NASA officials did not think Friday’s problem would hold up SpaceX, but said they would need to make sure nothing was in common between the two companies’ on-board mission timers. Ground controllers were puzzled over why the Starliner’s timer was not working properly when the capsule separated from the rocket and began flying freely.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said it was too soon to know whether Boeing would need to conduct another orbital test flight without a crew, before flying astronauts. The company had been shooting for its first crew launch by the middle of next year. An additional test flight would almost certainly push the first astronaut flight back.
Boeing’s Jim Chilton, a senior vice-president, stopped by the Starliner’s manufacturing plant at Kennedy Space Center to address employees on his way to a sombre news conference.
“These are passionate people who are committing a big chunk of their lives to put Americans back in space from our soil, so it’s disappointing for us,” Chilton told reporters.
It’s been nearly nine years since NASA astronauts have launched from the U.S. The last time was July 8, 2011, when Atlantis — now on display at Kennedy Space Center — made the final space shuttle flight.
Since then, NASA astronauts have travelled to and from the space station via Kazakhstan, courtesy of the Russian Space Agency. The Soyuz rides have cost NASA up to $86 million apiece.
The space agency handed over station deliveries to private businesses, first cargo and then crews, in order to focus on getting astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars.
Commercial cargo ships took flight in 2012. Crew capsules were more complicated to design and build, and parachute and other technical problems caused repeated delays. Target launch dates starting with 2017 came and went. Last April, a SpaceX crew capsule — the same one that flew to the space station a month earlier — exploded during a ground test.
The U.S. needs companies competing like this, Bridenstine said Thursday, to drive down launch costs, boost innovation and open space up to more people. He stressed the need for more than one company in case of problems that kept one grounded.
Friday’s blastoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station started flawlessly as the Atlas V rocket lifted off with the Starliner just before sunrise. But a half-hour into the flight, the trouble became apparent.
Ground controllers tried to send up commands to get the spacecraft in its proper orbit, but the signals did not get there and by then it was too late. The capsule tried to fix its position, burning too much fuel for the spacecraft to safely make it to the space station for a Saturday rendezvous.
All three astronauts assigned to the first Starliner crew were at control centres for the launch: Mike Fincke and Nicole Mann, both with NASA, and Boeing’s Chris Ferguson, who commanded the last shuttle mission. He’s now a test pilot astronaut for Boeing and one of the Starliner’s key developers.
“This is why we flight test, right? We’re trying to get all of the bugs, if you will, out of the system,” said Fincke at the briefing. “There’s always something.”
Built to accommodate seven, the white capsule with black and blue trim will typically carry four or five people. It’s 16.5 feet (5 metres) tall with its attached service module and 15 feet (4.5 metres) in diameter.
For the test flight, the Starliner carried Christmas treats and presents for the six space station residents, the original air travel ID card belonging to Boeing’s founder and a mannequin, named Rosie after the bicep-flexing riveter of World War II.
The flight was designed to test all systems, from the vibrations and stresses of liftoff to the touchdown at the Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, with parachutes and air bags to soften the landing.
On the eve of the launch, Bridenstine said he’s “very comfortable” with Boeing, despite the prolonged grounding of the company’s 737 Max jets. The spacecraft and aircraft sides of the company are different, he noted. Boeing has long been involved in NASA’s human spacecraft program, from Project Mercury to the shuttle and station programs.
Boeing began preliminary work on the Starliner in 2010. Four years later, Boeing and SpaceX made the final cut. Boeing got more than $4 billion to develop and fly the Starliner, while SpaceX got $2.6 billion for a crew-version of its Dragon cargo ship.
On Thursday, Bridenstine said NASA wants to make sure every reasonable precaution is taken with the capsules, designed to be safer than NASA’s old shuttles.
“We’re talking about human spaceflight,” he cautioned. “It’s not for the faint of heart. It never has been, and it’s never going to be.”
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
Humans Have Started To Dump Trash On The Martian Surface: Report – Mashable India
NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Mars at the end-February after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles (472 million kilometres). Ever since its landing, a lot of new images and videos have surfaced online, giving us a look into the rover’s new home on the Martian surface. On the Martian surface, the ESA-Roscosmos Trace Gas Orbiter also cruised over the landing area of the Perseverance rover a few days after its touch down and managed to get pictures of the rover.
As reported by BGR, in the image shared by ESA, you can see where the rover is placed on the Martian surface as well as all the junk that dropped down as the Perseverance rover landing on Mars. The report states that the rover’s landing on Mars was a very complex event that required a range of machinery and heavy-duty equipment. The images shared by ESA mages show the rover, the descent stage, the parachute, back shell, and a heat shield, all of the equipment that helped the rover during its landing on Mars.
