NASA on Friday set a launch date of May 27 for its first astronaut mission from US soil in nearly ten years.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company, SpaceX, will send two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard its Falcon 9 rocket from Florida – marking the company’s first mission carrying humans aboard.
BREAKING: On May 27, @NASA will once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil! With our @SpaceX partners, @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken will launch to the @Space_Station on the #CrewDragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket. Let’s #LaunchAmerica 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/RINb3mfRWI
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 17, 2020
“BREAKING: On May 27, @NASA will once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil!” Bridenstine wrote on Twitter.
The US space agency had previously said the mission, in which NASA astronauts Bob Behnken, 48, and Doug Hurley, 52 will ride SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to the space station, would launch sometime in May.
As with most high-profile missions, the new date could slip. If all goes as planned, the mission would mark the first time NASA launches its astronauts from US soil since the 2011 retirement of the space shuttle.
The space agency has since relied on Russia’s space program to ferry astronauts to the space station.
A decade in the making, next month’s mission is the final test for Crew Dragon before regularly flying humans for NASA under its Commercial Crew Program, a public-private initiative. Boeing Co is developing its competing Starliner astronaut taxi as the agency’s second ride to space.
The agency is mulling whether to extend Behnken and Hurley’s stay aboard the space station from a week as originally planned to up to six months in order to ensure US astronauts are staffed on the station continuously.
Timelines for the crew program have been pushed back by years, with the first crew launch originally slated for early 2017.
The development delays with Crew Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner have forced NASA to buy more crew seats from Russia’s space agency, an increasingly costly expense as Moscow scales its own Soyuz program back to just two missions a year.
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NGen Funding Continues to Support Canada's COVID-19 Response – GlobeNewswire
GUELPH, Ontario, and Mississauga, Ontario, June 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has announced funding for Precision Biomonitoring to support the company’s production of test kits to identify COVID-19.
Precision Biomonitoring has received almost $5 million in funding to work directly with Canadian manufacturers to increase production of its TripleLock™ SARS-CoV-2 Go-Strips, a rapid response test that will allow for the early identification of COVID-19.
Rapid, accurate and available testing for COVID-19 is critical to the measures being undertaken by health authorities in Canada as they work to control the spread of the virus and move towards reopening the economy, ensuring the safety of Canadians as they head back into the workplace. Testing capacity has been an ongoing issue as global demand for test kits coupled with limited domestic supply has created shortages.
“Widespread testing is going to be an important part of our vigilance as Canada continues to flatten the curve. I am happy to see the superclusters stepping up in a big way to leverage their membership and Canada’s strong industrial base as part of this effort. The rapid manufacturing of these point-of-care test kits will help ensure that more Canadians can be tested for COVID-19 in a timely manner,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
“Collaboration among Canada’s advanced manufacturing companies has allowed for a rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic, creating innovative solutions and mobilizing advanced technologies to address the demand for test kits,” said Jayson Myers, CEO at NGen. “The flexibility and adaptability that advanced manufacturing allows has been critically important in addressing the challenges presented by COVID-19, and will continue to be so as governments move to re-open the Canadian economy.”
Leveraging the capabilities of Canadian manufacturers and partners such as Evik Diagnostics, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Shared Value Solutions, McMaster Health Science Centre, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre and the Canadian National Microbiology Lab, Precision Biomonitoring anticipates a production rate capacity of 10,000 units per day or greater.
“Advancing Canadian manufacturing enables us to leverage local capabilities to mitigate manufacturing challenges,” says John Laughlin, CTO at NGen. “We are proud to help drive these collaborative relationships that will position Canada as a world leader in manufacturing point-of-need DNA surveillance and detection tools and ensure that all Canadians, including indigenous peoples, will have adequate access to COVID-19 testing.”
“Developing Canadian manufacturing is not only promising for our response efforts for COVID-19, but also provides a strong foundation as we look to expand into the growing mobile DNA applications market,” says Mario Thomas, CEO, Precision Biomonitoring.
The funding for the project comes from NGen’s commitment to invest $50 million to support companies as they rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by building a Canadian supply of critically needed technologies, equipment, and medical devices.
About NGen – Next Generation Manufacturing Canada
NGen is the industry-led community behind Canada’s most transformative advanced manufacturing projects. NGen members come from every part of the country and cut across Canada’s manufacturing, technology, advanced research, and start-ups sectors. NGen is an objective facilitator of connections and collaboration among its members, identifying opportunities, building capabilities, and supporting advanced manufacturing decisions. NGen’s industry collaborations bring together talent, opportunity, funding, and business know-how to reduce risk and help business leaders make better choices. NGen is Canada’s Supercluster for Advanced Manufacturing, securing funding from public and private sources, including $230 million in matching dollars from the federal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative, to support greater private sector investment in advanced manufacturing projects. NGen seeks to add $13.5 billion dollars and 13,500 new jobs to the economy over the next 10 years by growing world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities in Canada.
About Precision Biomonitoring
Founded in 2016 by a team of scientists from the University of Guelph’s Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, Precision Biomonitoring provides TripleLock™ onsite eDNA surveillance platform solutions that give customers earlier detection of organisms for a more rapid response. Customers are any organizations that need onsite surveillance and rapid identification of any organism in any environment. The Precision Biomonitoring team is at the forefront of technological innovations in the genomics industry. Our vision is a world where we can identify any organism on the spot, in an instant, anywhere on the planet.
Astronauts ring opening bell for Nasdaq from space station – Thompson Citizen
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The astronauts launched into orbit by SpaceX joined in the ringing of the opening bell for the Nasdaq on Tuesday to mark “a pivotal moment” for the space economy.
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken took part in the ceremony from the International Space Station, three days after their launch by Elon Musk’s company.
SpaceX became the first private company to send astronauts into orbit, with its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule, and ended a nine-year launch drought for NASA.
The two astronauts floated alongside space station commander Chris Cassidy as he rang a ship’s bell to open trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Their image, along with live-streamed pictures of other NASA staff, lit up the Nasdaq marquee in New York’s Times Square.
“It is truly a pivotal moment in the development of the space economy and a new era of private human spaceflight,” said Nasdaq President Adena Friedman.
She asked the astronauts about making spaceflight more accessible to ordinary people.
“It’s really transformational when you come into space and look back at our planet, and then see how fragile it is and how thin the atmosphere is. It really does change you for the better,” Hurley said. “I think the more people that we expose to this, the better off we’ll be as a species.”
NASA wants to be just one customer of many, noted Jim Morhard, the space agency’s deputy administrator, who took part in the virtual bell ringing. SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Boeing and other companies looking to send people into space are driving down costs while increasing innovation, he said.
“We’re really at the dawn of a new space age,” Morhard said.
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.
NASA astronauts describe 'smooth' ISS docking after SpaceX launch – The Globe and Mail
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#BlackOutTuesday spreads across social media in protest against George Floyd killing – CBC.ca
Hall of Famer Unseld dead at 74 – TSN
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