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VIDEO: SpaceX takes an expensive Tesla red car into space

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Neil Armstrong’s iconic photograph of fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon has always been the epitome of iconic moments in space photography.

However, thanks to SpaceX visionary Elon Musk, there’s a new image burned into our brains: A spacesuit-clad mannequin in the driver’s seat of a red Tesla Roadster.

On Tuesday, SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., on a mission to loop around the sun for hundreds of millions of years.

While Falcon Heavy blasting off into space served as another reminder of the wonders of space travel, the indelible image of this voyage is “Starman,” the mannequin sitting inside the Tesla.

Here’s everything you need to know about Starman:

Why is it (and the Roadster) on this rocket?

According to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX (and potentially a real-world Tony Stark in the making), test flights often include mass simulators involving concrete or steel blocks.

Of course, that’s not good enough for Musk, which is why we see Starman in a Roadster, playing David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

“That seemed extremely boring,” said Musk of settling for concrete or steel blocks. “Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.”

Starman’s suit actually works

In a press call following Falcon Heavy’s launch, Musk noted the sleek spacesuit is fully functioning. According to a report from TechCrunch, Musk said the biggest challenge was creating a suit that can handle the rigors of space travel yet still look fashionable.

“I mean, it’s a dangerous trip, you want to look good,” Musk said.

The other benefit: testing the suit in specific conditions — say, traveling in a Tesla on a rocket ship orbiting the sun — would help SpaceX move closer to rocket launches with human crews.

View from SpaceX Launch Control. Apparently, there is a car in orbit around Earth.

You can watch Starman’s view right now

If you want a glimpse of the journey, SpaceX is streaming it online, with multiple live views of Starman’s adventure.

The launch itself was remarkable because of the reusable rockets

Reflecting Musk’s broader space ambitions, SpaceX did not settle merely for launching the big rocket on its first test flight, reports Florida Today‘s James Dean.

The Heavy’s two side boosters, which each had launched missions in 2016, successfully flew back to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, deployed legs and landed on twin pads.

The side-by-side touchdowns about eight minutes after liftoff unleashed powerful sonic booms.

 

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Health

Coronavirus shocker: Health ministry can’t trace 140 positive people

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The government on Friday gave a shock admission that it was unable to trace 140 people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Health Director-General Patrick Amoth lamented that the 140 who tested positive in the ongoing mass testing had given wrong contact information.

“This is a critical group of people who gave us wrong contacts and eventually the long arm of the law will catch up with them,” Dr Amoth said.

However, he did not divulge where they are located or when they were tested.

He added that at the same time, 130 positive cases were being managed from home with follow-up from the health workers.

This comes just days after the government said it had been left frustrated by individuals who gave false personal details while testing for Covid-19.

Giving wrong contact details

Health chief administrative secretary Rashid Aman said some people were deliberately giving wrong contact details and can therefore not be traced after the tests.

Dr Aman emphasised on the importance of giving correct information to assist in contact tracing.

“We have noted a disturbing behaviour and a dangerous one at that. It pertains to persons giving false contacts during targeted testing. We have talked about this in the last two briefings and I want to reiterate that it is important to give accurate information. Because it is only through this contact tracing is possible,” Dr Aman said.

“Providing wrong information means such individuals are continuing to spread the virus to their loved ones, friends and the community.”

On Thursday, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe warned Covid-19 patients not to engage in a cat and mouse chase with the government, after being put in isolation.

The CS was responding to claims that a man in Thika seen to have been exhibiting Covid-19 like symptoms is at large.

The Health CS challenged all Kenyans to be their brother’s keepers and report anyone who is sick and could be having coronavirus and refusing to get help.

“Serikali iko na mkono mrefu itakutafuta tuu pale ulipo kwa hivyo wewe rudi, nenda kea daktari, nenda isolation and you will be fine and we will pray for you even if you are a sinner,” Mr Kagwe explained.

BY NN

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Business

Govt demands answers from Fairmont after mass layoffs

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The government has demanded answers from Fairmont Hotels on its reason to sack all staff over what it attributed to uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotelier that runs Fairmont the Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Cub said on Wednesday that they have ceased operations as a spiral effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent flooding of Fairmont Mara Safari Club.

In a letter addressed to the Country General Manager, Mehdi Morad, Solicitor General Ken Ogeto on Friday, said the move by the hotel has generated a lot of public interest especially after some of the employees petitioned his office saying the due process was not followed.

