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NASA astronauts face final leg of SpaceX test flight: Coming home with a rare splashdown




The astronauts’ homecoming will cap a two-month mission that ended a prolonged launch drought in the US, which has relied on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station since the end of the shuttle era. (Pic: SpaceX/Twitter)

A pair of NASA astronauts face the final and most important part of their SpaceX test flight: returning to Earth with a rare splashdown. Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken took part in a farewell ceremony Saturday at the International Space Station, several hours ahead of their planned departure on a SpaceX Dragon capsule.

Despite approaching Hurricane Isaias, NASA said the weather looks favourable for a Sunday afternoon splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City, Florida. It will be the first splashdown for astronauts in 45 years. The last time was following the joint US-Soviet mission in 1975 known as Apollo-Soyuz.

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The astronauts’ homecoming will cap a two-month mission that ended a prolonged launch drought in the US, which has relied on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station since the end of the shuttle era.

In launching Hurley and Behnken from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on May 30, SpaceX became the first private company to send people into orbit. Now SpaceX is on the verge of becoming the first company to bring people back from orbit. The hardest part was getting us launched, but the most important is bringing us home, Behnken said.

A successful splashdown, Behnken said, will bring US-crew launching capability ‘full circle’.

Space station commander Chris Cassidy, who will remain on board with two Russians until October, presented Hurley with the small US flag left behind by the previous astronauts to launch to the space station from US soil, in July 2011. Hurley was the pilot of that final shuttle mission.

The flag which also flew on the first shuttle flight in 1981 became a prize for the company that launched astronauts first. Elon Musk’s SpaceX easily beat Boeing, which isn’t expected to launch its first crew until next year and will land in the US Southwest. The flag has one more flight after this one: to the moon on NASA’s Artemis program in the next few years.

“We’re a little sad to see them go,” Cassidy said, but very excited for what it means to our international space program to add this capability of commercial crew capsules. The next SpaceX crew flight is targeted for the end of September. Hurley and Behnken also are bringing back a sparkly blue and purple dinosaur named Tremor. Their young sons chose the toy to accompany their fathers on the historic mission.

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Amb Crypto

Blockchain learning made easy via Ivan on Tech Academy




Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have come a long way over the past few years. While these emerging technologies were scoffed at once upon a time, right now, they are making all the headlines, especially since the two are being looked at as transformative tools that are key to a more efficient future.

Don’t believe the hype? Well, look no further than a recent LinkedIn survey which found that blockchain is the highest-paying hard skill most companies today are looking out for. In fact, according to reports, blockchain engineers are making as much as AI experts.

However, while it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that blockchain and cryptos are “In,” the reality is the increasing popularity of these technologies also fuels a popular urge to understand them, and understand them well. Working with blockchain may be a high-paying job, but it is also one that requires a strong grasp of the technology’s fundamentals. Ergo, it isn’t surprising that quite a few online learning portals have emerged over the past few years to cater to this very need.

Perhaps, no platform caters to this very need better than Ivan on Tech Academy. Founded by Ivan Liljeqvist and Filip Martinsson in 2017, Ivan on Tech Academy is predicated on the notion that most blockchain “knowledge” doing the rounds is poor and difficult to access for most. The Academy’s mission, therefore, is “to empower people all over the world by educating them about blockchain and programming.”

Now, you might have heard of Ivan Liljeqvist. I mean, of course you have. He is the host of Ivan on Tech, one of YouTube’s most successful and trusted blockchain channels. The Academy is Liljeqvist and Martinsson’s brainchild, with the platform today working towards becoming “the number one go-to-place for blockchain and cryptocurrency education in the world.”

How does the Academy operate?

Well, the Academy has on offer hundreds of hours of on-demand video courses, assignments, quizzes, homework, and also programming challenges. Now, while that does sound like Coursera, what must be remembered is that the latter primarily caters to those looking for just a fundamental understanding of ideas and subjects.

On the contrary, Ivan on Tech Academy caters to a more diverse audience. Whether you are a “noob” and new to the blockchain space, an upcoming developer who wants to have a big career, or a seasoned investor who wants to understand the technology behind the assets he’s investing in, the Academy’s coursework might just be perfect for all.

Just consider the courses that are available on the Academy’s website – Crypto for Basics, Blockchain and Bitcoin 101, The Bitcoin Standard Course, Ethereum Smart Contract Programming, Ethereum Game Programming, Javascript and C++ programming for Blockchain, Blockchain Business Masterclass, et al. are just a few of the courses available to anyone who wishes to take out the time and read up on the fundamentals of this technology.

That’s not all, however, since the courses in question aren’t just a list of lengthy, boring, and technical videos. Instead, they are short, comprehensive, and very interesting, with the course work punctuated by a series of quizzes and assignments as part of a well-structured curriculum.

