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Blue Origin’s New Shepard Rocket Launches a New Line of Business

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West Texas is not quite like the moon. But it can serve as a handy stand-in.

On Tuesday, Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, launched — and landed — its small New Shepard rocket and capsule for the 13th time as part of tests to verify safety before any passengers climb aboard.

One day, this will be New Shepard’s main business: flying well-to-do people above the 62-mile altitude generally considered the beginning of outer space where they will experience a few minutes of weightlessness as the capsule arcs.

Blue Origin is not a new company — Mr. Bezos founded it in 2000 — but for most of its existence, it operated in secret without generating much revenue. Three years ago, Mr. Bezos said he was selling a billion dollars a year in Amazon stock to finance Blue Origin’s research and development. And he has declared broad ambitions for its business, such as competing with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and others in the orbital launch business, building a moon lander for NASA astronauts and eventually making it possible for millions of people to live and work in space.

But the cargo of Tuesday’s launch from a test site near Van Horn, Texas, shows that the company is finding a more modest business in the short term: turning the reusable New Shepard rocket and capsule into an effective, and profitable, platform for testing new technologies and performing scientific experiments.

“It was fantastic,” said Erika Wagner, Blue Origin’s payload sales director, who was in West Texas. “We were watching across the valley and watching the rocket climb up.”

Tucked under the collar at the top of the booster on Tuesday’s launch were prototypes of sensors that could help NASA astronauts safely reach the lunar surface

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Nissan Foundation launches 2021 grant cycle to build inclusive communities through education

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Nissan Foundation

Established in 1992, the mission of the Nissan Foundation is to build community through valuing cultural diversity. The Nissan Foundation is part of Nissan North America's commitment to enrich people's lives by helping to meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S. through philanthropic investments, corporate outreach sponsorships and other charitable contributions.
Established in 1992, the mission of the Nissan Foundation is to build community through valuing cultural diversity. The Nissan Foundation is part of Nissan North America’s commitment to enrich people’s lives by helping to meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S. through philanthropic investments, corporate outreach sponsorships and other charitable contributions.
Established in 1992, the mission of the Nissan Foundation is to build community through valuing cultural diversity. The Nissan Foundation is part of Nissan North America’s commitment to enrich people’s lives by helping to meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S. through philanthropic investments, corporate outreach sponsorships and other charitable contributions.
  • Since 1992, the Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $12 million to more than 150 nonprofit organizations committed to promoting cultural awareness and understanding

  • The Nissan Foundation annually awards grants to nonprofits in California, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee and Texas

  • Deadline to submit Letters of Intent for 2021 grant cycle is November 13, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In an effort to support organizations educating our world about the benefits of living and working together in a diverse society, the Nissan Foundation today announced it is accepting Letters of Intent for its 2021 grant cycle. Each year, the Nissan Foundation awards grants to nonprofits who serve communities surrounding Nissan’s affiliate locations in Southern California, Middle Tennessee, Central Mississippi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, New York and Atlanta. Now in its 28th year, the foundation’s mission is to support education programs that help people see the world through multiple perspectives.

“The work our grantees do day in and day out to foster dialogue around race relations and to promote cultural diversity has never been more important,” says Parul Bajaj, executive director, Nissan Foundation. “The Nissan Foundation is

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Russian-US crew launches on fast track to the space station

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MOSCOW (AP) — A trio of space travelers launched successfully to the International Space Station, for the first time using a fast-track maneuver to reach the orbiting outpost in just three hours.

NASA’s Kate Rubins along with Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos lifted off as scheduled Wednesday morning from the Russia-leased Baikonur space launch facility in Kazakhstan for a six-month stint on the station.

For the first time, they tried a two-orbit approach and docked with the space station in just a little over three hours after lift-off. Previously it took twice as long for crews to reach the station.


They will join the station’s NASA commander, Chris Cassidy, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who have been aboard the complex since April and are scheduled to return to Earth in a week.

