SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy is currently the world’s most powerful operational rocket, and today, it launched its first commercial mission from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center in a key demonstration for CEO Elon Musk who hopes to land lucrative military launch contracts in the future. The booster carried Arabsat-6A, a 13,000-pound Saudi telecommunications satellite designed to provide television, internet and mobile phone service to the Middle East, Africa and Europe, into orbit. Read more for the launch and to see the three boosters land back on Earth.
Photo credit: Ars Technica
The Walt Disney Co announced on Thursday a new family-friendly streaming service will costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually, complete with a variety of original programming. Disney+ is slated to launch on Nov. 12 in the U.S. and in every major global market over time. Subscribers will not only have access to Disney films and TV shows, but feature programming from the Marvel superhero universe, the “Star Wars” galaxy, “Toy Story” creator Pixar animation and the National Geographic channel. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Israel’s SpaceIL Beresheet spacecraft lost contact with Earth late on Thursday, just moments before its historic landing attempt after a series of technical failures during its final descent. The robotic lander experienced periodic engine and communications failures during the landing sequence, which lasted approximately 21 minutes. “It seems that a failure in our inertial measurements unit caused a chain of events in the spacecraft avionics which cut off the engines and caused us to lose the mission,” said Opher Doron, general manager of the space division at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Read more for a video and a shot the lander took right before crashing.
After an entire year of delays, the Apple AirPower has officially been canceled. This inductive charging mat was first announced alongside the iPhone X in 2017 and touted as being capable of wirelessly charging an iPhone, AirPods and an Apple Watch simultaneously. “After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering. Read more for a video about the cancellation and additional information.
Tesla unveiled a new all-electric SUV, officially called the “Model Y,” on Thursday night, that seats seven, sports a a panoramic glass roof and boasts a 15″ touchscreen interface for accessing all of the vehicle’s controls. “It has the functionality of an SUV, but it will ride like a sports car. This thing will be really tight on corners and we expect it will be the safest midsize SUV in the world by far,” said CEO Elon Musk told the crowd. Read more for a test ride video and additional information.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has detected traces of moving water molecules on the moon’s surface. These water molecules were observed moving on the day-side of the moon and scientists believe it will act as a catalyst for humanity to establish a colony on the lunar surface. “These results aid in understanding the lunar water cycle and will ultimately help us learn about the accessibility of water that can be used by humans in future missions to the Moon. Lunar water can potentially be used by humans to make fuel or to use for radiation shielding or thermal management; if these materials do not need to be launched from Earth, that makes these future missions more affordable,” said Amanda Hendrix, the lead author of the study. Read more for a video and additional information.
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Finally, Tesla has officially launched the standard Model 3 starting at $35,000 and announced that the company would shift all sales online. Elon Musk stated that this shorter range model will cost $35,000 before any savings from tax incentives. “The interior will be slightly better than was originally promised. From the beginning, this has been the goal. It’s an incredible car, and at $35,000 there are still some pretty significant consumer tax credits that can be had,” said Musk on a conference call. Read more for another video and additional information.
After over 15 incredible years at Nintendo of America, and nearly 13 as its President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime will retire, and his last day with the company will be on April 15th. Doug Bowser, current Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will succeed him as President of Nintendo of America. “I really appreciate everything Reggie has done for Nintendo. Inside and outside our company, Reggie is known as an exceptional leader. We are grateful that he is leaving the business in good shape with strong momentum. While we will miss him and we wish him the very best in his retirement, we are also pleased to have such an able successor ready to step into that role. Doug Bowser and the rest of the team will ensure a seamless transition and continued momentum for,” said Shuntaro Furukawa, President of Nintendo Co., Ltd. Read more for another video and additional information.
News website Cheddar claims that Apple is working on a new gaming subscription service after citing five people “familiar with the matter” in a new report says that iPhone-maker started having conversations with game studios last year to create a “Netflix for games.” Subscribers would pay a monthly fee to gain access to a certain number of titles. There’s currently no timetable for when this service will launch, how much it would cost or which publishers, what types of games would be included or what devices it would be compatible with. Read more for another video and additional information
Photo credit: Tech Weez
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today the plans to unify the underlying messaging infrastructure of its WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger services as well as incorporate end-to-end encryption to these apps. The three services will remain as stand alone apps, and is still in the early stages of the work in hopes to complete it by the end of this year or in early 2020. Read more for a video and additional information.