And by comprehensive, I mean really comprehensive. Consider the course on Cryptography and Privacy Coins – Not only does it touch upon coins such as Monero, Zcash, and Dash, but it also expands on more conceptual topics like KYC laws, Linking UTXOs, Deterministic Wallets, Ring Signatures, Confidential Transactions, Zero-knowledge proofs, and MimbleWimble.

Now, that might sound too much, and it is. Ergo, it’s understandable if one loses their way going through the extensive course. However, Ivan on Tech Academy has got your back there too. All the available courses come with a roadmap, so anyone who’s pursuing one of these courses always knows where they stand and how they are progressing.

Even if you’re unsure about which coursework to pursue, Ivan on Tech Academy is quick to recommend a set of tracks, each differentiated by the primary audience and the learning outcomes attached to it.

Say you’re a business professional who is interested in the prospects of blockchain and how the tech can be integrated into independent businesses. Well, the Academy would recommend a dual courseload involving Blockchain and Bitcoin 101 and Blockchain Business Masterclass. Here, how will the latter help a user? Well, according to the Academy,

“All this knowledge will make you capable to lead a team of developers and be in charge of a blockchain project, whether it is your own company or whether you are part of a larger organization.”

Pricing plans

Once upon a time, going to school or college was the only way most gained a degree of technical skills and knowledge. Over the last ten years or so, however, this has changed, thanks to the popularity and accessibility of the Internet, and this is the medium Ivan on Tech Academy has sought to leverage as it caters to its audience of thousands.

Although there are schools and colleges right now that do offer courses on blockchain, the fact of the matter is most of these courses are taught by people who themselves are new to the field. Professors aren’t developers and academicians aren’t thought leaders, which is why Ivan on Tech Academy offers the easiest, most comprehensive way to learn and understand everything blockchain.

In fact, the Academy’s pricing model makes it an even better choice, with the platform offering Basic, Professional, and Premium plans that cater to every individual’s needs. Depending on the plan, inclusions may include Access to all Tracks and Courses, Livestream Q&As, 1-on-1 Programming Support, Career Advice, and even a Student Counselor.

For certain plans, the platform also offers a 14-day moneyback guarantee if a user is dissatisfied with the educational content presented to him.

Source: Ivan on Tech Academy

What’s even better is that if you enroll and complete any course on offer on Ivan on Tech Academy, you’ll be given a legit Graduation Certification, one signed by founders Ivan Liljeqvist and Filip Martinsson. That, in itself, is a pretty neat incentive.

Finally, the Academy also works if you’re just looking for a basic overview of important concepts. That’s where the Academy’s Blog section comes in, with the platform presenting such articles on a timely basis, free of charge, to anyone and everyone.

All aspects considered, Ivan on Tech Academy is worth a shot. It’s a useful tool for newbies and experts alike, one that caters to different learning needs differently.

Disclaimer: This article is a paid post and must not be considered as news/advice


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Amb Crypto

What to expect from Reddit’s partnership with the Ethereum Foundation?




Popular social media platform Reddit is in the news today after it announced a partnership with the Ethereum Foundation, with the development establishing Reddit’s first-ever blockchain partnership.

The goal behind the same is to accelerate the scaling process and resources for the Ethereum ecosystem and bring the value of blockchain technology to Reddit’s community of over 50 million daily active users. According to Reddit admin u/jarins who made the announcement on the Ethereum subreddit,

“In this new stage of our partnership, immediate efforts will be focused on bringing Ethereum to Reddit-scale production.”

In fact, the collaboration with Ethereum dates back to last year when Reddit introduced Community Points, a feature that was built on the Ethereum network. This feature is currently being tested in r/CryptoCurrency and r/FortNiteBR, subreddits where users reward each other points for “quality posts” which are then stored in Ethereum’s Rinkeby testnet as ERC-20 tokens.

According to many, this move can drive further adoption for Ethereum from the Reddit community, and be incredibly bullish for ETH in the long run.

Interestingly, when Community Points were first rolled out on Reddit, popular Ethereum proponent Ryan Sean Adams had commented on Twitter that “Ethereum is the Internet’s property rights system.”

Since Community Points are DeFi compatible ERC-20 tokens, he had also posited that this could significantly increase DeFi’s user growth.

On the contrary, there were many others who disputed these claims, especially since the knowledge of DeFi is limited to only a few people within the crypto-space itself, let alone Redditors.

Further, DeFi still has major issues with regards to interoperability and liquidity, all of which need urgent rectification before it could possibly target the mainstream market or traditional users.

Whether or not this is can be attributed to Reddit or not, the fact is that the TVL in DeFi grew from $825 million at the time of that announcement, to over $25 billion, at press time.