Speaking during Tuesday’s pre-launch news conference at Baikonur, Rubins emphasized that the crew spent weeks in quarantine at the Star City training facility outside Moscow and then on Baikonur to avoid any threat from the coronavirus.

“We spent two weeks at Star City and then 17 days at Baikonur in a very strict quarantine,” Rubins said. “During all communications with crew members, we were wearing masks. We made PCR tests twice and we also made three times antigen fast tests.”

She said she was looking forward to scientific experiments planned for the mission.

“We’re planning to try some really interesting things like bio-printing tissues and growing cells in space and, of course, continuing our work on sequencing DNA,” Rubins said.

Ryzhikov, who will be the station’s skipper, said the crew will try to pinpoint the exact location of a leak at a station’s Russian section that has slowly leaked oxygen. The small leak hasn’t posed any immediate danger to

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Altus Assessments launches the online Altus Academy to help the university admissions community connect, learn, and grow

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TORONTO, Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, Altus Assessments has decided to launch Altus Academy – an online resource centre and gathering spot where the university admissions community can connect, learn, and grow.

“Virtually overnight, these institutions, who work hard to educate tomorrow’s professionals and leaders, have had to overhaul many of their key processes,” says Rich Emrich, CEO of Altus Assessments. “Our goal is to offer resources and a community gathering place to help them through it so they can bring in the best students to their programs.”

Altus Academy will serve as a go-to resource for admissions professionals to find best practices and other practical resources, original and third-party research, and a community to network with other schools. The Academy will also host masterclasses to support both personal and professional development, with the option to earn certification in any of the following streams: foundations in admissions, diversity and inclusion, marketing for student recruitment, transparency in selection, and productivity in a pandemic.

The Academy is the latest in a string of new offerings from the company. Just last year the company introduced the annual $100,000 Alo Grant to accelerate new research in admissions, and hosted the Admissions Summit for the global admissions community to network and share best practices. All of these initiatives, in combination with delivering the Casper test, allows Altus to continue to grow and fulfil its vision of creating exceptional professionals.

“For us, this is all about giving back to the community in these times of change and adapting together,” says Tony Vlismas, director of marketing at Altus Assessments. “As part of our rebrand this year, we want the admissions community to know that we’re more than Casper; we’re building more evidence-based products to further support their screening processes, funding

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Blue Origin launches, lands NASA moon landing sensor experiment

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Oct. 13 (UPI) — Blue Origin successfully launched a NASA moon landing experiment aboard the company’s reusable New Shepard rocket Tuesday morning in Texas.

Liftoff took place from the company’s launch facilities about 150 miles east of El Paso.

The capsule separated from the rocket minutes into the flight and spent about three minutes at the height of an arc just over the Kármán line, the altitude at which space begins.

The rocket booster, with NASA sensors mounted on the exterior, landed smoothly about 7 minutes, 30 seconds after launch. The capsule landed with the aid of parachutes a few minutes later, kicking up a cloud of dust and sand.

The NASA experiment is part of the agency’s Tipping Point program, which seeks to demonstrate technology that can be adopted by private industry.

The project includes a collection of sensors designed to help locate a safe site on the moon for upcoming landings, according to NASA and Blue Origin’s mission description. Some of the sensors use LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging technology, which uses laser light to map out the surface.

“A NASA-developed sensor suite could allow robotic and crewed missions to land precisely on the lunar surface within half the distance of a football field,” NASA said of the project. “The rocket’s flight path is relevant to lunar landings, providing a unique opportunity to mature sensors and algorithms for potential use on Artemis [moon] missions.”

Those sensors require clear skies to function properly, which is why the mission had been delayed once in September due to cloudy weather at the launch site. But Tuesday’s weather was ideal, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said.

“It’s a great day for us to actually try that new type of experimentation on the outside of the vehicle,” Smith said during a prelaunch

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