“This matter is of public importance and great concern to the government and in view of the Attorney General’s mandate to promote, protect, and uphold the rule of law and defend public interest, this office should be very grateful if you would provide it with clarification regarding the said media reports and complaints from employees including on the veracity thereof and justification for taking such action, if this is the case,” Ogeto said in a letter dated May 29.

Declare all positions redundant

Ogeto noted the move to declare all positions redundant would have far-reaching consequences on the welfare of the employees and the country’s economy.

“This is therefore a matter of profound public interest, in respect of which this office demands a response,” he added.

In a memo to staff, the country manager said, owing to the uncertainty of the direction the global pandemic will take, they have been forced to terminate employee contracts and close their properties.

“Due to the global Pandemic will result in the business picking up in the near future, we are left with no option but to close down the business indefinitely,” Mr Morad said in the memo.

“It is therefore the decision of the management to terminate the Services of all its employees due to “frustration” by way of mutual separation and taking into account the loyalty and dedication the employees have put into the success of our company in the previous years.”

Employees will receive their termination letters by June 5.

All major hotels in Kenya have remained closed since mid-March when international flights were suspended and movement restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19.

BY NN

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Grieving husband of train worker who died after being spat at reacts as police drop case

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The grieving husband of railway worker who died from coronavirus after being spat at has spoken of his sadness after find out police will take no further action.

Belly Mujinga, 47, was with a colleague on the concourse of London’s Victoria Station when a man who said he was infected with Covid-19 spat at them.

Both women fell ill with the virus within days of the attack on March 22, and Ms Mujinga died in hospital in Barnet on April 5 – leaving a widower and an 11-year-old daughter called Ingrid.

Today British Transport Police (BTP) said detectives had conducted extensive inquiries and concluded her death was not linked to her being spat.

Detectives had reviewed CCTV, spoke to witnesses and interviewed a 57-year-old man who will face no further action.

Lusamba has spoken of his sadness (Image: PHILIP COBURN)

Heartbroken Lusamba Gode Katalay, told the PA news agency: “The police came and told me the CCTV does not prove anything.

“I do not know how strong I am to hear that. It is very sad for us.”

Asked whether he felt he would be able to get justice for his wife, Mr Katalay said: “I need to speak more with my family first.”

In a statement, BTP said: “On 11 May, it was reported to BTP that a 47-year-old lady, Belly Mujinga, had been spat and coughed at while working in the ticket hall with two colleagues on 21 March.

The 47-year-old died on April 5 (Image: PHILIP COBURN)

“Following a review of all the information, senior detectives have concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate any criminal offences having taken place, and that the tragic death of Belly Mujinga was not a consequence of this incident.

“As a result, the matter will not be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.”

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn said: “I know the loss of Belly has moved so many people, and I can assure you we have done everything we can to provide answers for her family.

“As a result of our inquiries, we can now be confident that this incident did not lead to Belly’s tragic death.”

Belly with her daughter Ingrid (Image: PA)

Angie Doll, managing director of Southern Railway and Gatwick Express, said: “While we note the BTP’s conclusions, this does not detract from the tragic loss of our colleague.”

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, of which Belly was a member, said: “We are pleased that the British Transport Police investigated this incident as it sends a very strong message that abuse and attacks directed at transport workers are always unacceptable.

“What is clear is that protective equipment is absolutely vital to protect frontline workers like Belly. All transport workers on the front line should have access to masks, visors, hand sanitiser and other protective equipment.”

Last week Mr Katalay said his wife’s death had “destroyed the whole world for him and his daughter”.

The grieving dad with his daughter Ingrid (Image: PHILIP COBURN)

The 60-year-old spoke out after the Home Secretary Priti Patel pledged to double the maximum common assault jail sentence to 12 months for anyone who spits at a key worker.

Recalling her final days he said his wife of five years begged him not to allow Ingrid to see her in her hospital bed during a video call which was to be their last.

“She told me that she didn’t want Ingrid to see her like that. She said, ‘Pray for me’,” he said.

The former BBC journalist was on medication and had respiratory problems following surgery four years ago so when she told her doctor what had happened to her a few days later she was advised to self-isolate at home for three months because she was vulnerable.

When she started becoming unwell she took paracetamol before switching to oxygen but after her condition failed to improve she called an ambulance.

Her elderly mum was stuck in the African Democratic Republic of Congo, where the couple are both from, unable to say a final goodbye to her daughter.

A fundraising page for Ms Mujinga’s family has seen more than £43,000 pledged.

By Mirror.co.uk

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