Ethereum is currently in the process of scaling to a Layer 2 POS network. Until proper Layer 2 solutions are in play, Ethereum’s capacity will remain considerably limited, and it remains unlikely that it will be able to handle the entirety of Reddit’s user base of over 400 million users.

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap recently made headlines after it hit a new all-time high, with the crypto breezing past $1,473 earlier this week.

Reddit too has been in the news of late after rapid buying by investors on a subreddit titled WallStreetBets was responsible for the frenetic surge in GameStop and other stock prices.


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Biden’s bold EV promise could re-shape the auto landscape




“The federal government … owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America made by American workers,” said President Joe Biden on Monday, signaling he’s willing to use his new office to kick off a transformative overhaul of the entire US automotive industry.

The US federal fleet is massive – somewhere around 650,000 vehicles (of which only 3,215 are currently electric), traveling 4.5 billion miles (7.2 billion km) and guzzling 375 million gallons (1.4 billion liters) of gasoline and diesel fuel every year. Biden hasn’t laid much out in the way of details yet, but two key goals are clear: reduce the US government’s environmental footprint, and give the American auto industry a shot in the arm.

Financial benefits should accrue over time, too; fuel and maintenance costs for electric vehicles are significantly lower than those of ICE vehicles, and many of these things – US postal vans, for example – do enough miles to bring break-even point much closer. Analysts predict Biden’s switchover could turn out to be a US$20+ billion project, but viewed as part of an economic stimulus and job creation package, as well as an opportunity to cut down ongoing maintenance expenses, that number looks less daunting.

And boy will it shake up the US auto industry, particularly since Biden also signaled he was planning to tighten up the definitions on what qualifies as “made in America,” to make sure taxpayer money ends up staying in the country as much as possible. And as Axios reports, there’s basically nothing on the market right now that meets Biden’s criteria using a unionized workforce, which may be another of the criteria.

Before these vehicles start rolling out, entire supply chains will need to rise up. New models will have to be developed fit for the government’s purposes, and the scale of EV manufacturing will need to advance dramatically. It may be 3-4 years before this executive decree starts bearing fruit, simply because the vehicles don’t exist yet.

Still, it’s a chance to deploy the deep pockets of the US Treasury to re-shape the American auto market into a sector that’s better equipped to compete in the electric future. A customer this huge is a monster opportunity, both for startups and also for established Motor City brands for whom serious volume could be the incentive they need to refocus their efforts. This kind of influx of EVs on the road will lead to better charging infrastructure for the rest of the market, too.

And while the current statement only covers federal vehicles, Biden said during his campaign that he planned to “make a major federal commitment to purchase clean vehicles for federal, state, tribal, postal, and local fleets.” It’s a bold move, but one that could re-shape the auto landscape for decades to come.


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Amb Crypto

Dogecoin pumps by 90% amid WallStreetBets drama




The Reddit community WallStreetBets’ drama with main street hedge funds has now permeated the cryptocurrency sector with Dogecoin’s price pumping by 90% in a matter of hours. This surge has contributed to DOGE nearing its old ATH on the charts.

Dogecoin has been in mainstream media due to a host of reasons, some of which include viral TikTok videos or tweets from Elon Musk. In fact, the aforementioned surge might continue if Elon Musk decides to join the party as is customary.

WallStreetBets & Dogecoin

WallStreeBets’ name has been popping up all over the mainstream media lately as a bunch of “memers” who have all longed the most-shorted stock GME [GameStop]. This has sent the stock prices of GME hurtling, with the same up by over 880% in one week, at the time of writing.

What’s interesting about the surge in GME’s stock is that Melvin Capital, a hedge fund reportedly at the center of all the GME shorts, has covered its short position. Not only has this contributed to losses in the billions, but this has led to main street traders/hedge funds crying foul too.

With the drama over GME stocks unfolding before our eyes, a Twitter user with the screen name “WSB Chairman” tweeted,

This tweet was met with replies from many of the market’s cryptocurrency enthusiasts, many of whom were left out of the WSB drama. Accordingly, many started spamming different altcoins. However, among these altcoins, Dogecoin has been the one to rise to the surface and grab the most attention of the lot.

The result? Well, Dogecoin had pumped 85% in 90 minutes, at the time of writing.

Source: DOGEUSDT TradingView

A look at DOGE’s charts would suggest that perhaps, a few whales caught the scent of what was about to happen and jumped on the bandwagon too. In fact, two pseudonymous traders RookieXBT and CoinMamba posted long positions, well before the pump actually began.

What next for Dogecoin?

With Elon Musk already on the WSB bandwagon, it wouldn’t be surprising if he tweets about the current Dogecoin pump. If this takes place, then there will be no holding Dogecoin back. Levels to keep an eye out for include – $0.0159 and $0.0183, both price-points that stand at the 78.6% and 100% Fibonacci levels, respectively.


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