“There it is! And there’s the garbage! The ExoMars orbiter that snapped the image didn’t just provide a birds-eye view of the rover after landing, but also provided NASA with additional information and tracking data when the rover was coming in for its landing,” states the BGR report.
The image of NASA’s Perseverance rover on the martian surface was released by the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO), part of the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars program, on February 25. The tweet shared by the agency states that “there you are Nasa Persevere! I finally got the chance to take a photo of you in your new home”.
Fly me to the Moon: Japan billionaire offers space seats – Space Daily
It’s the sort of chance that comes along just once in a blue Moon: a Japanese billionaire is throwing open a private lunar expedition to eight people from around the world.
Yusaku Maezawa, an online fashion tycoon, was announced in 2018 as the first man to book a spot aboard the lunar spaceship being developed by SpaceX.
Maezawa, who paid an undisclosed sum for the trip expected to launch in 2023 at the earliest, originally said he planned to invite six to eight artists to join him on the voyage around the Moon.
But on Wednesday, in a video posted on his Twitter account, he revealed a broader application process.
“I’m inviting you to join me on this mission. Eight of you from all around the world,” he said.
“I have bought all the seats, so it will be a private ride,” he added.
Maezawa, 45, said his initial plan of inviting artists had “evolved” because he came to believe that “every single person who is doing something creative could be called an artist.”
The Japanese entrepreneur said applicants would need to fulfil just two criteria: being ready to “push the envelope” creatively, and being willing to help other crew members do the same.
In all, he said around 10 to 12 people will be on board the spaceship, which is expected to loop around the Moon before returning to Earth.
The application timeline for spots on the trip calls for would-be space travellers to pre-register by March 14, with initial screening carried out by March 21.
No deadlines are given for the next stages — an “assignment” and an online interview — but final interviews and medical checkups are currently scheduled for late May 2021, according to Maezawa’s website.
– Musk ‘highly confident’ –
Maezawa and his band of astronauts will become the first lunar voyagers since the last US Apollo mission in 1972 — if SpaceX can pull the trip off.
Last month, a prototype of its Starship crashed in a fireball as it tried to land upright after a test flight, the second such accident, after the last prototype of the Starship met a similar fate in December.
But the company hopes the reusable, 394-foot (120-metre) rocket system will one day carry crew and cargo to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
“I’m highly confident that we will have reached orbit many times with Starship before 2023 and that it will be safe enough for human transport by 2023. It’s looking very promising,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk said in Maezawa’s video posted Wednesday.
The mission will be the first private space flight beyond Earth’s orbit, Musk said.
Because it will not land on the Moon, but loop behind it, “we expect people will go further than any human has ever gone from planet Earth,” he added.
Maezawa, known for his eccentric comments and extravagant lifestyle including a penchant for pricey art, was last year valued around $1.9 billion, making him one of Japan’s richest people.
He made his fortune as founder of online fashion store Zozo, which he sold to Yahoo! Japan in 2019.
Maezawa has previously made headlines with an online ad for a girlfriend to join him on his SpaceX flight — only to abruptly cancel the hunt, despite attracting nearly 30,000 applicants.
US space agency NASA is intending to land astronauts on the Moon, including the first woman, in 2024.
One of the goals of its Artemis III voyage is to bring back a total of 85 kilograms (187 pounds) of lunar samples — more than the average 64 kilograms brought back by Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972.
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Cancer survivor to join first all-private spaceflight on SpaceX’s Dragon
Washington DC (UPI) Feb 24, 2021
A physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will join the first all-private space mission in a fundraising effort for the Memphis-based charitable facility.
