Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to take first Blue Origin flight into space

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced Monday he will fly into space next month on the first human flight launched by his Blue Origin rocket firm. “Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother,” Bezos said on his Instagram account. Blue Origin said Bezos and his brother Mark will travel on the first crewed flight […]

UK competition watchdog probes Facebook use of ad data

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s competition watchdog said Friday it has opened an investigation into Facebook’s use of advertiser data s the EU announced a similar probe into the social media giant. “We intend to thoroughly investigate Facebook’s use of data to assess whether its business practices are giving it an unfair advantage in the online dating and classified ad sectors,” Andrea Coscelli, head of the Competition and Markets Authority, said in a statement. […]

Huawei launches new mobile operating system in fight for survival

  by Dan Martin Agence France Presse Chinese tech giant Huawei launched its highly-anticipated homegrown mobile operating system on Wednesday, opening a new front in its fight for survival in the smartphone arena after the US blocked it from using Android. The company says its new HarmonyOS system is packed with special features and capitalizes on growing demand to seamlessly link devices — known as “Internet of things”. But analysts say Huawei faces an uphill […]

Pacific sees a ‘Blood Moon’ rising

by Andrew BEATTY Agence France Presse Stargazers across the Pacific Rim cast their eyes skyward on Wednesday night to witness a rare “Super Blood Moon”, as the heavens align to bring an extra-spectacular lunar eclipse. The first total lunar eclipse in two years will happen at the same time as the Moon is closest to Earth, in what astronomers say will be a once-in-a-decade show. If the skies are clear, anyone living in the Pacific […]

China’s Mars rover starts roaming the Red Planet

SHANGHAI, China (AFP) — China’s Mars rover drove from its landing platform and began exploring the surface on Saturday, state-run Xinhua news agency said, making the country only the second nation to land and operate a rover on the Red Planet. The launch last July of the Tianwen-1 Mars probe, which carried the Zhurong rover, marked a major milestone in China’s space program. Tianwen-1 touched down on a vast northern lava plain known as the […]

Mind over matter: brain chip allows paralyzed man to write

  by Sara HUSSEIN Agence France Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Paralyzed from the neck down, the man stares intently at a screen. As he imagines handwriting letters, they appear before him as typed text thanks to a new brain implant. The 65-year-old is “typing” at a speed similar to his peers tapping on a smartphone, using a device that could one day help paralyzed people communicate quickly and easily. The research could benefit people […]

NASA’s giant Webb telescope succeeds in key pre-launch test

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The world’s largest and most powerful space telescope unfolded its giant golden mirror for the last time on Earth on Tuesday, a key milestone before the $10 billion observatory is launched later this year. The James Webb Space Telescope’s 21 feet 4 inch (6.5 meter) mirror was commanded to fully expand and lock itself into place, NASA said — a final test to ensure it will survive its million-mile (1.6 […]

China’s rocket out of control but risk of damage low, say experts

  by Juliette COLLEN Agence France Presse China’s rogue rocket is in an uncontrolled free-fall towards Earth and no one knows where or exactly when it will burn through Earth’s atmosphere, but the risk of debris hitting an inhabited area remains very small, experts told AFP Friday. What happened? On April 29, China launched the first module of its “Heavenly Palace” space station, a milestone in Beijing’s ambitious plan to establish a permanent human presence […]

“I felt really heavy:” astronauts describe returning to Earth on SpaceX capsule

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Four astronauts just returned from the International Space Station described on Thursday their reentry into Earth’s atmosphere and ocean splashdown after more than 160 days in space. A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying the crew back to Earth splashed down off Florida early Sunday in NASA’s first nighttime ocean landing in more than 50 years. “There was a point where I was just saying to myself, breathe. Inhale, because I […]

Touchdown! SpaceX successfully lands Starship rocket

by Issam AHMED WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — SpaceX managed to land its prototype Starship rocket at its Texas base without blowing it up on Wednesday, the first time it has succeeded in doing so in five attempts. The test flight represents a major win for the hard-charging company, which eventually wants to carry crew inside Starship for missions to Mars. “Starship landing nominal!” tweeted founder Elon Musk triumphantly, after the last four tries ended […]

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins dead at 90

by Issam AHMED Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — American astronaut Michael Collins, who piloted the Apollo 11 command module while his crewmates became the first people to walk on the Moon, died on Wednesday after battling cancer, his family said. Sometimes called “the loneliest man in history” because of his long solo flight while his colleagues loped across the lunar surface, Collins never earned the same global name recognition as Neil Armstrong […]

China launches first module for new space station

by Ludovic EHRET / Jing Xuan TENG BEIJING, China (AFP) — China launched the first module of its “Heavenly Palace” space station on Thursday, a milestone in Beijing’s ambitious plan to establish a permanent human presence in space. Billions of dollars have been poured into space exploration as China seeks to reflect its rising global stature and growing technological might, following in the footsteps of the United States, Russia and Europe. The Tianhe core module, […]