Space agency leaders call for greater international cooperation

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NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy, serving as commander of the Expedition 63 mission aboard the International Space Station, took these photos of Hurricane Laura as it continued to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico on August 25. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo


NASA advances plan to commercialize International Space Station

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ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 12 (UPI) — The planned launch of a private commercial airlock to the International Space Station in November will accelerate NASA’s plan to turn the station into a hub of private industry, space agency officials said.

The commercialization plan also includes the launch of a private habitat and laboratory by 2024 and a project NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced on Twitter in May in which actor Tom Cruise will film a movie in space.

The 20-year-old space station may even have a private citizen on board again for the first time in years in late 2021, according to Phil McAlister, NASA’s director of commercial spaceflight. It’s part of a plan to wean the space station off NASA’s public funding of $3 billion to $4 billion per year.

“We expanded the scope and range of activities that can be done on ISS,” McAlister said in an interview earlier this year. “We carved out resources — power, oxygen, data — and we know we can support a paying customer, probably twice a year for up to a month.”

Detailed plans for those stints at the space station are partly proprietary, he said.

Whether private citizens return or not, NASA has increased corporate missions to the space station in recent years.

One example was Estee Lauder, which sent 10 bottles of skin cream to the space station Oct. 1 as part of a $128,000 contract with NASA, according to the company and NASA.

The agency charges $17,500 per hour for the astronauts’ time, according to its fee schedule. A representative for Estee Lauder confirmed the project last week, but declined to elaborate.

Anheuser-Busch has sent barley seeds to the ISS several times, including an experiment to see how the seeds could be sprouted, known as malting, in microgravity.

“By exposing


Netflix will triple its London office space after the international success of UK productions like ‘The Crown,’ ‘Sex Education,’ and ‘Rebecca’

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Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby posing for the camera: Claire Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby at the premiere of Netflix's "The Crown" Season 2 Karwai Tang/WireImage

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Claire Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby at the premiere of Netflix’s “The Crown” Season 2 Karwai Tang/WireImage

  • Netflix is tripling its total office space in London to around 100,000 square feet, a source close to the deal told Business Insider.
  • Some staff will move to a new office in the city’s West End, the source said, but the company will also retain one of its two existing London offices.
  • The new office space won’t be ready until 2022 at the earliest, according to the source.
  • The streaming giant plans to create jobs in its business operations and original productions, building off the success of its UK productions such as “The Crown,” “Sex Education,” “Rebecca,” and “Too Hot To Handle.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Netflix plans to triple its London office capacity as it expands its UK operations.


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The streaming giant will move to an 87,000 square-foot site in the city’s West End, a source close to the deal told Business Insider.

Netflix already rents space in two buildings in London totaling around 30,000 square feet. One of these will be retained, meaning the company will have around 100,000 square feet of office space in total.

But Netflix will refurbish the new West End office and doesn’t plan to move employees in until at least 2022.

Read more: Exclusive data shows traffic to Netflix’s US cancellation web page spiked after the controversial film ‘Cuties’ was released on the streaming service

The company also plans to “invest heavily in the British creative economy,” the source told Business Insider. Netflix will create jobs in its business operations as well as cast, crew, and extras involved in its original productions, according to the source.

The streaming giant currently has 269 employees in the


The 12th International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific

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“Just Transitions Toward Sustainable Societies in Asia and the Pacific: Building forward better for our future beyond COVID-19”

The 12th International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific, ISAP2020, will be held online by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) from 9 to 13 November and on 30 November 2020.

This year’s theme is “Just Transitions Toward Sustainable Societies in Asia and the Pacific: Building forward better for our future beyond COVID-19”. With the need for a swift response and recovery from COVID-19, as well as the chance to think about how we can redesign our societies and transform them to be more sustainable, resilient, just, and inclusive, ISAP2020 will showcase IGES’ position on current and future risks, and make a call for stronger partnerships with relevant stakeholders. The forum includes participation from front-line experts and diverse stakeholders from international organisations, governments, business and NGOs.

This year’s presentations will be framed in relation to the COVID-19 era, and include a just transition towards sustainable societies; strategies for waste management; decarbonisation and green recovery; collaborative learning and sustainable living; how businesses can strengthen SDG action; synergies between biodiversity, climate and the SDGs; promoting Japanese technology transfer to Asia, and supporting cities in the “Race to Zero Campaign”.

This year, all sessions will be available online for six days. Taking innovative approaches through the use of online tools, we aim to facilitate discussion among variety of stakeholders and reach a broader audience than ever before.

Theme of ISAP2020: “Just Transitions Toward Sustainable Societies in Asia and the Pacific: Building forward better for our future beyond COVID-19”

Featured Speakers:
Richard Florizone, President and CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity
Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
Kung Phoak, Deputy


This COVID-19 Passport Could Help Restart International Travel

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Given the massive decrease in international airline travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, airline executives have maintained that testing passengers could make flights safer and encourage prospective passengers to get back in the air. Airlines such as Emirates, Etihad and United are already starting testing programs for their flights at airports. But a new pass that is starting to test this week could open borders worldwide on a much broader basis.

Launched by the World Economic Forum and The Commons Project Foundation, a Swiss-based nonprofit, in conjunction with representatives of 37 countries in six continents, the digital pass CommonPass is starting international trials showing a passenger’s COVID-19 status while protecting other health information. Cathay Pacific Airlines is set to operate a trial between Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore Changi International Airport using rapid testing technology provided by the Hong Kong based laboratory Prenetics; United Airlines, the first airline to test the platform in the United States, will use it on flights between London Heathrow Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. Further tests are planned on additional airlines and routes across Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.

“Travel and tourism has been down across the board due to the COVID pandemic,” said Diane Sabatino, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). “CBP wants to be part of the solution to build confidence in air travel, and we are glad to help the aviation industry and our federal partners stand up a pilot like CommonPass.”

To use CommonPass, travelers take a COVID-19 test at a certified lab and upload the results to their mobile phone. They then complete any additional health screening

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