The mission, called Inspiration4, is scheduled for launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida as early as October for four private citizens. They plan to orbit the Earth for several days aboard a Crew Dragon capsule built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Hayley Arceneaux, 29, survived bone cancer through treatment at the h … read more
SpaceX's first lunar tourist is looking for eight crew members – Yahoo Finance Australia
NEWS RELEASE – REGULATED INFORMATION 3 MARCH 2021, 07:00 A.M. CET Conference call with Q&A today at 08:00 CET / 07:00 GMT, details provided below IRVINE, CA, and HERSTAL, BELGIUM – March 3, 2021 – MDxHealth SA (Euronext: MDXH.BR), a commercial-stage innovative molecular diagnostics company, today announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020 and provided a business update and outlook for 2021. Michael K. McGarrity, CEO of MDxHealth, commented: “While 2020 has indeed presented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on the market, we have made significant progress based on our commitment to execute on our stated goals of advancing our turnaround of every operating discipline within the business. “We believe this progress is evidenced by the following: Infusion of $14 million in growth capital in 2020 from funds managed by MVM Partners LLP, followed by our January 2021 successful financing of $30 million, with broad support from U.S. and European investors including continued support from our Reference shareholders, MVM, Valiance and BioVest;SelectMDx for Prostate Cancer test included in the 2020 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines for Prostate Cancer Early Detection;Completed the fourth quarter with the second consecutive sequential increase in billable volume for both its ConfirmMDx® and SelectMDx® tests;Continued focus on operating discipline resulting in an improvement in collections and capital allocation; andInitiation and advancement of our best-in-class Prostate Cancer menu expansion into Active Surveillance with our renewed engagement and focus on research and development. “We believe these results represent clear validation that the fundamental growth drivers and value that were communicated prior to the pandemic have been instilled in our organization. Furthermore, the redesigned approach of our salesforce to remain highly engaged and utilize our advanced digital marketing strategy with the urology community, will become evident as the pandemic lifts and patient flow returns.” Highlights for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2020 ConfirmMDx ·For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020, billable test volume was up 3% to 3,704 versus 3,579 for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020 For the year ended December 31, 2020, billable test volume was down 18% to 14,945 versus 18,195 for 2019 SelectMDx SelectMDx for Prostate Cancer test has been included in the 2020 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines for Prostate Cancer Early DetectionFor the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020, billable test volume was up 6% to 3,472 versus 3,267 for the third quarter ended September 30, 2020 For the year ended December 31, 2020, billable test volume was down 39% to 13,201 versus 21,699 for 2019 Summary of Billable Test Volume by Product Product Year Ended December 31,20202019% ChangeConfirmMDx 14,94518,195(18)%SelectMDx13,20121,699(39)% Product Quarter Ended December 31,20202019% ChangeConfirmMDx 3,7045,158(28)%SelectMDx3,4724,898(29)% Financial Highlights for the year ended December 31, 2020 Total revenue for 2020 of $18.5 million, down 16% from pro-forma 2019 revenues of $21.9 million and up 57% from 2019 reported revenues of $11.8 million (refer to press release issued on February 26, 2020 for details on prior year one-time adjustment)Operating expenses for 2020 were $35.2 million, an improvement of $8.0 million compared to operating expenses of $43.2 million for 2019. Excluding non-cash expenses such as depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation, operating expenses for 2020 were $30.3 million, an improvement of $2.4 million, or 7%, over 2019Cash and cash equivalents of $16.0 million as of December 31, 2020. In January 2021, the Company successfully completed a EUR 25 million (approximately $30.4 million) capital increase, bringing pro-forma year-end cash and cash equivalents to $46.4 million Financial review for the year ended December 31, 2020 USD in thousands (except per share data) UnauditedYear Ended December 31,20202019 Pro-forma120192020 vs. 2019 Pro-forma12020 vs. 2019Product revenue 18,064 21,52111,443(16)%58%Royalties, patents and other income39634234216%16%Total Revenue18,46021,86311,785(16)%57% Cost of goods(10,416)(11,755)(11,755)(11)%(11)%Gross Profit8,04410,10830(20)%–Operating expenses(35,167)(43,199)(43,199)(19)%(19)%Operating loss(27,123)(33,091)(43,169)(18)%(37)%Net loss(28,662)(33,022)(43,100)(13)%(33)%Basic and diluted loss per share(0.34)(0.53)(0.69)(35)%(50)% 1Excluding the effect of change of estimate of $10.1 million (refer to February 26, 2020 press release for details) Total revenue for 2020 was $18.5 million compared to total revenue of $11.8 million for 2019. Revenues for 2019 were impacted by a one-time adjustment of $10.1 million, which was primarily related to management’s decision to reduce the amount of time it carries accounts receivable from 24 months to 12 months. This adjustment is further detailed in the 2019 year-end results press release dated February 26, 2020. Excluding this one-time adjustment, 2020 revenues would have declined 16% compared to 2019 pro-forma revenues of $21.9 million, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gross profit on products and services for 2020 was $8.0 million versus a gross profit of $0 for 2019. Excluding the 2019 one-time adjustment, gross profit on products and services for 2020 decreased 20% compared to pro-forma 2019 gross profit. This decline was primarily the result of the decline in revenues. Total operating expenses in 2020 were $35.2 million, an improvement of $8.0 million over 2019. Excluding non-cash expenses such as depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation, operating expenses for 2020 were $30.3 million, an improvement of $2.4 million, or 7%, over 2019. Operating loss for 2020 was $27.1 million, a decrease of $16.0 million compared to an operating loss of $43.2 million for 2019. Excluding the 2019 one-time adjustment, operating loss for 2020 decreased 18% compared to 2019 pro-forma operating loss, primarily the result of strong operating discipline