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We’ve all thought of building a world from scratch. University of Chicago’s ExoTerra Imagination Lab is doing it

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CHICAGO — Picture this scenario: Lifespans are now approximately 115 years. And you have slept for 70 years on a starship with 1,999 travelers to get to a new world — a terraformed planet that will become humanity’s new home.

Welcome to the role-playing game that is ExoTerra Imagination Lab. The idea of Ada Palmer, a University of Chicago associate professor of history, ExoTerra is a way for students, faculty, alumni, gamers and sci-fi/fantasy fans around the globe to connect in pandemic times, Palmer said.

The year is 2412 and you’ve reached a new star system called Abaia, 64 1/2 light years from Earth, and you and other colony colleagues must design the new world from top to bottom — cities, laws and which animals to release into the new ecosystem. As the first wave of explorers, you and your fellow travelers must design a civilization that will welcome the 80,000 future colony members who left Earth 30 years ago and are in suspended animation.

The Earth you left behind in 2301 was still thriving, but its people were hard-pressed to fix the global flaws from humanity’s past. The ExoTerra mission’s goal is to build a better world for colonists.

“UChicago is creating this for the pandemic — to give students something that is exciting and community building,” Palmer said.

Another goal of the project: to be a space for exploring the important problems of our world and propose solutions to them in a way that’s not connected to current politics — from schools to incarceration. The project is in the tradition of “speculative resistance,” Palmer said, a kind of science fiction that focuses on other ways the world could be by using imagined places.

According to Ben Indeglia, Palmer’s lead lab assistant, 500 students and 100 volunteers signed up

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Game, Set And Match. The Business Masters Where European Are The World Champions

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With his 13th French Open tennis title at Roland Garros this weekend, Spain’s Rafael Nadal has equalled Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam men’s titles. Croatia’s Novak Djokovic, with 17 Grand Slams to his name will need at least another year if he is to catch up on his rivals.

Nadal won his first French Open tennis title in 2005. In the past 15 years, few things in the world of sport have been as sure. When it comes to men’s tennis, Europeans are the Masters of the Court.

There is a similar pattern of European domination in the Masters of Management (MiM). This pre-experience business degree has seen tremendous growth in the last decade, as college seniors and those a year or two out of university look to broaden their skills sets and strengthen their networks rather than wait to do an MBA. With the current economic downturn, many of the leading business schools attending the CentreCourt Specialized Masters Festival on October 13 & 14 are reporting record application volume for this often shorter and more affordable alternative.

In the same year that Rafael Nadal won his first Grand Slam, the Financial Times published its first Masters in Management ranking. HEC Paris took the top spot ahead of French rival, ESCP Business School. There were only 25 schools in the ranking, all of them from Europe (at the time the CEMS global alliance was predominantly made up of European schools).

Fifteen years later, and the FT MiM ranking now includes 90 institutions from across the globe, and sees the University of St Gallen crowned #1 for

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San Antonio company working with military, SpaceX to move cargo anywhere in world in an hour or less

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A San Antonio company is partnering with the military and SpaceX to move cargo anywhere in the world in an hour using commercial spacecraft — including vertical-landing rockets built in Texas.

U.S. Transportation Command, which is responsible for moving military personnel and equipment around the world, said it’s working with Exploration Architecture, or XArc, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop “rapid transportation through space” capabilities.

XArc, with six employees, is responsible for determining what’s needed on the ground to launch and land commercial spacecraft around the world.

The collaboration is the latest development in Texas’ still-expanding role in space travel and could help the U.S. military more quickly respond to threats and humanitarian crises around the world.

The aim is to use commercial space vehicles, including SpaceX’s Starship, to deliver payloads anywhere in the world. Starship can carry loads of 220,000 pounds.

“Our role is to understand the ground support infrastructure required to make it happen,” XArc CEO Sam Ximenes said. “What are the ground facilities and cargo standardizations so that it is seamlessly integrated into the (military’s) current logistics system.”

Sam Ximenes is chief executive of XArc. His company is teaming with Houston engineering firm KBR to evaluate three types of rockets.

His company is teaming with Houston engineering firm KBR to evaluate three types of rocket landing areas: rugged sites with no infrastructure, remote sites with limited support and mature sites that have established capabilities.

Related: NASA contractors stake out San Antonio’s place in space

The nine-person team is considering the logistics, including fuel and cargo requirements, needed to support spacecraft around the world, Ximenes said.

“Think about moving the equivalent of a C-17 payload (170,900 pounds) anywhere on the globe in less than an hour,” Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, head of U.S. Transportation Command, said in a statement. “Think about that speed associated with the movement of transportation of cargo and people.”

The companies could begin

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The Latest: New Mexico Loses Ground in COVID-19 Spread Fight | World News

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SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico is losing ground in efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 as newly reported daily infections hit a record of 488 cases.

Three additional deaths from the pandemic also were disclosed Friday by state health officials as fatalities from the pandemic surpassed 900.

Bernalillo County, with the state’s most populous urban area, accounted for 135 new cases, while Dona Ana had 81. Lea and Chaves counties together accounted for 77 new cases.

The state’s infection and positivity rates for the spread of the virus are climbing as the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham holds the line on emergency public health restrictions.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump credits antibody drug for quick recovery

— Spain declares state of emergency in Madrid to contain surge

— As virus fills French ICUs anew, doctors ask what went wrong

— British government will announce more support for businesses to retain staff in the coming months if they are forced to close because of lockdown restrictions.

— President Donald Trump says he wants to try to hold a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday, despite his recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Enrolled members of the Navajo Nation will be eligible for payments of up to $1,500 as part of the tribe’s response to the coronavirus.

President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer on Friday approved the $49 million plan adopted by the tribal council. The funding comes from the tribe’s share of federal coronavirus relief funding.

Adults will be eligible for payments of $1,500 while minors are eligible for $500.

Nez said in a statement that there isn’t enough funding to cover payments

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Mountain Bike World Championships: GB’s Danny Hart bidding for third career rainbow jersey

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Danny Hart riding downhill at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.
Watch live coverage of the Mountain Bike World Championships on the BBC this weekend
Coverage: Live on the BBC Sport website, mobile app and Connected TVs (all times BST)
Sat 10 Oct: – X-Country – Women: 11:30-13:00. Men: 13:30-15:30 – watch here
Sun 11 Oct: Downhill – Women: 11:40-13:05. Men: 13:45-15:00 – watch here

Great Britain’s Danny Hart will begin his bid for his third rainbow jersey on Friday at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Austria.

Hart goes in qualification in men’s downhill, with two-time silver medallist Tahnee Seagrave also starting her campaign for a maiden world title in the women’s event.

In the men’s U23 category Tom Pidcock will aim to win his second gold of the week when he lines up in the cross-country final.

Pidcock, a new signing for the Ineos Grenadiers road team, won the electric pedal-assist E-MTB event on Wednesday.

Those riders are among 32 elite and age-group British Cycling representatives who travelled to Leogang for the championships.

Five-time downhill world champion Rachel Atherton, who has not competed in more than a year after snapping her Achilles tendon, had planned to use the event to make her comeback.

However, she decided to withdraw following medical advice that her injury was not ready for competition.

That means Seagrave, who has come second in each of the last two editions, could be Britain’s best hope for downhill gold.

The 25 year-old, though, is also returning from her own injury troubles, having suffered a double leg break and ankle dislocation in a training run earlier this year.

Should Seagrave and Hart successfully navigate Friday’s qualifying they will go in the final on Sunday.

On Saturday it is the turn of the Olympic cross-country discipline, where Annie Last will aim to add world gold to the Commonwealth Games

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