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10 Facts About Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket

Ramya GovindRaj

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Real life Iron Man, Elon Musk has been featured a lot in the news recently for launching one of the world’s most powerful rockets, Falcon Heavy. SpaceX’ latest rocket blasted off its first test flight carrying a red Tesla roadster along with it. If you have not been able to follow the news or the launch of this iconic rocket, here are 10 facts to bring you up to speed. 

1. On February 6, 2018, SpaceX launched it’s Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, into an orbit that stretches into the asteroid belt.

2. Elon Musk was not sure if the launch would be a success. The launch of the rocket was delayed by three hours citing high winds.

3. After a successful launch, two of Falcon’s rocket cores successfully touched down back on Earth after takeoff. However, the middle core of SpaceX’s huge rocket missed the drone ship where it was supposed to land. Relighting one of the three engines necessary to land, the center core landed in the Atlantic Ocean.

A graphic showing the path of the Falcon Heavy rocket

4. Falcon Heavy is considered to be the most powerful rocket ever created, since the Shuttle System and second only to the Saturn V rockets, which carried men to the moon during the Apollo era.

5. The Tesla Roadster has the message “Don’t panic!” stamped on the dashboard and David Bowie playing on the speakers. The $100,000 car will cruise through high energy radiation belts, Van Allen belts, that circuit Earth towards deep space.

6. The Tesla cruised through space for a good six hours which was also live streamed by SpaceX. The car was then pushed out towards its elliptical orbit around Mars, once the upper stage’s systems survived being bombarded with all the radiation, firing and pushing the car forward for one last time.

7. Experts along with Elon Musk are still unclear about what will happen to the car. Planetary scientists have been asking about the details regarding the car’s exact orbit to calculate the Tesla’s odds of collision and how long it will actually last in deep space.

8. The successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket along with its capabilities of putting objects into deep space and landing back on Earth demonstrates the possibility of creating low production cost rockets and ability to reuse them in the future.

9. The success of this launch makes it easier for governments and businesses to lift massive projects into space or set off deep space missions, marking a major step toward cheaper, more frequent spaceflight programs.

10. Falcon Heavy’s capabilities of putting objects into deep space also opens up avenues for space companies, like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries to send their spacecrafts into the asteroid belt. Currently, both the space companies are working on technologies to mine water from asteroids in the near future. 

Watch the Elon Musk’s dummy astronaut orbiting Earth in a Tesla in this time lapse video.

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No Work Between 6 PM – 8 AM At Amazon India

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Amit Agrawal, CEO of Amazon India said “No business decision should be made between 6 PM – 8 AM”  in an email to the senior team members of Amazon. Agrawal asked members of the Amazon India team to maintain a healthy “work-life harmony.” This would encourage the employees to be more productive during work hours.

This announcement comes after Amazon was criticised at an international level for over working their employees. Amazon India is making changes for the better and is building a wholesome relationship with their employees with this recent announcement.

This decision might bring about a change in the Indian work culture as Indian’s on an average work 8.1 hours more than any employee from Europe and North America. Due to this destructive relationship of Indians with their work, it is appreciated Amazon India took this step to recognise the problem and address it head on.

It is not clear if this decision was made by Agrawal solely or was ordered by the company’s global leadership. Amazon recently listed 237 new “work from home” positions in and outside of the US, 235 of which are full time. By the looks of it, Amazon is actively tackling its toxic work culture and might succeed in so doing.

According to a study from Switzerland’s University of Zurich and the U. S., University of South Florida, people who do not separate work life and personal life, tend to be more exhausted. This hinders their productivity and creativity. “Organizational policy and culture should be adjusted to help employees manage their work-non-work boundaries in a way that does not impair their well-being,” lead study author Ariane Wepfer said.“ After all, impaired well-being goes hand in hand with reduced productivity and reduced creativity” Wepfer added.

What do you think about this announcement by Amazon India? Do you agree with it? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Startup WeWork Raises $ 1 Billion from Soft Bank

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WeWork raised an additional $ 1 Billion in convertible debt from Soft Bank, the New York based company continues to grow rapidly. Their revenue doubled to a hefty $ 712 million according to the newly released financial information on Thursday.