as well as a decrease in non-cash expenses of depreciation and amortization. Cash collections from ConfirmMDx and SelectMDx amounted to $21.0 million, a decrease of 12% compared to 2019, despite larger decreases in billable volume due to COVID-19. Total cash burn for 2020 was $22.9 million, representing a reduction of $0.6 million in cash burn compared to $23.5 million in 2019. Cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2020 were $16.0 million. Outlook for 2021 Michael K. McGarrity, CEO of MDxHealth, commented: “While the dynamics of the pandemic make it difficult to provide guidance at this time, we are confident that we have advanced adoption of our menu of SelectMDx and ConfirmMDx into the urology market, and that adoption of our product menu as the standard of care in the diagnostic pathway of patients being worked up and suspected of prostate cancer, is taking hold and will drive long term growth beyond 2021. “In addition, we are now focused on advancing our menu into Active Surveillance (AS) of prostate cancer with the development of our AS-MDx and MonitorMDx tests. These two menu additions would provide clinically actionable results for clinicians evaluating patients for active surveillance. This is a well characterized market opportunity to monitor patients in active surveillance where the standard of care is an annual biopsy. We are confident that we can deliver a less invasive actionable solution. “We believe these initiatives, coupled with our current menu, will allow MDxHealth to be the only company in the space that affords clinicians a menu of advanced tests to take a patient from positive PSA screen all the way through the diagnostic pathway continuum of care with clinical confidence. “We are committed to continue to advance the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and our commitment to growth and value creation for all of our stakeholders, including patients, customers, employees and shareholders.” Subsequent Events On January 21, 2021, the Company announced the successful pricing of its capital increase with the offering of new ordinary shares. The Company raised EUR 25.0 million (approximately USD 30.4 million) in gross proceeds by means of a private placement of 27,777,777 new shares (being approximately 30.63% of the Company’s outstanding shares) at an issue price of EUR 0.90 per share through an accelerated bookbuild offering. The net proceeds of this capital increase will be used to drive further commercial focus and execution, to advance the Company’s corporate strategy and for general corporate purposes. Conference Call Michael K. McGarrity, Chief Executive Officer and Ron Kalfus, Chief Financial Officer, will host a conference call and Q&A session today at 08:00am CET / 07:00am GMT. The call will be conducted in English and a replay will be available for 30 days. To participate in the conference call, please select your phone number below and use the Conference ID: 7873716. UK / International: 0800 358 6377 / 323-289-6576 Belgium: 0800 58228 The Netherlands: 0800 023 1436 US: 800-437-2398 Webcast: http://public.viavid.com/index.php?id=143771 To ensure a timely connection, it is recommended that users register at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduledstart time. 2021 Reporting Calendar April 21: Q1-2021 business updateApril 28: Online publication of Annual Report 2020May 27: Annual General MeetingAugust 26: Publication of H1-2021 resultsOctober 21: Q3-2021 business update About MDxHealth MDxHealth is a commercial-stage, innovative healthcare company that provides actionable molecular diagnostic information to personalize the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Company’s tests are based on proprietary genetic, epigenetic (methylation) and other molecular technologies and assist physicians with the diagnosis of urologic cancers, prognosis of recurrence risk, and prediction of response to a specific therapy. The Company’s European headquarters are in Herstal, Belgium, with laboratory operations in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and US headquarters and laboratory operations based in Irvine, California. For more information, visit mdxhealth.com and follow us on social media at: twitter.com/mdxhealth, facebook.com/mdxhealth and linkedin.com/company/mdxhealth. Financial statements and auditor review The Company’s statutory auditor, BDO Bedrijfsrevisoren CVBA, has confirmed that its audit procedures with respect to the Company’s consolidated financial statements, prepared in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted in the European Union, have been substantially completed, that the procedures completed to date have not revealed any material adjustments that would have to be made to the accounting information derived from the Company’s consolidated financial information that is included in this press release. The condensed Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income may be found on the Company’s website at www.mdxhealth.com. The full Annual Report is expected to be made available to the public via the Company’s website in April 2021. For more information: MDxHealth firstname.lastname@example.org LifeSci Advisors (IR & PR)US: +1 949 271 9223 email@example.com This press release contains forward-looking statements and estimates with respect to the anticipated future performance of MDxHealth and the market in which it operates. Such statements and estimates are based on assumptions and assessments of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which were deemed reasonable but may not prove to be correct. Actual events are difficult to predict, may depend upon factors that are beyond the company’s control, and may turn out to be materially different. MDxHealth expressly disclaims any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements in this release to reflect any change in its expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based unless required by law or regulation. This press release does not constitute an offer or invitation for the sale or purchase of securities or assets of MDxHealth in any jurisdiction. No securities of MDxHealth may be offered or sold within the United States without registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or in compliance with an exemption therefrom, and in accordance with any applicable U.S. securities laws. NOTE: The MDxHealth logo, MDxHealth, ConfirmMDx, SelectMDx, AS-MDx and MonitorMDx are trademarks or registered trademarks of MDxHealth SA. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners. Attachment English
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