their own discovery algorithms to push content to the users.  As TikTok continues to be banned more and more players will look to cash in on the massive void left by the viral app.  Facebook and Google are the first major players to try to take a chunk of TikTok’s user base.  It will be interesting to see how YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels will perform in the future.

 

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Vodafone Idea Gets Rebranded To Vi

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Vodafone Idea Gets Rebranded To Vi

Vodafone Idea is one of India’s largest telecommunications companies along with Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.  Vodafone Idea has a market share of 23% in India and Reliance Jio leads the market with a share of 34%.  Indian telecom companies have been hurt badly by the Supreme Court verdict on the Adjusted Gross Revenues (AGR) case.  The AGR is a fee sharing mechanism between the telcos and the government who shifted to the ‘revenue-sharing fee’ model in 1999, from the ‘fixed license fee’ model.  In this course, telcos are supposed to share a percentage of their AGR with the government.  

Following the Supreme Court verdict which came against the favour of telcos, the verdict directs the telcos to pay the due payments to the government over a course of ten years.  The total amount due as per the Department of Telecom’s submission to the Supreme Court is Rs. 119,292 crores.  Out of its total dues of Rs. 43,980 crores, Bharti Airtel has paid Rs. 18,004 crores so far while Rs. 25,976 crores are still remaining.  Vodafone Idea’s dues are the highest at Rs. 58,254 crores, of which the company has paid Rs. 6,354 crores and the balance due is Rs. 51,400 crores.

This has hurt both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea as they have to raise enough capital to pay the dues.  Failure to pay the dues means the telcos are looking at bankruptcy.  According to a report by Jefferies Equity Research, dated September 1st, Vodafone Idea could require up to ₹18,800 crores by the end of March 2023.  To do so, it will need to raise money since its existing operating profit is less than annual payments that will be due.  Vodafone Idea on Friday said it will raise up to ₹ 25,000 crores.  The fundraising will be through the sale of shares or non convertible debentures (NCDs.)  Both routes of fundraising have a limit of ₹ 15,000 crores each. The proposed fundraising is subject to regulatory and shareholders approvals.  Vodafone Idea will take up the proposal at its annual general meeting on 30 September.

Vodafone Idea has therefore announced a rebranding as part of its fundraising efforts and going forward Vodafone Idea will be called Vi.  This is because Idea is now integrated with Vodafone.  Launching the new brand, Ravinder Takkar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Idea Limited, said “the brand integration not only marks the completion of the largest telecom merger in the world but also sets us on our future journey to offer world class digital experiences to one billion indians on our strong 4G network.  VIL is now leaner and agile and the deployment of many principles of 5G architecture has helped us transform into a future-fit, digital network for the changing customer needs (sic.)”

The future of Vi is still uncertain and more updates will be revealed in the following weeks and a new updated tariff plan will also be rolled out.  Vi looks to earn back its customers and get back to being a strong market leader which it once was and only time will tell what is in store for Vi and its customers.

 

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