WeWork is an American company that provides shared work spaces, tech startup communities, and various other services for startups, freelancers, small businesses and large enterprises. Founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel Mckelvey in 2010, it is one of the world’s most valuable startups as it is valued around $ 20 billion.

The startup WeWork has been piling up losses. During the first half of the year, the loss widened to $ 723 million as the company continued to expand, opened new spaces and spent more money to market them. The losses increased while the revenue for the first half of the year has more than doubled to a whopping $ 763.8 million.

The unusual mechanism of piling up losses gives WeWork an immediate cash injection as it continues to funnel money into expanding its shared office business globally.

The Chief Financial Officer, Artie Minson, in a recent interview described the financing as “the ability for us to opportunistically add a billion dollars to the balance sheet.” Minson further added, WeWork has around $ 4 billion in cash and commitments.

Due to being a private company WeWork has no obligation to publicly disclose its financial status. It released the figures to the media in conjunction with a periodic update to bond investors.

The latest funding from its investor Soft Bank, comes in the form of a subordinated convertible note that is structured so that the Japanese company has an edge in the next fundraising round. Soft Bank, has already invested $ 4.4 billion in equity funding in WeWork last August.

“There is no investor closer to us than Soft Bank and it was an opportunistic financing that we were able to do,” Minson said in an interview.

WeWork has more than 5,000 employees in over 280 locations, spread across 77 cities in 23 countries around the world including India, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Argentina, Germany and Brazil.

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Android Pie: Everything You Need To Know About Google’s New Features

Smruthi Kishore

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Android 9 Pie, Android’s latest operating system, was just launched after premiering at the company’s developers conference in May! After months of speculation, Google finally revealed what the P in the name stands for and despite all the multiple names thrown around, the one that stuck was Pie! From the first glance, Android 9 Pie seems to be extremely promising. Here is taking a look at the features this new and updated version of the Android has to offer!

1. Machine Learning

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is the one bandwagon everyone is ready to jump on, including Google.  One of the key updates in the new operating software is the Adaptive Battery, which understands which apps you use the most and will help you optimise them accordingly. App Actions predicts which app you will use next, based on your usage.

2. Background upgrades 

One of the most popular controversies yet to be proven in the world of smartphones is how Facebook could be listening to your conversations through smartphone microphones. Despite not being proven, Android Pie is going to restrict access to mic, camera and all SensorManager Sensors from apps that are idle for a long time. This basically means that if the app switches to background mode, it will lose access to the phone’s microphone! Furthermore, if an external device is trying to gain access to your camera, an automatic error message gets generated, letting owners know their phone is being hacked in an instant.

3. Privacy a major factor 

In an attempt to increase the privacy settings of one’s phone, the new OS has taken privacy quite seriously. Google is creating a new permission’s category called Call Log, which requires developers to ask for explicit permission to access users’ call logs, rather than lumping it all into a single “Phone” permissions group. As an added safety measure, all Android phones are required to access links starting with HTTPS and not HTTP, making sure the network is safe and secure.

4. New interface 

So far, one of the major differences between Android and Apple was user interface. Up until now, Android had a three touch navigation button. However, with the new OS, the software is now giving way to a slicker one touch navigation system, seemingly inspired from the gesture features of Apple iPhone X. For instance, you can swipe up the button to see recent applications. The thumbnails of recent applications now appear larger with a full screen view. Smart Text Selection has also been improved and integrated within the “Overview” of recent applications. One of the other key features in the new upgrade include Quick Settings, a feature which lets you access only the apps you have used regularly.

5. Digital Well Being

Google’s new Digital Well Being software is the only software part of the new upgrade which will still be in beta phase during the launch. In case you missed Google’s OS launch back in May, this software deals with limiting the amount of time you spend on your app. While it may seem counterproductive for an OS developing system, the long term goals are beneficial. Once fully functional, one can go to the settings on your dashboard and look at how much time you have spent on your phone and what app is taking up most of your time. To limit usage of these apps, you can set timers and enable the “Do Not Disturb” feature, which instantly switches the app into lock mode.

Sticking to age old Google tradition, the new update is coming to the Pixel phone first. Non Google phones like Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo,  Vivo and One Plus, will receive the software upgrade towards the end of this year. Android One phones like Mi A2 and Mi A1 will also receive the update toward the latter half of this year!

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